Diabetes Types Tips

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What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-Diabetes - When Does it Become Diabetes?

Pre-Diabetes is also called "impaired glucose tolerance," and is diagnosed when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal (> 120 mg/dl), but not high enough to be called diabetes (> 160mg/dl).

Pre-diabetes is almost always present in someone before they develop Type II diabetes - non-insulin-dependent diabetes - however they may not realize they have pre-diabetes until they develop a noticeable symptom or complication.

One of the most common symptoms of pre-diabetes is tingling, numbness or burning in the hands or feet. Other symptoms are the same as diabetes, including: 1) frequent urination, 2) excessive thirst, 3) excessive hunger, and 4) sudden weight loss

Risk factors for the development of pre-diabetes are also the same as for diabetes:

* obesity
* sedentary lifestyle
* elevated cholesterol
* family history

Even diet has been identified as a factor, especially for persons who eat a lot of high fat or high protein foods, though research is continuing in this area.

The best way to treat pre-diabetes and decrease the risk that it will become full blown diabetes, is to:

* lose weight - even a 7% weight loss can make a big difference
* get your cholesterol under control -decrease the fat in your diet and
increase whole grains, fruits and vegetables
* control your blood pressure - lose weight, decrease your salt intake and
take medications prescribed by your doctor
* exercise - start slow and work up to 30 minutes five day each week

Diabetes is not completely preventable, however if you have pre-diabetes, you can decrease your risk of diabetes and the associated complications, by taking charge of your lifestyle, for a healthier you.

How is Diabetes Insipidus different from other types of diabetes?

Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes Insipidus is actually not a sugar-diabetes, like Type I and Type II, but is actually "water diabetes," referring to the patient needing to urinate and take in copious amounts of fluids.

The primary cause of Diabetes Insipidus is an abnormality in the pituitary gland in the brain. The gland does not produce enough of the hormone, Vasopressin, which controls the outflow of urine from the kidneys. The deficiency causes the body to produce large quantities of very dilute urine, which then causes the patient to become thirsty to replenish the missing fluids. Additionally, DI may be hereditary, can be caused by kidney malfunction, may be a result of compulsive obsessive water drinking and, in some cases, no specific cause can be found. This is called "idiopathic DI."

The key symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus are:

* excessive thirst
* excessive, copious urination
* nocturia - needing to urinate at night
* bedwetting, due to being unable to
make it to the bathroom in time
* very pale or transparent urine

Treatment varies depending on the cause. If caused by a hormonal deficiency, it can be controlled by replacing the missing hormone. If kidneys are the key, sometimes identifying and treating the kidney disease or malfunction, can cure the DI.

Sadly, DI related to compulsive excessive drinking, heredity or from an unknown cause, has no effective treatment, and the focus is on trying to balance fluid intake with urine output through behavioral interventions and close monitoring.

If you have Diabetes Insipidus, as with other types of diabetes, wear a Medic-Alert device to let medical professionals know of your condition, in the event of an emergency.

What is Type II Diabetes?

Type II: Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes is also called Type II (2) Diabetes. Type II Diabetes is a form of diabetes that does not require insulin in order to control the blood sugars.

Persons at risk for Type 2 diabetes include those with:

* obesity

* high blood pressure

* family history of diabetes

* glucose intolerance

* had gestational diabetes during


* sedentary life style

* high cholesterol

This form of diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin properly.

Symptoms of Type II diabetes include:

* frequent urination (polyuria)

* excessive thirst (polydipsia)

* excessive hunger (polyphagia)

* weight loss

* confusion

Often, the treatment for Type II diabetes is based on these key things: 1) monitoring blood sugars, 2) managing diet, 3) losing weight and 4)increasing exercise.

If these interventions are not effective in controlling the blood sugars, your doctor may prescribe one of several different oral medications, called anti-diabetic agents. You will need to take these medications, every day.

Talk to your physician or Diabetic Educator about the best plan to manage your disease and reduce your risk for serious complications.

You are the first best defense against Type II diabetes, and the first best treatment.

Explain Juvenile Diabetes.

Juvenile Diabetes

Juvenile Diabetes is Type 1 diabetes that occurs in children and teens. Like adult-onset Type I diabetes, insulin is required to manage blood sugars, in addition to dietary changes.

Type 1 diabetes beginning in childhood is most reasonably related to several factors, including a diet high in fats and proteins, obesity and heredity. The diabetes type symptoms are essentially the same as with adults:

* excessive urination

* excessive thirst

* constant hunger

* weight loss

You might also see:

* blurred vision

* fruity-smelling breath

* rapid breathing

* drowsiness or sleepiness

Children with diabetes have the same risks for complications as adults, including: heart disease, kidney problems, skin ulcers, and nerve damage. Not treated properly or timely can bring on these complications at a much earlier age than with affected adults, and can result in strokes and amputations, at a young age.

Also, as with adult-onset diabetes, the primary treatment goals include: controlling weight, monitoring blood sugars, appropriate diet, and regular exercise.

It is vital that juvenile diabetes be diagnosed early, and treatment begins promptly to decrease the risk for complications and to promote a healthy adulthood.

What is Type I diabetes?

Type I: Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

Type I Diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes, because those affected need insulin to treat their disease.

The risk factors for developing Type I diabetes include:

* sedentary lifestyle

* obesity

* high blood pressure

* high cholesterol

* impaired glucose tolerance

* family history of diabetes

In this form of diabetes, the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed by the body's immune system. This makes Type I diabetes technically a form of auto-immune disease.

Symptoms include:

* frequenty urination (polyuria)

* excessive thirst (polydipsia)

* excessive hunger (polyphagia)

* weight loss

* confusion

Treatment for type 1 diabetes includes:

1. insulin - via injections or pump

2. following a diet plan, which generally included 50% carbohydrates, 20% proteins and 30% fats (according to the American Diabetes Association)

3. developing an exercise plan - preferably 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week

4. taking aspirin daily (for some)

5. losing excess weight

6. controlling blood pressure and cholesterol

The complications associated with Type I diabetes include:

* blindness

* heart disease

* kidney disease

* nerve damage

* anemia

* coma - due to high or low blood sugar

To decrease your risk of developing these serious and life-threatening complications, good control of your blood sugar is essential.

Talk to your physician or Diabetic Educator about the best plan to manage your disease and reduce the risk for complications.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational Diabetes and a Healthy Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. For most women, the high blood sugars gradually disappear following birth of the baby, though some do continue to need a diabetic plan to manage blood sugars, long-term.

The body goes through many changes during pregnancy, including hormonal fluctuations, changes in blood volume, fluid shifts within the different spaces in the body and, of course, weight gain. When you look at the contributing factors for diabetes, it almost makes sense that some women would be effected:

* obesity - weight gain is normal during pregnancy
* high blood pressure - extra fluid volume in the body, geared to
compensate for the additional person, can lead to high blood pressure in
some women
* hormonal fluctuations resulting in changes in blood sugar levels - some
hormones directly impact how the body processes sugars
* dietary changes - many women experience cravings for high salt or high sugar foods during pregnancy, which impact fluid levels (blood
pressure) and blood sugar
* family history of gestational diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes

Like any major life change, having a healthy pregnancy requires planning and active intervention.

For women with existing risk factors, such as family history of diabetes, high blood pressure and/or obesity, it is vital that they:

* find an obstetrician early in the pregnancy to do baseline evaluation
and develop a pregnancy plan
* monitor weight closely for any sudden weight spikes or drops
* be alert for changes in vision, sensations in the hands and feet and
urination patterns (though frequent urination late in pregnancy is
normal, it is not as common in early pregnancy)
* follow a healthy diet plan balancing fats, carbs and proteins
* drink at least 30 ml (one ounce) of water for every 2.5 pounds of their
body weight - each day
* notify their obstetrician of any concerns, including:
- "floaters" - spots floating in the visual fields
- increased swelling of the hands, feet or face
- headaches or dizziness
- new onset nausea after the 1st trimester
- frequent urination

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you need to:

* follow your diabetic diet plan
* exercise
* keep hydrated
* monitor your blood sugars
* take your medication as prescribed
* communicate any changes to your

Though virtually any woman may experience gestational diabetes, knowing you are at risk gives you the edge in planning for a healthy pregnancy.

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Guru Spotlight
Barbara Gibson