Can Diabetes Be Cured Or Reversed
Although these seem like simple questions, the answers are not so simple. Depending on the type of your diabetes and its specific cause, it may or may not be possible to reverse your diabetes. Successfully reversing diabetes is more commonly called achieving remission.
Type 1 diabetes is an immune system disease with some genetic component. This type of diabetes cant be reversed with traditional treatments. You need lifelong insulin to survive. Providing insulin through an artificial pancreas is the most advanced way of keeping glucose within a tight range at all times most closely mimicking the body. The closest thing toward a cure for Type 1 is a pancreas transplant or a pancreas islet transplant. Transplant candidates must meet strict criteria to be eligible. Its not an option for everyone and it requires taking immunosuppressant medications for life and dealing with the side effects of these drugs.
Its possible to reverse prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes with a lot of effort and motivation. Youd have to reverse all your risk factors for disease. To do this means a combination of losing weight, exercising regularly and eating healthy . These efforts should also lower your cholesterol numbers and blood pressure to within their normal range. Bariatric surgery has been shown to achieve remission in some people with Type 2 diabetes. This is a significant surgery that has its own risks and complications.
Can Diabetes Kill You
Yes, its possible that if diabetes remains undiagnosed and uncontrolled it can cause devastating harm to your body. Diabetes can cause heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and coma. These complications can lead to your death. Cardiovascular disease in particular is the leading cause of death in adults with diabetes.
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition. It happens when your liver breaks down fat to use as energy because theres not enough insulin and therefore glucose isnt being used as an energy source. Fat is broken down by the liver into a fuel called ketones. The formation and use of ketones is a normal process if it has been a long time since your last meal and your body needs fuel. Ketones are a problem when your fat is broken down too fast for your body to process and they build up in your blood. This makes your blood acidic, which is a condition called ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be the result of uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes and less commonly, Type 2 diabetes.Diabetic ketoacidosis is diagnosed by the presence of ketones in your urine or blood and a basic metabolic panel. The condition develops over several hours and can cause coma and possibly even death.
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What Do I Need To Know About Genetic Testing And Counseling
Genetic testing for monogenic diabetes involves providing a blood or saliva sample from which DNA is isolated. The DNA is analyzed for changes in the genes that cause monogenic diabetes. Genetic testing is done by specialized labs.
Abnormal results can determine the gene responsible for diabetes in a particular individual or show whether someone is likely to develop a monogenic form of diabetes in the future. Genetic testing can be helpful in selecting the most appropriate treatment for individuals with monogenic diabetes. Testing is also important in planning for pregnancy and to understand the risk of having a child with monogenic diabetes if you, your partner, or your family members have monogenic diabetes.
Most forms of NDM and MODY are caused by autosomal dominant mutations, meaning that the condition can be passed on to children when only one parent carries or has the disease gene. With dominant mutations, a parent who carries the gene has a 50 percent chance of having an affected child with monogenic diabetes.
In contrast, with autosomal recessive disease, a mutation must be inherited from both parents. In this instance, a child has a 25 percent chance of having monogenic diabetes.
For recessive forms of monogenic diabetes, testing can indicate whether parents or siblings without disease are carriers for recessive genetic conditions that could be inherited by their children.
Symptoms And Risk Factors
It can take months or years for enough beta cells to be destroyed before symptoms of type 1 diabetes are noticed. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months. Once symptoms appear, they can be severe.
Some type 1 diabetes symptoms are similar to symptoms of other health conditions. Dont guessif you think you could have type 1 diabetes, see your doctor right away to get your blood sugar tested. Untreated diabetes can lead to very seriouseven fatalhealth problems.
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, though family history is known to play a part.
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Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance. The body still produces insulin, but its unable to use it effectively.
Researchers arent sure why some people become insulin resistant and others dont, but several lifestyle factors may contribute, including being inactive and carrying excess weight.
Other genetic and environmental factors may also play a role. When you develop type 2 diabetes, your pancreas will try to compensate by producing more insulin. Because your body is unable to effectively use insulin, glucose will accumulate in your bloodstream.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions , 34.2 million people in the United States were living with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes in 2018. Thats a little over 1 in 10 people. Ninety to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2.
The percentage of people with diabetes increases with age.
About 10.5 percent of the general population has diabetes. Among those 65 years old and older, the rate reaches 26.8 percent. Only 25 out of every 10,000 Americans under 20 years old had been diagnosed with diabetes in 2018.
Men and women get diabetes at roughly the same rate. However, prevalence rates are higher among certain races and ethnicities.
Prevalence rates are higher for Hispanic Americans of Mexican or Puerto Rican descent than they are for those of Central and South American or Cuban descent.
Key Points About An Infant Of A Mother With Diabetes
Two types of diabetes can happen in pregnancy. One is gestational diabetes and the other is pre-gestational diabetes.
All women are screened for gestational diabetes. This is done between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy.
Having diabetes during pregnancy can harm your baby.
Your babys treatment depends on how well you control your blood sugar in the last part of pregnancy and during labor and delivery.
Controlling your blood sugar is the best way to reduce your babys risks.
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Why Is My Blood Glucose Level High How Does This Happen
The process of digestion includes breaking down the food you eat into various different nutrient sources. When you eat carbohydrates , your body breaks this down into sugar . When glucose is in your bloodstream, it needs help a “key” to get into its final destination where it’s used, which is inside your body’s cells . This help or “key” is insulin.
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts as the key that unlocks the cell wall door, which allows glucose to enter your bodys cells. Glucose provides the fuel or energy tissues and organs need to properly function.
If you have diabetes:
- Your pancreas doesnt make any insulin or enough insulin.
- Your pancreas makes insulin but your bodys cells dont respond to it and cant use it as it normally should.
If glucose cant get into your bodys cells, it stays in your bloodstream and your blood glucose level rises.
What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Advancements in technology have given us another way to monitor glucose levels. Continuous glucose monitoring uses a tiny sensor inserted under your skin. You dont need to prick your finger. Instead, the sensor measures your glucose and can display results anytime during the day or night. Ask your healthcare provider about continuous glucose monitors to see if this is an option for you.
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Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes
To diagnose type 1 diabetes youll need to get blood tests done, one of which is called an A1C screening. A1C screenings measure your blood sugar levels from the past two to three months and can be used to diagnose type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Life Line Screening also offers an A1C screening from the privacy of you own home through our home tests. You can learn more here.
How Is Diabetes During Pregnancy Diagnosed
Your doctor will check you for diabetes during pregnancy.
If you have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as being overweight, your doctor will check you early in pregnancy. Your doctor may test you during your first checkup.
Your healthcare provider will screen you for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. This screening is done using an oral glucose tolerance test . An OGTT checks a woman’s blood sugar levels after she has sugar . You may have one of these tests:
One-step test. After not eating , youll have 75 grams of glucose. Your healthcare provider will check your blood sugar after a set amount of time.
Two-step test. Youll have 50 grams of glucose . Your healthcare provider will check your blood sugar after a set amount of time. If your blood sugar is high, youll do another OGTT with 100 grams of glucose.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are serious and usually happen quickly, over a few days to weeks. Symptoms can include
- increased thirst and urination
- trouble breathing
- trouble paying attention or feeling confused
DKA is serious and dangerous. If you or your child have symptoms of DKA, contact your health care professional right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
How Does Diabetes Lead To Amputation
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to poor blood flow . Without oxygen and nutrients , you are more prone to the development of cuts and sores that can lead to infections that cant fully heal. Areas of your body that are farthest away from your heart are more likely to experience the effects of poor blood flow. So areas of your body like your toes, feet, legs and fingers are more likely to be amputated if infection develops and healing is poor.
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What Causes Type 1 Diabetes
Because the precise causes of type 1 diabetes are not known and there is a much greater awareness of type 2 diabetes, many myths about type 1 diabetes are in circulation. There has been a lot of research into what causes type 1 diabetes, but so far there are no clear answers.
Type 1 is an autoimmune condition. An autoimmune condition is when your immune system, which normally keeps your body safe against disease, attacks itself instead. Other examples of autoimmune conditions include multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys your insulin-producing beta cells.
Certain genes put people at a greater risk for developing type 1 diabetes, but are not the only factors involved. While there are no proven environmental triggers, researchers are looking for possible culprits, such as viral infections and particular molecules within our environment and foods.
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What Clinical Trials Are Open
Clinical trials that are currently open and are recruiting can be viewed at www.ClinicalTrials.gov.
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.
The NIDDK would like to thank:Boyd E. Metzger, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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The Role Of Food In Diabetes Management
It is important to understand how food impacts blood glucose for children with diabetes.
Food causes blood glucose to go up. Insulin causes blood glucose to go down. Too much food with not enough insulin can cause blood glucose to go too high. Not enough food with too much insulin can cause blood glucose to go too low. Further, the type and amount of food will affect how much and how quickly the blood glucose goes up. Balancing food and insulin together can help keep blood glucose in a normal range.
Carbohydrates, also known as carbs, are an important source of energy. They are also the main nutrient the body turns into blood glucose, also known as blood sugar. Everyone needs to eat some carbohydrates to stay healthy. Common carbohydrate foods include: bread, crackers, cereal, pasta, rice, fruit, and milk.
- Carbohydrates that are high in fiber such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables slow digestion and contribute to a feeling of fullness. High-fiber food can also reduce spikes in blood glucose after eating.
- Processed carbohydrates that are low in fiber can raise blood sugars too high. Eating fewer processed carbohydrates helps manage blood glucose levels.
A dietitian can help determine the right amount of carbohydrates and types for your child.
A healthy diet can mean different things to different people. A dietitian is very important to help with meal planning and understanding the right balance of foods for your child.
Diabetes Sick Day Rules
If you need to take insulin to control your diabetes, you should have received instructions about looking after yourself when youre ill known as your sick day rules.
Contact your diabetes care team or GP for advice if you havent received these.
The advice youre given will be specific to you, but some general measures that your sick day rules may include could be to:
- keep taking your insulin its very important not to stop treatment when youre ill your treatment plan may state whether you need to temporarily increase your dose
- test your blood glucose level more often than usual most people are advised to check the level at least four times a day
- keep yourself well hydrated make sure you drink plenty of sugar-free drinks
- keep eating eat solid food if you feel well enough to, or liquid carbohydrates such as milk, soup and yoghurt if this is easier
- check your ketone levels if your blood glucose level is high
Seek advice from your diabetes care team or GP if your blood glucose or ketone level remains high after taking insulin, if:
- youre not sure whether to make any changes to your treatment
- you develop symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis
- you have any other concerns
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Signs Of Type 1 Diabetes In Kids
Of course, as a parent, you hope your child does not develop type 1 diabetes. However, it is important for you to be aware of the symptoms of the disease in children, so that you can recognize them early and get your child tested.
- Frequent urination and thirst: Having high blood sugar eliminates fluids from the body, which will lead to increased thirst and the need to take more bathroom breaks throughout the day.
- Fatigue: If your child is constantly tired, it may be a sign that their body is having trouble turning sugar in the bloodstream into energy.
- Changes in vision: High blood sugar levels can lead to blurred vision or other eyesight problems.
- Fruity smelling breath: If your childs breath smells fruity, it could be a result of excess sugar in the blood.
- Extreme hunger and unexplained weight loss: When your childs muscles and organs arent receiving enough energy, it can trigger extreme hunger. And sudden weight lossespecially if they are eating moreshould not be ignored.
- Unusual behavior: If your child seems more moody or restless than normaland its in conjunction with the symptoms aboveit could be cause for concern.
The signs of type 1 diabetes may differ slightly for kids of different ages. If you have a toddler or teen, learn more about the symptoms they might experience.
Which Gene Is Responsible For Diabetes
The causes of type 1 diabetes are unknown, although several risk factors have been identified. The risk of developing type 1 diabetes is increased by certain variants of the HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQB1, and HLA-DRB1 genes. These genes provide instructions for making proteins that play a critical role in the immune system.
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Target Blood Glucose Levels Before Pregnancy
When youre planning to become pregnant, your daily blood glucose targets may be different than your previous targets. Ask your health care team which targets are right for you.
You can keep track of your blood glucose levels using My Daily Blood Glucose Record. You can also use an electronic blood glucose tracking system on your computer or mobile device. Record the results every time you check your blood glucose. Your blood glucose records can help you and your health care team decide whether your diabetes care plan is working. You also can make notes about your insulin and ketones. Take your tracker with you when you visit your health care team.