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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 >>

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In People Without Diabetes

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In People Without Diabetes

A A A Topic Overview Is this topic for you? Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is most common in people who have diabetes. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and need more information about low blood sugar, see the topics: What is low blood sugar? You may have briefly felt the effects of low blood sugar when you've gotten really hungry or exercised hard without eating enough. This happens to nearly everyone from time to time. It's easy to correct and usually nothing to worry about. But low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can also be an ongoing problem. It occurs when the level of sugar in your blood drops too low to give your body energy. What causes hypoglycemia in people who don't have diabetes? Ongoing problems with low blood sugar can be caused by: Medicines. Diseases of the liver, kidneys, or pancreas. Metabolic problems. Alcohol use. Stomach surgery. What are the symptoms? Symptoms can be different depending on how low your blood sugar level drops. Mild hypoglycemia can make you feel hungry or like you want to vomit. You could also feel jittery or nervous. Your heart may beat fast. You may sweat. Or your skin might turn cold and clammy. Moderate hypoglycemia often makes people feel short-tempered, nervous, afraid, or confused. Your vision may blur. You could also feel unsteady or have trouble walking. Severe hypoglycemia can cause you to pass out. You could have seizures. It could even cause a coma or death. If you've had hypoglycemia during the night, you may wake up tired or with a headache. And you may have nightmares. Or you may sweat so much during the night that your pajamas or sheets are damp when you wake up. How is hypoglycemia diagnosed? To diagnose hypoglycemia, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your health and a Continue reading >>

Fruits For Diabetes: All You Need To Know

Fruits For Diabetes: All You Need To Know

Eating fruit is a delicious way to satisfy hunger and meet daily nutritional needs. However, most fruits contain sugar, which raises questions about whether they are healthy for people who have diabetes. Is fruit unhealthy for people with diabetes? This article will look at what you need to know about fruit and diabetes. Contents of this article: What is fruit? Most people can probably name several fruits such as oranges and apples, but not know why they are fruits. Fruits contain seeds and come from plants or trees. People eat fruits that are stored in many ways - fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and processed. But aren't tomatoes and cucumbers also fruits because they have seeds? There are many foods that are classed as fruits that may surprise some people. Tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, peas, corn, and nuts are all fruits. It's fine to think of tomatoes and cucumbers as vegetables rather than fruits, however. What's important is how much energy (calories) and nutrients each food has. The bottom line: it's not important to know the difference between fruits and vegetables but to know that both are good for health. Does eating fruit play a role in managing diabetes? Eating enough fiber plays an important role in managing diabetes. A diet high in soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and control blood sugar levels. Many fruits are high in fiber, especially if the skin or pulp is eaten. Many fruits are filling because they contain fiber and a lot of water. Diets containing enough fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of obesity, heart attack, and stroke. Obesity has been linked to type 2 diabetes. Fruits are high in fiber and nutrients, so they are a good choice in meal planning. Fruits that have been processed such as applesauce and fruit juices have had their Continue reading >>

Dealing With Hypoglycemia

Dealing With Hypoglycemia

If you have diabetes, your concern isn’t always that your blood sugar is too high. Your blood sugar can also dip too low, a condition known as hypoglycemia. This occurs when your blood sugar levels fall below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). The only clinical way to detect hypoglycemia is to test your blood sugar. However, without blood tests it’s still possible to identify low blood sugar by its symptoms. Early recognition of these symptoms is critical because hypoglycemia can cause seizures or induce a coma if left untreated. If you have a history of low blood sugar episodes, you may not feel symptoms. This is known as hypoglycemic unawareness. By learning to control your blood sugar, you can prevent hypoglycemic episodes. You also should take steps to ensure you and others know how to treat low blood sugar. Managing your blood sugar is a constant balancing of: diet exercise medications A number of diabetes medications are associated with causing hypoglycemia. Only those medications that increase insulin production increase the risk for hypoglycemia. Medications that can cause hypoglycemia include: Combination pills that contain one of the medications above may also cause hypoglycemic episodes. This is a reason why it’s so important to test your blood sugar, especially when making changes to your treatment plan. Some of the most common causes of low blood sugar are: skipping a meal or eating less than usual exercising more than usual taking more medication than usual drinking alcohol, especially without food People with diabetes aren’t the only ones who experience low blood sugar. If you have any of the following conditions, you may also experience hypoglycemia: weight-loss surgery severe infection thyroid or cortisol hormone deficiency Hypoglycemia affect Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Testing And Type 2 Diabetes

Blood Sugar Testing And Type 2 Diabetes

Many people with Type 2 diabetes go through an unpleasant daily routine of sticking their finger to draw blood so they can keep track of their blood sugar. But a potentially groundbreaking new study suggests they might not need to. The main purpose of finger-sticking is to monitor the effects of insulin therapy. But most people with diabetes don’t receive insulin therapy. Even so, they are generally still advised to follow the finger-sticking procedure, a practice that has recently been the subject of some debate in the diabetes community. In the new study, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine examined the merits of requiring people with Type 2 diabetes to test their blood sugar daily. For the study, which lasted a year, the researcher enlisted 450 people with Type 2 diabetes and divided them into three groups. Group One did no blood sugar monitoring. Group Two measured blood sugar once a day. Group Three not only checked blood sugar daily, they also received a daily Internet message of instruction or encouragement. After the year was up, the researchers arrived at three conclusions. First, there were no significant differences in blood glucose control among the three groups. Second, no significant differences in health-related quality of life were seen. Third, the researchers found no significant differences in low blood sugar, emergency room visits, or hospitalizations, and there was no difference in the number of people who had to begin insulin treatment during the year of the study. The researchers cautioned that patients should not give up home blood sugar testing solely because of their study. According to Katrina Donahue, MD, senior author of the study, “Patients and providers have to consider each unique situation as they determ Continue reading >>

Can Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Type 2 Diabetes?

Can Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Type 2 Diabetes?

Olivia Yang was stunned when she learned she had type 2 diabetes six years ago, when she was 19. Her doctor was shocked, too. In fact, her physician tested her twice to be sure there wasn’t some mistake. Yang was young, had a normal weight for her 5-foot-2-inch frame, and didn’t consider herself a particularly bad eater. She certainly didn’t seem like someone at risk. Now a new study may hint at why some patients end up with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes even when they don’t appear to have all of the typical risk factors such as age, obesity, and an unhealthy diet. Yang learned of her condition sophomore year of college. She’d gone for a physical — a requirement in order to begin working out with a fitness trainer — but her A1C blood test came back abnormally high, indicating diabetes. An A1C test tells a person’s average blood sugar level over the past few months. More specifically, an A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar. It’s used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and to keep tabs on how a person is managing their condition over time. Normal readings land below 5.7 percent. The range for someone with prediabetes falls between 5.7 and 6.4 percent and indicates a high risk of developing diabetes. Anything higher is considered diabetes. Unexpected diagnosis Yang, now 25 and an account executive at an advertising agency in Boston, told CBS News, “It was a shock for me. Type 2 runs in my family. But it happened when my parents were older so it was kind of a shock that I would get it at such a young age.” After the diagnosis, though, she realized she’d had symptoms for a while. “Looking back, I fell asleep a lot. I was tired a lot after I ate, a sym Continue reading >>

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which sugar, or glucose, levels build up in your bloodstream. The hormone insulin helps move the sugar from your blood into your cells, which are where the sugar is used for energy. In type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells aren’t able to respond to insulin as well as they should. In later stages of the disease your body may also not produce enough insulin. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels, causing several symptoms and potentially leading to serious complications. In type 2 diabetes your body isn’t able to effectively use insulin to bring glucose into your cells. This causes your body to rely on alternative energy sources in your tissues, muscles, and organs. This is a chain reaction that can cause a variety of symptoms. Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly. The symptoms may be mild and easy to dismiss at first. The early symptoms may include: constant hunger a lack of energy fatigue weight loss excessive thirst frequent urination dry mouth itchy skin blurry vision As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe and potentially dangerous. If your blood sugar levels have been high for a long time, the symptoms can include: yeast infections slow-healing cuts or sores dark patches on your skin foot pain feelings of numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy If you have two or more of these symptoms, you should see your doctor. Without treatment, diabetes can become life-threatening. Diabetes has a powerful effect on your heart. Women with diabetes are twice as likely to have another heart attack after the first one. They’re at quadruple the risk of heart failure when compared to women without diabetes. Diabetes can also lead to complications during pregnancy. Diet is an imp Continue reading >>

Best Bites To Boost Low Blood Sugar

Best Bites To Boost Low Blood Sugar

Picture this: You're in the mall, shopping with friends, chatting and having a great time when suddenly you start to feel a bit strange. You might become irritated or nervous, your skin may feel clammy or sweaty — and your vision may even seem blurred. If you have diabetes, you'll recognize these as the warning signs of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. “Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels in the body drop too low,” says Kelly O'Connor, RD, a dietitian and certified diabetes educator at LifeBridge Health's Northwest Hospital in Baltimore. “Glucose [sugar] is your brain’s main energy or fuel source. If the level of glucose in the body is too low, it can begin to affect your brain’s functioning. The resulting symptoms are more or less your body’s warning system that you need to take quick action in order to correct the problem.” Recognizing the Signs of Hypoglycemia O’Connor says there are a number of warning signs that indicate you might have low blood sugar. “The symptoms can range from very mild — shakiness, clamminess, feeling irritable or jittery, and having temporarily blurred vision — to much more severe, such as [experiencing] seizures and loss of consciousness or passing out, although these are less common,” she says. These symptoms can occur because of many other circumstances, so if you are diabetic and are having symptoms that could be due to low blood sugar, check your sugar levels to see what’s going on, she adds. Certain things can also put you at higher risk of hypoglycemia, especially if you skip or put off a meal or snack, take too much insulin, don't eat enough carbohydrates, exercise more than you regularly do, or drink alcohol. In addition, people with type 1 diabetes experience hypoglycemia more often than those wi Continue reading >>

If A Type 2 Isn’t Taking Insulin…will They Benefit From Testing Their Blood Sugars Regularly?

If A Type 2 Isn’t Taking Insulin…will They Benefit From Testing Their Blood Sugars Regularly?

One of the most significant differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that while all type 1 diabetics need insulin and absolutely need to check their blood sugars several times a day because they produce zero insulin, the methods a person with type 2 diabetes might be using to manage their diabetes can very so much from person to person. If a person with type 2 is managing their blood sugars with diet and exercise and their last A1C was 5.5 percent, it’s pretty fair to assume their blood sugars aren’t experience nearly as drastic swings in the blood sugar levels throughout the day. But if a person with type 2 is on Metformin and/or insulin, their blood sugars could be all over the map because of medications that impact blood sugar and because the need for those medications also imply a higher level of insulin resistance, thus making their blood sugars more sensitive to the food they eat. But in many cases, after being diagnosed, a person with type 2 diabetes isn’t even given a glucose meter or instructed to go purchase one. Whereas a person with type 1 diabetes would be considered in grave danger and extremely negligent if they went even 18 hours without checking their blood sugar. At the end of the day, we’re all trying to maintain as close to normal blood sugars as possible in order to live long, healthy, complication-free lives. So just how often should a person with type 2 diabetes check their blood sugar? A recent press release concluded that blood sugar self-monitoring is just as beneficial for type 2s–particularly those who aren’t on insulin–and that it is just as essential to longterm wellbeing. “People with type 2 diabetes can lower their blood sugar and benefit from following a structured, personalized self-monitoring blood glucose (SMB Continue reading >>

Can You Have Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes?

Can You Have Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes?

back to Overview Know-how Type 2 A tag-team approach on low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. Markus recently wrote an article on our German language blog talking about low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. The question (“can I have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes?”) is very common, and it’s easy to see why it’s of concern. So I’ve helped Markus bring his German post to life here in English. I hope it helps! Here’s Markus: Low blood sugar In 2014, results from the DAWN2 study were announced. It was the largest study of its kind (15,000 participants) on the “fears & needs of people with diabetes and their families.” One result stood out: The gravest fears are related to low blood sugars, especially at night. Up to 69% of the participants share this fear! So! Can you have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? Yes! Of course! But let’s think about who exactly is at risk – and why. It’s common to think: Type 1 diabetes = at risk for lows Type 2 diabetes = not at risk for lows But that isn’t correct at all, so we should wipe it from our mind. So… what do I need to know? Maybe it’s more accurate to say that people with type 2 diabetes who take certain types of medication are more at risk for lows. We’re getting closer! But to get to the truth, we should take a look at someone without diabetes. Is it possible for them to have lows, too? Theoretically yes, especially if doing long-lasting physical activities without proper food intake. Additionally, extreme stress and binge drinking are also common causes of low blood sugar for people without diabetes. However, it’s pretty rare because as soon as BG’s drop below 80 mg/dl (4.4 mmol/L), the natural counterregulatory system kicks in, raising blood sugar back to normal levels. I’ve never exp Continue reading >>

Why People With Type 2 Diabetes Need Sugar-substitute Savvy

Why People With Type 2 Diabetes Need Sugar-substitute Savvy

Refined sugar isn't the evil carb it once was, but substitutes still have their place.(ISTOCKPHOTO) In the past, sugarwe're talking about sucrose, or common table sugarwas a "bad guy" to be avoided by people with type 2 diabetes. But research has shown that all carbohydrates (from sugar to bread, cereals, grains, juice, fruit, and starchy vegetables) can increase blood sugar (called glucose) in roughly the same way. So if you want to consume sugar in coffee or have a sugar-containing treat, it's OK as long as it's in moderation and it's factored into your meal plan in terms of calories and carbohydrates. Yellow, blue, or pink: Sugar substitutes in packets However, low-calorie or no-calorie sugar substitutes can be an easy way to cut carbohydrate and caloric intake. And food companies have introduced low-sugar desserts such as ice cream and candy bars, aimed straight at the waistlines and wallets of people with diabetes. "Sugar-free foods let me give my husband a treat, so he doesn't feel like he's denied all the things he liked to eat before," says Harriet Kritz, who looks after her husband, Karl, 78, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than 20 years ago. You have to read the labels even on sugar-free or low-sugar options to be sure you know how many calories and grams of fat and carbohydrates you're getting along with the sweet taste. Although some sweeteners don't contain calories or carbohydrates themselves, the prepared foods that contain themsuch as some yogurtsstill have carbohydrates from other sources. Some common "table sweeteners" found in packets include the following. Equal: Found in blue packets; contains dextrose, maltodextrin, and aspartame; aspartame was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981 NutraSweet: Found in white packets Continue reading >>

Nondiabetic Hypoglycemia

Nondiabetic Hypoglycemia

What is non-diabetic hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is the condition when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too low. It happens to people with diabetes when they have a mismatch of medicine, food, and/or exercise. Non-diabetic hypoglycemia, a rare condition, is low blood glucose in people who do not have diabetes. There are two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia: Reactive hypoglycemia, which happens within a few hours of eating a meal Fasting hypoglycemia, which may be related to a disease Glucose is the main source of energy for your body and brain. It comes from what we eat and drink. Insulin, a hormone, helps keep blood glucose at normal levels so your body can work properly. Insulin’s job is to help glucose enter your cells where it’s used for energy. If your glucose level is too low, you might not feel well. What causes non-diabetic hypoglycemia? The two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia have different causes. Researchers are still studying the causes of reactive hypoglycemia. They know, however, that it comes from having too much insulin in the blood, leading to low blood glucose levels. Types of nondiabetic hypoglycemia Reactive hypoglycemia Having pre-diabetes or being at risk for diabetes, which can lead to trouble making the right amount of insulin Stomach surgery, which can make food pass too quickly into your small intestine Rare enzyme deficiencies that make it hard for your body to break down food Fasting hypoglycemia Medicines, such as salicylates (such as aspirin), sulfa drugs (an antibiotic), pentamidine (to treat a serious kind of pneumonia), quinine (to treat malaria) Alcohol, especially with binge drinking Serious illnesses, such as those affecting the liver, heart, or kidneys Low levels of certain hormones, such as cortisol, growth hormone, glu Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms, Signs, Diet, And Treatment

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms, Signs, Diet, And Treatment

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which cells cannot use blood sugar (glucose) efficiently for energy. This happens when the cells become insensitive to insulin and the blood sugar gradually gets too high. There are two types of diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2. In type 2, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the cells cannot use it very efficiently. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot make insulin due to auto-immune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells. Type 2 can be caused by: Lack of activity (sedentary behavior) Genetics Risk factors include: Being overweight Being sedentary including watching more than 2 hours of TV per day Drinking soda Consuming too much sugar and processed food The signs and symptoms of this type of this type of diabetes are sometimes subtle. The major symptom is often being overweight. Other symptoms and signs include: Urinating a lot Gaining or losing weight unintentionally Dark skin under armpits, chin, or groin Unusual odor to urine Blurry vision Often there are no specific symptoms of the condition and it goes undiagnosed until routine blood tests are ordered. A blood sugar level more than 125 when fasting or more than 200 randomly is a diagnosis for diabetes. Treatment is with diet and lifestyle changes that include eating less sugary foods, and foods that are high in simple carbohydrates (sugar, bread, and pasta.) Sometimes a person will need to take drugs, for example, metformin (Glucophage). People with both types of diabetes need monitor their blood sugar levels often to avoid high (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Complications include heart and kidney disease, neuropathy, sexual and/or urinary problems, foot problems, and eye problems. This health condition can be prevented by following a Continue reading >>

Diabetes Pills

Diabetes Pills

There are several different kinds of diabetes medicines in addition to insulin. These medicines can lower blood sugar levels but they're not the same as insulin. Most of these medicines are available in pill form. Insulin can't be taken as a pill because acids in the stomach destroy it before it can enter the bloodstream. In type 2 diabetes, the body still makes some of its own insulin, but isn't able to make enough to keep up with the body's needs or use its own insulin effectively. Diabetes pills don't replace the body's insulin, but they can help the body make more insulin or help it more effectively use the insulin it does make. Most people who have type 2 diabetes take diabetes pills to help them keep their blood sugar levels closer to normal. People with type 1 diabetes don't use diabetes pills. They need to take insulin shots because their bodies can't make any of their own insulin. Here are some different types of diabetes medicines, grouped by how they help the body keep blood sugar levels closer to normal. Medicine That Helps the Body Make More Insulin Sulfonylureas and meglitinides like repaglinide (Prandin) and nateglinide (Starlix) are secretagagogues and all do similar things. These pills cause a person's pancreas to make more of its own insulin. Sulfonylureas have been used since the 1950s to help people lower their blood sugar levels. Over the years, newer and better versions of this drug have become available. One of the best drugs currently available in this class is glimepiride (Amaryl). Here's how these pills work: Sulfonylureas help the pancreas make more insulin. When the insulin gets into the bloodstream, blood sugar levels go down. Like people who take insulin, people who take sulfonylureas need to be careful that their blood sugar levels don't d Continue reading >>

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Untreated, high blood sugar can cause many problems and future complications. Recognizing signs of high blood sugar levels and knowing how to lower them can help you prevent these complications and increase the quality and length of your life. Topics covered (click to jump to specific section) High blood sugar level symptoms and signs Symptoms of high blood sugar include: Increased thirst Tired all the time Irritability Increased hunger Urinating a lot Dry mouth Blurred vision Severe high blood sugar can lead to nausea and fruity smelling breath The signs and symptoms for high blood sugar are the same for both type 1 and type 2. Signs usually show up quicker in those who have type 1 because of the nature of their diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to stop making insulin altogether. Type 2 is caused by lifestyle factors when the body eventually stops responding to insulin, which causes the sugar to increase slowly. People with type 2 can live longer without any symptoms creeping because their body is still making enough insulin to help control it a little bit. What causes the blood sugar levels go to high? Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule can’t get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar. The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things. First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesn’t react the way that it is supposed to. It doesn’t partner with glucose to be used as fuel. Secondly, you can have no insuli Continue reading >>

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