Diabetes Specialist

Karen E. Lee, MD, MPH -  - Geriatrics

Tucson Family and Geriatric Medicine

Karen E. Lee, MD, MPH

Geriatrics & Family Medicine located in Northwest Tucson, AZ

Diabetes and prediabetes affect as many as 100 million people in the United States. To prevent permanent nerve damage, heart disease and kidney failure as well as other complications of diabetes, experienced family physician Karen Lee, MD, offers comprehensive diabetes management services at Tucson Family and Geriatric Medicine. Through a simple blood test, Dr. Lee evaluates your risk for diabetes and customizes a treatment plan to meet your needs. Learn more about in-office diabetes screenings and available treatment services by calling the Tucson, Arizona, office or requesting an appointment online now. We see patients from the surrounding cities Oro Valley, Tucson, Catalina foothills and Marana.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body processes the sugar it takes from your diet. In a healthy body, the hormone insulin helps convert sugar into the energy you need to maintain good health. 

When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t metabolize sugar properly, resulting in chronically high blood sugar levels.

In type 2 diabetes, which is the more prevalent form of diabetes seen in older adults, your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or doesn’t use the insulin it makes properly.

As a result of continually high blood sugar, your risk for serious health issues increases, especially:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Vision loss
  • Heart disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage

Another condition, known as prediabetes, is when your blood sugars remain high but not high enough to be considered diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you’re at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes symptoms affect people differently, with many people showing no symptoms in the earliest stages of the disease. When blood sugars remain elevated, you may experience issues like:

  • Blurry vision
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Increased thirst and hunger

As the condition progresses, you may notice pain and tingling in your hands and feet, a potential sign of nerve damage.

If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you have a family history of diabetes, Dr. Lee performs an in-office blood test to evaluate your blood sugar levels.

What treatments are available for diabetes?

For early stage type 2 diabetes as well as prediabetes, Dr. Lee initially recommends lifestyle changes to lower your blood sugar levels naturally. 

These changes include eating a low-sugar, healthy diet, getting daily physical exercise, and following Dr. Lee’s weight-loss program. Modifying your lifestyle is also important if you have prediabetes to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

If these changes aren’t enough to control your blood sugar, you may need to take medications. Dr. Lee also teaches you how to test your blood sugar levels at home.

If you have symptoms of diabetes or need help managing existing type 1 or type 2 diabetes, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lee today, online or by phone.

We see patients from the surrounding cities Oro Valley, Tucson, Catalina foothills and Marana

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