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Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects the body's production of glucose and insulin levels. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body suffers from a lack of insulin produced by the pancreas. Type 2, gestational and prediabetes are all a result of an excess amount of sugar in the blood, or high glucose levels.

Diabetes management and education

We help you manage your diabetes and thrive.

Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels, and can damage your nerves, eyes, kidneys and other organs if left untreated. HealthONE's Denver-area endocrinologists can help, offering ongoing diabetes management, monitoring and treatment to regulate your blood sugar level and propel your health journey.

Expert advice, available 24/7

Free health-related advice is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Free health-related advice is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Diabetes-related conditions

If you are experiencing diabetes, or are at risk for developing it, there are many related conditions you need to be aware of. Talk to your doctor about:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
  • High blood sugar
  • High glucose
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma (HHNK)
  • Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS)
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Low blood sugar

Comprehensive diabetes care we offer

While the causes for diabetes are not always clear, it is important that you understand the risks, symptoms, types of and treatments for diabetes.

Am I at risk of developing diabetes?

There are certain factors that have been shown to potentially put you at a higher risk for developing diabetes. If you have more than one of these risk factors, especially if you are 40 years old or older, consult your physician:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Gave birth to a child weighing more than nine pounds at birth
  • Obesity
  • Pregnant
  • Previous diabetes diagnosis

You should also consult with your doctor about diabetes if you have one or more of the risk factors above and belong to a high-risk ethnic group, including:

  • African-American
  • Asian
  • Hispanic or Latino/a/x
  • Native American
  • Pacific Islander

Symptoms of diabetes

You may have (or be at risk for developing) diabetes if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Weight loss

Men may also experience a decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED) and poor muscle strength.

Women with diabetes may have urinary tract infections (UTIs), yeast infections and dry, itchy skin.

Types of diabetes we treat

Diabetes comes in many forms, and we treat them all, including:

  • Prediabetes — If your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered Type 2, you may develop prediabetes.
  • Type 1 — This is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is created.
  • Type 2 — This type of diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin, causing sugar buildup in the blood.
  • Gestational diabetes — This form of diabetes happens during pregnancy, when hormones produced by the placenta block insulin and causes high blood sugar.

Treatment for diabetes

Diabetes can be treated in a variety of ways, including using a few different medications. To find out the best form of diabetes care and management techniques for your unique situation, you will see an endocrinologist, a doctor who helps manage conditions of the endocrine system, such as diabetes.

Diet and exercise

For Type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise can help manage your symptoms. If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to lower your blood sugar, you will need to take medication or seek other avenues.

Insulin injections

The main treatment for Type 1 diabetes is insulin injections. These replace the hormone your body is not able to produce as a result of the diabetes. The four most commonly used types of insulin are rapid-, short-, intermediate- and long-acting. What type of insulin you use depends on when and how long you need your insulin to perform.

Pediatric and adolescent diabetes treatments

Type 1 diabetes in pediatric patients is also known as "juvenile diabetes." It cannot be cured, but can be treated with a healthy diet, exercise and medication routine. HealthONE offers specialized care and diabetes counseling for children and adolescents at our Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center. We will develop a treatment plan and monitor your child's progress, enabling them to live a healthier life.

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