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Introduction to Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that changes the way your body uses glucose (sugar) for energy.
People without diabetes have normal blood glucose levels
If you don’t have diabetes, your food is digested in your stomach and changed into glucose (a kind of sugar). The glucose travels in your bloodstream to your body cells. Insulin produced by your pancreas allows the glucose to enter your body cells and gives them energy.
People with diabetes have blood glucose levels that are too high
Your pancreas is not making enough insulin, or the insulin it makes does not work well. Either way, without insulin your cells can’t get the glucose they need. Instead, the glucose builds up in your bloodstream, so the cells 'starve' while the glucose level in the blood rises.
When your blood glucose level gets very high, your body gets rid of the glucose and calories through your urine. As a result, you may have one or more of the following signs:
  • Thirst
  • Urinating more than usual
  • Feeling very hungry
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Sores that heal slowly
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Losing feeling in your feet, tingling in hands and feet
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Blurry eyesight
 

Diabetes is a chronic disease
Diabetes is a chronic disease. It does not go away, even with treatment. It is also progressive, meaning that if left untreated, it can lead to difficult complications. The good news is that diabetes can be controlled. However, it must be carefully monitored to keep it in control.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes
Gestational diabetes
Other types of diabetes 
A treatment plan that works at first may need to be adjusted as time passes to keep your blood glucose in its “target range”, where it should be most of the time. Your health care team will work with you to decide the blood glucose target ranges that are right for you.
Learn more about the different types of diabetes:
Types of Diabete
 
The key to understanding diabetes is having a good idea of how the body works and what changes when you have diabetes. Once you know how diabetes "works" in its various types, it's easier to see how complications can arise, and why insulin therapy and blood glucose monitoring are important. 
 
We'll start by learning how our bodies convert the food we eat into the energy we need to live. During digestion, our bodies break down food into three basic groups: 
  • Proteins (found in meat, fish, eggs, and other dairy products)
  • Fats (found in vegetable oils, meat, cheese, and other dairy products)
  • Carbohydrates (also known as starches or sugars; found in bread, pasta, fruits, and vegetables)  
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (also known as "blood sugar"), which is the "fuel" that gives our bodies energy. For blood sugar to get into the body's cells, the help of a hormone called "insulin" is required.
Diabetes is caused by a problem with the body's ability to use insulin. 
  • In type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin.
  • In type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and the other types of diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it produces (this is called "insulin resistance").
If insulin isn't being used properly, then blood sugar can't get into the cells and it backs up in the bloodstream. The body tries to get rid of the excess sugar through the urine.
  • People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing Diabetes Ketoacidosis if not treated.
  • In type 2 and other cases, untreated high blood sugar will, over time, affect your health by causing diabetes complications. In fact, a number of type 2 patients already have complications at the time they are diagnosed with diabetes.
Pre-diabetes
You have “pre-diabetes” if your blood glucose is higher than normal, but not high enough  for a diagnosis of diabetes.
For example:
  • Your “fasting” blood glucose may be 100-125 mg/dl (taken in the morning after not eating or drinking overnight)
  • Your blood glucose taken two hours after a meal may be 140-199 mg/dl
People with pre-diabetes are at risk to develop type 2 diabetes. If people with pre-diabetes lose a moderate amount of weight and increase their exercise, they are more likely to prevent type 2 diabetes than people who do not. They may even return blood glucose to normal levels!
Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes (once known as "juvenile-onset diabetes" or "insulin-dependent diabetes"), the body stops producing insulin. About five to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, which usually develops in children or young adults, but can occur at any age. It often occurs in people who are thin or of average weight.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's own defense (immune) system destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. Although no one really knows the cause, scientists believe that both family history and environmental triggers (such as a virus like Coxsackie B virus) may play a part in triggering this "autoimmune process."
Beta cells are the "factories" that produce insulin, and because people with type 1 diabetes can't produce their own insulin, they need daily doses of insulin to survive.

Symptoms
There are a variety of symptoms for type 1 diabetes; any of them may begin suddenly and dramatically.
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden, unexplained loss of weight
  • Increased hunger
  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Fruity smell to breath
  • Wounds that do not heal
  • Sugar in urine
  • "Pins and needles" feeling in feet
  • Itchy skin
  • Numerous vaginal and bladder infections
  • Loss of consciousness

Ask Your Doctor
Your doctor can help you better understand type 1 diabetes, and what you can do to control it. Here are some things you might want to ask about:
  • What types of insulin should I take?
  • What side effects should I watch out for?
  • What is my target blood glucose level?
  • What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?
  • What are the symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)?
  • How often do I need to test my blood sugar levels?
  • At what blood glucose levels do you want me to contact you?
  • What should I do when I get sick?
  • When should I seek medical attention?
  • What should I do if I miss an insulin dose?
  • What kind of diet and exercise can help me manage my diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes: Causes and Symptoms
In type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin but either it's not enough or the body can't use it properly. There are two reasons for this inability to use insulin:
  • The beta cells produce insulin, but not enough to lower blood sugar and meet the body's energy needs.
  • In a condition called "insulin resistance," the body's cells don't work properly are unable to let glucose inside.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases, and it usually develops after the age of 40, which is why it used to be called "adult-onset diabetes." But, like type 1, type 2 diabetes can develop at any age and is now being seen in children.

For some people, type 2 may be controlled with a program of proper exercise, diet, and pills. By following a program closely, it's possible for these people to keep blood sugars close to normal, to feel healthy and energetic, and to prevent or delay the complications associated with diabetes. Other people with type 2 require oral medications and/or doses of insulin to control their blood sugar.
SYMPTOMS
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to those of type 1. However, they usually develop much more slowly and may go unnoticed for months or years. Regular medical check-ups will help you identify the condition and get the proper treatment to prevent serious complications. The most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Increased hunger
  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Wounds that do not heal
  • Sugar in urine
  • A feeling of "pins and needles" in feet
  • Itchy skin
  • Frequent vaginal and bladder infections
Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of type 2 diabetes and what triggers it is still unknown, but with the rapid increase in the number of people diagnosed with this condition over the past few years, new research and theories are developing.

Certainly genetics and family history play a major role; if one of your parents has it, you are at increased risk of developing it as well. Children of people with type 2 diabetes should have their blood sugar levels checked during their annual physical exam.

Research indicates that lifestyle also plays a role. As people are becoming more sedentary, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of new cases of type 2 Diabetes, especially in overweight and inactive children.

Other risk factors to be aware of:
  • People usually develop type 2 diabetes after age 45, but in recent years the average age of onset has been lower. Type 2 is also starting to show up in children.
  • Gestational diabetes increases a woman's chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life by almost 40 percent.
  • Race and ethnicity play a part in increased chances of developing type 2 diabetes, especially in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans.
Reducing the Risk
In 2002 the Diabetes Prevention Program, a large scale clinical study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, found:
  • Lifestyle changes in diet and exercise and losing a little weight can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. (Participants in the study exercised 150 minutes a week and lost seven percent of their body weight.)
  • Participants who made lifestyle changes reduced their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. 
  • Lifestyle (activities and treatments) intervention was effective for participants of all ages and all ethnic groups.
  • Participants under regular medical care who used a type 2 diabetes medication called Metformin reduced their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 31 percent.
Ask Your Doctor
Your healthcare professional can help you better understand type 2 diabetes, and what you can do to control it. Here are some things you might want to ask about:
  • Do I need to take medication?
  • If so, can I take pills?
  • Do I need insulin, with or instead of the pills?
  • What are the side effects of the medication?
  • What should I do if I forget to take my medication?
  • How do diet and exercise help my condition?
  • What is my target blood glucose level?
  • What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?
  • What are the symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)?
  • How often should I test my blood sugar?
  • What do you consider an abnormal blood sugar reading?
  • When do I need to call you for help?
Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy and usually goes away after the birth of the baby. It is present in less than 15% of all pregnancies and is usually detected at 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes should be treated during the pregnancy to prevent problems for the mother and the baby.
Your chances of developing gestational diabetes increase if you:
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Had a previous birth of a very large baby or a stillbirth
  • Are overweight
  • Had an earlier pregnancy with gestational diabetes
  • Have too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)
  • Are older than 25 years  
     
Gestational diabetes is often treatable with a meal plan and exercise.
 
If blood sugars can't be kept in their target range by diet and exercise, insulin therapy may be required.
 
Note: 40 to 60 percent of women with a history of gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Other Types of Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association's Position Statement on Insulin Administration, in a small percentage of cases diabetes can occur in people with certain conditions or syndromes:
  • Drug or chemical-induced diabetes
  • Pancreatic diseases
  • Endocrinopathies
  • Insulin-receptor disorders
  • Certain genetic syndromes
 

Introduction to Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that changes the way your body uses glucose (sugar) for energy.
People without diabetes have normal blood glucose levels
If you don’t have diabetes, your food is digested in your stomach and changed into glucose (a kind of sugar). The glucose travels in your bloodstream to your body cells. Insulin produced by your pancreas allows the glucose to enter your body cells and gives them energy.
People with diabetes have blood glucose levels that are too high
Your pancreas is not making enough insulin, or the insulin it makes does not work well. Either way, without insulin your cells can’t get the glucose they need. Instead, the glucose builds up in your bloodstream, so the cells 'starve' while the glucose level in the blood rises.
When your blood glucose level gets very high, your body gets rid of the glucose and calories through your urine. As a result, you may have one or more of the following signs:
  • Thirst
  • Urinating more than usual
  • Feeling very hungry
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Sores that heal slowly
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Losing feeling in your feet, tingling in hands and feet
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Blurry eyesight
 

Diabetes is a chronic disease
Diabetes is a chronic disease. It does not go away, even with treatment. It is also progressive, meaning that if left untreated, it can lead to difficult complications. The good news is that diabetes can be controlled. However, it must be carefully monitored to keep it in control.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes
Gestational diabetes
Other types of diabetes 
A treatment plan that works at first may need to be adjusted as time passes to keep your blood glucose in its “target range”, where it should be most of the time. Your health care team will work with you to decide the blood glucose target ranges that are right for you.
Learn more about the different types of diabetes:
Types of Diabete
 
The key to understanding diabetes is having a good idea of how the body works and what changes when you have diabetes. Once you know how diabetes "works" in its various types, it's easier to see how complications can arise, and why insulin therapy and blood glucose monitoring are important. 
 
We'll start by learning how our bodies convert the food we eat into the energy we need to live. During digestion, our bodies break down food into three basic groups: 
  • Proteins (found in meat, fish, eggs, and other dairy products)
  • Fats (found in vegetable oils, meat, cheese, and other dairy products)
  • Carbohydrates (also known as starches or sugars; found in bread, pasta, fruits, and vegetables)  
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (also known as "blood sugar"), which is the "fuel" that gives our bodies energy. For blood sugar to get into the body's cells, the help of a hormone called "insulin" is required.
Diabetes is caused by a problem with the body's ability to use insulin. 
  • In type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin.
  • In type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and the other types of diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it produces (this is called "insulin resistance").
If insulin isn't being used properly, then blood sugar can't get into the cells and it backs up in the bloodstream. The body tries to get rid of the excess sugar through the urine.
  • People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing Diabetes Ketoacidosis if not treated.
  • In type 2 and other cases, untreated high blood sugar will, over time, affect your health by causing diabetes complications. In fact, a number of type 2 patients already have complications at the time they are diagnosed with diabetes.
Pre-diabetes
You have “pre-diabetes” if your blood glucose is higher than normal, but not high enough  for a diagnosis of diabetes.
For example:
  • Your “fasting” blood glucose may be 100-125 mg/dl (taken in the morning after not eating or drinking overnight)
  • Your blood glucose taken two hours after a meal may be 140-199 mg/dl
People with pre-diabetes are at risk to develop type 2 diabetes. If people with pre-diabetes lose a moderate amount of weight and increase their exercise, they are more likely to prevent type 2 diabetes than people who do not. They may even return blood glucose to normal levels!
Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes (once known as "juvenile-onset diabetes" or "insulin-dependent diabetes"), the body stops producing insulin. About five to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, which usually develops in children or young adults, but can occur at any age. It often occurs in people who are thin or of average weight.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's own defense (immune) system destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. Although no one really knows the cause, scientists believe that both family history and environmental triggers (such as a virus like Coxsackie B virus) may play a part in triggering this "autoimmune process."
Beta cells are the "factories" that produce insulin, and because people with type 1 diabetes can't produce their own insulin, they need daily doses of insulin to survive.

Symptoms
There are a variety of symptoms for type 1 diabetes; any of them may begin suddenly and dramatically.
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden, unexplained loss of weight
  • Increased hunger
  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Fruity smell to breath
  • Wounds that do not heal
  • Sugar in urine
  • "Pins and needles" feeling in feet
  • Itchy skin
  • Numerous vaginal and bladder infections
  • Loss of consciousness

Ask Your Doctor
Your doctor can help you better understand type 1 diabetes, and what you can do to control it. Here are some things you might want to ask about:
  • What types of insulin should I take?
  • What side effects should I watch out for?
  • What is my target blood glucose level?
  • What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?
  • What are the symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)?
  • How often do I need to test my blood sugar levels?
  • At what blood glucose levels do you want me to contact you?
  • What should I do when I get sick?
  • When should I seek medical attention?
  • What should I do if I miss an insulin dose?
  • What kind of diet and exercise can help me manage my diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes: Causes and Symptoms
In type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin but either it's not enough or the body can't use it properly. There are two reasons for this inability to use insulin:
  • The beta cells produce insulin, but not enough to lower blood sugar and meet the body's energy needs.
  • In a condition called "insulin resistance," the body's cells don't work properly are unable to let glucose inside.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases, and it usually develops after the age of 40, which is why it used to be called "adult-onset diabetes." But, like type 1, type 2 diabetes can develop at any age and is now being seen in children.

For some people, type 2 may be controlled with a program of proper exercise, diet, and pills. By following a program closely, it's possible for these people to keep blood sugars close to normal, to feel healthy and energetic, and to prevent or delay the complications associated with diabetes. Other people with type 2 require oral medications and/or doses of insulin to control their blood sugar.
SYMPTOMS
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to those of type 1. However, they usually develop much more slowly and may go unnoticed for months or years. Regular medical check-ups will help you identify the condition and get the proper treatment to prevent serious complications. The most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Increased hunger
  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Wounds that do not heal
  • Sugar in urine
  • A feeling of "pins and needles" in feet
  • Itchy skin
  • Frequent vaginal and bladder infections
Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of type 2 diabetes and what triggers it is still unknown, but with the rapid increase in the number of people diagnosed with this condition over the past few years, new research and theories are developing.

Certainly genetics and family history play a major role; if one of your parents has it, you are at increased risk of developing it as well. Children of people with type 2 diabetes should have their blood sugar levels checked during their annual physical exam.

Research indicates that lifestyle also plays a role. As people are becoming more sedentary, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of new cases of type 2 Diabetes, especially in overweight and inactive children.

Other risk factors to be aware of:
  • People usually develop type 2 diabetes after age 45, but in recent years the average age of onset has been lower. Type 2 is also starting to show up in children.
  • Gestational diabetes increases a woman's chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life by almost 40 percent.
  • Race and ethnicity play a part in increased chances of developing type 2 diabetes, especially in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans.
Reducing the Risk
In 2002 the Diabetes Prevention Program, a large scale clinical study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, found:
  • Lifestyle changes in diet and exercise and losing a little weight can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. (Participants in the study exercised 150 minutes a week and lost seven percent of their body weight.)
  • Participants who made lifestyle changes reduced their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. 
  • Lifestyle (activities and treatments) intervention was effective for participants of all ages and all ethnic groups.
  • Participants under regular medical care who used a type 2 diabetes medication called Metformin reduced their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 31 percent.
Ask Your Doctor
Your healthcare professional can help you better understand type 2 diabetes, and what you can do to control it. Here are some things you might want to ask about:
  • Do I need to take medication?
  • If so, can I take pills?
  • Do I need insulin, with or instead of the pills?
  • What are the side effects of the medication?
  • What should I do if I forget to take my medication?
  • How do diet and exercise help my condition?
  • What is my target blood glucose level?
  • What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?
  • What are the symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)?
  • How often should I test my blood sugar?
  • What do you consider an abnormal blood sugar reading?
  • When do I need to call you for help?
Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy and usually goes away after the birth of the baby. It is present in less than 15% of all pregnancies and is usually detected at 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes should be treated during the pregnancy to prevent problems for the mother and the baby.
Your chances of developing gestational diabetes increase if you:
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Had a previous birth of a very large baby or a stillbirth
  • Are overweight
  • Had an earlier pregnancy with gestational diabetes
  • Have too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)
  • Are older than 25 years  
     
Gestational diabetes is often treatable with a meal plan and exercise.
 
If blood sugars can't be kept in their target range by diet and exercise, insulin therapy may be required.
 
Note: 40 to 60 percent of women with a history of gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Other Types of Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association's Position Statement on Insulin Administration, in a small percentage of cases diabetes can occur in people with certain conditions or syndromes:
  • Drug or chemical-induced diabetes
  • Pancreatic diseases
  • Endocrinopathies
  • Insulin-receptor disorders
  • Certain genetic syndromes
 


 

 



 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

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