If you have been told that you have diabetes, it is perfectly normal to have lots of questions. What does it mean? Is diabetes a disease? Do I need to take medicine for a few weeks and it will go away, like when I have strep throat? Is diabetes contagious? Did I catch it from someone or can I pass it on to my family? How will it affect my body? What is going wrong inside me to make diabetes happen? Is this my fault?

None of these questions are silly or should make you feel silly for asking them. And if you choose your doctor with care, and select an excellent care provider, they won’t make you feel silly for asking either. What’s more, they will patiently answer any questions you have, and explain how the human body functions so that you know what is going on inside. Excellent doctors know that education is a key part of a successful partnership with their patients. If a person knows that their doctor is open to questions and will happily explain bodily processes, they will be more open and honest with their doctor. They will have a better and probably more successful relationship as doctor and patient because it is a partnership.

In contrast, if a person sees a doctor who acts impatient when they are asked questions, or who brushes aside requests for explanations on how the body works or what happens to cause diabetes, then the patient may be made to feel that they are a nuisance or that they are wasting time by asking questions. You should not be made to feel rushed out the door. Your questions are valid. You have the right to know how your body works and why it is in this state of dysfunction.

When it comes to your good health and the management of your health conditions, it is very important to choose the best possible caregiver. Ask your friends and family for recommendations, and go on introductory office visits to see if you and a potential doctor are a good fit. Until the appointment, let’s try to answer some of the questions above so you can learn a little about diabetes.

Diabetes is not a condition where you can take a two week course of medicine such as antibiotics to clear it up. It is considered to be a chronic condition which means it lasts longer than an acute one, such as strep throat. It is not contagious like the common cold or the flu. You didn’t catch it from someone coughing or sneezing on you, and you cannot pass it along in that way either.

Inside your body is an organ called the pancreas. It creates insulin, which your body needs. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops making enough insulin for the body to use. That is the simplest way to look at it, but it is more involved than that. Sometimes diabetes starts out as insulin resistance, where the pancreas makes enough insulin but for unknown reasons, the body resists using that insulin. It kind of ignores it and pretends that it isn’t there just waiting to be used.

To learn more about the details of diabetes, pick up the phone and call for your appointment today.