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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    Your personal identification should identify you and your medical condition(s) in case you become unconscious or injured. 
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    This is one time when being a skeptic is a good idea. Many times, news releases make a product sound like it will work for everyone, but in fact it may only be useful for specific conditions.

    In the United States, we have many regulations to protect us from unproved (and possibly dangerous) new treatments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict guidelines regarding the research and testing that must be done on a new drug or therapy before it can be sold to the public.

    Many times you will read reports about a new product or drug, but it is still in the early phases of testing. Testing takes several years. If safety problems or side effects are found during the testing, the product will not be marketed.

    Your health care team may have information on new products, so you should check with them when something new is available. They will help you make a decision as to whether the new product is right for you.

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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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    See Me. See Diabetes. (SMSD) is a movement to promote a change in the way we think and talk about diabetes. The goal is to challenge misinformation and stereotypes. Instead, it puts forward messages to help all people with diabetes feel understood, empowered and cared for. 

    SMSD launched in 2015 with their first initiative, the No “-IC” Challenge -- a commitment to not use the word “diabetic” to describe people with diabetes. The No “-IC” Challenge encourages people living with diabetes to tackle misinformation and stereotypes by taking the opportunity to say what diabetes is and what they would like others to know about it. The purpose of this challenge is to take a small step towards promoting empathy and understanding about life with diabetes, not to make people offended by the word “diabetic.” Even if being called a diabetic doesn’t bother you at all, you can still take the challenge.
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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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    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 , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    How is body composition related to insulin resistance?

    Body composition is the amount of muscle vs. fat we have, and how it's metabolized; those who have muscle usually don't become insulin resistant, while people with excess body fat can. Watch endocrinologist Reza Yavari, MD, explain this concept.

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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 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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    A Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are becoming more common because of sedentary lifestyles and increased rates of obesity. Obesity is linked to sedentary (inactive) lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits such as eating more than the necessary amount of carbohydrates, fast food and premanufactured meals.
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