Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
The content of this website is intended for informational purposes only. The information presented represents the opinion of Sarah Wilson and guest editors. It does not replace professional medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat. Before starting any new dietary, exercise or other lifestyle regimen it is advisable to consult your primary medical provider.
Diabetes experts feel that these blood glucose monitoring devices give patients a significant amount of independence to manage their disease process; and they are a great tool for education as well. It is also important to remember that these devices can be used intermittently with fingerstick measurements. For example, a well-controlled patient with diabetes can rely on fingerstick glucose checks a few times a day and do well. If they become ill, if they decide to embark on a new exercise regimen, if they change their diet and so on, they can use the sensor to supplement their fingerstick regimen, providing more information on how they are responding to new lifestyle changes or stressors. This kind of system takes us one step closer to closing the loop, and to the development of an artificial pancreas that senses insulin requirements based on glucose levels and the body's needs and releases insulin accordingly - the ultimate goal.
The device being used is known as a “sphygmomanometer”, which uses an air-filled cuff wrapped around the upper arm, to obstruct the bloodflow into the arm. By releasing the air pumped into the cuff in small, incremental quantities, eventually blood is permitted to flow back into the arm, at which point, the pressure inside the cuff is measured, and which will equate to the pressure inside the arteries. This pressure, known as the systolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries during contraction of the heart. When the heart relaxes between beats the pressure drops, and is known as the diastolic pressure. Together, these two pressures are written as a ratio, and represents ones “blood pressure”.
[Guideline] Skyler JS, Bergenstal R, Bonow RO, et al. Intensive glycemic control and the prevention of cardiovascular events: implications of the ACCORD, ADVANCE, and VA Diabetes Trials: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association and a Scientific Statement of the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009 Jan 20. 53(3):298-304. [Medline].
The key sign of metabolic syndrome is central obesity, also known as visceral, male-pattern or apple-shaped adiposity. It is characterized by adipose tissue accumulation predominantly around the waist and trunk. Other signs of metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, decreased fasting serum HDL cholesterol, elevated fasting serum triglyceride level, impaired fasting glucose, insulin resistance, or prediabetes. Associated conditions include hyperuricemia; fatty liver (especially in concurrent obesity) progressing to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; polycystic ovarian syndrome in women and erectile dysfunction in men; and acanthosis nigricans.
The value of routine screening for hypertension in children over the age of 3 years is debated. In 2004 the National High Blood Pressure Education Program recommended that children aged 3 years and older have blood pressure measurement at least once at every health care visit and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and American Academy of Pediatrics made a similar recommendation. However, the American Academy of Family Physicians supports the view of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that the available evidence is insufficient to determine the balance of benefits and harms of screening for hypertension in children and adolescents who do not have symptoms.
Many of you at this point know my story, for the entirety of my life I had tried diet after diet. I was active, I ate well, yet no one would believe that because I was obese. Indeed, my poor mother dragged me from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was going on with me. She was desperately trying to help me understand why nothing I did worked and why year after year I gained more and more weight and felt less at home in my body. I know that I am not alone in this as so many of you have reached out to tell me that they are struggling with weight loss. This phenomenon, that I have titled weight loss resistance, is a huge concern to me! This was part of the reason I became a Naturopathic Doctor. In the days when no one could help me shed the extra 80lbs of body fat I had, I had to do my own research, I had to blaze my own trail and now I am compelled to share that!
[Guideline] Alberti KG, Eckel RH, Grundy SM, et al. Harmonizing the metabolic syndrome: a joint interim statement of the International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Heart Association; World Heart Federation; International Atherosclerosis Society; and International Association for the Study of Obesity. Circulation. 2009 Oct 20. 120(16):1640-5. [Medline].
Nerve damage from diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy and is also caused by disease of small blood vessels. In essence, the blood flow to the nerves is limited, leaving the nerves without blood flow, and they get damaged or die as a result (a term known as ischemia). Symptoms of diabetic nerve damage include numbness, burning, and aching of the feet and lower extremities. When the nerve disease causes a complete loss of sensation in the feet, patients may not be aware of injuries to the feet, and fail to properly protect them. Shoes or other protection should be worn as much as possible. Seemingly minor skin injuries should be attended to promptly to avoid serious infections. Because of poor blood circulation, diabetic foot injuries may not heal. Sometimes, minor foot injuries can lead to serious infection, ulcers, and even gangrene, necessitating surgical amputation of toes, feet, and other infected parts.
Eating mindfully. A child who learns to see food as fuel and not emotional compensation can start to make better choices at mealtime — for example, selecting complex carbs instead of simple carbs (whole-grain instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white); getting more fiber with beans, fruits, and vegetables; choosing "healthy" fats like olive oil and nuts; and avoiding too many empty calories from soda and sweets.
Lifestyle changes can help lower the risk of developing hypertension. For many people with mild high blood pressure, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol and salt, and stopping smoking can decrease blood pressure levels to normal and may be the only "treatment" required. Risks associated with sex (gender), race, and increasing age, however, do not disappear with lifestyle changes and, in many cases, a treatment plan that includes medications is necessary to control high blood pressure.
Type 2 diabetes, a form of diabetes mellitus, is likely one of the better-known chronic diseases in the world — and that's no surprise. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest in the United States alone, 30.3 million people, or 9.4 percent of the U.S. population, has diabetes, and the majority of these people have type 2. (1)
With secondary hypertension, if the condition causing the high blood pressure can be resolved (e.g., by removing an adrenal tumor or stopping a medication) or controlled (e.g., by controlling diabetes or thyroid disease), then blood pressure levels may fall to normal or near normal levels. When a cure is not possible and control of the underlying condition consists of minimizing further damage, as may occur with kidney disease, then hypertension will be controlled with a combination of medications and the person will be monitored closely to help maintain organ function and address acute problems as they arise.
Insulin — the hormone that allows your body to regulate sugar in the blood — is made in your pancreas. Essentially, insulin resistance is a state in which the body’s cells do not use insulin efficiently. As a result, it takes more insulin than normal to transport blood sugar (glucose) into cells, to be used immediately for fuel or stored for later use. A drop in efficiency in getting glucose to cells creates a problem for cell function; glucose is normally the body’s quickest and most readily available source of energy.
The blood vessels and blood are the highways that transport sugar from where it is either taken in (the stomach) or manufactured (in the liver) to the cells where it is used (muscles) or where it is stored (fat). Sugar cannot go into the cells by itself. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood, which serves as the helper, or the "key," that lets sugar into the cells for use as energy. http://www.sandysidhumedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/quotecaroline.jpg
Insulin is vital to patients with type 1 diabetes - they cannot live without a source of exogenous insulin. Without insulin, patients with type 1 diabetes develop severely elevated blood sugar levels. This leads to increased urine glucose, which in turn leads to excessive loss of fluid and electrolytes in the urine. Lack of insulin also causes the inability to store fat and protein along with breakdown of existing fat and protein stores. This dysregulation, results in the process of ketosis and the release of ketones into the blood. Ketones turn the blood acidic, a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Without prompt medical treatment, patients with diabetic ketoacidosis can rapidly go into shock, coma, and even death may result.
^ Jump up to: a b Campbell, NR; Lackland, DT; Lisheng, L; Niebylski, ML; Nilsson, PM; Zhang, XH (March 2015). "Using the Global Burden of Disease study to assist development of nation-specific fact sheets to promote prevention and control of hypertension and reduction in dietary salt: a resource from the World Hypertension League". Journal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.). 17 (3): 165–67. doi:10.1111/jch.12479. PMID 25644474.
Potassium – as part of the electrolyte panel, which also includes sodium, chloride, and carbon dioxide (CO2); to evaluate and monitor the balance of the body's electrolytes. For example, low potassium can be seen in Cushing syndrome and Conn syndrome, two causes of secondary hypertension. Some high blood pressure medications can upset electrolyte balance by causing excessive loss of potassium or potassium retention.
^ Jump up to: a b Daskalopoulou, Stella S.; Rabi, Doreen M.; Zarnke, Kelly B.; Dasgupta, Kaberi; Nerenberg, Kara; Cloutier, Lyne; Gelfer, Mark; Lamarre-Cliche, Maxime; Milot, Alain (2015-01-01). "The 2015 Canadian Hypertension Education Program Recommendations for Blood Pressure Measurement, Diagnosis, Assessment of Risk, Prevention, and Treatment of Hypertension". Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 31 (5): 549–68. doi:10.1016/j.cjca.2015.02.016. PMID 25936483.
As evident from the above, younger individuals may present with hypertension associated with an elevated cardiac output (high-output hypertension). High-output hypertension results from volume and sodium retention by the kidney, leading to increased stroke volume and, often, with cardiac stimulation by adrenergic hyperactivity. Systemic vascular resistance is generally not increased at such earlier stages of hypertension. As hypertension is sustained, however, vascular adaptations including remodeling, vasoconstriction, and vascular rarefaction occur, leading to increased systemic vascular resistance. In this situation, cardiac output is generally normal or slightly reduced, and circulating blood volume is normal.
Most individuals diagnosed with hypertension will have increasing blood pressure (BP) as they age. Untreated hypertension is notorious for increasing the risk of mortality and is often described as a silent killer. Mild to moderate hypertension, if left untreated, may be associated with a risk of atherosclerotic disease in 30% of people and organ damage in 50% of people within 8-10 years after onset.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), approximately 86 million adults (34%) in the United States are affected by hypertension, which is defined as a systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 140 mm Hg or more or a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 90 mm Hg or more, taking antihypertensive medication, or having been told by clinicians on at least 2 occasions as having hypertension.  Substantial improvements have been made with regard to enhancing awareness and treatment of hypertension. However, a National Health Examination Survey (NHANES) spanning 2011-2014 revealed that 34% of US adults aged 20 years and older are hypertensive and NHANES 2013-2014 data showed that 15.9% of these hypertensive adults are unaware they are hypertensive; these data have increased from NHANES 2005-2006 data that showed 29% of US adults aged 18 years and older were hypertensive and that 7% of these hypertensive adults had never been told that they had hypertension. 
Metabolic syndrome is similarly prevalent in men (24%) and women (22%), after adjusting for age.  However, several considerations are unique to women with metabolic syndrome, including pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovarian syndrome share the common feature of insulin resistance; they therefore share treatment implications as well.  Cardiometabolic risk is thought to be elevated in both groups. 
Regarding age, data shows that for each decade after 40 years of age regardless of weight there is an increase in incidence of diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes in persons 65 years of age and older is around 25%. Type 2 diabetes is also more common in certain ethnic groups. Compared with a 7% prevalence in non-Hispanic Caucasians, the prevalence in Asian Americans is estimated to be 8.0%, in Hispanics 13%, in blacks around 12.3%, and in certain Native American communities 20% to 50%. Finally, diabetes occurs much more frequently in women with a prior history of diabetes that develops during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
Central obesity is a key feature of the syndrome, being both a sign and a cause, in that the increasing adiposity often reflected in high waist circumference may both result from and contribute to insulin resistance. However, despite the importance of obesity, patients who are of normal weight may also be insulin-resistant and have the syndrome.
Some cases of diabetes are caused by the body's tissue receptors not responding to insulin (even when insulin levels are normal, which is what separates it from type 2 diabetes); this form is very uncommon. Genetic mutations (autosomal or mitochondrial) can lead to defects in beta cell function. Abnormal insulin action may also have been genetically determined in some cases. Any disease that causes extensive damage to the pancreas may lead to diabetes (for example, chronic pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis). Diseases associated with excessive secretion of insulin-antagonistic hormones can cause diabetes (which is typically resolved once the hormone excess is removed). Many drugs impair insulin secretion and some toxins damage pancreatic beta cells. The ICD-10 (1992) diagnostic entity, malnutrition-related diabetes mellitus (MRDM or MMDM, ICD-10 code E12), was deprecated by the World Health Organization (WHO) when the current taxonomy was introduced in 1999. http://www.sandysidhumedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/clairequote1.jpg
“It may sound odd,” says Jo-Ann Heslin, RD, the author of Diabetes Counter, “but sitting or sedentary activities such as watching TV, using the computer, sitting at work or sitting while commuting have been identified as risks for metabolic syndrome even when you incorporate modest amounts of regular activity into your day.” A study published in June 2015 in Diabetologia connected sitting time with a positive risk for diabetes, reporting that for every hour of daily TV viewing, a person’s risk for diabetes increased by 3.4 percent.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Blood pressure monitors for use at home can be bought at drug stores, department stores, and other places. Again, these monitors may not always give you a correct reading. You should always compare your machine’s reading with a reading from your doctor’s machine to make sure they are the same. Remember that any measurement above normal should prompt a visit to the doctor, who can then talk with you about the best course of action.
Insulin is released into the blood by beta cells (β-cells), found in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, in response to rising levels of blood glucose, typically after eating. Insulin is used by about two-thirds of the body's cells to absorb glucose from the blood for use as fuel, for conversion to other needed molecules, or for storage. Lower glucose levels result in decreased insulin release from the beta cells and in the breakdown of glycogen to glucose. This process is mainly controlled by the hormone glucagon, which acts in the opposite manner to insulin. https://www.clairekerslake.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/young-woman-planning-in-calendar-app-on-white-iphone-picjumbo-com-1024x683.jpg