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Diabetes

Youth and You

Family Medicine located in North Miami Beach, FL

If you’re among the 29 million people in the US with diabetes, you know the seriousness of the disease. Florence Foucauld, MD, and the team at Youth and You in North Miami Beach, Florida, are available to help you manage this metabolic disorder and avoid complications of the disease that include nerve damage, heart disease, and eye problems. If diabetes is a concern because of your lifestyle, symptoms, or family history, call the office or book an appointment online.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that involves your production of the hormone insulin. This hormone helps you manage your blood sugar, or glucose, levels. When you have diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, or the insulin you do produce isn’t used efficiently by your body. As a result, your blood sugar remains chronically high, doing damage to your internal organs.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. Your immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, so you must take daily injections to manage your blood sugar levels.

With Type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or your body doesn’t use the insulin you do produce effectively. You’re at a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight or have a family history of the disease.

Diabetes can also develop during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is much like Type 2 diabetes in that your body fails to produce enough insulin to control your blood sugar. High blood sugar levels can be dangerous to both mother and baby.

What indicates I may have diabetes?

Diabetes doesn’t always have identifiable symptoms, especially in the case of Type 2 diabetes. However, if you have any of the following symptoms, get checked out as they may indicate Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes:

  • Hunger and uncontrollable thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Extraordinary hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss

You may notice that wounds, such as blisters or sores, take a long time to heal. If you have any of these symptoms, call Youth and You for an evaluation.

What are the implications if diabetes goes unmanaged?

Unmanaged diabetes increases your risk of many serious health problems. These include:

  • Stroke, cardiovascular disease, and heart attack
  • Kidney failure
  • Nerve damage and peripheral neuropathy
  • Blindness or other eye problems
  • Poor circulation that can lead to amputation
  • Oral health issues, such as periodontal disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

The team at Youth and You can help you avoid these complications by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

How is diabetes managed?

Management of diabetes involves replacement insulin (for Type 1 diabetes), lifestyle changes, and medications. Regular monitoring of your blood sugar levels is also necessary to ensure treatment is working and that you aren’t at risk of complications. If you’re overweight, you can also benefit from medically supported weight loss plans to help you achieve a healthier size. 

To learn more about the support available when it comes to managing your diabetes, call Youth and You, or book an appointment online.