Both types cause blood sugar levels to rise to unhealthy levels, but the underlying causes are different: Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder that develops when a dysfunctional immune response destroys healthy cells of the pancreas, where insulin is produced. Insulin is a hormone that plays a necessary role in controlling blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that arises when the body doesn't process insulin correctly. Type 2 diabetes typically occurs in people who are very overweight or obese, while type 1 normally develops in children and continues throughout adulthood. While there is no cure for diabetes, symptoms can be managed with careful and ongoing medical care.
Without proper management, diabetes can cause serious medical problems including kidney failure, vision loss, nerve damage and cardiovascular problems, and some studies have linked unmanaged diabetes with an increased risk of dementia. People with diabetes often have a compromised healing response that can lead to increased risks of serious infection and even amputation.
In addition to having routine office exams and testing, patients with diabetes will need to monitor their blood sugar frequently and take insulin to help keep glucose levels within normal ranges. Dietary changes will also be necessary to limit the intake of sugars and carbohydrates, and increasing physical activity may also help.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a serious condition that can cause loss of vision in patients with diabetes. In DR, high blood sugar levels cause tiny blood vessels located in the back of the eye to weaken and leak. Some patients will develop new blood vessels in the retina, preventing light from reaching the sensitive light-receptor cells of the retina, so vision becomes dim. Diabetic retinopathy can occur in any person with diabetes, becoming more common over time. Diabetic retinopathy testing uses a simple dilated eye exam to look for changes in the retina so treatment can be provided to help prevent vision loss.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!