What We’re Reading: Learning the Basics

If you were recently diagnosed with diabetes, or if a loved one was, your mind is probably racing with questions about the condition. Questions such as: What is the role of insulin? How is the pancreas involved? Where does glucose factor in? Are there different kinds of diabetes?


For people looking to understand these and other basic facts about diabetes, Diabetes UK, the British diabetes association, has created an educational video packed with diabetes information. As noted by Cherie Burbach on the health and lifestyle Web site Blisstree, the video helps combat the idea that developing diabetes is simply a matter of being overweight or out of shape. Using animated illustrations of the bloodstream, pancreas, liver, and other relevant body parts, the video explores a variety of topics, including the distinctions between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, how glucose is processed in people with and without diabetes, the mechanisms involved in causing the condition, and the typical symptoms of diabetes.

The video, along with numerous other informational health clips, can be accessed directly on the video-sharing Web site YouTube. And once you’re done watching, be sure to come back here and check out “What Is Diabetes?” for more information about this condition.

This blog entry was written by Diane Fennell, Associate Editor of Diabetes Self-Management magazine.

Learn more about the health and medical experts who who provide you with the cutting-edge resources, tools, news, and more on Diabetes Self-Management.
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  • DonnaM

    Good Morning,,,I was just diagnosed Friday and scared to death. The Dr, put me on Metformin and told me my bld sugar was 142 (7.3) after fasting
    I cannot believe he told me with weight lose there is a vg possibility I may manage this with no meds as he put me on the lowest dose possible!
    You gave me absolutly no hope it is like this blog is doom and gloom if diagnosed. Please be a LITTLE upbeat for men and women like myself! we are frightened enough without being told it will be with us Forever till we die! Comon! Where is your bedside maners? I appoligize for being Blunt but so are you and what you say simply aint,,,,all….true !!!!!!! keep you chins up everyone it CAN and I repeat Can pass !!!!!!

  • CalgaryDiabetic

    Dear DonnaM.

    Well no, there is always the possibility of a proper cure now that Obama has reinstated stem cell research.

    Lowest dosage of metformin is not necessarily a good thing as there is a minimun effective dose otherwise you are just wasting your money. In my case 1500 mg a day did absolutely nothing for the BG. 2000 mg per day does quite a bit.

    Usually the diabetes gets much worst as you go along. I lost 85 lb and did 2 hours of exercise per day. Not good enough the pancreas died and I was still insulin resistant and now need 100 units of insulin or more per day to survive in a constantly exhausted state.

    I still wonder if a bit of insulin in the begginig would have done marvels.

    you should ask your doc to do a C-peptide test and/or antibodies to make sure you are not a late onset type 1 many people are misdiagnosed with really bad outcome when your pancreas dies completely.

    Diabetes is a disease were the Doctor should be pessimistic and look for the worst case senario and the patient should be optimistic a good moral helps BG control. an optimistic doctor is a bad situation at times.

  • nathan

    I check my blood sugar about once a week since my family has a history of diabetes. My numbers a normally around 100 +- 10 points. I do go low sugar every once in awhile ( less than 50) and I usually just eat a little and start feeling better. My big question is I test and then retest a couple of seconds later and the numbers are different. This morning I checked my blood twice, the first number was 116 and the second test was 105. Is this normal? Nate