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5 Important Tests For People With Diabetes

5 Important Tests for People With Diabetes

5 Important Tests for People With Diabetes

M onitoring blood sugar is just one essential test for people with diabetes. Read on for 5 others critical to your health...
If you have type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar isn’t the only thing that needs monitoring.
Your doctor will want to see a few more lab test results to ensure your liver, kidneys, heart and other organs are in good working order.
“If you have diabetes, you’re much more likely to have cardiovascular disease, which leads to heart attack and strokes, and to have issues with your liver and kidney functions,” says Sethu K. Reddy, MD, chief of the adult diabetes section at Harvard University Medical School’s Joslin Diabetes Center and author of The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Diabetes (Kaplan).
“It really pays to be aggressive in keeping these issues under control,” Dr. Reddy says.
Start with the ABCs of blood tests: A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol, he advises. You often can get these tests done at your local pharmacy, mobile health clinic or doctor’s office.
And follow your doctor’s advice on what these and other tests reveal about your overall health.
Here are the 5 top tests that help you stay healthier. We break down what the numbers mean and what you can do if you get a test result your doctor doesn’t like. Continue reading

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Tired of taking pills for diabetes? How about a shot of broccoli?

Tired of taking pills for diabetes? How about a shot of broccoli?

Pills, pills, pills. It seems every ailment — from headaches to high blood pressure — needs them. But, what if you could swap the medication for vegetables?
An international group of researchers envision such a future for type-2 diabetics based on new results published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Their findings show how a compound found in broccoli improves diabetic outcomes to an extent that rivals the go-to drug treatment, with fewer severe side effects.
“To many patients, it might be more attractive to take a broccoli shot or drink than having to take another pill,” said Anders Rosengren, at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and the study’s senior author.
Diabetes afflicts more than 400 million people worldwide, four times as many people as in 1980. Part of the problem is the disease can progress unnoticed for years, even decades, until severe complications like compromised kidney function arise.
“It’s why we need to be so active with this disease so we have the proper treatment at early stages,” Rosengren said.
Their project wants to find an alternative for metformin, a gold-standard drug that tackles a hallmark of diabetes: runaway production of glucose in the liver. Insulin normally keeps glucose on a tight leash, but becomes dysregulated in diabetes. Although metformin works well, it has a few problems.
“One problem is that it cannot be taken by people with poor kidney function,” Rosengren said, yet poor kidney function is one of the most common complications of type-2 diabetes. And metformin can cause side effect Continue reading

As Temperature Rises Does the Risk of Gestational Diabetes Spike?

As Temperature Rises Does the Risk of Gestational Diabetes Spike?

The higher the thermometer climbs outside, the higher the risk of gestational diabetes, according to Canadian researchers.
In the database study, and after adjusting for influential risk factors, each 10°C increase in mean 30-day outdoor air temperature was associated with a 6%-9% relative increase in the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, according to Gillian Booth, MD, of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues.
Gestational diabetes occurred among 4.6% of women who were exposed to extremely cold mean outdoor air temperatures (≤ -10°C) in the 30-day period before screening. That percentage increased to 7.7% among those exposed to overly hot mean 30-day temperatures (≥ 24°C). Each 10°C increase in mean 30-day temperature was associated with a corresponding 1.06 (95% CI 1.04-1.07) times higher likelihood of gestational diabetes, after adjusting for factors including maternal age, parity, neighborhood income quintile, world region, and year, they wrote in the CMAJ.
"We observed a direct relation between outdoor temperature and the risk of gestational diabetes among nearly 400,000 women residing in a single urban area in Canada," Booth stated in a press release.
Booth's group used databases at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and included women in the greater Toronto area who gave birth from Apr. 1, 2002 to March 31, 2014. Those with "extreme" preterm (<28-week gestation) or post-term (>42-week gestation) births were excluded from the study population, as were those who had type 1 or type 2 diabetes before they became pregnant.
Ultimately, 5 Continue reading

6 Things We Now Know About Gestational Diabetes

6 Things We Now Know About Gestational Diabetes

It affects nearly one in 10 pregnancies—even if the mother-to-be didn't have diabetes before she conceived. Two experts on the condition share what you should know to help keep you and your baby healthy.
Chances are you probably know someone who has diabetes, but did you know that there’s a form of the disease that develops only during pregnancy—in women who’ve never had it before?
It’s called gestational diabetes, and it occurs in up to 9% of all pregnancies, according to a 2014 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gestational diabetes can result from the fact that the body may use insulin less efficiently while growing a baby, causing your blood glucose levels to rise—a condition known as hyperglycemia, which can cause health problems for both the mother-to-be and her developing baby.
“Any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes,” says Amparo Gonzalez, CDE, RN, MPH, Global Senior Director for the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute (JJDI) and a Fellow of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. “Properly treating it is essential for maintaining both the mother’s and the baby’s health.”
Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you've had an otherwise healthy pregnancy. But the more you can educate yourself about what you can do to maintain healthy blood glucose levels during your pregnancy, the more manageable and treatable the condition can be.
That's why we've interviewed leading experts on gestational diabetes to share the latest information on the condition tha Continue reading

Flu shot key for people with diabetes

Flu shot key for people with diabetes

(HealthDay)—With predictions calling for a potentially bad flu season this year, doctors are urging people—particularly those with diabetes—to get vaccinated.
Many people with diabetes don't get a seasonal flu shot each year, according to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). Some people with the blood sugar disease don't realize they're at risk for flu-related complications. Others have misguided fears that the shot will trigger an adverse reaction, the group explained.
However, people with diabetes are more likely to develop serious flu-related health problems if they get the virus, the AADE cautioned. The group said the flu shot is a safe and effective way to prevent or reduce the severity of these complications.
"Reducing risks is one of the AADE's seven key self-care behaviors for managing diabetes, and getting the flu shot every fall is an excellent way of reducing the risk of getting sick," certified diabetes educator Evan Sisson said in an AADE news release. "It's widely available, it takes just a few minutes and it can make a real difference in your health."
Good hand hygiene is another important way to stay healthy and hopefully avoid the flu, the diabetes experts noted.
There are several ways a seasonal flu shot can benefit people with diabetes, according to the AADE. They include:
Better disease management. The flu and other infections can raise blood sugar levels and disrupt a healthy diet plan. Avoiding the flu can help people with diabetes stay on track and manage the condition.
Complication prevention. People with diabetes are more lik Continue reading

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