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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  • 1 Answer
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    People with diabetes have high blood sugar because they either don't make enough insulin (that's type 1 diabetes) or because insulin cannot deliver that glucose into the inside of cells that make up our muscle, fat, liver, and organs. These cells act like they have shut the door on insulin and prevent glucose from being delivered to the inside of the cells (type 2 diabetes).

    Obesity is the major risk factor in decreasing insulin's effectiveness, and the rise of obesity is the major reason why we've recently seen diabetes levels skyrocket.

    Of course, there are many problems associated with diabetes, including frequent urination, fatigue, impotence, nerve dysfunction, accelerated arterial aging, and even the development of vision problems that can cause blindness.

    The most important thing you can do to lower your risk of diabetes are to reduce your belly fat (waist), and exercise (even walking thirty minutes a day works miracles).
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps the body store and use glucose.

    Think of insulin as the U.S. Postal Service and glucose as the mail; insulin is responsible for delivering that glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into muscle, fat, liver, and most other cells so that your body can use it for fuel.

    I wish insulin had a similar mantra to the USPS-neither blood, not fat, nor DNA will keep insulin from delivering glucose throughout the body-but doesn't quite work that way. And problems happen either when the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin or because various parts of the body block insulin and prevent it from delivering glucose to those cells.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    You already know how essential physical activity is to your heart, bones, and whole body. But it can also have a special benefit for people at risk of getting diabetes.

    Exercise can help increases the sensitivity of your muscles to receive glucose (blood sugar). When you exercise, it releases insulin to transport that glucose-based fuel to your muscles and makes the insulin work better in getting glucose into your cells so that the glucose can be used-rather than leaving it at high levels in your bloodstream.

    In fact, it's rare to find someone who exercises who doesn't decrease their blood sugar levels at the same time.
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  • 6 Answers
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    A healthy blood sugar level is between 70 and 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) before meals and less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after the start of a meal, according to the American Diabetes Association. Three tests are commonly used to measure blood sugar levels. A random plasma glucose test is a blood test that is done at any time of day. It may indicate you have diabetes if your blood glucose level is 200 mg/dL or higher. A fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test is often done first thing in the morning, after you have not eaten for at least eight hours. You may be diagnosed with prediabetes (at risk for diabetes) if your blood glucose level is 100 to 125 mg/dL on the FPG test, and you may have diabetes if your level is 126 mg/dL or higher.

    The third test, called the oral glucose tolerance test, (OGTT) is also done after you have fasted for eight hours. You'll consume a glucose-containing beverage, and your blood will be taken two hours later. If your blood glucose level measures 200 mg/dL or higher on two different OGTTs, you may be diagnosed with diabetes. If it measures 140 to 199 on an OGTT, you may have prediabetes.
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  • 2 Answers
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    An oral glucose tolerance test (also called the OGTT) is the main test for diagnosing gestational diabetes. It's a three-hour test that checks your blood glucose levels at test times to see how your body handles a special sweet drink. If your glucose levels are above normal at least twice during the test, you have gestational diabetes.
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    Some hospitals offer a new type of surgery known as metabolic surgery. By surgically modifying the digestive system (with gastric bypass), surgeons have been able to reduce the severity of or eliminate Type 2 diabetes in obese patients.

    This program is based on work with morbidly obese patients, where doctors discovered that 90% of morbidly obese patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery experienced a reversal of diabetes – often within days to weeks of the surgery, and apparently independent of weight loss.

    Doctors also conducting clinical trials to treat Type 2 diabetes in patients with moderate to mild obesity, or no obesity at all.

  • 2 Answers
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Scientific studies have examined the potential role that certain dietary supplements may play in regulating blood sugar. Among the supplements that have been studied are chromium, alpha lipoic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, garlic, magnesium and ginseng. Although research continues, so far there is no solid scientific evidence that dietary supplements offer substantial benefits for diabetes or managing blood sugar. Furthermore, experts stress that no one should substitute dietary supplements for proven medical therapies for diabetes. You should always discuss supplements or any alternative therapies with your doctor before trying them.
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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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  • 4 Answers
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    People with type 2 diabetes cannot eat as much fruit as they may want, even though fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. The problem is that it contains carbohydrates that break down into glucose (sugar) when digested. Insulin is needed to allow the glucose to be used by the body’s cells. People with type 2 diabetes either have cells resistant to the effects of insulin or they simply don’t make enough of it.

    That’s why part of managing type 2 diabetes is watching what you eat and limiting the number of carbohydrates you consume. Depending on your size, activity level and the need to lose weight, you can have two to four servings of fruit a day. Choose fresh fruit, or frozen or canned fruit without added sugar. Talk to your dietitian or diabetes educator about what your meal plan should include.

     Remember that one serving size of fruit equals:
    • a small piece of whole fruit, like an apple or orange
    • 1/2 cup of frozen or canned fruit (canned in juice or light syrup)
    • 3/4 to 1 cup of berries or melon
    • 2 tablespoons of dried fruit like raisins or dried cherries
    • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of juice
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  • 3 Answers
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    A Nephrology, answered on behalf of
    That is a very broad question since there are hundreds of studies published in the field of diabetes research every year. However, as an example, let's take a look at recent ADA (American Diabetes Association) -funded research in the specific areas of nutrition and diabetic heart and blood vessel disease:
    1. Mediterranean diet and incidence of and mortality from coronary heart disease and stroke in women, by Teresa T. Fund, et al., published in Circulation 119:1093‐1100, 2009.
      Study Summary: Women can reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke by following a "Mediterranean" diet that is rich in monounsaturated fat, plant-based protein, whole grains, and fish, with only moderate amounts of alcohol, and low in red meat, refined grains, and sweets.
       
    2. Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the Multi‐Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, by Jennifer A. Nettleton, et al., published in Diabetes Care 32:726‐688‐694, 2009.
      Study Summary: People who drank diet soda at least once a day had a 36% greater chance of having a high waist measurement and high blood glucose levels. People who drank diet soda at least once a day also had a 67% higher chance of getting diabetes compared to those who did not drink diet sodas, and this was not related to body fat measurements.
       
    3. Body mass index and vigorous physical activity and the risk of heart failure among men, by Satish Kenchaiahm et al., Published in Circulation 119:44‐52, 2009
      Study Summary: After taking other factors into account, every increase of 1 in BMI (Body Mass Index) raised the chance of having heart failure by 11%. Compared to lean participants, those who were overweight were 49% more likely and those who were obese were 180% more likely to suffer from heart failure. Getting vigorous exercise lowered the risk of heart failure by about 18%. Lean active men had the lowest and obese inactive men had the highest chances of having heart failure.
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