Friday, April 13, 2012


Diabetes is a disease that is different from most other diseases for two important reasons. First, like hypertension, it can be a silent killer.” That is, there are few symptoms until late in the disease, at which time it is usually too late to reverse the damage. Because of this lack of symptoms, people with  diabetes, and too often their physicians, do not give it a high priority. This is one of the reasons that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people less than 74 years of age, the leading cause of dialysis (using machines to replace kidney function), and the major reason for amputations of toes, feet, and legs. All of this need not happen if glucose levels in peo- ple with diabetes could be kept to near-normal levels.  Second, people with diabetes must be actively involved in its treat- ment. For almost all other diseases, doctors prescribe medicines and the only responsibility for the patient is to take them appropriately. Not so with diabetes. Patients must carefully watch their diet, exer- cise more often, measure their own glucoses in  many cases, and keep appointments in which preventive tests (e.g., measurements of albumin leakage into the urine) and examinations (e.g., dilated eye exams by qualified ophthalmologists) are carried out—all of this when patients feel fine. Therefore, people with diabetes must know a lot about their disease to stay motivated and to be able to make appropriate decisions that would minimize bad outcomes from this disease.

What Is

Why and how did I get diabetes? What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Is there such a thing as borderline diabetes?
What is it?

Q U E S T I O N S      &      A N S W E R S      A B O U T      D I A B E T E S  


A lack or shortage, especially of some- thing essential to health.

A hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas, which facilitates the entry
of glucose and other substances into cells and which has sev- eral other functions.

A gland deep in the abdomen, behind the stomach, that pro- duces hormones (insulin, glucagon) and digestive enzymes.

A basic sugar used to fuel body cells.

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