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Diabetes Specialist

Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine -  - Family Medicine

Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine

Family Medicine & Medical Weight Loss located in Orland Park, IL

Over 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, and another 88 million adults have prediabetes and a high risk of developing the full-blown disease. If you have diabetes, Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine can help. The providers offer expert diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan to control your condition and protect your health. If you need help managing diabetes, call the practice in Orland Park, Illinois, or make an appointment online.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that interferes with the way your body produces and uses insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps your body transport glucose (blood sugar) into your cells so it can be used for energy. 

Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes are the most common forms of the disease.

Type 1 diabetes

Sometimes called juvenile diabetes, Type 1 diabetes develops when your pancreas stops producing insulin. The disease emerges during childhood and is caused by an immune response that damages the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body produces insufficient insulin or stops using insulin correctly. It used to be prevalent in adults but is now common in children, too. Your genetics affect your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but lifestyle factors such as your weight, diet, and activity levels play a significant role.


Prediabetes is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. Your body isn’t using insulin correctly, but your blood sugar levels and other indicators haven’t yet reached the diagnostic criteria for Type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

Some women develop gestational diabetes during the second trimester of pregnancy, as the placenta produces a hormone that can interfere with insulin production. Gestational diabetes usually subsides after your baby is born but can increase your risk of having Type 2 diabetes later.

What are the warning signs of diabetes?

Prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes don’t cause symptoms in their early stages, while Type 1 diabetes often causes immediate symptoms. 

Some of the common signs of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Slow-to-heal sores
  • Numbness in your feet or hands
  • Unexplained weight loss (Type 1 only)

The only way to confirm your diagnosis is to talk to your trusted health care provider and have the necessary tests that can identify your condition.

How is diabetes managed?

The practitioners at Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine, including a physician’s assistant with certification in diabetes management, provide patient-focused customized diabetes care, including diabetes 3-month visits. 

Your provider can help you adjust your diet and activity levels to help you lose weight and manage your disease. When necessary, they prescribe insulin and other medications to support healthy body function and glucose levels. 

To receive personalized care from medical experts who are passionate about diabetic care and overall health management, call Dr. Susan Rife and Associates Family Medicine today or make an appointment online.