Diabetes Specialist

Colorado Family Medicine

Family Medicine & Aesthetic Specialists located in Denver, CO

More than a million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year — a disease that can be prevented with physical activity and a healthy diet. When it comes to treating and preventing diabetes, the doctors at Colorado Family Medicine in Denver, Colorado, take a whole-person approach based on your individual needs, lifestyle, and overall health. If you have diabetes in your family and want to prevent it or learn how to effectively manage it, call or schedule an appointment online.

Diabetes Q & A

Colorado Family Medicine

How are type 1 and type 2 diabetes different?

Only about 5% of people with diabetes have type 1, as it’s not as common as type 2. Type 1 typically occurs in children and young adults because their bodies are unable to produce insulin naturally.

Insulin is a hormone that is essential for moving glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it’s needed. Children and adults with type 1 diabetes usually need insulin therapy and other treatments so their bodies can effectively convert sugars and starches into glucose.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, occurs when your body uses insulin ineffectively. With type 2 diabetes, your glucose (blood sugar) levels rise higher than normal. To compensate for this inefficiency, your pancreas makes extra insulin, but over time, your body is unable to keep up with the increased need. Eventually, your pancreas won’t produce enough insulin to process glucose and keep it at a normal level.

What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?

Many of the risk factors of diabetes are manageable through diet and exercise. Whether or not you develop type 2 diabetes depends on a combination of these risk factors, heredity, and your lifestyle, including:

  • Obesity or being overweight
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Being over 45
  • Depression
  • Ethnicity
  • Having hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Having low HDL cholesterol
  • History of heart disease or stroke
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Can I prevent type 2 diabetes?

Yes. Since many of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes can be managed through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, it's possible to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Making small adjustments to your diet and activity each day can make a big difference in your long-term overall health and help you become less dependent on prescription medications.

You can:

  • Improve your diet (eat less sugar and fat)
  • Get 30 minutes of physical activity each day
  • Drink water instead of sugary beverages
  • Lose weight

The doctors at Colorado Family Medicine are specially trained to listen to your concerns, share their medical knowledge, and partner with you to help you achieve your health goals. They create specific diabetes preventive and treatment plans based on your individual needs, taking your lifestyle and overall health into consideration.

The expert team of medical professionals keep you up-to-date on diabetic screenings, such as:

  • Hemoglobin A1C every three months until regulated
  • Diabetic eye exams
  • Nephropathy checks
  • Kidney function

They offer all of these screenings for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as part of your standard healthcare, to keep you as healthy as you can be at every stage of your life.