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Has Diabetes Always Been Around

From The Nurse’s Office To Neuschwanstein Castle

From The Nurse’s Office To Neuschwanstein Castle

Being friends with a diabetic has definitely been interesting. The first time I met Mattie we were playing Red Rover during recess with the other children in our grade. Mattie seemed just like any other kid, running around and having fun. When I got to know her better I found out she had diabetes, and as a safety measure she had to be escorted everywhere around the school. In case she had a seizure or other diabetic complication, the escort (usually another student in her class) would be able to send for help. Mattie asked me to go with her to the nurse’s office before lunch one day so she could test her blood sugar. I agreed, as it was a great excuse to get out of class early. We walked to the nurse’s office together, talking about whatever 6th grade girls talk about. Our conversation continued even while we were in the nurse’s office and Mattie was retrieving her diabetes supplies and prepping them to take a blood sugar. I didn’t know much about diabetes, so I was completely horrified when I saw Mattie, mid-conversation, stab her finger, squeeze blood out of it, and then stick a glucose meter in the blood. But of course, I wanted to seem cool, so I did my best to continue the conversation while trying not to pass out from the sight of blood. I couldn’t believe someone who acted just like any other kid could have a disease that had to be monitored so often and so painstakingly. I was afraid she might break any minute. Luckily, Mattie has always been very open about her diabetes. Learning from her and how to help if a life threatening situation arises put me at ease and allowed me to view her as a friend again and not as someone who needs to be protected from the world. It took Mattie a while to get her blood sugars under control, but now that she has, we have Continue reading >>

The Infant And Toddler With Diabetes: Challenges Of Diagnosis And Management

The Infant And Toddler With Diabetes: Challenges Of Diagnosis And Management

Go to: Infants and toddlers comprise a small minority of individuals with type 1 diabetes. However, epidemiological data provide evidence of a trend towards diagnosis at a younger age. These very young children pose significant challenges to both the health care professionals involved in their care as well as to their families. At diagnosis, younger children often do not present with classical symptoms of diabetes. Unless health professionals remain alert to the possibility of diabetes being the underlying cause of a child’s illness, the diagnosis may be missed. Once the diabetes has been diagnosed, the major challenge is to set up a treatment regimen that is both reasonable and realistic; in the youngest children, the goal of very tight metabolic control may expose them to episodes of severe hypoglycemia which may lead to subtle cognitive impairments later in life. The therapeutic regimen must balance the naturally erratic eating and exercise patterns of very young children with the need to maintain adequate metabolic control. Setting a blood glucose target range of 6 to 12 mmol/L usually allows this to be accomplished. Diabetes during early childhood creates a psychosocial challenge to the families of these children. Successful management of infants and toddlers with diabetes depends on a well functioning and educated family, the availability of diabetes health care team experienced in the treatment of these youngsters, and the involvement of the extended family, child care personnel and others who play a role in their daily care. Keywords: Infants, Metabolic control, Toddlers, Type I diabetes Children under three to five years of age with type I diabetes comprise a small proportion of all those with this disorder: less than 1% of all children are diagnosed in the f Continue reading >>

Am I Cured Of Diabetes?

Am I Cured Of Diabetes?

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, these three words are everywhere: reversal, remission and cure. There are so many people who claim to have the answer to type 2 diabetes either through a diet plan or supplement. They claim to have a cure or that they can reverse your type 2. The argument that ensues takes offense at the idea that type 2 can be cured or reversed or even put into remission. I think that the evolution around these arguments stems from the irritation we feel when people tell us, “All you have to do is this…and you’re cured.” Sometimes, we get hypersensitive, and I’m as much to blame as anyone else. So let’s take a look at these three words. Here are the definitions taken from a medical dictionary: Reversal: a change to an opposite condition, direction, or position.Remission: a temporary or permanent decrease or subsidence of manifestations of a disease. Cure: a restoration of health; recovery from disease. Let’s say I’m someone who has type 2 diabetes (Hey! I DO have type 2 diabetes! Not much of a stretch, eh?) and I find a food plan that I think will work for me and I try it. I work hard at lowering my bg numbers. I exercise. I kick diabete’s butt. So now I have an A1c of 6.0 percent, which is pretty darn good for someone with diabetes. Based on the definitions above, have I reversed my diabetes or put it into remission? Am I cured? Well, I could say that it’s reversed because I have changed the direction of my disease. My blood glucose was going up and now it’s going down: reversal. I could also say that my diabetes is in remission because I have a decrease in the manifestations of the disease. As for cured, I may have restored my health but I have not recovered from the disease. In all three cases, diabetes is still there lurking, Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is much less common than type 2 diabetes and typically affects younger individuals. Type 1 diabetes usually begins before age 40, although there have been people diagnosed at an older age. In the United States, the peak age at diagnosis is around 14. Type 1 diabetes is associated with deficiency (or lack) of insulin. It is not known why, but the pancreatic islet cells quit producing insulin in the quantities needed to maintain a normal blood glucose level. Without sufficient insulin, the blood glucose rises to levels which can cause some of the common symptoms of hyperglycemia. These individuals seek medical help when these symptoms arise, but they often will experience weight loss developing over several days associated with the onset of their diabetes. The onset of these first symptoms may be fairly abrupt or more gradual. To learn more about type 1 diabetes basics, see our type 1 diabetes slideshow. It has been estimated that the yearly incidence of type 1 diabetes developing is 3.7 to 20 per 100,000. More than 700,000 Americans have this type of diabetes. This is about 10% of all Americans diagnosed with diabetes; the other 90% have type 2 diabetes. What You Need to Know about Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 Diabetes Causes Type 1 diabetes usually develops due to an autoimmune disorder. This is when the body's immune system behaves inappropriately and starts seeing one of its own tissues as foreign. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the islet cells of the pancreas that produce insulin are seen as the "enemy" by mistake. The body then creates antibodies to fight the "foreign" tissue and destroys the islet cells' ability to produce insulin. The lack of sufficient insulin thereby results in diabetes. It is unknown why this autoimmune diabetes develops. Most often Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Diabetes: Seven Signs You Could Have The Condition

Symptoms Of Diabetes: Seven Signs You Could Have The Condition

The symptoms are not always obvious, and many people could be suffering with the condition for years before they learn they have it. Every week 4,500 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes across the UK. However, experts warn thousands could be living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. The condition, which can be caused by being overweight and poor diet can cause blindness, limbs to be amputated - every week diabetes causes 150 amputations - and even kidney failure. It has even been linked to a reduce life expectancy if the condition it not managed well. People also need to ensure they look after their feet properly as high levels of blood glucose can cause foot problems. This can stop nerves working so people might not feel when they have cut their feet or burned themselves. The main symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are: Urinating more often than usual - particularly at night Excessive urination can be triggered by excess glucose in the blood which interferes with the kidney’s ability to concentrate urine. Feeling thirsty Kidneys have to work harder in people with type 2 diabetes. Puldisia is the term given to excessive thirst. Diabetes.co.uk said: “If you feel thirsty all the time or your thirst is stronger than usual and continues even after you drink, it can be a sign that not all is well inside your body.” If you feel thirsty all the time or your thirst is stronger than usual and continues even after you drink, it can be a sign that not all is well inside your body Feeling tired Feeling tired could be a symptom of many conditions - but it can be caused in people who have low blood sugar. Itching around the penis or vagina Thrush - a yeast infection - tends to affect warm, moist areas of the body such as the vagina, penis, mouth and certain areas Continue reading >>

The History Of Diabetes

The History Of Diabetes

For 2,000 years diabetes has been recognized as a devastating and deadly disease. In the first century A.D. a Greek, Aretaeus, described the destructive nature of the affliction which he named “diabetes” from the Greek word for “siphon.” Eugene J. Leopold in his text Aretaeus the Cappodacian describes Aretaeus’ diagnosis: “…For fluids do not remain in the body, but use the body only as a channel through which they may flow out. Life lasts only for a time, but not very long. For they urinate with pain and painful is the emaciation. For no essential part of the drink is absorbed by the body while great masses of the flesh are liquefied into urine.” Physicians in ancient times, like Aretaeus, recognized the symptoms of diabetes but were powerless to effectively treat it. Aretaeus recommended oil of roses, dates, raw quinces, and gruel. And as late as the 17th century, doctors prescribed “gelly of viper’s flesh, broken red coral, sweet almonds, and fresh flowers of blind nettles.” Early Discoveries-Human Guinea Pigs In the 17th century a London physician, Dr. Thomas Willis, determined whether his patients had diabetes or not by sampling their urine. If it had a sweet taste he would diagnose them with diabetes mellitus- “honeyed” diabetes. This method of monitoring blood sugars went largely unchanged until the 20th century. Despite physicians’ valiant efforts to combat diabetes, their patients remained little more than human guinea pigs. In the early 20th century, diabetologists such as Dr. Frederick Allen prescribed low calorie diets-as little as 450 calories per day for his patients. His diet prolonged the life of people with diabetes but kept them weak and suffering from near starvation. In effect, the most a person afflicted with diabetes coul Continue reading >>

The Rise Of Childhood Type 1 Diabetes In The 20th Century

The Rise Of Childhood Type 1 Diabetes In The 20th Century

The incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes increased worldwide in the closing decades of the 20th century, but the origins of this increase are poorly documented. A search through the early literature revealed a number of useful but neglected sources, particularly in Scandinavia. While these do not meet the exacting standards of more recent surveys, tentative conclusions can be drawn concerning long-term changes in the demography of the disease. Childhood type 1 diabetes was rare but well recognized before the introduction of insulin. Low incidence and prevalence rates were recorded in several countries over the period 1920–1950, and one carefully performed study showed no change in childhood incidence over the period 1925–1955. An almost simultaneous upturn was documented in several countries around the mid-century. The overall pattern since then is one of linear increase, with evidence of a plateau in some high-incidence populations and of a catch-up phenomenon in some low-incidence areas. Steep rises in the age-group under 5 years have been recorded recently. The disease process underlying type 1 diabetes has changed over time and continues to evolve. Understanding why and how this produced the pandemic of childhood diabetes would be an important step toward reversing it. At the start of the 20th century, childhood diabetes was rare and rapidly fatal. By its end, some 3–4 children per 1,000 in Western countries would require insulin treatment by the age of 20 years, and a steady rise in incidence had been reported from many other parts of the world. This increase has been extensively documented over the past two decades, over which time standard means of data collection have been agreed, central registries have been established, and numerous epidemiological stu Continue reading >>

50 Secrets Of The Longest Living People With Diabetes

50 Secrets Of The Longest Living People With Diabetes

The latest scientific research confirms that you can live well and long with diabetes without suffering from its more devastating health complications. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you have the ability to improve the quality and length of your life through physical activity, a positive mental outlook, and certain diabetes tools and medications. Now, the longest living people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes share the secrets that have helped them achieve longevity and wellness. From interviews with more than fifty people who have thrived with the condition for as many as 84 years, diabetes authorities Drs. Colberg and Edelman distill their lifelong habits into fifty user-friendly, easy-to-adopt secrets. Featuring profiles of ten people who have each lived an average of 65 years with diabetes and practical advice for incorporating each secret into your daily life, this invaluable resource will inform, inspire, and motivate you to live well—and fully—to 90 and beyond. Find out what some of the secrets are: • Live first and be diabetic second • Know your numbers and assume nothing • Have kids if you want to • Erase your mistakes with exercise No matter what type of diabetes you have, you control the ability to escape serious complications (or control the ones you may have) and add years, if not decades, to your life.

Type 1 Diabetes Facts

Type 1 Diabetes Facts

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that controls blood-sugar levels. T1D develops when the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. The cause of this attack is still being researched, however scientists believe the cause may have genetic and environmental components. There is nothing anyone can do to prevent T1D. Presently, there is no known cure. Who T1D affects Type 1 diabetes (sometimes known as juvenile diabetes) affects children and adults, though people can be diagnosed at any age. With a typically quick onset, T1D must be managed with the use of insulin—either via injection or insulin pump. Soon, people who are insulin dependent may also be able to use artificial pancreas systems to automatically administer their insulin. How T1D is managed Type 1 diabetes is a 24/7 disease that requires constant management. People with T1D continuously and carefully balance insulin intake with eating, exercise and other activities. They also measure blood-sugar levels through finger pricks, ideally at least six times a day, or by wearing a continuous glucose monitor. Even with a strict regimen, people with T1D may still experience dangerously high or low blood-glucose levels that can, in extreme cases, be life threatening. Every person with T1D becomes actively involved in managing his or her disease. Insulin is not a cure While insulin therapy keeps people with T1D alive and can help keep blood-glucose levels within recommended range, it is not a cure, nor does it prevent the possibility of T1D’s serious effects. The outlook for treatments and a cure Although T1D is a serious and challenging disease, long-term management options cont Continue reading >>

How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes – The Quick Start Guide

How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes – The Quick Start Guide

It’s possible to simply reverse type 2 diabetes. There are only two things you need to do. By reading this brief post you’ll know what they are, and how to get started. Or skip ahead to the two steps right away > Quick start Twenty years ago, when you bought a brand sparkly new VCR machine, you would also get a thick instruction manual. Read this thoroughly before you start, the manufacturer would implore. There would be detailed setup procedures and troubleshooting guides. Most of us ignored the manual, just plugged it in and tried to figure out the rest. That’s why we all had the blinking 12:00 on. Today, most new electronics now come with a quick start guide which has the most basic 4 or 5 steps to get your machine working and then anything else you needed, you could reference the detailed instruction manual. Instruction manuals are just so much more useful this way. Well, I don’t know much about VCRs, but I do know about type 2 diabetes. I can write an entire book about obesity (oh, wait, I did that already), or fasting (oh, wait, coming up) or type 2 diabetes (next up for 2018). But many of you will not want to go through the entire instruction manual. So this is the quick start guide for reversing your type 2 diabetes. A fully reversible disease Most doctors, dietitians and diabetes specialists claim that type 2 diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease. The American Diabetes Association, for example, almost proudly proclaims this on its website. Once you get the diagnosis, it’s a life sentence. But, it’s actually a great big lie. Type 2 diabetes is almost always reversible and this is almost ridiculously easy to prove. This is great news for the more than 50% of American adults who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes. Recognizing thi Continue reading >>

Reversing Diabetes Is Possible

Reversing Diabetes Is Possible

Bethesda, Maryland (CNN) -- When Jonathan Legg of Bethesda, Maryland, got a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes at 39, he was shocked. "I had always been pretty active," said Legg. "But it was a big wake-up call, that what I was doing and my current weight were not OK." That was two years ago. Since that time, the Morgan Stanley executive decided to make some changes and reverse his diabetes. Although his doctor recommended he go on medication to control his illness, Legg took a different approach. Instead of meds, he began to exercise every day and changed his diet, cutting out alcohol, fatty foods and watching his carbs. Do you have diabetes? How well are you managing it? "I wanted to be able to know the changes I was making were making a difference, and it wasn't the drug," said Legg. According to new statistics just out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.8 million people, or 8.3% of the U.S. population, are affected by either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Most, like Legg, have type 2 diabetes, which in many people develops later in life. Caused primarily by genetic makeup, a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits, type 2 diabetes can be reversed in some cases. By making changes to their lives such as adding exercise and improving their diets, many type 2 diabetics can drop their glucose or sugar numbers back to the normal range, reversing their condition. "We have seen numerous people reverse their condition," says Dr. Michelle Magee, director of the MedStar Diabetes Institute in Washington. "But it takes a real dedication for the rest of their lives," she notes. So why do exercise and diet help reverse diabetes? To answer that question, we first need to know why people get diabetes in the first place. Diabetes is caused when there is too much glucose Continue reading >>

The History Of Diabetes

The History Of Diabetes

Scientists and physicians have been documenting the condition now known as diabetes for thousands of years. From the origins of its discovery to the dramatic breakthroughs in its treatment, many brilliant minds have played a part in the fascinating history of diabetes. Diabetes: Its Beginnings The first known mention of diabetes symptoms was in 1552 B.C., when Hesy-Ra, an Egyptian physician, documented frequent urination as a symptom of a mysterious disease that also caused emaciation. Also around this time, ancient healers noted that ants seemed to be attracted to the urine of people who had this disease. In 150 AD, the Greek physician Arateus described what we now call diabetes as "the melting down of flesh and limbs into urine." From then on, physicians began to gain a better understanding about diabetes. Centuries later, people known as "water tasters" diagnosed diabetes by tasting the urine of people suspected to have it. If urine tasted sweet, diabetes was diagnosed. To acknowledge this feature, in 1675 the word "mellitus," meaning honey, was added to the name "diabetes," meaning siphon. It wasn't until the 1800s that scientists developed chemical tests to detect the presence of sugar in the urine. Diabetes: Early Treatments As physicians learned more about diabetes, they began to understand how it could be managed. The first diabetes treatment involved prescribed exercise, often horseback riding, which was thought to relieve excessive urination. In the 1700s and 1800s, physicians began to realize that dietary changes could help manage diabetes, and they advised their patients to do things like eat only the fat and meat of animals or consume large amounts of sugar. During the Franco-Prussian War of the early 1870s, the French physician Apollinaire Bouchardat noted Continue reading >>

Early Symptoms Of Diabetes

Early Symptoms Of Diabetes

How can you tell if you have diabetes? Most early symptoms are from higher-than-normal levels of glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood. The warning signs can be so mild that you don't notice them. That's especially true of type 2 diabetes. Some people don't find out they have it until they get problems from long-term damage caused by the disease. With type 1 diabetes, the symptoms usually happen quickly, in a matter of days or a few weeks. They're much more severe, too. Both types of diabetes have some of the same telltale warning signs. Hunger and fatigue. Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to bring the glucose in. If your body doesn't make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can't get into them and you have no energy. This can make you more hungry and tired than usual. Peeing more often and being thirstier. The average person usually has to pee between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more. Why? Normally your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your kidneys may not be able to bring it all back in. This causes the body to make more urine, and that takes fluids. You'll have to go more often. You might pee out more, too. Because you're peeing so much, you can get very thirsty. When you drink more, you'll also pee more. Dry mouth and itchy skin. Because your body is using fluids to make pee, there's less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated, and your mouth may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy. Blurred vision. Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in your eyes swell up. They change shape and lose their a Continue reading >>

New Research On High Glucose Levels

New Research On High Glucose Levels

American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines advise “lowering A1C to below or around 7%” and postprandial (after-meal) glucose levels to 180 mg/dl or below. But new research shows that these glucose levels damage blood vessels, nerves, organs, and beta cells. An article by diabetes blogger Jenny Ruhl analyzes at what blood glucose level organ damage starts. According to Ruhl, research shows that glucose can do harm at much lower levels than doctors had thought. This news could be discouraging or even terrifying. If it’s hard to meet your current glucose goals, how will you reach tighter goals? Such news might make some people give up. But remember, a high postprandial or fasting reading won’t kill you. All we know is that higher numbers correlate with higher chances of complications. You have time to react. In fact, we could choose to look at this as good news. We all know of people who developed complications despite “good control.” But complications are not inevitable; it’s just that so-called “good control” wasn’t really all that good. First, the numbers. “Post-meal blood sugars of 140 mg/dl [milligrams per deciliter] and higher, and fasting blood sugars over 100 mg/dl [can] cause permanent organ damage and cause diabetes to progress,” Ruhl writes. For nerve damage, University of Utah researchers studied people with painful sensory neuropathy, or nerve damage. They found that participants who did not have diabetes but who had impaired glucose tolerance on an oral glucose tolerance test, or OGTT, (meaning that their glucose levels rose to between 140 mg/dl and 200 mg/dl in response to drinking a glucose-rich drink) were much more likely to have a diabetic form of neuropathy than those with lower blood glucose levels. The higher these OGTT num Continue reading >>

The Effects Of Diabetes On Relationships

The Effects Of Diabetes On Relationships

Will you leave your SO (significant other) because of diabetes? Committed relationships are hard enough. When you add a chronic illness into the mix of everyday problems, it can place undue stress on a relationship. Do you leave your spouse or partner with diabetes when the going gets tough, or do you stick it out and work together to solve problems that come up, “in sickness and in health?” These are questions you may be asking yourself if you have been going through a tough time in your relationship or marriage due to diabetes. If your partner is in a state of denial and they are refusing to participate in self-care activities or listen to their doctor, this can be quite frustrating. You may be getting burnt out from always trying to fix the right amount of carbohydrates, only to catch your other half in the back room hiding with a box of candy. Feeling like you are the “diabetes police” and always nagging drains the joy out of your relationship. The spouse of a diabetic can feel a loss of control over the future, and be afraid that they will lose their life partner. Conversely, if you are the diabetic in the match, you tend to get quite aggravated with all of the nagging and “sugar-shaming” that can be going on. Maybe your partner didn’t support you by attending diabetes education classes, and now she doesn’t seem to know that it’s ok for you to have an occasional treat. Maybe she doesn’t realize that you are having the extra carbohydrates, but you have a walk planned for after the meal. Sometimes you feel misunderstood. It’s true that diabetes can take a physical, mental and financial toll on a relationship. Remember that your overbearing and controlling partner is acting from a place of genuine caring and concern for you. Now let’s look at t Continue reading >>

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