Of most diseases that inflict people, diabetes is one that is deadly yet can be manageable if cautiously treated. It occurs as a malfunction of the body's ability to properly deal with insulin levels. Insulin is a normal hormone produced in our bodies. In small amounts, it is good since it helps us to process glucose to be used as fuel. However, if the body cannot create the right amounts of insulin, the glucose levels can go out of control and lead to several complications.
Diabetes is very significant, and when diagnosed, should be taken seriously. In the U.S. alone, it impacts around 23.6 million people each year. Studies have also proven that it is currently the seventh main cause of death. Even those who do not die directly because of diabetes can find that their life expectancy is reduced by as much as fifteen years. Additionally, the heart disease risk can be doubled and diabetes can also cause other issues such as kidney failure, blindness in adults and the need to amputate the lower limbs.
Currently, the rates of diabetes are increasing nationally, despite massive costs in the billions that are spent on related health care and treatments. Diabetes symptoms can sometimes be fairly subtle, so it is unsurprising that many people don't realize that they have diabetes for a long time. In Type 1 diabetes, the symptoms can include unexplained weight loss, extreme thirst and hunger, tiredness, and increased urination. People suffering from Type 2 diabetes may experience blurred or failing vision, infections, slow-healing bruises or cuts, or tingling in the extremities, in addition to the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. People who are overweight or have a family history of diabetes are usually more prone to Type 2 diabetes. However, losing weight through a healthy diet and sufficient exercise can significantly reduce the risk. Aging and ethnicity are different types of risk factors that cannot be controlled but individuals can help to reduce their risk of diabetes by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes Glossary – If you or a loved one has received a recent diagnosis of diabetes, have a look through this glossary (supplied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to understand some of the words and terms commonly used in discussing the disorder.
An Introduction to Diabetes – Look through a governmental collection of resources ranging from pre-diabetes questions to the main types of diabetes, what to do when diagnosed and how to treat children or pregnant women.
Diabetes Info Resources – To learn more about diabetes, have a look at this comprehensive online resource from the CDC. It covers personal questions about diabetes, statistics and trends, related medical news and educational articles, for patients and professionals.
Complete Guide to Diabetes – Find out all about diabetes, its risk factors and complications, treatments, educational programs, clinical trials and more. The information supplied is for patients, family members and medical professionals, and is supplied by the government's Department of Health and Human Services.
A Primer on Diabetes – A quick guide from a governmental medical library offers patients the main points about diabetes and how it is caused, along with symptoms to watch out for and how to test for it.
Diabetes Facts – For some fast information about diabetes, consult this virtual fact sheet written specifically for female patients. Answers to common questions and concerns are offered, with real stories of how patients with diabetes managed to overcome it.
An Overview of Diabetes – Patients and their family members can read about the basics of diabetes and browse through some facts and figures about how many people succumb to it in the United States. This resource is provided by the government's Healthy People program.
An Explanation of Diabetes – In this helpful article from the New York Times' Health Guide, readers can learn about diabetes in general, and how Type 1 and Type 2 differ. Also included are brief details of the symptoms, examination methods, treatments, prevention and more.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Testing Methods – Before being tested for diabetes, it can be helpful for patients and their family members to browse through an overview of diabetes testing methods, from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC).
Diagnosing Diabetes – The government's National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) offers plenty of information for patients regarding the ways in which diabetes is diagnosed and managed.
Glucose Tests – The AACC has prepared a useful guide for people who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes. It describes glucose tests and how to interpret the results.
Diabetes for First-Time Patients – New diabetes patients will undoubtedly benefit from this reassuring guide supplied by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). It fully discusses what happens during the first visit, what the doctor or staff will check for and what to expect.
Diabetes Symptoms – The ADA provides a basic list of common symptoms that Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients expect. If you have been experiencing changes in your health, it is worth consulting this list.
When to Be Concerned – Since diabetes symptoms are not always very distinct, the Mayo Clinic has prepared a guide for potential sufferers to consult. Within the article, they can find out which symptoms manifest more strongly and when to see a doctor.
Diabetes Tests & Diagnoses – WebMD, an online health website offers plenty of information for potential patients on how diabetes is diagnosed and how the various tests work.
Prevention, Risk Factors, and Screening
Lowering the Risk of Diabetes – New or potential patients can learn more about Type 2 diabetes from the NDIC website and find out how to reduce their risk or prevent it entirely.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes – The government's HealthFinder site outlines simple but effective steps for diabetic patients to prevent diabetes or delay it. Some of the steps include maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy diet, stopping smoking and lowering cholesterol levels.
The Diabetes Risk Test – Just about anyone can benefit by taking the ADA's virtual diabetes risk test. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete, but can quickly point out an individual's diabetes risk factors and how to prevent it.
Finding Your Risk Factors – People with a family history of diabetes or even those from certain ethnic backgrounds should read this article by the CDC to find out whether they face a risk of diabetes and how they can preempt it.
Diabetes Risk Factors – A feature by WebMD for the general public shows that some of the main diabetes risk factors include genetics and pancreas disease for Type 1, and obesity, insulin resistance, ethnicity, and more for Type 2.
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors – According to the ADA's page for its readers, older people, those who do not exercise often and overweight people can easily risk getting Type 2 diabetes.
How to Take Control – The Mayo Clinic explains to diabetes patients that unlike some chronic diseases that leave people feeling helpless and hopeless, there are several ways in which diabetics can help themselves and even defeat diabetes.
Diabetes Prevention – The NDIC has prepared a program for people at risk, aimed towards educating them about diabetes and helping them to prevent it.
How to Prevent Diabetes – The CDC shows at-risk people that diabetes can certainly be prevented or delayed even in high-risk cases. This article also offers information about prediabetes and shows how people can beat it even at that stage.
Testing to Prevent Diabetes – The Foundations of Wellness shows average readers that one of the best ways to prevent the on-set of diabetes is to regularly get tested for it, especially as we approach our mid-forties and over.
Disease Management and Treatment
What Happens After Diagnosis – People who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes can consult the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to learn more about it, how to control it and how to take care of any related problems.
Managing Diabetes – Mayo Clinic shows that diabetes can translate to many life changes for people who have just been diagnosed. Some of these include changes to one's diet, activity levels, schedules and medication.
Checking Blood Sugar Levels – The American Academy of Family Physicians provides a detailed guide for new diabetics on the importance of regularly checking their blood sugar levels. They also touch on supplies needed and how to perform the test.
Devices for Checking Blood Glucose – Before purchasing blood glucose testing devices, new patients are well advised to heed the advice outlined in this article by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Diabetes and Holidays – Especially during holidays and special festivals, it can be difficult to refrain from eating any treats or sweet foods. The CDC's article specifically discusses these issues and offers helpful tips for diabetics on how to manage their cravings successfully during these periods.
Controlling Diabetes – The ADA acknowledges that maintaining low and regular blood sugar levels can be difficult, but they discuss why it is important and how patients can get started.
Staying Active with Diabetes – Diabetics who lead sedentary lifestyles should read through this article by the NDIC to find out how exercise can improve their condition and where they can start.
Blood Glucose Meters – New patients can get started by reading this guide by the FDA to learn about the best glucose meter for them. There are several models available and they should be used and disposed of carefully.
Talking to a Professional – Find out which people will make up your team of health care experts in this explanatory guide from the ADA. It goes into detail about professionals such as the main doctor, nurse educators, dieticians, and more.
Personal Health Decisions – The ADA explains that when a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they often have to make certain important changes to their lives that will greatly impact their health from there on. The ADA's Diabetes Personal Health Decisions (PHD) tool is designed to assess a person's risk and point out areas that could be improved.
Anger and Diabetes – A common emotion that arises when one is diagnosed with diabetes is anger. The ADA explains why it occurs and how people can use that emotion in a positive manner.
Helping Someone Cope with Diabetes – Apart from the patient, close family members can also be impacted by their new diagnosis. Learn how to help the patient cope and what their needs might be from this insight article from the NDEP.
Stress and Diabetes – Just as stress affects people on a regular basis, it can also affect diabetics. Unfortunately however, it can also serve to complicate their condition. Patients and caregivers alike could benefit by learning how to reduce stress in a diabetic's life and how to cope with it.
A First Person Account – While many diabetics may feel alone after their diagnosis, it helps to hear about coping strategies from others with the same disease. This blog on the Mayo Clinic site discusses how to cope with diabetes and manage it successfully.
Managing Stress and Diabetes – Diabetics should be carefully to reduce their stress levels and try to control it as much as possible. WebMD offers some great tips on fighting stress and relieving it when it does crop up.
Coping After Being Diagnosed – The time immediately after the diagnosis can be quite traumatic and stressful for many people. A valuable collection of resources from the ADA offers information on how to get through it, along with articles for family members and caregivers so that they may help the patient through this crucial time.