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.

Recently Answered

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    Meglitinide is a medication prescribed especially for people with type 2 diabetes. However, it is not suitable for every person with type 2 diabetes. It is therefore important, before you even start taking meglitinide, to make sure your doctor knows about:
    • Any allergies you have, especially an allergy to this medication.
    • Any health conditions you have besides diabetes, especially any diseases of the liver, kidneys, or adrenal or pituitary glands.
    • Anything else you take for your health, like vitamins, herbal supplements, or other over-the-counter and prescription medications.
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    If you have had thyroid cancer or a family history of thyroid cancer, you should not take a GLP-1 receptor agonist.

    If you have gastropathy, GLP-1 agonists can lead to side effects and should be avoided.

    If you have had pancreatitis, GLP-1 receptor agonists may not be good options for you.

    If you have impaired kidney function, GLP-1 agonists may not be good options for you. Exenatide should not be taken by people with severe kidney impairment or end-stage renal disease.

    If you have impaired liver function, dulaglutide may not be a good option for you.

    If you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN-2), you should not take a GLP-1 receptor agonist.

    You should not take Saxenda if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or may be pregnant. It is not known if other GLP-1 receptor agonists are safe for pregnant women.

    You should not take a GLP-1 receptor agonist if you are breastfeeding.

    This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.
  • 2 Answers
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    The important thing to know about oral diabetes drugs is that they can be used only by people with type 2 diabetes -- not type 1. Oral diabetes drugs are also not considered safe for use by pregnant women.

    It's also important to recognize that oral diabetes drugs can't take the place of good lifestyle habits. You still need to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to control your blood sugar and stay healthy overall. Finally, oral diabetes drugs work best in people who are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. If you already take significant amounts of insulin or have had diabetes for 10 years or longer, oral diabetes drugs may not be the right choice for you. Talk to your doctor about whether you are a good candidate for oral diabetes drugs.
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    Your doctor will need to test your kidney function before starting treatment. Before starting alogliptin, liver function will also be tested. Alogliptin may cause liver failure.

    Gliptins may cause pancreatitis or make it worse.

    If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or may be pregnant, gliptins may not be good options for you. It is not known if they are safe for pregnant women.

    If you are breastfeeding, gliptins may not be a good option for you. It is not known if they can be passed into breast milk.

    This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.
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    There are risks in taking glitazones in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Glitazones have been associated with increased risk for some serious conditions. These include:
    • Liver damage. To check for liver damage, your doctor will give you regular blood tests. With good treatment, liver damage can usually be reversed.
    • Heart problems. Glitazones can cause or worsen heart failure, a condition in which your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.
    • Bone fractures in women. Glitazones have not been shown to increase the risk of bone fractures in men.
    • Bladder cancer. Your doctor can discuss these risks with you, weighing them against the potential benefits of using a glitazone medication or a different medication.
  • 3 Answers
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    A answered
    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists increase insulin levels when needed, reduce the amount of glucose produced by the liver and reduce the rate of digestion. As a result, people may have less appetite and lose weight.

    Both DPP-IV inhibitors and GLP-1 agonists help glucose remain stable for longer periods and have few side effects. Unlike the sulfonylureas, used decades earlier, these medications do not increase the risk of hypoglycemia.

    Whereas GLP-1 agonists used to require several daily injections, they can now be used just once a week.
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    Type 2 diabetes is lifelong condition that requires a specific diabetes management plan. If you are taking DPP-4 inhibitors or any other medication for your diabetes, and your diabetes symptoms go away or you decide you feel fine now, do not stop taking your medication. You need this medication to stay well.
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    Because diabetes pills act in different ways to lower blood glucose levels, they may be used together. For example, a biguanide and a sulfonylurea may be used together. Many combinations can be used. Though taking more than one drug can be more costly and can increase the risk of side effects, combining oral medications can improve blood glucose control when taking only a single pill does not have the desired effects. Switching from one single pill to another is not as effective as adding another type of diabetes medicine.
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    A Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered on behalf of
    There are several reasons to keep a medication list. For one thing, studies show surprisingly poor communication between physicians and their patients regarding medications. Maybe the doctor thought she said to take the pill twice a day, but you understood it to be once a day. And if, like most people, you see more than one doctor, you're probably the only one who knows what they've all prescribed. Last, medical records are often incomplete or inaccurate. Your list can set things right.
    Include the name of each medication, the tablet or capsule strength, how many tablets or capsules you take, and when you take them. Update the list every time there is a change. If you take insulin, indicate what type, how many units, and when you take it. Be sure to also include any over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or supplements you take.
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    To make sure you have the medication you need when you need it, follow these tips:
    • Refill your prescriptions before you run out of medication and before it expires. Try to replace refill orders at the pharmacy at least two days before you need the medication.
    • If you run out of insulin completely, contact your doctor. Never skip a dose -- your pharmacy can always arrange to get you the medication you need.