diabetestalk.net

Are Diabetes Bad

The Effects Of Diabetes On Your Body

The Effects Of Diabetes On Your Body

When you hear the word “diabetes,” your first thought is likely about high blood sugar. Blood sugar is an often-underestimated component of your health. When it’s out of whack over a long period of time, it could develop into diabetes. Diabetes affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that allows your body to turn glucose (sugar) into energy. Here’s what symptoms may occur to your body when diabetes takes effect. Diabetes can be effectively managed when caught early. However, when left untreated, it can lead to potential complications that include heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and nerve damage. Normally after you eat or drink, your body will break down sugars from your food and use them for energy in your cells. To accomplish this, your pancreas needs to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin is what facilitates the process of pulling sugar from the blood and putting it in the cells for use, or energy. If you have diabetes, your pancreas either produces too little insulin or none at all. The insulin can’t be used effectively. This allows blood glucose levels to rise while the rest of your cells are deprived of much-needed energy. This can lead to a wide variety of problems affecting nearly every major body system. The effects of diabetes on your body also depends on the type you have. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is an immune system disorder. Your own immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, destroying your body’s ability to make insulin. With type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin to live. Most people are diagnosed as a child or young adult. Type 2 is related to insulin resistance. It used to occur i Continue reading >>

The Good, The Bad And The Worst Of Type 1 Diabetes

The Good, The Bad And The Worst Of Type 1 Diabetes

It is common in a diabetic’s life to face questions like “do you have the good type of diabetes or the bad one?” To be really honest, these are the types of questions that I really don’t know how to answer. What does “good” and “bad” diabetes even mean? Recently, I changed jobs in my office, so now I’m facing a lot of these types of questions again, and because of this, I thought that maybe it would be interesting to write a bit about the basic features of diabetes — the good, the bad and the worst. The Good Let’s start with the “goods” of diabetes. Because Diabetes is associated with the lack of capability of your body to naturally regulate the levels of glucose in your bloodstream, as a type 1 diabetic, you always have to help your body do that. In addition to self-injecting insulin, you can also do simple things like pay special attention to what you eat and how often you exercise. In this way, diabetes gives you an extra-healthy motivation to exercise every day and to eat healthier. This is clearly a good thing — you become more aware of your own fitness levels and more conscious about these kinds of topics. When my personal trainer discovered that I was diabetic, right away he understood why did I knew all the information about the “recommended amount of carbs” — the type of carbs and digestion times — that we had discussed during our first session. Review my blog posts on exercising and nutrition for more information on this. The Bad Looking at the bad things, the first that comes to my mind is definitely the danger that a diabetic faces every time we don’t eat enough, or when we inject too many units of insulin. All these situations can have repercussions in terms of losing consciousness and doing things that you end up not r Continue reading >>

Good Fats, Bad Fats

Good Fats, Bad Fats

What's the difference between good fats and bad fats? "Good" fats help protect your body against heart disease; "Bad" fats pose a threat to your heart and blood vessel system. Making heart healthy food choices and keeping a healthy body weight can help prevent and treat heart disease. Eating too much of any kind of fat is not good for your health. But when it comes to your heart, some types of fats are healthier for your heart than others. So how do you make smart choices? Learn how to recognize good fats and bad fats. “Bad” Fats “Good” Fats Saturated, Hydrogenated & Trans Fats Mono-and Polyunsaturated Fats Strictly limit intake: Use in moderation: Solid at room temperature Liquid at room temperature Animal Fats (Saturated fats) Meats, cheese, cream, butter, Lard, chicken skin Plant Oils Olive, safflower, canola, Sunflower, soy, peanut oils Tropical Oils Coconut and palm oils Nuts and avocados Hydrogenated Oils (Trans fats) Stick margarines, shortening, fast-food, processed food Omega-3 fats Salmon, mackerel, herring, Flaxseeds, walnuts, soybean and Canola oils Understanding Bad Fats ”Bad” fats pose a threat to your heart and blood vessel system because they increase your body’s production of cholesterol. “Bad” fats also cause clogging of your blood vessels, or athersclerosis. If there is a block in the blood flow to your heart, this can lead to a heart attack. If the blood vessels in your brain are blocked, this can lead to a stroke. “Bad” fats increase your risk for coronary heart disease, and need to be limited in your diet: Saturated fats, which usually come from animal sources, are naturally solid at room temperature. Examples are lard, butter, milk fat, meat, chicken and pork skin, ice cream and cheese. Beware of coconut and palm oils as well Continue reading >>

Can Diabetics Eat Honey? The Research Will Surprise You

Can Diabetics Eat Honey? The Research Will Surprise You

Honey is an all-natural food nicknamed Nature’s Sweetener. Humans have likely been eating it for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years. And not only for its sweet flavour, but for its medicinal properties too. Sounds like something we should be eating more of right? Yet when you break it right down, honey is essentially sugar. We know that a high sugar diet is bad for you, which is why many consider honey unhealthy. So is honey good for us or not? Perhaps more importantly… Can diabetics eat honey? Honey vs Sugar: How does it compare? Honey is made in the bee-hive from flower nectar. The process is a collective effort that requires honey bees to consume, digest and regurgitate nectar repeatedly. For this reason the nutritional properties of honey depend on the nectar available around the hive. A typical batch of honey compared with sugar looks like this (1): You can see honey contains water and many trace vitamins and minerals that sugar doesn’t. That’s why honey is only 82% sugar by weight, while sugar is 99.9%… And that’s also why honey contains fewer calories than sugar. It’s hard to argue the winner here. Honey is also reported to contain at nearly 200 different substances, especially antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to protect against many forms of disease (2). The Glycemic Index (GI) ranges considerably depending on the type of honey, but the entire GI concept itself is unpredictable anyway. Summary: Honey is not pure sugar. It also contains water and small amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which vary depending on the type of honey. Honey vs Sugar: Effects on blood sugar and insulin The impact of honey consumption on blood sugar levels tends to be slightly better than regular sugar. One small experimental study on healthy sub Continue reading >>

Best And Worst Foods For Diabetes

Best And Worst Foods For Diabetes

Your food choices matter a lot when you've got diabetes. Some are better than others. Nothing is completely off limits. Even items that you might think of as “the worst" could be occasional treats -- in tiny amounts. But they won’t help you nutrition-wise, and it’s easiest to manage your diabetes if you mainly stick to the “best” options. Starches Your body needs carbs. But you want to choose wisely. Use this list as a guide. Best Choices Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, millet, or amaranth Baked sweet potato Items made with whole grains and no (or very little) added sugar Worst Choices Processed grains, such as white rice or white flour Cereals with little whole grains and lots of sugar White bread French fries Fried white-flour tortillas Vegetables Load up! You’ll get fiber and very little fat or salt (unless you add them). Remember, potatoes and corn count as carbs. Best Choices Fresh veggies, eaten raw or lightly steamed, roasted, or grilled Plain frozen vegetables, lightly steamed Greens such as kale, spinach, and arugula. Iceberg lettuce is not as great, because it’s low in nutrients. Low sodium or unsalted canned vegetables Go for a variety of colors: dark greens, red or orange (think of carrots or red peppers), whites (onions) and even purple (eggplants). The 2015 U.S. guidelines recommend 2.5 cups of veggies per day. Worst Choices Canned vegetables with lots of added sodium Veggies cooked with lots of added butter, cheese, or sauce Pickles, if you need to limit sodium -- otherwise, pickles are okay. Sauerkraut, for the same reason as pickles -- so, limit them if you have high blood pressure Fruits They give you carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Most are naturally low in fat and sodium. But they tend to have more carbs Continue reading >>

The Risks Of Treating Diabetes With Drugs Are Far Worse Than The Disease

The Risks Of Treating Diabetes With Drugs Are Far Worse Than The Disease

Drugs in type 2 diabetics will nearly universally cause more damage than good Drugs used to lower blood sugar may increase your risk of death from all causes by 19 percent, and your risk of cardiovascular mortality by 43 percent You can prevent, treat and even reverse type 2 diabetes by making straightforward lifestyle changes By Dr. Mercola Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, and up to 95 percent of these cases are type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease that shuts down your body's insulin production, type 2 diabetes is directly caused by lifestyle. Whereas type 1 diabetics need to inject insulin several times a day to stay alive, type 2 diabetics do NOT need drugs. In fact, taking drugs for type 2 diabetes can be far worse than the disease itself! Diabetes Drugs Increase Your Risk of Death Drugs are widely prescribed for type 2 diabetics to help lower blood sugar levels, but a new meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials involving more than 33,000 people showed that this treatment is not only ineffective, it's dangerous as well. Treatment with glucose-lowering drugs actually showed the potential to increase your risk of death from heart-related, and all other causes. "The overall results of this meta-analysis do not show a benefit of intensive glucose lowering treatment on all cause mortality or cardiovascular death. A 19% increase in all cause mortality and a 43% increase in cardiovascular mortality cannot be excluded." Lessons Learned from Avandia: Diabetes Drugs Can be Deadly Avandia (rosiglitazone) is the poster child for what is wrong with the drug treatment of type 2 diabetes. After hitting the market in 1999, a 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine linked it to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attac Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes causes blood sugar levels to become too high. When you eat, your digestive system breaks down most of the food into a sugar called glucose. Glucose enters your bloodstream so your cells can use it as fuel. With the help of insulin (a hormone made by your pancreas), muscle, fat, and other cells absorb glucose from your blood. But if your body doesn't produce enough insulin, or if the cells have a problem responding to it, too much glucose remains in your blood instead of moving into cells and getting converted to energy. When you're pregnant, your body naturally becomes more resistant to insulin so that more glucose is available to nourish your baby. For most moms-to-be, this isn't a problem: When your body needs additional insulin to process excess glucose in blood, the pancreas secretes more. But if the pancreas can't keep up with the increased demand for insulin during pregnancy, blood sugar levels rise too high because the cells aren't using the glucose. This results in gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes needs to be recognized and treated quickly because it can cause health problems for mother and baby. Unlike other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes isn't permanent. Once a baby is born, blood sugar will most likely return to normal quickly. However, having gestational diabetes does make developing diabetes in the future more likely. Am I at risk of developing gestational diabetes? Anyone can develop gestational diabetes, and not all women who develop the condition have known risk factors. About 5 to 10 percent of all pregnant women get gestational diabetes. You're more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you Continue reading >>

5 Ways Type 1 Diabetes Is Different From Type 2

5 Ways Type 1 Diabetes Is Different From Type 2

When people hear that you have diabetes, they start to make assumptions that aren't always accurate. A lot of the confusion stems from the fact that there are two main types, yet many people don't understand how they're different. (Want to pick up some healthier habits? Sign up to get daily healthy living tips delivered straight to your inbox!) As someone with type 1 diabetes—I was diagnosed with it nearly 40 years ago—I'm all too familiar with the disease. I lived with it as a child, teen, and adult, and when I decided to have kids I had to figure out how to manage the condition while being pregnant. (I even wrote a book about it, Balancing Pregnancy With Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.) Having type 1 diabetes means I'm in the minority: Of the approximately 29 million Americans who have diabetes, only 1.25 million have type 1. Most have type 2, which is a totally different form. "Comparing type 1 to type 2 is like comparing apples to tractors," says Gary Scheiner, a Pennsylvania-based certified diabetes educator and author of Think Like a Pancreas. "The only thing they really have in common is that both involve an inability to control blood sugar levels." Here are 5 important distinctions. 1. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease; type 2 isn't. Diabetes happens when your body has trouble with insulin, a hormone that helps convert sugar from the food you eat into energy. When there isn’t enough insulin in your body, sugar builds up in the bloodstream and can make you sick. People with type 1 and type 2 both face this problem, but how they arrived there is quite different. If you have type 1, you don't make any insulin at all. That's because type 1 is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-making cells in your Continue reading >>

What Drinks Are Good And Bad For People With Diabetes?

What Drinks Are Good And Bad For People With Diabetes?

When a person has diabetes, insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose, is either nonexistent or in short supply. A person with diabetes is unable to use insulin properly, which causes sugars to build up in the blood. Diabetes can be dangerous if it is not properly managed. Different drinks can affect blood sugar levels in a number of ways. Contents of this article: The best drinks for people with diabetes The following drinks are good choices for people with diabetes. Things to look out for when choosing a drink Many drinks contain lots of sugars and carbohydrates. Paying attention to food labels and nutritional facts can provide important information. Labels should state the serving size and carbohydrate content of any drink. People with diabetes have different bodily needs, so there are no exact dietary rules. However, some tips can help. To make it easier to control blood sugar, it is important to: eat a balanced diet and manage the amount of carbohydrate consumed keep carbohydrate levels consistent from day to day consume managed amounts of carbohydrate, because the brain and body need some carbohydrate to function. Paying attention to food labels and nutritional facts can provide important information. Labels should state the serving size and carbohydrate content of any drink. The worst drinks for people with diabetes The following drinks are bad choices for people with diabetes. Soda and energy drinks Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. For people who already have diabetes, this type of drink provides large amounts of sugar and requires little digestion. Drinking sodas without healthy food can lead to large spikes in blood sugar levels. As it is important to spread carbohydrate intake out evenly, it would be Continue reading >>

5 Common Food Myths For People With Diabetes Debunked

5 Common Food Myths For People With Diabetes Debunked

There are many misconceptions that people with diabetes must follow a strict diet, when in reality they can eat anything a person without diabetes eats. Amy Campbell, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, nutritionist at Joslin Diabetes Center and co-author of 16 Myths of a "Diabetic Diet," debunks some common food myths for people with diabetes. 1. People with diabetes have to eat different foods from the rest of the family. People with diabetes can eat the same foods as the rest of their family. Current nutrition guidelines for diabetes are very flexible and offer many choices, allowing people with diabetes to fit in favorite or special-occasion foods. Everyone, whether they have diabetes or not, should eat a healthful diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein foods, and heart-healthy fats. So, if you have diabetes, there's no need to cook separately from your family. 2. People with diabetes should never give in to food cravings. Almost everyone has food cravings at some point, and people with diabetes are no exception. It's not uncommon for people with diabetes to cut out all sweets or even cut way back on food portions in order to lose weight. In turn, your body often responds to these drastic changes by creating cravings. Nine times out of ten, your food choices in these situations tend to be high in fat and/or sugar, too. The best way to deal with food cravings is to try to prevent them by following a healthy eating plan that lets you occasionally fit sweets into your diabetes meal plan. If a craving does occur, let yourself have a small taste of whatever it is you want. By doing so, you can enjoy the flavor and avoid overeating later on. 3. People with diabetes shouldn't eat too many starchy foods, even if they contain fiber, because starch raises your blo Continue reading >>

Potatoes: Good Or Bad?

Potatoes: Good Or Bad?

Potatoes have long been considered the most basic of basic foods, a no-frills staple for the everyman or everywoman. One reason potatoes have earned this distinction is, no doubt, their low cost, but another may be their basic nutritional qualities: They are fat-, sodium-, and cholesterol-free, and a medium-size potato contains just 110 calories. Nevertheless, the reputation of potatoes has taken a hit lately due to their relatively high glycemic index, which means that the carbohydrate in them is quickly converted to glucose when digested. Many people with diabetes take glycemic index into account when deciding what foods to incorporate into their diet. So how good or bad are potatoes when it comes to weight control and glucose tolerance? A study examining these topics was published earlier this month by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. According to an article on the study in the Daily Mail, the effect of potatoes on weight control may be modestly positive. Researchers assigned 90 overweight participants to one of three groups. Two of these groups were taught how to reduce their daily caloric intake by 500 calories, but one group was taught how to do this by eating mostly high-glycemic-index foods, and the other by eating mostly low-glycemic-index foods. The third group was not told to change anything about the caloric or glycemic-index composition of their diet. All three groups were told, however, to consume 5–7 servings of potatoes per week. After 12 weeks of following their prescribed diets, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of weight loss or body composition changes. All three groups, however, experienced modest weight loss and improvements in body composition. Since the only dietary change that all three groups h Continue reading >>

How To Treat Dry Mouth From Diabetes

How To Treat Dry Mouth From Diabetes

Xerostomia is an ominous sounding name for a fairly common condition suffered by approximately 20% of the population, one that most people tend to underestimate, a dry mouth. In essence, having a dry mouth means the body is not producing enough saliva, which helps the mouth stay clean while removing harmful bacteria that can cause cavities and other painful infections in the mouth. Saliva neutralizes the acid in the mouth and is an important part of the digestive process as it provides the moisture needed to chew and swallow food. Dry Mouth Causes There are many causes of dry mouth, such as not drinking enough liquid during the day, smoking, and sleeping with your mouth open, among others. Dry mouth can also be caused by certain types of medication, such ADHD medicine, anti-histamines, antidepressants, sleep medications, and narcotics. When this is the case, the problem tends to disappear once the underlying cause is removed, meaning that a dry mouth is usually nothing more than a temporary problem with an easy fix. However, for individuals suffering from diabetes, having a dry mouth can be more than just a mild annoyance. Dry Mouth Caused by Diabetes A dry mouth can exacerbate the side effects of diabetes, which will then lead to an increase in glucose levels, wreaking havoc on the body. A dry mouth is not only a symptom of high blood sugar, but it can also be the cause of it. Having a dry mouth, especially as a diabetic, can lead to rampant tooth decay, which means blood sugar increases as the body tries, and fails, to fight infection. A dry mouth can also lead to loss of sleep and an altered sense of taste, a condition that presents with a metallic or sour taste in the mouth. Treatments for Dry Mouth Caused by Diabetes Because of the harmful effects of having a dry m Continue reading >>

The Best And Worst Drinks For Diabetics

The Best And Worst Drinks For Diabetics

Drinks for Diabetics iStock When you have diabetes, choosing the right drink isn’t always simple. And recent studies may only add to the confusion. Is coffee helpful or harmful to insulin resistance? Does zero-calorie diet soda cause weight gain? We reviewed the research and then asked three top registered dietitians, who are also certified diabetes educators, what they tell their clients about seven everyday drinks. Here’s what to know before you sip. Drink More: Water iStock Could a few refreshing glasses of water assist with blood sugar control? A recent study in the journal Diabetes Care suggests so: The researchers found that people who drank 16 ounces or less of water a day (two cups’ worth) were 30 percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drank more than that daily. The connection seems to be a hormone called vasopressin, which helps the body regulate hydration. Vasopressin levels increase when a person is dehydrated, which prompts the liver to produce more blood sugar. How much: Experts recommend six to nine 8-ounce glasses of water per day for women and slightly more for men. You’ll get some of this precious fluid from fruit and vegetables and other fluids, but not all of it. “If you’re not in the water habit, have a glass before each meal,” recommends Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes. “After a few weeks, add a glass at meals too.” Drink More: Milk iStock Moo juice isn’t just a kids’ drink. It provides the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D your body needs for many essential functions. Plus, research shows it may also boost weight loss. In one study of 322 people trying to sl Continue reading >>

Bad Diabetes Jokes Wall Of Shame

Bad Diabetes Jokes Wall Of Shame

Editor’s Note: This list includes only brands, publications and public figures. We know there are plenty of individuals out there making bad jokes, too. Diabetes is not the punchline of a joke. Drinking a beverage did not give anyone any type of diabetes. We’re calling on these folks to do better. And watch out — we won’t hesitate to add new offenders to the Wall of Shame! We’re all about mixing humor and diabetes — sometimes, all you can do is laugh at life with T1D. But these types of jokes are the worst reminder of how much work there is still to do in education. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are poorly understood. These tasteless jokes come from a lack of education, awareness and understanding. They fuel our fire to keep fighting! And now, our list: OFFENDER: Jimmy Kimmel OFFENSE: “sweeter than diabetes” tweet OFFENDER: Forbes OFFENSE: marketing’s e-mail subject line fail OFFENDER: SNL OFFENSE: Big Mac BS skit here. OFFENDER: PopSugar Magazine OFFENSE: Unicorn Frappuccino nonsense PopSugar did end up changing this headline in response to pressure from the diabetes online community (high-five, y’all!) but boy, was it bad. We demand better from a “Fitness” and “Health” publication. OFFENDER: Crossfit OFFENSE: epically bad attempt at a Public Health PSA This one even got Co-founder Nick Jonas to respond. No wonder — it’s SO distasteful, besides being factually incorrect. Crossfit, thank you for this attempt at a public health PSA, but you really screwed it up. No chronic illness deserves this BS. Continue reading >>

What Is So Bad About A Big Baby?

What Is So Bad About A Big Baby?

The most common and significant neonatal complication clearly associated with gestational diabetes is macrosomia: an oversized baby with a birth weight greater than the 90th percentile for gestational age and sex, or a birth weight >2 SD above the normal mean birth weight. If fetal macrosomia associated with maternal diabetes is directly related to maternal glucose levels (1,2,3), then strategies to prevent hyperglycemia must be devised to treat the diabetic pregnant woman (4). However, not only is the concept that macrosomia is directly related to maternal hyperglycemia is considered controversial, but also the notion that normalizing the maternal glucose could prevent macrosomia is hotly debated. In addition, the definition of normoglycemia during pregnancy has not been adequately reported because of difficulty with measuring glucose excursions in the home setting. The initial attempts to normalize the 24-h glucose profile were all made with hospitalized patients (5). When self-monitoring of blood glucose became available for outpatient surveillance of glucose control (6), normalization programs could be continued at home. However, the number and timing of the blood glucose determinations have not been adequately studied. In addition, reports that macrosomia occurred despite normoglycemia (7) perpetuated the philosophy that it is urgent to deliver the infant early to avoid fetal overgrowth, which was perceived to be unaffected by glycemic control. Perhaps the debate continues because many of the reports claiming that neonatal complications occur despite excellent metabolic control failed to measure postprandial glucose levels (1,2,3). The Diabetes in Early Pregnancy (DIEP) study was a multicenter trial of type 1 diabetic pregnant women who were compared with normal co Continue reading >>

More in diabetes