Video: How Diabetes Affects Your Blood Sugar
Your body uses glucose for energy. Glucose metabolism requires insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas. Here's how normal glucose metabolism works, and what happens when you have diabetes — a disease where your body either can't produce enough insulin or it can't use insulin properly. The food you eat consists of three basic nutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat. During digestion, chemicals in your stomach break down carbohydrates into glucose, which is absorbed into your bloodstream. Your pancreas responds to the glucose by releasing insulin. Insulin is responsible for allowing glucose into your body's cells. When the glucose enters your cells, the amount of glucose in your bloodstream falls. If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn't secrete insulin — which causes a buildup of glucose in your bloodstream. Without insulin, the glucose can't get into your cells. If you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas secretes less insulin than your body requires because your body is resistant to its effect. With both types of diabetes, glucose cannot be used for energy, and it builds up in your bloodstream — causing potentially serious health complications. Continue reading >>
Bitter Melon And Diabetes: How Does It Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
Diabetes is a condition that affects blood sugar levels and can lead to health issues if not properly managed. Could eating bitter melon be healthful for those looking to manage diabetes? The bodies of people with diabetes do not produce enough insulin or are not able to use insulin effectively, which leads to there being too much glucose in the blood. Insulin is required so that cells can use it for energy. A healthful diet and exercise are important for people with diabetes to help them manage their condition. Certain foods can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which is problematic. In this article, we explore whether bitter melon is healthful for people looking to manage diabetes. As part of this, we analyze the impact bitter melon may have on blood sugar. Contents of this article: Treating diabetes In type 1 diabetes, high blood sugar is the result of the body not producing enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes, however, occurs when the body does not respond correctly to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and people of any age can develop it. Many people with diabetes manage their condition well and do not experience further health problems. A range of medications and lifestyle changes can help people with diabetes live healthy lives. However, drug therapies may have some side effects. As such, some people look to try natural treatments that are free of side effects. To make an informed decision about these, it helps to understand the science behind these options. One such natural treatment method is better melon. Although further research is needed to draw reliable conclusions, some research suggests bitter melon may normalize blood glucose levels. What is bitter melon? Bitter melon has many different names, depending on where you are in the w Continue reading >>
Change In Temperature Can Affect Blood Sugar Levels
Back to Living Better Many diabetics are aware stress and illness can cause blood sugar fluctuations, but did you know changes in temperatures can affect blood sugar levels and lead to false readings? Sabrina Rene, M.D., an endocrinologist at Piedmont, explains how temperature can produce blood sugar highs and lows, and how they can affect diabetes testing supplies. Effects of warm weather on diabetics During warmer months, it is especially important for diabetics to stay properly hydrated. Dehydration can cause blood sugar to rise as the glucose in your blood becomes more concentrated. High temperatures can also cause blood vessels to dilate, which can enhance insulin absorption, potentially leading to low blood sugar. It is best for diabetics to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day and monitor blood sugar closely for changes when temperatures start to rise. Ideal storage temperature for diabetic testing supplies Extreme heat and cold can affect insulin, test strips and glucose monitors. Never leave these supplies in a car, no matter what time of year. The meter should also be stored and used in a room that remains between 50 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Dr. Rene says it is important to store test strips in a dry, cool place. “You never want to store test strips in your bathroom. The warm, humid atmosphere can damage the strips, causing them to produce false readings,” she says. Vascular problems and temperature changes Patients with vascular problems often do not have proper blood flow, especially to their extremities, and cold weather may exacerbate slow blood flow. Diabetes test strips need a certain level of oxygen and blood flow to accurately calculate the glucose level. The lower these are, the less accurate the reading, says Dr. Rene. Raynaud’s p Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar Levels After Surgery
How Diabetes and Blood Glucose Levels Can Affect Your Surgery Outcome Talk to Your Doctor About Your Diabetes.Hero Images/Getty Images If you're diabetic, you may be concerned about your blood sugar levels during surgery and later during your recovery. It's reasonable to be concerned, and it's appropriate to take steps to prepare to control glucose levels before, during, and after surgery. Even non-diabetics can experience issues with blood sugar levels after a procedure. The physical and emotional stress of a surgical procedure, along with what can be significant changes in lifestyle, diet, and exercise before and after surgery, can dramatically change an individual's glucose levels.Though all patients are at risk for high blood sugar levels after surgery due to stress, diabetics face even greater risks of complications after a procedure . Uncontrolled blood glucose can create complications for surgery patients, diabetic or not. Blood sugar that's even slightly elevated can lead to delayed healing and can increase your chances of getting a wound infection from less than 2 percent to over 10 percent. In general, the higher the blood sugar, the higher these risks. Make sure your doctor has your blood sugar checked before meals and at bedtime while you're in the hospital if you're diabetic. Learn which foods to enjoy and avoidand start feeling great! Checking your glucose during surgery is reasonable if the surgery is a lengthy one or if your glucose levels have been unpredictable. Even diabetics who are normally well controlled with diet and exercise can experience high levels of blood glucose during the hours and days following surgery. If your glucose is fluctuating widely between checks, you may even need to have it checked during the night if you're having symptoms Continue reading >>
How Does Diabetes Affect The Body?
Tweet Knowing how diabetes affects your body can help you look after your body and prevent diabetic complications from developing. Many of the effects of diabetes stem from the same guilty parties; namely high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and a lack of blood glucose control. Signs of diabetes When undiagnosed or uncontrolled, the effects of diabetes on the body can be noticed by the classic symptoms of diabetes, namely: Increased thirst Frequent need to urinate Fatigue Blurred vision and Tingling or pain in the hands, feet and/or legs Long term effects of diabetes on the body In addition to the symptoms, diabetes can cause long term damage to our body. The long term damage is commonly referred to as diabetic complications. Diabetes affects our blood vessels and nerves and therefore can affect any part of the body. However, certain parts of our body are affected more than other parts. Diabetic complications will usually take a number of years of poorly controlled diabetes to develop. Complications are not a certainty and can be kept at bay and prevented by maintaining a strong level of control on your diabetes, your blood pressure and cholesterol. These can all be helped by keeping to a healthy diet, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and incorporating regular activity into your daily regime in order to keep blood sugar levels within recommended blood glucose level guidelines. The effect of diabetes on the heart Diabetes and coronary heart disease are closely related. Diabetes contributes to high blood pressure and is linked with high cholesterol which significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes and strokes Similar to how diabetes affects the heart, high blood pressure and cholesterol raises the risk of strokes. How dia Continue reading >>
How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?
A printable, colorful PDF version of this article can be found here. twitter summary: Adam identifies at least 22 things that affect blood glucose, including food, medication, activity, biological, & environmental factors. short summary: As patients, we tend to blame ourselves for out of range blood sugars – after all, the equation to “good diabetes management” is supposedly simple (eating, exercise, medication). But have you ever done everything right and still had a glucose that was too high or too low? In this article, I look into the wide variety of things that can actually affect blood glucose - at least 22! – including food, medication, activity, and both biological and environmental factors. The bottom line is that diabetes is very complicated, and for even the most educated and diligent patients, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that affects blood glucose. So when you see an out-of-range glucose value, don’t judge yourself – use it as information to make better decisions. As a patient, I always fall into the trap of thinking I’m at fault for out of range blood sugars. By taking my medication, monitoring my blood glucose, watching what I eat, and exercising, I would like to have perfect in-range values all the time. But after 13 years of type 1 diabetes, I’ve learned it’s just not that simple. There are all kinds of factors that affect blood glucose, many of which are impossible to control, remember, or even account for. Based on personal experience, conversations with experts, and scientific research, here’s a non-exhaustive list of 22 factors that can affect blood glucose. They are separated into five areas – Food, Medication, Activity, Biological factors, and Environmental factors. I’ve provided arrows to show the ge Continue reading >>
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How Stress Affects Blood Sugar Levels
Two types of stress can change blood sugar levels: Physical stress Mental or emotional stress Each type of stress affects blood sugar levels differently. Physical stress generally causes blood sugar levels to increase. Physical stress includes: Illness Surgery Injury Mental or emotional stress has mixed effects, depending on the type of diabetes you have: Type 1 diabetes: Mental stress can increase or decrease blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes: Mental stress generally increases blood sugar levels. Stress also can affect your blood sugar levels indirectly by causing you to forget about your regular diabetes care routine. When you're stressed out, you might: Exercise more or less Eat more or less Eat less healthy foods Not test your blood sugar level as often Forget or delay a dose of medication and/or insulin mental stress can affect your blood sugar levels Use your diabetes logbook to discover if mental stress affects your blood sugar levels, especially if you have type 2 diabetes. Some people with type 2 diabetes are very sensitive to stress. It causes the body to produce especially high levels of stress hormones, which drive blood sugar levels up. follow these steps to find out if your blood sugar levels are affected by mental stress: Rate your stress level on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 indicates the lowest stress level and 10 the highest; record your stress level in your logbook. Test your glucose using your home monitor and enter the result. After a week or two, study your results to see if there is a pattern or relationship between your stress level and your blood sugar levels. 3 ways to reduce mental stress Teach yourself to relax when under stress using deep-breathing exercises or techniques you learn in a stress-management class. Evaluate your schedule and de Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar Symptoms: How High Blood Sugar Affects The Body - Health
Glucose, or sugar, is the fuel that powers cells throughout the body. Blood levels of this energy source ebb and flow naturally, depending what you eat (and how much), as well as when you eat it. But when something goes wrongand cells aren't absorbing the glucosethe resulting high blood sugar damages nerves, blood vessels, and organs, setting the stage for dangerous complications. Normal blood-sugar readings typically fall between 60 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl. A blood test called a hemoglobin A1c measures average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. A normal reading is below 5.7% for people without diabetes . An excess of glucose in the bloodstream, or hyperglycemia, is a sign of diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes dont make insulin, the hormone needed to ferry sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Type 2 diabetes means your body doesnt use insulin properly and you can end up with too much or too little insulin. Either way, without proper treatment, toxic amounts of sugar can build up in the bloodstream, wreaking havoc head to toe. Thats why its so important to get your blood sugar levels in check. If you keep glucose levels near normal, you reduce the risk of diabetes complications, says Robert Ratner, MD, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. Heres a rundown of the major complications and symptoms of high blood sugar. Often, high blood sugar causes no (obvious) symptoms at all, at least at first. About 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but one in four has no idea. Another 86 million have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes . That's why its a good idea to get your blood sugar tested if you are at risk for diabetes. That includes people who are overwei Continue reading >>
Alcohol And Diabetes: How Does It Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
For many people, a glass of alcohol here and there does not pose a problem. However, for those with health conditions, such as diabetes, alcohol can affect blood sugar levels and pose a health risk. Understanding what you are consuming and how alcohol influences blood glucose levels is particularly important for people with diabetes. Alcohol can interfere with blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should sip drinks slowly and not drink on an empty stomach. Alcohol and the body Alcohol is a depressant; it is classed as a "sedative-hypnotic drug" because it depresses the central nervous system. Every organ in the body can be affected by alcohol. Once consumed, it is rapidly absorbed by the stomach and small intestine and enters the bloodstream. In an average person, the liver can breaks down roughly one standard drink of alcohol per hour. Excess alcohol moves throughout the body. The amount not broken down by the liver is removed by the lungs,kidneys, and skin in urine and sweat. How alcohol affects a person's body depends on how much they consume. At low doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant - people may feel happy, or become talkative. Drinking too much alcohol, however, can impair the body. Alcohol and blood sugar levels A person's overall health plays a big role in how they respond to alcohol. People with diabetes or other blood sugar problems must be careful when consuming alcohol. Alcohol consumption can interfere with blood sugar as well as the hormones needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Frequent heavy drinkers can wipe out their energy storage in a few hours. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the overall effectiveness of insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels. Many people with alcoholic liver disease also have either gluc Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar And Sleepproblems
Blood Sugar and Sleep Problems: How Blood Sugar Levels Impact Sleep Alaska Sleep Clinic is dedicated to raising awareness for diabetic complications and how they correlate with sleep disorders and overall tiredness. SLEEP PROBLEMS AND SNORING MAY PREDICT DIABETES Studies have shown that individuals who consistently have a bad night's sleep are more likely to develop conditions linked todiabetesand heart disease. Loud snoring sleepers (many of whom may have sleep apnea), compared to quiet sleepers, double (2x) their risks of developing certain types ofmetabolic syndrome(s); including diabetes,obesity,andhigh blood pressure. This likelihood also increased dramatically to 80% in those who found it difficult to fall asleep and to 70% for those who woke up feeling not as refreshed. Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels, and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep. Its a vicious cycle. As the amount of sleep decreases, blood sugar increases, escalating the issue. Lack of sleep has been shown to increase blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetic issues. Higher blood sugar means less long-lasting fat metabolism in the night and even less sleep. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine found that people who slept less than 6 hours a night had more blood sugar complications compared to those who received 8 hours of sleep. Sleepless and restless nights hurt more than your mood and energy; it is a form of chronic stress on the body. When there is added stress on your body this results in having higher blood sugar levels. When researchers restricted people with type-1 diabetes to just 4 hours of sleep, their sensitivity to insulin was reduced by 20% compared to that after a full night of sleep. When your blood sugar is really high, your kidneys will tr Continue reading >>
Normal Regulation Of Blood Glucose
The human body wants blood glucose (blood sugar) maintained in a very narrow range. Insulin and glucagon are the hormones which make this happen. Both insulin and glucagon are secreted from the pancreas, and thus are referred to as pancreatic endocrine hormones. The picture on the left shows the intimate relationship both insulin and glucagon have to each other. Note that the pancreas serves as the central player in this scheme. It is the production of insulin and glucagon by the pancreas which ultimately determines if a patient has diabetes, hypoglycemia, or some other sugar problem. In this Article Insulin Basics: How Insulin Helps Control Blood Glucose Levels Insulin and glucagon are hormones secreted by islet cells within the pancreas. They are both secreted in response to blood sugar levels, but in opposite fashion! Insulin is normally secreted by the beta cells (a type of islet cell) of the pancreas. The stimulus for insulin secretion is a HIGH blood glucose...it's as simple as that! Although there is always a low level of insulin secreted by the pancreas, the amount secreted into the blood increases as the blood glucose rises. Similarly, as blood glucose falls, the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreatic islets goes down. As can be seen in the picture, insulin has an effect on a number of cells, including muscle, red blood cells, and fat cells. In response to insulin, these cells absorb glucose out of the blood, having the net effect of lowering the high blood glucose levels into the normal range. Glucagon is secreted by the alpha cells of the pancreatic islets in much the same manner as insulin...except in the opposite direction. If blood glucose is high, then no glucagon is secreted. When blood glucose goes LOW, however, (such as between meals, and during Continue reading >>
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- Antidepressant Medication as a Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes and Impaired Glucose Regulation
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 >>
Hyperglycemia (high Blood Sugar)
Hyperglycemia is a hallmark sign of diabetes (both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes) and prediabetes. Other conditions that can cause hyperglycemia are pancreatitis, Cushing's syndrome, unusual hormone-secreting tumors, pancreatic cancer, certain medications, and severe illnesses. The main symptoms of hyperglycemia are increased thirst and a frequent need to urinate. Severely elevated glucose levels can result in a medical emergency like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS, also referred to as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state). Insulin is the treatment of choice for people with type 1 diabetes and for life-threatening increases in glucose levels. People with type 2 diabetes may be managed with a combination of different oral and injectable medications. Hyperglycemia due to medical conditions other than diabetes is generally treated by treating the underlying condition responsible for the elevated glucose. Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels A number of medical conditions can cause hyperglycemia, but the most common by far is diabetes mellitus. Diabetes affects over 8% of the total U.S. population. In diabetes, blood glucose levels rise either because there is an insufficient amount of insulin in the body or the body cannot use insulin well. Normally, the pancreas releases insulin after a meal so that the cells of the body can utilize glucose for fuel. This keeps blood glucose levels in the normal range. Type 1 diabetes is responsible for about 5% of all cases of diabetes and results from damage to the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is far more common and is related to the body's inability to effectively use insulin. In addition to type 1 and type 2, gestational diabe Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by special cells, called beta cells. The pancreas is below and behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into cells. Inside the cells, glucose is stored and later used for energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar does not get into these cells to be stored for energy. When sugar cannot enter cells, a high level of sugar builds up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia. The body is unable to use the glucose for energy. This leads to the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops slowly over time. Most people with the disease are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed. Increased fat makes it harder for your body to use insulin the correct way. Type 2 diabetes can also develop in people who are thin. This is more common in older adults. Family history and genes play a role in type 2 diabetes. Low activity level, poor diet, and excess body weight around the waist increase your chance of getting the disease. Continue reading >>
Can Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
Because type 2 diabetes is linked to high levels of sugar in the blood, it may seem logical to assume that eating too much sugar is the cause of the disease. But of course, it’s not that simple. “This has been around for years, this idea that eating too much sugar causes diabetes — but the truth is, type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial disease with many different types of causes,” says Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE, a nutrition coach in Prescott, Arizona, and a medical reviewer for Everyday Health. “Type 2 diabetes is really complex.” That said, some research does suggest that eating too many sweetened foods can affect type 2 diabetes risk, and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that 30.3 million Americans have the disease — and that millions of more individuals are projected to develop it, too — understanding all the risk factors for the disease, including sugar consumption, is essential to help reverse the diabetes epidemic. The Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes Story: Not So Sweet After the suspicion that sugar was the cause of diabetes, the scientific community pointed its finger at carbohydrates. That makes sense, notes Grieger, explaining that simple and complex carbohydrates are both metabolized as sugar, leading blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Yet carbs are processed differently in the body based on their type: While simple carbs are digested and metabolized quickly, complex carbs take longer to go through this system, resulting in more stable blood sugar. “It comes down to their chemical forms: A simple carbohydrate has a simpler chemical makeup, so it doesn’t take as much for it to be digested, whereas the complex ones take a little longer,” Grieger explains. Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread an Continue reading >>