In the US, diabetes is a common disease that affects both children and adults. Untreated diabetes can have detrimental effects on our bodies, some of which are not apparent until the symptoms are very pronounced. Surprisingly, uncontrolled diabetes that has already been diagnosed can also produce the same symptoms. The time may have come for you to stop by our urgent care facility for an examination, treatment and excellent patient care if you have been experiencing the symptoms listed below.
What is diabetes?
Numerous body parts use the sugar glucose, which is found in our blood, as an energy source. When we eat, our bodies convert the food into glucose, which is then circulated in our blood. Then, a hormone called insulin enables our body to absorb this glucose, causing the level of glucose to decrease. Diabetes patients have issues using insulin and absorbing glucose, which raises the level of glucose in the blood. The symptoms of diabetes are all brought on by this elevated glucose.
What are some factors that put me or my child at risk for diabetes?
Family history: Your risk of developing diabetes is two to three times higher if you or your child have any first-degree relatives who have the disease. Five to six times as likely for a child to develop diabetes if one or both parents do.
Ethnicity: People who are not white are more likely to develop diabetes. African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians have all been discovered to be at a higher risk than their white counterparts.
A higher body mass index (a measurement of weight in relation to height) has a significant impact on the emergence of diabetes.
What signs of diabetes are there?
Numerous symptoms, some of which are listed below, can be experienced by patients with undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes.
- more frequent urination (peeing)
- heightened thirst
- increased nighttime urination
- distorted vision
- Loss of weight (less common)
Untreated diabetes can result in severe dehydration, a sense of drowsiness or lightheadedness, and other symptoms.
Diabetes can lead to a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis at its worst (DKA). DKA may result in nausea, vomiting, and pain in the abdomen. Severe symptoms of this condition can also include mental dullness, partial body paralysis or weakness, seizures, or even a coma.
The long-term effects of diabetes can be extremely detrimental, causing anything from kidney or nerve damage to clogging your arteries.
What tests can an urgent care doctor perform to identify diabetes?
The doctor will need to take a very thorough history, noting any symptoms, changes in weight, and other chronic illnesses or conditions because diabetes has such a wide range of risk factors. The doctor will ask about your current medications if you’ve previously been diagnosed and are taking them, so bring them along if your list of medications is lengthy.
If you have clear symptoms of diabetes, an urgent care doctor can quickly identify it through a test known as a “random blood glucose” test. They quickly measure the amount of glucose in your blood after taking a tiny sample of it. You will be given a diabetes diagnosis if it is higher than a certain level. Your doctor may still suspect diabetes even if your symptoms are mild or barely noticeable because you’ve been living with them for so long. He can then use additional tests to support his suspicions.
Fasting plasma glucose test: for this test, you must refrain from eating overnight and return the next morning to have the test. It is crucial that you refrain from eating if your doctor orders this test because if you do, the results could be inaccurate and you could be misdiagnosed with diabetes.
To determine whether your body can properly process and absorb glucose, your doctor will give you a dose of pure glucose to eat. Two hours later, your blood glucose level will be checked. A1C test: the results will not be available right away because your doctor must send a sample of your blood to the lab. The A1C test measures your blood sugar levels over a longer time span.
What diabetes treatments are available from an urgent care doctor?
Your urgent care doctor will give you medication to lower your blood sugar right away and IV fluids to rehydrate you if you arrive at the urgent care facility with severe symptoms and an extremely high blood sugar level. Once your blood pressure is under control, your urgent care doctor might give you home medications to take to maintain control of your blood sugar. Depending on the severity of the diabetes, the potential side effects, and the frequency and timing of taking the medication, the doctor may recommend one of the many medications that are available.
Your urgent care doctor will inform you of additional lifestyle changes you can make in addition to taking medication that will help you control your blood sugar over the long term. These include dietary adjustments, increased exercise, and weight loss. All of these adjustments have been proven to significantly lower blood sugar, and for the best overall result, they can be combined with medication.
Your doctor will also make recommendations based on your medical history because diabetes affects many different things in addition to blood sugar levels. If you think you might be going through symptoms like those listed above, it might be time to stop by our urgent care facility for an assessment and symptom relief.