Diabetes Specialist

Laurie Thomas, MD -  - Family Physician

Laurie Thomas, MD

Family Physician located in TUCSON, AZ

Diabetes is a disease that increasing numbers of people across the United States are developing, and it requires expert management to prevent the potentially devastating complications it can cause. If you have diabetes or want to arrange a screening test, Laurie Thomas, MD, of Tucson, Arizona, can help. Dr. Thomas has considerable experience in assisting people with the management of their diabetes, and she provides a compassionate, confidential service where the patient always comes first. Find out more by calling Dr. Thomas today or book an appointment online.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disorder that develops when your body doesn’t have the right amount of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that you need to regulate the levels of sugar in your blood. Without insulin, your blood sugar levels can fluctuate, which causes serious complications.

There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that develops because your pancreas can’t make insulin at all. In autoimmune disorders, your immune system starts attacking cells and tissues as if they were harmful invaders.

With Type 1 diabetes, your body destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin and measure your blood sugar levels regularly, but if you manage your condition well, you should have a long and healthy life.

Type 2 diabetes has very different causes, and while there’s nothing you can do to prevent Type 1 diabetes, with Type 2, you have far more control.

What causes Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is typically caused by being overweight and having an unhealthy lifestyle. The more overweight you are, the more likely it is that you’ll develop Type 2 diabetes. Other risk factors include:

  • High-sugar diet
  • High-fat diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Age
  • Family history

Type 2 diabetes is more common in older people, but anyone who's overweight, even young children, can develop diabetes. You’re more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if other members of your family have it, but you can still prevent it by leading a healthier lifestyle.

How is Type 2 diabetes treated?

The most important part of your diabetes treatment is making changes to your lifestyle. These include:

  • Losing weight
  • Cutting down on fat and sugar
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Quitting smoking
  • Cutting down on alcohol

Dr. Thomas can help you with these changes, providing dietary counseling and assisting you with weight loss, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption.

These actions can prevent diabetes and even reverse it in the earlier stages. If you already have diabetes, leading a healthier lifestyle helps with blood sugar management and makes you less likely to develop complications of diabetes, which include:

  • Foot ulcers
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Eye problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Depression

If your condition is more severe, you might need to take additional medication or use insulin to regulate your blood glucose. You also need to monitor your blood glucose levels and see Dr. Thomas for regular check-ups.

Diabetes causes few symptoms until it reaches a more serious stage, but Dr. Thomas can perform a simple inhouse blood test for diabetes. Call Dr. Thomas today to find out more or book an appointment online.