How Is Diabetes Treated
Treatments for diabetes depend on your type of diabetes, how well controlled your blood glucose level is and your other existing health conditions.
- Type 1 diabetes: If you have this type, you must take insulin every day. Your pancreas no longer makes insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes: If you have this type, your treatments can include medications , insulin and lifestyle changes such as losing weight, making healthy food choices and being more physically active.
- Prediabetes: If you have prediabetes, the goal is to keep you from progressing to diabetes. Treatments are focused on treatable risk factors, such as losing weight by eating a healthy diet and exercising . Many of the strategies used to prevent diabetes are the same as those recommended to treat diabetes .
- Gestational diabetes: If you have this type and your glucose level is not too high, your initial treatment might be modifying your diet and getting regular exercise. If the target goal is still not met or your glucose level is very high, your healthcare team may start medication or insulin.
Oral medications and insulin work in one of these ways to treat your diabetes:
- Stimulates your pancreas to make and release more insulin.
- Slows down the release of glucose from your liver .
- Blocks the breakdown of carbohydrates in your stomach or intestines so that your tissues are more sensitive to insulin.
- Helps rid your body of glucose through increased urination.
Who Is At Risk For Prediabetes And Type 2 Diabetes
If you have these risk factors, you may be at higher risk than others for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
- You are overweight.
- You are 45 years of age or older.
- Your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
- You are physically active fewer than 3 times per week.
- You ever gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds.
- You ever had diabetes while pregnant .
Race and ethnicity also affect your risk. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.
Following are the percentage of people in the United States with diagnosed diabetes from 2010 to 2012 among people aged 20 or older, by race and ethnicity:
- American Indian/Alaska Natives 15.9%
- Asian Americans 9.0%
- Non-Hispanic whites 7.6%
If you are at risk, talk to a health care professional about getting a blood sugar test.
What Are The Complications Of Diabetes
If your blood glucose level remains high over a long period of time, your bodys tissues and organs can be seriously damaged. Some complications can be life-threatening over time.
- Dental problems.
Complications of gestational diabetes:
In the mother:Preeclampsia , risk of gestational diabetes during future pregnancies and risk of diabetes later in life.
In the newborn: Higher-than-normal birth weight, low blood sugar , higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over time and death shortly after birth.
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What Are The Different Types Of Diabetes
The types of diabetes are:
- Type 1 diabetes: This type is an autoimmune disease, meaning your body attacks itself. In this case, the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed. Up to 10% of people who have diabetes have Type 1. Its usually diagnosed in children and young adults . It was once better known as juvenile diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day. This is why it is also called insulin-dependent diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes: With this type, your body either doesnt make enough insulin or your bodys cells dont respond normally to the insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes. Up to 95% of people with diabetes have Type 2. It usually occurs in middle-aged and older people. Other common names for Type 2 include adult-onset diabetes and insulin-resistant diabetes. Your parents or grandparents may have called it having a touch of sugar.
- Prediabetes: This type is the stage before Type 2 diabetes. Your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be officially diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes: This type develops in some women during their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy. However, if you have gestational diabetes you’re at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Less common types of diabetes include:
Diabetes insipidus is a distinct rare condition that causes your kidneys to produce a large amount of urine.
What Types Of Diabetes Require Insulin
People with Type 1 diabetes need insulin to live. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your body has attacked your pancreas, destroying the cells that make insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your pancreas makes insulin, but it doesnt work as it should. In some people with Type 2 diabetes, insulin may be needed to help glucose move from your bloodstream to your bodys cells where its needed for energy. You may or may not need insulin if you have gestational diabetes. If you are pregnant or have Type 2 diabetes, your healthcare provider will check your blood glucose level, assess other risk factors and determine a treatment approach which may include a combination of lifestyle changes, oral medications and insulin. Each person is unique and so is your treatment plan.
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Can Diabetes Be Cured Or Reversed
Although these seem like simple questions, the answers are not so simple. Depending on the type of your diabetes and its specific cause, it may or may not be possible to reverse your diabetes. Successfully reversing diabetes is more commonly called achieving remission.
Type 1 diabetes is an immune system disease with some genetic component. This type of diabetes cant be reversed with traditional treatments. You need lifelong insulin to survive. Providing insulin through an artificial pancreas is the most advanced way of keeping glucose within a tight range at all times most closely mimicking the body. The closest thing toward a cure for Type 1 is a pancreas transplant or a pancreas islet transplant. Transplant candidates must meet strict criteria to be eligible. Its not an option for everyone and it requires taking immunosuppressant medications for life and dealing with the side effects of these drugs.
Its possible to reverse prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes with a lot of effort and motivation. Youd have to reverse all your risk factors for disease. To do this means a combination of losing weight, exercising regularly and eating healthy . These efforts should also lower your cholesterol numbers and blood pressure to within their normal range. Bariatric surgery has been shown to achieve remission in some people with Type 2 diabetes. This is a significant surgery that has its own risks and complications.
What Does It Mean To Dream About Other People With Diabetes
Youre a person who always puts others before themselves and is easy to take advantage of. However, the dream you had last night suggests that no matter how much these people ask from you or demand from you – nobody will ever be able to get through your tough exterior because even though what they want may not seem unreasonable, it still pisses off.
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What Does It Mean To Dream About Diabetes
Diabetes in a dream can be either symbolic or literal. If you have diabetes, it may just reflect waking life with some extra details thrown in for varietys sake. However, suppose you do not have diabetes but still end up dreaming about it. In that case, this could show that your subconscious wants to explore different aspects of what having the disease would be like- even though such an exploration poses no danger into new territory because nothing will actually change due to these thoughts and feelings.
Risk Factors For Prediabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every three Americans has prediabetes and because there often arent any signs or symptoms, 84% dont know they have it. Though, some people may develop darkened skin in their armpits or on their back and side of the neck. They may also have small skin growths in these areas.
Because of the lack of warning signs, its important to know the risk factors of having prediabetes. These include:
- Having weight issues, such as obesity or being overweight
- Having an immediate family member with diabetes
- Being a member of a high-risk ethnic group that is prone to diabetes
- Being physically inactive
- Exercise regularly
- Stop smoking
- Maintain a diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables
Often the progression of prediabetes to diabetes can be prevented by losing weight and then maintaining a normal weight, says Dr. Resham Poudel, endocrinologist with St. Francis Medical Group. This can be achieved by eating a diet with less fat, less calories and less carbohydrates combined with regular exercise. Medication such as metformin can also be used in high-risk individuals to prevent the progression of disease. However, weight loss is the key.
Talk to your primary care provider about what is right for you.
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What Does It Mean To Be Healthy With Diabetes
Being healthy, and being healthy with diabetes, means different things to different people!
Because theres no single answer when it comes to what constitutes being healthy, this post wont be about how I think you should live your life in order to be healthy but rather the different components of being healthy with diabetes and how I think about them.
Then its up to you to make your own definition of what health looks like to you.
Why is it important to think through what health is and how you would define it, you might ask? Well, its important because:
When identifying the components of health, I lean towards the definition that health includes physical, mental and social balance rather than simply the absence of illness.
What I like about that definition is that it recognizes that those of us living with a chronic condition can still be healthy. And I truly believe that we can be!
I have diabetes, but I still consider myself quite healthy.
Combination With Other Antidiabetic Drugs
A combination therapy of insulin and other appears to be most beneficial in people who are diabetic, who still have residual insulin secretory capacity. A combination of insulin therapy and is more effective than insulin alone in treating people with type 2 diabetes after secondary failure to oral drugs, leading to better glucose profiles and/or decreased insulin needs.
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What To Do In An Emergency
A diabetic emergency happens when symptoms relating to diabetes overwhelm the body.
At this point, home treatment is unlikely to help, and delaying medical care could cause permanent damage or death.
Some of the signs that can indicate a serious problem include:
- chest pain that radiates down the arm
- difficulty breathing
- a severe headache and weakness in one side of the body
- loss of consciousness
If there are signs of an emergency, the person should go to the emergency room, or they or someone with them should call 911 immediately.
Without rapid help, some diabetic emergencies can be life-threatening.
It is not always possible to prevent an emergency, but being able to recognize the signs can improve the chances of early treatment and a full recovery.
Strategies that can help to reduce the risk of an emergency include:
Following the treatment plan: Use medications as a doctor prescribes and keep in touch with the healthcare team. If a person cannot remember whether or not they took their last dose of drugs, they should ask a doctor before taking a further dose. This can help to prevent hypoglycemia. Anyone who notices a change in their symptoms should see a doctor.
Eating healthful, balanced, regular meals: People who use insulin or other medications that lower blood glucose should ask their doctor about what foods to eat, how much, and when, in order to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Small, frequent meals are better than fewer larger meals.
When Should I Call My Doctor
If you havent been diagnosed with diabetes, you should see your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of diabetes. If you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should contact your provider if your blood glucose levels are outside of your target range, if current symptoms worsen or if you develop any new symptoms.
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What Should My Blood Glucose Level Be
Ask your healthcare team what your blood glucose level should be. They may have a specific target range for you. In general, though, most people try to keep their blood glucose levels at these targets:
- Before a meal: between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
- About two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.
American Heart Association / World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute For Cancer Research
The , , and recommend a diet that consists mostly of unprocessed plant foods, with emphasis on a wide range of whole grains, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables and fruits. This healthy diet includes a wide range of non-starchy vegetables and fruits which provide different colors including red, green, yellow, white, purple, and orange. The recommendations note that tomato cooked with oil, allium vegetables like garlic, and like cauliflower, provide some protection against cancer. This healthy diet is low in energy density, which may protect against weight gain and associated diseases. Finally, limiting consumption of sugary drinks, limiting energy rich foods, including “fast foods” and red meat, and avoiding processed meats improves health and longevity. Overall, researchers and medical policy conclude that this healthy diet can reduce the risk of chronic disease and cancer.
It is recommended that children consume less than 25 grams of added sugar per day. Other recommendations include no extra sugars in those under 2 years old and less than one soft drink per week. As of 2017, decreasing total fat is no longer recommended, but instead, the recommendation to lower risk of is to increase consumption of and , while decreasing consumption of .
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I’ve Been Diagnosed With Prediabetes What Does That Mean
If youve been diagnosed with prediabetes, it means your blood sugar levels are not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes, but are high enough to indicate a need for change. A normal fasting blood sugar level is below 100 whereas a level of someone with prediabetes is between 100 and 126. Once levels have surpassed 126, it is classified as Type 2 diabetes, which indicates that your body resists insulin or doesnt produce enough of it to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
What we eat affects 60 percent of the glucose in our blood sugars. The other 40 percent of our blood glucose control comes from our liver. During digestion, the pancreas produces insulin, which then binds the glucose in our blood and takes it into our body cell as a source of energy. When you have prediabetes, sugar begins to build up in the blood stream rather than fuel your cells. This is when insulin resistance occurs, which is believed to be the number one cause of prediabetes.
A healthy weight allows insulin to work more efficiently and to keep blood sugars within a normal range. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal.
What are the risk factors for developing prediabetes?
BMI greater than 27
Whats my next step?
Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about diabetes, or if you develop any Type 2 diabetes symptoms.
Topics in this Post
Possible Driving Factors Behind Health Disparities
Annals of EpidemiologyPopulation Research and Policy ReviewJournal of General Internal Medicine PLoS MedicineJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Taking the ADAs 60-Second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test can help you determine whether youre at a higher risk for diabetes based on a number of factors, including your race or ethnicity.
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People With Difficulty Maintaining Blood Glucose Levels
The term brittle diabetes has been used to refer to people who have dramatic recurrent swings in blood glucose levels, often for no apparent reason. However, this term is no longer used. People with type 1 diabetes may have more frequent swings in blood glucose levels because insulin production is completely absent. Infection, delayed movement of food through the stomach, and other hormonal disorders may also contribute to blood glucose swings. In all people who have difficulty controlling blood glucose, doctors look for other disorders that might be causing the problem and also give people additional education on how to monitor diabetes and take their drugs.
Why Is Diabetes Increasing
All types of diabetes are increasing in prevalence:
- Type 1 diabetes accounts for 10% of all diabetes and is increasing
- Type 2 diabetes accounts for 85% of all diabetes and is increasing
- Gestational diabetes in pregnancy is increasing
Type 2 diabetes is increasing at the fastest rate. There are large numbers of people with silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes which may be damaging their bodies. An estimated 2 million Australians are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and are already showing early signs of the condition.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the major consequences of the obesity epidemic. The combination of massive changes to diet and the food supply, combined with massive changes to physical activity with more sedentary work and less activity, means most populations are seeing more type 2 diabetes.
Genes also play a part with higher risk of type 2 diabetes in Chinese, South Asian, Indian, Pacific Islander and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
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