Consulting an Internist for Diabetes Treatment: A Guide

Diabetes prevention and education are on the rise as an alarming number of diabetic patients also increases. Patients usually go to general doctors for treatment. However, many patients are unaware that an internist is the best doctor to address most of a diabetic’s symptoms.

Internists are generally primary care doctors who can diagnose and treat any medical problem requiring surgery. An internist will send the patient to a surgeon if a surgical operation is required as part of the treatment.

What Is Diabetes and What Are the Types of Diabetes?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), diabetes is a chronic condition with lifelong symptoms affecting the body’s ability to convert food into energy. A diabetic’s body cannot make insulin or use the insulin usually. It leads to a lack of insulin or the body’s cells becoming immune or unresponsive to insulin, and as a result, there is a build-up of excessive blood sugar levels in the bloodstream. 

This condition has side effects such as heart disease, kidney disease, vision loss, and in worst cases, limb amputation when gangrene develops and becomes incurable in a patient’s extremities.

There is no known cure for diabetes except for insulin management, avoiding obesity, eating healthy, and an active lifestyle. Diabetes education is therefore vital to prevent the disease, especially in today’s population where there’s an alarming rate of obesity even in children.

Here are the types of diabetes and their symptoms:

  • Type 2 Diabetes: A Type 2 diabetic experiences increasing blood sugar levels due to insulin immunity. Their pancreas works harder to produce insulin that will go unused, resulting in high levels of glucose retention in the patient’s bloodstream.
  • Type 1 Diabetes: A Type 1 diabetic’s body recognizes healthy cells as a threat to the body, and therefore, attacked and destroyed by the immune system. It causes the patient’s body to lose all ability to produce insulin.

While seeing an internist first can be helpful for someone with diabetes, it may be in their best interest to see a specialist as well.

When a Type 2 diabetic is left untreated, their condition can escalate to Type 1. Diabetes is deadly if there is no proper treatment. You need to consult with an internist right away, so you can be properly diagnosed and receive appropriate care. 

Can Internists Diagnose and Treat Diabetes?

Internists can diagnose and treat diabetes, but an internist will refer the patient to a specialist who can perform needed surgeries when surgery is required. If you have multiple symptoms and side effects due to diabetes, you need to consult a specialist. 

How Does Weight Loss Benefit Diabetics?

Obesity significantly raises the chance of getting type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, you must start a weight loss program that lessens your reliance on diabetic medication. If you are a type 1 diabetic or at risk of developing diabetes, weight loss can also help you avoid developing type 2 diabetes.

For instance, gestational diabetics, or women who have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, can develop type 1 or 2 diabetes if they don’t manage their weight or adopt a healthy diet.

If you are at risk, visit an internist as soon as possible so you can be prescribed an effective weight loss and diabetes prevention program to eliminate the chances of being a full-blown diabetic. 

Your internist can also assist you in losing weight by prescribing appetite suppressants and other therapies that a licensed physician can only prescribe.

Diabetes Management’s Dynamic Duo: The Endocrinologist and Internist

An endocrinologist is a physician who specializes in treating patients who have endocrine system diseases, such as thyroid disease or diabetes. Internists are primary care doctors who focus on adult patients and typically work with patients to manage chronic illnesses.

If you have type 1 diabetes (the autoimmune form of the illness), your care will most likely be managed by an endocrinologist. For patients with type 2 diabetes, an internist may oversee their treatment plan unless complications arise, at which point the internist may send you to an endocrinologist.


As with any kind of disease, prevention always beats treatment. Why wait for your symptoms to continue and develop into diabetes when you can prevent it from happening? It is a disease that can take away the quality of life, and treatments in severe cases are very costly. Type 2 diabetes, in particular, is a deadly disease claiming 79,535 deaths per year, primarily due to complications. Visit a reputed internist today so that you can live a healthy, diabetes-free life!

At Garden State Medical Group, we pride ourselves on a reputed team of board-certified general doctors, primary care doctors, and internists in the New Jersey area, led by Dr. Kamalesh Shah. We are passionate advocates for our patients by providing premier personalized service focusing on prevention, management, and education. Book an appointment with us today!


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