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What Do Diabetes Look Like

With Type 1 Diabetes, The Numbers Add Up

With Type 1 Diabetes, The Numbers Add Up

Please use a modern #T1DYouDontSee We share little moments on social media every day. But for those with T1D in their life, there's so much our friends and family don’t see. Let's celebrate our strength by telling the whole story. Create your photo and show the world the T1D behind the picture. Continue reading >>

7 Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

7 Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

1 / 8 What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes? More than 100 million American adults are living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the number of people who know they have the diseases — which can lead to life-threatening complications, like blindness and heart disease — is far lower. Data from the CDC suggests that of the estimated 30.3 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, 7.2 million, or 1 in 4 adults living with the disease, are not aware of it. And among those people living with prediabetes, only 11.6 percent are aware that they have the disease. Prediabetes is marked by higher than normal blood sugar levels — though not high enough to qualify as diabetes. The CDC notes that this condition often leads to full-blown type 2 diabetes within five years if it's left untreated through diet and lifestyle modifications. Type 2 diabetes, which is often diagnosed when a person has an A1C of at least 7 on two separate occasions, can lead to potentially serious issues, like neuropathy, or nerve damage; vision problems; an increased risk of heart disease; and other diabetes complications. A person’s A1C is the two- to three-month average of his or her blood sugar levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors may use other tests to diagnose diabetes. For example, they may conduct a fasting blood glucose test, which is a blood glucose test done after a night of fasting. While a fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is normal, one that is between 100 to 125 mg/dL signals prediabetes, and a reading that reaches 126 mg/dL on two separate occasions means you have diabetes. People with full-blown type 2 diabetes are not able to use the h Continue reading >>

What Does A Diabetes-friendly Meal Look Like?

What Does A Diabetes-friendly Meal Look Like?

Counting carbs is effective and plays a critical role in your diabetes control. So does portion control — and all you need to get started is an empty plate. Take an ordinary dinner plate and draw an imaginary line down the center. Focus on filling half the plate with nonstarchy vegetables, then divide the remaining half into two sections; fill one with starchy foods, and the other with a protein source like meat or fish (but don't pile the food sky-high on the plate!). Following this practice is a simple and effective method to lose weight and help manage type 2 diabetes. Here are some nonstarchy vegetable ideas to get you started on filling the first half of your plate: Spinach Carrots Lettuce Greens Cabbage Bok choy Onion Cucumber Beets Okra Mushrooms Peppers Turnips Add starchy foods to one small section (1/4 of the total plate): Brown rice Whole-grain pasta Dal Tortillas Cooked beans or peas, such as pinto beans or black-eyed peas Potatoes Green peas Corn Lima beans Sweet potatoes Winter squash Low-fat crackers, snack chips, pretzels, or fat-free popcorn In the other small section (1/4 plate), place your protein choice: Chicken or turkey without the skin Fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, or catfish Other seafood such as shrimp, clams, oysters, crab, or mussels Lean cuts of beef and pork, such as sirloin or pork loin Tofu Eggs Low-fat cheese Your breakfast will look different, but the idea is the same: Whether you use a plate or bowl for breakfast, keep your portions small. Use half the plate or bowl for starchy foods, and fill the smaller sections (1/4 each) with fruit and your choice of protein. Learn more healthy habits in Step 5. Continue reading >>

This Is What Type 1 Diabetes Looks Like

This Is What Type 1 Diabetes Looks Like

This is what Type 1 Diabetes looks like. Pretty normal, right? Well, what you can’t see right now is someone recovering from a severe low blood sugar. The now dried sweat that, moments ago, drenched a shirt and made puddles on the floor. And you definitely can’t see the room spinning, as the body grows weaker and weaker, almost to the point of collapse as this person frenetically rummages the shelves for something sweet before his blood glucose drops so low it might literally hit the ground. He’s home alone, and in his panicked, cognition-disabled mind he thinks, maybe this is the one that gets me … Of course, there was OJ in the fridge. 20 minutes pass and he comes to, albeit physically exhausted on par with recovering from running a marathon with the flu. But he’s fine. He’s been here before and he’ll be here again … But that’s just it. He WILL be here again. And again and again and again. This is his life, the hand he’s been dealt. Not a lifestyle choice he’d made, or a bad dietary decision. What will tomorrow bring? A daylong, crippling high sugar that robs him of joy and mental clarity, that brings him to his proverbial knees as his blood becomes molasses and replaces hunger with nausea? Does he have enough insulin? Can he afford to keep using test strips to stabilize his numbers? What if he runs out of supplies?? He does his best to control what’s to come, but the truth is, there’s no knowing. This disease is an autonomous executioner who will sprinkle a momentary reprieve, only to retract it and come back double-downed. So he clamps down, bites the bullet, and keeps moving forward. All he can hope is that, the same life that provided these circumstances will also provide two other things: understanding and resources. Here’s to hoping. Continue reading >>

You Don’t Look Like You Should Have Diabetes.

You Don’t Look Like You Should Have Diabetes.

“And this, too, please,” I said, sliding the opened and half-consumed bag of gummy candies across the counter, my hands shaking. This low was bad. The symptoms were very visible, with unsteady hands and knees that were buckling out and sweat beading up on my forehead despite the 40 degree weather outside. I knew I was the color of a cotton ball, with the mental capacity of one as well. My Dexcom had gone off about ten minutes earlier and I picked around in my purse for the jar of glucose tabs that I soon realized were tucked neatly into the cup holder of my car. Out in the parking lot. (Useful.) Necessity forced my hand to grab the way overpriced bag of candies off the shelf and consume a handful. “Most expensive low ever,” I muttered, aware that coming up from this 45 mg/dL was going to cost me a pretty penny. I needed to get out of the store and reassemble my wits, but lows don’t excuse shoplifting, so I made my way to the cashier to check out. “Are you okay?” the cashier asked, probably because I looked half-removed from the planet. “Yes, thanks.” “These candies are open. Do you want a different bag? These have been half-eaten,” she said. “No, it’s okay. I ate them.” I smiled in a way that I hoped looked reassuring but probably looked weirdly menacing. “Low blood sugar.” “Diabetes?” “Yeah.” She smirked. “And here you are, buying candy. Isn’t this part of the problem? You don’t look like you should have diabetes. Maybe you should stop eating candy.” I would have rather been eating a banana, to be honest. Treating with fruit is my preferred way to upend a low. Or I would have rather had some measured glucose tabs so I knew how much I was consuming and could avoid the post-low rebound. Fuck, you know what? I’d rather not Continue reading >>

What Does Type 2 Diabetes Look Like?

What Does Type 2 Diabetes Look Like?

When you picture someone who is at risk for type 2 diabetes, who do you see? Someone who is overweight? Older? Someone with a poor diet? Do you ever picture yourself? Identify Potential Risk Factors While it's true that certain people are at higher risk, there is no "typical" person with diabetes. We all have the potential for developing type 2 diabetes. Several years ago at age 57, actor Tom Hanks announced that he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It caught many by surprise. He appears to be in good health, a normal weight, and active; yet his doctor had identified an issue with his blood sugar levels when Hanks was in his thirties, and he's been monitoring him for two decades. The lesson? Looks can be deceiving; only testing will tell for sure. Some risk factors include, but are not limited to: Overweight/sedentary lifestyle Family history of diabetes Certain ethnicities, including African American, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Hispanic/Latino Low levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol) High levels of triglycerides High blood pressure Watch for Symptoms "It's hard to imagine, but 6 million people with diabetes don’t know they have it," explained Polyclinic Endocrinologist Dr. Michael Williams. "That’s because the common symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes can be mistaken for other conditions, so people don't discuss them with their doctor." The only way to know for sure if you have diabetes is through a simple test during a routine visit with your primary care physician explains Dr. Williams. Like any health condition, early diagnosis is the key to reducing the risk of serious complications. Some signs to look for include, but are not limited to: Increased urination and excessive thirst Weight loss Hunger Slow-healing infections, cuts or bruises S Continue reading >>

Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin

Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin

Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. When diabetes affects the skin, it’s often a sign that your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. This could mean that: You have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes Your treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted If you notice any of the following warning signs on your skin, it’s time to talk with your doctor. This skin condition often begins as small raised solid bumps that look like pimples. As it progresses, these bumps turn into patches of swollen and hard skin. The patches can be yellow, reddish, or brown. You may also notice: The surrounding skin has a shiny porcelain-like appearance You can see blood vessels The skin is itchy and painful The skin disease goes through cycles where it is active, inactive, and then active again The medical name for this condition is necrobiosis lipodica (neck-row-by-oh-sis lee-poi-dee-ka). TAKE ACTION Get tested for diabetes if you have not been diagnosed. Work with your doctor to better control your diabetes. See a dermatologist about your skin. Necorbiosis lipodica is harmless, but it can lead to complications. A dark patch (or band) of velvety skin on the back of your neck, armpit, groin, or elsewhere could mean that you have too much insulin in your blood. AN is often a sign of prediabetes. The medical name for this skin condition is acanthosis nigricans (ay-can-THOE-sis NIE-gri-cans). TAKE ACTION: Get tested for diabetes. 3. Hard, thickening skin When this develops on the fingers, toes, or both, the medical name for this condition is digital sclerosis (sclear-row-sis). On the hands, you’ll notice tight, waxy skin on the backs of your hands. The fingers can become stiff and difficult to move. If diabetes has been poorly controlled for years, it can f Continue reading >>

The Aca Repeal & Medicaid: What Would It Look Like For Patients With Diabetes?

The Aca Repeal & Medicaid: What Would It Look Like For Patients With Diabetes?

President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has touched the lives of nearly every American. Over 20 million people are currently covered by a healthcare plan governed and facilitated by the Health Insurance Marketplaces (healthcare.gov), established by the ACA. While many discussions focus on the Marketplace and ACA in general, an important discussion needs to happen about Medicaid. Medicaid expansion has opened up the opportunity for many people who didn’t qualify for Medicaid traditionally thanks to its income-only requirement. For people in the 32 states who have adopted the expansion, if their income is at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), they can qualify for Medicaid. For all of its controversy, the facts remain clear: the ACA has helped millions of people afford healthcare coverage, access contraceptives, receive mammograms and other important health screenings, and provide healthcare to their children up to the age of 26. For people with diabetes, we cannot be charged more for coverage than those without diabetes and we cannot be denied. However, if the current Republican leadership gets its way, that’s all about to change. President Trump, Vice President Pence, and a sizeable number of Republican lawmakers in Congress have already begun to pave the way for a swift repeal of the ACA. What’s even more concerning to a large number of Americans is that they have no solid plan prepared to replace the ACA in the event of its repeal. (While they have proposed plans and two are in the markup phase, many experts have come forward to state that these are not solid or sustainable.) The initial plan is to repeal large portions of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion, but the long game is to repeal virtually ev 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 >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

On this page: Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy • DR symptoms • Types of diabetic eye disease • Who gets diabetic retinopathy? • Minorities and diabetic eye disease • When is DR a disability? • Eye exam assistance program • Prevention • Diabetic retinopathy videos Diabetic retinopathy — vision-threatening damage to the retina of the eye caused by diabetes — is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. The good news: Diabetic retinopathy often can be prevented with early detection, proper management of your diabetes and routine eye exams performed by your optometrist or ophthalmologist. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the United States has the highest rate of diabetes among 38 developed nations, with approximately 30 million Americans — roughly 11 percent of the U.S. population between the ages of 20 and 79 — having the disease. About 90 percent of Americans with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which develops when the the body fails to produce enough insulin — a hormone secreted by the pancreas that enables dietary sugar to enter the cells of the body — or the body becomes resistant to insulin. This causes glucose (sugar) levels in the bloodstream to rise and can eventually damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include obesity, an unhealthful diet and physical inactivity. Unfortunately, the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes has increased significantly in the United States over the past 30 years. According to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in December 2015, there were 1.4 million new cases of diabetes reported in the U.S. in 2014. Though this annual number is d Continue reading >>

What Real Portion Sizes Look Like

What Real Portion Sizes Look Like

When preparing meals, consider these portion sizes: pasta/rice: 1/3 cup cooked* meat: 3 ounces cheese: 1 ounce peanut butter/salad dressing: 1 tablespoon butter/mayonnaise: 1 teaspoon *This portion equals one carbohydrate choice. Most people with diabetes can have three to four carbohydrate choices per meal. If you choose to have all of your carbohydrate choices in pasta, you will need to avoid other carbohydrate foods (milk, fruit, starchy vegetables and dessert) at that meal. The pictured foods are on a nine-inch dinner plate: What should you put on your plate? When you are planning your meals, try to think about what your plate should look like. Use the example below to help you think about how your plate should look. For breakfast: half of your plate should be starches the other half should be split between protein and fruit For lunch and dinner: half of your plate should be full of non-starchy vegetables the other half should be split between protein and starches a small dish of fruit, if you want Continue reading >>

This Is What Diabetes Looks Like

This Is What Diabetes Looks Like

When someone says they have diabetes, what image comes to your mind? If your answer is “nothing,” that’s a good thing. There’s no one “look” or “type” of person with the condition. Still, diabetes is a serious disease with a lot of stigma associated with it — for no good reason. For the following nine individuals, diabetes doesn’t control who they are, what they like or dislike, or who they spend their time with. It doesn’t control what they can do and what they have done. Having diabetes may impact how they go about their everyday life, but it doesn’t impact who they are or what they hope to become. This is what diabetes looks like. Shelby Kinnaird, 55 Type 2 diabetes, Diagnosed in 1999 People with diabetes can be any age, any weight, any race, and any sex. Things that work for me may not work for you. Experiment and learn what works for your body and your lifestyle. I manage my diabetes by continuously learning about it and monitoring it. I read a lot about diabetes, lead a couple of support groups, educate myself about nutrition, ask my doctors questions, and participate in the online diabetes community. I test my blood glucose regularly, weigh myself every morning, and exercise at least five days a week (most of the time). I've found that the more I eat fresh vegetables and fruits, the easier it is to manage my diabetes. If my numbers start creeping up, I log everything I eat until I get back on track. The most important thing to me is that food be both delicious and nutritious. If I try a new food, I make sure to take a blood glucose reading a couple of hours later to see how well my body tolerated it. This can be exhausting, but knowledge truly is power. Sue Rericha, 47 Type 2 diabetes, Diagnosed in 2008 Diabetes looks like me and you. It l 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 >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes definition and facts Risk factors for gestational diabetes include a history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, There are typically no noticeable signs or symptoms associated with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause the fetus to be larger than normal. Delivery of the baby may be more complicated as a result. The baby is also at risk for developing low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) immediately after birth. Following a nutrition plan is the typical treatment for gestational diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight and following a healthy eating plan may be able to help prevent or minimize the risks of gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is diabetes, or high blood sugar levels, that develops during pregnancy. It occurs in about 4% of all pregnancies. It is usually diagnosed in the later stages of pregnancy and often occurs in women who have no prior history of diabetes. What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is thought to arise because the many changes, hormonal and otherwise, that occur in the body during pregnancy predispose some women to become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by specialized cells in the pancreas that allows the body to effectively metabolize glucose for later usage as fuel (energy). When levels of insulin are low, or the body cannot effectively use insulin (i.e., insulin resistance), blood glucose levels rise. What are the screening guidelines for gestational diabetes? All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Most pregnant women are tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy (see Continue reading >>

Why Diabetes Can Sometimes Look Like The Flu

Why Diabetes Can Sometimes Look Like The Flu

Today is World Diabetes Day, turning the spotlight on this silent killer of almost 5 million people worldwide each year. In the U.S. alone, 25.8 million people suffer from diabetes, including 7 million people who don’t even know they have it. And the number is growing, with two million adults newly diagnosed every year. Today is World Diabetes Day, turning the spotlight on this silent killer of almost 5 million people worldwide each year. In the U.S. alone, 25.8 million people suffer from diabetes, including 7 million people who don’t even know they have it. And the number is growing, with two million adults newly diagnosed every year. While the most common complications of diabetes, such as heart attack and stroke, can be years in the making, other severe complications can come on suddenly and may even be mistaken for something as commonplace as the flu. In this video, Deborah, a 57-year-old who didn't know she had type 2 diabetes, talks about how she was diagnosed with the disease. At first she went to her doctor for a sore throat, but was so sick she eventually went to the hospital. In fact, her blood sugar had soared to 10 times what it should have been, and she began t to slip into a diabetic coma. She woke up in the intensive care unit. Fortunately, Deborah recovered to tell her story, but not all people are so lucky. Uncontrolled high blood sugar can cause both diabetic ketoacidosis and diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, both of which can lead to a diabetic coma, which can be fatal. “This state is a life-threatening emergency,” said Spyros Mezitis, MD, PhD, an endocrinology consultant and clinical investigator at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is more often seen in type 2 diabetics, which is by far the most common form o Continue reading >>

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