Diabetes Specialist

Alpha Family Medicine Inc.

Primary Care & Geriatric Care Specialists located in Alpharetta, GA

More than 30 million Americans, almost 10% of the population, live with diabetes, a chronic condition that inhibits your body’s natural ability to regulate blood sugar. Diabetes can lead to a number of serious long-term complications, but it can be treated with medication, and some forms of diabetes can be prevented or reversed. At Alpha Family Medicine Inc. in Alpharetta, Georgia, the team of experienced physicians can diagnose and offer treatment for your diabetes today. Call the office, or make an appointment with the online scheduling tool.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a set of diseases that prevent your body from properly regulating its blood sugar. When you have diabetes, you are vulnerable to spikes and valleys in your glucose that can have serious short- and long-term health effects.

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1, which is acquired genetically and Type 2, which is developed over time, especially by people struggling with their weight. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are chronic conditions and will need to be managed for life, though some people experience temporary or reversible versions of the disease, like gestational diabetes and prediabetes.

How can I prevent diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that doctors don’t fully understand, but it is not thought to be linked to weight or similar factors, making it impossible to prevent. Type 2 diabetes, however, can be prevented and prediabetes can be reversed, by taking certain steps:

  • Eat a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables and high in fiber
  • Cut back on fat in your diet
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day
  • Lose excess pounds
  • Medication, like metformin, in some cases

It’s important to set attainable, incremental goals to help make these changes to your lifestyle permanent. Over time, you drastically reduce your risk of diabetes, which protects your eyes, nervous system, kidneys, and heart in the long run.

How can I recognize diabetes?

It can be difficult to recognize the first signs of diabetes, but they usually include:

  • Unusually increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger and unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue and irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent and slowly healing infections, especially in the mouth or on the skin

Your doctor may also look for the presence of certain compounds in your urine to test you for diabetes if there is a reason to believe you have it.

Though Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, it usually develops in childhood, while Type 2 is more commonly found in people over 40.

How is diabetes treated?

Although there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed effectively with medication and a healthy lifestyle. Your doctor will explain how best to regulate your blood sugar, but usually, treatment for diabetes involves lifestyle changes and insulin therapy. Insulin helps to control blood sugar and can be administered a variety of ways including injections and wearable pumps.

What are the long-term complications of diabetes?

Diabetes can result in several complications, especially when left untreated, including:

  • Heart, nerve, and kidney damage
  • Eye damage or blindness
  • Damage to the feet due to poor circulation, sometimes resulting in amputation
  • Skin conditions
  • Loss of hearing
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Depression

These complications can be life-threatening in some cases, so preventing and managing diabetes early on is important.

If you are interested in learning more about diabetes or need treatment, call the office today, or make an appointment online.