Diabetes is a condition when glucose (sugar), that is normally used as a major source of fuel for our body, can not be used effectively due to inadequate or insufficient production of the hormone, insulin. Diabetes can be caused by destruction of the pancreas organ that normally produces insulin, by autoimmune process (type 1 diabetes), a long standing history of diabetes, inflammation, or surgical removal of the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors (steroids). As result pancreas does not make enough insulin and the body becomes resistant to normal or even high levels of insulin. Rare causes of diabetes include genetic defects of insulin structure, secretion, or action (MODY). Glucose levels in diabetics can be affected by multiple factors
Classic symptoms of high blood sugar are: increased thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, or fatigue after a heavy meal. But these symptoms can also happen when sugar levels are very high. Modestly elevated blood sugars can occur without significant symptoms. Screening people who are at a high risk of developing diabetes (family members of diabetics, women with history of gestational diabetes, individuals who are of Black, Hispanic or Native American ethnicity or those who are overweight) can identify diabetes or prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) at early stages, before its complications develop. Complications of diabetes are serious and can lead to significant disabilities: heart disease, strokes, nerve damage, kidney failure, eye damage, erectile dysfunction, fertility problems, frequent infections, or even death.
Treatment of diabetes always consists of adherence to diet with controlled amount of carbohydrates and a lifestyle with focus on physical activity and avoidance of smoking or substance abuse. Some patients need to be treated with insulin, but some benefit from non-insulin oral or injectable medications that improve their own insulin production or insulin sensitivity. Recently, bariatric surgery was approved as a possible treatment modality for selected patients. Care for diabetes in pregnancy is especially important since it impacts the health of both mother and developing fetus.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Information about diabetes management devices
Continuous glucose sensors
Insulin delivery devices