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Diabetes Knowledge Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there different types of diabetes?

Type 1 and 1.5 (LADA) diabetes are caused by autoimmune disease leading to insufficient ins production. Type 2 is the most common diabetes, which your body build up insulin resistant over the years leading to high blood sugar. Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed around the 24th week of pregnancy with normal blood sugar prior to and after pregnancy.

What is the difference between hemoglobin A1C and blood sugar readings?

Hemoglobin A1C is the percentage of your blood sugar average for the last 3 months. The reading from your finger pricking is your blood sugar level at the time that you checked. Your provider uses both of these numbers to determine your treatment course.

Can diabetes be fatal?

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause devastating long term complications, which can be fatal. Untreated Type 1 and 1.5 diabetes can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition. Diabetes coma, although rare, can happen with extreme high or severe low blood sugar level. However, you can minimize your risks for complications by monitoring blood sugar closely, maintain a healthy diet, exercise routinely, take your medications as prescribed, and follow up with your provider routinely.

Is diabetes hereditary?

Genetic is definitely a contributing factor in both types of diabetes. Risk for Type 1/1.5 is around 10% if one parent has Type 1diabetes. Genetic contribution is more prominent with Type 2 diabetes. Risk for developing diabetes is 50% higher than the general population if both parents have Type 2 diabetes. Certain population groups are also more prone to develop diabetes. However, you can decrease your risk for diabetes by maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy eating habits.

Is exercise important if I have diabetes?

The important thing is to have an exercise routine. This will also help to control your weight – an essential part of diabetes management. Doctors generally recommend aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, dancing or cycling, unless you have problems with your feet – a problem many diabetics experience. Swimming is often recommended as it places no strain on the feet. Any exercise that makes you breathe more deeply and that makes your heart work harder, is beneficial. It's important to check your blood-sugar levels before starting to exercise and to wait a while before starting if it's too low.

What is considered low blood sugar?

People feel low blood sugar symptoms at different levels. However, lower blood sugar is defined as blood sugar less than 70mg/dl. Talk to your provider on how to treat your symptoms if you're symptomatic when blood sugar is above 70.

What does blood sugar level mean?

Blood sugar level means the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is needed by the body as the basic energy fuel for all cells. Most of the glucose in the blood comes from the digestion of carbohydrates.

What foods should I avoid?

Foods that have a high sugar or fat content, such as pastries, cakes, chocolates, chips, sweets and desserts should be avoided. If eaten at all, it should be in very small quantities. Fruits are high in carbohydrate and will raise your blood sugar, especially banana, grapes, and orange. Minimize fruit intake to 1 serving to avoid high blood sugar.

Dr. Kay Moua is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and Board Certified-Advanced Diabetes Management Specialist.

Disclaimer: All services are subject to the individualities of the patient and the normal variability of care results.

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