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Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body processes food.

Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar, and then it is released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar level goes up, your body creates energy.

Diabetic patients either don’t make enough insulin or their bodies don’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. Too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream and isn’t released to create energy. Over time, this can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Diabetes currently doesn’t have a cure, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can help. Taking medicine as needed, diabetes education, and keeping health care appointments can also reduce the impact of diabetes on your health.

Different types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

In Type 1 Diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin. Approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. While Type 1 Diabetes can happen at any age, it is most common in children, teens, and young adults. Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes often develop quickly and are severe. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains.  People with Type 1 Diabetes need to take insulin every day to survive.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. Patients with gestational diabetes could be at higher risk for their baby to have potential health problems. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born but increases the patient’s risk for Type 2 Diabetes later in life. The baby is more likely to have obesity as a child or teen, and more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) usually shows up in the middle of the pregnancy and typically doesn’t have any symptoms. If you’re pregnant, you should be tested for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. This early detection allows you to make changes if needed to protect your health and your baby’s health.

Type 2 Diabetes

With Type 2 Diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin effectively and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. 90-95% of people with diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes. It commonly starts when you’re an adult. You may not notice any symptoms as Type 2 Diabetes symptoms often develop over several years and can go on for a long time without being noticed. Sometimes there aren’t any noticeable symptoms at all, so it’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you’re at risk. Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active. Because symptoms are hard to spot, it’s important to know the risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes and visit your doctor if you have any of them.

Prediabetes

Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetes. Approximately 88 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, more than 84% don’t know they have it. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Signs of Diabetes

  • Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night
  • Intense thirst, and often
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Intense hunger
  • Blurry vision
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • Fatigue
  • Extremely dry skin
  • Slow-healing sores 
  • High number of infections

Diabetes Tests

A1C Test

The A1C test measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2 or 3 months. The reading ranges are:

  • Below 5.7% : Normal
  • Between 5.7 and 6.4%: Prediabetes
  • At or above 6.5% : Diabetes

Glucose Tolerance Test

Glucose Tolerance Test measures your blood sugar before and after you drink a liquid that contains glucose. After an overnight fast, patients have blood drawn to determine their fasting blood sugar level. Then patients drink the liquid and have blood sugar levels checked either 1 hour, 2 hours, or possibly 3 hours afterward.

At 2 hours, you will measure your Glucose Tolerance. Reading ranges are:

  • At or below 140 mg/dL: Normal
  • 140 to 199 mg/dL: Prediabetes
  • At or above 200 mg/dL: Diabetes

Glucose Screening Test

This measures your blood sugar at the time you’re tested. You’ll drink a liquid that contains glucose, and then 1 hour later your blood will be drawn to check your blood sugar level. A normal result is 140 mg/dL or lower. If your level is higher than 140 mg/dL, you’ll need to take a glucose tolerance test.

Fasting Blood Sugar Test

Fasting Blood Sugar Test measures blood sugar after an overnight fast. The reading ranges for fasting blood sugar levels are:

  • At or below 99 mg/dL: Normal
  • 100 to 125 mg/dL: Prediabetes
  • At or above 126 mg/dL: Diabetes

Random Blood Sugar Test

This measures your blood sugar at any given time. This test does not require fasting. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.

If your doctor thinks you have Type 1 Diabetes, your blood may also be tested for autoantibodies. Autoantibodies are substances that indicate your body is attacking itself. They are often present in Type 1 Diabetes but not in Type 2 Diabetes. You may also have your urine tested for ketones. Ketones are produced when your body burns fat for energy which also indicates Type 1 Diabetes instead of Type 2 Diabetes.

Tests for Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. You’ll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes (due to having more risk factors), your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar that’s higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.

Diabetes Prevention and Education

If your test results show you have prediabetes, your doctor or nurse will work with you to create a specialized education plan to improve your health through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. You may also receive a referral to Lawton Community Health Center for diabetes education. If you have prediabetes, you are at a greater risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. Participating in diabetes can lower your risk by as much as 58% (71% if you’re over age 60).

Meet Our Providers

Michelle White, Diabetes and Nutrition

Michelle White
RN, BSN, CDE

Leslye Trachte, Diabetes and Nutrition

Leslye Trachte
PHARM. D., BCPS, BCADM, CDCES

Jan Miller, Diabetes and Nutrition

Jan Miller, RD

Make an Appointment

MMG Diabetes & Nutrition
5404 SW Lee Blvd
Lawton, OK 73505
580-355-5242
Fax: 580-355-5245