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

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Diabetic meters are generally safe to use. But pricking your skin to get a blood sample may be painful.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Pharmacy, answered
    If you don’t like pricking your fingertips to get the blood sample needed for testing, newer models of diabetic meters allow you to use blood from your forearm, upper arm, thumb, calf, or thigh. Be aware, though that your results may not be accurate if you have recently eaten, taken insulin or exercised, or are sick or under stress. If you are experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia and the meter reading does not indicate that you have low blood sugar re-test with blood from your fingertip.
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Diabetic meters measure the amount of glucose in a drop of blood. The blood sample, usually taken from your fingertip, is placed on a disposable test strip that is coated with chemicals that react with glucose inserted into the meter. Inside the meter, the test strip is zapped with an electrical current and your blood sugar level is  displayed.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    It is very important to set the date and time for your blood sugar meter. Make sure the date is right and the hour, if not right, is close. The meter has a memory because the meter companies know you don’t bother to keep an actual paper logbook of your blood sugar readings. If the time is set wrong, your computerized logbook in the meter will be wrong, and all the data will be worthless.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered on behalf of
    The Holy Grail of glucose monitoring would be a system that will let you know your blood sugar without breaking your skin at all, called a noninvasive glucose monitor. Some devices have been developed and even sold in the United States and elsewhere, but there are really no versions available right now that are as reliable as the standard meters or the continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). Some of the ads you see on TV that say "no finger sticks" are really talking about getting blood by pricking yourself somewhere else, such as the forearm. Be sure you know what you're getting! Many companies are working hard to develop systems that will allow for noninvasive testing, because they know that millions of people around the world with diabetes will rush to their doors the minute something reliable and economical becomes available.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Some people think diabetic lancets are painful. A lancet with a higher gauge produces a smaller puncture and may be less painful. With some lancets you prick yourself, but others are spring-loaded and pierce your skin without any help from you. There are several types of lancets you can try to find one you like.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    There are several blood glucose meters that check more than blood glucose. One meter measures blood glucose and ketones. Another measures blood glucose, ketones, and lipids (including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and.triglycerides).
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Diabetic lancets are used to puncture the skin to get a blood sample that you test to determine how much glucose is in your blood. With some lancets you prick yourself, but others are spring-loaded and pierce your skin without any help from you. Once your skin is punctured, you gently kneed the area to coax a drop of blood to the surface.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Whether you have severe visual impairment or just have a hard time focusing on small print, you may want to bear this aspect in mind when choosing a blood glucose meter. There are products for visually impaired or disabled users. For example, meters are available with voice guides. Otherwise, look for a meter with a large digital display if you have difficulty reading the numbers. If you have any degree of color-blindness, test-drive a few different models. Make sure that you have no trouble reading the digital display. If you have even some vision loss, perhaps a close companion or family member can help. Make sure that he or she is trained in the use of your meter and the other components of your diabetes toolbox.
  • 3 Answers
    A
    To choose the right blood glucose meter, you may want to consider several aspects: insurance coverage, your budget, ease of use, test site, your schedule, your vision, your support system, user-friendliness, accuracy, meter size, meter memory, data management systems, language, battery and machine replacement, blood contamination, and convenience.
    See All 3 Answers