Frequently Asked Questions on Diabetes


What are the types of diabetes?

Type 1: In this form of diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin. This condition can be treated by taking daily injections of insulin.

Type 2: In this form, sufficient insulin is produced. However, the body's cells do not recognize insulin in the bloodstream. They are not able to get glucose they need to make energy. People with Type 2 diabetes do not need to take insulin.

What are Lancets and lancing devices?

Lancets are the sharp devices to prick and draw a small drop of blood, to test for glucose. These are generally used with lancing devices.

Lancing devices hold the lancets firmly and help prick skin in a very controlled way. The depth of the prick can be adjusted so as to make sure that this only goes in as deep as required. Different areas of skin will need different adjustments.

What are diabetic test strips?
Diabetic test stips are a simple way to diagnose diabetes through a blood test. Blood samples are placed on these strips. These test strips are then placed in the glucose meters to measure the glucose level in the blood.
What are glucose monitors/meters?

Glucose meters are small battery-operated devices to measure glucose level in the blood. To test for glucose, place a small sample of blood on a "test strip" and place the strip in the meter. The meter measures how much glucose is present. The meter displays the glucose level as a number.

Some meters measure the amount of electricity that can pass throught the sample. Others measure how much light reflects from it. Certain models record and store a number of test results. Some models can also connect to PCs to store test results and print them out.

What are glucose control solutions?

It is very important to test the accuracy of the test strip and glucose meters on a regular basis. Glucose control solutions are used for this. A glucose control test is performed exactly like a glucose blood test. The glucose control solution is used instead of blood to do the test. The difference is that what the result should be is known.

What are insulin pumps?
Insulin pumps deliver insulin 24 hours a day through a catheter under the skin. It's a small, pager-sized device that can be worn. It contains a pump reservoir filled with insulin, batteries, and has a programmable interface that allows you to control the insulin flow in your body.
What are insulin infusion sets?
Together, the insulin pump tubing and cannula ( a soft plastic or steel needle) at the end of the tube are called an "infusion set".
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot make or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which is necessary for glucose to be able to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy.
I am diabetic and often need to travel by air. Any special advice for me?
Air travel is not a problem as such for those suffering from diabetes. But it is always better to take some precautions. For instance, always carry the required liquid medicines, such as insulin, for the period of your trip. Adequate medication and equipment should be carried in the hand baggage. You can carry the insulin in a cool bag.
What are the symptoms of Diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight change (gain or loss)
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections 
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
How is diabetes diagnosed and monitored?

Diabetes can be diagnosed with blood tests taken at hospital laboratory in case any of the above symptoms show up. Blood Glucose monitors help in monitoring the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients on a regular basis.

What should be the target blood glucose (sugar) level in Diabetic patients?

For an individual without diabetes, a fasting blood sugar on awakening should be under 100 mg/dl. Before-meal normal sugars are 70–99 mg/dl. “Postprandial” sugars taken two hours after meals should be less than 140 mg/dl.

Your healthcare provider may personalize your blood glucose target for your specific medical conditions. Blood glucose targets must be in a healthy range to prevent diabetes complications, and to keep you safe from serious low blood glucose levels.

Why is foot care so important when people have diabetes?

Diabetes may cause nerve damage or decreased blood flow to your limbs which can affect your feet in many ways. Foot problems may occur like

  • Numb, painful or tingling feet
  • Changing shape of your feet
  • Dry, callused or cracked feet
  • Pressure sores or blisters on the feet

It is Important to take care of your feet with the help of foot care products like foot creams, diabetic footwear, foot brushes, medicated foot ulcer treatment ointments etc.

How do insulin pumps work?

Insulin pumps deliver rapid- or short-acting insulin 24 hours a day through a catheter placed under your skin. Insulin doses are separated into basal rates, Bolus doses to cover carbohydrate in meals and Correction or supplemental doses

  • Basal insulin is delivered continuously over 24 hours, and keeps your blood glucose levels in range between meals and overnight. You may program different amounts of insulin at different times of the day and night.
  • Whenever you take meals, you use buttons on the insulin pump to give additional insulin called a bolus. You take a bolus to cover the carbohydrate in each meal or snack. 
  • You also take a bolus to treat high blood glucose levels. If you have high blood glucose levels before you eat, you give a correction or supplemental bolus of insulin to bring it back to your target range.