Type 2 diabetes is sometimes also called type 2 diabetes mellitus. With this condition, your body doesn’t respond as it should to insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood glucose levels. People typically develop type 2 diabetes in adulthood. However, the number of children, teens and young adults diagnosed with the condition is increasing.

Why UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center?

The team at Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center provides expert consultation and ongoing care for patients with diabetes and any diabetes-related complications and conditions, including type 2 diabetes.

Our center is unique in that we offer care and treatment of pediatric and adult patients across their entire lifespan. Our multidisciplinary health care team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified diabetes educators, pharmacists and social workers. We have an education center that provides first-class diabetes education in individual, small group and large settings.

Our outpatient location at UK HealthCare – Turfland provides a convenient, single location where patients can easily access many of their related health care services. UK HealthCare – Turfland, which offers abundant free parking, is home to many other expert clinical health care providers, including those from primary care, urgent care, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology/MRI, ophthalmology and more.

Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center offers A1C testing, which provides rapid results while you wait. We will help you learn more about advancements in diabetes technology programs.

UK HealthCare’s state-of-the-art electronic health record uses the MyChart patient portal for communication between provider and patient.

How do providers work together to best serve their patients? 

  • We coordinate a specific treatment plan tailored to each patient using a team of multidisciplinary care providers that includes physicians, nurse practitioners/physician assistants, certified diabetes educators, pharmacists and social workers.
  • A comprehensive medical record network coordinates care among your healthcare team, as well as with local and regional health care facilities. The MyChart portal tool promotes quick and effective communication with our patients. 
  • Having our pediatric and adult teams housed in the same clinic offers a very smooth transition of care as pediatric patients reach adulthood.

Some people may not experience diabetes symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they can include:

  • Changes in vision. High blood sugar can lead to blockages of the tiny blood vessels in the eye, which can cause blurry vision or floating spots. When this happens, the blood vessels can leak fluid or bleed, which can damage the retina, a layer of cells that senses light and sends signals to the brain.
  • Changes in weight. People with type 2 diabetes can unintentionally lose weight because the body doesn’t use or store glucose like it should.
  • Fatigue. Type 2 diabetes can make you feel tired. This may be associated with changes in blood sugar levels. The body also can’t efficiently produce the energy it needs.
  • Frequent urination. When the kidneys try to get rid of excess blood sugar, they pull in more water. This leads to more frequent urination.
  • Increased thirst. Type 2 diabetes causes you to feel thirsty because you are losing more water than normal through your urine. This water loss can lead to dehydration.
  • Increased hunger. You may feel hungry for the same reason you lose weight or feel tired. This could be because your body can’t efficiently produce energy from the food you eat.

Type 2 diabetes is caused in part by both lifestyle and genetics. You are at risk if you:

  • Are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hawaiian Native, Hispanic or Latino or Pacific Islander
  • Are not physically active
  • Are obese or overweight
  • Are a person who smokes
  • Are age 45 or older
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Have a history of gestational diabetes

While you can’t change some risk factors, the following lifestyle changes can help prevent type 2 diabetes:

  • Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk for type 2 diabetes by 30% to 40%, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Adnministration
  • Adopt a healthy diet. Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Avoid added sugars and saturated fats.
  • Exercise. Physical activity helps your body use insulin and lowers the risk of heart disease and nerve damage.
  • Lose weight. People who are obese or overweight are at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

If you don’t manage your blood sugar, you are at risk for several complications. These complications include:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis. This occurs when your insulin levels are too low to allow enough sugar into your cells to use for energy.
  • Diabetic nephropathy. Also known as diabetic kidney disease, this condition is characterized by a loss of kidney function over time.
  • Diabetic neuropathy. Caused by damage to nerves from high blood sugar, this condition begins as pain and numbness and can become more severe.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes vision loss due to damage to the fine blood vessels in your eyes.
  • Gastroparesis. This condition is caused by nerve damage to stomach muscles preventing food from moving into the small intestine.
  • Slow-healing or nonhealing wounds. Restricted blood flow can keep wounds from healing in a timely manner.

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