Diabetes can be a complex condition that requires careful management to avoid a range of health complications. The doctors at Suburban Healthcare Associates in Plainfield, Joliet, and Naperville, Illinois, are your choice as medical partners as you navigate life with diabetes. Contact their offices today, by phone or online, to arrange your initial appointment.
The cells of your body use sugars from food as a fuel that drives every process, from muscle movement to brain function. Therefore, sugar, also called glucose, is essential to life, and is distributed to your cells through the bloodstream.
Hormones are the message carriers of your body. The many hormones in your system send the “do this, do that” messages that your cells respond to. When it comes to supplying sugar to your cells for fuel, insulin is the hormone that helps move sugar from your blood into your cells.
Diabetes is a blanket name for conditions where the normal function of insulin breaks down. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin, typically as a result of an autoimmune disorder that stops the pancreas from making insulin, so blood sugar levels climb, and cells go unnourished.
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the condition, results from two issues: not enough insulin production and resistance to insulin. So, while there is some insulin available in the body, more and more is needed to unlock the door between blood sugar and cells. Eventually, the pancreas can no longer keep up with making enough insulin, and type 2 diabetes develops.
Treatment depends on the type of diabetes as well as its severity. Type 1 diabetes can only be treated with insulin, since the body makes none. There are more options for type 2 diabetes, and in some cases, lifestyle changes -- including exercise and diet -- may be all that’s needed to control the disease. In more severe cases, additional insulin may be recommended.
There are also other medications that can change the way your body produces or uses natural insulin. Your caregiver at Suburban Healthcare Associates advises you about which treatment options are appropriate.
Left untreated, the presence of high blood sugar levels takes a heavy toll on your body. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage in your extremities, which in turn may lead to amputation. If blood sugar is not well-controlled, eyesight may be affected, and can lead to blindness. Heart disease and kidney failure are other common complications.