Dr. Miriam Promintzer-Schifferl, doctor of internal medicine and specialized in endocrinology and metabolic disorders, attends to our diabetic patients. Dr. Promintzer-Schifferl has been working at the General Hospital of Vienna (AKH-Wine) in the diabetic clinic for over 10 years, making her an excellent choice for managing your diabetes. Click here to see Dr. Promintzer-Schifferl’s CV.
Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels. Sugar (glucose) is the most important source of energy in our cells. The human brain requires 20% of the sugar energy in our body. Should our body not be able to push sugar into the cells, the sugar levels in our blood will rise. This condition is called diabetes mellitus.
The majority of diabetes cases are type 2, which commonly, albeit wrongly is called ‘adult-onset diabetes’. However, type 2 diabetes may also occur in children and adults of every age. Type 2 diabetes frequently occurs within the same family and as a result of obesity. Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in Austria and worldwide.
Therapy has improved over the last years. Well known first-line medications (such as Metformin) are available next to other anti-diabetic medication, which lower blood sugar levels and have other positive effects. It has now become possible to positively influence patients suffering from obesity, cardiac insufficiency, coronary diseases (stents, bypass), high blood pressure or renal disease, while simultaneously lowering blood sugar levels. Should treatment with insulin become necessary, modern type insulins with decreased risk of hypoglycaemia can be administered. A healthy diet and an active lifestyle are essential to successful diabetes management. Each patient can take matters into their own hands.
In diabetes type 1, the pancreas is destroyed by antibodies, which are produced in the patient’s body. This autoimmune disease commonly appears in childhood or adolescence but may – although in a slightly different form – also develop in adults of any age (LADA). When the pancreas is too compromised, the body can no longer produce insulin, which is essential for allowing sugar to enter the cells. As a consequence, sugar builds up in the bloodstream and the cells are short of fuel.
The primary medication for type 1 diabetes is insulin to substitute for the body’s own compromised production. Insulin is injected via pen or a pump mimicking pancreatic function. A number of short- and long-acting insulin types are available. Thus, the optimal insulin can be chosen for each patient depending on their needs.
The Austrian Mother-Child-Booklet includes a medical screening (OGTT) for gestational diabetes between the 24th and the 28th week of pregnancy. Blood will be drawn several times after an oral liquid containing glucose has been administered. High blood glucose levels in one of the blood draws means you are affected by gestational diabetes. Normal blood sugar levels are essential for healthy fetal development. Thus, the expectant mother will have to measure her blood sugar levels at home. Blood sugar levels frequently normalize with diabetic diet, if not, insulin injections may be recommended.
There are also other rare forms of diabetes, such as MODY (maturity onset diabetes of the young), post- transplant diabetes, and LADA (late autoimmune diabetes of the adult), mentioned previously. Our office is happy to assist you with managing these forms of diabetes.
High blood sugar levels damage our blood vessels and may lead to complications such as cardiac arrest, stroke, renal and nerve damage, sight disorders and even coma.
See your doctor regularly for your check-ups. This reduces your risk for secondary disorders related to diabetes and allows your doctor to diagnose any diseases early on.
Patients, whose blood sugar levels are not managed well, experience severe cases of the novel corona virus.
Thus, it is our common goal to avoid late diabetic syndrome and serious corona virus infections through optimal diabetes management and an active and health conscious lifestyle.