Diabetes management typically requires adaptation over time by both the patient and the health professional with iterative goal setting. As biopsychosocial circumstances change, the treatment recommendations will also need to change. In the context of shared decision making, where the needs and preferences of the patient are considered, FPs can periodically identify opportunities to optimize treatment so that the risk of long-term complications is minimized and to prevent immediate symptoms or side effects. The recommendations highlighted here offer guidance on how to achieve this. However, the evidence suggests that the best possible outcomes are achieved when FPs organize their diabetes care in a way that incorporates the patient-centred and evidence-based approaches of the chronic care model.
Staff endocrinologist in the Department of Medicine at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Dissemination and Implementation Committee at the Canadian Diabetes Association, Associate Scientist in the Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St Michael’s Hospital, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
With gestational diabetes, risks to the unborn baby are even greater than risks to the mother. Risks to the baby include abnormal weight gain before birth, breathing problems at birth, and higher obesity and diabetes risk later in life. Risks to the mother include needing a cesarean section due to an overly large baby, as well as damage to heart, kidney, nerves, and eye.
The earliest surviving work with a detailed reference to diabetes is that of Aretaeus of Cappadocia (2nd or early 3rd century CE). He described the symptoms and the course of the disease, which he attributed to the moisture and coldness, reflecting the beliefs of the "Pneumatic School". He hypothesized a correlation between diabetes and other diseases, and he discussed differential diagnosis from the snakebite, which also provokes excessive thirst. His work remained unknown in the West until 1552, when the first Latin edition was published in Venice.[110]
Our bodies break down the foods we eat into glucose and other nutrients we need, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. The glucose level in the blood rises after a meal and triggers the pancreas to make the hormone insulin and release it into the bloodstream. But in people with diabetes, the body either can't make or can't respond to insulin properly.
People with diabetes can benefit from education about the disease and treatment, good nutrition to achieve a normal body weight, and exercise, with the goal of keeping both short-term and long-term blood glucose levels within acceptable bounds. In addition, given the associated higher risks of cardiovascular disease, lifestyle modifications are recommended to control blood pressure.[80][81]
Quality of evidence A prioritization process was conducted to focus the efforts of Diabetes Canada’s guideline dissemination and implementation efforts. The resulting identified key messages for FPs to consider when managing patients with type 2 diabetes are described. Evidence supporting the guideline recommendations ranges from levels I to IV and grades A to D.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency.[52] This is in contrast to diabetes mellitus type 1 in which there is an absolute insulin deficiency due to destruction of islet cells in the pancreas and gestational diabetes mellitus that is a new onset of high blood sugars associated with pregnancy.[13] Type 1 and type 2 diabetes can typically be distinguished based on the presenting circumstances.[49] If the diagnosis is in doubt antibody testing may be useful to confirm type 1 diabetes and C-peptide levels may be useful to confirm type 2 diabetes,[53] with C-peptide levels normal or high in type 2 diabetes, but low in type 1 diabetes.[54]
Rates of diabetes in 1985 were estimated at 30 million, increasing to 135 million in 1995 and 217 million in 2005.[18] This increase is believed to be primarily due to the global population aging, a decrease in exercise, and increasing rates of obesity.[18] The five countries with the greatest number of people with diabetes as of 2000 are India having 31.7 million, China 20.8 million, the United States 17.7 million, Indonesia 8.4 million, and Japan 6.8 million.[111] It is recognized as a global epidemic by the World Health Organization.[1]
In addition, getting too little sleep can increase your appetite and reduce your level of satiety, causing you to crave carbohydrates and sugary foods, in particular. Over time, indulging in these cravings or overeating, in general, can wreak havoc on your insulin and blood sugar levels, as well as your body weight. (Remember: Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.) Plus, when you’re short on sleep, you’re more likely to feel tired and less inclined to exercise, which is a problem because regular exercise helps with weight management and blood sugar control.

Our bodies break down the foods we eat into glucose and other nutrients we need, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. The glucose level in the blood rises after a meal and triggers the pancreas to make the hormone insulin and release it into the bloodstream. But in people with diabetes, the body either can't make or can't respond to insulin properly.
Coheso also has an app specifically for pregnant women with gestational diabetes. "This Diabetes in Pregnancy App helps you track all of the factors that keep your blood sugar balanced during and after your pregnancy," the app description reads. "The app makes it a snap to log food (nutrition), blood sugar levels, exercise, oral medications and insulin. You can email the logbook as a PDF file or a spreadsheet that you can share with your doctor."
Founded in 1953, the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is a registered charity that works toward a world free from diabetes. They lead the fight against diabetes by helping those affected by diabetes to live healthy lives, preventing the onset and consequences of diabetes, and discovering a cure. Dr. Charles Best, co-discoverer of insulin, helped create the Diabetes Association of Ontario in the 1940s—which became the CDA in 1953. Diabetes is a chronic, often debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves. The body needs insulin to use sugar as an energy source.

People with diabetes can benefit from education about the disease and treatment, good nutrition to achieve a normal body weight, and exercise, with the goal of keeping both short-term and long-term blood glucose levels within acceptable bounds. In addition, given the associated higher risks of cardiovascular disease, lifestyle modifications are recommended to control blood pressure.[80][81]
The extent of weight loss required to reverse type 2 diabetes is much greater than conventionally advised. A clear distinction must be made between weight loss that improves glucose control but leaves blood glucose levels abnormal and weight loss of sufficient degree to normalize pancreatic function. The Belfast diet study provides an example of moderate weight loss leading to reasonably controlled, yet persistent diabetes. This study showed that a mean weight loss of 11 kg decreased fasting blood glucose levels from 10.4 to 7.0 mmol/L but that this abnormal level presaged the all-too-familiar deterioration of control (87).
In the United States, 84.1 million adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. What’s more, 90% of them don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The good news is if you have prediabetes, a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program can help you take healthy steps to reverse it.
People with diabetes should ideally accumulate a minimum of 150 min of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise each wk, spread over at least 3 d of the wk, with no more than 2 consecutive d without exercise, to improve glycemic control (grade B, level II) and to reduce risk of CVD and overall mortality (grade C, level III). Smaller amounts (90–140 min/wk) of exercise or planned physical activity can also be beneficial for glycemic control but to a lesser extent (grade B, level II)
In those with impaired glucose tolerance, diet and exercise either alone or in combination with metformin or acarbose may decrease the risk of developing diabetes.[24][70] Lifestyle interventions are more effective than metformin.[24] A 2017 review found that, long term, lifestyle changes decreased the risk by 28%, while medication does not reduce risk after withdrawal.[71] While low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, correcting the levels by supplementing vitamin D3 does not improve that risk.[72]
The classic symptoms of diabetes are polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), polyphagia (increased hunger), and weight loss.[23] Other symptoms that are commonly present at diagnosis include a history of blurred vision, itchiness, peripheral neuropathy, recurrent vaginal infections, and fatigue.[13] Many people, however, have no symptoms during the first few years and are diagnosed on routine testing.[13] A small number of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus can develop a hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (a condition of very high blood sugar associated with a decreased level of consciousness and low blood pressure).[13]
^ Jump up to: a b c Simpson TC, Weldon JC, Worthington HV, Needleman I, Wild SH, Moles DR, Stevenson B, Furness S, Iheozor-Ejiofor Z (November 2015). "Treatment of periodontal disease for glycaemic control in people with diabetes mellitus". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (11): CD004714. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004714.pub3. PMID 26545069.
Through its Improving Management and Prevention program (53% of program spending in F2017), Diabetes Canada advocates for policy changes that promote healthier lifestyles amongst Canadians. Together with partners in the Stop Marketing to Kids (Stop M2K) Coalition, the charity has advocated for restrictions on marketing unhealthy food to children. It reports to have advised the government on changes to the Canada Food Guide and the nutrition facts table on packaged foods. Diabetes Canada also operates a website which offers diabetes resources and information. In F2017, 2.6 million people visited its website.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and physical inactivity. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes also increases as people grow older. People who are over 40 and overweight are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, although the incidence of this type of diabetes in adolescents is growing. Diabetes is more common among Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. Also, people who develop diabetes while pregnant (a condition called gestational diabetes) are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
^ Jump up to: a b c d Vos T, Allen C, Arora M, Barber RM, Bhutta ZA, Brown A, et al. (GBD 2015 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators) (October 2016). "Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015". Lancet. 388 (10053): 1545–1602. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31678-6. PMC 5055577. PMID 27733282.
^ Hilawe, Esayas Haregot; Yatsuya, Hiroshi; Kawaguchi, Leo; Aoyama, Atsuko (1 September 2013). "Differences by sex in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, impaired fasting glycaemia and impaired glucose tolerance in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis". Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 91 (9): 671–682D. doi:10.2471/BLT.12.113415. PMID 24101783.
This app is like a digital diary for your meals and physical activity. It tracks your carbs, as well as other nutrients and total calories. It gives you an option to set a weight loss goal and will help you track calories to meet it. It also connects with activity tracking devices to log your exercise. This app syncs with the Sugar Sense glucose tracking app made by the same developer (see below).
^ Boussageon R, Bejan-Angoulvant T, Saadatian-Elahi M, Lafont S, Bergeonneau C, Kassaï B, Erpeldinger S, Wright JM, Gueyffier F, Cornu C (July 2011). "Effect of intensive glucose lowering treatment on all cause mortality, cardiovascular death, and microvascular events in type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials". BMJ. 343: d4169. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4169. PMC 3144314. PMID 21791495.
Managing diabetes in Canada is an important endeavour, as the disease has become an epidemic here. Evidence-based recommendations that guide diabetes management in Canada are the clinical practice guidelines developed by Diabetes Canada. These guidelines are updated every five years, and contain information about the diagnosis of diabetes and all aspects of its management – blood glucose levels, physical activity, nutrition, complications, etc. You can read more about the guidelines and their importance here.
In this simple app, you can record your blood sugar, meals, insulin, and medications. If there’s a feature in the app you don’t need, you can switch it off to keep the interface as clean as possible. The app syncs across multiple devices and creates clear graphs and reports so you can see the big picture of your data. If simplicity is your goal, this may be the right app for you.
^ Jump up to: a b Cheng J, Zhang W, Zhang X, Han F, Li X, He X, Li Q, Chen J (May 2014). "Effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular deaths, and cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis". JAMA Internal Medicine. 174 (5): 773–85. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.348. PMID 24687000.
Some cases of diabetes are caused by the body's tissue receptors not responding to insulin (even when insulin levels are normal, which is what separates it from type 2 diabetes); this form is very uncommon. Genetic mutations (autosomal or mitochondrial) can lead to defects in beta cell function. Abnormal insulin action may also have been genetically determined in some cases. Any disease that causes extensive damage to the pancreas may lead to diabetes (for example, chronic pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis). Diseases associated with excessive secretion of insulin-antagonistic hormones can cause diabetes (which is typically resolved once the hormone excess is removed). Many drugs impair insulin secretion and some toxins damage pancreatic beta cells. The ICD-10 (1992) diagnostic entity, malnutrition-related diabetes mellitus (MRDM or MMDM, ICD-10 code E12), was deprecated by the World Health Organization (WHO) when the current taxonomy was introduced in 1999.[52]
While there is a strong genetic component to developing this form of diabetes, there are other risk factors - the most significant of which is obesity. There is a direct relationship between the degree of obesity and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and this holds true in children as well as adults. It is estimated that the chance to develop diabetes doubles for every 20% increase over desirable body weight.
Also, know that while apps can be incredibly valuable tools, they can’t — and shouldn’t try to — replace individualized medical advice. “It’s still not a person. It’s still not the team,” says Ilkowitz. She advises walking through your apps with your certified diabetes educator to be sure they are appropriate tools for you and that you’re using them correctly.

Supporting self-management also involves helping people address barriers to a healthy lifestyle including diabetes-related distress and comorbid conditions, such as depression or pain. Family physicians are particularly well positioned to identify the stressors experienced by patients and to support them in addressing their highest-priority needs. More frequent visits for people struggling to achieve their goals, ideally involving a structured team-based approach, can enable more effective implementation of self-management support.19 For those not practising in contexts with easy access to a multidisciplinary team, resources from Diabetes Canada have been developed to help implement these recommendations in practice (guidelines.diabetes.ca/reduce-complications/the-5rs), including handouts for people about self-management in general, featuring ABCDES3 for patients (guidelines.diabetes.ca/docs/patient-resources/my-diabetes-care-not-just-about-blood-sugar.pdf), plus handouts and practice tools that assist in identifying and managing sources of diabetes-related distress (guidelines.diabetes.ca/selfmanagementeducation/psychosocial).
should not drive when their BG level is < 4.0 mmol/L (grade C, level III for type 1 diabetes; grade D, consensus for type 2 diabetes). If the BG level is < 4.0 mmol/L, they should not drive until at least 40 min after successful treatment of hypoglycemia has increased their BG level to at least 5.0 mmol/L (grade C, level III for type 1 diabetes; grade D, consensus for type 2 diabetes)
The major eye complication of diabetes is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy occurs in patients who have had diabetes for at least five years. Diseased small blood vessels in the back of the eye cause the leakage of protein and blood in the retina. Disease in these blood vessels also causes the formation of small aneurysms (microaneurysms), and new but brittle blood vessels (neovascularization). Spontaneous bleeding from the new and brittle blood vessels can lead to retinal scarring and retinal detachment, thus impairing vision.
Several vision complications can result from type 2 diabetes, from glaucoma to cataracts to the most common, diabetic retinopathy. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, Sullivan says. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause severe vision loss and even blindness. Nearly half of everyone diagnosed with diabetes has some degree of diabetic retinopathy, according to the National Eye Institute.

Normally, blood glucose levels are tightly controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers the blood glucose level. When the blood glucose elevates (for example, after eating food), insulin is released from the pancreas to normalize the glucose level by promoting the uptake of glucose into body cells. In patients with diabetes, the absence of insufficient production of or lack of response to insulin causes hyperglycemia. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition, meaning that although it can be controlled, it lasts a lifetime.

Reversal of type 2 diabetes to normal metabolic control by either bariatric surgery or hypocaloric diet allows for the time sequence of underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms to be observed. In reverse order, the same mechanisms are likely to determine the events leading to the onset of hyperglycemia and permit insight into the etiology of type 2 diabetes. Within 7 days of instituting a substantial negative calorie balance by either dietary intervention or bariatric surgery, fasting plasma glucose levels can normalize. This rapid change relates to a substantial fall in liver fat content and return of normal hepatic insulin sensitivity. Over 8 weeks, first phase and maximal rates of insulin secretion steadily return to normal, and this change is in step with steadily decreasing pancreatic fat content. The difference in time course of these two processes is striking. Recent information on the intracellular effects of excess lipid intermediaries explains the likely biochemical basis, which simplifies both the basic understanding of the condition and the concepts used to determine appropriate management. Recent large, long-duration population studies on time course of plasma glucose and insulin secretion before the diagnosis of diabetes are consistent with this new understanding. Type 2 diabetes has long been regarded as inevitably progressive, requiring increasing numbers of oral hypoglycemic agents and eventually insulin, but it is now certain that the disease process can be halted with restoration of normal carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Type 2 diabetes can be understood as a potentially reversible metabolic state precipitated by the single cause of chronic excess intraorgan fat.
The prognosis of diabetes is related to the extent to which the condition is kept under control to prevent the development of the complications described in the preceding sections. Some of the more serious complications of diabetes such as kidney failure and cardiovascular disease, can be life-threatening. Acute complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis can also be life-threatening. As mentioned above, aggressive control of blood sugar levels can prevent or delay the onset of complications, and many people with diabetes lead long and full lives.
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. About 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.

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Diabetes in Check, from the recently-IPO'd Everyday Health is a type 2 diabetes management app that features a wide range of tools. It includes diabetes coaching designed by a certified diabetes educator, trackers for blood glucose and medication, reminders, and tools for healthy eating, including a food tracker with a barcode scanner and a recipe database. For a $3.99 subscription, users can get daily personalized food recommendations.