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How Do You Find Out If You Have Diabetes?

Prediabetes

Prediabetes

What Is Prediabetes? Prediabetes is a “pre-diagnosis” of diabetes—you can think of it as a warning sign. It’s when your blood glucose level (blood sugar level) is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough to be considered diabetes. Prediabetes is an indication that you could develop type 2 diabetes if you don’t make some lifestyle changes. But here's the good news: . Eating healthy food, losing weight and staying at a healthy weight, and being physically active can help you bring your blood glucose level back into the normal range. Diabetes develops very gradually, so when you’re in the prediabetes stage—when your blood glucose level is higher than it should be—you may not have any symptoms at all. You may, however, notice that: you’re hungrier than normal you’re losing weight, despite eating more you’re thirstier than normal you have to go to the bathroom more frequently you’re more tired than usual All of those are typical symptoms associated with diabetes, so if you’re in the early stages of diabetes, you may notice them. Prediabetes develops when your body begins to have trouble using the hormone insulin. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose—what your body uses for energy—into the cells via the bloodstream. In pre-diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or it doesn’t use it well (that’s called insulin resistance). If you don’t have enough insulin or if you’re insulin resistant, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps prediabetes. Researchers aren’t sure what exactly causes the insulin process to go awry in some people. There are several risk factors, though, that make it more likely that you’ll develop pre-diabetes. These are Continue reading >>

Diabetes Warning Signs

Diabetes Warning Signs

Diabetes Warning Signs Because type 2 diabetes can lead to some serious health complications, it's important to be aware of any diabetes warning signs and get tested for diabetes, if you have these symptoms. Treating diabetes early, when treatment is most effective, can help prevent these diabetes complications. We'll explain the various diabetes warning signs and also warning signs of specific diabetes problems. Discover why it's important to listen to your body and alert your doctor if you notice any new signs or problems. Warning Signs of Diabetes Sometimes type 2 diabetes can develop without any warnings signs. In fact, about a third of all people who have type 2 diabetes don't know they have it. That's why it's important to talk to your doctor about your risk for diabetes and determined if you should be tested. Common warnings signs of diabetes include: Increased thirst Increased hunger (especially after eating) Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry) Fatigue (weak, tired feeling) Blurred vision Diabetic coma (loss of consciousness) If you have any of the above mentioned warnings signs of diabetes, give your doctor a call and schedule a diabetes test. With the right diabetes diet, regular exercise, and medications, if needed, you can manage type 2 diabetes and live an active, productive life. If you have symptoms of the following diabetes complications, it's important to seek immediate medical attention. Each brief discussion links to more in-depth information. Hypoglycemia and Diabetes As you'll learn in this health topic, hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of sugar or glucose in the blood drops too low to fuel the body. Hypoglycemia is not a disease but a condition that results from a variety of causes. Hypoglycem Continue reading >>

Do I Have Diabetes? Know The Warning Signs

Do I Have Diabetes? Know The Warning Signs

Diabetes is a serious, yet common medical condition. If you have diabetes, you need to manage your blood sugars and regularly monitor them to be sure they are within their target range. There are a few types of diabetes, though the main two types are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They differ due to the cause. You may have sudden symptoms of diabetes, or a diagnosis may surprise you because the symptoms have been gradual over many months or years. Diabetes symptoms may occur over time or they may appear quickly. The various types of diabetes may have similar or different warning signs. Some general warning signs of diabetes are: Other warning signs of type 1 Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in children and young adults, though it can occur at any age. A child may experience these additional symptoms: sudden, unintentional weight loss wetting the bed after a history of being dry at night a yeast infection in a prepubescent girl flu-like symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, breath that smells like fruit, problems breathing, and loss of consciousness Flu-like symptoms are caused when undiagnosed diabetes causes ketones to build up in the bloodstream. This condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical treatment. Learn more: Diabetic ketoacidosis » Other warning signs of type 2 You may not notice sudden symptoms of type 2 diabetes, but the warning signs listed above may alert you to an underlying condition. You may be diagnosed with diabetes because you go to the doctor for: persistent infections or a slow-healing wound complications that are associated with prolonged high blood sugar levels, such as numbness or tingling in your feet heart problems You may never experience obvious warning signs at all. Diabete Continue reading >>

Signs, Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Diabetes

Signs, Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Diabetes

The signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes usually develop quickly, especially in children, over a period of weeks. In babies and young children, the first indication of Type 1 diabetes may be a yeast infection that causes a severe diaper rash that's far worse than the common red, puffy and tender skin rash. In young children and infants, lethargy, dehydration and abdominal pain also may indicate Type 1 diabetes. Once the symptoms appear, a blood test generally will reveal very high blood glucose. Type 2 diabetes can be detected easily during a routine screening exam and blood test. However, it frequently can go undiagnosed for years unless a physician draws a blood sample to check the blood glucose. In the early stages of Type 2 diabetes, you experience few to no noticeable signs of the disease. As time goes by and the untreated blood glucose continues to rise, symptoms begin. If you're over 40 or have parents or siblings with diabetes, be sure to have your blood glucose checked routinely. The most common symptoms of undiagnosed Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are: Extreme thirst and a greater need to urinate: As excess glucose (sugar) builds up in the bloodstream, fluid is pulled from the tissues. The loss of fluid makes you thirsty. As a result, you may drink and urinate more than usual. Frequent hunger: Without enough insulin to move sugar into the cells (Type 1) or insulin resistance prohibiting insulin from entering the cells (Type 2), the muscles and organs are low on energy. This triggers intense hunger. Weight loss: Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, rapid weight loss sometimes occurs. Without the energy that glucose supplies, muscle tissues and fat stores simply shrink. Unexplained weight loss is often one of the first symptoms to be noticed. Blurred Continue reading >>

If You Have Diabetes, Here's Exactly What To Order At 8 Types Of Restaurants​

If You Have Diabetes, Here's Exactly What To Order At 8 Types Of Restaurants​

When you have diabetes, eating out can seem more complicated than deciphering the new tax code. But it doesn’t have to be. “People with diabetes can enjoy most any kind of restaurant,” says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, CDE, author of Diabetes Weight Loss Week by Week. “The key is to stick as closely to your usual meal plan as possible.” Here’s how. (Find out how to stop the craving cycle before it starts and burn fat around the clock with the naturally sweet, salty, and satisfying meals in Eat Clean, Lose Weight & Love Every Bite.) Worried about all that crust? Go with one slice of thin crust pizza and you’ll lighten the carb count of your slice by a third compared to a regular slice. If a single slice sounds too skimpy, pump up the volume—and the fiber—by adding plenty of chopped veggies. And speaking of veggies, filling up on a salad before your pie arrives can also put the breaks on hunger. These pita pizzas will totally change the way you think about dinner: “Given that pasta is packed with carbohydrates, it’s probably not the best idea to make it the center of your meal,” says Weisenberger. Just one order of spaghetti and meatballs can easily pack 150 grams of carbs. That doesn’t mean you have to go 100% pasta-free though. Weisenberger recommends ordering pasta as a side dish and limiting your portion to a half-cup, or about the size of a tennis ball. Pair it with an order of mussels fra diavolo, chicken cacciatore, or grilled calamari. (And make sure you try these 6 ways to make Italian food flat belly-friendly!) We hope you enjoy the products we're recommending as much as we do! Just so you know, Prevention may get a share of sales from the links on this page. If you’re eating Chinese food, chances are there’s going to be rice on your pla Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in people aged over 40 years. However, an increasing number of younger people, even children, are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The first-line treatment is diet, weight control and physical activity. If the blood sugar (glucose) level remains high despite these measures then tablets to reduce the blood glucose level are usually advised. Insulin injections are needed in some cases. Other treatments include reducing blood pressure if it is high, lowering high cholesterol levels and also using other measures to reduce the risk of complications. Although diabetes cannot be cured, it can be treated successfully. If a high blood sugar level is brought down to a normal level, your symptoms will ease. You still have some risk of complications in the long term if your blood glucose level remains even mildly high - even if you have no symptoms in the short term. However, studies have shown that people who have better glucose control have fewer complications (such as heart disease or eye problems) compared with those people who have poorer control of their glucose level. Therefore, the main aims of treatment are: To keep your blood glucose level as near normal as possible. To reduce any other risk factors that may increase your risk of developing complications. In particular, to lower your blood pressure if it is high and to keep your blood lipids (cholesterol) low. To detect any complications as early as possible. Treatment can prevent or delay some complications from becoming worse. Type 2 diabetes is usually initially treated by following a healthy diet, losing weight if you are overweight, and having regular physical activity. If lifestyle advice does not control your blood sugar (glucose) levels then medicines are used to help lower your Continue reading >>

How To Tell If You Have Diabetes

How To Tell If You Have Diabetes

Expert Reviewed If you believe that you may have diabetes, consult a medical professional immediately. Type 1 diabetes is when the islet cells of your pancreas can no longer produce insulin; it is a type of autoimmune disease that makes them no longer functional. Type 2 diabetes is more lifestyle-related (relating to lack of exercise and consuming too much sugar). It is important to know the signs and symptoms of diabetes, as well as to understand how it is diagnosed, in order to be treated as soon as possible if you do have the condition. 1 Be aware of the following signs and symptoms. If you have two or more on the list below, it is best to see your doctor for further evaluation. Common signs and symptoms of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes include:[1] Excessive thirst Excessive hunger Blurry vision Frequent urination (you wake 3 or more times in the night to urinate) Fatigue (particularly after eating) Feeling irritable Wounds that don't heal or heal slowly 2 Take note of your lifestyle choices. People who live a sedentary life (with little to no exercise) are at a heightened risk of Type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight or obese, or who eat more sweets and refined carbohydrates than is ideal are also at significantly higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.[2] Note that Type 2 diabetes is acquired in one's life, most often related to poor lifestyle choices, versus Type 1 diabetes which is a condition one is born with that most often presents in childhood. 3 See your doctor.[3] The only way to truly confirm whether or not you have diabetes is to see your doctor for diagnostic testing (in the form of blood tests). The numbers that come back on your blood tests will help to classify you as "normal," "pre-diabetic" (meaning you are at very high risk of soon develo Continue reading >>

Can You Be An Astronaut If You Have Diabetes?

Can You Be An Astronaut If You Have Diabetes?

Though you may not be able to become an astronaut, and go to space just yet if you have diabetes in the United States, you can get fairly close to it. Currently, there are no astronauts with diabetes in space in the US or Russian space programs. If you were wondering how astronauts with diabetes could manage their condition in space, that’s a good question. There is one man, Josu Feijoo, an astronaut from Spain, who will be going to space with Type 1 Diabetes in 14 months. He is going with a private company VirginGalactic, to research the safety of having astronauts with diabetes in space. Josu has Type 1 Diabetes, and we will speak with him about his space adventures, and what the researchers are expecting to learn from this research. It’s an exciting time where in 14 months’, a person with diabetes will be doing space exploration. Private companies are opening the door for more people with diabetes to have this experience. There are people with diabetes who work in positions at NASA, like “Nerdy April,” who landed her dream job as an ADCO (Attitude Determination and Control Officer) for the International Space Station (ISS). To find out how she is still working to break down the barriers to becoming an astronaut, read on. She is an inspiration! Due to laws against discrimination, there should be no more blanket bans on diabetes for any occupations anymore. Therefore, each astronaut application must be evaluated individually. All things are considered, including blood sugar control, episodes of low blood sugar, and complications of diabetes that may already be present. NASA generally requires that astronauts be in overall great physical shape, so it’s difficult to pass the FAA Medical Examination. Just the mention of Type 1 Diabetes is an exclusionary issue Continue reading >>

Home Test To Check If You Have Diabetes

Home Test To Check If You Have Diabetes

Testing blood sugar at home can be an effective way to treat and monitor your diabetes. Diabetes is one of the top 10 causes of death in North America. About 29.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes – 8.1 million cases are undiagnosed. Suspecting that you or a loved one might have diabetes can be scary. It is a condition that causes sweeping changes to a person’s lifestyle. In most cases, because the early signs of diabetes are not known, being diagnosed comes as a shock. However, there are affordable tests that can be done at home to help diagnose diabetes in its early stages. But before you embark on home testing, it’s important to recognize the symptoms that can help you determine if home testing is necessary. Major symptoms of type 2 diabetes include: Excessive thirst Frequent urination Excessive hunger Fatigue Blurry vision Sores and cuts that won’t heal What are diabetic home tests? Although going in to see your doctor will give you accurate blood sugar readings, it can be a hassle making an appointment, waiting to see your doctor and traveling to and from the office. Instead you can do at home testing, which can help you better monitor and control your diabetes. There are different types of at-home tests you can complete daily to properly monitor your blood sugar levels. You can do a blood test, urine test or use an A1C kit. Those who would benefit from diabetic home testing are those with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and individuals who are showing signs of diabetes. By keeping track of blood sugar levels you can gauge how your current treatment and lifestyle habits are affecting your condition. A normal blood sugar reading, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is between 70 and 140 mg/dL. Low blood sug Continue reading >>

10 Silent Diabetes Symptoms You Might Be Missing

10 Silent Diabetes Symptoms You Might Be Missing

Diabetes has plenty of early signs, but they're subtle enough that you might not notice. Syda Productions/shutterstock "It's not like you wake up one day and all of a sudden you're thirsty, hungry, and [going to the bathroom] all the time," says Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, a certified diabetes educator in Illinois and a spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. "It picks up gradually." Indeed, "most people are unaware that they have diabetes in its early or even middle phases," says Aaron Cypess, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and staff physician at Joslin Diabetes Center. Just because you're not keyed in doesn't mean you're immune from problems associated with diabetes, he adds. The longer you go without controlling diabetes, the greater your risk for heart disease, kidney disease, amputation, blindness, and other serious complications. "We recommend that people with risk factors for diabetes, such as a family history or being overweight, get evaluated on a regular basis," Dr. Cypess says. If you've been feeling off, talk to your doctor about getting a simple blood test that can diagnose the disease. And pay attention to these subtle diabetes symptoms and signs. Try these simple tricks for living well with diabetes from people who actually have it. Iryna Kolesova/shutterstock When you have diabetes, your body becomes less efficient at breaking food down into sugar, so you have more sugar sitting in your bloodstream, says Dobbins. "Your body gets rid of it by flushing it out in the urine." So going to the bathroom a lot could be one of the diabetes symptoms you're missing. Most patients aren't necessarily aware of how often they use the bathroom, says Dr. Cypess. "When we ask about it, we often hear, 'Oh yeah, I guess I Continue reading >>

Diabetes Discovery – Via The Eyes

Diabetes Discovery – Via The Eyes

Did you know that an eye exam can be the first clue to detecting diabetes and other hidden health concerns? Finding health issues early can give patients a better chance at preventing damage through early treatment and management. A routine eye exam can show so many things. Some can be downright life changing – and life-saving – for that matter. One doctor found out first-hand when she did the same thing she does every day – she looked into a patient's eyes. But this was no ordinary exam. When Kathleen Clary, OD, peered into her 48-year-old patient’s eyes, she saw blood and other fluids seeping out of fragile and miniscule vessels in her retinas. The retina is the light and sight-sensing back part of the eye – and without it, you don't see. “As soon as I noticed the leaking fluids and the hemorrhaging, I suspected that they might be symptoms of diabetes,” recalls Dr. Clary, who practices in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Ashburn, Virginia. “In my 12 years of experience as an eye doctor, that kind of bleeding usually signals that a buildup of sugar in the patient’s bloodstream has begun to break down the capillaries that feed the retina. The result is often what we call diabetic retinopathy – a condition in which continuing damage to retinal tissue from diabetes can lead to impaired vision or even blindness, if left untreated.” The eye exam was the very first clue the patient had that she might have diabetes. Dr. Clary talked with her patient about what she saw and explained what it could mean. “I want you to have your blood sugar level checked right away by your family doctor,” she told her patient. “Tell the doctor you need to be evaluated for diabetes with a fasting blood sugar test, because your optometrist noticed some retinal bleeding. Continue reading >>

Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes

Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes and plan to have a baby, you should try to get your blood glucose levels close to your target range before you get pregnant. Staying in your target range during pregnancy, which may be different than when you aren’t pregnant, is also important. High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can harm your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnant. If you have diabetes and are already pregnant, see your doctor as soon as possible to make a plan to manage your diabetes. Working with your health care team and following your diabetes management plan can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you develop diabetes for the first time while you are pregnant, you have gestational diabetes. How can diabetes affect my baby? A baby’s organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs, start forming during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. High blood glucose levels can be harmful during this early stage and can increase the chance that your baby will have birth defects, such as heart defects or defects of the brain or spine. High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can also increase the chance that your baby will be born too early, weigh too much, or have breathing problems or low blood glucose right after birth. High blood glucose also can increase the chance that you will have a miscarriage or a stillborn baby.1 Stillborn means the baby dies in the womb during the second half of pregnancy. How can my diabetes affect me during pregnancy? Hormonal and other changes in your body during pregnancy affect your blood glucose levels, so you might need to change how you manage your diabetes. Even if you’ve had diabetes for years, you may need to change your meal plan, physical activity routine, and medicines. Continue reading >>

Early Symptoms Of Diabetes

Early Symptoms Of Diabetes

How can you tell if you have diabetes? Most early symptoms are from higher-than-normal levels of glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood. The warning signs can be so mild that you don't notice them. That's especially true of type 2 diabetes. Some people don't find out they have it until they get problems from long-term damage caused by the disease. With type 1 diabetes, the symptoms usually happen quickly, in a matter of days or a few weeks. They're much more severe, too. Both types of diabetes have some of the same telltale warning signs. Hunger and fatigue. Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to bring the glucose in. If your body doesn't make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can't get into them and you have no energy. This can make you more hungry and tired than usual. Peeing more often and being thirstier. The average person usually has to pee between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more. Why? Normally your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your kidneys may not be able to bring it all back in. This causes the body to make more urine, and that takes fluids. You'll have to go more often. You might pee out more, too. Because you're peeing so much, you can get very thirsty. When you drink more, you'll also pee more. Dry mouth and itchy skin. Because your body is using fluids to make pee, there's less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated, and your mouth may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy. Blurred vision. Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in your eyes swell up. They change shape and lose their a Continue reading >>

7 Sneaky Signs Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

7 Sneaky Signs Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

Here’s a scary stat: More than 15 million men in the U.S. have diabetes—a condition that occurs when your blood sugar is too high—but around a quarter of them don’t even know it, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s bad news. When left unchecked, the condition can lead to serious complications like heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, and vision loss. One of the reasons why so many people end up going untreated is because the symptoms caused by high blood sugar are sneaky. They tend to develop gradually, so you might not realize that you’re sick, says Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of The End of Diabetes. And even when you notice something is off, the signs can be vague, so you might not make the connection to diabetes. That’s why it’s important to know what to watch for. Here are 7 unexpected signs that your blood sugar levels might be too high. How many do you have? Increased urination is telltale sign that your blood sugar could be out of control. When you have too much glucose—or sugar—in your bloodstream, your kidneys try to flush out the extra through your urine, explains Dr. Fuhrman. As a result, you end up having to pee more often than usual, including in the middle of the night. Since you’re losing so much fluid, you’ll probably feel extra thirsty and your mouth will be dry, too, he says. (For more health news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our Daily Dose newsletter.) Related: Eat Less Of This So You Won't Have to Wake Up At Night to Pee Peeing more often means that your body is getting rid of more water than usual, which puts you at risk for dehydration, says Dr. Furhman. That can leave you feeling thirsty and cotton-mouthed, even if it seems like you’re drinking the same a Continue reading >>

Diabetes: How Do I Know If I Have It?

Diabetes: How Do I Know If I Have It?

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body doesn't make enough of a hormone called insulin, or if your body doesn't use insulin the right way. If left untreated, it may result in blindness, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and amputations. Only half of the people who have diabetes are diagnosed because in the early stages of diabetes, there are few symptoms, or the symptoms may be the same as in other health conditions. What are the symptoms of diabetes? Early symptoms of diabetes may include: Extreme thirst Frequent urination Unexplained weight loss Blurry vision that changes from day to day Unusual tiredness or drowsiness Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet Frequent or recurring skin, gum or bladder infections If you have any of these symptoms, call your family doctor right away. Who is at risk for diabetes? The early stages of diabetes have few symptoms, so at first you may not know you have the disease. Damage may already be happening to your eyes, kidneys and cardiovascular system before you notice symptoms. You have more risk of having diabetes if: You're older than 45 years. You're overweight. You don't exercise regularly. Your parent, brother or sister has diabetes. You had a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds or you had gestational diabetes while you were pregnant. You are black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or a Pacific Islander. If you have one or more of these risk factors, your doctor may want you to be tested for diabetes. Continue reading >>

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