Understanding Diabetes - Peripheral Vascular Associates
Understanding Diabetes - Peripheral Vascular Associates

Understanding Diabetes


Millions of people around the world live with diabetes or know someone living with diabetes.

In Bexar County, 14.2% of adults are diabetics, that’s double the national average of diabetics, and that number is projected to double or triple by 2050 if current trends continue.  Regardless of the type of diabetes, diabetes isn’t yet a curable disease.  However, it is a disease that can be prevented and managed.  And people with diabetes can live long, healthy, and happy lives. Our goal is to provide you the information, tools and resources to help make that happen.

Diabetes Symptoms

The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild they may go unnoticed.

Common symptoms of diabetes:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes.

Learn about how your doctor can make a diabetes diagnosis or take our Risk Test to find out if you are at increased risk for having type 2 diabetes.

Although there are many similarities between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the cause of each is very different. And the treatment is usually quite different, too. Some people, especially adults who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, may have symptoms similar to type 2 diabetes and this overlap between types can be confusing.


Diabetes increases your risk for many serious health problems. The good news? With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications.

  • Foot Complications – Learn about neuropathy (which can cause numbness in the feet) as well as other complications.
  • DKA (Ketoacidosis) & Ketones – Know the warning signs of DKA and check urine for ketones, especially when you’re sick.
  • Kidney Disease (Nephropathy) – Keep your diabetes and blood pressure under control to lower the chance of getting kidney disease.
  • High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure—also called hypertension—raises your risk for heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney disease.
  • Stroke – Maintain target levels for blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol to reduce your risk of stroke.

Small Steps for Your Health

There are many things you can do to help prevent type 2 diabetes or its complications, but where do you start? It’s not always easy to eat healthy and be active in today’s fast-paced world.

It’s easier to make healthy lifestyle changes one step at a time and over time. Think of each small step as one piece of your effort to change your habits. The good news is that making just a few small changes can have a big impact on your health.

The Facts

Diabetes has become a major public health crisis. In San Antonio, approximately one in seven Bexar County adults suffer from either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes – and approximately half a million Texans with diabetes remain undiagnosed. In fact, according to University Health System, diabetes remains the 4th leading cause of death in Bexar County. Type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease or stroke and is associated with an increased risk of developing peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.).

As one of the largest single-specialty vascular groups in the nation, PVA invites you to support us in sounding the alarm about the prevention and early detection of type 2 diabetes and to help raise awareness about the disease in San Antonio. It is crucial for people to know their diabetes risk because prediabetes can be reversed with healthy food choices, weight loss, exercise, other lifestyle changes, and medication.

Peripheral Vascular Associates is proud to serve the San Antonio community and surrounding areas in vascular disease education, prevention, and treatment for over 43 years. Our vascular physicians are dedicated to helping our patients better understand how we can help them with vascular disease. If you would like more information about vascular health, please contact us or schedule an appointment at (210) 237-4444.

Source: American Diabetes Association
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