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All Diabetes Special Reports

Prediabetes: Meeting an Epidemic With New Treatment Goals

The numbers are staggering: About 57 million Americans, or at least one in four adults, have prediabetes. All of these people are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes and the complications associated with it, including coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. Until recently, no clear standards indicated how to manage prediabetes. But now, there are specific guidelines for treating prediabetes sooner and more intensively, well before it progresses to diabetes. Here's what you should… More...

Looking Out for Number One: Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

Many people with diabetes do not realize that their number one potential health threat is not retinopathy or neuropathy, but cardiovascular disease. Why is cardiovascular disease so common in people with diabetes? Read on … More...

Traveling Safely With Diabetes

Having diabetes shouldn't get in the way if you want to see Paris, take a cruise, or simply spend time with your grandchildren in another state. Here's practical advice to help you travel safely with diabetes. First Stop: Your Doctor's Office: Schedule a visit with your physician some weeks before taking an extended trip. Be sure your regular vaccinations are up-to-date, and check on what medications or vaccinations are recommended before visiting certain parts of the… More...

Understanding How Insulin Regulates Blood Glucose

In someone with diabetes, the body's ability to secrete insulin -- and the counter-regulatory hormone glucagon -- is impaired. Johns Hopkins professor Christopher D. Saudek, M.D. explains the path of glucose in diabetes. The pancreas is an elongated organ that extends across the abdomen, below the stomach. In addition to secreting certain enzymes that aid in food digestion, the pancreas also manufactures hormones responsible for regulating blood glucose levels. … More...

The Role of Insulin in Blood Glucose Control

Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells in a part of the pancreas known as the islets of Langerhans. Glucose is the fuel that provides energy for cells throughout your body. Insulin controls how much glucose the liver produces and also helps to move glucose from the bloodstream into your cells, where it is needed as a source of energy. Here's a simple explanation of this complex process. … More...

Getting a Better Look at Blood Sugar Levels

What if you could keep close tabs on your blood sugar without losing a drop of blood? Under-the-skin sensors that monitor glucose levels around the clock and sound an alarm if levels get dangerously high or low are increasingly available to people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This article from our Health After 50 newsletter explains the benefits of the continuous glucose monitor. … More...

Making Sense of Type 2 Diabetes Medications

There has been a veritable explosion of new oral medications to help control blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. But the number of diabetes medications can cause confusion over which ones to take. Your doctor can help you choose the right medication, based on your own particular needs. To help in this important decision, Johns Hopkins provides an overview of the broad categories of diabetes medications. … More...

Diabetic Neuropathy: An Underdiagnosed Complication

Diabetic neuropathy is a serious and common complication of diabetes. But it's not inevitable. People in the Diabetes Complications and Control Trial (DCCT) who received intensive insulin therapy and maintained tight glucose control reduced their risk of neuropathy by 60%. As with many diabetic complications, prevention is key. If knowledge is power, as the old saying goes, too many people with diabetes are not adequately armed for battle. A survey by the American Diabetes Association found… More...

Is it Type 2 Diabetes or LADA?

Johns Hopkins experts explain the difference between type 2 diabetes and Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood (LADA). Not so long ago, a patient’s age was a near-perfect predictor of which type of diabetes to diagnose. People under age 30 usually had type 1 diabetes (which is why it used to be called juvenile diabetes), and people who developed diabetes after age 30 had type 2 disease. … More...

Diabetic Retinopathy on the Rise

Controlling blood glucose levels with intensive insulin therapy can reduce risk of diabetic retinopathy up to 76%. Many of the chronic, or long-term, complications of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are directly related to elevated blood glucose levels. Long-term diabetes complications include microvascular disease (abnormalities of small blood vessels); neuropathy (nerve damage); changes to the eyes (diabetic retinopathy), skin, gums, and teeth; and macrovascular disease (abnormalities of large blood vessels). More...

Diabetes Glossary

This diabetes glossary is excerpted from The Johns Hopkins White Papers: Diabetes. More...

How the Pancreas Regulates Blood Glucose

In someone with diabetes, the body’s ability to secrete insulin -- and the counter-regulatory hormone glucagon -- is impaired. Johns Hopkins professor Christopher D. Saudek, M.D. explains the path of glucose in diabetes. The pancreas is an elongated organ that extends across the abdomen, below the stomach. In addition to secreting certain enzymes that aid in food digestion, the pancreas also manufactures hormones responsible for regulating blood glucose levels. … More...

Comparing Non-Caloric Sweeteners

Non-caloric sweeteners, which are found in such foods as soft drinks, frozen desserts, yogurt, cookies, candy, and gum, can be valuable for people with diabetes. Unlike sucrose (sugar), which has 15 calories per teaspoon, these products add sweetness and flavor without calories. More...

Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

For many years, physicians have recognized that elevated blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, obesity, and abnormal blood lipid levels tend to occur together in certain individuals. This cluster of symptoms—previously called “The Deadly Quartet,” syndrome X, or insulin resistance syndrome—is now commonly referred to as metabolic syndrome. Almost one in four American adults has metabolic syndrome, which increases More...

Should You Be Taking Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes?

The first treatment for people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is usually lifestyle changes, such as improvements in diet and exercise. If these measures do not sufficiently control blood glucose levels, one or more oral medications (often metformin and/or a sulfonylurea drug) are prescribed. More...

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