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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    Eating out is a big part of today’s lifestyle—and there is no reason why you should avoid restaurants because you have diabetes. However, it is important to know what you’re eating and to make healthy choices from the menu.

    Tips for Eating Out

    • Don’t be afraid to ask about ingredients or the serving size of dishes.
    • Try to eat the same portion size you would eat at home. Don’t feel you need to clean your plate just to get your money’s worth.
    • Ask your server if you can order a smaller portion at a reduced price, share a plate with your companion, or put extra food in “doggy bag” to take home.
    • Ask if no or less butter can be used in preparing your meal.
    • Ask that sauces, gravy, salad dressings, sour cream, and butter be served on the side or left off altogether.
    • Choose broiled, baked, poached, or grilled meats and fish rather than fried.
    • Try asking for substitutions, such as low-fat cottage cheese, baked potato, or even extra vegetables, instead of French fries.
    • If you take insulin, ask your health care team for guidelines on adjusting your dose when you eat out.
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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    Once you have the design for diabetes built into your body, something needs to trigger it. Your genetics are your diabetes hardware. Your age and weight are your diabetes software. If you are set up for diabetes, it shows up when you are old enough (usually about 40) or heavy enough. If you are really skinny, you probably got your diagnosis later in life. If you are a bit hefty, you probably got your diagnosis earlier in life.
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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered

    Sometimes I see someone with diabetes whose parents don’t have it. Well, you are the unique joining of two family trees. Maybe mom’s side didn’t have diabetes. Maybe dad’s side didn’t have diabetes. But you do. Something happened when mixing your mother’s genes and your father’s genes that created a new family of people with diabetes. Everything starts somewhere.

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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    Diabetes, at least the most common kind, tends to creep up on its victims over a period of many years. The high blood sugar caused by diabetes makes you feel like crap, but you probably don’t even know it yet because the changes happen so slowly, a little bit at a time. It is so gradual that you chalked up your symptoms to getting older, being busier than usual, or being stressed out. Diabetes typically doesn’t get diagnosed until after you’ve been feeling terrible for quite a while.
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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    Diabetes diagnosis means treatment, and treatment means improvement. The good news is that you are going to feel ten years younger in a matter of months. Your energy is about to start going up, up, up. You won’t be so thirsty. Instead of getting up four times a night to pee, you’ll sleep through the night. Your love life will improve. Your vision will get sharp. You won’t be so crabby, you might not notice, but your loved ones sure will. Bottom line: From this very day forward, it all gets better.
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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    More than 4,000 Americans were diagnosed with diabetes on the same day you were. And the same thing is happening today. And 4,000 more will join us tomorrow. That's almost 1.5 million Americans every year who are diagnosed with diabetes.
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    You may feel that you don’t really need a dietitian. Maybe you’ve seen sample meal plans recommended for people with diabetes that look easy enough to use. But remember, your meal plan is not a short-term diet that you can follow for a few weeks. You are developing a new way of eating that will stay with you throughout your life.

    A dietitian can help tailor a meal plan to suit your tastes and schedule. As you reach goals or your lifestyle changes, you can remodel your plan to suit these changes. Products change, your life and health needs change, and you change. As these events occur, your dietary goals will change, and you will probably need a new plan.

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     A dietitian can help you learn any of these approaches to managing your food:

    • What types of foods and how much you need to eat every day.
    • How many grams of carbohydrates to eat each day to keep your blood glucose within your target range—and how to count carbohydrates (see more on carbohydrate counting in the next section).
    • How many grams of fat to eat if you want to keep your fat intake low. Generally, this means that the fat in your diet provides no more than 30% of the calories you take in per day. You may also want to discuss how to count fat grams.
    • How to adjust your meals for exercise.
    • Which foods to have on hand to treat hypoglycemia and sick days.
    • New ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
    • How to reduce your sodium intake—and how to count sodium in milligrams.
    • How to read food labels.
    • How to meet your nutritional needs when following a specific meal plan such as a vegetarian diet.
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  • 4 Answers
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    You’ll need to make sure that your calorie and carbohydrate intake is balanced with your medication and physical activity. A dietitian or diabetes educator can help you come up with a meal plan that fits your goals and includes foods you like.

    Registered Dietitian (RD): A health care professional who advises people about meal planning, nutrition, and weight control. A dietitian who is also a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) has additional training in diabetes management and can assist you with your overall diabetes care.

    Diabetes Educator: A health care professional who teaches people with diabetes how to manage their disease. A diabetes educator can also be a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). This means he or she has additional expertise in all areas of diabetes care and has successfully passed a national exam.

     

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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    Sensor lag refers to the real-time effect of CGM sensor readings lagging "behind” fingerstick meter readings.This happens because the interstitial fluid glucose that the sensor measures tends to lag behind the capillary glucose that the fingerstick meter reads, especially when the blood sugar is changing rapidly.