Many members of the DAA provide information about diabetes on their organizational Web sites. Additionally, extensive information about diabetes appears on the Web sites of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We present links to these sources, followed by some basic information about diabetes.
DAA members offering diabetes information:
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE)
American Diabetes Association
American Optometric Association
Medicare Diabetes Screening Project
National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
National Kidney Foundation
Novo Nordisk Inc.
Results for Life
The Endocrine Society
YMCA of the USA
Some of the federal agencies offering diabetes information:
National Diabetes Education Program (a joint program of NIDDK and CDC)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that is characterized by high levels of blood glucose (commonly called “blood sugar”) that, over time, can do serious damage to the body’s small and large blood vessels. In the United States, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults. Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, and is the seventh leading cause of death.
There are different types of diabetes commonly addressed by the scientific and medical community, including prediabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).
Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but below the threshold for the definition of overt diabetes. Prediabetes is a condition that often, but not always, precedes the onset of type 2 diabetes. Several large randomized controlled clinical trials, including the NIH-led Diabetes Prevention Program and Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, have proven conclusively that many people with prediabetes can prevent or significantly delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
People with type 1 diabetes produce extremely little or no insulin, the hormone that is necessary for getting glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. The onset of type 1 diabetes is usually very quick and upon diagnosis, people with type 1 diabetes must immediately begin a daily regimen of insulin to help manage their blood glucose levels. To date, science has not discovered any methods to prevent or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes.
In a person with type 2 diabetes, the body produces some, but not enough insulin, and the cells of the body are often resistant to insulin, thereby hampering the process by which glucose is transported from the bloodstream into the cells. As mentioned previously, medical research has demonstrated that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed in onset through relatively modest amounts of weight loss and increases in physical activity. These lifestyle changes can have a greater effect if begun early in patients at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that is first recognized when a woman becomes pregnant. Often the diabetes goes away after birth of the baby, but the mother is at higher risk for experiencing type 2 diabetes later in life.