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How Does Diabetes Affect Your Physical Health?

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 >>

How Stress Affects Blood Glucose Levels

How Stress Affects Blood Glucose Levels

Stress can increase your blood glucose levels. Stress can also cause you to turn to unhealthful behaviors such as overeating, eating unhealthful foods or smoking. Managing your stress and relaxing more will help you and your baby stay as healthy as possible. Identify sources of stress Being pregnant, preparing for a new baby and learning to manage gestational diabetes are stressful things on their own. But you also lead a life in the real world, with all it stresses and tensions. Stress has many sources. Name some of your main sources of stress and see if you can identify an action to reduce or eliminate complications of gestational diabetes for you and your baby. You might find that simply learning as much as you can about gestational diabetes will relieve much of your worry. How to reduce your stress level Find opportunities to rest: sit, lie down, put your feet up. Talk to friends, family and your partner about your concerns and stresses. Lower your expectations of yourself. The house can be messy, the laundry can fall behind and you can be less than perfect. You're helping your baby grow and be healthy, and that's your first priority. Get enough sleep. Ask for help in getting tasks done. Ask a friend to drive, a sister to help set up the nursery, your partner to grocery shop. If possible, hire out tasks like yard work and house cleaning during your pregnancy. Know and accept your limits. Let friends and family know that for now, you have to take special care of yourself and your baby. When you need rest. excuse yourself and go rest. When you feel overwhelmed, take on less. Be physically active every day. It's a great stress reliever. Add relaxation to each day. Listen to your favorite music at work. Take a bubble bath. Close your eyes and do nothing except breathe d Continue reading >>

Emotions & Blood-sugar Levels: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mood

Emotions & Blood-sugar Levels: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mood

by John Zrebiac, L.I.C.S.W., and Gail Musen, Ph.D. Diabetes can affect both your physical and mental health. A diagnosis of diabetes certainly adds a huge emotional weight, which can often manifest as depression, anxiety or some other emotional issue. The same goes for the stress of managing diabetes 24/7. Recently, Joslin researchers discovered a link between high levels of glutamate (a neurotransmitter in the brain that is produced by glucose) to symptoms of depression in people with type 1 diabetes. The study showed increased levels of glutamate in the prefrontal area of the brains of such people — an area associated with both higher-level thinking and regulation of emotions. At the same time, the study showed a link between high levels of glutamate and poor glucose control, , and lower scores on some cognitive tests. We believe that if health care practitioners emphasize good glucose control, it may help reduce the probability that patients with diabetes will also become depressed. Clinical depression is more than the normal response of feeling down for a couple of hours or days. It is more dramatic — taking you down further and longer. A psychologist would diagnose clinical depression if a patient has five or more of these symptoms for at least two weeks. At least one of these symptoms has to be depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure. Depressed mood (feeling sad or empty) most of the day, nearly every day Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities, nearly every day Significant weight loss when not dieting, significant weight gain (more than 5 percent of body weight in a month), or significant decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day Trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much, nearly every day Feeling agitated or slug Continue reading >>

Impact Of Diabetes On You And Your Family

Impact Of Diabetes On You And Your Family

If you're diabetic I don't have to tell you that this disease consumes you on a daily and even an hourly basis. As depicted in the following diagram, diabetes impacts you and your family in at least 6 ways: Physically Financially Emotionally Family Work Day-to-Day Life Hopefully, one of these areas of impact will motivate you to begin making the necessary changes to stop the disease from destroying your life and the lives of your loved ones. Unfortunately, some diabetics believe that nothing can be done to stop the progression of diabetes leading to blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, gum disease, high blood pressure, or some of the other complications of having diabetes. This is called giving up (lack of hope) due to the lack of knowledge. Other diabetics believe that they will not face blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, gum disease, high blood pressure, or some of the other complications of having diabetes. This is called denial. Ironically, both of these scenarios eventually lead to blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, gum disease, high blood pressure, or some of the other complications of having diabetes. However, the first scenario can be addressed by providing the proper knowledge. The second scenario may require some one-on-one health coaching from the author, who understands what you're going through. However, if you don't do anything, within 7-10 years, most diabetics begin to feel some discomfort, e.g. pain/numbness in the foot, eyesight problems, fatigue issues, weight gain, memory fog, etc. In the meantime, the number of medications have continued to increase. Then, one day, most diabetics find out from their doctor that they have to go on insulin, or that their kidneys are failing or Continue reading >>

How Type 2 Diabetes Affects Relationships

How Type 2 Diabetes Affects Relationships

Having type 2 diabetes changes your life and can certainly affect relationships, whether you’re dating or married. Diabetes management requires a lot of your attention and focus, which may be hard for a partner unfamiliar with the disease to understand. You have to carefully monitor what you eat and check your blood sugar frequently throughout the day. And if you're not always so careful about managing your diabetes, your partner may also be affected. A recent study of people whose partners had type 2 diabetes found that those who tried to exert control over their partners' dietary behavior felt particularly stressed and burdened. Finally, if you get sick and need help, your diabetes care may fall to your partner. Diabetes: The Physical and Emotional Impact People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may experience a wide range of emotions, including: Fear Anger Depression Denial Guilt Not only is the emotional aspect of diabetes a real rollercoaster, but there is also a physical impact on sexual function. The emotional strain of dealing with diabetes can cause stress and anxiety, as well as communication difficulties that can lead to sexual dysfunction in relationships. Diabetes: Dating With Diabetes Even if you're not currently in a long-term relationship, diabetes can have an impact on your dating life. Ronda Keys, 37, an event planner from Maryland, was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 18. She didn't know anyone else her age with the disease, so she tried to downplay its seriousness to her friends, her boyfriend, and even herself. Keys, who is single, didn't want her boyfriend or friends to feel that they had to stop what they were doing or make accommodations for her diabetes, so she just didn't tell many people. "I had to try to figure out how to still live Continue reading >>

Effects Of Diabetes On The Body And Organs

Effects Of Diabetes On The Body And Organs

Over time, the raised blood sugar levels that result from diabetes can cause a wide range of serious health issues. But what do these health issues involve, and how are the organs of the body affected? Can these effects be minimized? When people have diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use what it has effectively. As a result, the amount of sugar in the blood becomes higher than it should be. Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main power source for the human body. It comes from the food people eat. The hormone insulin helps the cells of the body convert glucose into fuel. Fortunately, taking a proactive approach to this chronic disease through medical care, lifestyle changes, and medication can help limit its effects. Effect on systems and organs The effects of diabetes can be seen on systems throughout the body, including: The circulatory system Diabetes can damage large blood vessels, causing macrovascular disease. It can also damage small blood vessels, causing what is called microvascular disease. Complications from macrovascular disease include heart attack and stroke. However, macrovascular disease can be prevented by: Microvascular disease can cause eye, kidney, and nerve problems, but good control of diabetes can help prevent these complications. The cardiovascular system Excess blood sugar decreases the elasticity of blood vessels and causes them to narrow, impeding blood flow. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute say diabetes is as big a risk factor for heart disease as smoking or high cholesterol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of stroke or dying of heart disease increases by 200-400 percent for adults with diabetes. The nervous system When people have diabetes, they can develop n Continue reading >>

Diabetes - Long-term Effects

Diabetes - Long-term Effects

On this page: Diabetes is a condition in which there is too much glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the body's organs. Possible complications include damage to large (macrovascular) and small (microvascular) blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, gums, feet and nerves. Reducing risk of diabetes complications The good news is that the risk of most diabetes-related complications can be reduced by keeping blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels within recommended range. Also, being a healthy weight, eating healthily, reducing alcohol intake, and not smoking will help reduce your risk. Regular check-ups and screening are important to pick up any problems early Diabetes and healthy eating If you have diabetes it’s important to include a wide variety of nutritious and healthy foods in your diet, and to avoid snacking on sugary foods. Eating healthy foods can help control your blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and your blood pressure. Enjoy a variety of foods from each food group – be sure to include foods high in fibre and low in fat, and reduce your salt intake. It’s helpful to consult with a dietitian to review your current eating plan and provide a guide about food choices and food quantities. Alcohol intake and diabetes Limit alcohol intake. If you drink alcohol, have no more than two standard drinks per day. If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy or are breastfeeding, then zero alcohol intake is recommended. Diabetes and healthy weight If you are overweight, even losing a small amount of weight, especially round the abdomen, helps lower your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels. It can be daunting trying to lose weight, so Continue reading >>

Avoiding Complications Of Diabetes

Avoiding Complications Of Diabetes

It can take work to get your diabetes under control, but the results are worth it. If you don't make the effort to get a handle on it, you could set yourself up for a host of complications. Diabetes can take a toll on nearly every organ in your body, including the: Heart and blood vessels Eyes Kidneys Nerves Gastrointestinal tract Gums and teeth Heart and Blood Vessels Heart disease and blood vessel disease are common problems for many people who don’t have their diabetes under control. You're at least twice as likely to have heart problems and strokes as people who don’t have the condition. Blood vessel damage or nerve damage may also cause foot problems that, in rare cases, can lead to amputations. People with diabetes are ten times likelier to have their toes and feet removed than those without the disease. Symptoms: You might not notice warning signs until you have a heart attack or stroke. Problems with large blood vessels in your legs can cause leg cramps, changes in skin color, and less sensation. The good news: Many studies show that controlling your diabetes can help you avoid these problems, or stop them from getting worse if you have them. Diabetes is the leading cause of new vision loss among adults ages 20 to 74 in the U.S. It can lead to eye problems, some of which can cause blindness if not treated: Glaucoma Cataracts Diabetic retinopathy, which involves the small blood vessels in your eyes Symptoms: Vision problems or sudden vision loss. The good news: Studies show that regular eye exams and timely treatment of these kinds of problems could prevent up to 90% of diabetes-related blindness. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not pe 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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