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Diabetes

Diabetes

Overview If you just found out you have diabetes, you probably have a lot of questions and you may feel a little uncertain. But you’re not alone. In the United States, 23.6 million people have diabetes. Most of these people lead full, healthy lives. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn all you can about diabetes. This article will tell you some of the basics about diabetes. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s body doesn’t make enough of the hormone insulin or can’t use insulin properly. There are 2 types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body’s pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body’s cells ignore the insulin. Between 90% and 95% of people who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. What is type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. It is sometimes called juvenile diabetes because it is usually discovered in children and teenagers, but adults may also have it. What is type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells ignore the insulin. Can children get type 2 diabetes? Yes. In the past, doctors thought that only adults were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, an increasing number of children in the United States are now being diagnosed with the disease. Doctors think this increase is mostly because more children are overweight or obese and are less physically active. What is pre-diabetes? Pre-diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not so high that your doctor can say you have diabetes. Pre-diabetes is becoming more common in the United States. It grea Continue reading >>

Diabetes Doctors: Which Specialists Treat Diabetes?

Diabetes Doctors: Which Specialists Treat Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that affects a person's blood sugar levels and can require various treatments. Understanding which doctors help treat diabetes can simplify the process, making it less stressful. This article helps people with diabetes to understand the key differences between the various diabetes specialists. It also covers some common guidelines to follow for visiting each of these experts, to ensure you get the most out of your treatment. Which doctors help with treating diabetes? There are a number of diabetes specialists who may be involved in treating someone with this common condition. As each of these specialists has a slightly different role, there are some key things to be aware of before seeing each one. General care physicians A general care physician will often help in the treatment of people with diabetes. Regular check-ups will usually be carried out once every 3 to 4 months. If there is anything outside their area of expertise, a general care physician will frequently send an individual to an endocrinologist first of all. Endocrinologists The most common specialists in the field of diabetes are endocrinologists. Endocrinologists specialize in the glands of the body, and the hormones that are produced from those glands. The pancreas is a gland that comes under the spotlight when managing diabetes. It produces insulin that helps regulate blood sugar. In the case of people with diabetes, insulin is either not produced or does not work properly. People with type 1 diabetes are put under the care of an endocrinologist most of the time. People with type 2 diabetes, who have fluctuating blood sugar levels, will also need to see an endocrinologist. Visiting a doctor for diabetes When visiting a doctor about diabetes for the first time, it is important tha Continue reading >>

Finding The Right Doctor

Finding The Right Doctor

How to pick a great physicianand get the most out of your visit No one goes to the doctor for fun. There's always a wait. The examination rooms are cold and bare. The flimsy paper gowns are mortifying. When you add wrestling with insurance to the mix, a simple office visit can seem like an ordeal. All that, and the typical appointment lasts only 10 minutes, which can feel like hardly enough time to even begin to discuss your health. Fed up yet? Well, the doctors are, too: Cramming dozens of appointments into a single day is frustrating enough, but when your doc isn't rushing between exam rooms, he or she is on the phone with insurance companies to make sure patients get the tests and medications they need. While some of the things that make doctors' visits frantic are out of your hands, others are up to you. We've tapped experts from across the country to help you choose a doctor, plan for a visit, and make sure all of your health questions get answered. Picking a doctor isn't as easy, of course, as opening the phone book and calling the first office you see. "This is a person you have to get along with," says Ruthann Russo, PhD, JD, MPH, RHIT, author of 7 Steps to Your Best Possible Healthcare: The Essential Guide for Crafting Your Personal Healthcare Plan. "The relationship between you and the physician, whether you think you can trust them, is really important." By doing some research before booking an appointment, you can increase your chances of finding The One. For starters, all doctors should be board certified. You can find one who has received certification by visiting the American Board of Medical Specialties' website, www.abms.org. Next, make sure your primary care physician has special training in diabetes. "Be sure that the physician [you're] going to see Continue reading >>

7 Mistakes Doctors Are Making With Diabetes

7 Mistakes Doctors Are Making With Diabetes

A few years back I was caring for my cousin who suffered from diabetes. During this time, I learned a lot about mistakes doctors are making with diabetes. Now, this isn’t to put down doctors in any way. Doctors are people too. My cousin wasn’t very good at talking to his doctor and this contributed to medical error as well. My cousin was diagnosed in his twenties with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. The period of time in the 20’s is a gray area between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It can still be one or the other. It was pretty obvious it was Type 1 since there was a strong family history and we are Native American – as you probably know already, Native Americans are at a greater risk for developing diabetes. We knew his diagnosis was correct, plus he needed insulin. He had a very good physician who had been treating our entire family for endocrine disease for many years. Then, my cousin moved away and got a new job. He did the normal thing anyone would do when moving; he ordered his records and found a new physician. This led to a whole slew of miscommunications and treatment changes that led to my cousin going downhill. Here are a few things that could go wrong with your diabetes treatment: 1. Type 1/Type 2 Diabetes Confusion This can happen either early on in your diagnosis of diabetes or if you switch medical providers. Even if you are admitted to the hospital, there may be changes in your records or care for the wrong type. Explanation: My cousin was first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes as his pancreas were still working some. His first doctor realized that he did in fact have Type 1 diabetes and noted that in his chart. When he moved, he handed over his records to his new doctor. The new doctor only looked at the first few pages of his chart and presumed he had T Continue reading >>

How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Do you have type 2 diabetes, or are you at risk for diabetes? Do you worry about your blood sugar? Then you’ve come to the right place. The disease diabetes (any type) means that you have too much sugar in your blood. This page will show you how to best check this. You can normalize your blood sugar naturally as needed – without pills, calorie counting or hunger. Many people have already done so. As a bonus, a normalized blood sugar usually makes you healthier and leaner. Table of contents: A disastrous epidemic Two types of diabetes Normalize your blood sugar Become your own evidence A disastrous epidemic What’s wrong? Why do more and more people become diabetic? In the past, before our modern Western diet, diabetes was extremely rare. The disease is now becoming more and more common. Around the world, more and more people are becoming diabetic: The number of people with diabetes is increasing incredibly rapidly and is heading towards 500 million. This is a world epidemic. Will someone in your family be affected next? Your mother, father, cousin, your child? Or you? Is perhaps your blood already too sweet? Those affected by the most common form of diabetes (type 2) normally never regain their health. Instead, we take for granted that they’ll become a little sicker for every year that goes by. With time they need more and more drugs. Yet, sooner or later complications emerge. Blindness. Dialysis due to faulty kidneys. Dementia. Amputations. Death. Diabetes epidemic causes inconceivable suffering. Fortunately, there’s something that can be done. We just need to see through the mistake that has led to the explosion of disease – and correct it. This can normalize your blood sugar. Many have already succeeded in doing this. If you already know that you are diabe Continue reading >>

5 Questions With A Diabetes Physician Who Has Type 1

5 Questions With A Diabetes Physician Who Has Type 1

Because of his type 1 diabetes diagnosis at 5 years old, endocrinologist Scott Soleimanpour devoted his career to those with the condition. A childhood diagnosis led to a life’s work for one U-M physician. “I remember being 5 years old at a family wedding and becoming super thirsty,” says Scott Soleimanpour, M.D., assistant professor of endocrinology at the University of Michigan Health System. “I mean, imagine the worst thirst you could ever have. Like you’re out in the desert, and then multiply that times 10.” Soleimanpour didn’t know what his thirst meant at the time. But that day would significantly alter his life forever. His parents realized something was incredibly wrong, and Soleimanpour’s father, a physician, sought medical treatment for his son. After a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, Soleimanpour spent two weeks in an intensive care unit as a medical team worked to get his sugars under control and to place him on insulin treatments. “They told me I have a lazy pancreas, and it isn’t making enough insulin,” Soleimanpour says. “It was a life-changing event that put me on the path to working with diabetes. I wanted to help people also suffering with this condition.” We sat down with Soleimanpour to learn more about being a diabetes researcher and physician affected by the disease, and how he uses his personal experiences to help others with diabetes. Soleimanpour: At the young age of my diagnosis, I saw dynamic teams of endocrine doctors, educators, nurses, etc. It also helped that my parents were always interested in the latest scientific advances. I decided to go medical school and wanted to be a pediatric diabetes doctor. I had an advisor at the time that presented me with a research opportunity and said, “Do you want to look for a c Continue reading >>

Diabetes Doctors

Diabetes Doctors

A number of different healthcare professionals treat diabetes. A good first step is to talk to your primary care doctor about testing if you’re at risk for diabetes or if you begin experiencing symptoms associated with the disease. While you may work with your primary care doctor to manage your diabetes, it’s also possible to rely on another doctor or specialist to monitor your condition. Read on to learn about the different doctors and specialists who can assist in various aspects of diabetes diagnosis and care. Primary care physician Your primary care doctor can monitor you for diabetes at your regular checkups. Your doctor may perform blood tests to check for the disease, depending on your symptoms or risk factors. If you do have diabetes, your doctor may prescribe medication and manage your condition. They may also refer you to a specialist to help monitor your treatment. It’s likely that your primary care doctor will be part of a team of healthcare professionals who will work with you. Endocrinologist Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas gland, which is part of the endocrine system. An endocrinologist is a specialist who diagnoses, treats, and manages pancreatic diseases. People with type 1 diabetes are often under the care of an endocrinologist to help them manage their treatment plan. Sometimes, people with type 2 diabetes may also need an endocrinologist if they have trouble getting their blood glucose levels under control. Eye doctor Many people with diabetes experience complications with their eyes over time. These might include: You must regularly visit an eye doctor, such an optometrist or ophthalmologist, to check for these potentially serious conditions. According to guidelines from the American Diabetes Association, people with type 1 diabetes shou Continue reading >>

Diabetes Doctors: What To Expect | Cleveland Clinic

Diabetes Doctors: What To Expect | Cleveland Clinic

Numbness or weakness on one side of your body Your weight and blood pressure should be measured at each visit. Your eyes, feet, and insulin injection sites should also be examined at each visit. What lab tests should I have done for my diabetes, and how often? The hemoglobin A1c is an important blood test to determine control of your diabetes. It provides an average blood sugar measurement over the previous six to 12 weeks and is used in combination with home glucose monitoring to make adjustments to your treatment. People with diabetes who are treated with insulin should have this test two to four times a year, depending on whether those patients are meeting therapy goals. People with diabetes may need to have the hemoglobin A1c test more frequently when their diabetes is not controlled. However, the test should be performed no sooner than every six weeks. To screen for diabetic kidney complications, a urine test for protein (urinalysis) should be done every year, beginning at diagnosis in people with Type 2 diabetes, and after five years in people with Type 1 diabetes. If the results of a urinalysis are negative for people with Type 1 diabetes, microalbumin (which detects very small amounts of protein) should be checked every year. People with diabetes should have their cholesterol level (including HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels) checked every year if their cholesterol level is abnormal, or every two years if their cholesterol level is normal. How can I keep an eye on the development and progression of diabetic complications? All patients with diabetes should see an ophthalmologist (specialist in eye disease) every year for a dilated eye examination, beginning at diagnosis. Patients with known eye disease, symptoms of blurred vision in one eye, or blind spots may Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes - What To Ask Your Doctor

Type 2 Diabetes - What To Ask Your Doctor

Ask your provider to check the nerves, skin, and pulses in your feet. Also ask these questions: How often should I check my feet? What should I do when I check them? What problems should I call my provider about? Who should trim my toenails? Is it OK if I trim them? How should I take care of my feet every day? What type of shoes and socks should I wear? Should I see a foot doctor (podiatrist)? Ask your provider about getting exercise: Before I start, do I need to have my heart checked? My eyes? My feet? What type of exercise program should I do? What type of activities should I avoid? When should I check my blood sugar when I exercise? What should I bring with me when I exercise? Should I eat before or during exercise? Do I need to adjust my medicines when I exercise? When should I next have an eye doctor check my eyes? What eye problems should I call my doctor about? Ask your provider about meeting with a dietitian. Questions for the dietitian may include: What foods increase my blood sugar the most? What foods can help me with my weight loss goals? Ask your provider about your diabetes medicines: When should I take them? What should I do if I miss a dose? Are there any side effects? How often should I check my blood sugar level at home? Should I do it at different times of the day? What is too low? What is too high? What should I do if my blood sugar is too low or too high? Should I get a medical alert bracelet or necklace? Should I have glucagon at home? Ask your provider about symptoms that you are having if they have not been discussed. Tell your provider about blurred vision, skin changes, depression, reactions at injection sites, sexual dysfunction, tooth pain, muscle pain, or nausea. Ask your provider about other tests you may need, such as cholesterol, A1C, and Continue reading >>

Your Diabetes Care Team

Your Diabetes Care Team

Your health care team helps you manage your diabetes and maintain your good health. According to the American Diabetes Association, your diabetes care team should include: You: You are the most important member of your diabetes care team! Only you know how you feel. Your diabetes care team will depend on you to talk to them honestly and supply information about your body. Monitoring your blood sugar tells your doctors whether your current treatment is controlling your diabetes well. By checking your blood sugar levels, you can also prevent or reduce the episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) you have. Primary doctor: Your primary care doctor is who you see for general checkups and when you get sick. This person is usually an internist or family medicine doctor who has experience treating people with diabetes, too. Because your primary care doctor is your main source of care, he or she will most likely head up your diabetes care team. Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist is a doctor who has special training and experience in treating people with diabetes. You should see yours regularly. Dietitian: A registered dietitian (RD) is trained in the field of nutrition. Food is a key part of your diabetes treatment, so yours will help you figure out your food needs based on your weight, lifestyle, medication, and other health goals (like lowering blood fat levels or blood pressure). Nurse educator: A diabetes educator or diabetes nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) with special training and background in caring for and teaching people with diabetes. Nurse educators often help you with the day-to-day aspects of living with diabetes. Eye doctor: Either an ophthalmologist (a doctor who can treat eye problems both medically and surgically) or an optometrist (someone who Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Print Diagnosis To diagnose type 2 diabetes, you'll be given a: Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes. A result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes. Normal levels are below 5.7 percent. If the A1C test isn't available, or if you have certain conditions — such as if you're pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin (known as a hemoglobin variant) — that can make the A1C test inaccurate, your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose diabetes: Random blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken at a random time. Blood sugar values are expressed in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Regardless of when you last ate, a random blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher suggests diabetes, especially when coupled with any of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination and extreme thirst. Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast. A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. If it's 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes. Oral glucose tolerance test. For this test, you fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood s Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Top 10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Diabetes: Top 10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Medical Reviewer: Melissa Conrad Stppler, MD Melissa Conrad Stppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology. Note: We recommend you use this page as a reference for your consultation with your doctor. Should I check my blood sugar levels at home with a glucose monitor? How often should I check them? What are my goals regarding blood sugar levels? What are the warning signs or symptoms that my blood sugars are too high? What do I do if my blood sugars are too high? What are the warning signs or symptoms that my blood sugars are too low? What do I do if my blood sugars are too low? How can I change my lifestyle and diet in a way that will be healthy? Continue reading >>

When Should You See A Diabetes Specialist?

When Should You See A Diabetes Specialist?

Many people who have diabetes also have an experienced primary care (or family practice) doctor or nurse practitioner who can help them manage their diabetes. For example, people with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes may never need to see a specialist because they can easily manage it with their primary care doctor’s help. Other people, however, might choose to see a specialist. Here are 10 reasons why you might want to see an endocrinologist or diabetes care team: 1) Your doctor recommends you have an evaluation with a specialist. After you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor may recommend you see a specialist to confirm the diagnosis and make sure you know your options for managing the disease. 2) Your primary care physician has not treated many diabetes patients. If your doctor has not treated many patients with diabetes or you are unsure about their treatment, you can choose to see a specialist. 3) You are having problems communicating with your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not listening to you or understanding your symptoms, you could see a specialist who will focus primarily on your diabetes. 4) You cannot find the right educational material to help you. Treatment for diabetes starts with learning to manage your diabetes. If you can’t find the right information to help you manage your diabetes, you might want to see a diabetes care team to receive diabetes education. 5) You are having complications or difficulty managing your diabetes. You should definitely see a specialist if you have developed complications. Diabetes typically causes problems with the eyes, kidney, and nerves. In addition, it can cause deformity and open sores on the feet. Diabetes complications only get worse with time, and can cause you to miss out on quality of life. In addi Continue reading >>

Diabetes: When To Call The Doctor

Diabetes: When To Call The Doctor

Taking care of your diabetes includes knowing when to call a doctor and get medical help. As you learn more about diabetes, you'll become more confident about knowing when to call for help. Even if you're managing your diabetes on your own, it's a good idea to tell your mom or dad when you're feeling sick or having any symptoms that might be related to your diabetes. Having this parental support can be a huge help. Your mom or dad can help you get in touch with your doctor to prevent things from getting serious or even take you to the emergency department if you need it. If you're having a problem, start by checking your diabetes management plan. The plan can give you ideas on when and where to call for help. For many medical problems, it's best to start by calling your primary doctor, like your pediatrician or family doctor. In some cases, though, your diabetes management plan might advise you to call someone else on your diabetes health care team. If you need to see a doctor or get medical care, health care professionals may ask about: your symptoms, like whether you've been throwing up or feeling more tired than usual any prescription medications you're taking and the phone number of your pharmacy If you have time, it can help to write down this info before you visit the doctor. If you're ill, especially if the illness causes fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, or if your ability to eat or drink has been affected, call your doctor. You should also let your doctor or diabetes health care team know if you: have had a significant injury (more than a minor cut, scrape, or bump) have been prescribed new medications for another health problem (some medications may affect blood sugar levels) If you think a situation is an emergency, tell someone to call 911 or help you Continue reading >>

Should I See A Diabetes Specialist?

Should I See A Diabetes Specialist?

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when I was in the hospital recently with pneumonia. My regular doctor has run several tests because of the diabetes, including a stress test, ultrasounds, and blood work. But he usually doesn't talk to me about diabetes. He asks me how my blood glucose readings are going, and that's about it. I've been seeing this doctor for nearly 12 years now, but do you think I should find someone who deals mostly with diabetes? — Robert, Alabama Before changing a doctor you have known for 12 years, ask him for a better explanation of your condition and how you can manage it. There is also quite a bit of information about diabetes on Web sites such as EverydayHealth.com. Start educating yourself by investigating in the Everyday Health Type 2 Diabetes Center. Then ask your doctor for specific advice about your diabetes during your next visit. For the most part, diabetes is managed by primary care doctors. Having said that, diabetes specialists can play a significant role in your care as well. If you develop complications or have difficulty managing your diabetes, you will benefit from a specialist's advice, but such treatment is usually not an either/or situation: Primary care doctors often coordinate care among various specialists, including diabetes specialists, for their patients. Receiving comprehensive care that includes nutrition and exercise advice is key to successfully preventing potential complications. Unfortunately, patient education often gets short shrift in today's hurried medical environment. Don't hesitate to seek the information you need, whether you ask your doctor directly or search for it online. Continue reading >>

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