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Diabetes Specialist

Main Street Medical

Urgent Care and Family Practice located in Hilton Head, SC

Diabetes is a condition that can be asymptomatic, but it’s one of the leading causes of death in the United States. At Main Street Medical in Hilton Head, South Carolina, an expert medical team led by Joel Johnson III, MD, can diagnose and treat this blood sugar condition. With the right care, diabetes is easy to manage, and you can live a normal, healthy life.

Diabetes Q & A

What causes diabetes?

Type 1 and type 2 are the two main types of diabetes. The conditions are different concerning how they originate and their treatment protocols.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that develops when your immune system attacks pancreatic beta cells. These are the cells responsible for making insulin, a hormone that plays a role in how your body regulates blood sugar. 

When the beta cells are attacked, your body can’t utilize sugar correctly, and it builds up in your bloodstream. This situation creates the blood sugar fluctuations characteristic of type 1 diabetes. In most cases, type 1 diabetes develops in childhood or adolescence. 

Type 2 diabetes

With type 2 diabetes, your body has a problem regulating sugar that compromises your insulin response. The difference between the types is that an autoimmune response does not cause type 2. Instead, being overweight, having metabolic syndrome, or a genetic predisposition can cause type 2 diabetes.

How do I know if I have diabetes?

Diabetes is difficult to diagnose because it’s common not to experience any symptoms. When you do notice something is wrong, the symptoms are vague and sometimes diagnosed as another health condition. 

The best way to know if you have diabetes is to have your doctor run the appropriate tests. Some common symptoms of diabetes types 1 and 2 include:

  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Blurry vision
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Ongoing fatigue

You might also experience headaches, dizziness, or infections of the feet or toes. Both types of diabetes, when left untreated, can create additional health challenges. Because diabetes compromises your immune system, it’s important to seek effective treatment immediately. 

How is diabetes treated?

The team at Main Street Medical helps you manage the symptoms of diabetes and live a normal, healthy life. 

Although type 1 diabetes has no cure, you can manage the condition with prescription insulin. To achieve proper blood sugar management and maintain your health, you learn what to eat and how to medicate yourself. 

Type 2 diabetes is reversible and curable with the following dietary and lifestyle changes:

  • Reducing your carbohydrate consumption
  • Exercising
  • Taking medication

Your physician at Main Street Medical will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific health history and medical needs. To schedule a consultation, call the office or use the online booking system.