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   Nutrition supplement for diabetes        
Dr. Mohammed Saad, associate professor, Division of Endocrinology, was interviewed on Aug. 8 by KNX Radio, the Los Angeles Times, La Opinion and KCAL-Channel 9 on UCLA's participation in a national diabetes study. The research showed that people at high-risk for developing type 2 diabetes can sharply reduce their risk through lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. The study included a large number of participants from minority groups where diabetes is especially prevalent. UCLA was the largest site in the three-year study, which was funded by a number of agencies, including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Institutes of Health. "Lifestyle Called Key to Averting Diabetes"

What is diabetes?
Insulin - Why Don't I Have Enough?       
Taking Care Of Your Diabetes 
What Can Go Wrong?
More information and links

What is diabetes? (obtained from American Diabetes Association)

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that  is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.  The cause of diabetes is a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles. 
What is the impact of diabetes?
Affects 16 million people.  Is a leading cause of death and disability. Costs $98 billion per year.
Who gets diabetes?
People of any age.  Most common in older people, overweight and sedentary
people, African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, and Hispanic Americans.  People with a family history of diabetes.
There are two major types of diabetes: 
      Type 1 - A disease in which the body does not produce any insulin, most often occurring in  children and young adults. People with Type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections to stay  alive. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of diabetes
      Type 2 - A metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to make enough, or properly use, insulin. It is the most common form of the disease. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is nearing epidemic proportions, due to an increased number of older Americans, and a greater prevalence of obesity  and sedentary lifestyles. 
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and  young adults and was reviously known as juvenile  diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use sugar. Sugar is the basic fuel for the cells in the body, and insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When sugar builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause two problems: Right away, your cells may be starved for energy. Over time, high blood sugar levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.  Finding out you have diabetes is scary. But don't panic!  Sure, diabetes is serious. But people with diabetes can live long, healthy, happy lives. You can too by taking  good care of yourself. 

Insulin - Why Don't I Have Enough?

The pancreas, an organ near your stomach, produces insulin. The pancreas contains cells called beta cells.  Beta cells have a vital job: They make insulin, a hormone that helps cells take in the sugar they need.  Sometimes, the beta cells get wiped out and cannot produce insulin anymore.  Many things might have killed your beta cells, but in most people with Type 1 diabetes, the immune system  makes a mistake. Cells that normally protect you from  germs attack your beta cells instead. The beta cells die. Without beta cells, you make no insulin. Sugar builds up  in your blood, and you get diabetes.

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Taking Care Of Your Diabetes 
Many people with Type 1 diabetes live long, healthy lives. The key is keeping your blood sugar levels within  your target range, which can be done with meal  planning, exercise and insulin. You will also need to check your blood sugar levels regularly. To check your blood sugar, you need a drop of blood. Place the drop on a special test strip. A device called a glucose meter Tells how much glucose the drop of blood contains. Your health care provider will tell you how often to check your  blood sugar level.
In people with Type 2 diabetes, glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood. But with treatment, your blood sugar target range shows that your treatment plan is working
The goal of treatment is to lower your blood sugar and  improve your body's use of insulin.  
A good diabetes treatment plan includes:
                              eating healthy and on schedule (Meal planning)
                              checking blood sugar levels regularly
                              adjusting insulin as blood sugar levels and activities                               warrant
                              exercising regularly and weight loss
Meal planning and getting regular exercise can help your body maintain healthy blood sugar levels. If you're eat fewer calories. Decide with your health care pounds is enough to bring diabetes under control. Read  more about meal planning and exercise in Healthy  Living.
Checking Your Blood Sugar
In addition to eating healthy, losing weight and keeping fit, check your blood sugar levels at home to keep track need a drop of blood. Place the drop on a special test strip. A device called a glucose meter measures sugar
Your health care provider will tell you how often to check your blood sugar. Write down each result, along with the time and date. You will soon learn how well your treatment plan is working, and you will learn how exercise and food affects you.
A Back-Up Plan
Sometimes, using a meal plan, losing weight and being active are not nough. In addition, your doctor may have Your doctor will probably try you on diabetes pills first.  But sometimes pills don't work. Or they work at first and  then stop. When this happens, your doctor may have  you take both pills and insulin, or maybe just  insulin  alone. Your doctor will tell you what kind of insulin to
What Can Go Wrong?
Diabetes can cause three types of problems:
                              High blood sugar
                              Low blood sugar
High Blood Sugar and Ketoacidosis
High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia) - When blood  sugar levels get too high, the body gets too little insulin or too much food.
Symptoms of high blood sugar are:
                              excessive thirst
                              frequent urination
                              blurred vision
High blood sugar is treated by checking sugar levels and giving your child insulin. Untreated, high blood sugar may develop into ketoacidosis, a very serious condition.
Ketoacidosis is caused by very high levels of ketones in blood and urine. Ketones are waste products that build up when the body burns fat for energy. Check with your health care provider about when to do ketone tests, especially when your child is sick. Call your health care povider immediately if your child has ketones in their urine or any of the following symptoms:
                              drowsiness, labored breathing
                              abdominal pain
                              fruity-smelling breath
Unless treated promptly, ketoacidosis can lead to a diabetic coma.
Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia) - When blood sugar levels get too low - the body gets too much insulin or too little food. It is the most common problem in children with diabetes. Symptoms include:
                              pale skin
Low blood sugar can be treated by giving the child carbohydrates, such as sugar cubes, hard candy, fruit juice, regular soda, followed by a snack of crackers with cheese or  peanut butter, half a sandwich, cereal with milk.
Because uncontrolled diabetes can cause major health problems, such as amputation or blindness, keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. In addition to taking your diabetes medicine, you can have a positive influence on your blood sugar and your health by choosing foods wisely, staying active and reducing your stress level.
The best defense against complications is taking good  care of your diabetes.  Keeping your blood sugar levels near the normal range will make you feel better now.   And it will help you stay healthy in the future. 

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For more information about type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, as well as diabetes research, statistics, and education, contact
                    National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
                    1 Information Way
                    Bethesda, MD 20892-3560
                    Phone: 1-800-860-8747 or (301) 654-3327
The following organizations also distribute materials and support programs for people with diabetes and their families and friends:
                    American Association of Diabetes Educators
                    100 West Monroe, 4th Floor
                    Chicago, IL 60603
                    Phone: 1-800-832-6874 or (312) 424-2426
                    American Diabetes Association
                    ADA National Service Center
                    1701 North Beauregard Street
                    Alexandria, VA 22311
                    Phone: 1-800-342-2383 or (703) 549-1500
                    Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International
                    120 Wall Street, 19th Floor
                    New York, NY 10005
                    Phone: 1-800-223-1138 or (212) 785-9500
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