The food you eat is digested and transformed into glucose. Your body needs glucose, or blood sugar, to power cells. A hormone called insulin, which is produced by your pancreas, helps your body use glucose to power the body and balance the glucose levels in your blood. When you have Type 1 diabetes, the cells in your pancreas that make insulin don’t work right, causing low insulin levels. This results in dangerously high blood glucose, so you have to take insulin regularly.
With Type 2 diabetes, your body usually has enough insulin, but your system becomes resistant to it. As a result, your cells aren’t able to get the glucose they need and you likely need medication to help your body utilize glucose.
Yes. Several risk factors can increase your risk of developing diabetes, including:
You’ll probably need several types of tests and screenings. For someone without diabetes, blood glucose can range from 70 mg/dL before eating, up to 140 mg/dL after a meal. The fasting blood glucose test, which is done after fasting for about 8 hours, can help diagnose diabetes if the result is higher than 126 mg/dL. If your fasting glucose falls between 100 and 126 mg/dL, it’s likely that you have prediabetes.
The A1C can help determine your average glucose for the previous 3 months. Ideally, your A1C should be under 5.7%, which is an average blood glucose of about 97 to 126 mg/dL. If your A1C is 5.7% to 6.4%, you could have prediabetes, since your average blood glucose is roughly 126 to 140 mg/dL. Having an A1C greater than 6.4% often confirms a diabetes diagnosis.
The other common blood glucose test is the glucose intolerance test. For this one, you’ll consume a sugary drink and then have a blood draw 2 hours later. If your glucose comes back greater than 200 mg/dL, you’re probably diabetic. This test is typically used to diagnose Type 2 diabetes.
If you have diabetes, one of our providers will conduct regular thorough evaluations that include checking your eye health, monitoring your kidney function, and checking for neuropathy, a numbness, or weakness caused by nerve damage in your feet.