Video Topic : The first step in managing type 2 diabetes is accepting the fact that you have diabetes. Diabetics need to take an active role in managing their condition. Regular doctor visits are a must to check on blood pressure and cholesterol levels and to monitor eye health. Dr. Michael Stein of Brown University talks about stabilizing kidney function. Blood sugar levels need to be monitored using self-testing kits. According to Dr. Osama Hamdy of the Joslin Diabetes Center, the best treatments for type 2 diabetes are diet and exercise, not medications. Cynthia Geyer of Canyon Ranch explains how exercise enables tissues to take up glucose independent of insulin receptors. Eating small sensible meals helps to keep blood sugar levels and weight under control. Losing 7% of body weight can increase insulin sensitivity by 50%--that's equivalent to two diabetes medications at maximum dose. Dr. Mark Liponis of Canyon Ranch tells us the good news about diabetes: we have the ability to improve diabetes, and that isn't true of many conditions.
Also called: Diabetes mellitus, DM
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems. It can damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb. Pregnant women can also get diabetes, called gestational diabetes.
A blood test can show if you have diabetes. Exercise, weight control and sticking to your meal plan can help control your diabetes. You should also monitor your glucose level and take medicine if prescribed.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.