Diabetes Library

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Diabetes Index

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Using a Home Blood Pressure Monitor
Using a Home Blood Pressure Monitor

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Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Diabetes Library: What is Diabetes?


Hyperglycemia, meaning "high blood sugar," occurs as a result of the basic defect in diabetes: a lack of working insulin in the bloodstream. Insulin is required for glucose to be taken up into the body's cells, where glucose is burned as energy. Low insulin therefore means glucose remains outside of the cells, in the bloodstream, and cells may not get sufficient fuel to be healthy.

To make matters worse, the liver releases glucose from its stores into the bloodstream under these conditions — thinking the reason cells are "starving"is due to a lack of glucose! And, while most of the organ damage in uncontrolled diabetes comes from cell and tissue starvation, the high amounts of blood sugar running through the blood vessels can also be toxic in itself.

Therefore, while diabetes is directly related to what's happening with insulin, it is almost always synonymous with hyperglycemia as well.

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