Do you find yourself frequently running to the bathroom? Are you thirsty or hungry all the time? Are you suddenly losing weight? Are you experiencing sudden changes in your vision? Are your hands or feet tingling or numb? Are you always tired? Is your skin dry? Do wounds not heal well? Do you get an unusual number of infections?
If you have any of these symptoms you might have diabetes. Then again you may have none of these symptoms and find you have diabetes. Diabetes, untreated, can be a very serious disease. The symptoms are unfortunately shared with a number of other diseases, non of them good diseases, so it is important to get your doctor to sort this out.
If you do have any of these symptoms you should most definitely bring it to the attention of your doctor without to much delay. My father delayed about a year or two with his symptoms and ended up being rushed to a hospital in a coma.
That, when a simple blood test can indicate if diabetes is present as a cause.
Should it be diabetes, it might be helpful to know which kind.
My daughter suffered a brief period with “gestational diabetes”, a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. It represents a major risk to the new born if left untreated during the pregnancy. If treated quickly it is the only kind of diabetes that disappears. It only affects between 2-5% of pregnancies. Fortunately her symptoms disappeared shortly after the birth of my granddaughter.
I have Type II diabetes personally, not exactly a surprise given my family history. This is also known as adult onset diabetes. In my family, adult males have developed Type II for at least the last three generations. Type II is the most common type representing 90-95% of the cases. It is easily detected by new blood tests that any doctor can order for you.
One nice thing about a family history of Type II is that you can delay the onset of the disease by proper diet, weight control and regular exercise. If it is hereditary you will get it, but seeing the first symptoms at 60 or 70 is much better than seeing them at 40.
The third form is known as Type I diabetes. This is also known as Insulin Dependent or Juvenile Diabetes. With this form you know very quickly that you have the disease. It can happen anywhere from birth onward; though it is usually before you reach adulthood. Once you have this form the only current treatment is to go straight onto insulin.
There are a small percent of other forms of the disease, but that requires an experienced doctor to explain.
Should you live in Raleigh or the surrounding area there are a limited number of specialists in the area. In order to see these specialists you need to talk first to your family doctor.
Your family doctor will in most instances take a blood test to see if you do indeed have the disease. The doctors used to miss people who would come in “fasting”. The test only tested the current sugar/insulin ratio, which in a fasting mode is often under control.
New tests can detect enzymes in the blood that indicate that your sugar/insulin ratio has been out of whack over the last three months or so. These are the tests that caught me.
Once you know you are a candidate for the real diabetes doctor, your doctor will make an appointment for you at one of less than a dozen Endocrinologists in the Raleigh area.
It can take up to a month to see an Endocrinologist in Raleigh and as the population grows, it make take longer in the future.
Prior to my visit, I called doctor office looking for an appointment, they very nicely reminded me that I had to schedule through my doctor’s office; which of course I did. However, when I had to reschedule an appointment, I was allowed to go directly through them. It felt kind of nice to be connected (referred).
I had an excellent visit with a doctor Stall. A very nice guy, located at Raleigh Endocrine Associates just off Wake Forest Rd., near the Duke Raleigh Community Hospital.
This is where you can get an excellent explanation of your condition and what the choices are. I was told that as I already had a good diet and exercised regularly; I wouldn’t need to go on Insulin. It was clear from my tests that I was a future candidate but, thanks to better medicines, I would just have to take a pill a day for now. It was quite a relief. He did suggest a few less pounds would help delay other nasty symptoms for some additional time (years).
Raleigh Endocrine Associates
3410 Executive Drive Suite 205, Raleigh, NC 27609
Stall Glenn M MD
3410 Executive Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609
Azzi Anthony F MD
3410 Executive Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609
There are multiple choices for health care facilities should your doctor or/and the endocrinologist diagnose you with diabetes and in need of additional services.
Duke Raleigh Community Hospital is the facility with the greatest experience. It has been involved in supporting diabetics with treatment in an institutional way since 1988. WakeMed and Rex Hospitals also have services that are designed to support the diabetic community.
Diabetes Treatment Center at Raleigh Community Hospital
3325 Executive Drive Suite 150
Raleigh, NC 27609
In the way of non-traditional medicine can be found at Advanced Healthcare Solutions a facility that claims to be North Carolina’s leading holistic healthcare center. Here you can find acupuncture, Oriental medicine, laser acupuncture, massage and herbology as possible solutions.
Though I do not use non-traditional medicines, I know that my brothers have used these in addition to normal medical care. Many doctors are fine with alternatives so long as we make sure to get tested regularly and use the alternative medicines as one part of the therapy. I know it areas like pain and stiffness, members of my family swear by alternative techniques. Doctor, Marc Cutler is a doctor of Oriental Medicine and licensed acupuncturist.
Advanced Healthcare Solutions
8351 Standonshire Road. Suite 101
Raleigh, NC 27615
Additional assistance can be provided by the organizations that raise funds for research.
American Diabetes Association
2 Hannover Sq
Raleigh, NC 27601-1764
Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund
2210 MILLBROOK RD, #109
RALEIGH, NC 27604-1786