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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  • 7 Answers
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Your doctor can diagnose diabetes by doing tests to measure the levels of sugar (glucose) in your blood. You might also experience symptoms of diabetes, including excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, and fatigue. There are several types of diabetes, but the most common are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes (which develops during pregnancy).
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    The best way to manage your diabetes while pregnant is to work with your doctor and other health experts to create the best plan for you. You should begin as soon as possible in your pregnancy. Your team of experts may include your endocrinologist or other diabetes specialist, your obstetrician and a dietician or diabetes educator. The overall goal of your health plan should be to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend that you check your blood glucose levels many times a day and also set up a schedule for frequent checkups and lab tests to monitor your blood sugar levels and overall health. You may also need a fitness plan, with recommended ways to stay active during your pregnancy. A meal plan to help you make smart food choices and have guidelines on when and how much to eat may also be a good idea. With careful monitoring and proper care, you can have a happy, normal pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Multiple types of doctors treat diabetes, including primary care, internal medicine, and endocrinology. Your primary care doctor should order annual labs including fasting sugars, which if elevated could be indicative of diabetes. Once you're diagnosed with diabetes, either your primary care physician or an endocrinologist can treat the diabetes. However, diet and exercise should be first line treatment of diabetes before medication is started.
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    The American Diabetes Association does not recommend one diet over others to prevent diabetes. However, eating fewer calories and cutting down on saturated fat can help lower weight, blood glucose, blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. Here are some helpful tips:
    • Choose lower-calorie snacks, such as having pretzels instead of potato chips
    • Eat smaller servings of your usual foods
    • Eat salad and at least one vegetable at dinner every night
    • Use lemon juice or vinegar on salad instead of sald dressing
    • Share your main course with a friend or family member when eating out
    • Take home half your main course when eating out
    • Cook in low fat ways: roast, broil, grill, steam, or bake, instead of deep-frying or pan frying
    Find out if you are at risk for prediabetes or diabetes at www.diabetes.org/risktest
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    A Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered on behalf of
    In the minds of doctors, stem cell research holds the best promise for curing type 1 diabetes. Stem cells have the capability to become cells of different types given the proper environment and the correct chemical signals, and researchers have made excellent progress in turning stem cells into insulin-producing cells.
    The advantage of stem cells is that, at least in theory, they can be grown in large numbers in the laboratory for use in patients, rather than having to depend on cells from organ donors.
    Some people have objected to stem cell research, of course, because most early stem cells were obtained from human embryos. However, stem cells can also be obtained from other sources, including from adult tissues and maybe even from the individual seeking treatment. The hope for stem cell research is that cells can be obtained in a way that wouldn't pose any moral or ethical dilemma and grown in large quantities, coaxed into producing insulin like normal pancreatic beta cells, and then transplanted back into the person with diabetes.
    If the stem cells could be obtained from the individual with diabetes, there might not be a need to take anti-rejection drugs, though the problem of autoimmunity that caused the diabetes to begin with would remain. Some form of immunosuppressive treatment might overcome this, or the person might require periodic stem cell infusions. There is even evidence that stem cells reside in normal pancreas tissue, and there may be the possibility that these can be triggered to form new insulin-producing cells in those with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
    Like so much in medical research, the prospect seems close because we understand many of the fundamentals, but it is still far off because there are many daunting technical challenges. Still, stem cell research is just in its infancy, and we're optimistic that the ability to grow new cells and tissues will lead to treatments for diabetes that we can only dream of at present.
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    A answered

    Levemir PenFill cartridges have been taken off the market in the United States.  There is currently a Levemir Flexpen available and the vials of Levemir. Novolin N will still be available after the end of the year. NovoNordisk is going to discontinue making certain delivery devices of the Novolin N, including the PenFills and FlexPens.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    A serious risk of taking Novolin, a form of insulin for people with diabetes, is hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar. If after using Novolin you feel dizzy, faint or weak, or you start sweating, your blood sugar may have dropped too low. Talk to your doctor about what you should do if this occurs. You’ll probably be advised to eat something with sugar, such as some hard candies, or to drink half a glass of juice. Get medical help if you suspect your symptoms are severe or they don't go away after you eat sugar.

    Other side effects can include signs of an allergic reaction, such as a rash, shortness of breath, blurred vision, wheezing, dizziness, fast heartbeat and trouble breathing or swallowing. If this happens, get emergency medical help right away. You may also experience redness, swelling or itching where the medicine was injected. Let your doctor know if this occurs.
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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    This is a blood test to diagnose diabetes that can be done any time of day. You are not required to fast beforehand. A result of more than 200 mg/dL usually indicates diabetes if the person also has symptoms such as weight loss, blurred vision, fatigue, excessive thirst and urination, and frequent infections that do not heal.
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    Random plasma glucose tests are the simplest way to detect diabetes. This test measures the amount of glucose in the blood at any given time and is done without fasting. If you have obvious symptoms of diabetes and the amount of glucose in your blood is 200 mg/dl or higher, you have diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, intense thirst, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, and extreme tiredness.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Dr. Robin Miller - diabetes screenings

    Countless people with diabetes don't know they have it, and the earlier diabetes is detected, the better. In this video, Dr. Robin Miller talks about the benefits of free diabetes-screening programs.