Diabetologists are usually physicians with residency training in endocrinology that have completed specialized training in the subspecialty of diabetes – although physicians trained in other areas may also specialize in the treatment of diabetetes. These specialists are capable of providing comprehensive care for patients suffering from all types of diabetes.
The three major types of diabetes treated by diabetologists include: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes, as well as other less common diabetic conditions. The tests employed to diagnose diabetes by these specialized endocrinologists include urine analyses, fasting blood glucose level tests, hemoglobin A1c tests, oral glucose tolerance tests, and non-fasting blood glucose level tests, among others.
The treatments provided by a diabetes specialist may include: suggesting and educating the patient on a healthier diet (which foods to eat and in what proportions, when to eat, etc.), suggesting the proper exercise regimen (what types of exercise, when to exercise, when to rest, etc.), the prescription of medications (such as insulin injections), blood pressure and cholesterol control treatments, instruction on self-testing of blood glucose levels and other related diabetes management techniques, although other treatments may be provided.
Type 1 DiabetesType 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made. It’s unclear what causes this attack. About 10 percent of people with diabetes have this type.
Type 2 DiabetesType 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin, and sugar builds up in your blood.
PrediabetesPrediabetes occurs when your blood sugar is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
Gestational DiabetesGestational diabetes is high blood sugar during pregnancy. Insulin-blocking hormones produced by the placenta cause this type of diabetes.