Other Habits To Start
Quit smoking. It damages the inside of your blood vessels, and uncontrolled diabetes does the same thing. This can lead to problems from your head to your toes. No one expects you to quit for good in one day. Now’s the time to get real about a plan to stop.
Check your feet. Since people with diabetes can have foot problems but feel nothing due to nerve damage, look for cuts, sores, blisters, or anything unusual on your feet every day. Call a foot doctor if you see anything that worries you.
Ask your doctor if you should get any other shots, like ones to protect against pneumonia or shingles.
Find support. Join a diabetes support group to connect with others who understand what you’re going through. A community like that is a great resource when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed. They’ll also appreciate and be there with you to celebrate the wins.
Most hospitals host support groups. You can find them online, too. Ask your CDE for recommendations and about other people and organizations that might help you.
Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, RN, CDE, executive director, Diabetes and Obesity Institute, New York University Winthrop Hospital, Mineola, NY.
Brunilda Nazario, MD, lead medical director, WebMD.
Mayo Clinic: “Get walking with this 12-week walking schedule.”
Know Your Numbers: Cholesterol
High cholesterol is another heart disease risk factor that’s important to watch when you have diabetes. Total cholesterol should be below 200, with low-density lipoprotein , or “bad” cholesterol, levels under 100 and high-density lipoprotein , or “good” cholesterol, higher than 40 for men and 50 for women. Triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood, should be less than 150 for both men and women. Limiting saturated fats found in meat, full-fat dairy products, and fried foods can reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels. Getting more physical activity and taking cholesterol-reducing drugs can also help you meet your target cholesterol levels.
Know Your Numbers: Daily Calorie Count
Rather than counting carbs, Levesque recommends counting calories to better manage type 2 diabetes. “It’s not so much about fats, proteins, or carbs,” she says. “With type 2 diabetes, it’s about calorie control to get to a good body weight.” Recommended calories per day vary, but Levesque suggests a common-sense approach to calorie control. “If you’re eating cakes, pies, candy, and sweet drinks, you’re using up your calorie bank for things that don’t help your body,” she says. “But a cookie here and there won’t hurt as long as you eat healthy in general.”
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Other Types Of Diabetes
Other forms of insulin-resistant diabetes also can be seen in gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary disease, acanthosis nigricans, and maturity-onset diabetes of the young or MODY. Insulin resistant diabetes can also be unmasked by medications like prednisone. In rare cases, a type similar to Type1 diabetes but without antibodies may be seen following trauma to the pancreas, following pancreatic surgery, or after exposure to toxins like Agent Orange. This type is insulin-dependent because no insulin can be produced once the pancreas is removed or severely damaged.
Know Your Numbers: A1c
The blood test A1C shows how well your diabetes treatment is working. This laboratory test measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. You should have an A1C test at least twice a year, according to the American Diabetes Association. Most people with type 2 diabetes should keep A1C levels below 7 percent. If your levels are higher, you may need to change your diabetes self-management strategy. “Elevated blood sugar over the short term doesn’t hurt,” says George Grunberger, MD, chairman of the Grunberger Diabetes Institute and a clinical professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. “But the higher the blood sugar, the more complications can develop.”
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Maybe Its A Different Type
If you or someone you know is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but isnt responding well to the typical treatments for type 2 diabetes, it may be worth a visit to an endocrinologist to determine what type of diabetes is happening. Generally, this requires antibody tests and possibly the measurement of a C-peptide level.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Treated
People with type 2 diabetes have to pay a little more attention to what they’re eating and doing than people who don’t have diabetes. They may need to:
- Eat a healthy diet, as determined by the care team.
- Get regular physical activity to achieve a healthy weight and allow insulin to work more effectively.
- Check their blood sugar levels on a regular basis.
- Get treatment for other health problems that can happen more often in people with type 2 diabetes, like high blood pressure or problems with the levels of fats in their blood.
- Have regular checkups with doctors and other people on their diabetes health care team so they can stay healthy and get treatment for any diabetes problems.
People with type 2 diabetes might have to eat smaller food portions and less salt or fat, too. Those who eat healthy foods, stay active, and get to a healthy weight may bring their blood sugar levels into a healthier range. Their doctors may even say they don’t need to take any medicines at all.
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Who Gets Type 2 Diabetes
What makes people more likely to develop type 2 diabetes? No one knows for sure. But experts have a few ideas about what puts a person at greater risk:
- Most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight.
- People with family members who have diabetes get diabetes more often.
- People who are older than 10 are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than younger kids.
Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
Itâs important to get your blood sugar under control to avoid these serious conditions:
- Hypoglycemia. If your blood sugar falls below 70 milligrams per deciliter , it can lead to accidents, coma, and death.
- Hyperglycemia. Blood sugar that goes above 180 to 200 mg/dL can give you heart, nerve, kidney, and vision problems. Over the long term, it also can cause coma and death.
Over time, people with type 2 diabetes may have other health problems:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis. When you donât have enough insulin in your system, your blood sugar rises, and your body breaks down fat for energy. Toxic acids called ketones build up and spill into your urine. It can cause coma and death if you donât treat it.
- Heartand blood vessel diseases. People with diabetes are more likely to have conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which play a role in heart disease. Also, high blood sugar can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart.
- High blood pressure. Diabetes doubles your risk of high blood pressure, which makes you more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
- Nerve damage . This can cause tingling and numbness, most often in your feet and legs. But it can also affect your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart.
- Eyedamage. Diabetes can cause:
- Glaucoma, a buildup of pressure in your eyes
- Cataracts, a cloudiness of your lens
- Retinopathy, which is damage to the blood vessels in your eyes
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How Is Type 2 Diabetes Managed
Theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication if needed. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your:
- Blood sugar: A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring can help you meet your blood sugar target. Your healthcare provider may also recommend regular A1c tests, oral medications , insulin therapy or injectable non-insulin diabetes medications.
- Blood pressure: Lower your blood pressure by not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood pressure medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.
- Cholesterol: Follow a meal plan low in saturated fats, trans fat, salt and sugar. Your healthcare provider may recommend statins, which are a type of drug to lower cholesterol.
Causes Of Type 1 Diabetes
The bodys immune system is responsible for fighting off foreign invaders, such as harmful viruses and bacteria.
In people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakes the bodys own healthy cells for foreign invaders. The immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. After these beta cells are destroyed, the body is unable to produce insulin.
Researchers dont know why the immune system sometimes attacks the bodys own cells. It may have something to do with genetic and environmental factors, such as exposure to viruses. Research into autoimmune diseases is ongoing.
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Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you lower your risk of diabetes.
- Lose weight. Dropping just 7% to 10% of your weight can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes in half.
- Get active. Thirty minutes of brisk walking a day will cut your risk by almost a third.
- Eat right. Avoid highly processed carbs, sugary drinks, and trans and saturated fats. Limit red and processed meats.
- Quit smoking. Work with your doctor to keep from gaining weight after you quit, so you don’t create one problem by solving another.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
In some circumstances, the A1C test isnt valid. For example, it cant be used for pregnant women or people who have a hemoglobin variant. The fasting blood sugar testing may be used instead. For this test, a sample of your blood will be taken after youve fasted overnight.
Unlike the A1C test, the fasting plasma glucose test measures the amount of sugar in your blood at a single point in time. Blood sugar values are expressed in milligrams per deciliter or millimoles per liter . Its important to understand that your results can be affected if youre stressed or sick.
Your doctor will go over your results with you. Heres what your results could mean:
- fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dL or higher = diabetes
- fasting blood sugar of 100 to 125 mg/dL = prediabetes
- fasting blood sugar less than 100 mg/dL = normal
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Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Finding out only takes a few minutes. It could be the most important thing you do today. Before you start, grab a tape measure and scales… You must be 18 or over to complete this tool. Please note: the results will not be accurate if you are pregnant.Continue reading > >
Check If You Have Type 2 Diabetes
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- feeling thirsty all the time
- feeling very tired
- losing weight without trying to
- itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- blurred vision
You’re more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:
- are over 40
- have a close relative with diabetes
- are overweight or obese
- are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin
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Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Prevented
You can take steps to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing weight if you are overweight, eating fewer calories, and being more physically active. If you have a condition which raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, managing that condition may lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Cured
Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, but people with the condition may be able to manage their type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes and, if needed, diabetes medications to control blood sugar levels.
Its also emerging that some people who are overweight or obese can put their type 2 diabetes into remission by losing a substantial amount of weight, especially early in their diagnosis. Their blood sugar measurements return to healthy levels below the diabetes range. Its not a permanent solution, and diabetes could come back, so it needs to be maintained. However, many people were still in remission 2 years later. This should only be tried under the supervision of your doctor.
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Random Plasma Glucose Test
Random blood sugar testing is used in people who have symptoms of diabetes. A random blood sugar test can be done at any time of day. The test looks at blood sugar without considering your last meal.
No matter when you last ate, a random blood sugar test of 200 mg/dL or above suggests that you have diabetes. This is particularly true if you already have symptoms of diabetes.
Your doctor will go over your results with you. Heres what your test results could mean:
- random blood sugar of 200 mg/dL or more = diabetes
- random blood sugar level between 140 and 199 mg/dL = prediabetes
- random blood sugar less than 140 mg/dL = normal
Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Diabetes
Chances are good that you know someone with diabetes. You probably also know that this condition has something to do with insulin and glucose. But other than that, how much do you really know about diabetes? November is American Diabetes Month®. And, because the best way to prevent and manage any condition is to be informed about it, were kicking off this annual tradition with a quick quiz to help you determine just how much you know about diabetes. Whether you get all of the answers wrong, right or a mix of the two, we hope you walk away with some new knowledge about this common condition. Be sure to check back throughout the month of November for more info and articles about diabetes. People with this type of diabetes experience high blood glucose levels due to a complete lack of insulin: People with this type of diabetes experience decreased insulin production, or their bodies are unable to use the insulin it produces efficiently This condition is diagnosed when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes: Fasting plasma glucose refers to your blood glucose levels after fasting for at least 8 hours prior to the test. A normal FPG is less than 100 mg/dl. Diabetes is diagnosed at an FPG greater than or equal to:Continue reading > >
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What Are The Risk Factors For Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:
- Family history: People with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of developing it themselves.
- Age: Type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, but its most common among children and adolescents.
- Geography: The prevalence of type 1 diabetes increases the farther away you are from the equator.
- Genetics: The presence of certain genes points to an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Youre at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:
- have prediabetes, or slightly elevated blood sugar levels
- are carrying excess weight or have obesity
- are Black, Hispanic, American Indian, or Alaska Native
- have an immediate family member with type 2 diabetes
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops when the pancreas makes less insulin than the body needs, and the body cells stop responding to insulin. They dont take in sugar as they should. Sugar builds up in your blood. When cells dont respond to insulin, this is called insulin resistance. It’s usually caused by:
- Lifestyle factors, including obesity and a lack of exercise.
- Genetics, or abnormal genes, that prevent cells from working as they should.
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Overweight Obesity And Physical Inactivity
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index charts.
Which Diets Are Recommended For Diabetes
Nutritional management is an important part of life for people with diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes, work with your doctor to identify how much insulin you may need to inject after eating certain types of food.
For example, carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to quickly increase in people with type 1 diabetes. Youll need to counteract this by taking insulin, but youll need to know how much insulin to take. Learn more about type 1 diabetes and diet.
People with type 2 diabetes need to focus on healthy eating. Weight loss is often a part of type 2 diabetes treatment plans, so your doctor may recommend a low-calorie meal plan. This could mean reducing your consumption of animal fats and junk food.
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