Conditions and Illnesses
The diabetes specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the highest quality health care, including the accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and ongoing management of diabetes.
Patients with diabetes do not produce or properly use insulin, which turns nutrients into energy.
There are several types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Approximately 5 percent to 10 percent of Americans have type 1 diabetes, in which they do not produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune response that destroys the pancreatic cells that create insulin, the hormone that removes glucose from the blood.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Most Americans with diabetes have type 2, in which they produce insulin but their bodies do not use it properly. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be controlled without insulin therapy. Those with type 2 diabetes are urged to lose weight, start eating a healthy, balanced diet, and exercise regularly.
- Gestational diabetes
- Some pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. The mother’s body has difficulty using insulin properly, which causes her blood sugar to rise. Unchecked, gestational diabetes can harm the baby by causing it to produce too much insulin and store too much energy as fat.
Common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst and frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections
- Weight loss
Because symptoms do not arise suddenly but progress silently over time, early diagnosis can make a profound difference in maintaining health. Early treatment also helps prevent high levels of blood sugars and reduces the risk of developing complications.