Learn about diabetes with a variety of online courses and lessons from some of the world's leading universities.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic dysfunction that prevents the body from regulating blood sugar levels, reducing the processing of sugar and causing long-term, detrimental effects on the human body's tissues and systems. It causes blood sugar levels to skyrocket as the body struggles to use sugar and requires lifelong maintenance and care once diagnosed.
There are several types of diabetes, including Type 1 diabetes, in which the immune system attacks the pancreas, and Type 2 Diabetes, a common type brought on by lifestyle. Other types, such as gestational diabetes -- a version affecting pregnant women -- are present during certain times but can lead to a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later. Additionally, millions of people also live with prediabetes, a condition marked by high blood sugar but not high enough for an official diagnosis.
The pancreas is responsible for insulin production. When a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, that means the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to process sugar or doesn't produce insulin at all. Diabetes affects millions of patients a year, and diabetes treatments vary. The long term effects include nerve damage, kidney failure, amputations, and risk of other chronic conditions.
Understanding all types of diabetes is part of long term care for public healthcare, so organizations such as the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases are challenging at work transforming how we diagnose, treat, and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Learn about Diabetes
Wageningen offers a course series on nutrition, including Nutrition, Heart Disease, and Diabetes. You'll learn the foundations of the diseases and how things like nutrition and lifestyle changes can help combat diabetic effects and heart disease. You'll also learn symptoms of diabetes and common treatments for insulin resistance.
StanfordOnline offers a course on Type 2 Diabetes Management, designed to prepare you or a loved one to manage the chronic disease. You can also look at nutrition with DoaneX's Food as Medicine: Preventing and Reversing Chronic Disease. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as weight loss, physical activity, and better nutrition help improve conditions.
You can also study diabetes care from an aging perspective, apply nutritional concepts, or explore lifestyle medicine in your quest for understanding. These courses are taught by leading researchers and institutions and build lifelong skills along with the latest advances.
Explore the Fundamentals of Health
Whether it's a discovery in your family history or you plan to work in healthcare in nations such as the United States, understanding health information and health problems is a vital part of that process. Higher risk patients may need special care -- if that's you, it's time to build your understanding.
Diabetes isn't a new metabolic disease, but each year, its effects are well known. No matter which form of diabetes is on your mind, edX has a course that can enlighten and inspire. Join organizations like the CDC and the American Diabetes Association in fighting this chronic illness.