In Diabetes Fight, Lifestyle Changes Prove Hard To Come By In Mexico
Let's say you'd like to go for a run in Mexico City. Dr. Tonatiuh Barrientos, an epidemiologist with Mexico's National Institute of Public Health, thinks that's a good idea — in theory. An expert on diabetes, he'd like to see more people in the Mexican capital get out and exercise to combat the disease. But as a runner himself, he knows that Mexico City isn't an easy place to jog. In a metropolis of 22 million, there are only a handful of parks where people can run. "Look, this is a fairly crowded street. It's a pretty noisy street. It's polluted," Barrientos says walking through the Tlalpan neighborhood that lies between his office and his home. "Now just imagine trying to convince yourself to get out there and run." It's a tough sell. "I mean the only place for you to really run is on the sidewalk. You can't run on the street because you'll probably get run over," he says. The sidewalk is an uneven mix of broken cement slabs and cobblestones. Street vendors have set up little tables and carts to sell everything from electrical supplies to fried pork cracklings. There are so many people that it's hard to even walk at a fast clip. And if you do manage to find a stretch of sidewalk, the elevation in Mexico City combined with the smog and the chances of getting mugged make running a hard thing to get excited about. "There are a lot of obstacles," Barrientos says as he dodges his way past low-hanging awnings. "And you need to deal with that if you wanted to try to run here." Professionally, Barrientos has tracked the slow, steady rise in Type 2 diabetes in Mexico. Roughly 14 million Mexicans are now living with diabetes — nearly triple the number who had the disease in 1990. Barrientos says for too long health officials considered it the responsibility of patients to c Continue reading >>
What Do You Hate Most About Diabetes?
82 people with diabetes share what they hate most about diabetes. We were curious, not everyone is a fan of diabetes. So we asked people with diabetes what is the one thing they hated most about diabetes. They opened up and were honest about what bothers them in managing their diabetes and here’s what they had to say: Joyce Davidson: It takes up too much time from my life. If I do everything I’m supposed to do to take care of my Diabetes; then I don’t have a life, all I have is Diabetes. Patricia Messer Smith: I can’t eat anything without my blood sugar going up. I hate diabetes. Life Climax: I hate the test strips cost a ton and living with diabetes is costly. Bora Jiao: I hate that it restricts my life and that people don’t really understand it. People don’t realize it’s not just what you eat. Anna Martelli: I hate that I have diabetes but my life has changed for the better. 3 years in my a1c is 6.0. I eat the best I can, it’s hard but I will never give up. I still do enjoy most of the things I did before. No one should ever give up, we all try the best we can to live with this, never said it was easy, but I am giving it my best shot. Marsha Lynn Sankey Motley: Shots Laura Bailey-Benning: ALL OF IT!!! Rosa Martinez: It’s annoying to take pills every night. But I feel it’s the best thing that happened to me. I can eat healthy and get thin. I feel very well. Nettie Hilliard: Everything!!! For more diabetes related articles: Elaine Williamson: I hate that no matter how hard you try, your blood sugar levels can still fluctuate dramatically. Paula Russell: All of it. I hate the shots, pills and most of all going to the hospital. Susan McBride: And I hate pills, shots, poking my finger 4 times or more a day. No cure yet, hear there is one but the FDA enj Continue reading >>
The Good, The Bad And The Worst Of Type 1 Diabetes
It is common in a diabetic’s life to face questions like “do you have the good type of diabetes or the bad one?” To be really honest, these are the types of questions that I really don’t know how to answer. What does “good” and “bad” diabetes even mean? Recently, I changed jobs in my office, so now I’m facing a lot of these types of questions again, and because of this, I thought that maybe it would be interesting to write a bit about the basic features of diabetes — the good, the bad and the worst. The Good Let’s start with the “goods” of diabetes. Because Diabetes is associated with the lack of capability of your body to naturally regulate the levels of glucose in your bloodstream, as a type 1 diabetic, you always have to help your body do that. In addition to self-injecting insulin, you can also do simple things like pay special attention to what you eat and how often you exercise. In this way, diabetes gives you an extra-healthy motivation to exercise every day and to eat healthier. This is clearly a good thing — you become more aware of your own fitness levels and more conscious about these kinds of topics. When my personal trainer discovered that I was diabetic, right away he understood why did I knew all the information about the “recommended amount of carbs” — the type of carbs and digestion times — that we had discussed during our first session. Review my blog posts on exercising and nutrition for more information on this. The Bad Looking at the bad things, the first that comes to my mind is definitely the danger that a diabetic faces every time we don’t eat enough, or when we inject too many units of insulin. All these situations can have repercussions in terms of losing consciousness and doing things that you end up not r Continue reading >>
Is Living With Diabetes Really That Bad?
Bad. Bad is a bad word. So why did I choose it? Because over the years so many people have told me ” I feel so bad that you have to live diabetes.” Or “It must be so bad living with diabetes.” So is it? Is it really that bad living with diabetes? The idea of it being bad struck a chord with me. Was it (or is it) that bad? Absolutely not. Honestly, it is not bad. Yes, there are crazy moments: low blood sugars high blood sugars scare of possible complications multiple low blood sugars in a day/night unresponsive lows But, it’s not like I am in a constant state of lows, highs, etc. These are moments in my life. Just moments. When the moments are done, life continues on. Diabetes is embedded in me 24/7 but all the “stuff” that goes along with it occurs throughtout the day and night. It is part of life. My life. Everyone (diabetics and nondiabetics) has ups and downs in life. That’s what keeps life interesting. So those crazy moments add spice and variety. I guess, testing my blood, choosing the right foods to eat (most of the time), having to calculate carbs for bolusing the right amount of insulin, taking the time to exercise, planning out the day and insulin requirements, etc. are, also, all part of being diabetic. However, I don’t consider them “bad” or daunting tasks. I love eating nutritious food, working out like a maniac, and analyzing carbs and insulin requirements. It is a challenge. And when I meet the challenge, I feel great. I often think diabetes probably keeps me healthier than most people. Diabetes gives me the extra motivation and willpower to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. Maybe since I have had diabetes so long (38 years), I have grown to accept it and incorporate it into my daily life and routine. Why not? Rebelling against my dia Continue reading >>
The Diabetes Epidemic : What Is Diabetes And Why Is It A Problem? [article]
This is the first of three articles on diabetes. This article looks at how blood sugar is normally controlled and what happens in Diabetes. It also covers why Diabetes is such a problem. The next two articles will look at Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes seperately and in more depth. Diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions both internationally and within New Zealand. It is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputations in the world. So what is this horrible disease? How do we get it? And let’s face it – we are personal trainers not physiologists. How much do we really need to understand about the disease to train our Diabetic clients effectively? Normal Glucose Metabolism To understand Diabetes we first need to recap how glucose (blood sugar) is normally regulated in our bodies. Insulin and glucagon are the two hormones that keep our glucose levels controlled. Insulin is released from the beta cells on our pancreas when glucose levels are high. Insulin helps move glucose from the blood stream into our muscles and liver, and stores any extra glucose as fat. Glucose cannot enter your body’s cells from the bloodstream by itself, so insulin acts like a ‘key’. Once released into the blood, insulin binds to insulin receptors (the ‘keyholes’) located on the cell walls, ‘unlocking’ the cell and allowing the glucose to enter. This glucose can either be used immediately as energy or stored as glycogen or fat for future use. When blood glucose levels are low, insulin secretion is decreased, and the hormone glucagon is released from the pancreas instead. Glucagon works to break down the glycogen stores in the liver. This glucose is then released back into the bloodstream to raise the low glucose levels, meaning there is a c Continue reading >>
How Serious Is Type 2 Diabetes? Is It More Serious Than Type 1 Diabetes?
A fellow caregiver asked... How serious is type 2 diabetes, and is it less or more serious than type 1 diabetes? My mom, just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, keeps it under control without taking insulin. So is type 2 diabetes less of a problem than insulin-dependent type 1? Expert Answers No, definitely not. In fact, in some ways type 2 diabetes is a more serious disorder because your mom may have had it for years before she was diagnosed. So she may well have developed some of the long-term, debilitating complications linked to the condition without knowing it. In addition, since type 2 diabetes is a progressive disorder without a cure, over time her body may not be able to produce insulin or use it as well as it does now, and she may wind up needing insulin injections or pills. A person with type1 diabetes ignores it for a day at his own peril. He'll likely end up in the emergency room because his body can't absorb glucose without a continuous supply of insulin via injection or an insulin pump. People with type 1 diabetes typically develop such severe symptoms over a short time in childhood or early adulthood that they're forced to deal with it. Type 2 diabetes is a sneakier condition: Its harmful health effects can slowly build for years until full-blown complications, such as vision loss, heart disease, or foot problems, make it impossible to ignore. Plus it often comes with its own set of problems. For instance, people with type 2 diabetes are frequently diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol along with high blood sugar. This damaging threesome can lead to progressive thickening of the arteries and reduced blood flow, putting your mom at greater risk for a slew of complications including heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage. If your mom is overweigh Continue reading >>
- diabetes: Gestational diabetes is a more serious problem in India than in other parts of the world: Dr Nam Han Cho, Health News, ET HealthWorld
- Advice to walk after meals is more effective for lowering postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus than advice that does not specify timing: a randomised crossover study
- More than 500 children with Type 2 diabetes - just 16 years after first ever case
Type 1 Diabetes: Causes And Symptoms
While type 2 diabetes is often preventable, type 1 diabetes mellitus is not.1 Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys cells in the pancreas. Typically, the disease first appears in childhood or early adulthood. Type 1 diabetes used to be known as juvenile-onset diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), but the disease can have an onset at any age.2 Type 1 diabetes makes up around 5% of all cases of diabetes.3,4 What is type 1 diabetes? In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce any insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels.2,3 Insulin production becomes inadequate for the control of blood glucose levels due to the gradual destruction of beta cells in the pancreas. This destruction progresses without notice over time until the mass of these cells decreases to the extent that the amount of insulin produced is insufficient.2 Type 1 diabetes typically appears in childhood or adolescence, but its onset is also possible in adulthood.2 When it develops later in life, type 1 diabetes can be mistaken initially for type 2 diabetes. Correctly diagnosed, it is known as latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood.2 Causes of type 1 diabetes The gradual destruction of beta cells in the pancreas that eventually results in the onset of type 1 diabetes is the result of autoimmune destruction. The immune system turning against the body's own cells is possibly triggered by an environmental factor exposed to people who have a genetic susceptibility.2 Although the mechanisms of type 1 diabetes etiology are unclear, they are thought to involve the interaction of multiple factors:2 Susceptibility genes - some of which are carried by over 90% of patients with type 1 diabetes. Some populations - Scandinavians and Sardinians, Continue reading >>
Not All Fat People Get Diabetes, And Not All Diabetics Are Fat
In the last article we learned that type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is characterized by chronic inflammation. We also learned that while inflammation often precedes the development of obesity and T2DM, obesity and T2DM contribute to inflammation – creating a vicious cycle of metabolic damage. In this article we’re going to review the complex and sometimes murky relationship between body weight and type 2 diabetes. There’s a strong association between obesity and T2DM in the scientific literature, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that there might be a connection between the two. But some obese people never develop T2DM, and and some type 2 diabetics are extremely lean. Even more strangely, recent research suggests that obesity may actually protect certain people from developing T2DM. How do we make sense of this? Let’s find out. How obesity causes type 2 diabetes As I explained in the previous article, body fat isn’t just a lump of inert tissue. It’s a metabolically active endocrine organ that secretes inflammatory cytokines and hormones, both of which have profound effects on our physiology. It has long been known that T2DM is a disease of impaired glucose metabolism. But what is less commonly known is that T2DM is also characterized by impaired fat metabolism. And recent research suggests that this is one way that obesity contributes to type 2 diabetes. The first step in this process is an abnormal gain of fat mass, usually caused by overconsumption of wheat, fructose, industrial seed oils or other dietary toxins. As fat mass increases, more leptin is secreted. (Remember, leptin is the hormone that tells the brain to decrease appetite, increase metabolic rate and increase physical activity.) Chronically high levels of circulating leptin cause le Continue reading >>
Diabetes: The Good, The Bad, And The Hopeful
World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14. So let’s all join together as a community to increase awareness of the effects and complications caused by all types of diabetes. After all, this unfortunate disease impacts both young and old. Truth be told, some of us may not be fully aware of the types and causes. Here’s a basic breakdown: Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas. 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 in which the pancreas neither makes enough insulin nor properly uses the insulin made. Risk factors include family history, being overweight, being inactive, increasing age, and individuals with certain ethnic backgrounds. Most people do not see obvious symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, so visiting your health care provider for routine blood tests is a necessary step. Type 1 Diabetes—sometimes known as Juvenile Diabetes—is more common in children but can actually be diagnosed at any age. The disease is caused by an autoimmune response in the body and the pancreas will suddenly stop making insulin. Only 10% of people with diabetes have Type 1. If you think you may be at risk, watch out for the following symptoms: increase in thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, unintentional weight loss, vaginal yeast infections and non-healing wounds. The bad? According to the American Diabetes Association, 30 million children and adults have diabetes nationwide. Another 86 million have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. And if diabetes is not kept under control, certain complications can arise. These can range anywhere from heart attack and stroke, kidney failure, vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy, nerve damage, and in some cases, amputations. Nearly one-third of the people who have diabetes are unaware that they have it. Furthermo Continue reading >>
5 Nightmares You Don't Know Until You're Diabetic
Hey, remember when everybody was freaking out about Ebola, because of an outbreak that killed more than 10,000 people? Well, diabetes kills 1.5 million people a year worldwide, more than 200,000 of them in the U.S. And you're probably never more than a few dozen feet away from someone who has it -- there are 30 million diabetics in the U.S. alone. In other words, for something most people consider too boring to even think about, the scale of the epidemic is mind-boggling. The U.S. alone spends an astonishing quarter of a trillion dollars a year fighting it. Or to put it another way, diabetes sucks a thousand bucks out of every single man, woman and child in America, every year. We previously debunked the myth that sugar causes diabetes, and when we talked to someone with one variety of the disease, we learned about the parts of the experience you never hear about. He says ... 5 The Disease And The Treatment Can Both Send You To The Emergency Room Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images Our diabetic, Zach, once woke up in the middle of the night starving, his legs feeling near-paralyzed. His memory of the incident is hazy, but the next thing he knew, he was on a kitchen chair wearing only his boxers with an empty jar of raspberry jam on the table -- he'd eaten nearly the entire thing with his bare hands like fucking Winnie the Pooh. Oh, bother. When he tested his blood sugar, it was 45 (the normal level is between 80 and 100). Anything below 70 is hypoglycemia, yet even after eating an entire jar of what is essentially pure sugar, his blood sugar level was still near emergency levels. If we're being completely honest, it's remarkable that he ever even woke up to eat that jam. By all rights he should've died in his bed. So this shit can get serious, is what we're saying. "Wait," Continue reading >>
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 >>
Diabetes Isn’t Even That Bad
Let me tell you why the statement above is a load of crap. 1. Our bodies are waging war against themselves2. It takes us longer to heal when we get hurt and it takes us longer to recover from illnesses because our immune system is jacked3. We could die at any moment without warning4. Low blood sugars feel like you’re going through drug withdrawals 5. High blood sugars feel like your body is drying out like a raisin 6. Afraid of needles? Well tough! We need to prick our fingers 3+ times a day, and either pierce yourself every 3 days for a pump site change or take 4+ injections everyday7. Our organs are slowly failing8. We have a high chance of going blind9. We could lose our feet and legs10. Insulin is crazy expensive11. Testing strips are crazy expensive12. The constant highs and lows drain us 13. We can’t just eat food right away. We need need to calculate how many grams of carbohydrates are in our food, test our blood sugar, configure in a correction if need be, dose, and by the time we take our first bite; everyone else have already finished14. Doctors are super expensive15. Pumps, Meters and CGMs are really really expensive16. No one ever takes our illness seriously 17. Having children is VERY risky for lady diabetics 18. The constant fear we have when we go to sleep knowing that we might not ever wake up due to low blood sugars at night19. The bruises and scars all over our body from YEARS of injections, site changes and finger pricks20. How our feet and hands are always freezing due to our poor circulation So tell me again how my suffering “isn’t that bad.” Make another joke about the worst thing that has probably ever happened to us. Laugh again when you say, “All of this food is going to give me di-ah-beet-us.” So just think about that next time yo Continue reading >>
Why Is Diabetes So Bad? How Can Diabetes Harm You?
So, people with diabetes can’t process glucose. What’s the big deal? Isn’t that good? Doesn’t that mean they’ll just be skinny the rest of their lives?Not exactly. Actually, not being able to process glucose, one of the fundamental things from which our bodies get fuel in order to have energy, is VERY dangerous. In layman’s terms, when your body doesn’t make or use insulin properly, it can’t covert glucose into energy for your body to function. All this extra glucose builds up in your blood stream, overflows into your urine, and then passes out of your body! So, you basically lose your body’s main source of energy, even though there’s TONS of it floating around in your blood! This results in high blood glucose levels, A.K.A., high blood sugar. Prolonged periods of high blood sugar can lead to LOTS of problems, often called “complications" (which to me, seems like a pretty benign term for some serious shiz. I'm just sayin'.) It’s not just a matter of your body not having any energy. Left untreated, diabetes can cause: Neuropathy Kidney Disease Retinopathy Skin Problems Blindness Heart Disease Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Gastroparesis High Blood Pressure Dental Problems Depression Stroke Death That being said (and so this post isn’t a complete Debbie Downer) there are treatments and many groups are doing research to find a cure! As of right now, though, THERE IS NO CURE and many diabetics develop complications even if they are being treated, because the current treatments are imperfect. Those treatments have, however, significantly increased the life expectancy of diabetics! Hooray! I will be posting more about treatments for diabetes in a few days! Until then, if you want to read more about the different complications diabetes can cause, the Continue reading >>
5 Biggest Diabetes Management Mistakes
Over seven years and millions of interactions on Diabetes Daily, we have seen many people make the same mistakes. Here are five of the most common ones along with potential solutions. What mistakes are missing from the list? Share your experience in the comments and help spare your peers some difficult days. Mistake #1: Thinking Only Food Impacts Blood Sugars Carbohydrates, and to a lesser extent fat and protein, impact blood sugars. But food is just one of many factors. Stress – whether it is caused by pain, a fight with a loved one, or intense exercise – increases blood sugars. Activity typically lowers blood sugars, but many forms of exercise can also raise your blood sugar, such as strength-training and sprinting. Exercise that is causing negative stress on your body can also raise your blood sugar. Little known fact: if a 20 minute, pain-free walk regularly increases blood sugars and you haven’t eaten recently, call your doctor and ask for a stress test. This can be an early sign of heart disease. Something is causing that stress. Sleep patterns can change your insulin sensitivity throughout the day. Not getting enough sleep can make you more insulin resistant and lead to higher blood sugars. Hormonal changes can cause your blood sugars to rise and fall. These hormones could be from things like increased stress, growth-hormones, menstruation, and menopause. As you learn about why your blood sugars change, it is critical to look at factors beyond food. Mistake #2: Guessing Your Blood Sugars People are horrible at guessing their own blood sugars. The key problem is that the symptoms of high and low blood sugars are not always consistent. Are you sweating and hungry because of a low blood sugar or because it’s 90 degrees out and you skipped breakfast? Are you Continue reading >>
What Causes Diabetes Fatigue?
Fatigue is one of the most common disabling diabetes symptoms. Diabetes fatigue can disrupt and interfere with all aspects of daily living. What causes diabetes fatigue, and why is it so common? We’ve written about fatigue before and received tons of great comments on those posts. But this time let’s go deeper and find the whole range of causes and solutions, even if it takes a few weeks. Hopefully, everyone will find something that might help them, because this is a serious problem. For example, Melanie wrote, “[Fatigue] really takes a toll on my family and things we can do. I just want to have the energy to play with my son and to do things around the house or with friends…I can’t drive more than 30 minutes because my husband is afraid I will fall asleep…and wreck [the car]. (I have dozed while driving before.)” Maria commented, “Fatigue is a constant and I have had to learn to do only what I can. I don’t push myself anymore as I pay for it dearly. I get tired of explaining why I don’t feel good, don’t want to do anything. Some understand and some don’t.” And Jan wrote, “I sleep from midnight to noon each day. Then I get depressed because I wasted half a day.” Because of my multiple sclerosis (MS), I live with fatigue sometimes, and I know how limiting it is. I know how difficult it can be to manage. There are more than 15 known causes for fatigue. It helps to figure out what is causing yours, so you can address it. Here are some possibilities. First, diabetes can directly cause fatigue with high or low blood sugar levels. • High blood glucose makes your blood “sludgy,” slowing circulation so cells can’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need. Margaret commented, “I can tell if my sugars are high in the morning, because ‘grogg Continue reading >>