Understanding Diabetes

    General Overview

    Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism, the way the body uses digested food for growth and energy. In diabetes, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the body cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced, and as a result, glucose cannot enter the body's cells.

    InDepth

    Find answers in our in-depth reports on diabetes:

    Preventing Diabetes

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    Could you have prediabetes?

    Just as precancer may be detected and removed before turning into cancer, discovery of diabetes in its earliest stages can help prevent the development of full-blown diabetes. That, in a nutshell, is the idea behind the term “prediabetes.”

    What does it really mean to have prediabetes?

    Given that diabetes is costly, hard to treat, and approaching epidemic levels, it’s not surprising that interest in prediabetes is growing. The majority of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.

    Living With Diabetes

    Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: what’s the link?

    Cardiovascular disease is the leading complication and cause of premature death among people with diabetes. Unfortunately, many people with diabetes do not understand the risk of cardiovascular disease or what they can do to help prevent it.

    Diabetes and foot care

    Managing diabetes does not just mean keeping your blood sugar levels in an acceptable range. It also means taking steps toward preventing health complications that can occur with diabetes.

    Insulin types

    Insulin is a hormone in the body that helps control glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. It helps transport glucose from the bloodstream to cells that use the sugar for energy. Read more about the different kinds of insulin.

    Reducing your risk of heart disease when you have diabetes

    Until recently, controlling blood glucose was considered the single most important step in treating diabetes. However, new studies indicate that, because diabetes can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels, controlling cardiovascular disease risk factors is equally important.

    Taking care of your diabetes when you are sick

    Being sick can put all of your activities on hold. You’re forced to stop and take care of yourself. But, if you have diabetes, this demands extra attention.

    Living With Diabetes (Continued)

    Diabetes and alcohol: caution when mixing

    What are the effects of alcohol on your body if you have diabetes?

    Taking care of your diabetes when you are at school or work

    When your days are filled with school or work, how can you put your health first and live your life?

    Taking care of your diabetes when you are away from home

    You have a routine in place to manage diabetes when you’re at home and work. But what about holidays and vacations?

    Eating With Diabetes

    The importance of counting carbs if you have diabetes

    The American Diabetes Association (ADA) considers counting carbohydrates (“carbs”) to be a key strategy for meeting glucose level goals.

    salad_spinach_eating_pregnancy_THUMB What to eat if you have diabetes

    Ever wish there was a magic list of foods that will leave you feeling full without spiking your blood glucose? Wish granted! The American Diabetes Association lists these 10 “superfoods.”

    What is the glycemic index?

    What is a healthy diet for someone with diabetes? Could following the glycemic index be the answer?

    Special Topics

    Erectile dysfunction: a concern for men with diabetes

    For roughly half of all men with diabetes, impotence is a painful fact of daily life. The cause: diabetic neuropathy, a nerve disorder that can disrupt the neural pathways responsible for creating and sustaining an erection.

    Islet-cell transplants: the end of insulin shots?

    For years, daily insulin injections have been the primary treatment for millions of people with diabetes. Research into a new therapy may provide a breakthrough in diabetes care.

    Natural and Alternative Treatments (By Condition)