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 >>
15 Terrible Things That Happen If You Eat Too Much Sugar
David Paul Morris / Getty Images How much sugar is too much sugar? Even one pack of M&M's may be more than you should eat in a day, newly drafted guidelines from the World Health Organization suggest. The WHO used to recommend that you get no more than 10% of your daily calories from sugar, but now they're considering lowering that to 5%. For an average, healthy adult, that would mean 25 grams, or about six teaspoons of sugar per day. (That's a little less than what you'd get from 10 Hershey's Kisses. A single can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar.) A teaspoon of sugar in your coffee or a half cup of ice cream won't kill you — all things in moderation — but the average sugar intake in the U.S. is 22 teaspoons per person per day. That's almost four times as much as the WHO's new guidelines suggest is healthy. People have been sounding warnings about the dangers of too much sugar for a long time. As early as 1957, John Yudkin, a professor of nutrition at Queen Elizabeth College in London, began arguing that when it came to heart disease and other chronic ailments, sugar — not fat — was the culprit. So what happens if you eat too much sugar? Here's a depressing rundown. 1. Cavities Trust your dentist on this one: Sugar is such an enemy to dental health that one study way back in 1967 called it the "arch criminal" behind cavities. The connection between sugar and cavities is perhaps the best established. "Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria that line the teeth feed on simple sugars, creating acid that destroys enamel," Anahad O'Connor explains at The New York Times. Because acid is a key culprit, sour candies are especially nefarious. Source: Journal of the American Dental Association, 2009; ISRN Dentistry, 2013; International Dental Journal, 2013 2. Insatiable hunger Continue reading >>
What Happens When A Diabetic Has Too Much Sugar?
Diabetes affects how your body uses and converts glucose (blood sugar). Your body needs glucose to make energy for your cells. These cells make up your muscles and tissues. Without glucose, your body becomes deprived of energy. Diabetes can result in too much glucose in your system. Having too much sugar in the body can lead to serious health issues, such as hyperglycemia, nerve damage, ketoacidosis or retinopathy. It is important to take medications as prescribed by your physician in order to prevent these complications. Hyperglycemia According to Diabetes Care Group, normal blood sugar levels are between 80 and 120 mg/dl. When blood sugar levels go above these numbers, it can cause hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can be the result of eating foods that turn into sugar (such as carbohydrates), not taking enough insulin, or being sick or stressed. When you develop hyperglycemia, you will develop symptoms of frequent urination, increased thirst or hunger, blurred vision, headache and fatigue. Neuropathy Neuropathy, or nerve damage, occurs when excess sugar damages the walls of the capillaries. You may experience tingling, numbness, burning, or pain in your fingertips and toes. According to the Mayo Clinic, if nerve damage isn't treated, the affected limbs can eventually lose all feeling. If nerves within the digestive track become damaged, this can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. With men, nerve damage can lead to erectile dysfunction. Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to coma and death. If your body can't produce enough insulin or cannot use it efficiently, glucose remains stored in your blood. As a result, the glucose can't get to your blood cells to be used as energy. Your blood sugar levels rise as your body begins to break down fat for ener Continue reading >>
Common Questions About Blood Sugar
How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>
What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like.
The American Diabetes Association cites the following symptoms as indicative of high blood sugar: High blood glucose [Editor’s note: Duh] High levels of sugar in the urine Frequent urination Increased thirst And if high blood sugar goes untreated? “Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy. When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.” – ADA website But what does a high blood sugar feel like? Because when you see someone who is working through an elevated blood sugar, they may not look terribly out of sorts. But what is happening inside of them is real, and plays out in a myriad of ways for every person with diabetes. I’ve tried to write about it several times, but each high is different, and affects me in different ways: “It’s a thick feeling in the base of your brain, like someone’s cracked open your head and replaced your gray matter with sticky jam. I find myself zoning out and staring at things, and my eyeballs feel dry and like they’re tethered to my head by frayed ropes instead of optic nerves. Everything is slow and heavy and whipped with heavy cream.” – Oh, High! “There’s something about a high blood sugar that makes my body feel weighted down, l Continue reading >>
All About Diabetes
What is Diabetes Mellitus? Diabetes means your blood has too much sugar called glucose. This happens because your body does not make enough of a hormone called insulin or because your body doesn’t respond well to insulin. Where does insulin come from? Insulin is a hormone that is made by cells in your pancreas. Where does glucose in my blood come from? Your body changes much of the food you eat into sugar called glucose. Glucose travels in the blood to all cells in your body. Your body’s cells need glucose to function and give you energy. How does glucose go into my cells? The glucose goes from your blood into your cells with the help of insulin. Without insulin, your cells cannot get the glucose they need. Our body’s cells need this glucose to give them energy to function. By moving glucose from your blood to your body’s cells, insulin helps to keep your blood glucose level normal (not too high or too low). When you do not have enough insulin or your cells don’t respond well to insulin to normalize your blood glucose, you have diabetes. You can suffer the complications of diabetes that come from your blood glucose being high over a long period of time. High blood glucose can damage the smallest blood vessels and nerves in your body. This happens slowly and irreversibly over time without many symptoms until the symptoms are severe. These complications and symptoms can include: Cardiovascular disease: Heart disease or stroke Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA): Can lead to a diabetic coma or death due to high blood glucose Eyes: Cataracts, glaucoma, disorders to the retina, blindness Foot complications: Nerve damage, calluses, foot ulcers, poor circulation, amputation Kidney disease: Chronic kidney disease, kidney failure Mental health: Stress, sadness, anger, denial, Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar May Cause Noticeable Symptoms Of Diabetes
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What are the most common symptoms of diabetes? Is it true that changes in my eyesight could mean I'm developing diabetes? ANSWER: People who have diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. Although you can't know your level of blood sugar without a blood test, high blood sugar may cause symptoms that are noticeable. The most common symptoms of diabetes are frequently feeling thirsty, urinating often, losing weight, feeling tired and having sores that heal slowly. Blurred vision or a change in eyesight also can be symptoms of diabetes. People who develop diabetes have a problem with a hormone called insulin. Insulin is made in the pancreas -- a gland located just behind the stomach. When you eat, the pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. The insulin allows sugar to enter your cells, lowering the amount of sugar in your blood. If you have diabetes, that process doesn't happen normally. There are two kinds of diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make any insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin or your body cannot use insulin as well as it should. With both types, sugar cannot move into your cells. Instead, it builds up in your blood. As blood sugar rises, it can cause a variety of problems in many areas of the body. Too much sugar in your bloodstream pulls fluid from your body's tissues. That can cause you to become thirsty more often than normal. As a result, you may drink and urinate more than usual. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your cells, your muscles and organs don't have the energy they need. That can make you feel hungry and tired. But even though you eat more, you still may lose weight. That's because your body doesn't have enough of its normal energy source, Continue reading >>
Can Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
Because type 2 diabetes is linked to high levels of sugar in the blood, it may seem logical to assume that eating too much sugar is the cause of the disease. But of course, it’s not that simple. “This has been around for years, this idea that eating too much sugar causes diabetes — but the truth is, type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial disease with many different types of causes,” says Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE, a nutrition coach in Prescott, Arizona, and a medical reviewer for Everyday Health. “Type 2 diabetes is really complex.” That said, some research does suggest that eating too many sweetened foods can affect type 2 diabetes risk, and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that 30.3 million Americans have the disease — and that millions of more individuals are projected to develop it, too — understanding all the risk factors for the disease, including sugar consumption, is essential to help reverse the diabetes epidemic. The Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes Story: Not So Sweet After the suspicion that sugar was the cause of diabetes, the scientific community pointed its finger at carbohydrates. That makes sense, notes Grieger, explaining that simple and complex carbohydrates are both metabolized as sugar, leading blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Yet carbs are processed differently in the body based on their type: While simple carbs are digested and metabolized quickly, complex carbs take longer to go through this system, resulting in more stable blood sugar. “It comes down to their chemical forms: A simple carbohydrate has a simpler chemical makeup, so it doesn’t take as much for it to be digested, whereas the complex ones take a little longer,” Grieger explains. Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread an Continue reading >>
What Is High Blood Sugar?
Have you ever tried to fly a remote control airplane or helicopter? If you steer too sharply one way, your plane will crash into the ground. And if you go too far in the opposite direction, the plane will nose directly upward, making it difficult to control. For people with diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels (or blood glucose levels) is kind of like piloting that plane. To stay in the air and have the most fun, you have to keep blood sugar levels steady. Having a blood sugar level that's too high can make you feel lousy, and having it often can be unhealthy. The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and it's carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Hyperglycemia (pronounced: hi-per-gly-SEE-me-uh) is the medical word for high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels happen when the body either can't make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems if it's not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, these health problems can occur in adulthood in some Continue reading >>
What Does It Feel Like To Have High Blood Sugar Levels?
The human body naturally has sugar, or glucose, in the blood. The right amount of blood sugar gives the body's cells and organs energy. The liver and muscles produce some blood sugar, but most of it comes from food and drinks that contain carbohydrates. In order to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range, the body needs insulin. Insulin is a hormone that takes blood sugar and delivers it to the body's cells. Contents of this article: What does it feel like to have high blood sugar levels? Blood sugar is fuel for the body's organs and functions. But having high blood sugar doesn't provide a boost in energy. In fact, it's often the opposite. Because the body's cells can't access the blood sugar for energy, a person may feel tiredness, hunger, or exhaustion frequently. In addition, high sugar in the blood goes into the kidneys and urine, which attracts more water, causing frequent urination. This can also lead to increased thirst, despite drinking enough liquids. High blood sugar can cause sudden or unexplained weight loss. This occurs because the body's cells aren't getting the glucose they need, so the body burns muscle and fat for energy instead. High blood sugar can also cause numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands, legs, and feet. This is caused by diabetic neuropathy, a complication of diabetes that often occurs after many years of high blood sugar levels. What does high blood sugar mean for the rest of the body? Over time, the body's organs and systems can be harmed by high blood sugar. Blood vessels become damaged, and this can lead to complications, including: Damage to the eye and loss of vision Kidney disease or failure Nerve problems in the skin, especially the feet, leading to sores, infections, and wound healing problems Causes of high blood sugar Continue reading >>
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What Happens When Diabetic Eats Sugar?
Whether eating sugary food or just plain bread, the body breaks them down and converts them into glucose, or simple sugar, because the body primarily uses this form of energy. In diabetics, the body lacks enough insulin to help absorb glucose in the bloodstream, or doesn't respond to insulin at all. Glucose levels in diabetics can build up and cause health complications. Video of the Day Insulin in People without Diabetes Insulin, a hormone produced and secreted by the beta cells in the pancreas, has a special role in the regulation of glucose levels in the blood. When blood glucose levels rise above the normal concentration, the body responds by secreting insulin, which plays a significant role in relocating the glucose transporter Glut4 next to the cells for absorption of glucose, so the body can use it for energy. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, or NDIC, the normal glucose level in the blood of people without diabetes is between 70 to 120 mg/ dl before a meal. After a meal, the blood glucose level should rise, but should drop back to the normal range one to two hours later. Insulin in People with Type 1 Diabetes A person with type 1 diabetes has dysfunctional beta cells because the “body’s immune system has attacked and destroyed them,” according to the NDIC, thus the body can’t produce insulin. When a type 1 diabetic forgets an insulin injection or doesn’t get enough insulin, eating a meal can raise the level of sugar significantly in the bloodstream, thereby inducing hyperglycemia. Insulin in People with Type 2 Diabetes The NDIC explains that people with type 2 diabetes begin with normal functional pancreatic beta cells, but over time, the fat, muscle and liver cells can no longer respond to insulin properly. To bring the blo Continue reading >>
How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Part 1 of 8 What is blood sugar? Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, comes from the food you eat. Your body creates blood sugar by digesting some food into a sugar that circulates in your bloodstream. Blood sugar is used for energy. The sugar that isn’t needed to fuel your body right away gets stored in cells for later use. Too much sugar in your blood can be harmful. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is characterized by having higher levels of blood sugar than what is considered within normal limits. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to problems with your heart, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. The more you know about how eating affects blood sugar, the better you can protect yourself against diabetes. If you already have diabetes, it’s important to know how eating affects blood sugar. Part 2 of 8 Your body breaks down everything you eat and absorbs the food in its different parts. These parts include: carbohydrates proteins fats vitamins and other nutrients The carbohydrates you consume turn into blood sugar. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher the levels of sugar you will have released as you digest and absorb your food. Carbohydrates in liquid form consumed by themselves are absorbed more quickly than those in solid food. So having a soda will cause a faster rise in your blood sugar levels than eating a slice of pizza. Fiber is one component of carbohydrates that isn’t converted into sugar. This is because it can’t be digested. Fiber is important for health, though. Protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals don’t contain carbohydrates. These components won’t affect your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, your carbohydrate intake is the most important part of your diet to consider when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels. Part 3 Continue reading >>
What Happens If Your Blood Sugar Gets Too High With Diabetes?
If you have diabetes and your blood sugar is too high, your cells can’t function correctly, and you’ll start to feel uncomfortably sick. The cells in your body need glucose, more commonly known as sugar, to survive and function. Our diets contain many sources of glucose, but it can’t reach our bodies’ cells without the help of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose to your cells. When your body doesn’t have enough insulin or it is not active enough, both symptoms of diabetes, the sugar remains in the blood without reaching cells. That’s why diabetes and high blood sugar often go hand in hand. What Causes High Blood Sugar? Prescription Discounts up to 75% off Sugar accumulates in the blood either when there is not enough insulin to transport it or when the insulin that is available is not active. Type 1 diabetes patients are incapable of making the insulin necessary to transport glucose to the cells. Type 2 diabetes patients are insulin resistant. They often, but not always, have the insulin required by the body, but the insulin is ineffective. Patients with diabetes are more prone to high blood sugar levels if they: Miss taking diabetes medication or insulin Eat too much food Don’t exercise enough to use available energy sources Take medicines that can interfere with blood sugar levels Those who have diabetes must ward against high blood sugar levels by exercising regularly, monitoring their meals carefully, checking blood sugar often, and making sure medicine and insulin are administered on schedule. Some patients may need short-acting insulin such as Novolog Flexpen to combat the sudden onset of high blood sugar symptoms. Symptoms of High Blood Sugar Having an excess of sugar in the blood causes the b Continue reading >>
If I Have Diabetes, Will I Have To Stop Eating Sugar?
What is that saying? Everything is good but only in moderation? Well this rings true when it comes to eating sugar with diabetes too. You probably already know that eating a lot of sugar is not great for your body. The problem is that sugar comes in a natural form and in an added form, so sometimes you have no idea that you are consuming it. Also, it is in many foods that you don’t even think to consider. Foods that you think are healthy, such as tomato sauce and protein bars, are packed full of sugar. This article breaks down the facts about eating sugar with diabetes and how you can make the best choices for your body in order to effectively manage your diabetes. How does sugar impact the blood sugar levels? Normally, when you eat something that contains sugar, your pancreas releases insulin. This insulin partners up with the sugar molecules and together they enter into the cells and provide energy to your body. When you have diabetes, your body either isn’t making enough insulin anymore, or your body is resistant to the insulin that you are creating. This prevents the sugar from being used by your cells and it just hangs out in your bloodstream causing high blood sugar levels. Having sugar in your bloodstream can lead to many problems and is dangerous for your health. Sugar, which is also known as carbohydrates or glucose, is found naturally in many different foods such as dairy, fruits, and starchy vegetables. It is also added to many foods like pastas, grains, baked goods, processed foods, and beverages. Since liquids are digested faster, they increase your blood sugar faster than solids do. More about what contains sugar is found later in this article. The myth about sugar and diabetes There are many myths about diabetes in general. One of the biggest ones is Continue reading >>
What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Too Much Sugar?
By Dr. Mercola You add it to your morning cup of coffee or tea. You bake it into pastries, cakes, and cookies. You even sprinkle it all over your breakfast cereal or your oatmeal for added "flavor." But that's not all. It's also hidden in some beloved "treats" that people consume on a daily basis, such as sodas, fruit juices, candies, and ice cream. It also lurks in almost all processed foods, including breads, meats, and even your favorite condiments like Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. It's none other than sugar. Most people view sugary foods as tasty, satisfying, and irresistible treats. But I believe that there are three words that can more accurately describe sugar: toxic, addicting, and deadly. Sugar, in my opinion, is one of the most damaging substances that you can ingest – and what's terrifying about it is that it's just so abundant in our everyday diet. This intense addiction to sugar is becoming rampant, not just among adults, but in children as well. But how exactly does sugar work in our body, and what are the side effects of eating too much sugar on people's health? Why Is Excessive Sugar Bad for Your Health? Today, an average American consumes about 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. New numbers came out in February 2015. The Washington Post did a story on it using grams (4 grams = 1 tsp). They quoted Euromonitor's study, which said Americans are now consuming 126 grams, which would equal close to 32 teaspoons. Euromonitor's study costs $1200 to access; the Washington Post interprets the study for free here. It's definitely alarming, considering the average Englishman during the 1700s only consumed four pounds of sugar per year1 – and that's most likely from healthful natural sources like fruits, and not from the processed foods you see in supermarket s Continue reading >>