DIABETES FAQS

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What is prediabetes?

This is when a person’s blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetics have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Who is at risk of developing prediabetes?

Risk factors of prediabetes include the following:

Age – people over 45 years

Overweight

High blood pressure

High cholesterol

Family history of the disease

Race – Native Americans, Hispanic and African-Americans tend to be at higher risk of prediabetes

What are the symptoms of prediabetes?

People with prediabetes are usually asymptomatic.

What tests are used to diagnose prediabetes?

Three different tests are used for diagnosis. These include:

Fasting plasma glucose test (FPG)

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)

A1C test

Will i automatically get type 2 diabetes if i am prediabetic?

No, early treatment, loosing weight and regular exercising can bring your blood glucose to the normal range.

What are the other names for prediabetes?

Prediabetes is sometimes called Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) depending on the tests used to detect it.

What is diabetes?

This is a disease that causes a build of sugar in your blood which may later lead to kidney, heart or eye disease.

What are the different types of diabetes?

There are 2 different types . These are:

Type 1 diabetes – This usually occurs in children and young adults. The pancreas of people with type 1 diabetes produce little or no insulin and hence shots of insulin are administered daily to keep them alive.

Type 2 diabetes – This usually occurs in adults. With this type the body produces insulin but the amount is either not enough or not effective because the body’s cells are resistant to it. This is usually treated with either regular exercise and diet alone, insulin alone or exercise, diet and oral medication depending on what the individual responds better to.

What is insulin?

It is a hormone produced  by the pancreas to regulate sugar levels in the blood.

What are the causes of diabetes?

The real cause of diabetes is unknown. Family history may play a key role in both types especially type 2 diabetes. Inactive life style, poor diet and obesity have been linked with type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of this diabetes?

The most common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Intense hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • Slow healing bruises and cuts
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irritability

How is diabetes treated?

Diabetes is a very serious medical condition and immediate treatment is very necessary. It is not curable but can be treated with medication and changes in life style. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin. Type 2 diabetes is treated with insulin or medication combined with healthy diet, exercising and weight loss. Some people can control their blood sugar with just changes in lifestyle like healthy diet, weight loss and regular exercise.

What are some of the complications of diabetes.

Long term effects of this disease include the following:

  • kidney disease
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • nerve damage
  • blindness
  • amputations

How can i prevent type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by:

maintaining  a healthy weight

eating healthy (foods low in sugar and fat)

exercising regularly

controlling medical conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol

Do i have to give up all the foods i love because i have been diagnosed with diabetes?

Most foods fit into the diabetic meal plan. Healthy eating means controlling  serving sizes and how often you eat them.

Do i have to stop eating sugar because i am diabetic?

Consuming too much sugar is not good but doesn’t cause diabetes. It is the amount of calories that you consume which eventually leads to being overweight that can lead to diabetes. You can use sugar  substitutes in place for sugar for lower calories. The main concern here is amount and type of food consumed. Consult a dietitian to find out the right amount for you.

Can i eat anything i want because I’m on insulin?

No, you get  best results with insulin or  medication if you eat healthy and combine it with regular exercises.

Can exercising cause low blood sugar?

Some people may develop low blood sugar while exercising, immediately after or a day after. Symptoms of low blood sugar include headache, fatigue, hunger, disoriented and irritability. Consult your physician if you experience this. He may adjust your medication or ask you to carry a snack or drink or even modify your diet to prevent this from happening.

I have type 2 diabetes and I’m on insulin. Does that mean i automatically have type 1 diabetes?

No, the type of diabetes is determined by genetics not therapy.

Do i have to monitor my blood sugar levels even when i am feeling fine?

Yes, feeling fine does not mean that your blood sugar levels are in the targeted range.

What is gestational diabetes?

This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy. During pregnancy your body produce hormones that prevent insulin from doing it’s job. To counteract this problem, your body makes extra insulin, but in some people this extra insulin is not enough and hence gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy but people who develop this condition during pregnancy are most likely to get type 2 diabetes later in life.

What is the honeymoon phase in diabetes?

Shortly after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, sugar levels may return to almost normal levels without taking insulin. This occurs because the insulin shots administered tend to stimulate the few beta cells that are functional to produce insulin but this usually come to an end from a few month to a year because these cells eventually lose their function. Diabetics during this phase may need little or no insulin. The honeymoon phase does NOT occur in people with type 1 diabetes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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