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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    A Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered on behalf of
    How has our understanding of diabetes changed?
    In this video, Ronald Tamler, MD, clinical director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center, discusses how our approach to blood sugar control has changed.
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    A Gastroenterology, answered on behalf of
    Diabetes can affect your intestinal tract by causing diarrhea, bloating or gas. Your stomach may not empty well. You may also experience nausea and vomiting.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Diabetes is not a new disease, but the prognosis and quality of life for people with diabetes today is very different from what it was 50 years ago. That's because strategies for preventing type 2 diabetes and treatments for both type 1 and type 2 have evolved a great deal. For example, in the 1950s, about one-third of people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes died within 25 years of being diagnosed. Today that number is about 7%. In the 1950s, about 90% of people with type 1 diabetes eventually became blind. Today, treatments for diabetic retinopathy can reduce risks of blindness by 90%.

    Some changes are not so positive. Years ago, type 2 diabetes was called "adult-onset" diabetes because it was rarely seen in children. Today about 3,700 people under age 20 are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year. Researchers continue to seek better ways to prevent diabetes and its complications and develop treatments that help people with the condition live longer, healthier lives.
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    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    The term 'basal rate' in diabetes treatment refers to small amounts of insulin delivered by an insulin pump every hour to keep a diabetic’s blood sugar in control between meals and overnight.
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    You may receive diabetes care from a primary care provider, an internist, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, or an endocrinologist or a diabetologist. If you see a diabetes specialist, you also need a primary care provider for your other health care needs. You may also want to find a diabetes educator, a dietitian, and other health care specialists that you may call upon as needed. These specialists could include a pharmacist, an eye doctor, a podiatrist, a counselor (psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist), and an exercise physiologist. Sometimes, diabetes professionals will already practice together in a center that specializes in diabetes care. Or your diabetes care provider may routinely work with some of these professionals. If not, you may have to assemble your own group. If your provider doesn’t have a diabetes nurse educator or dietitian on staff, ask him or her to recommend one, as well as other professionals you should have on your team.

    It’s a plus if the members of your team are comfortable communicating with each other. That is often the case if they are recommended by your provider. But you should also pick team members that you feel comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to shop around a little and find the team members that best suit your needs. In assembling your team, don’t forget your fans—family and friends that will lend support, help, and understanding on a daily basis. They need to be prepared to deal with your day to-day routines—what time you test your blood glucose, for example. And you may also need their help should any emergency arise. Also, don’t forget community resources. Many hospitals and community health groups offer classes and support groups for people with diabetes. Here you can receive valuable information and answers to your questions about dealing with the disease. Class instructors and support group members may also be able to provide referrals to other health care professionals that specialize in diabetes care.

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    A Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of
    The diabetes risk test asks simple questions to arrive at a score of 1 to 10. The closer to a 10 you get, the higher the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In the case of this test, the lower the score, the better.

    The test asks questions pertaining to any family history of diabetes, your age, gender and body mass index (BMI), which is tied to your weight and height. The risk test also asks if you’re physically active -- since being inactive can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

    Many people don’t even know they are prediabetic unless they go in for regular checkups and blood tests. For these people, blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not quite high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
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    The term "diabetes" refers to a number of diseases, the most common being type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. In each, the body does not produce or properly use insulin -- a hormone that is needed to convert sugar starches and other food into the energy we need to live.
    • Type 1 diabetes -- In this type of diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose (sugar) to enter and fuel them. People who have type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily to survive.
    • Type 2 diabetes -- This is the most common form of diabetes. It develops when the body cannot produce or properly use insulin. Older people (and minorities) carry the highest risk for type 2, but a growing number of children and young adults are now being diagnosed with it.
    • Gestational diabetes -- This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy and then usually goes away after the baby is born. It's very important to treat gestational diabetes because it can harm the developing fetus. Mothers who experience gestational diabetes are also at greatly increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
    • Prediabetes -- This is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
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    Diabetes can cause life-threatening metabolic complications and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Some of the most serious complications are blindness (because of damage to the retina), chronic damage to peripheral nerves, and kidney failure. Diabetes also contributes greatly to other causes of death, such as coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease (disease of the brain and its blood vessels).

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    A , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered

    Diabetes toll amongst the children of America is:

    -In 1990 less than 4 percent of American children and teens were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A decade later, that number had more than quadrupled.

    -The majority of young people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese at the time of their diagnosis.

    -Young people of color are more likely to contract type 2 diabetes than are Caucasian children.

    -The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has predicted that one out of every three Americans born in 2000 is at risk of being a type 2 diabetic by 2025.
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    The body works almost like a thermostat. When there is too much glucose in the blood, insulin is released and reduces the amount of glucose in the blood. Then, when glucose levels drop, insulin is no longer secreted. The body balances the amount of insulin and glucose to keep glucose at a fairly even level throughout the day. It keeps a little bit of insulin ready to go to work at a moment’s notice. For meals, it releases the right amount of extra insulin in time to clear glucose from the blood before the glucose levels climb too high.
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