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Diabetes Care

U.S. News Diabetes & Endocrinology 2019-2020 award badge

A diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming. And, it’s not something you need to face alone. We’re honored that U.S. News & World Report recognized DMC Harper University Hospital as a 2019-20 Best Hospital in Diabetes & Endocrinology. We have the resources and caring staff to help you be successful on your journey to manage diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which occurs with the body’s improper use of insulin. Because insulin is needed by the body to convert glucose into energy, these failures result in abnormally high levels of glucose accumulating in the blood.

Diabetes happens when the body fails to secrete enough insulin or doesn’t respond appropriately to the insulin that is produced.

Diabetes may also be a result of other medical conditions including:

  • Genetic syndromes
  • Chemicals
  • Drugs
  • Malnutrition
  • Infections
  • Viruses
  • Other illnesses

Understanding Diabetes

Glucose builds up in the blood, which the body passes into urine where it is eventually eliminated, leaving the body without its main source of fuel.

The three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational. Although the three main types of diabetes are similar in symptoms, there are differences in cause and treatment.

  • Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, resulting in no or a low amount of insulin. People with Type 1 Diabetes must take insulin daily.
  • Type 2 Diabetes is a result of the body's inability to make enough, or to properly use, insulin. Type 2 diabetes may be controlled with diet, exercise and weight loss and may require oral medications and/or insulin injections.
  • Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who have not had diagnosed diabetes in the past. It results in the inability to use the insulin that is present and usually disappears after delivery. Gestational diabetes may be controlled with diet, exercise and attention to weight gain. Women with gestational diabetes may be at higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.

Diabetes Education and Support Groups

Managing diabetes can be easier when you share the journey and get tips and encouragement from others. We offer ongoing support groups at Harper University Hospital, Sinai-Grace Hospital and Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital. Find a group.

What is Prediabetes? And Can You Stop It from Developing Into Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is commonly preceded by prediabetes. In prediabetes, blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be defined as diabetes. However, many people with prediabetes Develop type 2 Diabetes within 10 years. With modest weight loss and moderate physical activity, people with prediabetes can delay or prevent Type 2 Diabetes.

Complications of Diabetes

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death among Americans, and the fifth leading cause of death from disease. Although it is believed that diabetes is under-reported as a condition leading to or causing death, each year more than 200,000 deaths are reported as being caused by diabetes or diabetic complications.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are chronic, incurable diseases that affect nearly every part of the body and can be life threatening, contributing to other serious diseases including:

  • Cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths. Heart disease and stroke are two to four times more common in persons with diabetes.
  • Hypertension/high blood pressure affects 73 percent of persons with diabetes.
  • Dental Disease. Periodontal (gum) disease occurs with greater frequency in persons with diabetes.
  • Retinopathy or glaucoma (eye disease or blindness). Blindness due to diabetic retinopathy is a more important cause of visual impairment in younger-onset diabetics than in older-onset diabetics. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74.
  • Renal Disease (kidney/urinary tract disease). Ten to 21 percent of all people with diabetes develop kidney disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), a condition in which the patient requires dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to live.
  • Neuropathy (nerve disease). Approximately 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of diabetic nerve damage. Severe forms of diabetic nerve disease are the major contributing cause of lower-extremity amputations.
  • Amputation. More than half the amputations in the U.S. occur among people with diabetes.
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is one of the most serious outcomes of poorly controlled diabetes, and primarily occurs in persons with Type 1 Diabetes. DKA is marked by high blood glucose levels along with ketones in the urine.

Let Detroit Medical Center Help You Manage Your Diabetes

If you have diabetes, or think you may have diabetes, DMC can help you find a primary care physician who can help you diagnose, treat and monitor your condition.

Diabetes is a life-threatening condition that, when properly managed, is easy to live with. For an appointment, a second opinion or more information, please call (888) DMC-2500.

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