Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
- Endocrinology and Diabetes
- Suite 202
- 62 Tilley Drive
South Burlington, VT 05403
- Phone: 802-847-4576
- Fax: 802-847-2226
- Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM
More than 20 million people in the United States are living with diabetes. It is a common, chronic disease – but each person with diabetes experiences it differently, and needs an individualized approach specifically designed to meet their needs.
Diabetes: What You Need to Know
There are several different types of diabetes, some of which cannot be prevented. However, if you are pre diabetic, there are steps you can take to help prevent developing full-blown type 2 diabetes or help control your diabetes with less or no medications if you already have it, such as:
- Following a healthy eating plan rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins (fish, chicken, beans)
- Getting 30 minutes of physical activity where your heart is pumping most days of the week
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Diabetes is best managed by a group of specialists that include endocrinologists (doctors dedicated to the treatment of gland disorders), nurse practitioners, diabetes nurses and dietitians. At Fletcher Allen, our physicians and other support staff work together as a team, providing expert care.
We are dedicated to providing care that is personalized. You and your family will feel the advantages of patient-centered care. Fletcher Allen gives comprehensive care for all stages of diabetes and other conditions affecting the glands and hormones – as well as specialized services including dialysis and transplant surgery for complications of the disease.
Experienced, Trusted Expertise
Our diabetes care goes beyond clinical care, with a strong focus on patient education and ongoing partnerships with community programs.
Whether you or a loved one is pre diabetic, recently diagnosed, or has been coping with diabetes and related health problems for many years, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to live your life in the manner you choose.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes, or clinically called diabetes mellitus, is a group of diseases affecting your body’s use of glucose (also called blood sugar). Glucose is critical to your body’s functioning. It is fuel for the cells that make up your muscles, tissues and brain. However, too much glucose can cause serious health problems.
Your pancreas is an organ in your body responsible for producing insulin. It can be defective in making or appropriately using insulin or both, which leads to elevated blood sugar levels.
All types of diabetes are characterized by too much glucose in the blood. Several different types of diabetes include:
- Type 1 diabetes – also called juvenile diabetes, a chronic condition that is likely caused by genetics where the pancreas does not make enough insulin, which is a hormone that lowers levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood
- Type 2 diabetes – also called adult-onset diabetes, a chronic condition that happens over time where the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or doesn't make enough insulin
- Pre diabetes – glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes
- Gestational diabetes – diabetes that happens during pregnancy
The exact causes of diabetes depend on your diagnosis, and may even be unknown in some cases, but several factors can increase your risk of developing the condition, including:
- Weight - fatty tissues increase cell’s resistance to insulin
- Physical inactivity - getting little to no physical activity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure - increases the risk of type 2 diabetes
- High bad or low good cholesterol levels: good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), levels should not be too low. Bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL), levels should not be too high
- High triglyceride levels - triglyceride, a fat carried in the blood, levels should not be above 250 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
- Age - the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, pre diabetes and gestational diabetes increases as you age
- Family history - parent, brother or sister with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or a previous case of gestational diabetes
- Race -
- Type 1 diabetes is more common in White/Caucasians
- Type 2 diabetes, pre diabetes and gestational diabetes are more common in African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Asians
- Country - type 1 diabetes is more common in certain countries such as Sweden and Finland
- Polycystic ovary syndrome - women with this condition are more likely to develop diabetes
- Viral infection - some viral illnesses can play an environmental factor in developing type 1 diabetes
The level of glucose in your blood affects the presence and severity of symptoms. People with pre diabetes or type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms at first. However, type 1 diabetes symptoms are typically severe, happen quickly and often appear in childhood or adolescence.
It is important to be aware of diabetes symptoms, because early prevention and treatment is the best way to avoid complications, some of which can be permanent.
See a physician if you notice the following diabetes symptoms in yourself or your child:
- Increased thirst
- Excessive trips to the bathroom to urinate, especially at night
- Sweet, fruity breath (also called "acetone breath")
- Extreme hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Sores that are slow to heal
- High blood pressure
- Frequent infections, such as:
- Gum infections
- Skin infections
- Vaginal infections
- Bladder infections
Diabetes Diagnosis and Treatment
Every day our experienced providers diagnose, evaluate and treat diabetes patients and their families.
The treatment that is right for you will depend upon your exact diabetes diagnosis. Diabetes is diagnosed by a blood test. Your doctor will order a lipid profile, which examines your cholesterol and your glucose levels. If your glucose levels are high, it is an indicator that you may have diabetes. Diabetes can also be diagnosed by a simple urine test which shows the presence of glucose in the urine.
Fletcher Allen’s knowledgeable and highly-trained physicians treat diabetes on a regular basis .
Download our convenient Daily Food and Glucose Log and Patient Daily Record Log available below.
|Daily Food and Glucose Log||Download PDF|
|Patient Daily Record Log||Download PDF|
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