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What Your Doctor Never
Told You About Diabetes

First of all, let's be clear- you need a physician, an internal-medicine doctor preferably, to help you deal with diabetes. Don't try to go it alone. Most of them are very good about helping you learn what you need to know about your disease. Also, many medical offices and almost all hospitals have a diabetes education specialist who will quickly recognize signs of diabetes. Make it a point to include one of those as a source of information in the early days of your disease.

Even with all of this, the more you know the better, and this article is designed to help fill in some of the spaces that might have been left out by your busy doctor.

Types and Symptoms

Diabetes comes in more than one manifestation, and it's helpful for you to know about all of them although your doctor might have dealt only with the type you have in your case.

  1. Type 1 diabetes. This type generally only happens with young people. If you hear of a child with diabetes, this is the type he or she probably had. With Type 1 diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin, and these patients must take insulin as long as they live.
  1. Type 2 diabetes. This type usually strikes older people although we're seeing more and more cases in younger people as a result of poor eating habits and an unhealthy life style. In Type 2 diabetes, the patient is insulin resistant. That is, the body is producing insulin, but the cells are not using it. There may also be a deficiency in the amount of insulin the body is producing.
  1. Gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes sometimes occurs with non-diabetic pregnant women. For some reason, the blood glucose level gets too high. Often, this patient will also develop type 2 diabetes some time after the baby is delivered. One of the side effects of this is very large babies. Doctors screen for gestational diabetes in their pregnant patients so it can be treated as early as possible.

Dietary Requirements

Doctors are sometimes vague about what kinds of changes must occur in the diet for a diabetic patient, especially if the doctor has a big practice and doesn't have a lot of time to spend with any one patient. A diabetes educator can help you here. In some cases, hospital dietitians offer courses and consultation on diet. In addition, tons of publications are on the market to help you understand your disease and what you need to do, so begin reading!

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