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Bad Things About Diabetes

7 Scary Things That Can Happen When You Don't Treat Your Diabetes

7 Scary Things That Can Happen When You Don't Treat Your Diabetes

Swallowing pills, checking your blood sugar all the time, or sticking yourself with needles full of insulin probably doesn't sound like your idea of a good time. But taking steps to keep your diabetes under control is your best shot at preventing a slew of frightening complications. If you don't take care of yourself, "diabetes complications typically start within 5 years; within 10 to 15 years, the majority of patients will progress to have multiple health issues," says Betul Hatipoglu, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. Fortunately, eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and taking your medication may not only stop complications from progressing, but can also reverse them, she says. Need motivation to stick to your treatment plan? Here's what can happen when you slack off. With type 1 diabetes, your body stops producing insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar; with type 2 diabetes, your body can't properly use the insulin you do produce. In turn, your HDL (or "good") cholesterol lowers, and your levels of harmful blood fats called triglycerides rise. Insulin resistance also contributes to hardened, narrow arteries, which in turn increases your blood pressure. As a result, about 70% of people with either type of diabetes also have hypertension—a risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and trouble with thinking and memory. (Add these 13 power foods to your diet to help lower blood pressure naturally.) Failing to control high blood pressure and high cholesterol, either with diet and exercise alone or by adding medications, accelerates the rate at which all your other complications progress, says Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. More than 4 million people with diabetes have some degree of retinopathy, or dam 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 >>

Ten Good Things About Having Diabetes

Ten Good Things About Having Diabetes

The idea for this article came to me one night after attending a diabetes support group at a local hospital. During the meeting, the discussion of serious complications became so graphic that there was an air of melancholy and hopelessness permeating the entire room. I thought, "What we really need is the good news." I tried to imagine whether I would miss any part of having diabetes if I could be cured today. Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." Over the years, because of diabetes, Ive learned a few facts about myself: I have a powerful liver that likes any excuse to pump out glycogen, raising my blood glucose. If Ive been losing my patience a lot, my blood glucose has been too high. If my legs feel weak at the top of the stairs, my blood glucose is too low. If I wake up in the night to tell my husband how to solve the worlds problems, my blood glucose is probably near 40! Who else but a person with diabetes would know this much about himself or herself? Marge, a friend of mine with type 1, remarks: "I feel like I have more insight into how I react to certain stimuli, because you have to know how your bodys going to react to anything you put into itlike cream in my coffee raising my blood glucose. I know better than a doctor that my body reacts to phases of the moon, which affect hormones, which affect my glucose." 2. Seizing the Opportunity to Be the Best I Can Be I believe all people naturally want to excel. Diabetes gives us a framework to know how were doing. Blood-glucose tests, A1Cs, even the first sign of a complication are signposts telling us to get our blood glucose under better control. After the initial frustration with a higher number, I find gratitude for this cue and get back on track. "We have better signposts than most people," of Continue reading >>

The 10 Best Things About Diabetes

The 10 Best Things About Diabetes

Living with diabetes is stressful, frustrating and exhausting, and my general response to people who encourage me to find the bright side of diabetes is to want to slap them. Nonetheless, while I’d take a successful pancreas transplant in a heartbeat, there are certain benefits that diabetes can provide. 1. A medical reason to eat cheese I will never be able to eat a cupcake without worrying about its consequences, and I get physically anxious at the sight of pasta. But while diabetes may have taken away my bagels, it has given me the gift of guilt-free cheese. So filling. So low-carb. So delicious. 2. An increased tolerance for needles Being diagnosed with diabetes makes your tolerance for needles go way up. It’s nice to be able to watch someone draw blood or put an IV in your arm without worrying that you’re going to pass out. And if you’re consistent about where you test your blood sugar, you can also benefit from strategically placed calluses – I’m hoping that if I only test on the tips of my left fingers, I might be able to toughen up my skin to the point where I can play the guitar for more than two minutes at a time. 3. An escape hatch for social situations Desperate to escape from a cocktail party? Caught in a tedious conversation with a stranger? Pull out your glucometer/pump/CGM and say that there’s something urgent you need to take care of. 4. Business ideas Living with diabetes makes you an expert in living with diabetes, and that in turn can give you business ideas (or job opportunities) that someone without diabetes might not have. Plenty of people have used their personal experience to launch diabetes-inspired businesses, like the folks behind Glucolift tablets, Sugar Medical’s carrying cases, and PocketBra’s pump-friendly lingerie. Cons Continue reading >>

10 Things To Know About Diabetes

10 Things To Know About Diabetes

The prevalence of diabetes in African-American women is 85% higher than white women, with nearly one in four AA women diagnosed. Genetics and poor lifestyle choices like a bad diet and lack of exercise are the main risk factors for diabetes. And yet despite it's prevalence in our communities, a lot of misconceptions (some down right funny) still surround the disease. Here are 10 diabetes myths we need to get real about. The prevalence of diabetes in African-American women is 85% higher than white women, with nearly one in four AA women diagnosed. Genetics and poor lifestyle choices like a bad diet and lack of exercise are the main risk factors for diabetes. And yet despite it's prevalence in our communities, a lot of misconceptions (some down right funny) still surround the disease. Here are 10 diabetes myths we need to get real about. Myth #1: Diabetes is serious and all, but it won't kill you The real deal: Think again. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes kills more people than breast cancer and AIDS every year. Myth #2: Eating too many sweets causes diabetes The real deal: No, eating too much sugar will not cause diabetes. However, if you're rewarding yourself with ho ho cakes every day and not exercising, chances are you'll gain weight, which puts you at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Genetics also play a role. If diabetes runs in your family, eating healthy and exercising regularly is highly recommended. Myth #3: Diabetics can't have any sweets The real deal: Don't snatch that piece of pumpkin pie from grandpa just yet. Like the rest of us, people with diabetes are allowed to eat sweets, as long as it's in moderation and combined with exercise. Myth #4: Most people know when they have diabetes The real deal: Of the 23 million Ame Continue reading >>

11 Things Not To Say To Someone With Type 1 Diabetes

11 Things Not To Say To Someone With Type 1 Diabetes

1. There is no "mild form" of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesn't produce any insulin, while type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn't make enough insulin or the insulin it does make doesn't work properly. There's a myth that type 2 is the milder form – but it's false. "It is a commonly held belief that type 2 is the mild form and less serious than type 1 diabetes. This is in fact not true, as both type 1 and 2 diabetes can lead to serious health problems such as blindness, amputation, kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke, if not managed well. "Type 1 diabetes can be sudden onset, where a person may become quite unwell very quickly, whereas type 2 diabetes can go undetected for a number of years. Both types of diabetes need to be treated as soon as possible to avoid diabetes-related complications." – Deepa Khatri, clinical adviser, Diabetes UK 2. You don't get it from "eating too much sugar". "I didn't get it from eating too much sugar. There's nothing I can't eat or drink. And type 1 and type 2 are two completely different conditions. There's two types, I'm talking about type 1, the autoimmune condition. There's nothing I did to get it, there's nothing I could have done to prevent it, and it's not contagious. "No, it's not because I ate too much sugar as a kid, and yes, I can still eat that bit of cake. I can eat anything I want, and I can do pretty much what I want when I want to do it – my T1 doesn't hold me back in any way. It's a lot more than just taking a couple of insulin injections though – there's a lot more to it." – Connor McHarg 3. And it's a serious illness. "One of my major frustrations is that people tend not to view diabetes as a 'serious' illness and will go as far to say that it's self-inflicted due to certain lifestyle ch Continue reading >>

12 Things You Might Not Know About Diabetes

12 Things You Might Not Know About Diabetes

Jupiterimages via Getty Images Diabetes is at epidemic proportions across the globe and most people know someone living with this condition. The serious physical and mental health complications associated with all types of diabetes however, are less widely known. Here are 12 things you might not know about diabetes. 1. The personal and social costs of diabetes are enormous If you live with diabetes you will know that it is not just about sugar. Most people associate diabetes with the sweet stuff, but it is far more complicated than that. Many people experience significant impact on their social and emotional wellbeing. 2. There are a number of types of diabetes, and while they have similar impacts on your body, they are very different diseases There are three basic types - type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (pregnancy diabetes). They have similar problems in relation to lack of insulin, but have different causes and management regimes. Type 2 diabetes never turns into type 1 diabetes, but many people with type 2 diabetes will eventually need some insulin injections to manage due to the progressive nature of the condition. 3. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and nothing to do with lifestyle or eating too much sugar In type 1 diabetes the pancreas does not make insulin at all because the cells that produce insulin have been destroyed by the body’s own immune system. While we are getting closer, we still don’t understand why this happens, but some kind of trigger sets of an autoimmune attack. It is usually diagnosed in people under 40, but can occur at any age. Insulin acts as a key to open the blood cells and release glucose from your food into your brain, muscles and organs, where it is needed to live. For people with type 1 diabetes in Continue reading >>

What Do You Hate Most About Diabetes?

What Do You Hate Most About Diabetes?

82 people with diabetes share what they hate most about diabetes. We were curious, not everyone is a fan of diabetes. So we asked people with diabetes what is the one thing they hated most about diabetes. They opened up and were honest about what bothers them in managing their diabetes and here’s what they had to say: Joyce Davidson: It takes up too much time from my life. If I do everything I’m supposed to do to take care of my Diabetes; then I don’t have a life, all I have is Diabetes. Patricia Messer Smith: I can’t eat anything without my blood sugar going up. I hate diabetes. Life Climax: I hate the test strips cost a ton and living with diabetes is costly. Bora Jiao: I hate that it restricts my life and that people don’t really understand it. People don’t realize it’s not just what you eat. Anna Martelli: I hate that I have diabetes but my life has changed for the better. 3 years in my a1c is 6.0. I eat the best I can, it’s hard but I will never give up. I still do enjoy most of the things I did before. No one should ever give up, we all try the best we can to live with this, never said it was easy, but I am giving it my best shot. Marsha Lynn Sankey Motley: Shots Laura Bailey-Benning: ALL OF IT!!! Rosa Martinez: It’s annoying to take pills every night. But I feel it’s the best thing that happened to me. I can eat healthy and get thin. I feel very well. Nettie Hilliard: Everything!!! For more diabetes related articles: Elaine Williamson: I hate that no matter how hard you try, your blood sugar levels can still fluctuate dramatically. Paula Russell: All of it. I hate the shots, pills and most of all going to the hospital. Susan McBride: And I hate pills, shots, poking my finger 4 times or more a day. No cure yet, hear there is one but the FDA enj Continue reading >>

9 Bad Habits To Kick When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

9 Bad Habits To Kick When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

9 Bad Habits to Kick When You Have Type 2 Diabetes Living a healthy lifestyle can make a big difference in diabetes control. Put a stop to these wellness saboteurs today. Sign Up for Our Living with Diabetes Newsletter Sign up for more FREE Everyday Health newsletters . Eat this, dont stress about that you probably know the drill when it comes to type 2 diabetes management. Healthy lifestyle habits can make managing the condition easier and go a long way toward preventing complications later on. Certain bad habits, however, can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels and your health in general. And while hardened habits can be difficult to break for just about anyone, having diabetes means the stakes are even higher. Here are nine unhealthy tendencies you should try to shed ASAP and strategies to help you get there. Skipping meals. In our society, people skip breakfast and are too busy at work to eat lunch, says Sethu Reddy , MD, MBA, chief of the Adult Diabetes Section at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. They get home at 6 p.m. and are starving. What happens next? An all-out feast that can spike blood sugar and also lead to weight gain. "Instead of a binge at the end of the day, eat three meals throughout it to help keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range and maintain a healthy weight," says Dr. Reddy. Skipping breakfast, in particular, can negatively affect blood sugar levels for the rest of the day, according to a study in the July 2015 issue of Diabetes Care . Participants with diabetes who skipped breakfast had lunchtime blood sugar levels that were 37 percent higher than when they had eaten breakfast , and their blood sugar levels remained elevated at dinnertime. Late-night snacking. Eating a heavy snack while watching TV late at night is a double whammy Continue reading >>

Ten Things I Hate About Diabetes

Ten Things I Hate About Diabetes

It’s fall — the days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder, and diabetes is getting on my last nerves. This seems to happen every year. I know I’ve written similar blog entries several times, and I think it tends to happen right around this time every year. So call it the annual emotional cleansing, the annual therapeutic yell into the pillow — it’s time to tell diabetes what I think of it. And while dressing it up as some therapeutic process might be a stretch, it’s not completely absurd, either; it is very important that we give ourselves the space to just be angry every once in a while. I can say that — I’m a former therapist. Let’s start the countdown! In the grand scheme of things, shots for us Diabetians aren’t bad. The needles are tiny, and a mosquito bite hurts more. Nevertheless, I calculated it the other day, and figured I’ve given myself close to 40,000 shots. 40,000!!! Even if I don’t particularly mind them anymore, it makes the list due to sheer size! Related to shots, scar tissue is number nine on my list. Scar tissue is what develops when you repeatedly stab your own body over and over, say, 40,000 times, for example! Scar tissue messes with absorption, and it can turn a seemingly simple meal into a drawn-out ordeal of hunger and high numbers as you wait, and wait, and wait, and then wait some more, for that insulin to FINALLY make its way to your system and affect blood glucose! I wrote a whole blog entry about this a few weeks ago — diabetes has a unique psychological toll that nobody without diabetes can really 100% get. I’m not trying to sound overly dramatic — yes, we can manage this disease, and yes, things could be worse. But there is relentlessness about diabetes, particularly when you’re on insulin, that Continue reading >>

The Worst Thing About Having Diabetes

The Worst Thing About Having Diabetes

D.D. Family T1 since Nov '91, Pumping with Apidra since Aug 08 The thread about 10 things to tell a non-D made me think about this question, because for most non-D's, they think that injections are a big thing, whereas for me they are really not an issue at all. I said to the optician the other day that I thought that the drops you have to have in your eyes for your annual retinopathy check are the most painful thing about diabetes. What do you think is the worst thing? D.D. Family T1 Since 18 Aug 2006, now T2? aug 2010 The occasional unexpected high reading on my meter, when you just cant workout WHY I am a Diabetes Daily Guide. You can ask me questions about how to use the forum. Feb 2010 6.2%, October 09 5.8%, July 09 5.4%, April 09 5.1%,Jan 09 5.7, July 08 5.2, March 08 5.4%,A1C 5.6% Jan 2008,A1C 5.4% Nov 2007, A1C 5.7% June 2007, A1c,5.2% March 2007, A1c 5.6% December 2006, A1c 13% September 2006 DX Aug 2006, bg67 A1c 22%......The past now For Pictures of the Leeds meet click here D.D. Family T1 for 54 years - on Pump since 03/2008 D.D. Family T1 for 72 years, here to help One thing that annoys me so much is planning my day and then testing an hour or so before I get ready to leave the house and I have an unexpected low. Then I don't feel good and don't really want to go at all. That can ruin a day. Sometimes I feel great and then I drop low while I am out and have to stall while getting back on track. I have good control but D can disrupt my day at least tenmporarily once in awhile. Type 1 for 72 years. Using the MM 630g pump, and Dexcom G5. A1c=6.1 the complications of diabetes scare the heck out of me! i cannot imagine life as a blind person............ or going to dialysis 3 days a week............. or living in a wheelchair, with my legs amputated i saw all t Continue reading >>

There’s No Such Thing As A “bad Diabetic”

There’s No Such Thing As A “bad Diabetic”

There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Diabetic. You’ve probably heard that “you” or someone you know is “a bad diabetic” at some point. “But what’s a bad diabetic, honestly? Someone that fights their every being to survive? Someone that gets knocked down and gets right back up? Someone that’s having a hard time despite all intentions to do well?” I don’t think so. Diabetes can take years to get under control – But even then, one minor slip up can end you in the hospital. Diabetes is like walking a tightrope—it’s unpredictable and has no boundaries. Diabetes does not discriminate. It just happened to have chosen me. I didn’t ask for this. I know that this situation is life or death. That my life is dependent on me taking my insulin and checking my blood sugar every day. But we live in a society where others are ignorant about diabetes. Many can’t differentiate from Type 1 to Type 2. I’m constantly being judged by what my A1C is, to what I eat, and every lifestyle choice I make. Exhausting much?! It even takes training for others to know how to respond to my low blood sugars or high blood sugars. I often feel guilt that I place such a heavy burden on family and friends. Diabetes affects everyone in the family—not just myself. I’ve had some scary run-ins with diabetes. I’m constantly being reminded how different I am from everyone else, even if I can still do all the same things. My diabetes will tell me when I need to slow down. Every little thing that I do revolves around my diabetes. Even a small trip to the store ends up being an “event”. Regardless of what others may think or how I feel about myself, I constantly have to remind myself that I’m still human. I’m going to have bad days. But those days do not depict on how bright m Continue reading >>

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 >>

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

en espaolComplicaciones a largo plazo de la diabetes Many of the complications of diabetes don't show up until after many years even decades of having the disease. They usually develop silently and gradually over time, so even if people with diabetes aren't having any signs of complications, they may still eventually develop them. Talking or thinking about long-term complications can be scary. And it can be hard for anyone to make changes in how they live today to decrease the risk of health problems that may not show up for decades. But it's important to start now. Managing your diabetes by eating right, getting regular exercise, and taking your medicine as directed by your diabetes health care team is the best way to reduce the risk of developing complications. You may have wondered why doctors talk so much about keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Here's why: Long-term diabetes problems or complications are often linked to higher blood sugar levels over a long period of time. These complications can affect several different parts of the body. But blood sugar control isn't the only thing that determines a person's risk for diabetes complications. Other factors, like genes, can also play a role. Parts of the body that can be most affected by diabetes complications are the: People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing eye problems, including: Cataracts: A cataract is a thickening and clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens is the part of the eye that helps you focus on what you see. Cataracts can make a person's vision blurry or make it hard to see at night. Doctors think that people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts if they have high blood sugar levels over a long period of time. If cataracts get in the way of seeing properly, a Continue reading >>

10 Bad Habits That Raise Your Diabetes Risk

10 Bad Habits That Raise Your Diabetes Risk

1 / 11 Bad Habits That Raise Your Diabetes Risk As you pick up your morning coffee en route to work, you contemplate a glossy iced donut in the display case. You know it’s not good for you, but you deserve a treat, right? But before you make a grab for those tempting baked goods, consider this: These seemingly harmless everyday diet decisions aren’t linked just to the obesity epidemic in the United States, but also to the worldwide rise in type 2 diabetes. It’s time to ditch some bad everyday habits — before a diabetes diagnosis forces you to. This isn’t just idle advice, either. A British study of nearly 4,000 people found that such lifestyle fixes were key to stabilizing blood sugar and reversing metabolic syndrome, a condition that leads to diabetes. So what are you waiting for? Here are some important changes you can make to trim your waistline and cut your diabetes risk. Continue reading >>

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