Diabetes is a chronic health condition requiring ongoing monitoring and care with your active participation. Pete Lerza, NP, is a family nurse practitioner in Cambridge, Maryland, who takes a holistic and patient-centered approach to diabetes management. He works with you one on one, helping you take control of your diabetes and your health. Call Pete today or go online to schedule a diabetes appointment. Telemedicine appointments are also available.
Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body uses energy (glucose) from the food you eat. Normally, when glucose enters your bloodstream after digestion, it triggers the release of insulin from your pancreas.
Insulin is a hormone that moves the glucose from your bloodstream into your cells, where it’s used as energy. If you have diabetes, your pancreas either doesn’t make insulin, or your body isn’t using it the way it should, resulting in higher than normal blood glucose levels.
The buildup of glucose in your blood damages your blood vessels and organs, leading to complications like neuropathy (nerve damage) and kidney disease.
Diabetes is classified into types based on how it affects insulin production and use:
People with Type 1 diabetes make no insulin because their immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This form of diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence.
People with Type 2 diabetes make insulin, but the insulin can’t move the glucose into the cell. Historically, Type 2 diabetes has appeared most often during middle age. But it’s increasingly seen in people much younger, including children and teenagers. Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1 diabetes.
Women who develop gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later.
Diabetes symptoms vary in type and severity. Common symptoms of diabetes include:
Type 1 diabetes symptoms are sudden and severe, while Type 2 diabetes symptoms are more subtle and can go unnoticed.
Pete starts screening for Type 2 diabetes when you reach 45 — sooner if you have risk factors like your family’s health history.
Pete takes a holistic and integrative approach to diabetes management, focusing on diet and lifestyle changes.
Diabetes treatments include:
Pete also prescribes oral hypoglycemic medication for people with Type 2 diabetes who struggle to improve their blood glucose levels with diet and lifestyle.
Call Pete Lerza, NP, today or schedule an appointment online for patient-centered diabetes management.