Another Silent Killer

Being a lifelong asthmatic has required me to take prednisone to regulate my lungs.
Imagine my surprise when the doctor told me that at the age of 40 years, I now had diabetes as well.
It seems that when you take prednisone, it causes your blood sugar to soar.  I have a family history of diabetes and had a better chance of developing diabetes than most asthmatics who used prednisone.
So now I am an insulin dependent diabetic and needed to learn about another disease and how to control the symptoms, as there is no cure for diabetesm, you just learn to control it.

~ Rion ~

Diabetes Overview
Insulin Resistance

The signs of diabetes are not always dramatic.  They may not even be noticeable.
In fact, the American Diabetes Association estimates that millions of Americans have type 2 diabetes and are not even aware of it.

Watch for these symptoms.
If you notice any of the following, ask your doctor to test you for diabetes.

For type 1:

Excessive urination
Constant thirst

For type 2:

The need to urinate more than usual
Constant thirst
Unusual weight loss
Feeling weak or tired
Blurred vision
Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
Frequent and recurring infections such as urinary tract infections, boils, and fungus
Difficulty with erections in men, and unusual vaginal dryness in women
Extreme hunger
Feeling nauseated and vomiting

Diabetes is diagnosed with a number of tests.

Once you go in for a checkup, your doctor will discuss your medical history with you and take into account any symptoms you have. He or she will give a physical exam and order one or more lab tests that measure glucose levels in your blood.

Random plasma glucose test: This is the simplest test for diagnosing diabetes, and doesn't require you to fast beforehand. Your doctor will have your blood sample drawn and analyzed in a laboratory.

Fasting plasma glucose test:  According to the American Diabetes Association, this is the preferred way to diagnose diabetes. Don't eat or drink anything except water for at least eight hours before taking this test. Usually you can fast overnight. Your doctor will have a blood sample analyzed.

Oral glucose tolerance test: Your doctor may order this test if your blood glucose level is high in one of the two tests above, but not high enough to diagnose diabetes. This blood test evaluates your body's response to glucose. Usually after you eat or drink something, your  glucose rises, but then drops quickly. In a person with diabetes, the glucose level stays high longer than normal. This test requires you to fast at least eight but not more than 16 hours beforehand. Avoid anything that may mislead the test, including alcohol, caffeine, vigorous exercise, or smoking.

A lab technician draws a blood sample to get your fasting glucose level. Then you are given 75 grams (g) of glucose in a sweet, syrupy solution (100 g for pregnant women). Drink the entire thing. The technician then tests your blood every 30 minutes to one hour, for two or three hours.

Tests especially for pregnant women:

Pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. Women at higher risk for gestational diabetes, such as those with a previous history of the condition or who have given birth to large babies before, should be tested at 16 to 20 weeks, and, if the results are negative, retested at 24 to 28 weeks.

Is it type 1 or 2?

The symptoms and test results of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar, but the two are different.

In general, you're more likely to have type 1 diabetes if you suddenly developed symptoms, perhaps after an illness; were diagnosed before turning 30 years old; are not overweight; or your urine has ketones, which turn up in the blood and urine as a result of low insulin levels.

You're more likely to have type 2 diabetes if you're older than 30, overweight, have no urine ketones, or are African-American or Latino.

Other tests to expect:

Laboratory diagnostic tests also include measurement or analysis of:

Ketones in the urine
pH level in the veins
CBC (complete blood count)
Islet cell antibodies
Thyroid function tests and thyroid antibodies
Kidney function tests
Lipid profile

This information was gathered from

Email me at brendarion at cfl.rr.com

© 1998 - 2004 Brenda "Rion" Sewell