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Some Helpful Tips to Manage Diabetes.

​No matter what type of diabetes you have, you know that this disease can be life threatening and potentially damage to your body. Education is essential in fighting diabetes. This article can show you some helpful tips to manage this disease.

TIP! Pedicures can be problematic when you have problems with diabetes. Diabetics are more prone to getting infections on their feet and should take extra care to prevent puncture wounds or cuts.

 

For a quick and healthy way to squelch hunger without interfering with your diabetes, snack on almonds. Natural, unsalted almonds are healthy for you, as they are full of protein, fiber, and healthy nutrients. When you are craving a snack in the evening, keep a bowl in the living room so you can munch on them while you watch television. Many foods contain corn syrup, so make sure to read food labels.

Diabetes – The Basics

There are two kinds of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Although there are a description and list of symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes, this article is really about Type 2, the most common form.

Type 1 Diabetes

This is also sometimes called juvenile diabetes because it often starts in childhood but not invariably. This type of diabetes is usually an autoimmune disease where the body’s antibodies start attacking some part of itself, in this case, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. It is thought that in some cases a virus can also affect and damage or destroy these insulin-producing cells.

Symptoms

  • Increase in urinating as the kidneys attempt to remove excess glucose from the body
  • Feeling excessively thirsty to compensate for all the fluid loss by extra urination
  • Weight loss because the body can’t access the glucose it needs for energy so starts using fat and muscle
  • Feelings of constant hunger because the person is literally starving as the body can’t use the food it is being given

Type 2 Diabetes

This form is sometimes called late onset diabetes and it is becoming much more common nowadays. Although it seems there is a genetic component in whether or not somebody develops it, the most important factor seems to be our modern lifestyle. Our bodies are not ideally designed to cope with a lack of exercise and an excess of fatty and sugary food.

Unlike Type 1 diabetes, people with Type 2 are making insulin, it is just that their bodies have become resistant to it and their pancreas cannot make enough to compensate for the resistance.

Symptoms

  • Increase in urination, just like in Type 1
  • Increased thirst as Type 1
  • Tiredness because your body can’t access glucose for fuel
  • Changes in vision as blood glucose levels change
  • Genital itching because of the excess sugar in urine, various yeast infections can occur
  • Infections and wounds take longer to heal because the cells in blood that fight infection don’t work so well when there is excess glucose
  • Loss of feeling in feet – this is serious and means that the diabetes is long established. Called neuropathy, it can result in amputation if left untreated and extreme and irreversible damage occurs. If you have this symptom, go to the doctor NOW.

Treatment

Type 2 diabetes is one of the few illnesses where the treatment and results are almost entirely in your own hands. Stick to the rules and get your blood glucose levels under control and you might never need to inject insulin or even take pills.

Depending on how early the diabetes is diagnosed, the doctor will put you on one of three treatments:

  • diet and exercise alone
  • pills
  • insulin injections

Even if you are on pills or insulin injections, watching your diet and taking exercise will still be an important part of controlling blood glucose levels. Get these right, lose weight if you need to, and it is possible to come off either pills or insulin injections and still control diabetes.

Even if this happens, you will still be diabetic and remain vigilant about your diet and continue to exercise. If you fall back into bad habits of a high fat, high sugar diet and inactivity, blood glucose levels will soar.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, though. If you have spent years of battling with your weight, diabetes will give you the incentive to lose the excess and the diet to control diabetes will give you the means. Following a diabetic diet, which is really just a healthy diet, will enable you to keep the weight off too.

When you hit the diabetic blues after diagnosis, just think how much better you will feel when you have gone down several sizes and can buy the kind of clothes you could never buy before.

Diabetes on the Increase

Experts urge immediate action as research predicts that one in three Americans born in 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes. One in three Americans born in 2000 will develop diabetes, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 63rd Annual Scientific Sessions in June 2003.

“The estimated lifetime risk of developing diabetes for persons born in 2000 was 33 percent for males and 39 percent for females, based on data from the National Health Interview Survey, U.S. Census Bureau and other sources,” said K.M. Venkat Narayan, MD, Chief of Diabetes Epidemiology Section, Division of Diabetes Translation, CDC. The highest estimated lifetime risks were among Hispanics—45 percent of males and 53 percent for females.

Primary prevention of diabetes is thus an important priority for the nation,” emphasized Dr. Narayan, “because diabetes is one of the most prevalent and costly chronic diseases in the United States.”

“Prevention is imperative,” said James R. Gavin III, MD, Ph.D., chair of the National Diabetes Education Program, which is jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Institutes of Health (NIH) and CDC. “The health care delivery system must dramatically scale up preventive efforts to stem the rising tide of type 2 diabetes.” Gavin went on to describe an effort of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to help prevent type 2 diabetes. The campaign, Small Steps, Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes, emphasizes that modest lifestyle changes—including healthier diets and physical activity—can help people prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.

More than 17 million Americans have diabetes, a group of serious diseases characterized by high blood sugar levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin. Diabetes can lead to severely debilitating or fatal complications, such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, and amputations. Diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death by disease in the U.S.

Nationally, diabetes has increased nearly 50 percent in the past 10 years alone, according to CDC estimates, and the incidence of the disease is expected to grow another 165 percent by 2050 under current trends.

“The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and other international clinical trials have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through modest changes in lifestyle,” said Dr. Gavin. In the DPP, people with pre-diabetes, those whose blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes, were able to cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than half by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through moderate changes, including a lower fat diet and increased exercise, such as a 30-minute brisk walk five times per week. These lifestyle changes worked for people of every ethnic or racial group who participated in the study, and they were especially successful for people over age 65.

Risk factors for diabetes and pre-diabetes include:

  • being overweight
  • inactive
  • age 45 or older
  • having high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides
  • a family history of diabetes
  • a history of gestational diabetes
  • giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • belonging to an ethnic or minority group at high risk for diabetes. African Americans, Hispanic Americans/Latinos, American Indians, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information, and advocacy. Founded in 1940, the Association has offices in every region of the country, providing services to more than hundreds of communities.

NDEP involves more than 200 public and private sector partners who work at the national, state and local level, including the American Diabetes Association.

Please Note:

All information on this site is for guidance only. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before changing or undertaking treatment or taking any action that might affect your health or general well being.

The Diabetics Exercise Program

An important part of any diabetic management program is regular exercise. The benefits of a Diabetics exercise are the same for everyone, whether they have diabetes or not. Improved physical fitness, improved emotional state, weight control and improved work capacity are all benefits of exercise.

Diabetics exercise increases the uptake of glucose by muscle cells, potentially reducing the need for insulin. Exercise also reduces cholesterol and triglycerides, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disorders. People with diabetes should consult their primary health provider before beginning or be changing an exercise program.

The ability to maintain a Diabetics exercise program is affected by many different factors, including fatigue and glucose levels. It is as important to assess the diabetics usual lifestyle before establishing an exercise program as it is before planning a diet. Factors to consider include the diabetics usual exercise habits, living environment, and community programs. The exercise that the person enjoys most is probably the one that he or she will continue throughout life.

Exercise for Type 1 Diabetics.

In the person with type 1 diabetes, glycemic responses during exercise vary according to the type, intensity, and duration of the exercise. Other factors that influence responses include the timing of exercise in relation to meals and insulin injections and the time of day of the activity. Unless these factors are integrated into the exercise program, the person with type 1 diabetes has an increased risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. The following are some general guidelines for a Diabetics exercise program.

  • People who have frequent hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia should avoid prolonged exercise until glucose control improves.
  • The risk of exercise-induced hypoglycemia is lowest before breakfast when free insulin levels tend to be lower than they are before meals later in the day or at bedtime.
  • Low-impact aerobic exercises are encouraged.
  • Exercise should be moderate and regular; brief, intense exercise tends to cause mild hyperglycemia, and prolonged exercise can lead to hypoglycemia.
  • Exercising at a peak insulin action time may lead to hypoglycemia.
  • Self-monitoring of blood glucose levels is essential both before and after exercise.
  • Food intake may need to be increased to compensate for the activity.
  • Fluid intake, especially water, is essential.

Young adults may continue participating in sports with some modifications in diet and insulin dosage. Athletes should begin training slowly, extend activity over a prolonged period, take a carbohydrate source such as an energy drink after about one hour of exercise, and monitor blood glucose levels for possible adjustments.

In addition, a snack should be available after the activity is completed. It may be necessary to omit the usual regular insulin dose prior to an athletic event; even if the athlete is hyperglycemic at the beginning of the event, blood glucose levels will fall to normal after the first 60 to 90 minutes of exercise.

Exercise for Type 2 Diabetics.

An exercise program for the type 2 diabetic is especially different. The benefits of regular exercise include weight loss in those who are overweight, improved glycemic control, increased well-being, socialization with others, and a reduction of cardiovascular risk factors.

A combination of diet, exercise, and weight loss often decreases the need for oral hypoglycemic medications. This decrease is due to an increased sensitivity to insulin, increased caloric expenditure, and increased self-esteem. In fact, regular exercise may prevent type 2 diabetes in those at high risk for getting this form of diabetes.

Here are some guidelines for type 2 diabetics undertaking a Diabetics exercise program.

  • Before beginning the program, have a medical screening for previously undiagnosed hypertension, neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, and cardiac ischemia.
  • Begin the program with mild exercises and gradually increase intensity and duration.
  • Self-monitor blood glucose before and after exercise.
  • Exercise at least three times a week or every other day, for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Include muscle-strengthening and low-impact aerobic exercises in the program.

Diet, medication, and exercise are all an important part of a successful program to manage diabetes. It is important for any diabetic to incorporate all three into their lives to control and prevent the many complications that this disease can bring.