What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems. Although diabetes has no cure, you can take steps to manage your diabetes and stay healthy. Sometimes people call diabetes “a touch of sugar” or “borderline diabetes.” These terms suggest that someone doesn’t really have diabetes or has a less serious case, but every case of diabetes is serious. What are the different types of diabetes? The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive. Type 2 diabetes If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. Gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chan Continue reading >>
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Diabetes And Illness
It is very important to know how to cope with illness if you have diabetes or know or care for somebody with diabetes. If in doubt, always seek advice from your doctor or nurse straightaway. Any illness or other type of stress will raise your blood sugar (glucose) levels, even if you are off your food or eating less than usual. People with diabetes are unable to produce more insulin to control the glucose level. The increased glucose level can make you become very lacking in fluid in the body (dehydrated). Acting quickly and following advice helps to keep your glucose levels in the normal range or only slightly high. Because it can sometimes be very difficult to control your blood glucose levels, treatment in hospital may be needed. Hospital treatment may also be needed if you become very dehydrated. What happens to my diabetes when I am unwell? When a person with diabetes is unwell the sugar level in the blood tends to increase. This can happen even with a very mild illness such as the common cold. The blood sugar (glucose) may go up even if you are not eating properly or are being sick (vomiting) or have loose or watery poo (diarrhoea). The increase in blood sugar may make you very lacking in fluid in the body (dehydrated). What should you do when you are unwell? Contact your GP or practice nurse for advice if you are not sure. You may also need treatment for the illness that is making you feel unwell. If you check your blood sugar (glucose) levels then these checks should be more regular. A practice nurse or district nurse can help with checking blood glucose levels, especially if you don't usually check them regularly. Continue eating as normally as possible. If you don't feel like eating, replace your solid food with soup, milk, ice cream, fruit juice, sugar or hon Continue reading >>
Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes And Treatments
Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia). Here are some key points about diabetes. More detail and supporting information is in the main article. Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels. In 2013 it was estimated that over 382 million people throughout the world had diabetes (Williams textbook of endocrinology). Type 1 Diabetes - the body does not produce insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1. Type 2 Diabetes - the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type. Gestational Diabetes - this type affects females during pregnancy. The most common diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, intense thirst and hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, fatigue, cuts and bruises that do not heal, male sexual dysfunction, numbness and tingling in hands and feet. If you have Type 1 and follow a healthy eating plan, do adequate exercise, and take insulin, you can lead a normal life. Type 2 patients need to eat healthily, be physically active, and test their blood glucose. They may also need to take oral medication, and/or insulin to control blood glucose levels. As the risk of cardiovascular disease is much higher for a diabetic, it is crucial that blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored regularly. As smoking might have a serious effect on c Continue reading >>
Invisible Illness: Type 1 Diabetes.
If you just snapped a quick picture, you wouldn't see it. Not unless you were looking for the small signs, like my insulin pump. Or my spotted fingertips. Type 1 diabetes isn't something you can see on me. It's not an illness that, at this point in my life, comes with any constant external symptoms. I am fortunate enough to not use a wheelchair or need vision assistance devices. You can't see my disease, even though it's something I manage every day. I seem "normal." (Stop laughing. Let me use the word normal for the sake of this blog post, at the very least!) I seem like your average 30 year old professional woman (again, stop laughing), recently married, inspired to achieve, and happy. And I am happy. But my good health is not without great effort. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness, and one that has required daily maintenance and effort from me, and from my caregivers, for the last 23 years. Every morning starts with my meter. Every meal I've eaten in the last two plus decades has been preceeded by a blood sugar check and an insulin dose. And every night has my finger pricked by a lancet before my head hits the pillow. This isn't a pity party. Not by a long shot. My life is healthy and I have a very fulfiling existance, even if days are bookended by diabetes and even if I'm now wearing medical devices 24 hours a day, every single day. And back when I was a fresh-faced litttle kiddo, people seemed to want to cure my disease because they didn't like the idea of a small child dealing with this disease. Kids are fun to cure. They're cute. And their futures seem worth investing in. What confuses me is how quickly people forget. Type 1 diabetes became a part of my life a long time ago, and I don't remember even a snippet of "the before." But even though I've lived very w Continue reading >>
Pbs - Who Cares: Chronic Illness In America -- Diabetes
Diabetes Description: Diabetes mellitus, or high blood sugar, results from a deficiency of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. In type 1, the body does not produce any insulin; in type 2 (accounting for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases) the body is unable to make enough, or properly use, insulin. In those cases, the body can't make use of sugar, its main fuel. Untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, vascular disease, kidney disease, neuropathy, and other problems. Symptoms: Frequent infections, blurred vision, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, recurring skin, gum or bladder infections; type 2 symptoms also include frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue, and irritability. Number of Americans diagnosed: 11 million people. Long-term problems/treatments: The biggest problem for people with diabetes is heart and blood vessel disease, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. It also causes poor circulation in the legs and feet. High blood sugar can also cause the blood vessels in the eyes to bleed, leading to blindness, of which diabetes is the main cause in adults in the United States. Lastly, too much blood sugar is hard on the kidneys. After a number of years, high blood sugar can cause kidney failure. Continue reading >>
Diabetes Distress: The Emotional Cost Of Living With Chronic Illness
Diabetes Distress: The Emotional Cost of Living with Chronic Illness WRITTEN BY: Evan Soroka, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT It is no secret that living with Type 1 diabetes can be challenging for even the strongest of dispositions. Life is trying no matter if you have chronic illness or not but the added pressure of a variable like Type 1 diabetes makes lifes aggravations even more challenging to bear. Stress impacts the individual at every level (physically, cognitively and emotionally) and for the person with Type 1 diabetes, high levels of stress can be incredibly detrimental, not only making it harder to manage blood sugar levels but also rendering the individual sad, hopeless and overwhelmed.This article aims to inspire other people with Type 1 diabetes to work regularly on managing the symptoms of emotional distress through yoga therapy techniques, physical exercise and improved self-awareness. The goal is to be less affected by stress, become more conscious of stress triggers, and to detoxify the mind of its learned habitual reactivity with an ultimate aim to live healthy, happy and productive lives. Depression: is it really clinical or an underlaying symptom of stress? There are significant research studies correlating Type 1 diabetes to depression, claiming that T1Ds are nearly 50% more likely to be diagnosed with a form of depression than non-diabetics ( Beyond Type 1 ). However in a recent UK study, this claim has been further examined and scientists are now suggesting that there is a distinction between emotional distress from managing chronic illness and an actual mental disorder. This emotional distress is known as diabetes distress (DD). If you live with Type 1 diabetes or any other form of chronic illness you understand exactly what the word distress feels like. At Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes? It's 'walking Deficiency Syndrome' And Not A Real Illness, Says Top Doctor
Type 2 diabetes should be renamed 'walking deficiency syndrome' because it is not a 'real disease', according to one of Britain's leading medical practitioners. Sir Muir Gray has done extensive research on how modern lifestyles such as sitting at a desk or in a car are contributing to the risk of disease. He claims that type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable but costs the NHS billions of pounds a year to treat, should be renamed because it is caused by the 'modern environment'. Speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival, Sir Muir said: 'Type two diabetes or walking deficiency syndrome, I'm trying to get the name changed. 'I wrote about this and somebody wrote back and said it was called a metabolic syndrome. I said I don't believe in metabolic syndromes. 'The problem with calling it type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome makes you think it's like rheumatoid arthritis or a real disease. These are conditions caused by the modern environment.' Nearly 4 million people in the UK suffer from diabetes and approximately 90 per cent of these are type 2 diabetes sufferers. By contrast, type 1 diabetes – whose sufferers include Theresa May – is an autoimmune condition and often emerges in childhood. The chances of developing type 2 diabetes are greatly exacerbated by being overweight and many sufferers are able to reverse the condition by dieting alone. The NHS now spends more on medication for diabetes than any other condition. Diabetes is thought to cost the NHS about £10billion, once the cost of treatment, including amputation and hospitalisations for life-threatening hypoglycaemic attacks, is included. Sir Muir pioneered breast and cervical screening and was knighted for his work in the development of foetal, maternal and child screening programmes. More recently he h Continue reading >>
Diabetes Related Conditions
Nerve Pain and Diabetes Nerve pain caused by diabetes, known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, can be severe, constant, and hard to treat. Controlling your blood sugar can make a big difference. Eye Problems and Diabetes Diabetes can increase your risk of eye problems. See common diabetes-related eye ailments and what treatments are available. Skin Conditions and Diabetes Skin conditions related to this disease are common. Fortunately, most can be successfully treated before they turn into a serious problem. The key is to catch them early. Kidney Disease and Diabetes Diabetic nephropathy -- kidney disease that results from diabetes -- is the No. 1 cause of kidney failure. Learn the symptoms, how it's diagnosed, and how to treat it. Infections and Diabetes Most infections in people with diabetes can be treated. But you have to be able to spot the symptoms. Learn what to look for. Heart Disease and Diabetes Having diabetes makes heart disease more likely. Learn more about the link and how to lower your risk. Depression and Diabetes Learn about the link between diabetes and depression, how to spot symptoms of depression, how to treat it, and more. Smoking and Diabetes Smoking is bad for everyone, and it's especially risky if you have diabetes. Here are 14 tips to help you quit. Colds and Diabetes If you have diabetes, catching colds can make your condition worse. Here's what you can do to stay well. Diabetic Macular Edema Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment of diabetic macular edema, an eye condition brought on by diabetes. Meralgia Paresthetica Starting a family requires a bit more planning when you're a mother-to-be with diabetes. But you can take some simple steps to make sure your pregnancy and your baby are safe and healthy. Continue reading >>
Diabetes Is A Serious Illness
Sorting facts from fiction is important About one in seven U.S. adults has diabetes now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But by 2050, that rate could skyrocket to as many as one in three. Many of us don’t understand diabetes. To help contain this leading cause of disability and death, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. FICTION: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes. FACT: Many factors lead to the development of diabetes. Genetics, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle all play a role. Sugar may contribute to type 2 diabetes if it leads to weight gain, but it doesn’t cause the disease. “A diet high in calories — whether they’re from sugar or fat — raises your risk for type 2 diabetes,” said Mounaf Alsamman, MD, a family medicine doctor with Allina Medical Clinic – Brooklyn Park. “In this disease, your pancreas makes little or no insulin or your body’s cells don’t use it well. As a result, blood sugar can’t move from your bloodstream into the cells that need it for energy.” Alsamman tells his patients that sugar does not cause diabetes but it still needs to be monitored or reduced. “You just have to make sure to build your sweet treats into a healthy eating and exercise plan,” he explained. A healthful, balanced diet as well as regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent diabetes. Go for gradual, achievable changes to your sugar intake, such as cutting back on sweetened beverages. FICTION: Only people who weigh far too much will develop type 2 diabetes. FACT: People of all ages and body types can develop type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is just one of the risk factors. Many people with type 2 diabetes are at a healthy weight or just moderately overweight. Excess weight increases yo Continue reading >>
Dealing With Illness
It is important to know how to cope with illness if you have diabetes, or if you know or care for somebody with the condition. You'll also need to know how to manage insulin or other diabetes medications, blood or urine tests, and diet during illness. Illness and infections, as well as other forms of stress, will raise your blood glucose levels. As part of the body’s defence mechanism for fighting illness and infection, more glucose is released into the bloodstream and prevents insulin from working properly. This happens even if you are off your food or eating less than usual. Diabetes and illness People who do not have diabetes simply produce more insulin to cope, but when you have diabetes; your body cannot do this. As a result, your blood glucose levels rise, causing you to pass more urine and feel thirsty. This in turn can make you dehydrated. The symptoms of high blood glucose can add to those of the original illness or infection and make it much worse. Dehydration and diabetes Dehydration is made worse when you have a temperature or are being sick. In some cases, blood glucose levels can become so uncontrolled that treatment in hospital is necessary. Severe dehydration and very high blood glucose levels may be serious for both those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. That’s why being prepared, and following the necessary steps when ill, is vital to manage your diabetes well and avoid the worst effects of illness. Steroids Some conditions (eg Addison's disease, severe asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus) are treated with steroids. If you have diabetes, you may well find that your blood glucose levels rise while taking high doses of steroids for periods of time. This should not stop you taking steroids if your doctor has prescribed them, even if your blood glu Continue reading >>
Is Type 1 Diabetes A Chronic Illness
The different types of Diabetes explained It is a fact that type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness (lifelong), and it occurs as a result of prolonged high sugar levels in the body system. If the disease is left untreated, it can lead to a number of complications that might result in death. Some of the serious lifelong complications that patients will suffer include, but not limited to; foot ulcers, eye damage, chronic kidney failure, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. The type 2 diabetes always begins with resistance to the different levels of insulin in the body. Basically, the cells fail to respond well to the insulin. As the disease progresses to higher levels, it might result to lack of insulin in some patients. This non-insulin dependent diabetes is usually as a result of one being overweight and lack of enough exercise. The type third type of diabetes is called gestation diabetes. This particular type of diabetes affects pregnant women who have had no previous history of the disease. Overall, the expectant mother will have high levels of insulin in their body system. Main causes of Type 1 diabetes The type 1 diabetes is always characterized by the depreciation of insulin-producing cells in the body (beta cells) that are found in the pancreas. It is caused by T-cell mediated autoimmune-attack that often results in the loss of beta cells, hence the reduction of insulin in the body system. It is a fact that the lack of enough insulin in the body will lead to hyperglycemia (high levels of glucose in the blood), rather than going up to the body cells. For this reason, a patient will start exhibiting the different signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes. It’s important to understand that this type of diabetes can affect children, adults and adolescents. Nevertheless, it Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Being Ill - Diabetes And Illness
Tweet Having an illness or infection can make it particularly hard to control blood sugar levels. A little knowledge of how illnesses affect diabetes can go a long way towards helping you through. It’s hard to go a year without catching a cold, virus, flu or stomach bug so it pays to be prepared as to how to manage during periods of sickness. How does illness affect diabetes? During an illness or infection the body will release extra glucose into your blood stream in a bid to help combat the illness. In people without diabetes, this is an effective strategy as their pancreas will release extra insulin to cope with the extra blood glucose. In people with diabetes, though, the release of glucose presents an unwanted extra difficulty in managing the rise in blood glucose levels - in addition to feeling less than 100%. Illness and very high blood sugar levels The NHS recommends that people with diabetes with a sugar level over 28 mmols/L should seek emergency advice from their healthcare team or, during out-of-hours times, contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Coping with diabetes and illness To keep a track of how much your sugar levels are rising, it’s recommended to test your blood more often than usual. Test for ketones If you have type 1 diabetes, it is advisable to follow up any high blood sugar readings with a test for ketones. Read: Testing for ketones Keep hydrated Keep yourself well hydrated. High blood glucose levels can lead to dehydration so make sure you are regularly drinking fluids to stay hydrated. Keep eating It may be tempting to not eat whilst unwell but this could lead to more ketones as the body may need to break down fat to make fuel. If eating is difficult, or if you are vomiting and cannot keep food down, it is advisable to have drinks with carbohydr Continue reading >>
Are Children With Type 1 Diabetes At Increased Risk For Mental Illness?
Are Children With Type 1 Diabetes at Increased Risk for Mental Illness? Risks of psychiatric disorders and suicide attempts in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes: a population-based cohort study, by Butwicka and colleagues. Diabetes Care 2015;38:453459 What is the problem and what is known about it so far? For many years, people have assumed that children with type 1 diabetes have a greater risk of mental illness and behavioral problems. These assumptions have mostly been based on clinical observations and small studies of other childhood diseases. Children with diabetes and their caregivers often worry about the complications from diabetes and feel pressured/stressed by the complex care plans they must follow. Despite these concerns, there have been no large studies focusing on the issue of mental health in children with type 1 diabetes, and previous small studies have had mixed findings. Some have reported that children with type 1 diabetes are two to three times more likely to have mental health problems, whereas others found no higher risk. It is important to learn more about the possible links between type 1 diabetes and mental illness in children. Such information could improve the care and support provided to these children and their families. Why did the researchers do this particular study? The researchers wanted to find out whether children with type 1 diabetes are more likely than others to develop mental health problems. They also wanted to find out whether recent advances in diabetes care have influenced this risk. Additionally, they wanted to know whether the risk was higher in newly diagnosed children or those with a family history of mental illness. The study included more than 17,000 children with type 1 diabetes and more than 18,800 of thei Continue reading >>
5 Health Conditions That Are Caused By Diabetes
Source: Web exclusive: May 2011 If you’ve got diabetes, that’s not the only disease you should be concerned about. Diabetes is linked to a host of other health problems. But it’s not all doom and gloom, since there are ways to reduce your risk. Number one is blood glucose control. "If you can control your diabetes, then your risk of developing those complications and secondary conditions goes down," says Karen McDermaid, a diabetes educator in Moosomin, Saskatchewan. These five conditions are the big ones to look out for if you’re prediabetic or have diabetes. 1. Heart disease and stroke Cardiovascular disease is the leading causing of death for people who have diabetes. That’s because high blood sugar can cause a gradual buildup of fatty deposits that clog and harden the walls of blood vessels. And when blood vessels are partially blocked or narrowed, it can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Not everyone faces the same risk. You’re more likely to have cardiovascular disease if you’ve been living with diabetes for more than 15 years. Same applies if you’ve already had diabetes complications affecting your eyes, kidneys or nerves, or if you’ve noticed problems with circulation, like chest pain when you’re physically active, or leg pain when you spend time walking. Cardiovascular risk factors for people without diabetes also apply to you: If you smoke, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, or have close relatives who have had heart attacks or stroke, your odds are higher of developing the disease. Reduce your risk: If you smoke, quit. Increase your level of regular physical exercise. And stick to a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet. 2. Kidney disease Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure. At least half of all people with diabetes Continue reading >>
Invisible Illness - Diabetes Self-management
The other day I was at the local pool with my kids and I saw a little girl, maybe 7 years old, wearing a pump and a CGM. I cringed. I know that sounds terrible, but its true. The girl was wearing a two-piece bathing suit and she had one of those little-kid bellies that is still round and pudgy, and the medical devices filled up the space between the top and bottom piece of her bathing suit. She looked like a happy kid, and as soon as her mom had sprayed her with sunscreen, she jumped into the pool with her friends without a trace of self-consciousness. Part of me wanted to introduce myself to the mom and tell her I had Type 1 diabetes . I thought that it might be encouraging for the mom to see a healthy, adult female. Or maybe the mom would be comforted knowing she wasnt alone. Or maybe the desire to make a connection was for me, not the other mom. No one knows that I have diabetes unless I tell them. I dont wear a pump or a CGM. When I test my blood sugar or give myself an injection, I do it discreetly. When my blood sugar is low and I need to ingest a few glucose tabs, I slip them from my handbag into my mouth and chew without drawing attention to myself. I dont want to be looked at. I dont want to be singled out, and I dont want to be different, not really. I think this desire to blend in is a result of being diagnosed as a teenager. As a teenager I was ashamed of having diabetes. I thought that my body had failed me. When I told people I had diabetes they all said Oh yeah, my grandmother has that. I got tired of correcting them and believed that when they looked at me they saw an old person, a sick person. Whenever my blood sugar dropped and I started acting funny, my friends had to help me, and I hated that. I hated needing help. I hated that I had to get up from Continue reading >>