Archive for the ‘Diabetes’ Category

The Diabetic Diet

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Diabetes is a very serious condition where cure is not yet available. The complications that diabetes can bring can be very serious and can really be life threatening. However, you may want to remember that the complications that diabetes can bring can be avoided if the disease is managed properly. Living with diabetes has certain limitations which include changes in your lifestyle. This can include limiting yourself from indulging in food. If you don’t, the disease may be aggravated, and can cause more serious conditions which can make life a lot harder for you to live.

Being diabetic means that you need to follow a certain diabetic diet in order for you to moderate your blood glucose levels. You have to remember that your blood glucose levels shouldn’t be too high or too low in order to avoid the complications that diabetes can bring.

But, before you start following a specific diabetic diet, you need to know the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Many people think that both types of diabetes are the same that the same type of management should be applied. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin in the body in order to control the rising blood sugar levels.

When this happens, the beta cells in the body take over. Although the beta cells are supposed to produce the required amounts of insulin in order to counteract the rising blood sugar levels, it is doomed to fail as there is too much pressure from the gradually increasing blood glucose levels.

People suffering from type 1 diabetes should watch their blood sugar levels as too much of it can damage internal organs, which can lead to more serious conditions and even death.

In order to moderate the blood sugar levels in the body, taking medications as the doctor prescribed is important. These medicines will be able to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. However, it is still highly recommended that you should follow a diabetic diet in order for you to effectively manage diabetes.

For people following the diabetic diet, when to eat is just as important as what to eat. What this means is that it’s not just about what you are eating that will help regulate the blood glucose levels in your body, but it is also important to know when you should eat. Generally speaking, healthy diets for diabetics are eating foods that are low in carbohydrates, sugar, and salts. The diet should contain ample amounts of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.

Although you need to limit the amount of sugar intake, it is still important for you to carry around candies and sweets as you travel especially if you are taking medications that lower blood glucose levels. This is because suffering from hypoglycemia or extremely low blood glucose levels is just as dangerous as hyperglycemia or high blood glucose levels.

At first, living with diabetes can be very hard in your part, but it is very essential. In time, you will be able to adapt to this kind of lifestyle and effectively manage the disease. Living with diabetes can be hard at first. But, once you adjust, you can be sure that you will find it easy to manage, which will enable you to live a more normal life.

Stay Healthy.

The Critical Importance of Exercise and Diet for Type II Diabetics

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Even though modern diabetic medicine provides a powerful advantage over insulin, you cannot ignore your diet and exercise habits. In fact, failing to exercise and eat a sensible diet can cause all kinds of long term damage. For example, if you take conventional diabetic medicines, you may wind up with irreversible kidney damage. This is especially important to consider if you are approaching your golden years.

Regardless of your age, taking diabetic medicine involves a great deal of responsibility and attention to detail. It is important to realize that the medication you take cannot simply regulate its effects in order to give you an ideal blood sugar level at all times. Today, even people that monitor themselves carefully wind up with excessively low sugar readings at least once a week. If you do not catch these episodes in time, they can easily lead to coma, stroke, and death. In addition, if you are driving or operating some other type of moving equipment, the dizziness and fainting associated with low sugar episodes can be extremely dangerous.

As you may be aware, there are at least three elements that control your sugar level. First, your pancreas may not be making enough insulin to keep up with even a normal amount of carbohydrate in your diet. Depending on the severity of decreased insulin production, you will either need to try a low carbohydrate diet, or take insulin to ensure you get enough nutrients in your diet. Interestingly enough, insulin production is not constant. Therefore, you may find that you can consume more carbohydrates on some days than others.

Today, researchers also understand that your cells may not be as receptive to allowing glucose to enter. In these cases, your body will need to make even more insulin to compensate. Many medications on the market today work to increase insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, you can achieve the same goal simply by exercising. A good workout will force your cells to let more glucose in, and thus make the insulin in your body more effective.

Surprisingly enough, your liver may also be playing a critical role in high sugar levels. In some cases, your stomach may not send a signal to indicate that you have eaten enough. Therefore, your liver will start dumping sugar into your bloodstream, regardless of how much may be already circulating. Typically, when you space out your meals, and pair your carbohydrates carefully with other foods, you can manually control this process.

When it comes right down to it, Type II diabetes is still best controlled by diet and exercise. Even though it takes some trial and error to arrive at the right diet, timing of meals, and exercise types, you will find it is well worth the effort. Aside from protecting your body from the long term side effects of diabetic medicines, you can live a much more normal lifestyle. At the very least, when you make use of diet and exercise, you will have a much lower risk of having your sugar go too low.

Your Pet and Diabetes

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Almost every week, the media carries a story about the alarming increase of diabetes mellitus in the United States. Being overweight and inactive are usually cited as the primary causes.

And the same can be true for cats and dogs. According to the Winn Feline Foundation, in 1970, diabetes mellitus was found in 8 of 10,000 cats; by 1999, the number was up to 124 out of 10,000. Overeating and lack of exercise can cause diabetes to develop in them as well, especially as they age. Advances in veterinary medicine allow cats and dogs to live much longer than previous generations. As they age, the possibility of developing diabetes increases.

Symptoms
Symptoms of diabetes mellitus in cats and dogs are similar to those of the disease in humans. They include:

  • excessive thirst, especially over a period of days and not linked to increase heat or exercise
  • excessive eating
  • weight loss
  • increased urination

Dogs may also develop “sweet breath.”

Left untreated, symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite may appear. If any of these symptoms appear and persist, a veterinarian should be consulted.

What to Expect
The veterinarian will take a blood test to check blood glucose (BG) levels. For cats, the normal BG level is between approximately 65 and 135mg/dL. For dogs, it’s between approximately 70 and 150mg/dL. Cats and dogs presenting with diabetes mellitus may have BG levels of more than 550mg/dL!

Depending on the BG level, results of a physical exam, and the veterinarian, the first attempt to treat the diabetes may be through a change in diet. Most veterinarians prefer a switch to canned food low in carbohydrates. Most dry foods are carb-heavy, and healthy dogs and cats benefit from a diet higher in protein. They are, after all, meat-eaters.

Though diabetes in some cats and dogs can be successfully treated by a dietary change alone, most will also require insulin. For some, that will come in the form of a pill. For most, it means daily-or sometimes more frequent-injections.

Most cats and dogs will not put up a fuss about taking their shots-even those who have had issues with injections in the past. The needles are very thin, and the injections are usually given into the skinfolds. Your veterinarian will show you alternative injection sites.

To Test or Not to Test
BG levels are generally at their lowest six hours after the insulin injection. Until the pet’s BG levels are regulated, most veterinarians will want the animal to come in weekly for BG testing at the six-hour mark. This will help the veterinarian adjust the insulin level to benefit the animal.

Along with the veterinarian’s testing, many people choose to home monitor their pet’s BG levels. Though special animal BG-monitoring supplies are available, most can use the same meters and test strips used by humans.

Whether home testing is truly beneficial is open to debate. Some veterinarians do not feel it’s necessary, while others feel it’s important to providing adequate care for the pet with diabetes. Home testing can save trips to the veterinarian’s office for BG level testing. Many find that home testing provides more-accurate readings, because the pet is under less stress. Potential problems may also be caught early through home testing.

But is home testing for everyone? Probably not. It does require a level of commitment by the person who will do the testing. And while it’s possible to save the cost of a vet visit, testing supplies can be expensive. For example, a vial of fifty test strips can cost $55 or more.

Caught early and treated, cats and dogs with diabetes can live a high-quality life, some for many years. Working along with your veterinarian can help make certain that your pet remains as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Diabetes is not a death sentence.

Working Out with Diabetes

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Many people who suffer from diabetes could benefit greatly from daily exercise. Exercise can help with the amount of sugar in your blood, which can cut down the risk of any cardiovascular disease. Exercise may be hard to fit into our schedules. Many of our careers involve little more then sitting, which is not enough activity too consider exercise. But between work, and our other responsibilities it can be very hard to find time to work out. But working out is an extremely important part of being healthy. So it is important that you find time.

Don’t feel bad though, if you are not currently exercising. You should know that less then 30% of the American population gets enough exercise. Experts say that an individual should at the very least, get thirty minutes of activity in a day. Some doctors believe that the rise in the number of people with Type 2 Diabetes can be directly related to an individuals lack of activity.

If you have diabetes, or if you are afraid that you do not exercise enough, don’t worry. You can always start exercising, and your body will always benefit from activity. Daily activity will increase your sensitivity to insulin, and help prevent cardio vascular diseases.

Type 2 diabetes is not a condition that we are born with. Instead Type 2 Diabetes infects us when we are near middle age. If you are experiencing an increase in thirst and appetite, you may want to get yourself diagnosed.

Other symptoms include the rising need to urinate, as well as blurred vision, and fatigue.

Although it is not known for certain what causes Type 2 Diabetes, many people say that lack of exercise is a major cause of Diabetes. Obese people are often the victims of Type 2 Diabetes. Also, the increase in office jobs and increased daily inactivity is thought to be a leading cause of Type 2 Diabetes.

In fact, most people who are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes are overweight, nearly 80% of people, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who have Type 2 Diabetes are clinically overweight.

Whether you have Type 2 Diabetes or not, as well as if you are overweight or not, it is very important that you start exercising. It is possible though that you may be two out of shape too exercise much. If you feel that you may have a weak heart, it is important to see a physician to be diagnosed. It is important that you get yourself checked out before you begin cardio activity. You need to know if your heart can take it.

Also, if you do have diabetes, ask your doctor what exercises he would recommend. Certain cases of individuals with diabetes may be directed to stay away from things like weight lifting. If you are out of shape, don’t plan on running a 5 minute mile. Set goals for yourself. You may start yourself with walking. Walk for a half hour a day. If you start to feel that that is too easy, maybe walk for an hour a day, or even try jogging for ten minutes.

If you do not have time to exercise in your daily routine, you can try to do things throughout your day. For instance, try taking the stairs instead of the escalator, or elevator. Or maybe try walking to work, instead of driving. Any bit of activity will help.

Why is Proper Diet Important for Diabetic Patient?

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Diabetes mellitus if not properly managed can lead to a number of diseases. It accounts for high mortality rate in the world. Many people are affected with this illness. It is important for us to know what causes it. This also includes its risk factors, its signs and symptoms, and its management to this disease. A regular check-up on our blood glucose is of great help. Prevention is better than cure.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is associated with the killing of the beta cells, most likely by the body’s own immune system. The cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed, causing a severe lack of insulin. It is not clear why this happens but there are situations that trigger this reaction like infection and exposure to food toxins. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is believed to develop when the receptors on cells in the body that normally responds to the action of insulin fail to be stimulated by it, when there is insufficient insulin available, and the insulin that is available may be abnormal and does not work properly.

Researchers all across the world are bustling and busy trying to acquire out the exact and careful methods to deal with diabetes. Diabetes is an affliction and disease not sparing children, pregnant woman, adults and old. Monitoring the blood sugar may have all the hallmarks like a tiresome task, but soon enough, you will feel comfortable and acceptable with the procedure. The frequency of testing the blood sugar depends on the classification of diabetes you get. Indeed, the amount and level of blood sugar is constantly changing – a particular factor is the unbalanced intake of foods rich in sugar content. Food amasses the blood sugar level one to two hours after meal. Exercise and physical activity decreases the blood sugar level because cells utilized the glucose for energy. Alcohol and fluctuations in hormone level can advance blood glucose in the body.

Having diabetes does not mean you have to eat bland foods. A friend of mine told me, that diabetic patient needs to eat more fruits, vegetables and completely grains -because it allocates good healthiness to the person. Food should be considerably high in nutrition. It should have little in fat contents. Animal by-products and sweet are managed to the extent that the diet should be balanced for diabetic patient.

It is about understanding what and how much to eat is the challenge. Sticking to how much of what you wish for is a difficult and trying thing to do. The clue is to ascertain ways to continue motivated. You should have and accept determination to eat in the healthiest way as possible.

What Everyone Should Know About Type 2 Diabetes

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Diabetes is one of the most devastating diseases a person can have. A person can live for years with diabetes without any apparent signs or symptoms, but the disease slowly wreaks havoc with every major organ in the body. Diabetes control is extremely important for the person suffering from it, but is also extremely difficult to accomplish.

Controlling diabetes is essentially a balancing act where a person controls blood sugar by keeping it in a normal range with diet, exercise, and drugs. If the blood sugar goes to low the person can go into a diabetic coma, if it is too high damage occurs to the body’s major organs, extremities, eyes and nervous system. The person also becomes susceptible to infections and the immune system may be weakened. Controlling blood sugar and thus diabetes involves every aspect of a person’s life style as well as family, friends and others. It takes extreme discipline to control diabetes for the long term and even when well controlled the disease will eventually take its toll. There is no cure.

One reason why diabetes is so hard to control is that many people with the disease don’t take it seriously until the devastating effects begin to appear. Many People know they have the disease but with no apparent effects or problems for many years they simply continue on in the same destructive life style. The disease can be very deceptive leading a person to remain a potato chip and French fry eating couch potato when they need to become an exercise fanatic and carefully monitor everything and anything that can effect their blood sugar and overall health. People with diabetes need to become health experts regarding their personal situation. They need to figure out the things that work for them regarding blood sugar control. Another problem with diabetes is that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another.

What Are the Different Types of Diabetic Neuropathy and What Symptoms Should Concern Diabetic Patients

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Diabetic neuropathy is the medical term for nerve disorders that are associated with diabetes. Diabetes can damage nerves in several ways; however, the nerve damage appears to be related mostly to high blood glucose over a long period of time. The risk of developing diabetic neuropathy increases with the duration of the diabetes. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary according to the type of neuropathy but generally include numbness, tingling and pain. Because diabetic neuropathy develops slowly over time, mild cases may go undiagnosed for several years until symptoms worsen. The four types of diabetic neuropathy are peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, proximal neuropathy and focal neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy: This is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. The areas of the body affected by this type neuropathy are the feet, legs, hands and arms with the feet and legs being affected before the arms and hands. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include numbness, burning, and insensitivity to temperature or pain, loss of balance and coordination and pain. Because of the lack of sensation, sores and injuries to the feet and legs may go unnoticed increasing the risk of serious complications from the diabetes. To prevent complications, examine feet and legs regularly, take care of toenails and fingernails, wear proper fitting shoes and keep blood glucose within acceptable levels.

Autonomic neuropathy: This affects the digestive system including the stomach, urinary system and sex organs. Symptoms include bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, erectile dysfunction and vaginal dryness. Treatments for this type of diabetic neuropathy vary according to the portion of the body affected by the neuropathy. For instance, if the digestive system is affecting eating smaller portions and medication may be used to treat the symptoms. However, if it is the sex organs that are affected medication, implants or counseling may be used to treat the symptoms. Blood vessels can also be affected by autonomic neuropathy causing dizziness, fainting, increased heart rate and low blood pressure. Treatments include medications and special medical stockings.

Proximal neuropathy: Proximal neuropathy affects the thighs, hips, legs and buttocks. Symptoms are usually contained to one side of the body and cause weakness in the legs in addition to pain. Those with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for developing this type of neuropathy, as are older diabetes patients. It is difficult to move from sitting to standing without assistance and the weakness in the legs can cause falls. Treatments for proximal neuropathy include medication for the pain and physical therapy. Keeping blood sugar levels in control helps reduce the risk of developing this type of neuropathy.

Focal neuropathy: Focal neuropathy often appears suddenly, is painful and unpredictable. It affects specific nerves in the head, torso or legs causing pain and weakness. Symptoms of focal neuropathy include double vision, Bell’s palsy (paralysis on one side of the face), trouble focusing, severe pain in the lower back or pelvis, severe chest or abdominal pain, shin pain or pain in front of the thigh. Treatments vary according to the area of the body affected and the severity of the pain; however, this type of focal neuropathy tends to improve over time and does not cause long-term damage.

Sources:
MedicineNet.com
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

Type II-Diabetes Mellitus: The Silent Epidemic

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Communities have changed rapidly over the last thirty years due to technological advances. This has enhanced our access to information, improved entertainment in the home, and allowed us to connect with individuals and businesses globally. Unfortunately, the outcomes of a technologically advanced society are not all positive. Americans are spending much more time sitting in front of computers and television sets. Sedentary lifestyles are becoming commonplace.

Participation in regular exercise and sports activities has been decreasing. Instead of involvement in outdoor sports, children are sitting inside playing the same sport via computer games and losing the health benefits of physical activity. A result of this inactivity has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of type II diabetes. From 1982-1994, the number of American children with this disease increased ten fold. This has been directly linked to the dramatic increase in childhood obesity. It is alarming to note the numbers of young children developing this disease and significantly cutting their life short as a consequence.

There are two types of diabetes. Type I diabetes is a result of genetics and onset generally occurs during adolescence. Lifestyle modifications do not prevent the onset of this disease. Type II diabetes is different. It is the result of lifestyle choices and a healthy diet and regular exercise can prevent it. In previous years, type II diabetes was also known as adult onset diabetes. Diagnosis of the disease did not occur until after age thirty. But these trends and patterns have changed, and as a result, younger and younger children are being affected.

Diabetes is rapidly becoming a significant health risk throughout the lifespan. Of the 17 million Americans who have diabetes, only 1/3 of them are aware of it. Symptoms of this disease are vague and diagnosis does not usually occur until serious complications have already developed. Diabetes is a major cause of strokes, heart attack, kidney failure, blindness, and peripheral vascular disease.

If you have significant risk factors, it is important to express your concern to your primary care provider. A simple blood test is all that is needed to determine if you have the disease. Treatment can reduce or prevent long term complications due to chronically elevated glucose levels.

Carefully consider your risk factors. Family history, obesity, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and sedentary lifestyle are the most concerning. Maintaining a healthy weight and implementing a regular exercise regimen can eliminate several of these risk factors. Exercise will help your body metabolize glucose and decrease your need for insulin. These cellular changes are protective and help your body to function properly. But, it is important to realize that these changes are not permanent. A continued program must be maintained, or the beneficial effects will be lost.

Nutritional factors are also important. Consumption of highly processed foods can increase risk, especially those served in fast food restaurants. Red meats, high fat dairy products, and baked sweets and desserts are particularly problematic. Another often over-looked item is bleached pasta and bread products. It is important to choose unbleached and whole-wheat alternatives.

Consuming fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, unsaturated fats, poultry, fish, and soy products are your best options for a healthier lifestyle. Enjoy your technologically advanced lifestyle, but remember to take the time to get outside, enjoy nature, and maintain your physical fitness. And encourage all your family members to do the same, regardless of their age.

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment with Herbal Remedies

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The great majority of diabetes sufferers are affected by type 2 diabetes. This usually occurs in adulthood and it is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes. People who are overweight, who have a sedentary lifestyle or who have had diabetes in the family are running high chances of developing the disease. Type 2 diabetes evolves progressively, leading to serious complication in time. If ignored or mistreated, diabetes can cause heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputation of limbs. It all starts with symptoms like frequent urination, increased hunger, increased thirst, blurred vision, constant fatigue and slow healing of wounds. A physician needs to be consulted right away because under no circumstances should diabetes be left untreated. Herbal treatments can also help the sufferers and they can be an adjuvant of the traditional treatment scheme.

There are also cases when artificial pills can be totally replaced with herbal remedies. This is best to be done under medical supervision. Herbal remedies usually have no side effect and they are safe to be used for longer periods of time. However, medical advice is always needed because diabetes is a serious medical condition and it is wiser not to risk anything.

Herbal remedies for type 2 diabetes include either plants that are capable of balancing the blood sugar or plants that prevent or eliminate diabetes complications. With the appropriate herbal treatment you can live a long and happy life without ever suffering of the terrible complications that usually accompany diabetes.

The most common plants that are used for treating type 2 diabetes are –

1. Gymnema – Consumption of this herb helps the pancreas in producing insulin and it is highly recommended in type 2 diabetes. Take 500 mg of gymnema extract every day for best results. Check with your doctor to see if you can replace blood sugar lowering pills with this herbal remedy.

2. Fenugreek – The anti-diabetic properties that fenugreek seeds have were clinically tested. You can mix grinded fenugreek seeds with milk and consume daily.

3. Bitter melon – Clinical studies have revealed the fact that the juice made from unripe fruits of bitter melon are having a powerful blood sugar lowering action. The recommended dose is of 50-60 mg of fresh juice daily.

4. Stevia – It does not have a direct anti-diabetic action, but it can be used as a sweetener, instead of sugar, in patients with diabetes. Some studies also show that it might have an impact on the glucose tolerance.

Type 2 Diabetes – Are You at Risk? Top Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

In case you have not heard, diabetes is on the rise, especially here in the United States. Per WebMD, there are an estimated 23.6 million people living in the United Stated with diabetes. Of the number, approximately 17.9 million have been diagnosed. Diabetes is on the rise, nearly 1.6 million people over the age of 20 are diagnosed each year. The question is, will you, a family member or friend become part of this group. There are risk factors that can help individuals assess their general risk level, even before your healthcare provider brings up the subject.

Top Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
Per the American Diabetes Association, there several top risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Having either or both an impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)

Aging – over age 45

Having a family history of diabetes

Being overweight

Lack of regular exercise or sedentary life style

Having low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, or high blood pressure

Being of certain racial and ethnic groups

Having had gestational diabetes, or having a baby weighing more then 9 pounds at birth

Some of the risk factors listed above can only be determined by your healthcare provide. However there are 2 that everyone can answer right off the bat. They are, being over weight and lack of exercise. Each of us can truly answer these 2, by looking at our daily lives.If we are truthful and have an issue in either or both of these areas, below are some tips that can be started right now.

Exercise
While most people want to exercise, there are always things that just seem to eat up the time in one’s day. As you being to increase your activity you will begin to burn more calories, thus weight loss will begin and your health will improve. The point is to get moving no matter what or how small in the beginning, just do it.

Park your car further away from your building. This will allow you to walk further during the day.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator if possible.

Create a walking schedule of at least 30 minutes per day. Many people have found that walking after a meal is a great time.

Do cardiovascular exercise such as walking, biking, running and dancing.

Diet/Weight loss
Cut down on fast food and processed foods.

Create a meal plan that consists of foods from the 4 food groups.

Create meals that are low fat, low carbohydrate and high protein.

Meat, protein servings should be kept to about 3 ounces (or the size of a deck of cards).

Bake, broil, or grill your meats.

Increase your fiber; eat foods such as whole grains cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.

These are just a few ways that you can quickly and cost effectively, begin a healthier lifestyle. Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease, so if you have or feel that you may have any of the other risk factors, see your healthcare provider. They will be able to assess your risk for diabetes.

Sources:
http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/risk-factors/
http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/ideas-for-exercise/types-of-exercise.html
http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/diabetes-overview
http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/risk-diabetes