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Future of Diabetes Treatment

Diabetes care has come a long way in just a few decades—after all, the first insulin pump was introduced in 1963, and fingerprick tests for personal blood glucose monitoring have only been around since the mid-1980s. So what's next? In development: Automating insulin delivery—the artificial pancreas Taking insulin pumping to the next level, an artificial pancreas is being tested that combines a continuous glucose monitor, insulin pump and glucagon pump (should blood glucose go too low), all managed by an app on a smartphone. The goal is to monitor your blood glucose and adjust your insulin throughout...

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Alternative Site Testing (AST)

Some blood glucose meters allow you to use blood samples from other parts of the body, such as the palm, forearm, upper arm, thigh or calf. Testing from alternate sites is not always ideal. Blood from your fingertip shows changes in blood sugar quickly, but blood from alternate sites may not, and you may not get the most accurate result.1 Always consult with your healthcare professional before using sites other than your fingertip for blood sugar testing. Alternate site testing, or AST, may be recommended when blood sugar is stable, such as immediately before a meal or before bedtime. AST is not recommended when blood...

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Oral Treatment

Many people with type 2 diabetes still create insulin, but their bodies either do not make enough or do not use it as effectively as they should. Often, healthcare professionals start people with diabetes on a therapy of diet and exercise. If these are not enough, the healthcare professional may prescribe oral medications. If medication still does help control blood sugar levels, insulin may be added to a person’s therapy. Today’s oral drugs offer more options for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Because various medications work in different ways, healthcare professionals may be able to add drugs together for better...

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Glycemic Index

Studies show when considering the effect of carbohydrates on blood glucose, it is not just how many carbohydrates you eat but their source as well.1 Some foods cause a quick rise in blood glucose after a meal, while others cause a smaller peak and more gradual decline in blood glucose levels. The measure of how fast a food causes blood glucose to peak is called its glycemic index, or GI. What a Glycemic Index (GI) Number Means High-carbohydrate foods are ranked on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 representing the effect of pure glucose on the body. The lower the GI of a food, the slower its peak. The way...

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Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnancy hormones and weight gain block a woman’s body's ability to use insulin properly. This type of diabetes can effect women who have never had diabetes. Gestational diabetes may affect as many as 7% of pregnant women.1 This type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. Gestational diabetes can lead to high blood pressure for the mother and high birth weight for the baby. There is also an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes for both you and your baby in the future. Your baby may also be at higher risk of childhood obesity.2 You can reduce these risks by...

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Maintaining a Healthy Weight

If you have diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight positively impacts your health.1 It is important to involve your healthcare professional in weight-loss efforts. This is especially important if you have type 1 diabetes, because losing weight involves virtually every aspect of your diabetes self-care program, including your meal plan, physical activity and insulin requirements. Some people gain weight when they begin using insulin, as your body may be trying to restore itself to a healthy weight. By working with your healthcare professional, you can set up a plan to maintain a healthy weight and achieve weight-loss...

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Teenagers And Diabetes: Disease Doesn't Clip Your Wings

Teenagers are building their self-image, experiencing new things and seeking validation from their peers. It shouldn’t be surprising that diabetes weighs heavily on them. Becoming responsible Teenagers may feel like rebelling against the whole routine surrounding diabetes management. Blood glucose tests remind them that they’re different and give them the impression of being constantly monitored. They might want to avoid being confronted with the results of a test so as not to feel discouraged or guilty. Here are some suggestions for easing the tension:  ...

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HbA1C

The HbA1c test (also known as A1c or glycated hemoglobin) measures your average blood sugar levels over a period of time by taking a sample of a specific component of your red blood cells—hemoglobin A1C molecules. Some blood sugar naturally attaches itself to these A1C molecules as the molecules move through your bloodstream. When this happens, the molecule is considered "glycated." The more sugar in your blood, the more glycated A1C molecules you will have.1 The A1C test is not a substitute for frequent self-monitoring. It shows the average amount of blood sugar in the body over the last 3–4 months....

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Insulin Treatment

Insulin is a natural hormone made in your pancreas. It moves blood glucose from your blood into your cells. If your body cannot produce its own insulin, it may be necessary to take insulin in order to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Insulin can be injected using a syringe or a pen, or through an insulin pump. Insulin cannot be taken in pill form because the acids in the stomach will break it down. There are a variety of insulin types, brands and sources. Healthcare professionals often prescribe 2 types of insulin: mealtime insulin and background insulin. Mealtime insulin (bolus) is used to control after-meal blood glucose...

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