If you’re one of the more than 100 million Americans living with diabetes, it’s important to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and routinely visit the doctor. Without treatment, diabetes increases your risk of permanent nerve damage, heart disease, and even amputation. At Ribera Healthcare Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Olga Lucero, MSN, FNP-C, provides diabetes diagnosis and treatment to people of all ages. To schedule your appointment, call the office or book online today.
Diabetes is a general term that refers to a group of chronic diseases characterized by high blood sugar. Everyone needs some blood sugar (glucose) to survive. It provides energy for the muscles throughout your body and helps power your brain.
If your blood sugar levels are too high for an extended time, it increases your risk of serious health problems, including nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), heart disease, and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
There are several types of diabetes, including:
Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes, occurs when your pancreas doesn’t make any insulin. Insulin is a hormone that’s responsible for regulating your blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that requires insulin therapy and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
Type 2 diabetes occurs gradually, over time, as a result of insulin resistance. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your pancreas still makes insulin, but your body doesn’t use it properly. This causes your blood sugar levels to spike, increasing your risk of serious health problems.
Gestational diabetes only affects pregnant women. When you’re pregnant, your body produces extra hormones to protect the growing fetus. Sometimes, these excess hormones affect your pancreas’ ability to regulate blood sugar. This type of diabetes usually resolves after you give birth.
If you have prediabetes, it means that your blood sugar levels are consistently too high. Without intervention, prediabetes turns into Type 2 diabetes. If you catch prediabetes early on, it’s possible to reverse its effects through healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.
To diagnose diabetes, Olga conducts a physical exam, asks you about your symptoms, and reviews your medical history. Afterward, she orders a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. An A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the previous three months. Two separate tests with an A1C result of 6.5 percent or higher means you have diabetes.
If your test results aren’t consistent, Olga might recommend another blood test like a random blood sugar test or a fasting blood sugar test to gain further insights.
Treatment for diabetes usually involves healthy lifestyle changes, regular blood sugar monitoring, and insulin or other oral medications. To keep your blood sugar levels in check, Olga recommends eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and getting eight hours of sleep every night.
With regular check-ups and prescription medications, it’s possible to live a healthy, vibrant life, even with diabetes.
To schedule your diabetes appointment at Ribera Healthcare Clinic, call the office or book online today.