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

  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Pharmacy, answered
    If you have diabetes and are pregnant your A1C levels should be as close to normal as possible. Pregnant women who do not have diabetes typically have A1C levels of less than 5%, and this should be the target range for pregnant women with diabetes. The A1C test measures the percentage of glycated hemoglobin in your blood. Glycated hemoglobin is created when molecules of hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein in your blood) attach to molecules of glucose (the sugar in your blood). The more sugar you have in your blood, the higher your percentage of glycated hemoglobin. The American Diabetes Association recommends a target number of 4% to 6%. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends a target number of no higher than 6%. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to manage your blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    Typical blood glucose levels for pregnant women with diabetes are: Fasting 60-99 mg/dl, after meals 100-129 mg/dl.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered

    Actually, the question to ask is, "How many grams of carbohydrate should I have at each meal?"  Carbohydrate, a nutrient needed by the body for energy, is converted into glucose when it's digested. This, in turn, causes blood glucose levels to rise. So, someone with diabetes needs to control how much carbohydrate he or she eats. Sugar is just one type of carbohydrate; foods contain other sources of carbohydrate, too, like starch. If you only account for the sugar in foods, you'll miss out on other sources of carb, and that can affect your blood glucose. In general, most people aim for between 30 and 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal, and 15 to 30 grams of carb per snack. It's a good idea to meet with a dietitian to find out how much carb is best for you. In the meantime, start reading food labels for the serving size and the total carbohydrate grams (sugar is included in the total carb grams).

  • 2 Answers
    A

    The likelihood that a child will develop diabetes is increased if there is diabetes in the family.

    • No diabetes in the family: 11% chance of type 2 diabetes by age 70 and 1% chance of type 1 diabetes by age 50
    • One parent with type 1 diabetes: 6% chance of type 1 diabetes (father with type 1 diabetes); 4% chance of type 1 diabetes (mother with diabetes who was younger that 25 when the child was born); 1% chance of type 1 diabetes (mother with diabetes who was older than 25 when the child was born) *Risk doubles if the parent was diagnosed by age 11*
    • One parent with type 2 diabetes (diagnosed before the age of 50): 14% chance of type 2 diabetes
    • Both parents with type 2 diabetes (overall risk): 45% chance of type 2 diabetes
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A

    Check-ups for women with diabetes should be performed on a regular, consistent basis to ensure that the diabetes is not negatively affecting the reproductive organs. Your health care provider will determine how often you should come in for visits depending on your overall health.

  • 1 Answer
    A

    Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) is a dangerous pre-diabetic condition. Reversing it with diet and exercise may prevent you from getting diabetes. IGT is a gray area between having normal blood glucose and having diabetes. If you have IGT, your pre-breakfast blood glucose values are slightly elevated, usually above 110 mg/dl. This level is not high enough to qualify for a diagnosis of diabetes, which is above 126 mg/dl. Although you don't have diabetes, 5% of people with IGT do develop diabetes every year. This means that if you have had IGT for five years, your chance of getting diabetes increases to about 25%.

    People with IGT are usually overweight, don't get much exercise, and often have relatives who have type 2 diabetes. Most doctors believe that if people with IGT improve their health by losing weight and getting more exercise, their risk of developing diabetes will be much lower. Also, eating a low-fat and high-fiber diet may help. You should get your blood glucose level checked at least once a year and if it is high, go to work on getting it into the normal range and keeping it there.

  • 3 Answers
    A

    Talk with a registered dietitian who can help you figure it out. There is usually one associated with your local hospital. If this is not a good solution for you, look for an Internet site with carb counting help. For example, you could try using the carb counting flash card deck made by Carb Cards. Each card has an image and the name of a type of food on it, along with the carbohydrate count for each item. You can combine the cards to build a food pyramid and create daily menus. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!

    See All 3 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    It depends on the individual. Insulin pumps require you to pay close attention to your blood glucose levels and to adjust your insulin, food, and exercise to achieve good readings. With an insulin pump, you can vary your mealtime schedule more readily than with insulin injections, and you can skip a meal when you must. There is more flexibility for people with unpredictable mealtimes. Discuss the pros and cons of using an insulin pump and whether you are a good candidate for having one with your health care team before purchasing one. Also, because they are expensive, check whether your insurance company will help cover the cost.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A

    Your feelings are natural. Your diabetes is your business and it should not be anyone else's unless you want it to be. However, finding a private place to check your glucose can be difficult. Look for a quiet corner, or even a restroom stall if that is the only private place you can find. However, you may be surprised how few people even notice when you check your blood in public.

    Some of the new blood glucose monitors are smaller, quicker, and quieter, and that can help make the process less stressful. Finally, if there is no place at all where you would be comfortable checking your glucose while you are out, check just before you leave the house, and check again as soon as you get home. That way you'll have at least some information for making decisions while you are out.

    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A

    There is no one diet or meal plan that works for everyone with diabetes. The important thing is to follow a meal plan that is tailored to personal preferences and lifestyle and helps achieve goals for blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides levels, blood pressure, and weight management.

    Research shows that both the amount and the type of carbohydrate in food affect blood glucose levels. Studies also show that the total amount of carbohydrate in food, in general, is a stronger predictor of blood glucose response than the glycemic index (GI).

    Based on the research, for most people with diabetes, the first tool for managing blood glucose is some type of carbohydrate counting. Balancing total carbohydrate intake with physical activity and diabetes pills or insulin (if needed) is vital to managing blood glucose levels.

    Because the type of carbohydrate does have an effect on blood glucose, using the GI may be helpful in "fine-tuning" blood glucose management. In other words, combined with carbohydrate counting, it may provide an additional benefit for achieving blood glucose goals for individuals who can and want to put extra effort into monitoring their food choices.

    See All 2 Answers