Diabetes For Dummies book cover

Diabetes For Dummies

By: Alan L. Rubin Published: 08-31-2015

The straight facts on treating diabetes successfully

With diabetes now considered pandemic throughout the world, there have been enormous advances in the field. Now significantly revised and updated, this new edition of Diabetes For Dummies includes the latest information on diabetes medications and monitoring equipment, new findings about treating diabetes in the young and elderly, new ways to diagnose and treat long- and short-term complications, updated nutritional guidelines, new tools for measuring blood sugar and delivering insulin to the body, and much more.

There's no question that the burden of diabetes is increasing globally: it's estimated that 387 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, and that staggering number is expected to increase an additional 205 million+ by 2035. If you or a loved one is part of this overwhelming statistic, you can take comfort in the sensitive and authoritative information provided in this hands-on guide. From monitoring and maintaining your glucose to understanding the importance of exercising and eating right—and everything in between—Diabetes For Dummies takes the guesswork out of living with diabetes and empowers you to take control and keep your life on a healthy track.

  • Reduce your risk of diabetes complications
  • Discover the latest and the tried-and-true options for monitoring blood sugar
  • Get up to speed on the various diabetes medications and lifestyle strategies
  • Improve diabetes control and overall health

If you're one of the millions of diabetics or pre-diabetics in search of an accessible and up-to-date resource to help you manage this disease, Diabetes For Dummies is the trusted guide you'll turn to again and again.

Articles From Diabetes For Dummies

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36 results
36 results
Diabetes For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 02-11-2022

Diabetes, which is excessive glucose in your blood, leads to serious health problems if left untreated. You should follow the American Diabetes Association screening guidelines to get tested for diabetes at the earliest possible time. If you have diabetes, this Cheat Sheet is a handy reference to screening guidelines, rules for living with diabetes, and continuing your diabetes care to better control the disease.

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Oral Drugs for Type 2 Diabetes

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Insulin shots aren’'t the only drug treatment for diabetes. If your doctor prescribes oral drugs for your diabetes, use this chart to look up the medication names and dosage amounts. Then educate yourself on diabetes medications, their possible side effects, and drug interactions. ClassBrand NameGeneric NameAverage DoseRange Sulfonylureas Glucotrol glipizide 10 mg 2.5–40 mg DiaBeta, Glynase glyburide 7.5 mg 1.25–20 mg Amaryl glimepiride 4 mg 1–8 mg Meglitinides Prandin repaglinide 1 mg 0.5–4 mg Starlix nateglinide 180 mg 180–360 mg Biguanides Glucophage metformin 1,000 mg 500–2,000 mg Thiazolidinediones Actos pioglitazone 30 mg 15–45 mg Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors Precose
Glyset acarbose
miglitol 150 mg 150–300 mg DPP-4 iInhibitors Januvia sitagliptin 100 mg 25–100 mg Onglyza saxagliptin 5 mg 2.5–5 mg Tradjenta linagliptin 5 mg 5 mg

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10 Rules for Diabetes Control

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Diabetes doesn’t have to rule your life. Be proactive! Follow these guidelines for controlling your diabetes, and your problems should be few and far between: Major monitoring: Make sure your doctor orders the key tests at the right times. Devout dieting: Work with a dietitian to develop a great eating plan. Tenacious testing: Check your blood glucose at correct intervals. Enthusiastic exercising: Burn off calories and help your heart. Lifelong learning: New things are being discovered and you need to know about them. Meticulous medicating: You can’t respond to medicines you don’t take. Appropriate attitude: A positive attitude results in better control of your diabetes. Preventive planning: Know the menu before you go. Fastidious foot care: Check your feet with your eyes daily. Essential eye care: Get an eye exam every year.

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Screening Guidelines for Diabetes

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

The American Diabetes Association created guidelines to screen for diabetes at the earliest possible appropriate time. Take a look at these guidelines to find out when to get tested for diabetes: People with symptoms of thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss are tested immediately. People older than age 45 should be tested every three years if normal. People should be tested at a younger age and more often if: They are obese. They have a parent or sibling with diabetes. They are from a high-risk group, such as African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American. They have delivered a baby more than 9 pounds or had gestational diabetes. They have high blood pressure. They have low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides.

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Standards for Continuing Your Diabetes Care

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Managing diabetes requires regular doctor visits that include standard monitoring of various diabetic factors. Following are guidelines for your diabetes care — like when to see your doctor, what should happen at each visit, when to have lab tests done, and how often to self-monitor blood glucose. Consistent diabetes management is key; if test results show any change from your history, then you and your doctor can address them before any problem worsens. Frequency of visits: Daily if starting insulin Weekly if starting oral drugs Monthly if not stable Quarterly if stable History at each visit: Frequency of hypoglycemia Results of blood glucose self-monitoring Changes in treatment Symptoms of complications Psychosocial issues New medications Physical at each visit: Blood pressure Weight Foot exam Physical at least annually or every two years if eyes are stable: Dilated eye exam by eye doctor Filament test for foot sensation Lab tests: Hemoglobin A1c every three months Fasting lipid profile yearly Microalbumin measurement yearly if urine protein negative Frequency of blood glucose self-monitoring: Before meals and bedtime for person with type 1 diabetes Before breakfast and supper for person with type 2 diabetes Once daily for person with stable diabetes Before and one hour after meals for pregnant woman with type 1 diabetes or gestational diabetes

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Your Handy Diabetes Resource Guide

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

The Internet hosts more information about diabetes than anyone can digest. Here you can find the best sites to check. You should be able to get answers online to just about any questions that you have, but you must be cautious about the source of the advice. Don’t make any major changes in your diabetes care without checking with your physician. To determine whether information you find on a website is really useful, you need to discuss it with your physician, your diabetes educator, or other members of your team. You can rely on any website here, but sometimes free advice is worth no more than you pay for it. Getting started You can start your search for information at Dr. Rubin’s website. You can find general information and advice about diabetes, daily tips, new developments, and answers to questions. You also find all of the sites listed in this article, so you need only click on them to see them for yourself. Perusing general sites These sites tell you about diabetes from A to Z. The site sponsors run the gamut from well-known organizations to individual doctors who specialize in diabetes. The American Diabetes Association The huge website for the American Diabetes Association has just about everything you need to know about diabetes and then some. If the information becomes a little technical in places, you’ve probably gotten into the professional section by mistake. You can order all the ADA’s publications from here. Online Diabetes Resources by Rick Mendosa Rick Mendosa, who has diabetes himself, has cataloged just about everything there is on the web concerning diabetes. Collecting all this info is a huge project, and he manages to bring it off beautifully. He also has some excellent articles that he has written on various topics in diabetes. National Diabetes Education Program The federal government sponsors the National Diabetes Education Program to improve treatments and outcomes for people with diabetes, to promote early diagnosis, and to prevent the onset of diabetes. It’s a vast undertaking. National Diabetes Education Initiative Through the National Diabetes Education Initiative, the federal government is determined to teach physicians about the importance of meeting the standards of diabetes care and how to go about doing so. You can discover a lot by looking at its programs. Medscape Diabetes and Endocrinology Home Page At the Medscape Diabetes and Endocrinology website you can find numerous articles about diabetes from medical literature, as well as free access to the files of the National Library of Medicine. The Diabetes Monitor The Diabetes Monitor is the creation of diabetes specialist Dr. William Quick. He discusses every aspect of diabetes, including the latest discoveries. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation prides itself on its contribution to research in diabetes. At its website you can find what you want to know about the latest government programs that emphasize finding a cure for diabetes. Children with Diabetes The site Children with Diabetes is the creation of a father of a diabetic child. It has an enormous database of information for the parents of children with diabetes. Joslin Diabetes Center The Joslin Diabetes Center has been one of the world’s leading pioneers in diabetes care, and the information on this site reflects that fact. The site also tells you how you can join Joslin, do research, or go to diabetes camp. Canadian Diabetes Association If you’re Canadian, you want to visit Canadian Diabetes Association because a lot of its information (obviously) pertains to the special needs of Canadians with diabetes. However, much of the information is general and of use to everyone. A major benefit is that the information is in French as well as English. The International Diabetes Federation This organization, representing more than 100 countries, meets every three years and can be a source for knowledgeable diabetes experts around the world. Check out www.idf.org. Behavioral Diabetes Institute If you have a psychological issue relating to your diabetes, you may find help at the Behavioral Diabetes Institute website, which claims to be the “first organization dedicated to tackling the unmet psychological needs of people with diabetes.” Contacting companies that make diabetes products This section helps you find the companies that make the products you need to control your diabetes. If you have questions about the proper use of a drug or a device, you can usually find answers here. But keep in mind that the companies are very limited (by the FDA) with respect to the uses of their products. Often doctors use drugs in ways that have proven to be successful but have not yet received FDA approval. Glucose meters The following companies make the meters used by the largest number of people with diabetes. You can expect that these companies will still be around if you start having problems with your meter after a year or two of use. Abbott Laboratories AgaMatrix Bayer Diagnostic Devices LifeScan Nipro Diagnostics Roche Lancing devices A company that has a very large share of the market for lancing devices is Owen Mumford. Insulin pumps Six companies dominate the market for insulin pump devices. They are Animas Insulet Corp Medtronic MiniMed Roche Sooil Development Tandem Insulin These three companies dominate the insulin market in the United States: Eli Lilly and Company Novo Nordisk Sanofi-Aventis Insulin syringes If you want to find the major company for syringes, go to the website for Becton, Dickinson, and Company. Insulin jet-injection devices Jet-injection devices provide “painless” insulin injection. The only company that seems to still be making this device is in the Netherlands. It’s called the European Pharma Group. Oral medications This list includes only six companies, but the market for oral medications is heating up, so if you read about diabetes advancements or talk to your doctor or specialist, you’ll likely hear about several more. AstraZeneca (Byetta) Bristol-Myers Squibb (Glucophage, Glucovance, Glucophage XR, Onglyza Eli Lilly (Tradjenta) Merck (Januvia) Pfizer (Glucotrol) Sanofi-Aventis (Amaryl) Getting Info from government websites These sites provide lots of authoritative information in their many online publications about diabetes. They also tell you about the latest government programs to eradicate the disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease: This site is loaded with great publications about diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: If you want to know all the latest statistics about every aspect of diabetes, the CDC has you covered. Healthfinder: This site is a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It has information about many important diseases and has a large section about diabetes. PubMed search service of the National Library of Medicine: This website is where you go to use the National Library of Medicine. The site is easy to use and gives you (for free) a large number of the latest scientific papers on any medical topic of interest. Nongovernment website for searching the National Library: Although not a government site, MedFetch is excellent for creating repeated searches of the National Library on a topic like diabetes over time. The information arrives by email, and the results are delivered in one of six languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, or Portuguese. Obtaining diabetes information in other languages At this site for Diabetes UK, a charity based in the United Kingdom, you find diabetes educational information in numerous languages. Visiting sites for the visually impaired Diabetes has a major impact on vision when the disease isn’t controlled. You can find huge quantities of information on every issue relating to visual impairment at the sites listed in this section. American Foundation for the Blind: The American Foundation for the Blind has resources, information, reports, talking books, and limitless facts and wisdom about dealing with visual impairment. Blindness Resource Center: This site for the Blindness Resource Center points you in the right direction for information on every aspect of blindness. It’s a guide to other sites about visual impairment. The Diabetes Action Network (National Federation of the Blind): This national organization is another major source of information about every aspect of blindness. Helping animals with diabetes Yes, your dog and cat and many other animals can get diabetes, and websites exist that can help. Dogs and other pets: This site tells you everything you need to know to manage your canine with diabetes. Cats: This site is packed with helpful information for the pet owner who has a diabetic cat. Finding recipes for people with diabetes You can find a number of excellent recipes on the web, but approach them with caution. Although you can generally count on the recipes in books to contain the nutritional information they list, when you find a recipe on the web, you need to evaluate its source to be sure the listed nutritional information is accurate. You can trust these sites. They’re currently the best of the available websites that provide recipes appropriate for a person with diabetes. Things change so frequently on the web that keeping up-to-date is difficult, so check back often. Check out the nutrition section of the American Diabetes Association website. Here you find discussions of nutrition as well as lots of recipes. “Children with Diabetes” includes a large amount of information on meal planning, sugar substitutes, and the food guide pyramid, as well as many recipes. The Joslin Diabetes Center points out that “There is no such thing as a diabetic diet.” That’s one of the many statements you find about diabetes at this site. “3 Fat Chicks on a Diet” has complete calorie counts for most fast food restaurants. The Vegetarian Resource Group maintains a large site filled with information for vegetarians who have developed diabetes. Diabetic Gourmet Magazine offers a valuable site that contains information about diagnosis and treatment, as well as numerous recipes that you can use. Here are some of the best sites for Mediterranean recipes on the Internet: Allrecipes.com: Mediterranean Diet Cooking Light: Superfast Mediterranean recipes Eating Well Epicurious.com Food Network

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10 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

The following is a partial list of the many things you can do to prevent diabetes. Don’t try to do everything at once. Get used to one or two changes. Then add a couple more and so forth. The results will be both gratifying and very healthy. Serve your meal on a small plate. You can actually trick yourself into thinking that it’s a lot more food because the plate is so full. Make the plate so that half of it is fruits and vegetables, a quarter is grains, and a quarter is protein. This food plus a glass of low-fat or skim milk is the right ratio of the different foods you eat. If you can’t get fresh fruits and vegetables, use frozen fruits and vegetables. Make sure the salt content is low. Read the package. Always take the stairs when you have a choice of stairs or escalator. You burn some calories and make yourself a lot fitter than if you take the escalator. Park some distance from the restaurant instead of driving around to find the nearest space. Get a workout video and do the workout daily. Not only will you strengthen your muscles and bones but you also will improve your balance and enhance your self-esteem. Reduce the amount of oil and butter in your cooking and add more spices to get some great new low-calorie tastes. Use foods that are tasty but don’t add calories like lemon juice. Choose a salad rather than fries or chips. And drink water rather than soda, which is more thirst quenching and has no calories instead of 180 or more. Don’t replace the regular soda with diet soda because diet soda has been shown to change your intestinal bacteria in a way that isn’t good for diabetes. Choose whole grains. Examples include whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole-grain cereal, and quinoa. These foods have fiber, which has been shown to prevent diabetes. Go shopping after eating a healthy snack. Examples include an apple and a glass of low-fat milk, half an avocado with cottage cheese, or two or three crackers with hummus. Eating first helps you to avoid picking up foods that don’t fit your diabetes. Carry a healthy snack. Try a handful of nuts and eat it when you’re tempted to go into the ice cream or candy store.

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Your Mini-Glossary Related to All Things Diabetes

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

You may have recently been diagnosed with diabetes or you have a close friend or loved one who has received the diagnosis. Diabetes and prediabetes are serious conditions, but this glossary can help clarify some terms you may encounter. Refer to this glossary on a regular basis whenever you come across unfamiliar terms and words. Acarbose: An oral agent that lowers blood glucose by blocking the breakdown of carbohydrates in the intestine. ACE inhibitor: A drug that lowers blood pressure but is especially useful when diabetes affects the kidneys. Acetone: A breakdown product of fat formed when fat rather than glucose is being used for energy. Advanced glycated end-products (AGEs): Combinations of glucose and other substances in the body. Too much may damage various organs. Algorithm: In diabetes care, a step-by-step plan for determining how much insulin to use for the blood level of glucose and the intake of carbohydrates. Alpha cells: Cells in the Islets of Langerhans within the pancreas that make glucagon, which raises blood glucose. Amino acids: Compounds that link together to form proteins. Amyotrophy: A form of diabetic neuropathy causing muscle wasting and weakness. Angiography: Using a dye to take pictures of blood vessels to detect disease. In diabetes, angiography is often used in the eyes. Antibodies: Substances formed when the body detects something foreign, such as bacteria. Antigens: Substances against which an antibody forms. Artificial pancreas: A large machine that can measure blood glucose and release appropriate insulin. Atherosclerosis: Narrowing of arteries due to deposits of cholesterol and other factors. Autoimmune disorder: Disease in which the body mistakenly attacks its own tissues. Autonomic neuropathy: Diseases of nerves that affect organs not under conscious control, such as the heart, lungs, and intestines. Avandia: Brand name for rosiglitazone. See Rosiglitazone. Background retinopathy: An early stage of diabetic eye involvement that does not reduce vision. Beta cells: Cells in the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas that make the key hormone insulin. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN): A substance in blood that reflects kidney function. Body-mass index (BMI): A number derived by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters), and dividing that number by your height (in meters) again. Your BMI is an indicator of your appropriate weight for your height. Borderline diabetes: A term formerly used to mean mild or early diabetes; it is no longer used. Carbohydrate counting: Estimating the amount of carbohydrate in food in order to determine insulin needs. Carbohydrate: One of the three major energy sources — the one usually found in grain, fruits, and vegetables, and the one most responsible for raising the blood glucose. Cataract: A clouding of the lens of the eye often found earlier and more commonly in people with diabetes. Charcot’s foot: Destruction of joints and soft tissue in the foot leading to an unusable foot as a result of diabetic neuropathy. Cholesterol: A form of fat that is needed in the body for production of certain hormones. It can lead to atherosclerosis if present in excessive levels. Butter and egg yolks are high in cholesterol. Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII): Continuous delivery of insulin under the skin, usually by an insulin pump, to mimic the way the body provides insulin. Conventional diabetes treatment: Usually refers to treatment in type 1 diabetes where only one or two shots of insulin are given daily. Creatinine: A substance in blood that is measured to reflect the level of kidney function. Dawn phenomenon: The tendency for blood glucose to rise early in the morning due to secretion of hormones that counteract insulin. Detemir insulin: A long-acting insulin that provides a constant basal level for 24 hours. Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT): The decisive study of type 1 diabetes that showed that intensive control of blood glucose would prevent or delay complications of diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis: An acute loss of control of diabetes with high blood glucose levels and breakdown of fat leading to acidification of the blood. Symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. This condition can lead to coma and death. Diabetologist: A physician who specializes in diabetes treatment. Dialysis: Artificial cleaning of the blood when the kidneys are not working. DPP-4 (Dipeptidyl peptidase-4) inhibitors: A class of drugs for diabetes that blocks the rapid breakdown of natural glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Endocrinologist: A physician who specializes in diseases of the glands, including the adrenal glands, thyroid, pituitary, parathyroid glands, ovaries, testicles, and pancreas. Euglycemia: A state in which the blood glucose remains in the normal range. Exchange plan: A dietary plan where foods that are similar in type are grouped together so that a diet can substitute any one for any other within that group. The seven groups are starches and breads, meats and meat substitutes, fruits, milks, vegetables, fats, and other carbohydrates. Exenatide: An injectable medication that improves diabetic control by inducing weight loss, slowing absorption of carbohydrates, and helping the pancreas to release insulin when blood sugars are high. Fiber: A substance in plants that can’t be digested. It provides no energy but can lower fat and blood glucose if it dissolves in water and is absorbed, or it can help prevent constipation if it does not dissolve in water and remains in the intestine. Fructose: The sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and honey. It has calories but is more slowly absorbed than glucose. Gastroparesis: A form of autonomic neuropathy involving nerves to the stomach, causing the stomach to hold food. Gestational diabetes mellitus: Diabetes that occurs during a pregnancy, usually ending at delivery. Glargine insulin: A long-acting form of insulin that provides a constant basal level for 24 hours. Glimepiride: An oral agent that lowers glucose by raising insulin levels. GLP-1 (Glucagon-like Peptide-1): A natural hormone made in the ilium of the small intestine that increases insulin secretion, decreases glucose uptake from the intestine, slows intestinal movement, and decreases appetite. Glucagon: A hormone made in the alpha cell of the pancreas that raises glucose and can be injected in severe hypoglycemia. Glucose: The body’s main source of energy in the blood and cells. Glycemic index: The extent to which a given food raises blood glucose, usually compared to white bread. Low-glycemic-index foods are preferred in diabetes. Glycogen: The storage form of glucose in the liver and muscles. Glycosuria: Glucose in the urine. Hemoglobin A1c: A measurement of blood glucose control reflecting the average blood glucose for the last 60 to 90 days. High-density lipoprotein (HDL): A particle in blood that carries cholesterol and helps reduce atherosclerosis. Honeymoon phase: A period of variable duration, usually less than a year, after a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes when the need for injections of insulin is reduced or eliminated. Humalog insulin: See Lispro insulin. Hyperglycemia: Levels of blood glucose greater than 100 mg/dl fasting or 140 mg/dl in the fed state. Hyperinsulinemia: More insulin than normal in the blood; often found early in type 2 diabetes. Hyperlipidemia: Elevated levels of fat in the blood. Hyperosmolar syndrome: Very high glucose in type 2 diabetes associated with severe dehydration but not excessive fat breakdown and acidosis. It can lead to coma and death. Hypoglycemia: Levels of blood glucose lower than normal, usually less than 60 mg/dl. Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT): Levels of glucose between 140 and 200 mg/dl after eating; not normal but not quite high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Impotence: Loss of the ability to have or sustain an erection of the penis. Insulin glargine: An insulin that provides a constant basal level 24 hours a day. Insulin pump: Device that slowly pushes insulin through a catheter under the skin but also can be used to give a larger dose before meals. Insulin reaction: Hypoglycemia as a consequence of too much injected insulin for the amount of food or exercise. Insulin resistance: Decreased response to insulin; found early in type 2 diabetes. Insulin: The key hormone that permits glucose to enter cells. Insulin-dependent diabetes: Former name for type 1 diabetes. Intensive diabetes treatment: Using three or four daily insulin injections based on measurement of blood glucose, along with very careful diet and exercise, to approximate the normal range of glucose. Islet cells: The cells in the pancreas that make insulin, glucagon, and other hormones. Juvenile diabetes mellitus: Previous term for type 1 diabetes. Ketones or ketone bodies: The breakdown products of fat metabolism. Ketonuria: Finding ketones in the urine with a test strip. Lancet: A sharp needle to prick the skin for a blood glucose test. Laser treatment: Using a device that burns the back of the eye to prevent worsening of retinopathy. Lipoatrophy: Indented areas where insulin is constantly injected. Lipohypertrophy: Nodular swelling of the skin where insulin is constantly injected. Lispro insulin: A very rapid-acting form of insulin that’s active within 15 minutes of injection. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): A particle in the blood containing cholesterol and thought to be responsible for atherosclerosis. Macrosomia: The condition of a fetus growing very large when the mother’s diabetes is not controlled. Macrovascular complications: Heart attack, stroke, or diminished blood flow to the legs in diabetes. Metabolic syndrome: A combination of hypertension, increased visceral fat, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, often obesity, and high uric acid associated with increased heart attacks. Metformin: An oral agent for diabetes that lowers glucose by blocking release of glucose from the liver. Microalbuminuria: The loss of small but abnormal amounts of protein in the urine. Microvascular complications: Eye disease, nerve disease, or kidney disease in diabetes. Miglitol: An oral hypoglycemic drug that lowers blood glucose by blocking the breakdown of complex sugars and starches. Monounsaturated fat: A form of fat, from vegetable sources like olives and nuts, that does not raise cholesterol. Morbidity rate: The rate at which sickness occurs compared with those who remain well. Mortality rate: The rate at which death occurs compared with the total population. Nateglinide: A drug similar to repaglinide that is given before a meal to stimulate insulin for that meal. Neovascularization: Formation of new vessels, especially from the retina of the eye. Nephropathy: Damage to the kidneys. Neuropathic ulcer: An infected area, usually on the leg or foot, resulting from damage that was not felt. Neuropathy: Damage to parts of the nervous system. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes: Former name for type 2 diabetes. NPH insulin: An intermediate-acting insulin, which starts to work in 4 to 6 hours and ends by 12 hours. Ophthalmologist: A doctor who specializes in diseases of the eyes. Oral hypoglycemic agent: A glucose-lowering drug taken by mouth. Pancreas: The organ behind the stomach that contains the Islets of Langerhans where insulin is produced. Periodontal disease: Gum damage, which is more common in uncontrolled diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy: Pain, numbness, and tingling, usually in the legs and feet. Pioglitazone: An oral agent that lowers glucose by reducing insulin resistance. Podiatrist: A person who specializes in treating the feet. Polydipsia: Excessive intake of water. Polyunsaturated fat: A form of fat from vegetables that may not raise cholesterol but does lower HDL. Polyuria: Excessive urination. Postprandial: After eating. Proliferative retinopathy: Undesirable production of blood vessels in front of the retina. Protein: A source of energy for the body made up of amino acids and found in meat, fish, poultry, and beans. Proteinuria: Abnormal loss of protein from the body into the urine. Receptors: Locations on cells that bind to a substance like insulin to permit the substance to do its job. Regular insulin: A fast-acting form of insulin, active in one to two hours and gone by four to six hours. Repaglinide: An oral drug that lowers glucose by causing insulin secretion. Retina: The part of the eye that senses light. Retinopathy: Disease of the retina. Rosiglitazone: One of a class of oral antidiabetic agents that lowers glucose by reducing insulin resistance. Not recommended. Saturated fat: A form of fat from animals that raises cholesterol. Secondary diabetes: Diabetes caused by some other disease, which raises glucose or blocks insulin. SGLT-2 inhibitors (Sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors): A new class of drugs for type 2 diabetes that blocks glucose reabsorption in the kidney. Sitagliptin: A once-daily pill that reduces blood glucose. Somogyi effect: A rapid increase in blood glucose in response to hypoglycemia. Sulfonylureas: The earliest class of glucose-lowering agents, which work by stimulating insulin secretion. Synthetic: Produced by artificial means. Triglycerides: The main form of fat in animals. Troglitazone: The first of the class of glucose-lowering agents that reverses insulin resistance. Liver problems have caused its removal from the drug market. Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL): The main particle in the blood that carries triglyceride. Visceral fat: The fat accumulation that results in increased waist measurement. Vitrectomy: Removal of the gel in the center of the eyeball because there has been leakage of blood and formation of scar tissue.

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Comparing Children with Type 2 and Their Parents with Type 2 Diabetes

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Children with type 2 diabetes have a parent with the condition 60 percent of the time and a parent or grandparent with diabetes 90 percent of the time. Children who have type 2 diabetes tend to be more difficult to manage if one or both parents also have type 2 diabetes. Their average blood glucose tends to be higher. They tend to be heavier than if their parents don’t have diabetes. If their parents have high blood pressure, which is more common in diabetics, the children also have high blood pressure. If their parents are depressed with diabetes, they tend to be depressed. If their parents are binge eaters, they tend to be binge eaters. Exactly why this is so is unclear. It may be due to environment, lifestyle, or genetic factors. It suggests, however, that in addressing the child’s diabetes, it’s important to focus on the parents and grandparents as well.

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When You Have Diabetes and Drive a Vehicle

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

The risk of losing consciousness due to low blood glucose has led many states and the federal government to limit driving privileges among diabetics. People with diabetes, especially if they’re taking insulin, are subject to evaluation of their fitness to drive. If they lose their license, they may lose their job or their ability to shop or take themselves to appointments, particularly medical appointments or their children to school or after-school activities. Yet male teenage drivers, drivers who text while driving, and people who drive at night have a greater risk of a motor vehicle accident than a diabetic, but they aren’t subject to a driving restriction. The state and federal governments need to take a careful look at the relatively low risk of a motor vehicle accident rates among diabetics and restrict diabetics only if definitely indicated. You can avoid this problem by testing your blood glucose before and regularly during any car trip that lasts more than two hours and make sure you keep a glucose snack in the car at all times.

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