Diabetes Specialist

Donald Cedric Wallerson, MD

Cardiologist located in Bronx, NY

Diabetes is a chronic condition that has been linked with an increased risk for heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. At his practice in The Bronx, NY, Dr. Donald Wallerson uses advanced testing and evaluations to help patients with diabetes reduce their risks for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, including heart attack and stroke.

Diabetes Q & A

What causes diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that’s related to the level of sugar or glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose is used by the cells to create the energy they need to function properly. In order for glucose to be used by the cells, it needs to be converted to a usable form with the help of a hormone called insulin. In diabetes, either there is not enough insulin being produced (type 1) or the body doesn’t use insulin properly (type 2). Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the pancreas where insulin is produced; type 2 is a metabolic condition that’s associated with obesity and insulin resistance.

How is diabetes related to heart disease and stroke?

Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels, which in turn can cause organ damage, including damage to the heart. In addition, diabetes can increase the risk of atherosclerosis or “clogged” arteries by making it easier for sticky cholesterol deposits to cling to artery walls. Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Studies show people with diabetes are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as someone who does not have diabetes, and these issues are also more likely to occur at a younger age in people who are diabetic. Heart attacks in people who have diabetes also tend to be more serious and are more likely to result in death.

How is diabetes diagnosed?

Diabetes can be diagnosed with a routine blood test.

How is diabetes treated?

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that requires ongoing treatment to keep it under control so serious complications can be avoided. Some people with diabetes or prediabetes )elevated levels of blood sugar that significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes) can lower their glucose levels with lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, being more physically active and losing excess weight. But many people will require insulin medications, either with injections or pills, to help keep their glucose levels under control. Regular glucose monitoring and routine doctor’s visits are also important for ensuring treatment remains optimized for each patient’s evolving needs.