Internal medicine physician Andrew Goins, DO discusses the risks and complications of diabetes and the importance of closely monitoring the condition with the help of a primary care provider.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t respond properly to the insulin produced. Your body needs insulin to change blood sugar (glucose) into energy; and without it, too much glucose collects in your blood.
Type 2 is often preceded by pre-diabetes. Many people with pre-diabetes develop Type 2, and it also raises the risk for heart disease and stroke.
Dr. Goins recommends that “those with pre-diabetes need to have close follow-up with their medical care provider every six months. Approximately half of pre-diabetics will develop diabetes within 10 years. It’s important to catch this early so lifestyle changes can be made to prevent the onset of diabetes. We also know that pre-diabetes is more than just a wake-up call. We see higher rates of dementia, high blood pressure, and about a 15% increased risk of cancer.”
It’s the seventh-leading cause of death among Americans with more than 200,000 deaths reported as being caused by diabetes or its complications. Complications include:
- Eye problems and blindness
- Heart disease
- Neurological problems
- Kidney disease
Except for the gestational type, diabetes is a chronic, incurable disease that affects nearly every part of the body, contributes to other serious diseases, and can be life-threatening. It must be managed under the care of a healthcare provider throughout a person’s life.
Dr. Goins adds, “I encounter complications from diabetes nearly every day – stroke, heart attack, chronic pain, and erectile dysfunction. It is important to have regular check-ups and screening exams to prevent the development of complications.”
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:
- People over age 45 should be tested for diabetes. If the first blood glucose test is normal, they should be retested every three years.
- People under age 45 should consider getting tested for prediabetes or diabetes if they have a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25 and have one or more of the following risk factors:
- A first-degree relative with diabetes (mother, father, or sibling)
- Are a member of a high-risk ethnic group (African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Native American)
- Have delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, or had gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- Blood pressure at or above 140/90
- Abnormal blood fat levels, such as high-density lipoproteins(HDL) less than or equal to 35 mg/dL, or triglycerides greater than or equal to 250 mg/dL
- An inactive lifestyle
- History of impaired glucose tolerance when previously tested for diabetes
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Previous diagnosis of pre-diabetes
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, your healthcare provider will discuss your specific treatment plan.
Dr. Goins notes, “Treatment is often expensive and time consuming. Most patients will need to start two to three new medications once a diagnosis is established. Making healthy changes in diet, weight, and exercise early can make all the difference in a patient’s treatment plan.”
If you have questions or concerns about pre-diabetes or diabetes, please call our office at (865) 690-3003 to schedule an appointment.
About Dr. Goins
In addition to diabetes management, Andrew Goins, DO has special interest in:
- Geriatric care
- Preventative medicine
For more information about Dr. Goins, please click here to see his profile. He is accepting new patients, and you can make an appointment with him by calling (865) 690-3003.
Disclaimer: please note that this information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have a specific medical question or issue, we encourage you to call our office at (865) 690-3003 and schedule an appointment.