Diabetes mellitus, often referred to simply
as diabetes is a syndrome of disordered metabolism,
usually due to a combination of hereditary and environmental
causes, resulting in abnormally high blood sugar
levels Blood glucose levels are controlled by a
complex interaction of multiple chemicals and hormones
in the body, including the hormone insulin made
in the beta cells of the pancreas. Diabetes mellitus
refers to the group of diseases that lead to high
blood glucose levels due to defects in either insulin
secretion or insulin action in the body.
Diabetes develops due to a diminished production
of insulin or resistance to its effects and gestational
Both lead to hyperglycemia, which largely causes
the acute signs of diabetes: excessive urine production,
resulting compensatory thirst and increased fluid
intake (several Big Gulps an hour don't do anything
for the thirst), blurred vision, unexplained weight
loss, lethargy, changes in energy, and vomiting
All forms of diabetes have been treatable since
insulin became medically available in 1921, but
there is no cure. The injections by a syringe, insulin
pump, or insulin pen deliver insulin, which is a
basic treatment of type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 is managed with a combination of dietary
treatment, exercise, medications and insulin supplementation.
Many diabetes patients are trying to get insurance
companies to pay for Continuous Glucose Monitors
(CGM), which read blood sugars many times during
the day. This means less painful pin pricks, and
the CGM provides a trend, allowing the patient to
see what happens between pin prick Glucose testing.
The CGMs often have alarms, which can warn a patient
if their glucose level is tending to go high, or
low - both of which are harmful.
CGM is not experimental, and some patients have
been able to get coverage for the CGM device and
sensors. todo: add CGM references and sample letters
to insurance companies for coverage
I hate changing lancets in my lancet device. Every
time I need a finger prick (yes I know there are
alternate sites, but they are often not reliable),
I need to exchange lancets.
I found the Accu-Chek MultiClix lancet device to
be the absolute best! It is a about the same size
as an easy grip pen. The cartridge holds 6
lancets, and they are only exposed when you click
the lancet device. No pricking your fingers when
you change lancets! Because each cartridge holds
6 lancets, the standard package is 102 lancets (17
cartridges), instead of 100. I was able to obtain
a few of these on eBay for $10 including shipping
when bidding on Accu-Chek Aviva meter kits.
Glycohemoglobin A1C [GHb A1c,
HbA1c, Or A1c]
is a blood test that checks the amount of glucose
bound to hemoglobin [Glycohemoglobin], and checks
the long-term control of blood glucose levels in
people with diabetes. IT provides an average of
glucose levels over the past 90 days. Normally,
only a small percentage of hemoglobin in the blood
(4% to 6%) has glucose bound to it. Most doctors
think the Glycohemoglobin A1c level is the best
way to check how well a person is controlling his
or her diabetes (you also can't cheat on this test!).
A home blood glucose test measures the level of
blood glucose only at that moment. Blood glucose
levels change during the day because of diet, exercise,
and the level of insulin in the blood.
The A1c recommendations vary slightly by organization, and vary by age.
The ADA recommends:
|less than 6 years old
||7.5 to 8.5%
|6 to 12 years old
||Less than 8%
|13 to 19 years old
||Less than 7.5%
|A1c Level (%)
||Average Plasma Glucose Equivalent (mg/dL)
Important Note About Plasma Glucose VS Whole Blood Glucose!
Glucose levels in plasma (a component of blood)
are generally 10-15% higher than glucose measurements
in whole blood (and even more after eating).
This is important because home blood glucose meters
often measure the glucose in whole blood while most lab tests measure
the glucose in plasma. There are home glucose meters on the market that
give results as "plasma equivalent".
This allows you to easily compare your lab glucose tests to home testing.
Remember, this is just the way that the measurement is presented to you.
All home blood glucose meters measure the amount of glucose in whole blood, but
the meters that give "plasma equivalent" readings have a built in algorithm
that translates the whole blood measurement what may be obtained
in a lab test. It is important for you and your healthcare provider
to know whether your meter gives its results as "whole blood equivalent"
or "plasma equivalent." If you are unsure, call your meter manufacturer to
What Does Insulin Smell Like?
The best description I can think of is that it smells