Diabetes

Diabetes Specialist
Diabetes affects millions of adults and an alarmingly growing number of children and adolescents in our country. At McKenzie Medical Associates in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dr. Wilfred McKenzie and Dr. Rona McKenzie offer patients customized diabetes management plans tailored to their lifestyles and medical needs. They provide patients with not only the medication necessary to balance their blood sugar, but also with lifestyle guidance to help them play a proactive role in managing their condition and preventing complications.

Diabetes Q & A

McKenzie Medical Associates

What are the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

There are two primary types of diabetes - type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that tends to develop in childhood, although it can also develop in adults. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the healthy cells of the pancreas, impairing or destroying the organ’s ability to produce insulin, a chemical necessary for regulating blood sugar (glucose). Type 2 is a metabolic disorder that occurs most often in obese patients. In type 2, the body is unable to use or process insulin correctly, resulting in increased glucose levels. Type 2 once occurred almost solely in adults, but rising rates of childhood obesity have resulted in an increase in type 2 diabetes amongst kids during the past decade or so. A third type of diabetes, gestational diabetes, develops during pregnancy in some moms-to-be.

What are the main symptoms of diabetes?

The symptoms of diabetes can vary depending on the type, but all types have some similar symptoms, including:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Delayed healing of scrapes and cuts
  • Chronic yeast infections
  • Itchy skin

Symptoms can be subtle, especially in people with type 2 diabetes. Having regular blood tests is the best way to keep track of your glucose levels, especially as you get older.

What kinds of complications can be caused by diabetes?

When diabetes isn’t properly managed, it can cause damage to your nerves and your blood vessels, and those issues can cause widespread damage throughout your body. Many people with diabetes wind up having permanent vision loss, as the increased blood sugar levels damage the tiny vessels in the eyes -- people with diabetes are more likely to have glaucoma, cataracts, and retina problems. People with diabetes are also much more likely to have kidney damage, as well as nerve and blood vessel damage in their feet that can wind up increasing the risk of amputations. Plus, the disease is also associated with an increased risk for heart disease, skin problems, hearing loss, and even cognitive problems like Alzheimer’s disease.

How can the doctors at McKenzie Medical Associates manage my diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires lifelong management to prevent complications. Dr. McKenzie helps patients stay healthy with regular exams and blood tests to help them keep their blood sugar levels under control. Insulin (either pills or injections) and lifestyle changes, like losing weight and eating a healthy diet, can also help. Your treatment plan will be created especially for you so you can enjoy optimal health as you age.

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