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Usha Sivakumar, MD -  - Internal Medicine

SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care

Usha Sivakumar, MD

Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Frederick, MD

Diabetes can have a devastating effect on your life and cause a range of distressing and, in some cases, life-threatening complications. Usha Sivakumar, MD, MBBS, is a highly experienced physician at SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care in Frederick, Maryland, who specializes in helping patients manage their diabetes. Call the clinic now to arrange a diabetes screening test or discuss a personalized diabetic management program, or book an appointment online.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a potentially life-threatening health condition that develops when your body has a problem with insulin production or use.

Insulin is a vital hormone that a large gland called the pancreas makes and secretes into your body to regulate blood sugars. There are two main problems related to insulin production that can result in diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

Some people develop an autoimmune problem, which means their body attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. If your pancreas isn’t producing any insulin, that causes type 1 diabetes, meaning your body can’t regulate your blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes most commonly develops during childhood or early adulthood, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.

Type 2 Diabetes

If your body produces some insulin but not enough, or it can’t make use of what it produces, you have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is a preventable form of diabetes that is related to poor lifestyle choices that affects around 100 million Americans, according to the CDC. Type 2 diabetes is more often a condition that affects older adults, but it’s on the rise in children, too, because of increasing rates of obesity.

How do I know if I have diabetes?

Having a screening test at SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care is the best way to check whether you have diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes develops more slowly than type 1, which usually causes symptoms to appear in a much shorter space of time. One of the problems with type 2 diabetes is that because it comes on at such a slow pace, many people have no idea there’s a problem unless they have a screening test or it’s picked up during a routine physical.

You may notice you feel tired more often, or have to make more frequent trips to the bathroom for example, and put this down to the effects of aging. As diabetes progresses, other symptoms can arise, such as constant thirst, blurred vision, and itchy skin.

Unless you receive treatment for diabetes, it can progress to a stage that causes serious health problems and is potentially life-threatening. However, with appropriate treatment, diabetes is manageable, and the most dangerous complications are avoidable.

How is diabetes treated?

Dr. Sivakumar needs to prescribe insulin for type 1 diabetes and some cases of type 2 as well, but improving your health and fitness plays a significant role in reducing the seriousness of diabetes, especially type 2, and SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care is here to help.

A regular diabetic screening test can highlight a condition called prediabetes, which is the stage where your blood sugar is higher than it should be, but not high enough for you to have full-blown type 2 diabetes. If you take action to improve your health at this stage, you can reverse the raised blood sugar and avoid developing diabetes.

Losing any excess weight and eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential. Quitting smoking and drinking and engaging in regular exercise are also fundamental to managing diabetes and keeping your blood sugar stable. Dr. Sivakumar can help you with all these goals, providing dietary and fitness advice and support with weight loss and smoking cessation.

To arrange your diabetic screening check, call SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care today, or book an appointment online.