What is Diabetes?


>> What is Diabetes?

>> Diabetes risk factors and genetics

>> Your diabetes health care team and support network

>> Your treatment

>> Diabetes terminology

>> Facts and figures

>> The rumors of diabetes

What is Diabetes?

In the understanding of diabetes, the need to understand the normal body of sugar metabolism process. When you ingest food, a lot of food is broken down into sugars called glucose. Glucose is the fuel of the body cell. When the glucose content rises in the blood, the insulin is released from the pancreas into the blood (insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas) and then the insulin will be attached to the body cells, so that sugar into the cells.

When the body can not produce enough insulin or can not effectively use insulin, it will happen to diabetes, chronic diseases.

The main types of diseases are:

  • Type 1 diabetes: insulin-secreting cells (pancreatic beta-cells) are no longer able to secrete enough insulin for your body.
  • Type 2 diabetes: the body may not produce enough insulin or the body may not be able to effectively use insulin, or sometimes both cases. 1

Manifested as a group of chronic hyperglycemia characterized by metabolic diseases, and bring tissue and organs have long-term damage.

Diabetes can affect your daily life, but diabetics can learn to manage diabetes through a full and positive life. Diabetes administration includes:

  • Implement a healthy diet plan
  • Participate in physical activity
  • Develop other health habits, such as weight control, and avoid smoking, etc. 2
  • Use blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar level
  • Control blood pressure
  • If appropriate, take insulin or oral medication
  • Learn about diabetes.


1. ADA 2012: Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/35/Supplement_1/S64.extract

2. WHO Factsheet 312 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/

Diabetes risk factors and genetics

The risk factors for type 2 diabetes were:

  • Suffering from pre-diabetes

         - Impaired impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and /

          - Fasting blood glucose damage (IFG)

  • Over 45 years old
  • History of diabetes mellitus
  • overweight
  • Do not love to participate in physical activity
  • hypertension
  • High blood lipids
  • Some ethnic groups (non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanic or Latino, American Indians, Alaska Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders)
  • Women with gestational diabetes or having more than 9 pounds of infants

ADA: Your First Visit


International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 

website: http://www.idf.org/

The etiology of type 1 diabetes is currently unknown, however, it may involve both inherited (genetic) risk factors and environmental risk factors.

Family history (genetic etiology) and lifestyle-related risk factors in the development and development of type 2 diabetes will play a role, although often difficult to distinguish between the two types of risk factors, to accurately determine the type 2 diabetes "cause." For example, obesity is associated with type 2 diabetes. Obesity tends to be inherited in the family ("genetic" risk factors), and the family tends to develop similar dietary and physical exercise habits ("lifestyle-related" risk factors). [American Society of Diabetes (ADA) website 2013: Diabetes Genetics]

Type 1 diabetes may cause

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Genetic susceptibility (genes inherited from parents)
  • Environmental triggering conditions:

-          Cold weather and virus

-          Early diets; type 1 diabetes in the breastfeeding population and the larger age had just begun to intake of solid food in the crowd is relatively rare

-          The presence of autoantibodies in the blood - antibodies that can destroy bacteria or viruses of various types of protein; autoantibodies are antibodies 'bad', instead of attacking the body's own organization

  • Obesity (genetic susceptibility)
  • Sugar and saturated fat accounted for a high proportion of fruit and vegetables accounted for low eating habits
  • Do not love to participate in physical activity
  • Age
  • History of diabetes mellitus
  • race
  • During pregnancy, malnutrition affects the developing fetus

Source: American Diabetes Association (ADA) Website 2013: Diabetes Genetics; ADA 2012.

Your diabetes health care team and support network

Many health care providers can become part of your health care team. You can choose, but it is best to have a diabetes in the professional knowledge of diabetes care health care team. 1 Your supporters should also include family and friends, clergy, colleagues and others who may provide practical help and emotional support.

You are the most important member of your health team. You understand your feelings, to take care of your diabetes every day you are willing and able to do things, you also know your difficulties. With your input, honest feedback, your health care team members can provide better care and advice.

Your diabetes health care team may include the following:

  • Main caregiver: may be a family doctor, general doctor, nurse or physician assistant and your general physical examination and sick to go to the patient
  • Diabetes nurse / specialist: usually a specially trained nurse through diabetes, can guide and support your diabetes care self-care daily problems. You can learn what is diabetes, how to deal with how you check blood sugar levels, taking insulin or oral medication, and much more knowledge.
  • Nutritionist: A professionally trained dietitian will show you how your intake of food affects your blood sugar and blood lipid levels and work with you to develop your meal plan to show you how to read food labels, how to plan special festivals and Restaurant diet and so on
  • Endocrinologists: doctors, experts in the treatment of diabetes and other "endocrine system" diseases
  • Pharmacist: advise on whether or not any diabetes medication or other condition you may have or may or will affect your blood sugar level
  • Podiatrists: can provide counseling and treatment of foot problems to prevent infection
  • Ophthalmologist: It is important to visit the ophthalmologist (ophthalmologist or optometrist) at least once a year, so that any eye problems can be treated in time. 1,2

Other experts who may be helpful to you include:

  • Social worker: helps you to find the resources needed for medical and financial
  • Clinical psychologist or mental health professionals: can help you solve the emotional discomfort caused by diabetes and guide you how to manage the pressure
  • Dentists: It is recommended that diabetics look twice a year for dentists
  • Sports Physiologist: Can help you develop an exercise program

Information Sources:

1. ADA website: Http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/36/Supplement_1

Your treatment

Nobody will really like to see a doctor, but when you are managing chronic diseases like diabetes, treatment is very important. You are the captain of your own health care team, so you should be well prepared for your treatment. Good care will help you manage your blood sugar and improve your quality of life.

Here are the treatment activities that you may be involved in:

  • Record or update your history
  • To provide you with a physical examination, including height, weight and blood pressure
  • Laboratory check

-          Detection of blood and / or urine to understand blood glucose levels,

-          Detect your HbA1c level (your average blood glucose level over the last 2-3 months)

-          Detect your lipid levels, also known as lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides)

-          Detect your urinary protein levels

-          Your team recommends other tests,

  • Help you develop a plan to manage your diabetes

Your diabetes care plan should suit your lifestyle, so tell your health care team about your family situation, work or school timetable. Tell them about your daily activities, meals, cultural backgrounds and things that bring you stress.

Here's a list to help you plan:

  • List the items that need to be done, called the target

-          Short term is the next few days and weeks you can complete the matter (for example: I will walk three days a week for 30 minutes)

-          Long term goal is in the next few weeks and months, you can complete the matter (for example: I will accept the eye examination or I will make my HbA1c down to XX%)

  • List of what you need for diabetes, what efficacy, when you need to take and what side effects (if any)
  • Develop a diet plan that you like and can stick to. In this respect, the dietitian can help you
  • List the lifestyle changes you can make, such as quit smoking or participate in more exercise
  • Educate you and your family about diabetes
  • Plan the following medical consultation activities:

-          Go to your eye doctor once a year, or follow the recommended number of times

-          If you find a nail with an embedded, cracked or other foot problem, see your podiatrist

-          Follow your recommended number of times to see your dentist

-          To see other necessary specialists

  • Develop a sick leave plan
  • If you are pregnant women, develop a gestational glycemic control program or pre-pregnancy plan
  • Write a referral plan

Information Sources:


Diabetes terminology

HbA1c: used to measure the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. Also known as glycosylated hemoglobin.

Acute: a sudden and sustained period of time.

A cell in the pancreas. Alpha cells secrete glucagon, a hormone released at low blood sugar.

Atherosclerosis: Cirrhosis, stenosis or obstruction of the artery can lead to stroke, heart disease, eye disease or kidney problems.

Autonomic neuropathy: a type of neuropathy that affects the heart, lung, stomach, intestine, bladder, or genitalia (nerve injury).

Basal rate: Stable drip of long-acting insulin used in insulin pumps.

Β-cells: pancreatic cells secreting insulin in pancreatic islets.

Blood sugar: The main carbohydrate found in the blood and in the body's energy source. Also known as blood sugar.

A small portable device used to check blood glucose levels. Drop a drop of blood on a blood glucose test strip to puncture the skin with blood, and drop a drop of blood on the blood glucose test strip, which will calculate and show blood sugar levels.

Blood glucose monitoring: Regularly check blood glucose with a blood glucose meter to help you manage your diabetes.

Blood pressure: the force exerted by the blood on the vessel wall - in proportion to - 120/80.

Body mass index (BMI): used to identify a person is overweight, normal weight or overweight method. It assesses the relationship between body weight and height.

Meal: Suppresses the amount of insulin required to increase blood sugar after a meal or snack.

Calories: The energy units provided by food. Carbohydrates, protein, fat and alcohol make up your calories in your diet.

Carbohydrate: One of the three main nutrients in food. The food that provides carbohydrates is starch, certain vegetables, fruits, dairy products and sugar. A

Carbohydrate Calculation (Carbohydrate Count): A way to calculate carbohydrates in food in a dietary plan.

Cardiovascular disease: heart and vascular disease (arteries, capillaries and veins). A

A fat synthesized by the liver that can be found in the blood. Cholesterol can also be found in some foods. The body uses cholesterol to synthesize hormones and build cell walls. High density lipoprotein (HDL) is a potent cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) is harmful to cholesterol. Here is a way to distinguish between the two memories:

H = good health, you want to keep the index at a high level.

L = bad body, you want to keep the index at a low level.

Chronic: a long duration of illness.

Continuous Blood Sugar Monitoring (CGM): A system that includes a small sensor inserted below the skin for measuring blood glucose and a device for displaying the results.

Complications: Harmful effects of diabetes, such as damage to eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, or kidneys. Studies have shown that keeping blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipids at near normal levels can help prevent or delay complications.

Contraindications: the use of a particular drug or the use of a particular treatment in a particular patient is not recommended.

Dawn phenomenon: blood sugar morning rise phenomenon, usually occurs in the morning between 4: 00-8: 00.

Diabetes: a group of manifestations of chronic hyperglycemia (hyperglycemia) metabolic symptoms caused by the inability of the body to synthesize or effectively use insulin.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA): Very high blood sugar levels associated with insulin deficiency caused by the emergency symptoms, which will lead to body fat decomposition of ketone body, accumulation in the blood and urine.

Endocrine glands: A group of special cells that can release hormones into the blood, such as the pancreas.

Fasting Blood Glucose: Blood glucose levels after 8 to 12 hours (usually one night) are not eaten. Fasting blood glucose testing is used to diagnose diabetes and can be used to diagnose diabetes; it is also used to check whether diabetic blood glucose levels remain within the target range. A

Fat: One of the three main nutrients in food.

A sugar that is naturally present in fruit and honey.

Gastric paralysis: a form of neuropathy that affects the stomach.

Genetic susceptibility: the risk of disease due to the inheritance of certain genes from the family.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM): Type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy .

Glucagon: A hormone secreted by alpha cells in the pancreas. A

Glucose: One of the simplest forms of sugar.

Blood glucose production index: a method based on the way in which carbohydrate content in food affects blood sugar.

Glycogen: A form of glucose found in the liver and muscle.

Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c): Used to measure the average blood glucose level of a person over the past 2 to 3 months. G: The weight units used in some meal plans.

G: The weight units used in some meal plans.

High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol: Fat found in the blood - known as "beneficial" cholesterol.

Inheritance: from the father to the descendants of the characteristics of transmission.

A chemical that secures and releases into the blood to trigger or regulate the function of the body. Insulin is a hormone.

Hyperglycemia: higher than normal blood sugar. Fasting hyperglycemia refers to blood glucose levels above the ideal level after at least 8 hours of ingestion. Postprandial hyperglycemia refers to blood glucose levels above the ideal level after 1 to 2 hours of eating. A

Hypertension: Hypertension.

Hypoglycemia: also known as hypoglycemia, when a person's blood sugar is lower than normal when the disease occurs. Symptoms include hunger, tension, trembling, sweating, dizziness or dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. If not treated, hypoglycemia can lead to confusion. Hypoglycemia can be treated by taking glucose tablets or carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruit juice to ingest glucose. If the patient has been confused or unable to swallow, can also be used to treat glucagon injection of hypoglycemia. A

Asymptomatic hypoglycemia: the patient can not feel or recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar .

Fasting Glucose Impaired (IFG): Fasting blood glucose tests show that blood glucose is higher than normal, but not yet enough to diagnose symptoms of diabetes. Patients with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A

Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT): Blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not yet sufficient to diagnose symptoms of diabetes. Your health care professional will need to determine what level your blood glucose level should be. Patients with impaired glucose tolerance (also known as pre-diabetes) develop an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A

Injection: Use syringes to inject liquid into the body. Insulin is injected via injection.

Insulin: A hormone that helps the body use glucose to provide energy. The beta cells in the pancreas secrete insulin.

Insulin pen: A device that holds an insulin refill.

Insulin pumps: devices that deliver insulin poker size. The insulin pump is connected to the infusion tube and the infusion tube is provided with a guide needle that can penetrate the skin.

Insulin reaction: when blood sugar drops too low. Also known as hypoglycemia.

Insulin resistance: the body is unable to respond and use its own secretion of insulin symptoms. Insulin resistance can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and high blood lipids. A

Ketone: When the insulin is too small, the body had to break down fat to produce energy and secretion of a chemical substance.

Kidney: A pair of lentils that filter waste and generate urine.

Lactose: the form of sugar in milk.

Needle: (for the blood pen) of the small needle to pierce the skin to get a drop of blood.

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol: Fat found in the blood. Sometimes referred to as "harmful" cholesterol.

Lipids: Fat in the body.

The liver: the food into energy, from the blood to remove alcohol and poison and manufacture bile organs.

A portion of the retina that has the primary visual ability.

Macular edema: swelling of the macular area.

Large blood vessels: refers to large blood vessels, such as the blood vessels found in the heart. A

Microvascular: refers to the smallest blood vessels, such as the eyes, nerves and kidney found in the blood vessels. A

Kidney disease: kidney disease. Hyperglycemia and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys. When the kidneys are damaged, the protein leaks from the kidneys into the urine. Damaged kidneys can no longer remove waste and excess liquid from the bloodstream. A

Neuropathy: central nervous system diseases. The three major forms of disease in diabetic patients are peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy and single neuropathy. The most common is peripheral neuropathy, which affects the foot and legs.

Obesity: more severe than overweight - body fat is higher than normal.

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): diagnosis of pre-diabetes and diabetes detection. After the fasting (more than 8 hours without eating) for testing.

An organ that secrete insulin and digestive enzymes. The pancreas is located in the posterior part of the stomach, about the size of the palm.

Peripheral neuropathy: will affect the legs, feet or hands of nerve damage. It can cause pain, tingling or numbness.

Score system: A diet plan that uses scores to evaluate calorie content in food.

Diabetes: Excessive thirst - May be a symptom of diabetes.

Eating: Excessive hunger - May be a symptom of diabetes.

Polyuria: urinary frequency - may be symptoms of diabetes.

Postprandial blood sugar: 1 hour after the meal finished blood sugar levels.

Pregnancy: blood glucose levels higher than normal, but not enough to diagnose the symptoms of diabetes. People with diabetes mellitus develop the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Pre-diabetes is also known as impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose.

Pre-dinner blood sugar: blood sugar levels before eating.

Proliferative Retinopathy: A new tiny, fragile vessel that grows eye symptoms along the retina.

Protein: One of the three main nutrients in food.

Retina: the inner membrane of the back of the eye.

Retinopathy: Damage to retinal small blood vessels. May cause loss of vision. When it occurs due to diabetes, also known as diabetic eye disease a

Self-management: managing the continuing process of diabetes. Self-management includes: diet plan, blood glucose check, stay active, taking medications and handling high and low blood sugar.

Starch: Carbohydrate

Sugar: Disaccharide, made from glucose and fructose.

Sugar: A category of sweeteners in carbohydrates, including glucose, fructose and sucrose. Also refers to blood sugar.

Type 1 diabetes: the body can not secrete insulin and characterized by high blood sugar symptoms.

Type 2 diabetes: the body can not secrete adequate insulin or can not effectively use insulin and characterized by high blood sugar symptoms.

A From: US Department of Health and Human Services National Diabetes Information Exchange Center (NDIC) Diabetes Dictionary : http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/dictionary/

ADA website: Common Terms http://diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/common-terms

Facts and figures

  • More than 371 million people are suffering from diabetes, and this number continues to increase in each country. (Insert the idf graphic provided by FireKite here).
  • Half of the people with diabetes do not know that they are suffering from diabetes.
  • 4/5 diabetes patients live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Most people with diabetes age between 40-59 years old.
  • In 2011, diabetes caused 4.6 million deaths worldwide.
  • Each year, 78,000 children develop to develop type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes is a global chronic disease, although these numbers are shocking, but there are also resources to help people with diabetes and caregivers. Organizations around the world are working with governments and health care providers to address the heavy burden of diabetes on the world. It is important that you know that you are not alone and that many specially trained health care workers are traveling with you.

Some information about diabetes complications:

  • Adult diabetic patients suffer from heart disease 2 to 4 times more likely than those who do not have diabetes.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adult diabetic patients aged 20-74 years
  • Most of the diabetic patients also suffer from high blood pressure
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of renal failure
  • About 60% of diabetic patients suffer from nerve damage

All information about diabetes can sometimes be overwhelmed, but knowledge is power. Learn everything you can learn so that you can be an active member of your health care team. A large number of studies have shown that many diabetic patients can prevent or delay diabetes-related complications as long as they receive proper treatment and change some lifestyles.

Controlling your diabetes management is the key to healthy living.

The rumors of diabetes

There are a lot of false rumors about diabetes, and sometimes it is difficult to hear or believe the truth, but the more knowledge you know and understand, the better you can manage diabetes better.

False rumors: diabetes is not a serious disease - just a little more sugar.

Fact: If you are effective in managing diabetes, you can prevent or delay the complications of diabetes, but diabetes is a serious illness that requires your attention.

False rumors: If you are overweight, you will get type 2 diabetes.

Fact: Overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes, but other risk factors, such as family history, are also important factors. Many obese people will never suffer from diabetes.

False rumors: because you eat too much sugar so you will get diabetes.

Fact: Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetic factors and other unknown factors, but for patients with type 2 diabetes, the cause is not so clear. Eating a lot of sweets can lead to overweight, and obesity is a risk factor for diabetes. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the two, but there are many other factors.

False rumors: Diabetic patients must maintain a more specific dietary habits of diabetes.

Fact: A healthy meal plan is good for everyone. Usually do not need a special "diabetes" or "diet" diet, but to understand the knowledge of healthy nutrition is undoubtedly very important.

False rumors: Diabetes can not eat sweets.

Fact: If candy is included in a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, a small amount of candy can be part of your meal plan. The key is a small amount and only in special occasions to eat candy.

False rumors: you will be diabetic.

Fact: No, you will not be infected with so-called diabetes like a cold or flu.

False rumors: diabetic patients are more likely to get sick.

Fact: Diabetes suffers from a higher risk of a cold, flu or other illness than an ordinary person, but it is recommended that you inject a flu vaccine. This is because illness may cause your blood sugar to cause problems.

Inaccurate rumors: If you are suffering from type 2 diabetes and your doctor wants you to take insulin, it means that you are not able to manage your diabetes effectively.

Fact: No, most people with diabetes still suffer from progressive disease. When you first diagnose, you may be able to manage your blood sugar through meal planning and exercise activities. But over time, you may need to take oral medication, and some people will benefit from taking insulin, thus controlling blood sugar levels. Taking insulin to keep blood sugar on your target range is a good thing.

ADA website: Diabetes Myths http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-myths