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Diabetes Frequently Asked Questions

by Alexa Styliadis

stay informed - stay empowered

When you have diabetes, your body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use its own insulin as well as it should. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.


Q: What are the types of diabetes?
A: There are three types of diabetes - type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make insulin or makes very little insulin. Without insulin, blood sugar can’t get into cells and builds up in the bloodstream. Type 1 usually develops in children, teens, and young adults, but it can happen at any age. Currently, type 1 diabetes can't be prevented, but it can be treated.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes — and it means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. While some people can control their blood glucose levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication to help manage it. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it. Learn about your risk here.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy in women who don’t already have diabetes. During pregnancy, your body makes more hormones and goes through many changes. These changes cause your body’s cells to use insulin less effectively, a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases your body’s need for insulin.

Q: What are the symptoms of diabetes?
A: Symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination

  • Extreme thirst

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Extreme hunger

  • Sudden vision changes

  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet

  • Feel very tired

  • Very dry skin

  • Sores that are slow to heal

  • More infections than usual

People who have type 1 diabetes may also have nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months and can be severe.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms often take years to develop. Some people don’t notice any symptoms at all. Because symptoms are hard to spot, it’s important to know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes usually doesn’t have any symptoms. If you’re pregnant, your doctor should test you for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Q: How do you test for diabetes?
A: You need to get your blood sugar tested to find out for sure if you have prediabetes or type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. Testing is simple, and results are usually available quickly.

Tests for prediabetes and type 1 and type 2 diabetes:

  • A1C Test

  • Fasting Blood Sugar Test

  • Glucose Tolerance Test

  • Random Blood Sugar Test

Tests for gestational diabetes:

  • Glucose Screening Test

  • Glucose Tolerance Test

Q: What is the treatment for diabetes?
A: There are a number of treatments available to help you manage and treat your diabetes. Everyone is different, so treatment will vary depending on your own individual needs.

If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to use insulin. You take the insulin by injection or by using a pump.

If you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight, eating well, and exercising can help you manage it. If diet and exercise aren't enough to manage your blood sugar, you may also need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.

If you have gestational diabetes, you will work with your doctor to create a specialized nutrition and physical activity plan. Your wellness plan may also include daily blood glucose testing and insulin injections.

Q: Do you treat diabetes at Trillium Health?
A: Yes! We know that navigating diabetes can be challenging, and so we have a whole team of specialists ready to care for you. We're accepting new patients - give us a call!


Learn more about diabetes management at Trillium Health. Call us at 585.545.7200 to make an appointment.

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