Diabetes Specialist

Jason Leonard, MD, FAAFP, DABOM -  - Board-Certified Family Practice Physician

Jason Leonard, MD, FAAFP, DABOM

Board-Certified Family Practice Physician & Board-Certified Obesity Medicine Specialist located in Sumter, SC & Columbia, SC

Nearly 10% of Americans have diabetes, a metabolic disease that’s linked to heart disease, nerve damage, and more. Having diabetes means you have a chronic health condition that needs expert management to prevent complications. Jason Leonard, MD, FAAFP, DABOM, partners with men and women living in Columbia and Sumter, South Carolina, and surrounding communities, helping them manage diabetes and maintain their health. Book an appointment online or call the office nearest you today.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is the medical term for more than 100 types of metabolic conditions, often referred to simply as diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the two most common. While Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that generally develops in childhood, Type 2 diabetes usually develops later in life as the result of lifestyle and genetic factors. 

Sugar, or glucose, is your body’s main source of energy. When you have diabetes, your body can’t effectively use the glucose it gets from your liver and the food you eat. Rather than moving glucose from your bloodstream to your cells, sugar gets stuck in your blood and your blood sugar rises.

Am I at risk for diabetes?

The exact cause of diabetes isn’t known. But several factors increase the likelihood of developing diabetes in your lifetime. 

Risk factors for diabetes include:

  • Being older than 45
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Being of African-Amerian, Asian-American, or Hispanic descent

Prediabetes is the precursor to a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. You could be diagnosed with prediabetes if your blood sugar is high, but you don’t have diabetes yet. Prediabetes can be reversed with lifestyle changes, but diabetes can’t be cured.

How can I manage my diabetes?

If you have risk factors for diabetes or you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, preventive medicine can improve your health and help prevent the onset of diabetes. Once you have diabetes, it can’t be fully reversed, but it can be managed effectively to limit the symptoms. 

If you have diabetes, it’s important to know that you don’t have to suffer a lower quality of life because of it. Dr. Leonard offers customized diabetes management and the support you need to keep your diabetes controlled and minimize your risk of complications.

When diabetes isn’t controlled, it can cause a range of serious health issues, because high blood sugar can slowly damage your body over time. Some common complications include:

  • Heart disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Alzheimer’s disease

The right diabetes care can prevent severe complications like these. Dr. Leonard helps you monitor your blood sugar, find the right medication, and implement lifestyle and nutrition changes to keep you as healthy as possible.

Find a partner in diabetes management with Dr. Leonard and his expert team. Call or click to schedule your first appointment.