Diagnosing and managing your diabetes requires a longstanding relationship with a healthcare provider who knows you well (after all, blood sugar maintenance can be tough). As an expert certified in diabetes care, Susanne Danis, MSN, ARNP-C, CDE, CRRN, at Plantation Medical Clinic in Plantation, Florida, assists Internal Medicine Physician, Dr. Peter Simek, in helping you with your diabetes management. Nurse Practitioner Susanne Danis will ensure that you get the medications you need and learn about the lifestyle changes required to keep your blood sugar under control.
Every single cell in your body needs fuel to do its job. The preferred fuel source is glucose, or blood sugar. But cells can’t just pick up glucose at their leisure. They need something to open up doors and help them absorb the fuel they need. This is where insulin comes into play. Insulin, a hormone, allows your cells to absorb the glucose they need.
Your pancreas is responsible for making insulin, so if certain cells in your pancreas become damaged, the organ doesn’t make enough insulin — or it doesn’t make any. In this case, you may be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and require daily insulin shots. For others, you probably make enough insulin, but your body stops responding to it. This is Type 2 diabetes. While some men and women with Type 2 diabetes also need insulin injections, most patients need interventions with prescription medications and lifestyle changes.
Probably, yes. Your blood sugar shouldn’t go above 140 mg/dL, even after eating. So if your numbers are regularly high, or if you have a family history of diabetes, Dr. Simek might order an A1c test. The A1c is a blood test that checks your blood sugar averages over a period of 2-3 months.
A non-diabetic should have an A1c below 5.7%, which indicates an average daily blood glucose level of 97 mg/dL. This indicates that your pancreas is producing all the insulin it needs to deal with the glucose in your body.
If your A1c is between 5.7% and 6.5%, you might have prediabetes, since your average blood sugar is roughly 100-135 mg/dL. That means you could be on your way to developing Type 2 diabetes!
If your A1c result is above 8%, this indicates that your daily glucose is greater than 183 mg/dL. That means you’ve had uncontrolled diabetes for some time, so Dr. Simek will draw up a treatment plan for you right away.
Possibly. Some symptoms are more obvious than others, so you might notice warning signs such as: