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
    If you have diabetes and your blood glucose readings are consistently higher or lower than your target, or if you get a reading that is unexpectedly high or low, this could indicate a problem. Discuss with your health care team in advance what you should do if your readings are way off scale. If you detect patterns in your glucose levels that indicate a need to adjust your plan, let the team know. For example, you may find that your blood glucose levels tend to be high when you check in the morning. This could be because your body is “rebounding” from a very low blood glucose level while you sleep. Try checking your blood around 3 a.m. If you discover hypoglycemia, treat it as you normally would.
  • 1 Answer
    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    A review of 6 studies that included over 95,000 men and women (including over 4,000 people with diabetes) showed that aspirin reduced the risk of nonfatal heart attacks by about 12%.

    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. 
  • 1 Answer
    If you have type 2 diabetes, Trulicity (dulaglutide) combined with a healthy diet and exercise can help you better control your blood sugar level. Proper blood glucose control is important to prevent long-term complications of diabetes such as damage to blood vessels and nerves. 

    However, Trulicity is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes. Metformin or Glucophage is usually tried first. 

    Trulicity typically leads to a significant decrease in HbA1c, especially when coupled with other diabetes medications like metformin. The drug is taken once a week. This may be preferred if you have difficulty remembering to take your current medication or you want more flexibility. 

    Before taking Trulicity, it is important to tell your doctor if you have:
    • a history of severe gastrointestinal (GI) disease
    • a personal or family history of thyroid cancer 
    As always, it’s important to let your provider know of all prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medications you are taking.
  • 2 Answers
    Tresiba (insulin degludec) is a type of insulin that has been sold in Europe since 2013. Tresiba is available in U-100 and U-200 forms.

    In clinical trials, the drug was linked to decreased low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially at night. In most studies, weight gain was similar when comparing Tresiba with another type of insulin called Lantus.

    Tresiba allows a flexible dosing schedule and lasts more than 24 hours. With the medicine's FlexTouch pen, one can receive a dose of up to 160 units at a time. (It is not uncommon for some users with type 2 diabetes to use that much). This means you don’t have to take your dose at the same time every day. For example, you could take your dose Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m., and then again at 11:00 a.m. on Monday.
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    Your doctor will need to test your kidney function before starting treatment. If you have severe kidney impairment or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you should not take an SGLT2 inhibitor.

    If you have severe liver impairment, you should not take canagliflozin. Other SGLT2 inhibitors may also not be good options for you.

    If you have bladder cancer, you should not take dapagliflozin. If you have had bladder cancer in the past, dapagliflozin may not be a good option for you.

    If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or may be pregnant, SGLT2 inhibitors may not be good options for you. It is not known if they are safe for pregnant women.

    You should not take an SGLT2 inhibitor 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. 
  • 1 Answer
    Jardiance (empagliflozin) is a medicine that can help people with type 2 diabetes stay in control of their blood glucose levels. When starting Jardiance, you can expect: 
    • a moderate drop in your HbA1c level (0.5%-1%, depending on your baseline)
    • a moderate decrease in your fasting plasma glucose of 30 mg/dL
    • to lose about three to six pounds, or 2.5%-5% of your body weight 
    • a small but significant lowering of the top (systolic) number of your blood pressure reading (about 2-4 mmHg)
    Researchers noticed these improvements in clinical trials. Your results on the drug may be even better. The bottom line is that if you want to have better diabetes control and lose weight without low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), Jardiance may be a good option for you.
  • 1 Answer
    A , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered

    There is no one-size-fits-all program for diabetics or for nondiabetics seeking to be as healthy as they can be. But there are some basics that everyone should heed. Among them are:

    -Get and maintain a positive attitude.

    -Do not smoke.

    -Reduce your consumption of refined sugar.

    -Cut loose heavy drinking - or you may need to abstain from alcohol.

    -Do not eat supersize meals.

    -If you eat meat, eat lean meat and less meat.

    -Eat more fruits and veggies.

    -Drink lots of water.

    -Reduce your stress level.

    -Laugh, laugh, and laugh!

    -Get off your butt and move! I don’t care if it’s swimming, walking, or mopping. Just get up and move. Trust me, your hair can handle it!
  • 1 Answer
    In Sugar Nation, author Jeff O'Connell makes an irrefutable case that lifestyle changes are critical in combating a diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes. While manipulating dietary choices is the logical place to begin in diabetes management, he stresses the importance of exercise as an essential element in combating the disease. "Along with a low-carb eating plan, a gym membership is the most potent antidote to type 2 diabetes," writes O'Connell.

    He speaks with experts who identify high-intensity interval exercise (HIIT) as the preferred workout regimen to affect insulin sensitivity. HIIT is a style of training where you "alternate bursts of intense cardio exercise, like sprinting, with a more relaxed pace." While HIIT training demands greater exertion, it's also a workout that can be completed in shorter time than traditional cardio workouts.

    James Timmons, PhD, a university researcher who studied HIIT's influence on diabetics, told the writer: "The intense contractions that fatigue muscle really break down carbohydrate stores in muscle as well. The muscles then become much more responsive to insulin as they attempt to replenish these stores." As O'Connell sums up: "[T]he latest studies suggest that the blood sugar benefits of high-intensity training don't just meet those of longer, steady-pace cardio sessions -- they exceed them."

    Research has also found that exercise can deliver enormous benefits to diabetics even when sufferers fail to reach their weight-loss goals. "In the Diabetes Prevention Program, those subjects who didn't hit their target weight loss, yet did hit their target for exercise, still had a 44% reduction in diabetes risk relative to a placebo group."

    Whatever type of workout program you engage in, do it as regularly as you would take a medication for diabetes. It's that powerful.
  • 6 Answers
    A answered
    Who is a candidate for diabetes treatment?
    Diabetes treatment includes more than the supplies from your pharmacist. In this video, Michelle Lalick, RN, BSN, CDE, of Mercy Health, explains that treatment can also include a specific diet and exercise plan.

    Trinity Health recognizes that people seek medical information on a variety of topics for a variety of reasons. Trinity Health does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. As a Catholic health care organization, Trinity Health acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition.

    Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.
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  • 1 Answer
    A , Geriatric Medicine, answered
    Medicare provides coverage of the following diabetes-related services for qualified Medicare beneficiaries:
    • Diabetes screening tests
    • Diabetes self-management training
    • Medical nutrition therapy
    • Glaucoma screening (e.g., dilated eye exam with an intraocular pressure measurement)
    • Diabetes supplies (glucose monitoring equipment and therapeutic shoes) and other services (e.g., foot care)