Islet Cell Cytoplasmic Autoantibodies (ICA)—Islet cells are clusters of cells in the pancreas that sense blood glucose levels and dole out insulin accordingly. This test looks at the reaction between islet cell antibodies from humans and a variety of islet cell proteins (including beta cells) from an animal pancreas, says Laffel. If your antibodies react with the animal islet cells, you have a marker for type 1. This is the oldest type 1 antibody test, and is not used as frequently today.

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There’s more to diabetes than just cutting back on sugar. The misconception that eating sugar causes diabetes is far from the truth. The real culprit is simple carbohydrates that break down into sugars upon ingestion. Inactivity and a poor metabolism also play a significant role, which is why you need to clean up all your lifestyle choices and lose weight.
A simple blood test, the A1c (your doctor may call it "glycosylated hemoglobin") is done on a sample of blood taken from a finger-stick or from a small vial of it drawn from your arm. Not to be confused with the daily at-home monitoring that allows some people with diabetes to measure their blood sugars in the moment, the A1c test paints a picture of your average blood sugar level for the past 3 months. 

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You may have already stopped adding sugar to your tea or coffee, but hidden sugars find their way into your diet through a plethora of other channels. Check food labels to stay away from hidden sugars. Give up on soda and sugary drinks as well. That Starbucks latte you love must go too! You want to avoid empty calories, trust us. Give your body the calories it needs through wholesome, healthy foods that provide real nutrition. Cutting back on trans fats is also important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. That means you should stop buying packaged, processed, baked goods and focus on cooking fresh meals at home, from scratch.

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Pasta with meatballs: Toss 1 c cooked whole grain pasta in garlic and 1 Tbsp olive oil and garlic. Top with 3-oz lean meat balls (made with turkey, chicken or soy) and 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with cucumber salad (toss 1 c mixed greens, 1 c cucumber slices, 10 halved cherry tomatoes, ¼ c chopped red onions and 2 Tbsp reduced-fat Italian dressing).

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You should report any side effects that are not listed in the patient information leaflet to your doctor. In the case of type 1 diabetes this is likely unless research finds an alternative treatment. It is not so uncommon for people with type 2 diabetes to come off medication. This is particularly a possibility for people who have successfully lost a lot of weight.

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It’s what we all did naturally, even until thirty to forty years ago. Your mom knew what she was taking about when she asked you to stay away from that evening snack. She said it so that you didn’t spoil your appetite for dinner! Sadly, with increased affluence and easy availability of processed foods, the fad of eating six small meals a day to stave off cravings has become popular. Eating frequent meals keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels consistently high. If you keep giving your body food, it has no incentive to burn fat. Stick to three meals a day at the most, with a clear 10-12 hour fasting period between dinner and breakfast. Intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity and helps you reverse your prediabetes really quickly.
When Ellis was first diagnosed, his A1c results were 7.2%. Now, after following his doctor's prescription of a healthy diet and plenty of exercise (Ellis spends 30 minutes on a stationary bike every night while he watches TV), his A1c levels are in the 6% range. Instead of having an A1c test every 3 months, the recommended norm for people with diabetes, Ellis goes in every 6 months.

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You should report any side effects that are not listed in the patient information leaflet to your doctor. In the case of type 1 diabetes this is likely unless research finds an alternative treatment. It is not so uncommon for people with type 2 diabetes to come off medication. This is particularly a possibility for people who have successfully lost a lot of weight.
Diabetes can cause major health problems if you do not keep your blood sugar in check. However, you can stay healthy and feel good despite your diagnosis if you follow your doctor's recommended treatment plan and maintain a healthy lifestyle. By choosing foods wisely, exercising regularly, maintaining a normal weight, reducing your stress level, and making other modest lifestyle changes, living with diabetes will be easier.

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Thiazolidenediones can increase risk of heart failure and should not be used in patients with symptoms of heart failure. Liver enzymes should be checked regularly with use. Other side effects include weight gain, fatigue, swelling of the legs or ankles, increased risk for fractures in female patients. Avandia may have a potential increased risk for heart attack.
Thiazolidinediones. Like metformin, these medications — including rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos) — make the body's tissues more sensitive to insulin. These drugs have been linked to weight gain and other more-serious side effects, such as an increased risk of heart failure and anemia. Because of these risks, these medications generally aren't first-choice treatments.
Talk to your doctor about your child's risk for diabetes. If your child's blood sugar tests are higher than normal, but not yet at the level of diabetes (called prediabetes), your doctor may instruct you in specific diet and exercise changes to help your child avoid getting diabetes altogether. Children with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes are almost always overweight or obese.
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and can cause other serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Pasta with meatballs: Toss 1 c cooked whole grain pasta in garlic and 1 Tbsp olive oil and garlic. Top with 3-oz lean meat balls (made with turkey, chicken or soy) and 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with cucumber salad (toss 1 c mixed greens, 1 c cucumber slices, 10 halved cherry tomatoes, ¼ c chopped red onions and 2 Tbsp reduced-fat Italian dressing).

The simple meals and snacks in this 7-day meal plan feature some of the best foods for diabetes: complex carbohydrates (think whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables), lean protein and healthy fats. We limited refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white pasta and white rice) as well as added sugars, which can spike your blood sugar quickly. We've also cut back on saturated fats and sodium, as they can negatively impact your health if you eat too much. What we definitely didn't skimp on is flavor. The meals and snacks in this diet plan feature fresh ingredients and plenty of herbs and spices that add flavor without adding extra sodium. You can plan to eat well over the course of this weekly meal plan. 

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If you think that you're exhibiting symptoms of diabetes, it's crucial to consult a physician to confirm your diagnosis. Do not attempt to self-diagnose — keep in mind that testing equipment like blood glucose meters, which you can buy over the counter from pharmacies, cannot diagnose diabetes.1 A physician would recommend any of the blood tests below to check if you have diabetes:2,3

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

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Yes. Health care professionals also use the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and the OGTT to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. For these blood glucose tests used to diagnose diabetes, you must fast at least 8 hours before you have your blood drawn. If you have symptoms of diabetes, your doctor may use the random plasma glucose test, which doesn’t require fasting. In some cases, health care professionals use the A1C test to help confirm the results of another blood glucose test.

How it works: Helps insulin work better in muscle and fat. It lowers the amount of sugar the liver releases and makes fat cells more sensitive to insulin’s effects. It may take a few weeks for these drugs to lower blood sugar. Your doctor should talk with you about heart risks with this type of drug, which he may call “thiazolidinediones.” Side effects from this type of drug are rare but may include:

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