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What Happens To Your Body If You Do Not Have Your Diabetes Under Control?

Are You In Diabetes Denial?

Are You In Diabetes Denial?

Some people respond to the news that they have type 2 diabetes by ignoring the diagnosis. It's a head-in-the-sand reaction that is risky but somewhat understandable, says Sherita Golden, MD, an endocrinologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We often ask patients to alter their lifestyle significantly" with a host of new habits, she says. "It's initially overwhelming." Golden aims to meet diabetes denial with patience, and she recommends family and friends do the same. "But we shouldn't be so patient that they're allowed to ignore their diabetes for years," she adds. Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar levels can lead to serious complications: eye diseases such as glaucoma, kidney disease, and foot ulcers that can result in amputation. "All of those can be avoided by getting glucose under control sooner rather than later," she says. If you or someone close to you is in denial, Golden suggests taking these steps. Start simple. If you're only willing to take on one new habit at first, Golden advises you take any medications your doctor prescribes -- consistently. Speak up if you have side effects, a situation that may tempt you to skip meds. "There are alternatives that we can prescribe," Golden says. Listen to and express your emotions. Golden led research revealing that people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes "are twice as likely to have depression and depressed mood compared to individuals who don't have diabetes." The choice to ignore your diagnosis may be a symptom of depression, and treating the condition with therapy or medication could help some people stick to a diabetes treatment plan. Consider joining a support group. They can help because "they let patients know they're not alone," Golden says. When you're newly diagnosed, it helps to m Continue reading >>

The Deliberate Lies They Tell About Diabetes

The Deliberate Lies They Tell About Diabetes

By some estimates, diabetes cases have increased more than 700 percent in the last 50 years. One in four Americans now have either diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose) Type 2 diabetes is completely preventable and virtually 100 percent reversible, simply by implementing simple, inexpensive lifestyle changes, one of the most important of which is eliminating sugar (especially fructose) and grains from your diet Diabetes is NOT a disease of blood sugar, but rather a disorder of insulin and leptin signaling. Elevated insulin levels are not only symptoms of diabetes, but also heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and obesity Diabetes drugs are not the answer – most type 2 diabetes medications either raise insulin or lower blood sugar (failing to address the root cause) and many can cause serious side effects Sun exposure shows promise in treating and preventing diabetes, with studies revealing a significant link between high vitamin D levels and a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome By Dr. Mercola There is a staggering amount of misinformation on diabetes, a growing epidemic that afflicts more than 29 million people in the United States today. The sad truth is this: it could be your very OWN physician perpetuating this misinformation Most diabetics find themselves in a black hole of helplessness, clueless about how to reverse their condition. The bigger concern is that more than half of those with type 2 diabetes are NOT even aware they have diabetes — and 90 percent of those who have a condition known as prediabetes aren’t aware of their circumstances, either. Diabetes: Symptoms of an Epidemic The latest diabetes statistics1 echo an increase in diabetes ca Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia means high (hyper) glucose (gly) in the blood (emia). Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabetes—when the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn't properly using or doesn't make the hormone insulin. You get glucose from the foods you eat. Carbohydrates, such as fruit, milk, potatoes, bread, and rice, are the biggest source of glucose in a typical diet. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, and then transports the glucose to the cells via the bloodstream. Body Needs Insulin However, in order to use the glucose, your body needs insulin. This is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps transport glucose into the cells, particularly the muscle cells. People with type 1 diabetes no longer make insulin to help their bodies use glucose, so they have to take insulin, which is injected under the skin. People with type 2 diabetes may have enough insulin, but their body doesn't use it well; they're insulin resistant. Some people with type 2 diabetes may not produce enough insulin. People with diabetes may become hyperglycemic if they don't keep their blood glucose level under control (by using insulin, medications, and appropriate meal planning). For example, if someone with type 1 diabetes doesn't take enough insulin before eating, the glucose their body makes from that food can build up in their blood and lead to hyperglycemia. Your endocrinologist will tell you what your target blood glucose levels are. Your levels may be different from what is usually considered as normal because of age, pregnancy, and/or other factors. Fasting hyperglycemia is defined as when you don't eat for at least eight hours. Recommended range without diabet 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 >>

Diabetic Kidney Disease

Diabetic Kidney Disease

What is diabetic kidney disease? Diabetic kidney disease is a type of kidney disease caused by diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. About 1 out of 4 adults with diabetes has kidney disease.1 The main job of the kidneys is to filter wastes and extra water out of your blood to make urine. Your kidneys also help control blood pressure and make hormones that your body needs to stay healthy. When your kidneys are damaged, they can’t filter blood like they should, which can cause wastes to build up in your body. Kidney damage can also cause other health problems. Kidney damage caused by diabetes usually occurs slowly, over many years. You can take steps to protect your kidneys and to prevent or delay kidney damage. What are other names for diabetic kidney disease? Diabetic kidney disease is also called DKD, chronic kidney disease, CKD, kidney disease of diabetes, or diabetic nephropathy. How does diabetes cause kidney disease? High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys. When the blood vessels are damaged, they don’t work as well. Many people with diabetes also develop high blood pressure, which can also damage your kidneys. Learn more about high blood pressure and kidney disease. What increases my chances of developing diabetic kidney disease? Having diabetes for a longer time increases the chances that you will have kidney damage. If you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop kidney disease if your blood glucose is too high blood pressure is too high African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics/Latinos develop diabetes, kidney disease, and kidney failure at a higher rate than Caucasians. You are also more likely to develop kidney disease if you have diabetes and smoke don’t follow your di Continue reading >>

How To Manage Your Diabetes In Extreme Summer Heat

How To Manage Your Diabetes In Extreme Summer Heat

We often look forward to changes of season, but if you have diabetes, you need to be extra careful when temperatures climb dramatically. Extreme heat can affect your blood sugar control. If you use insulin or if your treatment of blood sugars is inadequate, this can put you at higher risk. Often, worsening blood sugar control is the main concern. Depending on the situation and your level of physical activity, low blood sugars are also possible. Extreme temperatures can also damage your medications and testing equipment. I always remind my patients to take precautions to protect themselves and their supplies during both winter and summer. If a patient’s blood sugars are mostly higher than 250 mg/dl, I recommend improving blood sugar control before engaging in heavy physical activity — regardless of the climate and the temperature, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association. How heat can affect you The extreme heat of summer affects blood sugar levels. How the heat affects your levels depends on what you’ve eaten, whether you’re well-hydrated and your activity level. If the heat and your activity make you sweat profusely, you may become dehydrated, leading to a rise in glucose levels. If you become dehydrated, your blood glucose levels will rise. This can lead to frequent urination, which then leads to further dehydration and even higher blood sugar levels — a kind of vicious cycle. Further, if the treatment includes insulin, dehydration reduces blood supply to the skin and, therefore, less absorption of injected insulin dosage. Adjusting your insulin dosage Most types of insulin can tolerate temperatures from 93 degrees F to 95 degrees F, but any higher than that and the medication will degrade rapidly. Attention should be paid to the insulin you are c Continue reading >>

Common Questions About Diabetes Medicines

Common Questions About Diabetes Medicines

How do I know if my diabetes pill is working? The best way to find out how well your diabetes pill is working is to test your blood sugar. Ask a member of your health care team what time of day is best for testing. You'll want to test when your diabetes medicine is expected to be most active in your body. Keep a record of your blood sugar levels (PDF) during that time to see if they're at or near your goal. If your levels are at or near your goal and you're not having any problems with the medicine, then it's probably working well. If you're still not sure, talk to your doctor or other member of your care team. Can I stop taking my diabetes medicine after my blood sugar is under control? It's reasonable to think that after a person gets good blood sugar control, it means the end of managing diabetes. But that's not the case. People with type 1 diabetes aren't able to make their own insulin, so they will always need to take insulin shots every day. For people with type 2 diabetes who are on medicine, the answer isn't as clear. Sometimes when people are first diagnosed, they start on pills or insulin right away. If the person also works hard to control diabetes with diet and exercise, he or she can lower the need for medicine and might be able to stop taking it altogether. As long as the person is able to keep blood sugar levels normal with diet and exercise, there isn't a need for medicine. However, type 2 diabetes changes over time. The change can be fast or slow, but it does change. This means that even if a person was able to stop taking medicine for a while, he or she might need to start taking it again in the future. If a person is taking medicine to keep blood sugar normal, then it's important to keep taking it to lower the chances for heart disease and other healt Continue reading >>

How Type 2 Diabetes Can Damage Your Body

How Type 2 Diabetes Can Damage Your Body

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S.(ISTOKEPHOTO) Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes by farmaking up more than 90% of the 24 million cases in the U.S. Experts use words like "epidemic" and "worldwide crisis" when they talk about it: Millions of people have it and a staggering number are expected to get it (300 million worldwide by 2025, according to one study). Diabetes doesn't get the attention of, say, cancer or scary viruses. One reason might be because type 2 diabetes is so incredibly commonabout 20% of people over age 60 get it. A large chunk of the population just seems to have the genetic programming to develop the disease with age. Type 2 diabetes is showing up in young people However, diabetes is also on the rise because our modern lifestylelots of food and little exercisespeeds up the process. So people who might have developed this "old-age disease" in their 60s and 70s are now developing the disease much earlier due to obesity and lack of exercise; sometimes in their teens or in childhood. Anyone can get diabetes. But some people are at much higher risk, particularly those who are obese. (Are you overweight? Use this body mass index calculator to find out.) One in three children born in the U.S. in 2000 will develop diabetes at some point in their life (including more than half of Hispanic females), according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in 2003. But not all is gloom and doom. If you have diabetes, you have a lot more control over the disease now than just about any other point in history. And if you have prediabetes, you have a good chance of preventing or delaying the disease by making lifestyle changes or taking medication. What happens in the body when you have type 2 diabetes Wit Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Faqs

Type 2 Diabetes Faqs

Common questions about type 2 diabetes: How do you treat type 2 diabetes? When you have type 2 diabetes, you first need to eat a healthy diet, stay physically active and lose any extra weight. If these lifestyle changes cannot control your blood sugar, you also may need to take pills and other injected medication, including insulin. Eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and losing any extra weight is the first line of therapy. “Diet and exercise“ is the foundation of all diabetes management because it makes your body’s cells respond better to insulin (in other words, it decreases insulin resistance) and lowers blood sugar levels. If you cannot normalize or control the blood sugars with diet, weight loss and exercise, the next treatment phase is taking medicine either orally or by injection. Diabetes pills work in different ways – some lower insulin resistance, others slow the digestion of food or increase insulin levels in the blood stream. The non-insulin injected medications for type 2 diabetes have a complicated action but basically lower blood glucose after eating. Insulin therapy simply increases insulin in the circulation. Don’t be surprised if you have to use multiple medications to control the blood sugar. Multiple medications, also known as combination therapy is common in the treatment of diabetes! If one medication is not enough, you medical provider may give you two or three or more different types of pills. Insulin or other injected medications also may be prescribed. Or, depending on your medical condition, you may be treated only with insulin or injected medication therapy. Many people with type 2 diabetes have elevated blood fats (high triglycerides and cholesterol) and blood pressure, so you may be given medications for these problem Continue reading >>

How Water Impacts Blood Sugars

How Water Impacts Blood Sugars

This article was originally from the weekly Diabetes Daily Newsletter. To receive your copy, create a free Diabetes Daily account. Picture a glass of water. Mix in a little sugar and stir until it dissolves. Now place it outside on a hot, sunny day. As the water evaporates, the remaining water gets sweeter and sweeter. If you have diabetes, this happens to your blood when you’re dehydrated. Because your blood is 83% water, when you lose water, the volume of blood decreases and the sugar remains the same. More concentrated blood sugar means higher blood sugars. The lesson: stay hydrated to avoid unnecessary high blood sugars. How Much Water Should I Drink? The average person loses about 10 cups of water per day through sweat and urination. At the same time, you gain fluid from drinking liquids and eating food. So how much you need to drink is a tricky question. You may have heard the “drink 8 glass of water a day” rule. Where did this rule come from? As Barbara Rolls, a nutrition research at Pennsylvania State University says: “I can’t even tell you that, and I’ve writen a book on water!” It turns out that there’s no basis for this in the medical literature. The easiest way to tell is looking at your urine. If it’s a little yellow, you’re probably hydrated. If it’s darker, then you need to drink more fluids. You can also go with your own intuition. Are you thirsty? Drink! If you’re busy or stuck at a desk for long periods, make sure you have a water bottle so you can easily answer when your body calls for water. Does Coffee or Tea Count? Yes! Although consuming caffeine can cause your body to shed some water, you still gain more water than you shed. And studies have shown that this effect is partically non-existent for people who drink caffeine re Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar After Exercise?

High Blood Sugar After Exercise?

back to Overview Markus, one of our great German-language authors, wrote about struggling with high blood sugar after exercise. I know it's a common problem, and one I've struggled with personally, so I want to make sure you get to see it, too. From Markus Berndt: It’s one of the first recommendations you get after being diagnosed with diabetes. “Get active, do more exercise, it’s good for you!” And since we’ve been a child we’ve heard that exercise is healthy. If we do it consistently we’re rewarded, literally, with an awesome beach body. Adding exercise into our day is also good for our diabetes. We’re taught that exercise lowers blood sugar, right? But can the opposite also be true? Can you have high blood sugar after exercise? Up close We now know that physical activity usually lowers blood sugar because it reduces how much insulin is needed to move sugar into the cells. While, in the past, most experts advised frequent training intervals at moderate intensity, but recent studies have shown that even short, intense workouts are very effective. For example, a 15-minute intense weight training lowered blood sugar even more than what’s seen in some endurance training. So activity lowers blood sugar – but not always! Personally, I experienced this very early on and was extremely irritated! I just learned that exercise lowers blood sugar, but an intense 45-minute run consistently resulted in higher blood sugars than when I started! What in the world? At first, I was confused and felt like I didn’t understand the world anymore. Then it was more of a “would you look at this?” kind of thing. And finally, I was determined to figure out what was happening. I knew there had to be an explanation. Why does exercise sometimes raise blood sugar? Exercise Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Has your doctor diagnosed you with gestational diabetes (GD or GDM), a form of diabetes that appears only during pregnancy? While it might feel overwhelming at first, it turns out that this pregnancy complication is much more common than you might think. In fact, up to 9.2 percent of pregnant women have GD, according to a 2014 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Know that with careful monitoring and treatment, it can be managed, and you can have a safe and healthy pregnancy. READ MORE: What causes gestational diabetes? Who's most at risk? What are the symptoms? How is it diagnosed? What are the complications? How can you prevent gestational diabetes? How is it treated? What happens to mom and baby after birth? What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes usually starts between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy when hormones from the placenta block insulin — a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the body's metabolism of fats and carbs and helps the body turn sugar into energy — from doing its job and prevent the body from regulating the increased blood sugar of pregnancy effectively. This causes hyperglycemia (or high levels of sugar in the blood), which can damage the nerves, blood vessels and organs in your body. Who’s most at risk for gestational diabetes? While researchers aren't certain why some women get gestational diabetes while others don’t, they do know that you may be at an increased risk if: You are overweight. Having a BMI of 30 or more going into pregnancy is one of the most common risk factors for gestational diabetes because the extra weight affects insulin's ability to properly keep blood sugar levels in check. You have a higher level of abdominal fat. Recent research published in the American Di Continue reading >>

And Diabetes

And Diabetes

Diabetes is a common, life-long condition that occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin it does produce doesn’t work properly. Insulin is a hormone that transfers glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to be used for energy. If you have diabetes, your body cannot make proper use of this glucose so it builds up in the blood instead of moving into your cells. The chances of developing diabetes may depend on a mix of your genes and your lifestyle. Drinking to excess, for example, can contribute to individuals becoming diabetic. Diabetes is a manageable condition. But when it’s not well managed, it is associated with serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage and amputations2. There are two main types of diabetes3 Type 1 diabetes develops if the body can’t produce enough insulin, because insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. It can happen: Because of genetic factors When a virus or infection triggers an autoimmune response (where the body starts attacking itself). People who have this type of diabetes are usually diagnosed before they’re 40 and there’s currently no way to prevent it. It’s the least common type of diabetes – only 10% of all cases are type 14. Type 2 diabetes. Develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the body becomes resistant to insulin. It can happen: When people are overweight and inactive. People who are an ‘apple-shape’ (with lots of fat around the abdomen) have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes Because of genetic factors. People who have this type of diabetes are usually diagnosed when they’re over 40, and it’s more common in men. However, more overweight children and Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Men, And Sex

Diabetes, Men, And Sex

Sexual dysfunction. You've seen the ads on television, you've heard the jokes, and, if you're like most men, you've tried your best to block it from your mind. But if you have diabetes, this is one touchy subject you shouldn't ignore. A full 75 percent of diabetic men have some trouble achieving or maintaining an erection long enough to have intercourse. But diabetes doesn't have to be a deathblow to your sex life. You can protect your sexual functioning by keeping your diabetes under control. And if the condition has already started to derail your physical relationships, your doctor can help you get back on track. How does diabetes cause sexual dysfunction? Erections take teamwork from several parts of the body: Your brain makes you aroused, your nerves sense pleasurable feelings, and your arteries carry a flood of blood to the penis. Unfortunately, poorly controlled diabetes can ruin that teamwork. Blood sugar that stays too high for too long can both deaden your nerves and damage the arteries that feed your penis. You can still get aroused, but you'll have trouble turning those feelings into action. The breakdown doesn't happen overnight. Most men have diabetes for many years before they notice a problem with erections. Diabetic men rarely have any erectile dysfunction before they reach 30. The key is controlling your diabetes. But when it comes to blood sugar, how high is too high? There's a national movement to describe sugar levels in terms of A1C (also known as glycosylated hemoglobin or HbA1c)), a lab test that reports average blood glucose over a period of two to three months. If your A1C is below 7 percent, your blood sugar is under control. But as A1C gets higher than 7 percent your long-term risk of damage to nerves and arteries increases, and that can also Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

With type 2 diabetes (also called type 2 diabetes mellitus), if you don’t work hard to keep your blood glucose level under control, there are short- and long-term complications to contend with. However, by watching the amount and types of food you eat (your meal plan), exercising, and taking any necessary medications, you may be able to prevent these complications. And even if you have some of the long-term, more serious complications discussed below when you’re first diagnosed, getting tight control of your blood glucose will help prevent the complications from becoming worse. (It is possible with type 2 diabetes to already have some of these complications when you’re first diagnosed. That’s because type 2 develops gradually, and you may not realize that you have high blood glucose for quite some time. Over time, high blood glucose can cause serious damage. You can learn more about that in this article on the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.) Short-term Diabetes Complications Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (blood sugar). It is possible for your blood glucose to drop, especially if you’re taking insulin or a sulfonylurea drug (those make your body produce insulin throughout the day). With these medications, if you eat less than usual or were more active, your blood glucose may dip too much. 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 too much alcohol (alcohol keeps the liver from releasing glucose). Rapid heartbeat Sweating Whiteness of skin Anxiety Numbness in fingers, toes, and lips Sleepiness Confusion Headache Slurred speech Mild cases of hypoglycemia can be treated by drinking orange juice or eating a glucose tablet—those will quickly rai Continue reading >>

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