It pays to know about diabetes. Did you know that over twenty-four million Americans are diabetic, and that over five million have not been diagnosed yet? Diabetes is a major cause of medical disability and retirement, of people having premature strokes and heart attacks, of amputations, and of winding up on kidney dialysis machines. It can significantly complicate pregnancy for both the mother and her unborn child. It is not yet curable. However, its symptoms and insidious damage can certainly be reduced with proper treatment.
Diabetes has been basically streamlined in its terminology, that is, there is Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 occurs because the specialized cells, called beta cells, in the pancreas produce too little insulin. Insulin has to be injected into the skin or blood stream to make up for this lack. Otherwise the person has a generalized wasting disease, gaunt appearance, weight loss in spite of a voracious appetite, unquenchable thirst, sugar in the urine, and high levels of sugar in the blood. Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin receptor cells, especially in fat cells, are desensitized and don’t utilize the insulin as they are supposed to do. There is often enough insulin present; it just doesn’t have its normal effect. Some experts refer to Type 2 diabetes as a disorder of lifestyle. The affected person may have it gradually develop along with, and as a result of, central obesity, hypertension, lack of exercise, improper diet and other similar aspects of a dysfunctional lifestyle.
Type 1 diabetes includes the subset of patients previously classified as juvenile onset diabetics. At various times between birth and adolescence the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas simply stop working. We know sometimes the predisposition for this to occur may be hereditary, or it may be due to infection by a specific virus, or it may occur for such reasons as cystic fibrosis damaging the pancreas. This type of diabetes tends to be the most brittle and hard to control. The person so afflicted may go from one crisis to another: one with the blood glucose too high to one where the glucose is too low. Both cases are life-threatening, and these patients tend to develop the earliest occurrences of cardiovascular disease with alteration in brain function, stroke, heart attacks, kidney failure, and peripheral artery disease. Type 1 diabetes is usually managed by an endocrinologist with specialized training and experience in beta cell function. In addition to diet and exercise, novel approaches such as insulin pumps for continuous insulin administration may be tried.
Type 2 diabetes is the one which affects the majority of diabetics. Medicines are prescribed which tend to reinstate insulin sensitivity and others that actually lower blood glucose. Sometimes it is necessary to add varying quantities of insulin. Metformin, which increases insulin sensitivity, is usually the first one prescribed in Type 2 diabetes. Other medicines, like sulfonylureas and thiazolidinediones, can be given in tablet form to lower blood sugar either directly or by causing the pancreas to produce more insulin.
The issue for the Type 2 diabetics is whether to be passive or proactive in the treatment of their condition. By passive I mean (a) you don’t follow a diabetic diet; (b) you don’t try to lose down to your ideal body weight; (c) you simply wait for one more pills to take care of your problem. Certainly pills are an important part of the treatment plan, but they don’t make up for all of it. You should talk to your doctor about an exercise program; you should work with a dietician about a diabetic diet. You should read every reliable thing you can about Type 2 diabetes. Knowledge is a key component in the quest for normal blood glucose with all its benefits. Work with your doctor on your goals of treatment, be honest and straight-forward with him concerning your efforts and problems, and make up your mind to be proactive.

John Drew Laurusonis M.D.
Doctors Medical Center

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laurusonis was conferred his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1983 and has been actively taking care of patients since completing his Internal Medicine residency in 1987 in the Garden State of New Jersey. Dr. Laurusonis has been licensed in four states but ultimately chose to permanently relocate to Georgia with his family and begin a private practice. Through his extensive experience in Internal Medicine, as well as in Emergency Rooms throughout the United States, Dr. Laurusonis saw how traditional Emergency Rooms were often overwhelmed by patients suffering medical conditions that were urgent but may not need the traditional “Level I Trauma Center”. Patients often waited six to twelve hours to be seen by a physician, were riddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills, and were generally unhappy with the system.
Dr. Laurusonis decided to open an Urgent Care Center instead of a 9-5 doctor's office. Through the last fifteen years he has received accolades from the community and his patients. He has expanded his practice to include many cosmetic therapies that have previously been treated with painful and extensive plastic surgery. He has been invited to the White House numerous times, has been named Physician of the Year from GA, as seen in the Wall Street Journal, and has served as Honorary Co-Chairman on the Congressional Physicians Advisory Board
Dr. Laurusonis and his practice, Doctors Medical Center, is open 7 days a week from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm offering such services as lab, x-ray, EKGs, aesthetics (Botox, dermabrasion, sclerotheraby and veins etc.), cold/flu, sore throats, fractures, sprains, lacerations, GYN, Pediatrics, Phlebology Anxiety/Insomnia/Depression Treatment, skin tag/mole removal, veins, allergies, asthma, physicals--just to name a few. Dr. Laurusonis welcomes you to either make an appointment or just walk-in to see him. Dr. Laurusonis will take the time to speak with you about your concerns--no problem is too big or too small. If you need additional services we have specialist referrals available or we can refer you to the neighborhood hospital emergency room. Give Doctors Medical Center a call--Dr. Laurusonis will be happy to speak with you.

John Drew Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center
3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Suite 110
Duluth, GA 30096