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Insulin Good Or Bad For Diabetes

6 Things You Should Know About Insulin

6 Things You Should Know About Insulin

Source: Web exclusive, October 2011 Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It helps the body use glucose and helps control blood glucose levels. People with Type 1 diabetes don’t produce any insulin, and they depend on insulin injections for survival. For people with Type 2 diabetes, who don’t produce enough insulin on their own, insulin therapy may become a critical part of managing their disease. If you’re a new insulin user, you may not know much about the stuff. Even if you’ve been on insulin for years, there may be a few things you don’t realize. Here are six things you should know: 1. Insulin is not a last resort. You may be worried about starting insulin because you feel you’ve "failed" in controlling your disease, or you believe it’s a sign your health is on a fast decline. It’s true that diabetes progresses the longer a person has it. Over years, your body may have a tougher and tougher time producing or using its own insulin. But that doesn’t mean it’s all downhill after starting insulin. "Insulin is just another tool in the toolbox. It’s a natural approach to treating diabetes," says Rob Roscoe, a clinical pharmacist and certified diabetes educator in Rothesay, N.B. "A lot of people think insulin is the last straw. But in some cases, it’s the first therapy we use." 2. Insulin doesn’t have to hurt. Unlike other diabetes medications, insulin has to be injected to work. Some folks are reluctant to take insulin because they’re afraid of painful pokes. But it doesn’t have to hurt. Even kids learn to give themselves insulin. Today’s insulin pens use such tiny needles, they’re pretty much painless. (For certain types of insulin, there are even injectors that push insulin through the skin without needles.) When he’s trainin Continue reading >>

10 Best Foods For Diabetes And Blood Sugar

10 Best Foods For Diabetes And Blood Sugar

Some foods have a bigger impact on your blood sugar than others. Knowing which ones are the best for keeping blood sugar levels steady is especially important when you have diabetes, but it's a good idea for everyone. Your dietary goal is to choose foods that help keep your blood sugar level on an even keel. That typically means whole, minimally processed foods. Here are… Continue reading >>

4 Insulin Side Effects You May Not Have Known About

4 Insulin Side Effects You May Not Have Known About

3 0 The earliest injections given to people with diabetes were comprised of insulin derived from pigs. Nothing against pigs – we like bacon as much as the next person – but it was a relief when other forms of synthetic insulin were developed in the 1970s, enabling us to live longer, healthier lives with fewer contributions from our porcine friends. But as terrific as the stuff is for controlling diabetes, it’s not without side effects. Whether you’ve been taking insulin for a short time – or for a couple of decades like I have – you may sometimes wonder if that rumbling in your stomach is something you ate, or if it’s just your insulin talking. Here, from people in the know, are four little-known insulin side effects that you may not know about, even if you’ve been using insulin for years. An Inability to Tolerate Unreasonable People. Since insulin allows glucose to get where it needs to be (in our cells), it affects our blood-sugar levels rapidly. In the process, it may cause us to feel irritable, anxious and jittery, and totally unwilling to deal with the guy who cut in line at the coffee shop. Don’t worry; these unpleasant sensations should quickly resolve, and you’ll return to your normal, relaxed self. (If not, of course, consult your doctor.) Unfortunately, crazy people will still be among us, even after your insulin-induced irritability disappears. Things are Looking Blurry, and You Haven’t Been Drinking. When taking insulin, your vision may sometimes be blurry, and it’s not because your eyeglasses need cleaning or the aliens are about to beam you up. It’s just another potential side effect of insulin, particularly when you first start to take it. The good news is, not only will this resolve fairly quickly, but as your body adjusts, you Continue reading >>

Probiotics And Diabetes: What Amazing New Research Reveals

Probiotics And Diabetes: What Amazing New Research Reveals

Diabetes is a dietary and digestive disorder. Clearly, it’s about elevated blood sugar levels. But hey, it’s also more than that. The food we eat feeds the bacteria in our gut. Eat too many carbs/processed foods and you feed the wrong bacteria. Often, diabetics get the disease by doing exactly that. Too much sugar simply translates into the overgrowth of bad bacteria (like yeast). So, it comes as no surprise that probiotics (good gut bacteria) and diabetes are closely linked. Direct Impact Of Probiotics On Diabetes Probiotics play a huge role in digestion. Many of us are ignorant about the importance and benefits of probiotics. Probiotics, or good gut bacteria, should ideally comprise at least 80% of the total gut bacteria. If you are diabetic, adding probiotics, as either food or supplements, can change things dramatically. Of course, you also need to eat the right diet to feed the right bacteria after that. Some of the best probiotics for diabetics modify disturbances in their metabolisms positively. There is strong scientific evidence supporting the fact that consuming probiotics helps decrease the serum cholesterol level and improves insulin sensitivity. RELATED: Meditation And Type 2 Diabetes Probiotics and Diabetes: The Science Behind It How does probiotics help diabetics? Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when administered in correct dosages and form, give you a ton of health benefits. Probiotic supplements have been proven to have positive effects on cardio-metabolic parameters in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. According to research conducted at Loughborough University, probiotics prevent insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is often caused by consuming foods that contain trans fats for a long time. The study found that a high trans-fat and process Continue reading >>

Insulin And Type 2 Diabetes: What You Should Know

Insulin And Type 2 Diabetes: What You Should Know

Insulin and Type 2 Diabetes If your health care provider offered you a medication to help you feel better and get your blood sugar under control, would you try it? If so, you might be ready to start taking insulin. Does insulin immediately make you think of type 1 diabetes? Think again. Between 30 and 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes take insulin. In fact, there are more people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin than type 1 because of the much larger number of people with type 2. Experts believe even more people with type 2 should be taking insulin to control blood sugar -- and the earlier, the better. With an increase in people developing type 2 at a younger age and living longer, more and more people with type 2 will likely be taking insulin. "If you live long enough with type 2 diabetes, odds are good you'll eventually need insulin," says William Polonsky, Ph.D., CDE, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego; founder and president of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute; and author of Diabetes Burnout: What to Do When You Can't Take It Anymore (American Diabetes Association, 1999). Producing Less Insulin Naturally Over Time Research has shown that type 2 diabetes progresses as the ability of the body’s pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin dwindles over time. Your beta cells -- the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin -- slowly lose function. Experts believe that by the time you're diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you've already lost 50-80 percent of your beta cell function and perhaps the number of beta cells you had. And the loss continues over the years. "About six years after being diagnosed, most people have about a quarter of their beta cell function left," says Anthony McCall, M.D., Ph.D., endocri Continue reading >>

Insulin: It’s A Good Thing. Really!

Insulin: It’s A Good Thing. Really!

One of my nurse educator colleagues was recently featured in a teaching video on how to inject insulin. As part of the video, we asked people who have diabetes and who take insulin to answer some questions about what it’s like to have diabetes, including following a meal plan and injecting insulin. While a few of the people (two of them were young women) boldly stated that they disliked having to take insulin (or as one woman put, “poke herself”), all of them agreed that insulin was a good thing and that, if you need it, take it. As a dietitian, I’ve dealt mostly with the “food” end of diabetes, but of course, food and insulin are so closely intertwined that you really can’t talk about one without the other (and vice versa). More and more people have diabetes, as you’re aware, and more and more people are taking insulin. Now, you know that if you have Type 1 diabetes, you have to take insulin in order to live. Right now, there are no other options for treating Type 1. With Type 2 diabetes, things are a little murkier. Some people with Type 2 can manage just fine, at least for a while, by following a meal plan, controlling their weight, and getting regular exercise. Most people, though, are started off on a medicine (usually metformin), along with a meal plan and physical activity. After a few years, one or two more medicines (usually pills) are added. And then, after that, typically comes insulin. It’s at this stage where people beg, plead, cry, or yell to do anything to stay off of the dreaded “needle.” Why is this? Well, an obvious reason is that most of us don’t like needles. They can hurt. They’re sharp. They look long. But there are other reasons for not wanting to go on insulin, besides having to “take a needle.” I’ve listed some of Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin

People with type 2 diabetes do not always have to take insulin right away; that is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. The longer someone has type 2 diabetes, the more likely they will require insulin. Just as in type 1 diabetes, insulin is a way to control your blood glucose level. With type 2 diabetes, though, dietary changes, increasing physical activity, and some oral medications are usually enough to bring your blood glucose to a normal level. To learn about how the hormone insulin works, we have an article that explains the role of insulin. There are several reasons people with type 2 diabetes may want to use insulin: It can quickly bring your blood glucose level down to a healthier range. If your blood glucose level is excessively high when you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the doctor may have you use insulin to lower your blood glucose level—in a way that’s much faster than diet and exercise. Insulin will give your body a respite; it (and especially the beta cells that produce insulin) has been working overtime to try to bring down your blood glucose level. In this scenario, you’d also watch what you eat and exercise, but having your blood glucose under better control may make it easier to adjust to those lifestyle changes. It has fewer side effects than some of the medications: Insulin is a synthetic version of a hormone our bodies produce. Therefore, it interacts with your body in a more natural way than medications do, leading to fewer side effects. The one side effect is hypoglycemia. It can be cheaper. Diabetes medications can be expensive, although there is an array of options that try to cater to people of all economic levels. However, insulin is generally cheaper than medications (on a monthly basis), especially if the doctor wants yo Continue reading >>

Diabetes Treatment: Using Insulin To Manage Blood Sugar

Diabetes Treatment: Using Insulin To Manage Blood Sugar

Understanding how insulin affects your blood sugar can help you better manage your condition. Insulin therapy is often an important part of diabetes treatment. Understand the key role insulin plays in managing your blood sugar, and the goals of insulin therapy. What you learn can help you prevent diabetes complications. The role of insulin in the body It may be easier to understand the importance of insulin therapy if you understand how insulin normally works in the body and what happens when you have diabetes. Regulate sugar in your bloodstream. The main job of insulin is to keep the level of glucose in the bloodstream within a normal range. After you eat, carbohydrates break down into glucose, a sugar that serves as a primary source of energy, and enters the bloodstream. Normally, the pancreas responds by producing insulin, which allows glucose to enter the tissues. Storage of excess glucose for energy. After you eat — when insulin levels are high — excess glucose is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. Between meals — when insulin levels are low — the liver releases glycogen into the bloodstream in the form of glucose. This keeps blood sugar levels within a narrow range. If your pancreas secretes little or no insulin (type 1 diabetes), or your body doesn't produce enough insulin or has become resistant to insulin's action (type 2 diabetes), the level of glucose in your bloodstream increases because it's unable to enter cells. Left untreated, high blood glucose can lead to complications such as blindness, nerve damage (neuropathy) and kidney damage. The goals of insulin therapy If you have type 1 diabetes, insulin therapy replaces the insulin your body is unable to produce. Insulin therapy is sometimes needed for type 2 diabetes and gestational diabete Continue reading >>

Why Are Pomegranates Good For Diabetics? 4 Reasons

Why Are Pomegranates Good For Diabetics? 4 Reasons

The glistening seeds of the pomegranate are an irresistible treat for many of us, and that includes diabetics. Typically, diabetics are advised to avoid consuming fruits and juices in high quantities as they can cause a spike in blood sugar. But several studies now show that diabetics certainly shouldn’t have to resist pomegranates. The pomegranate (both its seeds and juice) has been shown to greatly reduce blood sugar, an especially vital function for those with type 2 diabetes. Ayurvedic and Unani practitioners have long been using pomegranates to treat diabetes, and they’re now finding support from breakthrough scientific research. So why are pomegranates good for diabetics? 1. Lower Blood Glucose Levels Though pomegranates contain sugar, the sugars are attached to antioxidants that lower the blood glucose levels and fight cell damage. One particular study tested participants 3 hours after they consumed 1.5 ml pomegranate juice per kg of their body weight. These participants exhibited a significant drop in fasting blood glucose levels.1 Unlike many other fruits that contain sugars in free form, pomegranates consist of sugars that are attached to antioxidants. Of these, about 4 antioxidant compounds belonging to the ellagitannin class are believed to help reduce blood sugar. Commercially available pomegranate juices that are extracted from the whole fruit and not just the seeds have 3 times as much antioxidants as red wine and green tea.[ref]Gil, Maria I., Francisco A. Tomás-Barberán, Betty Hess-Pierce, Deirdre M. Holcroft, and Adel A. Kader. “Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing.” Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry 48, no. 10 (2000): 4581-4589.[/ref] Pomegranate antioxidants help you Continue reading >>

How Safe Is Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes?

How Safe Is Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes?

CARDIFF U. (UK) — Using insulin to control type 2 diabetes may come with a greater risk of health complications, including heart attack, stroke, and cancer. A team of researchers from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine looked at the risk of death for patients taking insulin compared with other treatments designed to lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. They examined the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)—data that characterizes about 10 percent of the UK population—and found people have greater risk of individual complications associated with diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, eye complications, and renal disease when compared with patients treated with alternative glucose-lowering treatments. [sources] “Insulin treatment remains the most longstanding blood-glucose-lowering therapies for people with type 2 diabetes, with its use growing markedly in recent years,” according to Professor Craig Currie, who led the study. “However, with new diabetes therapies and treatments emerging there has been a new spotlight on treatments to ensure what the best and safest form of diabetes treatment is. “By reviewing data from CPRD between 1999 and 2011 we’ve confirmed there are increased health risks for patients with type 2 diabetes who take insulin to manage their condition,” he adds. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, adds to previous findings, which identified potential health risks of insulin in this specific group of people. Initial concerns were first raised regarding the use of insulin in type 2 diabetes from a population-based study in Canada, which reported a three-fold increase in mortality. A similar study of people in UK primary care with type 2 diabetes treated with i Continue reading >>

Can I Drink Milk If I Have Diabetes

Can I Drink Milk If I Have Diabetes

One of the most controversial issues in the nutrition community is whether milk consumption is healthy or an agent of disease. And what if you have diabetes – should you steer clear of milk? Short answer: it depends. This article will help you determine whether to consume milk or not and how to make the best choices if you decide to include dairy products in your diet. What is milk made of? Before we get started on the factors to consider before consuming milk, it can help to understand the composition of milk. In a nutshell, cow’s milk contains water and about 3 to 4% of fat, 3.5% of protein, 5% of a natural sugar called lactose as well as various minerals and vitamins. The following table shows the nutritional composition of various types of milk. As you can see from the table above, compared to human milk, animal milk contains a significantly higher amount of protein. That’s because calves need to grow much faster than babies and thus require much more protein. Is consuming milk from another species an issue? Keep reading to find out. Milk consumption and Type 1 diabetes – is there a link? There have been some controversial studies that have associated cow’s milk consumption with juvenile onset diabetes, more commonly known as type 1 diabetes. Scientists have found that the protein composition of cow’s milk, especially the A1 beta-casein molecule, is radically different from that of human milk and can be extremely hard to digest for humans. Although more research is needed, studies suggest that this A1 beta-casein along with bovine insulin present in cow’s milk can trigger an autoimmune reaction in genetically susceptible children who have a particular HLA (human leukocyte antigen) complex. This autoimmune reaction causes the body to produce antibodies Continue reading >>

Pears And Diabetes

Pears And Diabetes

Pears: A Sweet You Can Eat Type 2 Diabetes: Overview We naturally have sugar in the bloodstream that provides energy to every body cell. Healthy levels of this sugar, glucose, are maintained by insulin, a hormone secreted when blood sugar rises too high. Type 2 diabetes happens when your body doesn’t make enough insulin or your body’s cells don’t respond normally to insulin, called insulin resistance. This causes high blood sugar and immediately starts to starve cells of energy. Over time, high blood sugar damages sensitive tissues, such as those in the extremities, eyes, and kidneys. What Should I Eat? Following a regular meal plan, being active, taking medications, and tracking your blood sugar levels will help you manage your diabetes. Indeed, you may be able to control your diabetes just by eating healthfully and exercising regularly. Most people benefit from 3 meals plus 2 to 3 snacks every day. For easy snacking ideas, click here. What are Carbohydrates? Carbohydrates provide energy, and every cell needs energy. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and dairy and come in three forms, sugars, starches, and fiber. Sugars are the simplest, most easily absorbed carbohydrates and include glucose needed to sustain energy. Starches are longer chains of sugars. Fiber is the indigestible part of a plant. While it is generally not digested, it may offer cardiovascular and digestive benefits. Why Pears? Everyone’s digestive system needs carbohydrates, and it is best to balance them with fiber, protein, or fat at every meal. Balancing carbohydrates decreases the rate of absorption of glucose, so your blood sugar won’t spike as dramatically. Good carbohydrate choices are those that already contain these nutrients, such as fiber-ri Continue reading >>

> Diabetes: What's True And False?

> Diabetes: What's True And False?

If you're like most people with diabetes, you'll get all kinds of advice about it from friends and family or online. Some of this information is wrong. Here's the truth about some of the common things you might hear. No, it doesn't. Type 1 diabetes happens when cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed. This happens because something goes wrong with the body's immune system. It has nothing to do with how much sugar a person eats. Sugar doesn't cause diabetes. But there is one way that sugar can influence whether a person gets type 2 diabetes. Consuming too much sugar (or sugary foods and drinks) can make people put on weight. Gaining weight leads to type 2 diabetes in some people. Of course, eating too much sugar isn't the only reason why people gain weight. Weight gain from eating too much of any food can make a person's chance of getting diabetes greater. Can people with diabetes eat sweets? Yes! You can have your cake and eat it too, just not the whole cake! Like everyone, people with diabetes should put the brakes on eating too many sweets. But you can still enjoy sweets sometimes. Do people "grow out of" diabetes? People with type 1 diabetes don't grow out of it. With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops making insulin and won't make it again. People with type 1 diabetes will always need to take insulin, at least until scientists find a cure for diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes will always have a tendency to get high blood sugar levels. But if they take steps to live a healthier life, it can sometimes lower their blood sugar. If people eat healthy foods and exercise enough to get their blood sugar levels back on track, doctors might say they can stop taking insulin or other medicines. Can you catch diabetes from a person who has it? No. Diabetes is Continue reading >>

Why Is Too Much Insulin Bad?

Why Is Too Much Insulin Bad?

Insulin is a hormone that helps control the supply of nutrients to cells throughout your body. Though it is commonly known that lack of insulin leads to type 1 diabetes, an excess of insulin also leads to potentially severe health problems. A large amount of exogenous insulin can lead to excessive lowering of blood sugar levels. Chronic overeating can lead to chronic elevation of insulin levels, causing cells to stop responding to insulin. Video of the Day Insulin is a hormone secreted by beta cells in the pancreas. In addition to regulating the level of glucose in the blood, insulin acts as a general signal to all cells to start drawing nutrients from the blood. Without insulin, cells will essentially starve as they are unable to transport many nutrients into the cell. Insulin also stimulates cells in the liver to restore glycogen and turn any excess sugar into fatty acids. The body stops breaking down fat in tissue for energy when insulin is present and uses sugar, fatty acids and proteins in the blood as energy. Overdose of Insulin Exogenous insulin is given as a prescription to people with type 1 diabetes and some other conditions. High intake of insulin or substances that increase mimic insulin or increase its effectiveness can excessively lower blood sugar, resulting in hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia can cause the brain to shut down, resulting in coma and death. Symptoms are mainly due to decreased brain activity including fatigue, headache, confusion, hunger and weakness. If you think you may have overdosed on insulin or have severe hypoglycemia, seek medical help immediately. Even if you don't need to worry about taking too much prescription insulin, high insulin levels should be a concern. Chronic overeating leads to persistent abundance of nutrients in the Continue reading >>

The Effects Of Insulin On The Body

The Effects Of Insulin On The Body

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Its function is to allow other cells to transform glucose into energy throughout your body. Without insulin, cells are starved for energy and must seek an alternate source. This can lead to life-threatening complications. The Effects of Insulin on the Body Insulin is a natural hormone produced in the pancreas. When you eat, your pancreas releases insulin to help your body make energy out of sugars (glucose). It also helps you store energy. Insulin is a vital part of metabolism. Without it, your body would cease to function. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas initially produces insulin, but the cells of your body are unable to make good use of the insulin (insulin resistance). Uncontrolled diabetes allows glucose to build up in the blood rather than being distributed to cells or stored. This can wreak havoc with virtually every part of your body. Complications of diabetes include kidney disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and stomach problems. People with Type 1 diabetes need insulin therapy to live. Some people with Type 2 diabetes must also take insulin therapy to control blood sugar levels and avoid complications. Insulin is usually injected into the abdomen, but it can also be injected into the upper arms, thighs, or buttocks. Injection sites should be rotated within the same general location. Frequent injections in the same spot can cause fatty deposits that make delivery of insulin more difficult. Some people use a pump, which delivers insulin through a catheter placed underneath the skin of the abdomen. When you eat, food travels to your stomach and small intestines where it is broken down into nutrients. The nutrients are absorbed and distributed v Continue reading >>

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