Diabetes: Basic Facts
What is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that affects the way the body turns sugar into energy. There are several types of diabetes. How the Body Turns Sugar into Energy The food we eat is made up of three things. They are carbohydrates (CAR-bow-HIdrates), which are sugars and starches; protein (PRO-teen); and fat. When we eat, a healthy body changes all of the carbohydrates and some of the protein and fat into a sugar. This sugar is called glucose (GLOOcose). From the small intestine, glucose moves into the blood. From the blood, glucose then moves into the cells of the body. The sugar we call glucose is the fuel, or energy, that the cells of the body need to do their work. Near the stomach is an organ called the pancreas (PAN-kree-us). The pancreas makes insulin (IN-suh-lin). Insulin is a hormone. When we eat, the sugar level in the blood goes up. The pancreas puts out more insulin. The insulin helps move the sugar out of the blood into the cells. The cells use the sugar for energy or store the sugar for use later. What happens when you have diabetes? When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use the insulin properly. Sugar stays in your blood. Then the cells don’t get enough sugar for fuel. The body doesn’t have enough energy to do its work. Over time, the high level of sugar in the blood can damage the body. What are the types of diabetes? Three types of diabetes are the most common. Type 1 diabetes In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make insulin. Sugar is unable to get into the cells. So the sugar level in the blood goes up. When the sugar level rises above normal, a person has high blood glucose. The name for high blood glucose is hyperglycemia (HIper-glice-EE-mee-uh). Most often children and young adults get Typ Continue reading >>
Type You Support Group
Frequently asked questions about Medical Assistance & Diabetic Alert Dogs What is a Service dog and why does it have special rights for access? Service dogs are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities – such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. The Americans with Disabilities Act provides public access rights for these dogs and their disabled handlers. What is the difference between a Medical Assistance Dog, a Diabetic Alert Assistance Dog and a Medical Response Dog? Medical Assistance Dogs are service dogs that have been trained to respond to an identifiable element that is available to their senses in order to support the medical condition of their handler. Diabetic Alert Assistance Dogs are a specific type of Medical Assistance Dog that has been trained to use their highly sensitive scent capabilities to identify the changes in blood chemistry that occur during rapid changes in blood sugar levels. Medical Response Dogs are another type of Medical Assistance Dog that has been trained to assist persons based on recognition of symptoms pertaining to a specific medical condition. The differences between medical alert and medical response training is the trigger that the dog has been trained to identify. In the case of a Diabetic Alert Dog, the trigger is the change in blood chemistry, allowing the diabetic to treat hypoglycemia prior to becoming symptomatic. A Medical Response Dog for diabetes responds to the handler as symptoms are occurring. D4D’s testing and experience with its clients has shown that there is a 15 to 30 minute difference in this response. How can the dog notify its handler when it se Continue reading >>
How Atkins Can Stop Or Reverse Diabetes
Numerous studies in a variety of settings show dramatic improvements in blood glucose control and blood lipids in type 2 diabetics consuming a low-carb diet.(1–5). When these studies included a low-fat, high-carb comparison group, the low-carb diet consistently showed superior effects on blood glucose control, medication reduction, blood lipids and weight loss. Weight loss is particularly important because treatment goals for patients with type 2 diabetes always emphasize weight loss if the individual is overweight, yet the drugs used to treat diabetics can increase the risk of weight gain. Unlike medications, a low-carb dietary approach to type 2 diabetes can deliver improved blood sugar control and weight loss. Weight Gain as a Side Effect On its surface, the management of type 2 diabetes seems pretty easy: just get your blood glucose back down into the normal range. But insulin resistance characterizes type 2 diabetes; put simply, the glucose level “doesn’t want” to go down. This means that the body is less responsive to the most powerful drug used to treat it: insulin. So the dose of insulin that most type 2 diabetics are prescribed is sometimes very high. Moreover, because insulin not only drives glucose into muscle cells but also accelerates fat synthesis and storage, weight gain is usually one side effect of aggressive insulin therapy.(6) Other pills and injected medications have been developed to reduce this effect, but on average, the harder one tries to control blood glucose, the greater the tendency to weight gain.(7) Hypoglycemia as a Side Effect The other major side effect of attempting to gain tight control of blood sugar with medication is driving it too low, resulting in hypoglycemia, which causes weakness, shakiness and confusion. If these sympt Continue reading >>
The A1c Test & Diabetes
What is the A1C test? The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and diabetes research. How does the A1C test work? The A1C test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. In the body, red blood cells are constantly forming and dying, but typically they live for about 3 months. Thus, the A1C test reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent. Can the A1C test be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes? Yes. In 2009, an international expert committee recommended the A1C test as one of the tests available to help diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.1 Previously, only the traditional blood glucose tests were used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes. Because the A1C test does not require fasting and blood can be drawn for the test at any time of day, experts are hoping its convenience will allow more people to get tested—thus, decreasing the number of people with undiagnosed diabetes. However, some medical organizations continue to recommend using blood glucose tests for diagnosis. Why should a person be tested for diabetes? Testing is especially important because early in the disease diabetes has no symptoms. Although no test is perfect, the A1C and blood glucose tests are the best tools available to diagnose diabetes—a serious and li Continue reading >>
The Impact Of Diabetes On Employment And Work Productivity
Abstract OBJECTIVE—The purpose of this study was to longitudinally examine the effect of diabetes on labor market outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Using secondary data from the first two waves (1992 and 1994) of the Health and Retirement Study, we identified 7,055 employed respondents (51–61 years of age), 490 of whom reported having diabetes in wave 1. We estimated the effect of diabetes in wave 1 on the probability of working in wave 2 using probit regression. For those working in wave 2, we modeled the relationships between diabetic status in wave 1 and the change in hours worked and work-loss days using ordinary least-squares regressions and modeled the presence of health-related work limitations using probit regression. All models control for health status and job characteristics and are estimated separately by sex. RESULTS—Among individuals with diabetes, the absolute probability of working was 4.4 percentage points less for women and 7.1 percentage points less for men relative to that of their counterparts without diabetes. Change in weekly hours worked was not statistically significantly associated with diabetes. Women with diabetes had 2 more work-loss days per year compared with women without diabetes. Compared with individuals without diabetes, men and women with diabetes were 5.4 and 6 percentage points (absolute increase), respectively, more likely to have work limitations. CONCLUSIONS—This article provides evidence that diabetes affects patients, employers, and society not only by reducing employment but also by contributing to work loss and health-related work limitations for those who remain employed. The medical care costs associated with diabetes create a considerable economic burden for patients, families, and society (1,2). Productivit Continue reading >>
New Information On How Metformin Works
Not only has new research told us how metformin really works, but a new biomarker was found that can determine the optimal dose of metformin that should be used to get the best results for each patient. Research from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center reveals that the drug most commonly used in Type 2 diabetics who don’t need insulin works on a much more basic level than once thought, treating persistently elevated blood sugar — the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes — by regulating the genes that control its production. investigators say they have zeroed in on a specific segment of a protein called CBP made by the genetic switches involved in overproduction of glucose by the liver that could present new targets for drug therapy of the disease. In healthy people, the liver produces glucose during fasting to maintain normal levels of cell energy production. After people eat, the pancreas releases insulin, the hormone responsible for glucose absorption. Once insulin is released, the liver should turn down or turn off its glucose production, but in people with Type 2 diabetes, the liver fails to sense insulin and continues to make glucose. The condition, known as insulin resistance, is caused by a glitch in the communication between liver and pancreas. Metformin, introduced as frontline therapy for uncomplicated Type 2 diabetes in the 1950s, up until now was believed to work by making the liver more sensitive to insulin. The Hopkins study shows, however, that metformin bypasses the stumbling block in communication and works directly in the liver cells. Senior investigator, Fred Wondisford, M.D., who heads the metabolism division at Hopkins Children’s, tells us that, "Rather than an interpreter of insulin-liver communication, metformin takes over as the messenger itself Continue reading >>
How Does Diabetes Affect The Body?
Tweet Knowing how diabetes affects your body can help you look after your body and prevent diabetic complications from developing. Many of the effects of diabetes stem from the same guilty parties; namely high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and a lack of blood glucose control. Signs of diabetes When undiagnosed or uncontrolled, the effects of diabetes on the body can be noticed by the classic symptoms of diabetes, namely: Increased thirst Frequent need to urinate Fatigue Blurred vision and Tingling or pain in the hands, feet and/or legs Long term effects of diabetes on the body In addition to the symptoms, diabetes can cause long term damage to our body. The long term damage is commonly referred to as diabetic complications. Diabetes affects our blood vessels and nerves and therefore can affect any part of the body. However, certain parts of our body are affected more than other parts. Diabetic complications will usually take a number of years of poorly controlled diabetes to develop. Complications are not a certainty and can be kept at bay and prevented by maintaining a strong level of control on your diabetes, your blood pressure and cholesterol. These can all be helped by keeping to a healthy diet, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and incorporating regular activity into your daily regime in order to keep blood sugar levels within recommended blood glucose level guidelines. The effect of diabetes on the heart Diabetes and coronary heart disease are closely related. Diabetes contributes to high blood pressure and is linked with high cholesterol which significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes and strokes Similar to how diabetes affects the heart, high blood pressure and cholesterol raises the risk of strokes. How dia Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious complex condition which can affect the entire body. Diabetes requires daily self care and if complications develop, diabetes can have a significant impact on quality of life and can reduce life expectancy. While there is currently no cure for diabetes, you can live an enjoyable life by learning about the condition and effectively managing it. There are different types of diabetes; all types are complex and serious. The three main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. How does diabetes affect the body? When someone has diabetes, their body can’t maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a form of sugar which is the main source of energy for our bodies. Unhealthy levels of glucose in the blood can lead to long term and short term health complications. For our bodies to work properly we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. A hormone called insulin is essential for the conversion of glucose into energy. In people with diabetes, insulin is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts by the body. When people with diabetes eat glucose, which is in foods such as breads, cereals, fruit and starchy vegetables, legumes, milk, yoghurt and sweets, it can’t be converted into energy. Instead of being turned into energy the glucose stays in the blood resulting in high blood glucose levels. After eating, the glucose is carried around your body in your blood. Your blood glucose level is called glycaemia. Blood glucose levels can be monitored and managed through self care and treatment. Three things you need to know about diabetes: It is not one condition- there are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes All types of diabetes are complex and require daily care Continue reading >>
- American Diabetes Association® Releases 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, with Notable New Recommendations for People with Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
- Leeds diabetes clinical champion raises awareness of gestational diabetes for World Diabetes Day
- Diabetes doctors: Which specialists treat diabetes?
Metformin: Uses, Action, Dosage, Side Effect And Brand Information
What is metformin used for? Controlling blood sugar levels in adults, adolescents and children aged 10 years and over with type 2 diabetes. Metformin is used when diet alone has failed to fully control blood sugar. It may be used on its own, in combination with other oral antidiabetic medicines, or with insulin. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is an off-licence use of metformin, so you won't find it mentioned in the information leaflets that come with the medicine. However, metformin is a widely used and established treatment option for this condition. How does metformin work? In type 2 diabetes the cells in the body, particularly muscle, fat and liver cells, become resistant to the action of insulin. Insulin is the main hormone responsible for controlling the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It makes cells in the body remove sugar from the blood. When the cells are resistant to insulin this makes blood sugar levels rise too high. Metformin hydrochloride is a type of antidiabetic medicine called a biguanide. It works in a number of ways to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Firstly, it increases the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. This enables these cells to remove sugar from the blood more effectively. Secondly, it reduces the amount of sugar produced by cells in the liver. Finally, it delays the absorption of sugar from the intestines into the bloodstream after eating so that there is less of a spike in blood sugar levels after meals. Metformin is taken regularly every day to help control blood sugar levels both between and directly after meals. In polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS many women have high insulin levels, and as a result their cells become resistant to the action of insulin. The high insulin levels also cause an Continue reading >>
11 Exercise Tips For Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise is sure to be on your to-do list if you have diabetes. Get started with these go-to tips: 1. Make a list of fun activities. You have lots of options, and you don't have to go to a gym. What sounds good? Think about something you've always wanted to try or something you enjoyed in the past. Sports, dancing, yoga, walking, and swimming are a few ideas. Anything that raises your heart rate counts. 2. Get your doctor's OK. Let them know what you want to do. They can make sure you're ready for it. They'll also check to see if you need to change your meals, insulin, or diabetes medicines. Your doctor can also let you know if the time of day you exercise matters. 3. Check your blood sugar. Ask your doctor if you should check it before exercise. If you plan to work out for more than an hour, check your blood sugar levels regularly during your workout, so you’ll know if you need a snack. Check your blood sugar after every workout, so that you can adjust if needed. 4. Carry carbs. Always keep a small carbohydrate snack, like fruit or a fruit drink, on hand in case your blood sugar gets low. 5. Ease into it. If you're not active now, start with 10 minutes of exercise at a time. Gradually work up to 30 minutes a day. 6. Strength train at least twice a week. It can improve blood sugar control. You can lift weights or work with resistance bands. Or you can do moves like push-ups, lunges, and squats, which use your own body weight. 7. Make it a habit. Exercise, eat, and take your medicines at the same time each day to prevent low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia. 8. Go public. Work out with someone who knows you have diabetes and knows what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. It's more fun, too. Also wear a medical identification tag, or carry a card that says you Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin Pump Therapy?
Through the following simple questions and related answers, you can get an understanding of what an insulin pump is and how insulin pump therapy works, helping you keep your glucose levels under control whilst maintaining your lifestyle. What is a pump and how does it work? An insulin pump is a small electronic device, about the size of a mobile phone. It can be easily carried on a belt, inside a pocket, or even attached to a bra thus becoming virtually invisible to others and allowing a very discreet therapy. The pump can help you more closely mimic the way a healthy pancreas functions. The pump, through a Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII), replaces the need for frequent injections by delivering precise doses of rapid-acting insulin 24 hours a day to closely match your body's needs. Basal Rate: A programmed insulin rate made of small amounts of insulin delivered continuously mimics the basal insulin production by the pancreas for normal functions of the body (not including food). The programmed rate is determined by your healthcare professional based on your personal needs. This basal rate delivery can also be customised according to your specific daily needs. For example, it can be suspended or increased / decreased for a definite time frame: this is not possible with basal insulin injections. Bolus Dose: Additional insulin can be delivered "on demand" to match the food you are going to eat or to correct high blood sugar. Insulin pumps have bolus calculators that help you calculate your bolus amount based on settings that are pre-determined by your healthcare professional and again based on your special needs. What are the benefits of insulin pump therapy and how can it help you achieve better glucose control? Insulin pump therapy offers multiple clinica Continue reading >>
- Insulin Pump Therapy for Kids
- Comparative Effectiveness and Costs of Insulin Pump Therapy for Diabetes
- Relative effectiveness of insulin pump treatment over multiple daily injections and structured education during flexible intensive insulin treatment for type 1 diabetes: cluster randomised trial (REPOSE)
Diabetes And Stress
Stress, whether physical stress or mental stress, has been proven to instigate changes in blood sugar levels, which for people with diabetes can be problematic. While stress can affect diabetes control, both directly and indirectly, it can also be caused by various diabetic factors such as being diagnosed with diabetes, adjusting to a diabetes treatment regimen, or dealing with psychosocial pressures of the disease. What is stress? Simply out, stress is a state of emotional strain or tension that occurs when we feel that we can't cope with pressure. When we become stressed, the body quickly responds by releasing hormones that give cells access to stored energy - fat and glucose - to help the body get away from danger. This instinctive physiological response to perceived threats is known as the "fight-freeze, or flight" response. Over time, both physical and mental stress can wear us down mentally and lead to depression and other mental health issues. What can cause stress? We live in a very stressful society which is constantly putting us under pressure. This pressure can sometimes be too much to handle, leading us to feel "stressed out". This everyday feeling can be caused by simple things such as: Work pressure Marriage and relationships Parenting/children Health problems such as diabetes (see below) Financial insecurity Traffic Diabetes causing stress? Being told you have diabetes, or any serious chronic condition for that matter, can also cause a lot of stress and pressure. This can make it harder to control blood sugar levels which, in most cases, only adds to the frustration and stress. How does stress affect my diabetes? It is widely recognised that people with diabetes are who regularly stressed are more likely to have poor blood glucose control. One of the reas Continue reading >>
Diabetes And How It Can Affect A Person At Work
Many conditions can cause health issues in the workplace and long-term absence from work. One condition that is becoming increasingly prevalent is diabetes. Diabetes is the result of the body being unable to break down glucose into energy, either because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to metabolise glucose or because the insulin produced by the body doesn’t work properly. Figures from Diabetes UK show that since 1996 the number of people with diabetes in the UK has more than doubled from 1.4 million to 3.5 million. By 2025, it is estimated that five million people will have diabetes in the UK. Types of diabetes Type 1 diabetes: Develops when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed so the body can’t maintain normal glucose levels. This accounts for only around 10% of all cases of diabetes and is controlled through regular, life-long insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes: This occurs when the body is not making enough insulin and is most common in middle aged or older people. However, it is becoming increasingly common in younger, overweight people and is often linked to lifestyle choices. To some extent, type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise, although many people with type 2 diabetes will require medication to control glucose levels. Diabetes – warning signs Certain symptoms can suggest the onset of diabetes, and these include: feeling very thirsty; urinating more frequently, particularly at night; increased hunger; feeling tired; weight loss or loss of muscle bulk; slow-healing cuts or wounds; blurred vision; frequent b0uts of thrush. Risk factors for diabetes Type 1 diabetes: Family history: Having a parent or sibling with the condition. Genetics: The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of d Continue reading >>
Can I Work With Diabetes?
Both Type I and Type II Diabetes, as well as the other forms of diabetes, can be debilitating if not controlled. Many can and do qualify for Social Security Disability benefits because of diabetes. However, simply having diabetes does not automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. Your eligibility for Social Security Disability depends on which symptoms you have and their severity. You may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to diabetes-related conditions, such as having amputated limbs or blindness. Diabetes is a digestive disease which affects your insulin levels. Because of the imbalance in insulin, your levels of blood sugar become elevated. This causes an increase in hunger and thirst and frequent urination. A common side effect of the constant hunger associated with high blood sugar levels and diabetes is weight gain and obesity. Additional symptoms include abdominal pain, altered consciousness, vomiting, nausea, and dehydration (usually due to craving sweet or caffeinated drinks to quench thirst). Nearly 3% of the world’s population suffers from some form of diabetes, making it one of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Effects of Diabetes on Your Ability to Perform Physical Work Depending on the severity of your symptoms, and which symptoms you suffer from (some people with Type II Diabetes have no noticeable symptoms at all), your ability to perform physical work may or may not be affected. In order to be eligible for Social security Disability benefits, you must be unable to perform any kind of work which you have ever done in the past, and the SSA must determine that you could not reasonably be trained to do any other kind of work. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits from diabetes, y Continue reading >>
How Insulin And Glucagon Work
Insulin and glucagon are hormones that help regulate the levels of blood glucose, or sugar, in your body. Glucose, which comes from the food you eat, moves through your bloodstream to help fuel your body. Insulin and glucagon work together to balance your blood sugar levels, keeping them in the narrow range that your body requires. These hormones are like the yin and yang of blood glucose maintenance. Read on to learn more about how they function and what can happen when they don’t work well. Insulin and glucagon work in what’s called a negative feedback loop. During this process, one event triggers another, which triggers another, and so on, to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. How insulin works During digestion, foods that contain carbohydrates are converted into glucose. Most of this glucose is sent into your bloodstream, causing a rise in blood glucose levels. This increase in blood glucose signals your pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin tells cells throughout your body to take in glucose from your bloodstream. As the glucose moves into your cells, your blood glucose levels go down. Some cells use the glucose as energy. Other cells, such as in your liver and muscles, store any excess glucose as a substance called glycogen. Your body uses glycogen for fuel between meals. Read more: Simple vs. complex carbs » How glucagon works Glucagon works to counterbalance the actions of insulin. About four to six hours after you eat, the glucose levels in your blood decrease, triggering your pancreas to produce glucagon. This hormone signals your liver and muscle cells to change the stored glycogen back into glucose. These cells then release the glucose into your bloodstream so your other cells can use it for energy. This whole feedback loop with insulin and gluca Continue reading >>
- How insulin and glucagon work to regulate blood sugar levels
- Insulin, glucagon and somatostatin stores in the pancreas of subjects with type-2 diabetes and their lean and obese non-diabetic controls
- Effects of Insulin Plus Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1RAs) in Treating Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis