Do you have diabetes and want to be accompanied by a specialist in Barcelona?

The management of diabetes (type 1 and type 2) is based on a balanced diet, regular physical activity and medical treatments adapted to the patient's profile and the evolution of the disease. There is therefore no single treatment for diabetes but a range of measures that must be considered according to each situation.

To accompany you in your treatment, the specialists at Turó Park Medical Center offer you a complete and personalised approach to improve your quality of life on a daily basis and to avoid the occurrence of complications. So don't wait to make an appointment with one of our English-speaking practitioners.

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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterised by the presence of excess sugar in the blood, called hyperglycaemia.

Usually, blood sugar levels are kept within normal limits by, among other things, the release of insulin.

In diabetes, one or more of the following phenomena occur:

  • Resistance of the body to the action of insulin;
  • A decrease or absence of insulin production.

As a result, sugar cannot enter the cells and accumulates in the blood.

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, which affects about 6% of diabetics, and type 2 diabetes, which affects 92%. The other types of diabetes concern the remaining 2% (MODY, LADA or diabetes secondary to certain diseases or medication).

Type 1 diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes produce little or no insulin. If left untreated, blood sugar levels are consistently too high.

This form of the disease most often appears during childhood or adolescence, hence the old name "juvenile diabetes".

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • An unusual increase in thirst and hunger;
  • A frequent need to urinate, which can lead to bedwetting in a child;
  • Abnormal fatigue;
  • Poor healing of wounds and cuts;
  • Dry, itchy skin;
  • Frequent infections of the gums, bladder, vagina, vulva or foreskin.

The only treatment for type 1 diabetes is insulin injections, which are essential for the life and wellbeing of the patient.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1 diabetes and mainly affects people over the age of 40.

People with type 2 diabetes secrete insulin, but this hormone is less effective in regulating the level of sugar in their blood. This level, called blood sugar, remains abnormally high after a meal, which is the definition of diabetes.

In the long term, if blood sugar levels are not lowered by treatment, this can lead to serious health problems, particularly cardiovascular problems.

 

What causes diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes occurs as a result of an abnormal reaction of the immune system.

The onset of type 2 diabetes is mainly related to lifestyle. There is no single cause, but a range of contributing factors:

  • Family history
  • Environmental factors: poor diet, overweight, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, etc.

Type 2 diabetes is initially treated with hygienic and dietary measures, followed by oral and/or injectable anti-diabetic treatments.

What are the treatments for diabetes?

Essential in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and complementary to the intake of insulin in type 1 diabetes, the adoption of a healthy lifestyle combining a balanced diet and physical activity is part of the measures that will be proposed to you by our team.

More specifically, you will be supported to:
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce your intake of sugar
  • Increase your intake of pulses, fibrous cereals and proteins
  • Regular physical activity (at least 30 minutes every day)

Diabetes can also be treated with medication, which should be chosen according to the stage of the disease, the patient's weight, the patient's history of cardiovascular disease or family history, etc.

The most commonly used are:

  • Metformin
  • Sulphonamides and glinides
  • Alpha Glucosidase Inhibitors
  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) analogues
  • Gliptins or dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors
For type 1 diabetes, insulin is the only possible treatment:
  • In the form of injections (injection of insulin with a syringe or pen),
  • Or with an insulin pump (pump therapy), a portable or implantable device for the continuous delivery of insulin.
insuline

How to prevent diabetes complications?

As part of the monitoring of your diabetes, a complete annual check-up is planned in order to prevent and detect possible ophthalmological, sexual, cardiovascular, nervous, renal, arterial complications...

In addition to your consultation with the diabetologist and a blood test, you will also have to carry out :

  • A consultation with the ophthalmologist with a fundus examination to look for damage to the eye in order to treat it in time;
  • A blood creatinine and urine microalbuminuria test to prevent kidney failure;
  • An examination of the feet and a monofilament test to check for nerve damage;
  • Auscultation of the heart and an electrocardiogram to look for heart damage;
  • Auscultation of the carotid arteries in the neck and palpation of the pulses in the feet.

All these examinations can be carried out in your clinic Turó Park Medical Center.

Diabetes: the most frequently asked questions (FAQs)

When the patient's fasting blood glucose level is above 7 mmol/l (1.26 g/l), a diagnosis of diabetes is made.
If you have any doubts or have been experiencing any of the common symptoms of diabetes, book an appointment with one of the doctors at Turó Park Medical Center for a full assessment, diagnosis and follow-up advice and treatment.
There are many symptoms that could indicate diabetes: fatigue, vision problems, the sensation of having a dry mouth, having to urinate often, excessive appetite accompanied by weight loss etc.
There are many sugar substitutes for diabetics: Aspartame, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Cyclamates, Saccharin, Stevia (steviol glycosides), Neotame or Thaumatin.

Dr Amir Safa

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