Diabetes is a major medical condition that can be managed. You may have wondered how you develop diabetes. You may worry that your children will develop it too. Diabetes does not seem to be inherited in a simple pattern. Yet clearly, some people are more likely to develop diabetes than others. Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues.

When a patient is admitted to Mountains Community Hospital, due to any illness, our team of physicians, nurses, dietician and pharmacist monitor blood sugars, and medications, to keep blood sugars managed and assess for any complications.

Chronic diabetes conditions include Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

In Type 2 diabetes the problem is that your body causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. Over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.

Gestational Diabetes: In pregnancy, usually around the 24th week, many women develop gestational diabetes. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn’t mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth. However, it is important to follow your doctor’s advice regarding blood glucose (blood sugar) levels while you’re planning your pregnancy, so you and your baby both remain healthy.

Common symptoms of diabetes:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)
  • The best way to determine diabetes is to visit a physician, if showing any of the above symptoms. Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes.

Chris Duer, Infection Control Manager at Mountains Community Hospital, shares the following personal testimony:

“I am a 17-year diabetic. I go to my health care practitioner regularly. I visit my eye doctor annually to check for any bleeding in my eyes, infections or changes of any kind. I check my glucose regularly. My labs are drawn every 3-6 months, depending on my Hemoglobin A1C results and I follow the American Diabetic Association Guideline, which is individual to myself. I have been to an endocrinologist, who assisted in my oral management of my diabetes. I now have a cardiologist, as I had a complication related to diabetes which created heart disease. My feet are monitored by myself and my healthcare professional and I have discussed changes with a podiatrist. I heal slowly, but know if my blood sugars are stable I will heal quicker. Diet is always a challenge, but I know that carbohydrates, sugars, wine, potatoes and pasta will drive my sugars high. I exercise daily and drink water, not sodas or juices, to assist with normalizing my blood sugars. A person can manage diabetes. Saying no to old habits is hard, but worth feeling great and living longer!”