How much do you know about diabetes?

HEALTH

Maria Trimarchi

6 Min Quiz

Where does your body get the glucose it needs for energy?

Ever hear of food referred to as "fuel"? Glucose, which your body converts into energy, comes from your body breaking down the carbohydrates -- sugars and starches -- in the foods you eat.

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Which is a sign or symptom of elevated blood sugar levels, a condition called hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia, high blood sugar levels, may begin with an increased thirst and urination, fatigue and blurred vision, but it becomes much more serious the longer it's ignored. Left untreated, a blood sugar level elevated above 200 mg/dl can cause serious symptoms including confusion, weakness and coma.

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Which is a good method of preventing type 2 diabetes?

Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and exercising a minimum of 3 times a week are three great ways to prevent type 2 diabetes or to help reverse it.

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Is it true diabetes can lead to lower-limb amputations?

About 24 percent of people with diabetes who have a foot ulcer need an amputation. In fact, as many as one-quarter of amputees may need reamputation or contralateral (on the other side) amputation.

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Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can cause all but which of these complications?

Type 2 diabetes can cause serious health problems, including adult-onset blindness, nerve damage and kidney disease, as well as heart disease and stroke, if it's left untreated.

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What type of disease is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder. At first, a person's pancreas works just fine. But as the disease develops, the pancreas has to work harder to produce more insulin. Finally, when it just can't make enough to regulate your blood glucose levels, you have type 2.

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Nearly half of all new diagnoses of what type of organ failure were caused by diabetes?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite diabetes as the primary cause of 44 percent of all new cases of kidney failure.

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What type of disease is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes a person's immune system to attack and destroy the part of the pancreas that produces insulin. It used to be known as "juvenile" diabetes because it's most often diagnosed in kids and teens.

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Which is a sign you could have diabetes?

These, as well as a fierce hunger, blurry vision and more frequent infections, are all signs your body may be having trouble with insulin.

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How can you prevent type 1 diabetes?

Unlike type 2 diabetes, there is no way to prevent type 1.

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What organ in your body makes and secretes insulin?

You can thank your pancreas, a flat, pear-shaped gland that's part of your digestive system, for producing insulin.

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Which is the most common form of diabetes?

More than 29 million people in the U.S. are affected by type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. Additionally, another 8 million Americans live with type 2, but aren't diagnosed.

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Is it true people with diabetes can't eat any sugar?

The belief that anyone with diabetes has to eliminate all sugars from their diet is outdated. Eating a healthy diet with occasional sweets is possible with good planning.

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The body makes insulin to lower blood sugar levels. What does it make to raise them?

Produced by the pancreas, just like insulin, the body makes glucagon to raise blood sugar levels. Together, insulin and glucagon regulate your blood sugar level.

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People who have diabetes have too much what in their blood?

When you have type 2 diabetes your body has a hard time converting glucose into energy, and that causes glucose -- sugar -- to build up in your bloodstream.

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Is it true you get diabetes by eating too much sugar?

It can cause you to gain weight, and if you're one of the many living with prediabetes, too much sugar in your diet may be what pushes you into full-blown diabetes. But eating sugar is not a direct cause of diabetes.

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About 9 out of every 100 pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. While the cause is unknown, which is a known risk factor?

No one can predict who will or who won't develop gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, but there are a few known risk factors, including: being over the age of 25; being overweight or obese; and having PCOS or another condition that causes insulin resistance or higher-than-normal glucose levels before getting pregnant. Having a close relative with type 2 diabetes can also increase the odds.

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Which test is used to diagnose both prediabetes and diabetes?

As part of a routine check-up or to diagnose symptoms you may be having, your doctor may order a fasting blood sugar test, which might be your first indication of insulin resistance. The A1C test specifically looks at your average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. And the OGTT, which is most commonly done during pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes, measures the body's ability to use glucose.

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People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have an increased chance of developing which oral health problem?

People living with uncontrolled glucose levels are at a higher risk for developing bacterial infections (which leads to tooth decay and gum disease), fungal infections (oral thrush) and less saliva production (called xerostomia).

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A blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or greater while you're fasting is a sign you have diabetes. What range is considered "prediabetes"?

More Americans have prediabetes than have type 2 diabetes, although they may not know they have it. As many as 86 million Americans, the American Diabetes Association estimates, have a fasting blood sugar level in the 100-125 mg/dl range -- and that's considered prediabetic, with an impaired fasting glucose not quite high enough to be considered diabetes or low enough to be considered normal.

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Can diabetes make your breath smell like nail polish remover?

When the body can't use glucose because it doesn't have enough (or any) insulin, it turns to fat as a fuel source. As the fat is broken down, it creates chemicals called ketones. If ketones are allowed to build-up, it causes your breath to smell -- sometimes like nail polish remover (acetone).

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You might develop a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans, which produces dark skin patches, if you have which type of diabetes?

It's common to develop a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans when your body can't properly handle insulin -- and that goes for any type of diabetes and insulin resistance. There's no treatment, but there are creams to lighten the darkened areas.

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What can cause diabetic ketoacidosis, which is sometimes the first sign of type 1 diabetes?

Diabetic ketoacidosis can happen to type 1 and type 2 diabetics. It's most commonly triggered by an illness or infection, or a problem with your insulin therapy that causes your insulin to fluctuate out of range.

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Which genetic disorder creates thick, sticky mucus that scars the pancreas, making it hard for your pancreas to keep up with insulin production?

People with cystic fibrosis may develop a type of diabetes similar to both type 1 and type 2, after the disorder damages the pancreas.

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You have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you carry your weight where?

Belly fat, also called abdominal or central obesity, is known to raise your risk of developing type 2. How can you tell if you carry your weight at your waist? Measure. A woman's diabetes risk rises when her waist measures greater than 35 inches. For a man, that'll be 40 inches.

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Which state has the highest rate of people living with diabetes?

With as many as 14.7 percent of its population living with diabetes, Mississippi falls to the top of this list. Colorado, with a 6.8 percent rate among its residents, has the fewest.

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Which is not a sign or symptom of hypoglycemia, blood sugar levels that are too low?

Hypoglycemia may look different from person to person, but the possible symptoms include, among others, dizziness, headache, confusion, sweating, blurry vision and seizures. If it's untreated, it can be fatal.

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Which type of diabetes do you have if you have to have daily insulin injections?

Because people with type 1 diabetes don't make it, they need daily insulin injections.

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It's estimated that how many adults in the U.S. could have diabetes by 2050?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by 2050, 1 out of 3 adults in the U.S. will have diabetes.

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If glucose is the sugar your body uses for energy, then what is insulin?

Your body produces the hormone insulin when you eat carbohydrates, It's what your body uses to lower blood sugar levels.

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What's it a sign of if your breath has a fruity odor?

If your breath smells kind of sweet or fruity, it means your body is converting fat instead of sugar into energy -- the sweet breath is a byproduct. It can be a sign of a condition called ketoacidosis, which can be life threatening.

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What are symptoms of diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage)?

Between 60 percent and 70 percent of people with diabetes have some level of neuropathy, which can involve the sensory, motor and autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. Symptoms of nerve damage may include numb, tingling or painful extremities, as well as indigestion, dizziness and others that may not be so obvious.

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What's the most common reason for a person with diabetes to need hospitalization?

As many as 15 percent of people living with diabetes will develop at least one foot ulcer at some point. And if you're black, Hispanic or Native American, your risk is even higher.

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Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S., and cancer is second. Where does diabetes fall?

Although it may be underreported, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., following: 1. heart disease, 2. cancer, 3. chronic lower respiratory disease, 4. accidents, 5. stroke and 6. Alzheimer's disease.

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Diabetes is responsible for more deaths in a year than breast cancer and what other illness combined?

Deaths due to diabetes outnumber the combined total deaths from breast cancer and AIDS-related illnesses in a single year.

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Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

British physician Thomas Willis named diabetes, diabetes mellitus, back in the 17th century. He found that urine tasted sweet from those affected, but he didn't quite have the cause correct -- today we know it's not "melancholy" to blame. Do you know what causes it, how to manage it or that there's more than one type? Let's find out!

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