Thursday, August 4, 2011

Let's Try Preventing Diabetes

Preventing diabetes. These two words are not often found in the same sentence, because the notion is that if you happen to be the unfortunate one to be diagnosed with this potentially deadly disease, that there really wasn't much you could have done to prevent it. It's something that just 'happens' to people, a victim like mentally that is so prevalent in our society today. Just watch and listen next time you see and hear someone describing someone they know who was just diagnosed with the disease; the tone is almost always one of resignation and helplessness. The truth however is that preventing diabetes is not only possible but is almost entirely under our control. Now we say 'almost entirely' because we are speaking here of Type 2 Diabetes or adult-onset diabetes, not Type 1 Diabetes, which is genetically based and results in our bodies inability to produce insulin and thus regulate blood sugar levels. Type 1 Diabetes is less prevalent and accounts for about 10% of all diabetic cases. Type 2 Diabetes is the disease that has exploded in our culture today, and goes hand in hand with the rising obesity levels in our society. Type 2 Diabetes is preventable because it is almost entirely a result of poor lifestyle decisions, and as we know the lifestyle choices we make are almost entirely under our control. It is not a coincidence that at the turn of the 20th century diabetes was almost a non-existent diagnosable disease, and today it ranks third behind heart disease and cancer. There are 3 prominent factors under our control that will significantly reduce if not completely eliminate our chances of ever developing Type 2 Diabetes: the food we eat, the exercise we do, the stress we manage.

Let's start with our diet. Preventing diabetes is all about consistently managing our blood sugar levels. When we bombard our bodies day after day with refined sugars and processed foods, we essentially throw our insulin levels (blood glucose regulating hormone) out of whack (where we can become hypoglycemic, low blood sugar, hyperglycemic, high blood sugar, or insulin resistant, where your cells can't absorb sugar properly). Do these foods sound familiar: white bread, bagels, muffins, packaged foods and snacks, fast foods including fries, pop, and pizza. These foods have become ingrained in our culture, and they play havoc on our blood glucose levels. Do we have a choice? Sure we do, how about some whole grains, fruits, vegetables and a smattering of some good lean protein. We don't have to be fanatical about this, just find a balance. Now how about exercise in preventing diabetes. Here's the beautiful thing about getting into a good exercise routine. Besides the great physical and psychological benefits of exercise, exercise is great for helping to regulate and balance your blood sugar levels. So even if your diet is not quite right, a consistent exercise program can help make up for that, in all aspects of health. And if you're wondering if you should go for a jog or hit the weights, it really doesn't matter, just move. Both cardio and strength training exercises are good for your health, including regulating your blood glucose levels.

And finally there's stress. People don't often think of stress management when it comes to preventing diabetes. But the fact is when you are stressed, stress hormones kick in to increase your blood sugar levels. And just like poor eating, if you are consistently stressed day after day, this again will play havoc on your blood sugar and insulin levels. Now we're not saying this is an easy one to tackle, particularly in the fast paced demanding world we live in, but it is important to get this one under control. So whatever might work for you, whether it's daily meditation, yoga, reading a book, going for a walk, or finding a hobby that interests you, anything that helps to reduce and manage the stress in your life will work.

So is preventing Type 2 Diabetes really possible? We truly believe it is. But it all starts with a belief, a belief that we are not victims of this disease and it's the lifestyle choices we make today that will determine our health for tomorrow.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Type 2 Diabetes - Why Eat 3 Square Meals And Snacks To Have Better Blood Sugar Control?

Having a healthy balanced diet is the cornerstone of treatment in the management of Type 2 diabetes. According to the Royal Children's Hospital's Diabetes Manual, the food pyramid is the ultimate guide for the diet of anyone with diabetes. Using the food pyramid enables a diabetic to follow a normal, yet healthy diet plan. Furthermore, this healthy kind of dieting method allows you some room for better weight management. The amount and composition of your usual meal is adjusted to have bulkier content, through the use of fruits and vegetables, but with lesser calories.

You may be wondering why your doctor and dietitian encourage you to eat three square meals per day including snacks in between when you really have to control your blood sugar. Is this contradicting the principles in the management of Type 2 diabetes? If you are on insulin or oral anti-diabetic medication, then these medication are the reason why your doctor is advising you to eat three square meals each day including your snacks. You see, your medications tend to lower your blood sugar levels. And if you try to skip a meal, you blood sugar may dip so low creating a complication called hypoglycemia.

What is hypoglycemia?

The National Diabetic Information Clearinghouse defines hypoglycemia as the state of low blood sugar level. Hypoglycemia may cause an array of symptoms such as:

shakinessnervousnessdizzinesslight-headedness or headacheexcessive hungerconfusionanxiety, andunusual sweating

In worst cases, severe hypoglycemia may lead to coma and even death.

When your doctor advises you not to take any medications for your Type 2 diabetes, do you still need to have three square meals and snacks?

If you are only using some lifestyle modifications to control your blood sugar, it is not necessary to include snacks in your healthy eating plan according to the Royal Children's Hospital. The reason why snacks are needed is to have a consistently controlled level of blood sugar in Type 2 diabetics taking medication.

Also, researchers have concluded that eating irregular meals appears to produce a higher level of insulin resistance and higher cholesterol levels after fasting than does eating regularly scheduled meals.

It is always important to have the proper guidance of your dietitian in planning your meals and snacks. The reason for this? Different carbohydrate sources affect your blood sugar in different ways. Because of this, your dietitian needs to plan a diet that will ensure your blood sugar level will not become too high in the process or dip too low so as to cause hypoglycemia.

To discover answers to questions you may be asking yourself about Type 2 Diabetes, click on this link... Natural Diabetes Treatments

Clicking on this link will help you to learn more about Type 2 Diabetes Solutions... Beverleigh Piepers RN... the Diabetes Detective.

Beverleigh Piepers is the author of this article. This article can be used for reprint on your website provided all the links in the article are complete and active. Copyright (c) 2010 - All Rights Reserved Worldwide

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Beverleigh H Piepers - EzineArticles Expert Author

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Quick Guide to Diabetic Foot Care

One fifth of adult diabetics are hospitalized at some point in time for major foot complications. Type 2 diabetes contributes to foot issues in several ways. Diabetics often struggle with poor circulation, which impairs one's ability to heal wounds and fight infection. Diabetics also frequently experience neuropathy, acute nerve damage, which can diminish their ability to recognize and treat an injury. Small cuts and brittle calluses can become dangerous infections if they go unnoticed. This, in turn, can lead to hospitalization or even, in the most extreme instances, amputation. For these reasons, diabetic must be vigilant when it comes to caring for their feet. The following are the best practices for keeping diabetic feet happy and healthy.
If you have Type 2 Diabetes, take time everyday to care for your feet.Check your feet regularly for sores, blisters, cuts, calluses, or other issues. Never ignore any sort of irritation. If you have trouble seeing your feet, consider purchasing magnifying glasses and place a mirror on the floor or ask a family member check for you.Wash your feet thoroughly with lukewarm water, but refrain from soaking them for long periods of time. After washing, file down calluses and corns gently with an emery board. Coat your feet with a thin application of lotion. Avoid putting excess lotion between toes as these sorts of nooks can harbor bacteria.Trim your toenails once a week and file away any jagged edges.Visit the doctor at least once a month to have a formal foot check-up.Always wear comfortable diabetic shoes. This is critical as most foot ailments are rooted in poorly fitting shoes. Make sure they fit correctly and have bacteria-resistant breathable fabric. Always don seamless socks to prevent blisters.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition, or be taken as medical advice. ALWAYS report any foot issues to your doctor immediately, especially if you notice swelling, pain, cracks, bleeding calluses, open sores, changes in color of the skin or nail, or distinct changes in skin temperature. For more information related to your unique situation, please speak with your personal physician.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale distributor of medical devices and comfort footwear, including shoes for diabetics. Whether you are looking for hinged knee braces, back braces or elbow or wrist supports, MMAR Medical has the highest quality products and professional expertise to find you what you need.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is Your Glucose Meter Lying?

Portable blood glucose meters gave readings averaging as much as 16 percent in error in a study of 102 women with gestational diabetes conducted by Australian researcher Dr. Nimalie Perera, of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. The study appeared in January 2011 in the journal Diabetes Care.

Perera compared test results from six different models with those from laboratory tests. The most precise model, Stat-Strip, erred by an average of 6 percent. The least precise, Optium Exceed, erred by 16 percent. Both are sold in the United States.

Although non-diabetics may consider these errors small, they can be significant because many diabetics use their meters to help them decide when and how much insulin to inject. Close monitoring and accurate dosage are critical to maintaining a diabetic's health and safety.

The typical allowable error in a blood glucose meter is 20 percent, but many experts argue for tighter standards -- especially in gestational diabetes, which can lead to miscarriage or an oversized baby and a difficult delivery.

Commenting on the study, Dr. David Sacks, director of the clinical chemistry lab at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, told Reuters Health that people for whom accurate readings are critical should be extra careful in performing the tests and, when their results seem atypical, take second readings.

One reason portable glucose meters are prone to error is that they work by a complex electrochemical process not like an electronic calorie counter. Within the test strip, a special chemical reacts with the glucose in the blood to produce an acid. Then another chemical turns the acid into a substance called ferrocyanide. Finally, the meter runs an electric current through the ferrocyanide and derives the glucose level from the change in the current. With so many steps depending on one another, small errors can add up to bigger ones

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Complications of Diabetes - Tips for Controlling Diabetes

Diabetes is a progressive condition that can create some dangerous complications. To avoid complications of diabetes, we must control diabetes. Controlling diabetes often requires moving from diet to tablets and eventually to insulin (in type 2 diabetes) and moving from fewer daily insulin injections to more frequent daily injections (in type 1 diabetes).

But, it doesn't have to be this way.

Complications of diabetes include eye problems, nerve problems, kidney problems, foot problems and heart and blood vessel disease.

The key to preventing complications of diabetes is to keep blood glucose under tight control. Blood pressure and blood fats (including cholesterol) should be regularly monitored.

The evidence

If you've ever thought, "Surely it's enough to keep my blood sugar within a reasonably low range, and not worry too much if it creeps up slightly over time", then take a look at the hard evidence.

Two large studies that changed our outlook on diabetes control were the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), which looked at people with type 1 diabetes, and the UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), which looked at people with type 2 diabetes.

Both studies provided diabetes experts with compelling evidence that strict blood glucose control, together with carefully monitored blood pressure, are the key to reducing the risk of long-term complications.

Take control

Keeping blood sugar levels down is not always easy, but it's important to keep aiming for very good control. Even if you don't reach ideal blood sugar levels, any improvement will help you reduce your risk of diabetic complications.

Ultimately, good blood glucose control depends on you. Your diabetes care team can help and advise you, but you are the one who needs to take responsibility for your health - both short and long term.

Tips for tighter control

1. Pay attention to your diet and weight - think low fat, low sugar, high fiber and high complex carbohydrate

2. If you smoke, you really need to give it up now! Find sources of help and support if you need them

3. Take regular exercise, do something you enjoy that won't be a chore

4. Keep all your clinic appointments so your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels can all be regularly monitored

5. Check your blood sugar daily, several times if you think you need to

6. If your blood sugar remains higher than it should be, discuss with your diabetes care team what options you can look at to help bring it down.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Type 2 Diabetes - Taking Care Of Your Feet and Preventing Toenail Fungus!

Were you told that your feet require special attention now that you have Type 2 diabetes? An ounce of prevention now is worth so much more when it comes to your feet and toes. We often neglect our feet during the day... we squash them into unsuitable shoes, pound them over all sorts of terrain, as well as put all our weight on the tiny bones that make up the structure of our feet. The primary care of your feet is entirely up to you!

Toenail fungus is a condition that can lead to more serious lesions for people with Type 2 diabetes. Infections of the nails can lead to permanent nail deformities, fungal infections in other parts of the body or paronychia, an infection of the skin around the nail. This is particularly common in diabetics. Paronychia should be treated with antibiotics or antifungal agents to prevent its spread to other soft tissue, blood or bone.

Researchers at the Department of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Erzurum Region Educational and Research Hospital in Erzurum, Turkey, looked at risk factors for the disease. Their work was published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medicine Association, January 2011.

Three hundred and twenty-one volunteers with Type 2 diabetes were included in the study. Forty-one were found to have fungal infections of their toenails. Associations were found between having toenail fungus and having diabetic eye and nerve problems, obesity, a family history of Type 2 diabetes and duration of diabetes. It was therefore concluded people with Type 2 diabetes needed to control their blood sugar, lose excess weight, and take good care of their nails and feet.

Toenail fungus can make the toenail appear as if it had been bashed with something heavy. The toenail can be:

brittlechange in shapecrumblesuffer debris trapped underneath itturn white or yellowbecome detachedappear dull, or thickened

If you see these signs, report them to your doctor. Treatment for toenail fungus includes oral medications and removal of the nail to allow the new healthy nail to grow in.

Paronychia gives the skin around the nails a red, swollen appearance and can be painful. Pus-filled blisters can also form. If the infection spreads the diabetic can experience:

chillsfevera general feeling of illnessjoint painmuscle pain, ora spread of the swelling and redness

The condition should be reported and treated before serious complications appear.

Besides keeping blood sugar and weight under control, diabetics should take good care of their feet:

it is often suggested toenails should be professionally trimmedyour ten toes and your feet should be kept clean and dryalways wear well-fitting shoes with clean, dry socks

You may have heard of an unfortunate situation where a diabetic has lost a toe or limb through amputation due to complications related to diabetes. However, this not mean everyone must suffer this fate. If you stay on top of taking care of your feet with your diabetes management, you stand a good chance of keeping your toes and feet healthy.

To discover answers to questions you may be asking yourself about Type 2 Diabetes, click on this link... Natural Diabetes Treatments

Clicking on this link will help you to learn more about Type 2 Diabetes Solutions... Beverleigh Piepers RN... the Diabetes Detective.

Beverleigh Piepers is the author of this article. This article can be used for reprint on your website provided all the links in the article are complete and active. Copyright (c) 2010 - All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Article Source:

Beverleigh H Piepers - EzineArticles Expert Author

View the original article here

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Diabetes and Neuropathy, Be Aware

Neuropathies are a variety of ailments which arise when nerves of the peripheral nervous system - the nervous system aside from the brain and spinal cord - are damaged; this is most commonly referred to as peripheral neuropathy. Approximately 50% to 70% of the people who suffer with diabetes, in all probability will have some form of neuropathy. Most often it affects the motor nerves which control muscle movement and the sensory nerves which are responsible for our awareness of sensations such as coldness or pain. It first becomes apparent in the extremities but can manifest itself in the heart, blood vessels, bladder and intestines

Types of Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy is often classified into four distinct categories: peripheral, autonomic, proximal and focal. Since neuropathy can affect nerves throughout the body this classification is dependent on which part of the body is affected.

(a) Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type and causes loss of feeling or pain in the hands, arms, toes, feet and legs. It can also cause muscle weakness and foot deformities. Due to the loss of feeling, injuries can go unnoticed, resulting in infection(s) and additional complications.
(b) Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves which support the heart and blood vessels, the urinary tract, the lungs and eyes, the sex organs, the sweat glands and the digestive system. Autonomic neuropathy can also be responsible for hypoglycemia unawareness whereby a person no longer experience the warning symptoms of low blood sugar levels.
(c) Proximal neuropathy affects the thighs, hips, or buttocks resulting in weakness of the legs. Due to weakness of the legs it becomes difficult to go from a sitting to standing position and assistance may be required. This affliction is more common among persons with Type 2 diabetes.
(d) Focal neuropathy affects one nerve or a group of nerves leading to muscle weakness or pain. It can affect the nerves which control the facial muscles, eyes, ears, chest, abdomen, pelvis and lower back, thighs, legs and feet. It is painful and unpredictable, existing mostly among older adults suffering with diabetes. It tends to improve by itself and does not cause long-term damage.


The symptoms are dependent on: the type of neuropathy contracted, the nerve(s) affected (autonomic, motor, sensory) and their location. It is not uncommon for many types of neuropathy to affect all three types of nerves. Some neuropathies may appear suddenly while others develop gradually.

(a) Autonomic Nerve Damage: Swollen abdomen, Blurred vision, Feeling full quickly, Nausea/ Vomiting after eating, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Weight loss, Dizziness/Fainting, Overflow and/or Urinary incontinence, Difficulty beginning to urinate, Abnormal perspiring, Sensitivity to heat, Impotence in men and Vaginal dryness in women.
(b) Motor Nerve Damage: Experiencing difficulty to move a part of the body (loss of balance and coordination), Lack of dexterity and muscle control, Cramps or Spasms, Loss of muscle tissue and difficulty swallowing or breathing.
(c) Sensory Nerve Damage: Nerve pain, Tingling or numbness, Burning sensations, Lack of coordination and a Lessening or absence of sensation to such an extent that nothing can be felt.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Presently there's no cure for diabetic neuropathy. Treatments are focused on prevention of further damage to the nerves and relief of pain (to those already afflicted) and are often determined by the extent to which the ailment has progressed. Antidepressants (low doses), Analgesics and anticonvulsant drugs may be prescribed for relief of burning, tingling and pain. Pills, creams, special diets and therapies to stimulate the nerves and muscles are also employed. Non-medicinal therapies may include: meditation, yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic massages and cognitive therapy. All treatments depend on the type of nerve problem and symptom.

Good foot health is particularly important and special preventative steps should be taken to avoid degenerative progress of the disease:

(a) Avoid continuous pressure on the knees and elbows
(b) Do not walk barefooted
(c) Avoid getting your feet too hot or cold
(d) Wash your feet daily with lukewarm water and mild soap
(e) Dry your feet well and use non-medicated powders with shoes, socks and stockings
(f) Apply cream or lotion to keep foot, especially heels smooth.
(g) Daily foot exams, checking for cuts, blisters, calluses or bruises.

The best way of preventing diabetic neuropathy is by adhering to the recommended treatment for your diabetes as prescribed by your doctor. Taking your diabetes medicines or insulin, blood glucose monitoring, a proper diet and physical activity will help keep your blood sugar levels under control. Keeping your blood glucose level as close to normal as possible will help protect the nerves throughout the entire body.

? 2010 - All Rights Reserved.

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