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Q: What is diabetes?
A: Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is impaired. As a result, diabetics can’t metabolize carbohydrates effectively and have an increased level of glucose (sugar) in their blood and urine.

There are actually three types of diabetes: Type I, in which the body makes no insulin; Type 2, in which patients are overweight or obese and their body doesn’t make enough insulin to push sugar to all the cells; and gestational diabetes, which is caused by high sugar levels that develop during pregnancy. Once women with gestational diabetes deliver, their sugars usually return to normal, but it raises their risk for Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Q: Is diabetes on the rise?
A: Type 2 definitely is increasing. More than 66% of this country’s population has diabetes or pre-diabetes, because obesity is an epidemic.

Q: Can diabetes be prevented?
A: Type I runs in your family and there’s not much you can do. To help prevent Type 2 and gestational diabetes, exercise regularly, which helps keep your weight optimal and makes your insulin more effective. Also, eat healthfully and watch your portions of carbohydrates like rice, bread, potatoes, and pasta.

Q: How do you treat diabetes?
A: Recently, the drug options for treating Type 2 diabetes have expanded. In addition to insulin and older medications like metformin and glipizide, we now have new classes of drugs that not only lower blood sugar levels, but also help patients lose weight. We also have a procedure called a sleeve gastrectomy. In this procedure, approximately 80% of a patient’s stomach is removed, which results in significant weight loss and a dramatic decrease in insulin resistance.  For Type I diabetics, insulin is the only treatment, but researchers are close to creating an artificial pancreas system to deliver the insulin more effectively.  

Q: Why is it important to treat diabetes?
A: Left untreated, diabetes can cause nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, strokes, and even heart attacks.


New York-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital
1985 Crompond Road
Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567
914-930-2007
www.nyp.org/hudsonvalley


 Dr. Chandra is board-certified in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. She treats an array of endocrine disorders, including Type I and Type 2 diabetes, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, adrenal disorders, hypogonadism, polycystic ovary syndrome, pituitary disease, and obesity. Her practice is part of the NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group and is located in Cortlandt Manor.


Himani Chandra, MD
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