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Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects the body's production of glucose and insulin levels. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body suffers from a lack of insulin produced by the pancreas. Type 2, gestational and prediabetes are all a result of an excess amount of sugar in the blood, or high glucose levels.

Decorative

Diabetes center in Fairfax County

Support for a healthy life.

When you need diabetes care, our Northern Virginia team provides effective, compassionate services. No matter your diabetes condition, our diabetes specialists at Reston Hospital Center give you the tools and resources you need to manage your health.

Symptoms of diabetes

You should also ask your doctor about diabetes if you have any of these common symptoms:

  • Excessive hunger or thirst
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness
  • Increased or frequent urination
  • Irritability
  • Slow- or non-healing sores or wounds
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Vision trouble, such as blurred vision

Our diabetes treatments and services

Our team of endocrinologists and other specialists provide the treatment options you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage your diabetes.

Types of diabetes

Our specialists and doctors treat diabetes, no matter what type you are diagnosed with. The five different types of diabetes include the following:

Prediabetes

When your blood glucose levels are above normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2, you may be experiencing prediabetes. If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, there is a high chance it will progress into Type 2 diabetes over time. Lifestyle changes and medication can help prevent this from happening.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, also known as "juvenile diabetes," is often diagnosed in children or young adults. This type of diabetes occurs when the insulin-making cells in the pancreas produce little or no insulin. If you are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, treatment will likely include regular insulin injections to regulate your blood glucose levels.

Type 2 diabetes

A Type 2 diabetes diagnosis means your body is unable to produce insulin properly (insulin resistance), which causes sugar to build up in the blood. This is the most common type of diabetes. It is rapidly growing as a result of the increase in obesity and sedentary lifestyles, which contribute to the disease.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only occurs in pregnant women, usually in the third trimester. This is when the hormones produced by the placenta block insulin, which contributes to a high-risk pregnancy. Common treatment options include medication and lifestyle changes, but insulin injections may sometimes be prescribed.

Type 3 diabetes

Type 3 diabetes refers to the relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. No official conclusion has been determined as of yet, and there is still a lot of research that needs to be conducted about this type of diabetes.

Diabetes treatment

To help manage diabetes symptoms, our endocrinologists and support teams prioritize education. As part of that, our diabetes educators provide inpatient education for individuals with new-onset diabetes. No matter which type of diabetes you have, the goal of diabetes treatment is to maintain the glucose level in your blood properly.

Type 1 diabetes treatments

If you have Type 1 diabetes, you will need to monitor your blood-sugar levels and give your body insulin throughout the day. This is usually performed through injections or an insulin pump that provides continuous doses.

The type of insulin used depends on when and how long the insulin needs to perform. The most commonly used types of insulin are:

  • Rapid-acting (begins to act within five to 15 minutes with an overall duration of three to four hours)
  • Short-acting (begins to act within 15 minutes with an overall duration of three to five hours)
  • Intermediate-acting (begins to act within one to two hours with a duration of 18 to 24 hours)
  • Long-acting (begins to act within one to one and a half hours with a duration of up to 24 hours)

Type 2 diabetes treatments

If you have Type 2 diabetes, you may not have to take insulin to regulate your blood sugar, but you may require some form of medication. Maintaining a healthy weight, making healthy food choices and getting physical exercise are key factors in helping you manage your Type 2 diabetes.

Emergency diabetes care

If insulin levels spike or plummet, you may experience a diabetic medical emergency, such as insulin shock or a diabetic coma. At this point, home treatments, such as your normal insulin injection, are unlikely to help —you need to seek emergency medical care. Advanced treatment is required to help prevent long-term damage. Our hospitals provide extensive emergency care services and endocrinologists who are ready to intervene 24/7 with the care you need.

Long-term diabetes care

Diabetes can have a range of long-term medical complications. The longer your blood sugar levels are unstable, the higher the risk of developing medical complications from the disease. Complications may include:

  • Circulatory problems
  • Damage to the kidneys, which may require a kidney transplant in severe cases
  • Decline in oral health and hygiene
  • Diabetic foot ulcers and other conditions can lead to the need for amputation
  • Heart disease, potentially leading to heart attack or stroke
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Non-healing wounds resulting from poor blood circulation
  • Vision complications, such as glaucoma, eye disease, cataracts and blindness

Diabetes education program

We are proud to offer diabetes education programs to help you learn more about your diagnosis and ways you can manage your diabetes. We believe the key to managing diabetes is education.

No matter your type of diabetes, our certified diabetes educators counsel, teach and care for all. They also follow the most current and advanced protocols and teaching methods recommended by the American Diabetes Association.

Diabetes Education Center at Reston Hospital Center

Founded in 1992, the Diabetes Education Center at Reston Hospital Center is accredited by the American Diabetes Association because of the quality of our educational services. We follow the National Standards for Diabetes Education. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary for diabetes prevention or management.

Diabetes management services

Our services include:

  • Diabetes education classes for Type 2 and gestational diabetes
  • Glucose monitoring (if needed)
  • Individual counseling for all types of diabetes
  • Insulin training
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Pattern management
  • Support groups
  • Other support services
    • Physical therapy and fitness programs
    • Surgical weight loss programs
    • Medical (nonsurgical) weight loss programs

Schedule an appointment

To schedule an appointment at the Diabetes Education Center at Reston Hospital Center, please call (703) 689-9164.

The Healthy Living Blog

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