Islets of Hope for persons newly diagnosed with diabetes

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Article by Lahle Wolfe. For reprint information e-mail:

diabetes forums
diabetes support lists
diabetes blog

Rick Mendosa - "Advice for Newbies"

JDRF - Life with Diabetes for the Newly Diagnosed

dr gavins health guide for african americans  
Dr. Gavin's Health Guide for African Americans:  Dr. James Gavin M.D., Ph.D., discusses health topics of particular concern to the African American population: obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. His intergenerational, family-centered approach to health is the prescription for breaking the alarming cycle of lifestyle-caused diseases, which are now striking children, too.

defeating diabetes  
Brenda Davis, Tom Barnard

Defeating Diabetes:  This books has detailed dietary and nutrition information to empower readers. Because diet and lifestyle factors are the primary causes of Type 2 diabetes, most Type 2's can control their diabetes completely.

Elizabeth N. Hiser
Type 2, The Other Diabetes: Explanations of diabetes and why diet plays a critical role for the diabetic are clear and coherent. Exercise is emphasized in ways that all readers can adapt to their current lifestyles. Hiser advocates a Mediterranean diet .

Newly Diagnosed Diabetes Information
Information for those newly diagnosed with diabetes

What is type 2 diabetes?

Mini Site Index
What is type 2 diabetes?
Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes
Links to More Type 2 Diabetes Information

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make enough insulin or the person becomes resistant to the insulin that is produced.  Not all persons with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant, but many are.  Some can manage this disease with healthy lifestyle changes and oral medications but some with type 2 may also require insulin.  A combination of genetic factors and environmental triggers contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes has a more significant genetic basis than type 1, but it too also depends more on environmental factors than genes.  A familial history of type 2 is a strong risk factor indicator for other family members but this seems to only really matter to Americans and Europeans.  Lifestyle, the biggest environmental trigger for type 2, plays a large role in which genetically predispositioned individuals will eventually become diabetic.  Those most affected in the United States are African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Pima Indians.  A sedentary lifestyle, coupled with a diet high in fat, processed carbohydrates, and low in fiber are a recipe for developing type 2 diabetes.  Obesity is also a risk factor for developing type 2 and insulin resistance often seen in obese persons can be a pre-cursor to developing type 2.  The younger an obese person is (i.e., children), and the length of time a person has been obese increase the risk factor for developing type 2.  Persons in other cultures, who have not adopted a “Westernized” lifestyle, do not seem to develop type 2 diabetes even when a genetic predisposition to diabetes is present.  

Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 is initially treated by changes in diet and through weight loss in obese patients. Weight loss can restore insulin sensitivity, and may even restore ovulation in annovulatory women.  Even modest weight lost (e.g. around 5 kg (10 to 15 lb).) insulin resistance may be markedly improved.  Persons with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes may find a need to control or reduce their carbohydrate intake.  Low-fat, high carbohydrate diets are contraindicated in many type 2 patients.  (See our comparison of diets, and lifestyle plans along with recipes, and tips in our "Diet Section."

In addition to weight loss from dietary changes, regular exercise may also increase insulin sensitivity by as much as 15% (the same percentage that oral anti-diabetic agents accomplish).  It has also been noted in some studies that excessive daily caffeine intake can worse insulin resistance, while low to moderate amounts of caffeine may help improve insulin sensitivity.

Type 2 diabetes may also be treated with oral medications, and, in some cases, with insulin.

Click on any link for more information about type 2 diabetes:

What is Type 2 Diabetes?
What are the various forms of type 2 diabetes?
What is the chance of genetic transmission of type 2 diabetes?
Diagnostic Criteria for Type 2 Diabetes
Genetics and The Environment
Daily Concerns with Type 2 Diabetes
Long-Term Complications of Type 2 Diabetes
Lifestyle Management
Medical and Alternative Treatment
Stress Management (also, web resources related to diabetes stress management)
Resource Links for Nutrition and Treatment of Diabetes Type 2
Resource Links for Diagnosis, Tests & Symptoms
Resource Links for General Type 2 Diabetes Information


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Page Updated 02/26/2006