A revised and fully updated edition of one of the most user-friendly diabetes books on the market features new information about the most recent medical developments. Published to coincide with National Diabetes Month.
"This is a must-read book or all diabetics." -Derek LeRoith, M.D., chief of endocrinology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine The number of diabetics in the United States has increased 61 percent in the last decade. Now this classic, accessible guide has been completely revised with new information on pre-diabetes and prevention, as well as
Stanley Mirsky is associate clinical professor of metabolic diseases at Mount Sinai, Lenox Hill, andDoctors Hospital in New York City. He is Presidentof the American Diabetes Association, and a memberof the New York Diabetes Association Board.
" This is a must-read book or all diabetics." - Derek LeRoith, M.D., chief of endocrinology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine The number of diabetics in the United States has increased 61 percent in the last decade. Now this classic, accessible guide has been completely revised with new information on pre-diabetes and prevention, as well as - the Metabolic Syndrome: risk factors that, along with genetic predisposition, sow the seeds of diabetes - diet: sensible, easy-- to-follow suggestions about what, when, and how much to eat (and the choices are delicious!) - new drugs: inhaled insulin powder, combination pills, insulin that lasts twenty-four hours, fast-acting " designer" insulin, and other milestones - cutting-edge equipment: state-of-the-art insulin pumps, glucose monitors, and pen injectors - complications: innovations for preventing heart disease, kidney failure, neuropathy of the feet and legs, and loss of vision - stem cell research: the imminent possibility of using stem cells as a source of insulin-producing beta cells - surgical options: transplantation techniques If you're a diabetic or care about someone who is, this comprehensive guide and daily companion belongs front and center on your bookshelf and in your life.
1 WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A DIABETIC Nobody is delighted to be diagnosed as a diabetic. After all, diabetes is a chronic disease with serious consequences and complications if it isn''t kept under control. You must watch what you eat, get regular exercise, and maybe take pills or insulin injections. It is a condition that you will have for the rest of your days. So far, there is no cure. But diabetes is the one major disorder whose effects on your lifestyle depend to a remarkable degree on how much you know, and how much effort and time you are willing to spend paying attention to it. You can minimize the impact it has on your daily life as well as your future health simply by learning all about it and then living with a few rules that actually would make everyone in the world healthier if they, too, abided by them. At best, you may lose all evidence of diabetes and indeed the disease itself. At least, you may be able to reduce the amount of medication you require--all as the result of eating sensibly. The easy-to-follow plan presented here may change your life. About 21 million Americans, 7 percent of the population, have diabetes, although many of them are not aware of it. Another 47 million, including 2 million adolescents ages twelve to nineteen, have prediabetes, a condition that may lead to type 2 diabetes later in life. The prevalence of the disease nearly doubled in the American adult population from 1990 to 2002 and has risen by more than 14 percent since 2003. In adults older than sixty, nearly one in every five has diabetes, and the incidence is rapidly rising in children and adolescents. Studies estimate the cost of diabetes to be over $132 billion a year, some in direct costs, including hospitalization and treatment, and the rest in lost productivity, disability payments, loss of work time, and premature deaths. Diabetes, with its consequences and complications, consumes $1 out of every $10 spent on health care in the United States. To give you all the bad news at once, Diabetes is the only major disease with a death rate that is still rising. Diabetics are much more likely than others to become blind, lose a foot or a leg, have kidney failure, develop coronary heart disease and stroke, and have other difficulties. Now for the good news. Tremendous progress has been made in only the last few years in the prevention and treatment of the disease. It is very likely that a cure will be discovered soon. Most diabetics who not long ago would have died at an early age or would have existed with such dire complications that life would have been hardly worth living, can now lead almost normal lives and can look forward to a respectable, reasonably healthy old age. the facts about diabetes More than nine out of ten of the diagnosed diabetics in the United States have type 2, or noninsulin- dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). If they follow the correct diet, this group--formerly known as "adult-onset diabetics" because the disease usually strikes adults over the age of forty and most commonly over fifty-five--may never need insulin injections except perhaps during periods of stress. The remaining less than 10 percent of diagnosed diabetics have type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Once called "juvenile-onset diabetics" because it typically strikes in childhood, this group will always require insulin and cannot get along with diet alone or even with oral antidiabetic agents. Type 1 and type 2 are two separate disorders, although they share many of the very same problems. In the U.S. each year, over thirteen thousand children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And more and more children and teens have type 2, with some clinics reporting that one-third to one-half of all new cases of childhood diabetes are now type 2. According to the American Heart Association, those at especially high risk are African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American Indian children who are obese and have a family history of type 2. All type 1 diabetics require insulin injections because they make little or no insulin themselves. Ten to 20 percent of the diagnosed type 2 diabetics are treated with diet and exercise. Thirty to 40 percent take oral drugs to keep their blood sugar within acceptable limits. And 30 to 40 percent require insulin injections or a combination of insulin and oral medications. Type 1 diabetes is more prevalent among whites than other racial groups. About 11 percent of white Americans ages forty-five to seventy-four have type 2 diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. Among African Americans, however, the rate is over 18 percent in the same age range and black women are particularly vulnerable; one in four over the age of fifty-five has diabetes. The forecast is even bleaker for Latinos, especially Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans, who suffer from diabetes at twice the rate of whites. There is a disproportionately high prevalence of the disease, more than twice that of U.S. adults overall, in Native American and Alaska Native adults. This is true, too, of Asian Americans who have abandoned their traditional foods and adopted a Western diet, high in fat and sugar. They are particularly susceptible to type 2 diabetes and often develop it at much lower weights than people of other races. The chances of developing diabetes double with every 20 percent of excess weight and with every ten years of increasing age. They also increase with the accumulation of fat around the middle. A recent study suggests that men with a waist size of 40 inches or more have the highest risk of type 2 diabetes, twelve times more likely than those with a size of 34 inches or less. Two in three people with diabetes will develop heart disease. Nearly 80 percent of diabetics die of heart disease or stroke. Adult diabetics are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than other people, the same risk as if they have already had a heart attack, according to the American Diabetes Association. * Gender matters. Before menopause, women have built-in protection against heart attacks, but they lose that protection if they have diabetes. The DIABETES epidemic Diabetes in the United States has reached epidemic proportions, with over a million new cases diagnosed every year. What''s more, although type 2 diabetes mostly continues to strike older people, more children and teenagers are getting it and much of the blame has been attributed to the long hours they spend in front of the computer or the TV set instead of on their feet. America''s children are growing fatter. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in three Americans born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Women and minorities face the greatest risk. WHAT IS DIABETES? Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in persistent hyperglycemia--an abnormally high amount of sugar in the blood. (On the other hand, hypoglycemia means the opposite--an abnormally low blood-sugar level.) It is thought today that diabetes is actually several different diseases with different causes, all with the same result: the inability of the body to efficiently utilize the carbohydrates we eat as a source of fuel. Glucose, the sugar molecule that is the end product of carbohydrate metabolism, is the body''s primary fuel. It is used immediately for energy, or it is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen to be called upon at a later time. When the body is unable to metabolize carbohydrates, which are derived mainly from sugars and starches, the blood becomes overloaded with glucose. The kidneys are unable to handle the excess and in most cases it "spills" into the urine. WHAT''S GONE WRONG? If you have diabetes, something has gone awry in the elaborate system of metabolic checks and balances that the normal body uses to maintain a safe blood-sugar level. Sometimes the pancreas, a large gland located on the left side under the ribs, completely abdicates its job of turning out insulin, the hormone that helps the cells to use glucose as their fuel. Sometimes the pancreas secretes an inadequate amount of insulin, not enough to cope with the carbohydrates you eat. And sometimes the pancreas is unable to "recognize" the high blood-sugar level and so does not produce enough insulin in response to it even though the capacity is there. In most cases, however, especially in older overweight diabetics, the pancreas continues to produce plenty of insulin, often much more than normal, but it can''t perform its function of helping the cells use glucose. So plenty of insulin floats uselessly in the blood, unable to penetrate the cells, while sugar piles up but cannot be utilized. The reason for this was once thought to be a deficient number of insulin receptors, but it is turning out to be more complex. One important factor seems to be the fat cell that we used to think was nothing but a stain on your shirt. In fact, it is a tiny factory that puts out twelve different substances, including adiponectin and resistin. Not producing enough adiponectin, which prevents diabetes, or putting out too much resistin, which resists the action of insulin, is probably what occurs in diabetics. HOW DOES YOUR BODY MAKE INSULIN? Insulin is manufactured by complicated little biochemical "factories" in the pancreas. These are the beta cells, responsible for so much of our well-being. They are located in the islets of Langerhans, one to two million tiny areas of the pancreas comprising maybe 2 percent of the entire gland. The islets also