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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Diabetes

diabetes questions

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  • Diabetes is a metabolic disease that occurs when the sugar you obtain from food stays in your bloodstream due to faulty insulin production or signaling
  • It is possible to reverse or cure diabetes without any medications

Q: What is the main cause of diabetes mellitus?

A. Diabetes is a metabolic disease that occurs when the sugar you obtain from food stays in your bloodstream due to faulty insulin production or signaling.

When you eat, the food is transformed into glucose, which your cells use for energy. However, for your cells to be able to use glucose as fuel, it needs insulin.

But if you have diabetes, it means that either you produce insufficient insulin or your body's cells do not respond properly to it. It could also be a combination of these two factors. Since the cells are unable to use the glucose, it builds up in your blood and wreaks havoc on your system.

Q: What's the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?

A. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks the pancreatic beta cells responsible for producing insulin, hampering its production.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body's cells have become insulin resistant. While the pancreas is still able to produce insulin, the body is unable to recognize insulin and fails to use it properly.1

Q: How do you know if you have diabetes?

A. The symptoms of diabetes don’t usually present themselves clearly and are sometimes misdiagnosed. The signs of diabetes in women and men may also have certain differences. Generally, if you experience any of these symptoms, it may be possible that you have diabetes:

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle weakness and foot pain

If any of the above pertains to you, have yourself tested immediately. Constant hunger, tingling on the hands and the feet, having dark patches of skin, unexplained weight loss and having frequent infections may be early signs of diabetes as well.

Q: How do you test for diabetes?

A. Take note that testing equipment like blood glucose meters, which can be bought over the counter, cannot diagnose diabetes. You should consult a physician to get a proper diagnosis. There are several types of tests for diabetes, mainly:

  • Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG) — This  measures your blood glucose levels after doing an overnight fast or fasting for eight hours.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) — Usually conducted after an FPG test, this test is done if you have normal fasting blood glucose levels, but your physician still suspects diabetes.
  • Hemoglobin A1C Test — This test identifies how much sugar is stuck to your red blood cells, which actually have a three-month lifespan.
  • Random Plasma Glucose Test — While it is not considered a preferred diagnostic test by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), it’s only usually conducted on people who have severe diabetes and are experiencing the hallmark symptoms.

Q: Should diabetics drink alcohol?

A. No. Alcohol is prohibited if you have diabetes, as excessive amounts of it can prompt your blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low. Alcohol actually inhibits production of glucose in the liver. Diabetics who drink alcohol may even experience hypoglycemia immediately after drinking.2

Q: What is diabetic ketoacidosis?

A. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a complication that arises when there is insufficient insulin in the body. This lack of insulin prompts the body to break down fat as fuel instead, causing ketones to build up in the bloodstream and “spill over” into the urine.3

Immediate treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis is crucial, because if left untreated, this condition can lead to diabetic coma or even death.4

Q: Is Type 1 diabetes genetic?

A. Yes, genetics are considered a major risk factor behind Type 1 diabetes. According to researchers, people who have inherited the genetic predisposition for this disease may develop it through certain triggers.5

Q: Is Type 2 diabetes genetic?

A. Type 2 diabetes can have a genetic factor, and certain genes may increase a person’s risk for this illness by making them more prone to being overweight or obese. However, environmental and lifestyle factors may also predispose you to this condition.

Q: Can diabetics donate blood?

A. Yes, but only if your diabetes is well-controlled. This means that your blood sugar should be at a healthy level. It is generally safe for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to donate blood, but to be certain, consult your physician before attempting to do so.6

Q: Can diabetics eat fruit?

A. Yes, but fruits should be consumed in moderation, as some contain high amounts of fructose that can severely affect your blood sugar levels.

Unripe fruits and citrus fruits are some of the best choices. In addition, avoid processed dried fruits as they typically have high concentrations of sugar and carbohydrates.

Q: Can diabetes be reversed or cured?

A. Yes, it is possible to reverse or cure Type 2 diabetes without any medications. There are three important aspects of a successful treatment protocol: a healthy, well-balanced diet; regular exercise; and consistent monitoring of blood sugar levels.

If you want to learn how to get rid of diabetes naturally, consult the Treatment page.

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