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What Are The Dangers Of Being Diabetic?

Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes

Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes and plan to have a baby, you should try to get your blood glucose levels close to your target range before you get pregnant. Staying in your target range during pregnancy, which may be different than when you aren’t pregnant, is also important. High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can harm your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnant. If you have diabetes and are already pregnant, see your doctor as soon as possible to make a plan to manage your diabetes. Working with your health care team and following your diabetes management plan can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you develop diabetes for the first time while you are pregnant, you have gestational diabetes. How can diabetes affect my baby? A baby’s organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs, start forming during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. High blood glucose levels can be harmful during this early stage and can increase the chance that your baby will have birth defects, such as heart defects or defects of the brain or spine. High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can also increase the chance that your baby will be born too early, weigh too much, or have breathing problems or low blood glucose right after birth. High blood glucose also can increase the chance that you will have a miscarriage or a stillborn baby.1 Stillborn means the baby dies in the womb during the second half of pregnancy. How can my diabetes affect me during pregnancy? Hormonal and other changes in your body during pregnancy affect your blood glucose levels, so you might need to change how you manage your diabetes. Even if you’ve had diabetes for years, you may need to change your meal plan, physical activity routine, and medicines. Continue reading >>

12 Silent Diabetes Complications You Need To Know About—and How To Avoid Them

12 Silent Diabetes Complications You Need To Know About—and How To Avoid Them

Diabetes complications: Serious, but preventable Purestock/Thinkstock Everyone knows about the worst-worst-worst case scenarios. But the experts Reader’s Digest interviewed assured us that they’re rare—and very preventable. “Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you will lose your sight or your kidneys or your legs,” says Aaron Cypess, MD, PhD, investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. “None of these things has to happen. You can stop or reverse the progression and get back your quality of life.” The key is to be aware of the risks that can happen when diabetes isn’t well controlled (these everyday habits can ruin diabetes control)—and work with your doctors to make sure yours is. iStock/Thinkstock People with diabetes don’t have as much saliva, which can lead to dry mouth and a greater risk of cavities and gum disease, says George L. King, MD, research director at Joslin Diabetes Center, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and author of The Diabetes Reset. And you need a normal blood sugar to maintain proper oral health, says Dr. Cypess. “It’s very important for people with diabetes to have regular evaluations of their teeth and gums, or else they could lose them. People with diabetes need to be more vigilant about brushing, flossing, and seeing a dentist than a person ordinarily would be.” Here are some things your dentist wishes you would do differently. Fuse/Thinkstock Almost 10 percent of people with type 2 diabetes get urinary tract infections, almost double the number of people without diabetes who get them, according to recent data. Sugar in the urine becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Diabetes also contributes to nerve damage in Continue reading >>

Long-term Complications

Long-term Complications

Focusing on the day-to-day needs of kids with diabetes — like giving insulin injections or making healthy snacks — is important because it helps kids manage their blood sugar levels, which is a key part of preventing long-term diabetes problems. Long-term complications related to diabetes are often linked to having high blood sugar levels over a long period of time. But blood sugar control isn't the only thing that determines someone's risk for complications. Factors like genetics also can play a role. Many diabetes complications don't appear until after many years of having the disease. They usually develop silently and gradually over time, so even if kids show no symptoms, they still might eventually have complications. Talking or thinking about long-term complications can be scary for parents and kids. And it's difficult for kids to make changes in how they live today to decrease their risk for health problems that may not show up for decades. But being aware of diabetes complications can help you and your child anticipate and avoid them. In fact, helping kids manage their diabetes with good nutrition, regular exercise, and medication under the supervision of the diabetes health care team is the best way to help them lessen their risk of developing complications and enjoy a healthy future. Where Complications Can Occur The major organs and body systems involved in diabetes complications are the: eyes kidneys nerves heart and blood vessels gums Eye Problems People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing eye problems, including: Cataracts: A cataract is a thickening and clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens is the part of the eye that helps you focus on what you see. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts. Cataracts can make a vision Continue reading >>

What Are The Risks Of Diabetes In Children?

What Are The Risks Of Diabetes In Children?

Q: What are the risks of diabetes in children? A: The frequency of diabetes is rising around the world, and studies are showing children are at increasing risk of developing the disease. Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves - causing chronic problems and early death. Type 1 diabetes Type 1 diabetes (sometimes called insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset diabetes) occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. The cause is not known, but it is thought to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Many countries are documenting higher numbers of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes, particularly in younger children. Interestingly, some disease patterns among children resemble infectious disease epidemics. Currently, there is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes (sometimes called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes) happens when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Often preventable, it can result from excess body weight and physical inactivity, and sometimes, a genetic predisposition. Recently, type 2 diabetes has increasingly been reported in children and adolescents, so much so that in some parts of the world type 2 diabetes has become the main type of diabetes in children. The global rise of childhood obesity and physical inactivity is widely believed to play a crucial role. Healthy eating and lifestyle habits are a strong defence against the disease. Continue reading >>

Why Diabetes Is So Dangerous

Why Diabetes Is So Dangerous

There’s a common saying in the diabetes community that diabetes won’t kill you, but it’s complications will. Still, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2010, with over 69,000 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death. [1] Add to that the common complications, like cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and infection, and you can multiply that number by 10! Yet despite these eye-opening statistics, I still see far too many people not taking diabetes seriously. They approach it as something that’s a nuisance rather than something that can and does cause major health complications, and yes even death, if uncontrolled. “Sometimes I pretend I’m not diabetic, but that’s a dangerous game.” – Unknown Diabetes is more dangerous than most people assume, and so it becomes easy for many people with diabetes to get lax in their efforts to manage the dysfunction. A 2012 GAPP2 (Global Attitude of Patients and Physicians 2) survey found that 22% of insulin-using diabetic patients missed a basal insulin dose during a 30-day period. [2] There are very real dangers diabetes poses if left unchecked or mismanaged, and one of my goals today is to motivate you into taking better care of yourself or helping a loved one manage the disease better. Why is diabetes so dangerous? Because if not managed correctly, it can wreak havoc on just about every system and organ in the body. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest risks diabetic complications pose: Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a very dangerous condition that can occur when patients neglect to take their insulin and have uncontrolled blood sugar. Since insulin is necessary to break down glucose as a sourc Continue reading >>

Complications

Complications

If diabetes isn't treated, it can lead to a number of other health problems. High glucose levels can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs. Even a mildly raised glucose level that doesn't cause any symptoms can have long-term damaging effects. Heart disease and stroke If you have diabetes, you're up to five times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. Prolonged, poorly controlled blood glucose levels increase the likelihood of atherosclerosis, where the blood vessels become clogged up and narrowed by fatty substances. This may result in poor blood supply to your heart, causing angina, which is a dull, heavy or tight pain in the chest. It also increases the chance that a blood vessel in your heart or brain will become blocked, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Nerve damage High blood glucose levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in your nerves. This can cause a tingling or burning pain that spreads from your fingers and toes up through your limbs. It can also cause numbness, which can lead to ulceration of the feet. Damage to the peripheral nervous system, which includes all parts of the nervous system that lie outside the central nervous system, is known as peripheral neuropathy. If the nerves in your digestive system are affected, you may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation. Diabetic retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy is when the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye, becomes damaged. Blood vessels in the retina can become blocked or leaky, or can grow haphazardly. This prevents light fully passing through to your retina. If it isn't treated, it can damage your vision. Annual eye checks are usually organised by a regional photographic unit. If significant damage is detected, you may be referred to a Continue reading >>

Symptoms

Symptoms

Print Overview Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It's also your brain's main source of fuel. If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood, although the causes may differ. Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems. Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes — when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes — and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy but may resolve after the baby is delivered. Diabetes symptoms vary depending on how much your blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not experience symptoms initially. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe. Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are: Increased thirst Frequent urination Extreme hunger Unexplained weight loss Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when there's not enough available insulin) Fatigue Irritability Blurred vision Slow-healing sores Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it's more common in people older than 40. When to see a doctor If you suspect you or your child may have diabetes. If you notice any poss Continue reading >>

Is Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia) Dangerous?

Is Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia) Dangerous?

Low blood glucose or hypoglycemia is one of the most common problems associated with insulin treatment, but it can also happen to people with diabetes taking pills. In general, hypoglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level below 70 mg/dl. Low blood glucose is usually unpleasant, with the most common symptoms including feeling shaky, sweaty and having one's heart pound. The most common reasons for hypoglycemia are too much diabetes medicine, too little food or a delayed meal, or too much or unplanned activity. A less common, but occasional cause for hypoglycemia, is drinking alcoholic beverages. Most hypoglycemia is mild with recognizable symptoms. If quickly and appropriately treated, it is more of an inconvenience than a cause for alarm. However, severe hypoglycemia that causes mental confusion, antagonistic behaviors, unconsciousness, or seizures is a reason for alarm. We define severe hypoglycemia as the point at which you are not able to independently treat yourself. It is dangerous and to be avoided! Not because hypoglycemia, in itself, is fatal. That is very, very rare. What is dangerous is what might happen as a result of the hypoglycemia. The biggest danger is a motor vehicle accident caused, for example, by passing out at the wheel, swerving into on-coming traffic, hitting a tree, or running stop signs. Sometimes people are seriously injured in other types of accidents related to hypoglycemia, such as falling down stairs. It is equally important to avoid unconsciousness and seizures caused by hypoglycemia, not only because of the increased risk for accidents, but because of the potential for brain damage related to repeated severe hypoglycemia. Guidelines for managing hypoglycemia Recognize symptoms (physical, emotional, mental) and that these symptoms are v Continue reading >>

Risk Of Complications Of Pregnancy In Women With Type 1 Diabetes: Nationwide Prospective Study In The Netherlands

Risk Of Complications Of Pregnancy In Women With Type 1 Diabetes: Nationwide Prospective Study In The Netherlands

Abstract Objective To investigate maternal, perinatal, and neonatal outcomes of pregnancies in women with type 1 diabetes in the Netherlands. Design Nationwide prospective cohort study. Setting All 118 hospitals in the Netherlands. Participants 323 women with type 1 diabetes who became pregnant between 1 April 1999 and 1 April 2000. Main outcome measures Maternal, perinatal, and neonatal outcomes of pregnancy. Results 84% (n = 271) of the pregnancies were planned. Glycaemic control early in pregnancy was good in most women (HbA1c  7.0% in 75% (n = 212) of the population), and folic acid supplementation was adequate in 70% (n = 226). 314 pregnancies that went beyond 24 weeks' gestation resulted in 324 infants. The rates of pre-eclampsia (40; 12.7%), preterm delivery (101; 32.2%), caesarean section (139; 44.3%), maternal mortality (2; 0.6%), congenital malformations (29; 8.8%), perinatal mortality (9; 2.8%), and macrosomia (146; 45.1%) were considerably higher than in the general population. Neonatal morbidity (one or more complications) was extremely high (260; 80.2%). The incidence of major congenital malformations was significantly lower in planned pregnancies than in unplanned pregnancies (4.2% (n = 11) v 12.2% (n = 6); relative risk 0.34, 95% confidence interval 0.13 to 0.88). Conclusion Despite a high frequency of planned pregnancies, resulting in overall good glycaemic control (early) in pregnancy and a high rate of adequate use of folic acid, maternal and perinatal complications were still increased in women with type 1 diabetes. Neonatal morbidity, especially hypoglycaemia, was also extremely high. Near optimal maternal glycaemic control (HbA1c  7.0%) apparently is not good enough. Introduction Pregnancy in women with type 1 diabetes mellitus is associated Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Complications

Diabetes: Complications

People with diabetes are at risk for long-term problems affecting the eyes, kidneys, heart, brain, feet, and nerves. The best way to prevent or delay these problems is to control your blood sugar and take good care of yourself. Eyes It is recommended that people with diabetes see an eye doctor every year for a dilated eye exam. Eye problems that can occur with diabetes include: Cataracts: a clouding of the lens of the eyes. Glaucoma: increased pressure in the eye. Retinopathy: eye changes with the retina in the back of the eye. Symptoms of eye problems include Blurred vision. Spots or lines in your vision. Watery eyes. Eye discomfort. Loss of vision. If you have any changes in your vision, call your healthcare provider. Have your urine checked for protein at least once a year. Protein in the urine is a sign of kidney disease. High blood pressure might also lead to kidney disease. Your blood pressure should be checked when you see your healthcare provider. Symptoms of a kidney problem include: Swelling of the hands, feet, and face. Weight gain from edema. Itching and/or drowsiness. (This can occur with end stage kidney disease.) Prompt treatment may slow the changes with kidney disease. All people with diabetes have an increased chance for heart disease and strokes. Heart disease is the major cause of death in people with diabetes. It is important to control other risks such as high blood pressure and high fats (cholesterol), as well as blood sugar. Symptoms of a heart attack include: Feeling faint. Feeling dizzy. Sweating. Chest pain or pressure. Pain in the shoulders, jaw, and left arm. Warning signs of a stroke include: Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body. Sudden nausea. Vomiting. Difficulty speaking or understanding w Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Early Diabetes: Five Risk Factors Putting You On Course For Type 2 Diabetes

Symptoms Of Early Diabetes: Five Risk Factors Putting You On Course For Type 2 Diabetes

Prediabetes is also referred to by medics as borderline diabetes, is a metabolic condition. If undiagnosed or untreated, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes; which is treatable but not easily reversed. Experts said it is a ‘critical stage’ in the development of diabetes because lifestyle choices - such as changing diet and exercising - can return blood sugar levels to normal. It is therefore crucial to recognise it as early as possible, medics argue. The condition is considered to be a grey area between having normal blood sugar levels and those verging on diabetic levels. Diabetes.co.uk states : “Prediabetes is characterised by the presence of blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classed as diabetes. “Prediabetes may be referred to as impaired fasting glucose (IFT), if you have higher than normal sugar levels after a period of fasting, or as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), if you have higher than normal sugar levels following eating. “Each year in the UK, 5 to 10 per cent of people diagnosed with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes.” There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so people could be suffering with the condition without knowing it. However people with prediabetes might be suffering with similar symptoms to type 2 diabetes. These include urinating more frequently, feeling thirsty and feeling tired. Symptoms can also include itching around the penis or vagina as a result of thrush, cuts or wounds which heal slowly and blurred vision. Being overweight can also cause type 2 diabetes. Fri, August 19, 2016 Diabetes is a common life-long health condition. There are 3.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 500,000 who are living undiagnosed with the condition. The 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 >>

What Are The Risks Of Gestational Diabetes?

What Are The Risks Of Gestational Diabetes?

A risk means there is a chance that something might happen. With every pregnancy there are some risks, but if you have gestational diabetes your risks of some things will be increased. Managing your blood sugar level brings these risks right down again though and most women with gestational diabetes have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. These things are very unlikely to happen to you, but understanding the risks may help you see why it is important that you follow your healthcare team’s advice. The risks linked to gestational diabetes are caused by blood glucose levels being too high. If you can keep your blood glucose as close as possible to the ideal level, your risks will be reduced. Risk of having a large baby (macrosomia) If your blood glucose level is high, it can cause high blood glucose levels in your baby. Your baby will produce more insulin in response, just like you do. This can make your baby grow larger than normal. This is called macrosomia. Babies weighing more than 4kg (8lb 8oz) at birth are called macrosomic. Macrosomia increases the risk of: Birth trauma - either the mother or baby can be affected when it is difficult for the baby to be born. Trauma may include physical symptoms, such as bone fractures or nerve damage for the baby, or tearing and severe bleeding for the mother as well as psychological distress. Shoulder dystocia - where the baby’s shoulder is stuck in your pelvis once the head has been born. This can squash the umbilical cord, so the team need to use additional interventions to deliver the baby quickly and safely. It means you may have labour induced early or to have a caesarean section so that your baby is born safely. Your baby's weight will be monitored carefully in pregnancy to see whether these interventions are needed. Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Complications

Type 1 Diabetes Complications

Type 1 diabetes is complicated—and if you don’t manage it properly, there are complications, both short-term and long-term. “If you don’t manage it properly” is an important if statement: by carefully managing your blood glucose levels, you can stave off or prevent the short- and long-term complications. And if you’ve already developed diabetes complications, controlling your blood glucose levels can help you manage the symptoms and prevent further damage. Diabetes complications are all related to poor blood glucose control, so you must work carefully with your doctor and diabetes team to correctly manage your blood sugar (or your child’s blood sugar). Short-term Diabetes Complications Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (blood sugar). It develops when there’s too much insulin—meaning that you’ve taken (or given your child) too much insulin or that you haven’t properly planned insulin around meals or exercise. Other possible causes of hypoglycemia include certain medications (aspirin, for example, lowers the blood glucose level if you take a dose of more than 81mg) and alcohol (alcohol keeps the liver from releasing glucose). There are three levels of hypoglycemia, depending on how low the blood glucose level has dropped: mild, moderate, and severe. If you treat hypoglycemia when it’s in the mild or moderate stages, then you can prevent far more serious problems; severe hypoglycemia can cause a coma and even death (although very, very rarely). The signs and symptoms of low blood glucose are usually easy to recognize: Rapid heartbeat Sweating Paleness of skin Anxiety Numbness in fingers, toes, and lips Sleepiness Confusion Headache Slurred speech For more information about hypoglycemia and how to treat it, please read our article on hy Continue reading >>

Why Is Diabetes Dangerous?

Why Is Diabetes Dangerous?

Diabetes is dangerous for many reasons. For those with diabetes, low-blood sugar levels can cause immediate, life-threatening situations, and a long-term pattern of consistently high sugar levels places you at greater risk for heart disease, strokes and other serious conditions. Diabetes is also the leading cause of new cases of blindness among working-age adults. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, special care should be taken to keep your vision in check. Key steps to taking better control of your diabetes or prediabetes condition involve adopting a healthier diet and starting a regular exercise program. Careful management of blood sugar levels can help you avoid some of the health complications linked to diabetes. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended that every American over the age of 45 should be screened for both type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, the common condition of having blood glucose levels higher than normal. As type 2 diabetes continues to spread it is important to do all you can to fight it. If you've got it, reverse it. Type 2 diabetes is a disease you can almost always kick to the curb if you manage it like a pro. If you've got prediabetes, treat it as a warning and adopt a healthier lifestyle. The number one key to preventing diabetes is to lose even a little weight, especially by avoiding added sugars and saturated fats. Diabetes doesn't just do in your body (i.e., eyes, heart, kidneys), it also attacks your brain. It restricts circulation and creates so much damaging inflammation that new studies show your brain shrinks by 15%. The most affected areas are your ability to talk, make decisions, handle tasks and remember what you just said. Diabetes is a serious, sometimes life-threatening disease. Over time it can affect every b Continue reading >>

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