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Diabetes Specialist

Doctor Susan Kawakami

Family Medicine located in Downey, CA

More than 3 million people in California have diabetes. When not well-controlled, diabetes can lead to other chronic health conditions, such as heart or kidney disease. At Doctor Susan Kawakami, the compassionate family medicine team specializes in the management of diabetes and can design a plan that helps you gain control over your disease and prevent the onset of additional health issues. For comprehensive and compassionate care from a team that puts your needs first, call the office in Downey, California, or request an appointment online.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which your blood glucose levels are higher than normal. The glucose in your blood, also referred to as blood sugar, serves as a source of energy for all the cells in your body. Insulin, a hormone made in your pancreas, is responsible for transporting the glucose from your blood into your cells.

Diabetes develops if your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin isn’t functioning like it should. Over time, the glucose in your blood damages your blood vessels and organs and increases your risk of other health issues, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Neuropathy
  • Dental problems

The excess glucose in your blood can also impair wound healing, which increases your risk of developing an infection. 

What are the types of diabetes?

There are three common types of diabetes. These types include:

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which your body’s immune cells attack and destroy the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. This type of diabetes most often develops during childhood and requires daily insulin injections for survival. 

Type 2 diabetes

With Type 2 diabetes, your body produces insulin, but it isn’t working properly. You can develop Type 2 diabetes at any age. However, it’s most often diagnosed in older adults. You may be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if it runs in your family, you’re overweight or obese, or you don’t engage in enough physical activity.

Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent than Type 1 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. This type of diabetes usually resolves after the baby is born. However, gestational diabetes increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Monogenic diabetes (inherited form of diabetes) and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes are also types of diabetes, but are less common types.

How is diabetes managed?

At Doctor Susan Kawakami, the family medicine team takes a holistic approach to the management of diabetes. After completing a comprehensive evaluation that includes a review of your medical history, diet, and lifestyle, the team develops a customized treatment plan aimed at helping you improve blood sugar control and overall health. 

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Nutrition counseling
  • Exercise program
  • Diabetes medication
  • Stress management

The team also spends time talking to you about your diabetes, how it affects your health, and how your treatment plan can improve your diabetes and your health. The team recommends regular follow-ups so they can monitor your blood sugar and your health and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

To get the comprehensive care you need to manage your diabetes, call the office of Doctor Susan Kawakami today or select the online booking button to schedule an appointment.