Diabetes specialists in Austin and Central Texas
At St. David's HealthCare our endocrinologists are experienced in diagnosing and treating many types of diabetes. Our specialized teams, including certified diabetes educators and registered dietitians, work together to create individualized treatment plans to help patients successfully manage their conditions.
For more information about our diabetes services, call the St. David's Help Center at (888) 868-2104.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly produce or is not able to properly use insulin, a hormone that allows sugar (glucose) to be used for energy.
When the body is not able to produce the appropriate amount of insulin, the buildup of glucose can cause damage to vital organs. Over time, this buildup may lead to a number of serious health concerns, including:
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
- Kidney disease
- Nerve conditions
- Skin conditions
What are the types of diabetes?
There are a few different types of diabetes:
- Gestational diabetes—Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, when hormones produced by the placenta block insulin, which causes high blood sugar.
- Prediabetes—Prediabetes occurs when a patient has elevated blood sugar levels, but the levels are not technically high enough to qualify for a diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes can often be treated with lifestyle changes.
- Type 1 diabetes—Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body does not produce insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections to regulate their glucose levels.
- Type 2 diabetes—Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
You may have (or be at risk for developing) diabetes if you experience:
- Blurry vision
- Extreme fatigue
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Increased thirst
- Sores that do not heal
- Weight loss
How is diabetes managed and treated?
We work closely with specialists to develop individualized treatment plans for each patient and offer additional support to help patients become aware of their condition.
Steps that have been shown to improve prediabetes include:
- Eating healthy foods
- Getting a good nights sleep
- Increasing activity and exercise
- Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight
Diabetes can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the type of diabetes being treated.
- Gestational diabetes—Gestational diabetes treatment focuses on keeping your blood glucose at a level similar to the blood glucose levels of a pregnant woman without gestational diabetes. As such, the best way to manage the condition may vary from patient to patient. We will work with you to determine a personalized care plan to keep you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy.
- Type 1 diabetes—The main treatment for Type 1 diabetes is insulin injections. These injections replace the hormone your body is not able to produce.
- Type 2 diabetes—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.
Diabetes has no known cure, which is why understanding how to control the disease and manage symptoms is essential to remaining healthy. When learning about diabetes, it is important to understand:
- How increasing your activity level has a powerful effect on diabetes management
- How to include controlled portions of some of your favorite foods
- How to monitor blood sugar levels and understand what the numbers are telling you
- How to prevent debilitating diabetes complications
- How your medication works to control blood sugar