Diabetes/Thyroid Disease Specialist

Ryan Williams, DO -  - Family Medicine Physician

Florence Family Medicine

Ryan Williams, DO

Family Medicine Physician located in Florence, SC

Around 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year, according to the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Ryan Williams knows the impact diabetes can have on everyday life and provides individualized treatments and specialized medical care for people with diabetes at Florence Family Medicine in Florence, South Carolina. With the right care, diabetes can be manageable, and the risk of complications can be greatly reduced. Call the office today or book your consultation online.

Diabetes/ Thyroid Disease Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that impact how your body utilizes blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is one of your body’s energy sources and having diabetes means there’s too much glucose circulating in your bloodstream.

Your pancreas is a gland near your stomach that produces a hormone called insulin. As you consume sugar and foods that turn to sugar in your body, your pancreas releases insulin to manage and store the sugar in your cells for use.

Insulin lowers your blood sugar levels and when the level of sugar in your blood drops, so does your insulin production.

  • Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes happens when your immune system that usually fights off harmful bacteria and viruses begins attacking your pancreatic cells that produce insulin, preventing you from producing it. This is usually diagnosed in childhood.
  • Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is more common with aging and involves the pancreatic cells becoming resistant to the insulin hormone over time, to the point where your cells can’t use insulin effectively.
  • Prediabetes: Prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes over time. When your blood sugar levels are above average but not high enough to be considered diabetic, this is considered prediabetes — a warning.
  • Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and can go away following childbirth. However, without treatment, it could lead to type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

The symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Vision problems
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Excessive thirst and hunger
  • Frequent infections, including skin, vaginal, or gum infections

What causes diabetes?

The cause of diabetes isn’t clear, but certain factors are said to contribute, such as:

  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Inactivity
  • Hormones
  • Family history
  • Certain medical conditions, including high cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases

If it isn’t properly managed, diabetes can lead to complications, including:

  • Nerve damage
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Damage to the kidneys, skin, eyes, feet, and hearing

What are the treatments for diabetes?

To help you manage your condition, Dr. Williams might recommend some of the following treatments:

  • Insulin and oral medications
  • Blood sugar monitoring, such as with a glucose monitor
  • Lifestyle changes, including nutrition, exercise, and stress management

Dr. Williams takes a holistic approach to the care of chronic diseases and believes the right lifestyle changes can be pivotal in lowering the risk of complications, regulating blood sugar, lowering stress hormones, and managing diabetes in general.

Dr. Williams is a compassionate and experienced physician who can help you with your diabetes at Florence Family Medicine. Call or go online to schedule your consultation today.