Diabetes Diagnosis and Treatment
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is diagnosed by measuring the levels of glucose in the blood through a blood test. A diagnosis of diabetes may be made if the blood glucose level is consistently high over time. At Elias Medical, we are trained to diagnose diabetes and to prescribe a treatment plan, which can involve medication and/or lifestyle changes
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What health problems can diabetes cause?
Diabetes can be a dangerous and life-threatening disease if you don’t control your blood sugar level. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage your eyes, blood vessels, nerves and kidneys. Here are some of the problems (also called complications) diabetes can cause:
Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the retina. It is the leading cause of blindness in people ages 20 to 74. For more information, read our “How to Take Care of Your Eyes and Feet” handout.
People with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to have heart disease and damage to the blood vessels in the heart. This increases their risk of heart attack and stroke. For more information, read our “Diabetes and Heart Disease” handout.
Nerve and blood vessel damage
Damage to blood vessels in the legs can limit the supply of blood to the nerves in the legs and feet. This can make it difficult to feel injuries (such as foot sores). Damage to the blood vessels can also put you at risk for infections and sores that don’t heal. In severe cases, parts of the foot or lower leg may have to be amputated (removed). For more information, read our “Diabetic Neuropathy” handout.
Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, which then can’t filter out the body’s waste. In some people, the kidneys stop working completely. These people require dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis is a treatment that eliminates wastes in the blood. For more information, please read our “Diabetic Nephropathy” handout.
The good news is that diabetic complications can often be prevented by taking care of yourself, following your doctor’s orders and controlling your blood sugar level. For more information on how to prevent these problems, please read our “Preventing Diabetic Complications” handout.
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What happens if my blood sugar gets too low?
How do I check my blood sugar level?
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