Health Topics

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes
National Library of Medicine
Diabetes Mellitus
Sugar Diabetes
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.

Blood tests can show if you have diabetes. One type of test, the A1C, can also check on how you are managing your diabetes. Exercise, weight control and sticking to your meal plan can help control your diabetes. You should also monitor your blood glucose level and take medicine if prescribed.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Diabetes Mellitus
Seniors
Endocrine System
Metabolic Problems
Diabetes Mellitus
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 ...
Diabetes Type 1
National Library of Medicine
Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
Juvenile Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Insulin-dependent diabetes
Type I diabetes

Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth.

Type 1 diabetes happens most often in children and young adults but can appear at any age. Symptoms may include

  • Being very thirsty
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very hungry or tired
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Having sores that heal slowly
  • Having dry, itchy skin
  • Losing the feeling in your feet or having tingling in your feet
  • Having blurry eyesight

A blood test can show if you have diabetes. If you do, you will need to take insulin for the rest of your life. A blood test called the A1C can check to see how well you are managing your diabetes.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1
Children and Teenagers
Immune System
Endocrine System
Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps ...
Diabetes Type 2
National Library of Medicine
Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
Sugar Diabetes
Type II Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth.

You have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes if you are older, have obesity, have a family history of diabetes, or do not exercise. Having prediabetes also increases your risk. Prediabetes means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, you may be able to delay or prevent developing it by making some lifestyle changes.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes appear slowly. Some people do not notice symptoms at all. The symptoms can include

  • Being very thirsty
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very hungry or tired
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Having sores that heal slowly
  • Having blurry eyesight

Blood tests can show if you have diabetes. One type of test, the A1C, can also check on how you are managing your diabetes. Many people can manage their diabetes through healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing. Some people also need to take diabetes medicines.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Children and Teenagers
Endocrine System
Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. ...
Diabetes and Pregnancy
National Library of Medicine
Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy and Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. When you are pregnant, high blood sugar levels are not good for your baby.

About seven out of every 100 pregnant women in the United States get gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is diabetes that happens for the first time when a woman is pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after you have your baby. But it does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on. Your child is also at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Most women get a test to check for diabetes during their second trimester of pregnancy. Women at higher risk may get a test earlier.

If you already have diabetes, the best time to control your blood sugar is before you get pregnant. High blood sugar levels can be harmful to your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy - even before you know you are pregnant. To keep you and your baby healthy, it is important to keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible before and during pregnancy.

Either type of diabetes during pregnancy increases the chances of problems for you and your baby. To help lower the chances talk to your health care team about

  • A meal plan for your pregnancy
  • A safe exercise plan
  • How often to test your blood sugar
  • Taking your medicine as prescribed. Your medicine plan may need to change during pregnancy.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Pregnancy in Diabetics
Pregnancy and Reproduction
Endocrine System
Female Reproductive System
Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. When you are pregnant, high blood sugar levels are not good for your baby. ...
Diabetes in Children and Teens
National Library of Medicine
Children and Diabetes
Teens and Diabetes

Until recently, the common type of diabetes in children and teens was type 1. It was called juvenile diabetes. With Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose,or sugar, get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much sugar stays in the blood.

Now younger people are also getting type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But now it is becoming more common in children and teens, due to more obesity. With Type 2 diabetes, the body does not make or use insulin well.

Children have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes if they are overweight or have obesity, have a family history of diabetes, or are not active. Children who are African American, Hispanic, Native American/Alaska Native, Asian American, or Pacific Islander also have a higher risk. To lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in children

  • Have them maintain a healthy weight
  • Be sure they are physically active
  • Have them eat smaller portions of healthy foods
  • Limit time with the TV, computer, and video

Children and teens with type 1 diabetes may need to take insulin. Type 2 diabetes may be controlled with diet and exercise. If not, patients will need to take oral diabetes medicines or insulin. A blood test called the A1C can check on how you are managing your diabetes.


Diabetes Mellitus
Children and Teenagers
Endocrine System
Diabetes Mellitus
Until recently, the common type of diabetes in children and teens was type 1. It was called juvenile diabetes. With Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not ...
How to Prevent Diabetes
National Library of Medicine
Diabetes Prevention
What is type 2 diabetes?

If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, this happens because your body does not make enough insulin, or it does not use insulin well (this is called insulin resistance). If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, you might be able to prevent or delay developing it.

Who is at risk for type 2 diabetes?

Many Americans are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Your chances of getting it depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. The risk factors include

  • Having prediabetes, which means you have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes
  • Being overweight or having obesity
  • Being age 45 or older
  • A family history of diabetes
  • Being African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having a low level of HDL (good) cholesterol or a high level of triglycerides
  • A history of diabetes in pregnancy
  • Having given birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • A history of heart disease or stroke
  • Having depression
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Having acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition in which your skin becomes dark and thick, especially around your neck or armpits
  • Smoking
How can I prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes?

If you are at risk for diabetes, you may be able to prevent or delay getting it. Most of the things that you need to do involve having a healthier lifestyle. So if you make these changes, you will get other health benefits as well. You may lower your risk of other diseases, and you will probably feel better and have more energy. The changes are

  • Losing weight and keeping it off.Weight control is an important part of diabetes prevention. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose between 10 to 20 pounds. And once you lose the weight, it is important that you don't gain it back.
  • Following a healthy eating plan. It is important to reduce the amount of calories you eat and drink each day, so you can lose weight and keep it off. To do that, your diet should include smaller portions and less fat and sugar. You should also eat a variety of foods from each food group, including plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It's also a good idea to limit red meat, and avoid processed meats.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise has many health benefits, including helping you to lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels. These both lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional to figure out which types of exercise are best for you. You can start slowly and work up to your goal.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. If you already smoke, try to quit.
  • Talk to your health care provider to see whether there is anything else you can do to delay or to prevent type 2 diabetes. If you are at high risk, your provider may suggest that you take one of a few types of diabetes medicines.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Endocrine System
Wellness and Lifestyle
Diabetes Mellitus
What is type 2 diabetes? If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, this happens because your body does not make ...
Diabetes Complications
National Library of Medicine
Diabetic complications

If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Over time, this can cause problems with other body functions, such as your kidneys, nerves, feet, and eyes. Having diabetes can also put you at a higher risk for heart disease and bone and joint disorders. Other long-term complications of diabetes include skin problems, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, and problems with your teeth and gums.

Very high or very low blood sugar levels can also lead to emergencies in people with diabetes. The cause can be an underlying infection, certain medicines, or even the medicines you take to control your diabetes. If you feel nauseated, sluggish or shaky, seek emergency care.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Diabetes Complications
Endocrine System
Metabolic Problems
Diabetes Mellitus
If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Over time, this can cause problems with other body functions, such as your ...
Diabetes Insipidus
National Library of Medicine
DI

Diabetes insipidus (DI) causes frequent urination. You become extremely thirsty, so you drink. Then you urinate. This cycle can keep you from sleeping or even make you wet the bed. Your body produces lots of urine that is almost all water.

DI is different from diabetes mellitus (DM), which involves insulin problems and high blood sugar. The symptoms can be similar. However, DI is related to how your kidneys handle fluids. It's much less common than DM. Urine and blood tests can show which one you have.

Usually, DI is caused by a problem with your pituitary gland or your kidneys. Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. Medicines can often help.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Diabetes Insipidus
Kidneys and Urinary System
Endocrine System
Metabolic Problems
Diabetes insipidus (DI) causes frequent urination. You become extremely thirsty, so you drink. Then you urinate. This cycle can keep you from sleeping or even ...
Diabetes Medicines
National Library of Medicine
Hypoglycemic Medicines
Insulin

Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. If you can't control your diabetes with wise food choices and physical activity, you may need diabetes medicines. The kind of medicine you take depends on your type of diabetes, your schedule, and your other health conditions.

With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to take insulin.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common type, can start when the body doesn't use insulin as it should. If your body can't keep up with the need for insulin, you may need to take pills. Along with meal planning and physical activity, diabetes pills help people with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes keep their blood glucose levels on target. Several kinds of pills are available. Each works in a different way. Many people take two or three kinds of pills. Some people take combination pills. Combination pills contain two kinds of diabetes medicine in one tablet. Some people take pills and insulin.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Hypoglycemic Agents
Insulin
Insulins
Endocrine System
Drug Therapy
Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. If you can't control your diabetes with wise food choices and physical activity, you may ...
A1C
National Library of Medicine
Hemoglobin A1c
Glycohemoglobin
HbA1C
Hemoglobin A1C test

A1C is a blood test for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. It measures your average blood glucose, or blood sugar, level over the past 3 months. Doctors may use the A1C alone or in combination with other diabetes tests to make a diagnosis. They also use the A1C to see how well you are managing your diabetes. This test is different from the blood sugar checks that people with diabetes do every day.

Your A1C test result is given in percentages. The higher the percentage, the higher your blood sugar levels have been:

  • A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent
  • Prediabetes is between 5.7 to 6.4 percent. Having prediabetes is a risk factor for getting type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes may need retests every year.
  • Type 2 diabetes is above 6.5 percent
  • If you have diabetes, you should have the A1C test at least twice a year. The A1C goal for many people with diabetes is below 7. It may be different for you. Ask what your goal should be. If your A1C result is too high, you may need to change your diabetes care plan.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Glycated Hemoglobin A
Diagnostic Tests
Diabetes Mellitus
A1C is a blood test for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. It measures your average blood glucose, or blood sugar, level over the past 3 months. Doctors may ...