majority of patients seen in this office have diabetes, primarily type 2, although we see type 1 patients as well. A lot of folks have questions about the types of diabetes and treatments specific to each of them and this section is a brief overview.

We also see the full range of other endocrine and metabolic disorders which can be found under the DISEASES AND TREATMENTS section.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Normally, the pancreas releases a substance called insulin into the blood. Insulin helps the body to use sugars and fats that are broken down from the foods we eat. When a person has diabetes, the pancreas:

Does not make insulin
Makes only a little insulin or,
Makes insulin, but the insulin does not work as it should.
Diabetes is a lifelong disease. People with diabetes must manage their disease to stay healthy.

What causes diabetes?

Health care providers do not yet know what causes diabetes. The following factors may increase your chance of getting diabetes:

Family history of diabetes
African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian-American race or ethnic background
Being overweight
Age (Chances increase with age)
Taking certain medicines
Being pregnant*
*Pregnancy puts extra stress on a woman’s body that causes some women to develop diabetes. Blood sugar levels often return to normal after childbirth. Yet, women who get diabetes during pregnancy have an increased chance of developing diabetes later in life.

What are the types of diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes — The pancreas makes little or no insulin. A person with type 1 diabetes must take insulin to survive. This type occurs most often in people who are under 30 years old.
Type 2 diabetes — Insulin is made but it doesn’t work as it should. Nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This type occurs most often in people who are over 40 years old and overweight.
How is diabetes managed?
Diabetes is managed through proper diet, exercise and, if needed, medication. People with diabetes must use home and office tests to monitor the levels of sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides (a type of fat) in their blood. Steps are then taken to keep the levels of these substances as normal as possible.

Type 1 diabetes is controlled with:

Insulin shots
Meal planning
Type 2 diabetes is controlled with:

Diet and exercise
Medicine taken by the mouth
Insulin shots (less common)