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How Does Diabetes Affect Your Physical Health?

Physical Activity & Diabetes

Physical Activity & Diabetes

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to manage and live well with your diabetes. Regular exercise also has special advantages if you have type 2 diabetes. It can also help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes from developing. Regular physical activity improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps manage your blood glucose (sugar) levels. What is physical activity? Physical activity is any form of movement that causes your body to burn calories. This can be as simple as walking, gardening, cleaning and many other activities you may already do. During a physical activity, active muscles use up glucose as a source of energy. Regular physical activity helps to prevent glucose from building up in your blood. Many people do not get enough physical activity to be healthy in today’s society. Technology and modern living have removed many regular forms of physical activity from our daily lives. Cars replace walking and biking. Elevators and escalators replace stairs. Dishwashers replace doing dishes by hand. Computers replace manual labour. Snow blowers and ride-on lawn mowers replace physical yard work. TV and computer games replace fun physical activities for both children and adults. Because of modern living, it is important to think about being physically active each day. Adding more physical activity to your day is one of the most important things you can do to help manage your diabetes and improve your health. Did you know? Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking. Fitness level is one of the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes. Physical activity can be as powerful as glucose-lowering medication… with fewer side effects. Regular physical activity, in conjunction wi Continue reading >>

Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity

Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity

Nutrition and physical activity are important parts of a healthy lifestyle when you have diabetes. Along with other benefits, following a healthy meal plan and being active can help you keep your blood glucose level, also called blood sugar, in your target range. To manage your blood glucose, you need to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine, if you take any. What you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are all important in keeping your blood glucose level in the range that your health care team recommends. Becoming more active and making changes in what you eat and drink can seem challenging at first. You may find it easier to start with small changes and get help from your family, friends, and health care team. Eating well and being physically active most days of the week can help you keep your blood glucose level, blood pressure, and cholesterol in your target ranges prevent or delay diabetes problems feel good and have more energy What foods can I eat if I have diabetes? You may worry that having diabetes means going without foods you enjoy. The good news is that you can still eat your favorite foods, but you might need to eat smaller portions or enjoy them less often. Your health care team will help create a diabetes meal plan for you that meets your needs and likes. The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, in the amounts your meal plan outlines. The food groups are vegetables nonstarchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes starchy: includes potatoes, corn, and green peas fruits—includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes grains—at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains includes wheat, rice, oats, co Continue reading >>

Healthy Aging With Diabetes

Healthy Aging With Diabetes

“I can tell you one thing — growing old ain’t for wimps!” —gray-haired gentleman at Sterling Center YMCA in Beverly, Massachusetts It used to be said that having diabetes aged people an additional 20 years. Today, thanks to better tools for managing diabetes and preventing and treating its complications, people with diabetes have the opportunity to live longer than ever before. However, managing diabetes in the golden years presents a variety of challenges, ranging from increased insulin resistance to being on multiple drugs. Here is what you should know about the effects of diabetes on aging and vice versa, and what you can do to stay healthy and full of vitality well into old age. What happens during aging As you age, you may be most aware of your new gray hairs and wrinkles, but aging causes changes throughout the entire body. A person’s basal metabolic rate — the amount of energy the body expends at rest — declines with age. By some estimates, a person’s basal metabolism drops by 2% per decade starting at age 20. Some researchers believe that this decline is due almost solely to the loss of muscle mass that comes with age. The body’s ability to process oxygen — its aerobic capacity — also declines with age. By some estimates, a person’s aerobic capacity by age 65 is typically only 60% to 70% of what it was when he was younger (although the decline appears to be less in older people who exercise regularly). This decline may be due to several factors, including poor lung function, heart function, and blood circulation. With advancing years, the body gradually becomes less adept at taking up and using glucose from the bloodstream — a condition known as glucose intolerance, which sets the stage for Type 2 diabetes. One contributing factor to Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Food Choices

Type 2 Diabetes And Food Choices

You make food choices every day. Whole wheat or white bread? A side of french fries or fresh fruit? Eat now or later? Choices about what, when, and how much you eat affect your blood glucose. Understanding how food affects blood glucose is the first step in managing diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, following a diabetes meal plan can help you keep your blood glucose levels on track. Prevent problems Having type 2 diabetes means that your body doesn’t control blood glucose well. When blood glucose stays too high for too long, serious health problems can develop. By controlling your blood glucose through diet, exercise, and medicine, you can delay or prevent kidney, eye, and heart disease, and other complications of diabetes. Control carbohydrates Carbohydrates are foods that have the biggest effect on your blood glucose levels. After you eat carbohydrates, your blood glucose rises. Fruit, sweet foods and drinks, starchy foods (such as bread, potatoes and rice), and milk and milk products contain carbohydrates. Although carbohydrates are important for health, when you eat too many at once, your blood glucose can go too high, especially if you do not have or take adequate insulin for that food. Some carbohydrates—potatoes, sweets and white bread, for instance—may raise blood glucose more than others. Better choices are less processed foods with more fiber and nutrients, such as 100% whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and nonstarchy vegetables. Learn to use food labels that indicate added sugar and try to find healthier alternatives, particularly if you are overweight. Food and medicine Insulin helps glucose move from the blood into your muscle cells, where it can be used for energy. Some oral diabetes medicines help you make more insulin Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes causes higher than normal blood glucose levels and is strongly associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weight gain. More than one and a half million Australians are currently diagnosed with some form of diabetes: type 1, type 2 or gestational. While there is no cure for diabetes, it can be well managed. Our bodies digest carbohydrates (carbs) and break them down into glucose (sugar). Glucose is carried in our blood stream around the body and is necessary for our body to work properly – just like petrol in a car. The hormone insulin, which is made by the pancreas, helps us get the glucose from our blood stream into our cells where it is needed. People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin or their insulin is not working properly. What is type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes occurs when there is a problem with the way insulin works. It might be that not enough insulin is produced by the pancreas, or it doesn't work efficiently in helping get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. Sometimes the cells of the body don't respond properly to the presence of insulin. This is known as insulin resistance. It develops slowly and a person can have type 2 diabetes without knowing it. Who gets type 2 diabetes? In Australia, it's been estimated that more than one million people have type 2 diabetes, and about half of them are unaware of it. Up to 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually first appears in middle-aged or elderly people, although it is now occurring more commonly in younger people, including children. Diabetes type 2 tends to run in families and in Australia, it is more common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Pacific Islanders, Asian Indians, and people of Chinese cultura Continue reading >>

Video: How Diabetes Affects Your Blood Sugar

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 >>

Diabetes: Emotional And Mental Wellbeing Concerns

Diabetes: Emotional And Mental Wellbeing Concerns

Distress about diabetes and mental health concerns are common in children and young people with diabetes. Support is available to help you and your family. having diabetes and managing it on a daily basis is stressful for children, young people, and their families distress about diabetes and mental health concerns are common in children and young people with diabetes support is available to help you and your family Why is diabetes stressful? Having diabetes means incorporating a range of behaviours on a daily basis into an already busy lifestyle. Having to check blood glucose levels, being aware of food intake and taking insulin on a daily basis can be overwhelming. When blood glucose levels do not respond the way 'they are supposed to' this can be frustrating, stressful, and make a person despondent. This can also cause arguments and conflict between parents and children because everyone is trying to find an answer to 'why is your blood glucose level so high/low?' Motivation for managing diabetes can come in ebbs and flows. At different times of the diabetes journey, people's motivation to keep blood glucose levels in target range can go up and down. 'Diabetes burnout' is now a recognised state, where a person grows tired of managing their diabetes and gives up on carrying out diabetes management tasks. This can include monitoring blood glucose levels, recording blood glucose levels, counting carbohydrates, and taking insulin. Diabetes burnout can also lead to depression. A child's emotional response Your child will have their own emotional reaction to their diagnosis of diabetes. They will feel overwhelmed and fearful of the future. Hospitals are strange places, they don’t have the comforts and familiarity of home and your child will experience levels of physical di Continue reading >>

Effects Of Obesity

Effects Of Obesity

What Is Obesity? Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that can have a negative effect on many systems in your body. People who are overweight or obese have a much greater risk of developing serious conditions, including: Heart disease Type 2 diabetes Bone and joint disease Obesity in the United States The U.S. Surgeon General has declared that obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Approximately: 35 percent of women and 31 percent of men are considered seriously overweight 15 percent of children between the ages of six and 19 are overweight Public health officials warn that the results of physical inactivity and poor diet are catching up to tobacco as a significant threat to health. We are committed to helping you get healthy and stay that way. Learn about obesity prevention. Causes of Obesity The causes of obesity are complex. There are many interrelated factors, such as genetics, lifestyle and how your body uses energy. Learn more about the causes of obesity and risk factors. Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator Take the first step to managing your weight from the comfort of your home. Use our BMI calculator to help you determine whether or not you are considered obese. If you are obese, or have one or more risk factors for obesity, our physicians can help. In cases of severe obesity, surgery may be an option. Learn more about obesity treatments at Stanford. Health Effects of Obesity Obesity has a far-ranging negative effect on health. Each year obesity-related conditions cost over 150 billion dollars and cause an estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the US. The health effects associated with obesity include, but are not limited to, the following: High blood pressure - Additional fat tissue in the body needs oxygen and nutrients in order to live, Continue reading >>

How Does Diabetes Affect The Body?

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 >>

Diabetes And Your Heart

Diabetes And Your Heart

If you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop coronary heart disease than someone without diabetes. Diabetes causes high levels of glucose in your blood. This is because of a problem with a hormone your pancreas produces called insulin. Insulin is responsible for moving glucose (a type of sugar) from your bloodstream and into the cells of your body for energy. If there little or no insulin being produced, or your body has become resistant to insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream and can’t move across to your cells to give them energy to work properly. High levels of glucose in your blood can damage the walls of your arteries, and make them more likely to develop fatty deposits (atheroma). If atheroma builds up in your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart) you will develop coronary heart disease, which can cause angina and heart attack. Types of diabetes Type one diabetes happens when your body cannot make insulin. This type most commonly affects children and young adults, and is a result of your body’s immune system attacking the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Type two diabetes occurs when your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or your body has become resistant to the insulin it’s producing. Type two diabetes is much more common than type 1 and tends to develop gradually as people get older – usually after the age of 40, but more and more people every year are being diagnosed at a much younger age. It's closely linked with: being overweight, especially if you carry weight around your middle being physically inactive a family history of type 2 diabetes. Some ethnic groups have a much higher rate of diabetes - particularly people of South Asian and African Caribbean origin. Diabetes and your he Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Emotional Well-being

Diabetes And Emotional Well-being

Diabetes and Emotional Well-Being Diabetes does not only impact on people physically, but also emotionally and mentally. Did you know? Almost one in five Australian adults will be affected by mental illness each year. The risk of depression is doubled in people with diabetes. Teenagers and the elderly with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing depression. Emotional well-being is an essential part of living a healthy life and managing diabetes. The everyday demands of managing diabetes can impact on a person's emotional well-being, which may lead to diabetes related distress, diabetes burnout or depression. How can diabetes affect emotional well-being? Diabetes related distress refers to the emotional burdens and worries that arise from managing diabetes. Areas that people with diabetes have identified as possibly contributing to diabetes related distress include: worrying about complications, feeling anxious and guilty when diabetes management is sub-optimal, being unsure if moods or feelings are related to diabetes, feeling constantly stressed about food and eating, constant concern over potential hypoglycaemia. Diabetes burnout develops when a person grows tired of managing the everyday demands of diabetes which may lead to an individual ignoring or neglecting day to day diabetes management. Depression is a serious and chronic condition that affects a person's physical and mental health, resulting in an inability to enjoy and carry out usual daily activities. Click here to view the fact sheet Depression and Diabetes. Be informed on signs and symptoms of depression and the relationship between diabetes and depression. Stress is experienced by all at some stage, and we all react in different ways. It is important to recognise that stress can have a direct effect o Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Heart Disease, And Stroke

Diabetes, Heart Disease, And Stroke

Having diabetes means that you are more likely to develop heart disease and have a greater chance of a heart attack or a stroke. People with diabetes are also more likely to have certain conditions, or risk factors, that increase the chances of having heart disease or stroke, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you have diabetes, you can protect your heart and health by managing your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you smoke, get help to stop. What is the link between diabetes, heart disease, and stroke? Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. The longer you have diabetes, the higher the chances that you will develop heart disease.1 People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes. In adults with diabetes, the most common causes of death are heart disease and stroke. Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes.2 The good news is that the steps you take to manage your diabetes also help to lower your chances of having heart disease or stroke. What else increases my chances of heart disease or stroke if I have diabetes? If you have diabetes, other factors add to your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Smoking Smoking raises your risk of developing heart disease. If you have diabetes, it is important to stop smoking because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Smoking also increases your chances of developing other long-term problems such as lung disease. Smoking also can damage the blood vessels in your legs and increase the risk of lower leg infections, ulcers, a Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Mental Health

Diabetes & Mental Health

Mental illness is enough to cope with on its own, so being told you have diabetes as well can feel overwhelming at first. It’s important to remember, then, that there are things you can do yourself to manage the condition well, and that there are trained people who can help you do this – for example, by recommending eating and lifestyle changes. Getting used to the diagnosis Getting used to a diagnosis of diabetes can take a while, and just as there is stigma around mental illness, so there can be stigma around Type 2 Diabetes. You may feel that some people think it’s your fault that you developed diabetes, that it was caused by eating too much and not exercising. However, diabetes is more common among people living with a mental illness. Antipsychotic medications can lead to major weight gain, for example, while Depression and Anxiety can make it more difficult to exercise regularly and eat healthily because of the effects on motivation. It is important for you, your family and friends to find out what you can about diabetes, to understand what support is available, and what you can do to help yourself. What can I do about my diabetes? Start by finding out about reliable sources of information and support. Most people know someone with diabetes, but it doesn’t mean they know what’s best for you to do, or anything about your mental illness. Good mental health and controlling the symptoms of mental illness are especially important when learning to manage diabetes. A good doctor will look after your overall health, monitor your medication, and keep in contact with your mental health team as necessary. Making a longer appointment time helps build a relationship with your doctor, by giving you a chance to talk in more detail about your health and how you feel. It Continue reading >>

How Does Diabetes Affect My Health?

How Does Diabetes Affect My Health?

Asking how does diabetes affect my health? Learn about physical effects of the disease. What are the effects of diabetes Type 2, and how does diabetes affect my health? Diabetes is a disease that can cause serious problems in the body when it is not managed well. Taking hold of managing your diabetes is the most important thing you can do for yourself. The risk of diabetes complications can be reduced if you are diligent in managing your health and lifestyle. Being informed of the risks and what you can do to help prevent them is the first step. Long-Term Effects How does diabetes affect my body? Diabetes can affect your eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, heart, large and small blood vessels, and more. One of the most common long-term effects of type 2 diabetes is the damage that is done to the heart, brain and legs. When small blood vessels become damaged it can cause complications in your eyes, and affect your vision. The effects of diabetes type 2 can also harm the skin, the immune system, teeth and gums, the digestive system, and sexual organs. Eye Damage Retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels in the retina of the eye become damaged. This problem is not evident because there are no immediate symptoms. It is imperative to receive regular eye exams to determine if changes have occurred in your eyes, and if so, to receive treatment before the condition worsens. Macular edema is another problem that causes the macula of the retina to swell with excess fluid. Macula degeneration can cause a loss of vision, so it is important to have your eyes checked for this problem too. Other effects of diabetes Type 2 are eye problems that involve glaucoma or cataracts. If you notice any change in your vision you should immediately have an eye exam. Kidney Disease How does diabetes Continue reading >>

Dealing With Emotions: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mood

Dealing With Emotions: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mood

Having type 2 diabetes can affect not only your physical health but also your emotional health. Getting a diagnosis of diabetes adds an emotional weight onto your shoulders which can be challenging to carry day in and day out. Sometimes this weight can come out as other conditions such as anxiety or depression. There are multiple studies that have shown that external stressors, such as feelings of anxiety or depression, can lead to difficulties in managing self-care. Decreased physical activity, bad food choices, not regularly taking medication are some examples of poor self-care management. Anxiety and stress can lead one to taking up bad habits such as smoking or drinking excessively, which can put a person with diabetes at more risk for developing diabetes related complications. The Grief of Diagnosis When you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may notice that you start to experience a grieving process. Many people experience the same emotions associated with the loss of a loved one. When you consider the diagnosis of diabetes, it changes your life, you have lost something and you’ve lost your normal carefree life that you had before. These common emotions are explained in more detail below as well as various the ways you can learn to control these emotions or even overcome them. Common Emotions of Diabetes Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires diligent almost 24/7 management. Sometimes this type of schedule can seem like a burden. When this happens, other common emotions or conditions may manifest, causing even more difficulty in managing your blood sugar levels. Stress Stress is one of the most common emotions associated with having type 2 diabetes. Just the constant daily regimen of testing, ensuring you’re taking your medications and monitoring y Continue reading >>

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