Diabetes and HIV/AIDS
July 3, 2014
Table of Contents
Diabetes and pre-diabetes are serious conditions in which people have high levels of sugar or glucose in their blood. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. In the US, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 29 million people have diabetes and at least 86 million adults over 20 have pre-diabetes. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, amputation, kidney failure, and cardiovascular disease; the WHO predicts that diabetes will become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.
Glucose is a type of sugar that is used as fuel by the body. When you eat, your body converts food into glucose. The glucose then goes into your bloodstream and is carried throughout the body to provide energy to all of your cells. In order for glucose to move from your bloodstream into your cells, you need insulin. Insulin carries the glucose, or sugar, in your bloodstream into your cells. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas.
If your body has a problem making or using insulin, the glucose in your bloodstream cannot get into your cells. As a result, glucose stays in the blood (high blood sugar) and the cells do not get enough. A diagnosis of pre-diabetes or diabetes is made when glucose stays at higher than normal levels (also called hyperglycemia).
There are several types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Metabolic syndrome is not a type of diabetes, but a cluster, or group of conditions usually associated with being overweight or obese. This group of traits puts people at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A person has metabolic syndrome if they have three of the following five traits:
Symptoms of diabetes include:
Symptoms typically occur when glucose levels have gotten very high. If you are diagnosed while diabetes is in its early stages, you may not have any symptoms.
Since there are not always obvious symptoms of diabetes, it is important to have regular lab tests to check if your blood sugar or glucose levels are high. The most common glucose tests are:
To find out if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, it is generally recommended that you have a fasting glucose test. A glucose tolerance test may be ordered to help diagnose diabetes and as a follow-up to a high fasting glucose level.
A diagnosis of diabetes can be made based on any of the following test results, confirmed by retesting on a different day:
Anyone can get diabetes. However, certain factors may increase your risk, such as:
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