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What Are The Dangers Of Having Diabetes?

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 >>

The Risks Of Treating Diabetes With Drugs Are Far Worse Than The Disease

The Risks Of Treating Diabetes With Drugs Are Far Worse Than The Disease

Drugs in type 2 diabetics will nearly universally cause more damage than good Drugs used to lower blood sugar may increase your risk of death from all causes by 19 percent, and your risk of cardiovascular mortality by 43 percent You can prevent, treat and even reverse type 2 diabetes by making straightforward lifestyle changes By Dr. Mercola Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, and up to 95 percent of these cases are type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease that shuts down your body's insulin production, type 2 diabetes is directly caused by lifestyle. Whereas type 1 diabetics need to inject insulin several times a day to stay alive, type 2 diabetics do NOT need drugs. In fact, taking drugs for type 2 diabetes can be far worse than the disease itself! Diabetes Drugs Increase Your Risk of Death Drugs are widely prescribed for type 2 diabetics to help lower blood sugar levels, but a new meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials involving more than 33,000 people showed that this treatment is not only ineffective, it's dangerous as well. Treatment with glucose-lowering drugs actually showed the potential to increase your risk of death from heart-related, and all other causes. "The overall results of this meta-analysis do not show a benefit of intensive glucose lowering treatment on all cause mortality or cardiovascular death. A 19% increase in all cause mortality and a 43% increase in cardiovascular mortality cannot be excluded." Lessons Learned from Avandia: Diabetes Drugs Can be Deadly Avandia (rosiglitazone) is the poster child for what is wrong with the drug treatment of type 2 diabetes. After hitting the market in 1999, a 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine linked it to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attac Continue reading >>

Prevent Complications

Prevent Complications

Diabetes can affect any part of your body. The good news is that you can prevent most of these problems by keeping your blood glucose (blood sugar) under control, eating healthy, being physical active, working with your health care provider to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control, and getting necessary screening tests. How are cholesterol, triglyceride, weight, and blood pressure problems related to diabetes? How can I be "heart healthy" and avoid cardiovascular disease if I have diabetes? How can I keep my eyes healthy if I have diabetes? How can I keep my kidneys healthy if I have diabetes? Why is it especially important to take care of my feet if I have diabetes? What should I do on a regular basis to take care of my feet? Continue reading >>

Does Diabetes Raise Knee Replacement Risks?

Does Diabetes Raise Knee Replacement Risks?

Research is mixed on how diabetes affects surgery results. When arthritis makes it too painful to walk or climb stairs, a knee replacement could be the solution to help you get around more comfortably again. Yet this surgery, like any other procedure, comes with risks that may be even more pronounced if you have diabetes. The issue is an important one, considering that about half of people with diabetes also have arthritis, and many may eventually need a new knee or two. Possible Diabetes-related Surgery Complications: Two studies published in the Bone and Joint Journal in 2014 and 2009 — from Sichuan University in China and Duke University in North Carolina have suggested that people with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of postsurgical complications such as wound infection, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (blood clot), fracture around the implant, and joint loosening, particularly when their diabetes isn’t well controlled. High blood sugar, the hallmark of diabetes, is thought to cause surgical complications through its adverse effects on many organs and processes in the body. However, a 2013 study published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery failed to find any association between diabetes and negative surgical outcomes. In that study, researchers retrospectively reviewed the electronic health records of more than 40,000 Kaiser Permanente patients who had a knee replacement. The investigators looked at three main surgical outcomes: deep infection, blood clots in the legs or lungs, and revision surgery (an operation to replace a failed knee implant). They compared outcomes in people with controlled and uncontrolled diabetes. After adjusting for age, sex, weight and other health problems, the researchers saw no differences in outcomes in patients with cont Continue reading >>

Understanding Diabetes

Understanding Diabetes

This information describes diabetes, the complications related to the disease, and how you can prevent these complications. Blood Sugar Control Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar runs too high, usually due to not enough insulin. It can cause terrible long-term complications if it is not treated properly. The most common serious complications are blindness ("retinopathy"), kidney failure requiring dependence on a dialysis machine to stay alive ("nephropathy"), and foot and leg amputations. The good news is that these complications can almost always be prevented if you keep your blood sugar near the normal range. The best way to keep blood sugar low is to eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise. Just 20 minutes of walking 4 or 5 times a week can do wonders for lowering blood sugar. Eating a healthy diet is also very important. Do your best to limit the number of calories you eat each day. Put smaller portions of food on your plate and eat more slowly so that your body has a chance to let you know when it's had enough to eat. It is also very important to limit saturated fats in your diet. Read food labels carefully to see which foods are high in saturated fats. Particular foods to cut down on are: whole milk and 2% milk, cheese, ice cream, fast foods, butter, bacon, sausage, beef, chicken with the skin on (skinless chicken is fine), doughnuts, cookies, chocolate, and nuts. Often, diet and exercise alone are not enough to control blood sugar. In this case, medicine is needed to bring the blood sugar down further. Often pills are enough, but sometimes insulin injections are needed. If medicines to lower blood sugar are started, it is still very important to keep doing regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Keeping Track of Blood Sugar Checking blood sugar wi Continue reading >>

Diabetes Danger: Warning Over Life-threatening Complications Ketoacidosis And Diabulimia

Diabetes Danger: Warning Over Life-threatening Complications Ketoacidosis And Diabulimia

The condition occurs when the body is unable to use blood sugar (glucose) because there isn't enough insulin. Instead, it breaks down fat as an alternative source of fuel. This causes a build-up of a potentially harmful by-product called ketones. It's fairly common in people with type 1 diabetes and can very occasionally affect those with type 2 diabetes. “It sometimes develops in people who were previously unaware they had diabetes. NRS Healthcare has set out to raise awareness for people suffering with the condition and also highlight other issues including diabulimia, a recently reported condition where young people with diabetes choose not to take their insulin in order to lose weight. Alexandra Lomas, who is living with type 1 diabetes, has spoken out about how her delayed diagnosis led to her going through ketoacidosis and warned how young girls living with diabulimia risk experiencing the same horrific symptoms. “Before I had diabetes I had this long luscious thick hair, it was kind of like my crowning glory. “Six months leading up to my diagnosis I would be brushing my hair and pulling out these great big clumps of hair. “I lost six stone is as many months. I eventually lost so much weight that the sugar in my blood had started to eat away at my muscles. “Leading up to going into hospital was really really difficult. “When I got to the hospital they measured my heart rate and it was at 268 beats a minute - the normal rate is around 60 per minute. I felt like I was having a heart attack. “I recently read a story on diabulimia, where young girls across the UK aren’t taking their insulin as a type 1 diabetic in order to make their blood sugars rise and eat away at their fat and muscle and therefore they keep their weight down. “I wanted to make th Continue reading >>

Dangers Of Not Taking Insulin Or Other Diabetes Medication

Dangers Of Not Taking Insulin Or Other Diabetes Medication

As water wears down a shoreline, even a rocky one, high blood sugar wears down the health of people with diabetes. Unless an individual can control their blood sugar through lifestyle, diet and exercise, prescription medications are the only option for preventing acute life-threatening conditions and avoiding or slowing the onset of diabetes complications. Short-Term Dangers The short-term dangers of not taking prescribed medication are symptoms of weakness, fatigue, mental confusion and the life-threatening condition of hyperosmolar syndrome. Hyperosmolar syndrome is diagnosed in people with type 2 diabetes whose blood glucose and sodium levels are extremely high because of dehydration. Symptoms of weakness, increased thirst and urination, nausea, confusion and fatigue can develop gradually over days or weeks. Eventually, convulsions and coma may set in. This condition usually requires hospitalization and aggressive treatment using IV fluids and insulin. Though symptoms are often relieved within hours, hyperosmolar syndrome can cause death, even with proper treatment. If people fall into a coma before seeking help, there is a 50 percent chance they will die from the disease. Although the condition called ketoacidosis is uncommon with type 2 diabetes, it may occur. When the body cannot process glucose for energy, it breaks down fat for fuel. As fat is metabolized, it produces ketones. Too many ketones cause increased urination and thirst, dry mouth, cool skin, nausea and vomiting. Eventually, there may be a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, coma or death. Treatment involves hospitalization, IV fluids and insulin. Ketoacidosis is a more common occurrence with type 1 diabetes. Long-Term Dangers A slow erosion of health is the silent, insidious danger of not t 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

I Have Gestational Diabetes. How Will It Affect My Baby?

I Have Gestational Diabetes. How Will It Affect My Baby?

Will gestational diabetes hurt my baby? Most women who develop diabetes during pregnancy go on to have a healthy baby. Dietary changes and exercise may be enough to keep blood sugar (glucose) levels under control, though sometimes you may also need to take medication. But untreated gestational diabetes can cause serious problems. If blood sugar levels remain elevated, too much glucose ends up in the baby's blood. When that happens, the baby's pancreas needs to produce more insulin to process the extra sugar. Too much blood sugar and insulin can make a baby put on extra weight, which is stored as fat. This can make the baby grow very large (macrosomia). Also, high blood sugar levels during pregnancy and labor increase the risk of a baby developing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) after delivery. That's because the baby's body produces extra insulin in response to the mother's excess glucose. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in the blood. The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia in an infant include: jitteriness weak or high-pitched cry floppiness lethargy or sleepiness breathing problems skin that looks blue trouble feeding eye rolling seizures A baby may also be at higher risk for breathing problems at birth, especially if blood sugar levels aren't well controlled or the baby is delivered early. (If you have gestational diabetes, your baby's lungs tend to mature a bit later). The risk of newborn jaundice is higher too. If your blood sugar control is especially poor, the baby's heart function could be affected as well, which can contribute to breathing problems. Gestational diabetes sometimes thickens a baby's heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), causing the baby to breathe rapidly and not be able to get enough oxygen from her blood. It's understandable to feel anxi Continue reading >>

Dangers Of Diabetes

Dangers Of Diabetes

Right now, you might be experiencing some of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, which include: Frequent urination Unusual thirst Extreme hunger Unusual weight loss Extreme fatigue and irritability Blurred vision Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal Tingling/numbness in the hands and feet Skin, gum, or bladder infections As you bring your blood-glucose levels under control, these symptoms will begin to abate. However, like many people with type 2 diabetes, you might not have any symptoms at all — which can sometimes make it harder to grasp the seriousness of your diagnosis. Whether you have symptoms or not, over time uncontrolled levels of high blood sugar can lead to tissue damage throughout your body, from your eyes to your toes. When you have diabetes, you will be seeing your physician on a regular basis to monitor your progress. And it will become more important than ever to get regular dental and eye exams. That’s because diabetes can lead to a range of complications, which you need to know about and be on the lookout for because they are so serious. Fortunately, controlling your blood-glucose levels can help prevent many of these secondary problems. Diabetic Complications Gum disease and infections Vision problems, including a risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and eye infections; a condition called diabetic retinopathy can lead to vision loss or blindness Neuropathy, or nerve damage, that can cause pain or numbness in your hands and feet Circulatory problems that can eventually lead to amputations (feet, legs) Remember: Taking control of your blood-glucose levels can help prevent many of these secondary problems. Work closely with your care team to maintain a proper diabetes management plan and to watch carefully for troubling symptoms or signs of a developing problem. Continue reading >>

Is Weight Loss Caused By Diabetes Dangerous?

Is Weight Loss Caused By Diabetes Dangerous?

Ask the experts I have a friend that is 35 and has diabetes. For the past eight years, his weight has always been in check and if anything he may have been a little overweight. Just recently, he has lost a lot of weight and he told me that he weighs less than he did in high school. I think he looks too thin and I am concerned about his health with him being a diabetic. Should there be a concern and what kind of advice can you give me to pass on to him. Doctor's response We often assume weight loss is good and healthy. A slow steady intentional weight loss using nutritional change and exercise is associated with beneficial effects on the heart, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. In addition, weight loss can reduce "insulin resistance" and make muscles and fat tissues more sensitive to circulating insulin levels in the blood. What type of diabetes causes weight loss? A reduction in insulin resistance is problematic because insulin is needed to help glucose enter these tissues to be metabolized. If these tissues are resistant to insulin, higher than normal levels are needed for this process to occur. This is often the case in Type 2 diabetes. As a result, a vicious cycle occurs, the higher the insulin levels are, the harder it is to lose weight (insulin is anabolic, and is a hormone that likes to store fat). On the other hand, the heavier a person is, the more likely they are to have higher insulin levels. As you can see, the cycle is often hard to break. What causes unintentional weight loss in diabetes? While intentional weight loss in people with diabetes is usually a good thing, unintentional weight loss is not. If blood sugars are very high, patients with diabetes tend to urinate a lot, and this results in dehydration as a possible cause of weight loss. Also, mus Continue reading >>

Effects Of Alcohol On Diabetes

Effects Of Alcohol On Diabetes

Alcohol, which is made from fermented yeast, sugars, and starches is a very commonly used substance. In fact, 87.6% of adults aged 18 and over have consumed it at some point in their lifetime. It is also known as a depressant due to its capability to depress the central nervous system. About 71% have drank in the past year. When enjoyed in moderation, alcohol does not pose a risk, and actually has some health benefits to it. However, for those with diabetes, it can be a struggle to maintain a safe blood sugar while drinking. It is very easy to become hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemic (high blood sugar), depending on which type of diabetes you have and the medications that you take. Understanding the effects drinking has on diabetes is very important. This article discusses the risks and benefits of drinking. It also explains what drinks are best for individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Can I drink if I have diabetes? You can most certainly drink alcohol with diabetes. The key, just like many other things, is to do so in moderation. Also, if your blood sugar is not under good control, you should not drink because it can cause it to become too high or too low. Your doctor should be aware of your drinking habits so that they can make sure that you are not experiencing any complications related to it. I recommend reading the following articles: How does alcohol affect diabetes and my blood sugar levels? Normally, the liver is the organ that stores and secretes glucose to the cells in the body to fuel them when you are not eating. The liver is also responsible for cleansing the body of toxins. The liver does not recognize alcohol as food. Instead, it sees it as a drug and a toxin. When alcohol is in the system, the liver changes gears and begins to deto Continue reading >>

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