Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

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    Insulin helps keep blood glucose levels on target by moving glucose from the blood into your body's cells. Your cells then use the glucose for energy. In people who don't have diabetes, the body makes the right amount of insulin on its own. But, when you have diabetes, you and your doctor must decide how much insulin you need throughout the day and night.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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    If your body no longer makes enough insulin, you'll need to take it. Insulin is used for all types of diabetes. Your doctor can help you decide which way of taking insulin is best for you. Diabetes medicines come in several forms. They are as follows:

    Injections: You give yourself shots using a needle and syringe. The syringe is a hollow tube with a plunger. You put your dose of insulin into the tube. Some people use an insulin pen, which looks like a pen but has a needle for its point. Insulin pumps: An insulin pump is a small machine about the size of a cell phone, worn outside of your body on a belt or in a pocket or pouch. The pump connects to a small plastic tube and a very small needle. The needle is inserted under the skin and stays in for several days. Insulin is pumped from the machine through the tube into your body. Insulin jet injectors: The jet injector, which looks like a large pen, sends a fine spray of insulin through the skin with high-pressure air instead of a needle.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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    AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    Blood sugar levels not only vary from person to person with diabetes, but can vary in the same person from hour to hour or even more frequently. Exercising, drinking alcohol, eating and other factors can all affect your blood sugar levels. That's why keeping blood sugar under control in someone with diabetes can be tricky and may require frequent or even continuous blood glucose monitoring. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about the best ways to monitor your own blood sugar levels.
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    Low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) can make you feel shaky, weak, confused, irritable, hungry, or tired. You may sweat a lot or get a headache. If you have these symptoms, check your blood glucose. If it is below 70, have one of the following right away:

    Three or four glucose tablets One serving of glucose gel-the amount equal to 15 grams of carbohydrate Half a cup (4 oz.) of any fruit juice Half a cup (4 oz.) of a regular (not diet) soft drink One cup (8 oz.) of milk Five or six pieces of hard candy One tablespoon of sugar or honey After 15 minutes, check your blood glucose again. If it's still too low, have another serving. Repeat these steps until your blood glucose level is 70 or higher. If it will be an hour or more before your next meal, have a snack as well.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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    You can keep your blood glucose levels on target by doing as follows:

    Making wise food choices Being physically active Taking medicines if needed

    For people taking certain diabetes medicines, following a schedule for meals, snacks, and physical activity is best. However, some diabetes medicines allow for more flexibility.

    Talk with your doctor or diabetes teacher about how many meals and snacks to eat each day.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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    You can take good care of yourself and your diabetes by learning the following:

    What to eat How much to eat When to eat

    Making wise food choices can help you with following:

    Feel good every day. Lose weight if you need to. Lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other problems caused by diabetes. Healthful eating helps keep your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, within your target range. Physical activity and, if needed, diabetes medicines also help. The diabetes target range is the blood glucose level suggested by diabetes experts for good health. You can help prevent health problems by keeping your blood glucose levels on target.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

  • 7 Answers
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    Sugar has long had a bad reputation, especially among people with diabetes. People used to think that eating sugar would cause blood glucose levels to rise much more rapidly than other types of carbohydrates, such as bread or potatoes. So although bread and potatoes were okay to eat, pure sugar or sugar-laden treats were considered taboo. Well, it turns out that the total amount of carbohydrates and its combination with other nutrients, such as fat, are much more important.

    Foods that contain sugar can be part of your diabetes plan. You’ll just need to account for the calories and carbohydrates. Keep in mind, sugar has little nutritional value, so filling up on sugars won’t allow you to eat as much as the nutrient-rich carbohydrates.

    Your dietitian can help you learn how to count sugar as part of your carbohydrate allotment in your meal plan. For example, if you plan on having a small piece of cake for dessert, you might want to skip the rolls you normally have at dinner. Your dietitian or health care provider can also help you decide whether you need to adjust your medication dose to deal with the extra carbohydrates.

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    AReza Yavari, MD, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    Why is educating patients an important part of diabetes management?

    Educating patients is an important part of diabetes management, since nutrition and exercise has a direct impact; organization is also crucial to managing the disease. Watch endocrinologist Reza Yavari, MD, discuss why diabetes education is vital.

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    AWilliam Lee Dubois, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    Weight is a really amazing risk factor for diabetes, but it’s not simple either. First off, let’s be clear, being fat does not cause diabetes. If it did, half the nation would have diabetes, because right now, half the nation is seriously overweight. In point of fact, about 10% of the nation has diabetes, so 80% of overweight people have ducked the bullet.

    But please set down the Twinkie. I’m not done yet. If you’ve got a genetic pre-disposition for diabetes, the two most common triggers are age and weight. It used to be that Type-2 diabetes showed up around 40 years of age. The reason for that is that 40 seemed to be that magic tipping point of enough age combined with having been married long enough to get sloppy about one’s weight (of course no one noticed they were getting heavy, they just thought that their spouse was shrinking their pants in the laundry).

    But now we are seeing a fascinating and scary trend. People are getting T-2 diabetes earlier and earlier. Why? Because people are getting fatter and fatter and earlier and earlier ages.

    We now have cases of children developing full blow T-2 diabetes at ages as young as 9. What makes this triple-scary is that they need to live with diabetes for a longer time period, and for some reason early onset seems to trigger a more aggressive form of the disease. Some experts believe that pre-teens diagnosed with T-2 will pre-decease their parents.

    And before we close, quickly back to the “genetic predisposition,” don’t think that you are risk-free for diabetes just because no one in your family tree ever had it. Every human ever born is the joining to two family trees. Just because your mother didn’t have diabetes and just because you father didn’t have diabetes doesn’t mean that something new won’t cop up when mixing the two sets of genes.
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    ADiscovery Health answered

    Obviously, many people would enjoy eating sweets without gaining weight. Because it removes the need for sugar, miraculin could be very helpful to diabetics and for those desiring to lose weight but having trouble sticking to their diet.

    Miracle fruit growers also have reporter that some cancer patients seek out the fruit because they find it removes the metallic taste that sometimes results as a side effect of chemotherapy.

    The U.S. Army has researched the berry, too, perhaps thinking the berry could help make unpalatable rations edible.
    In Tokyo, The Miracle Fruits Cafe offers desserts with no more than 100 calories. On their own, they are bland and bitter, but once they eat the miracle fruit, the cakes and ice cream taste scrumptious to patrons.

    One Japanese importer has found a way to freeze-dry the berries. Japanese researchers, in 2006, were able to genetically engineer lettuce to produce miraculin. If miraculin can be produced in more forms, it has a greater chance of having widespread use.