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6 Signs Your Type 2 Diabetes Might Really Be Type 1

6 Signs Your Type 2 Diabetes Might Really Be Type 1

6 Signs Your Type 2 Diabetes Might Really Be Type 1

Reviewed by endocrinologist Stanley S. Schwartz, MD, emeritus Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and George Grunberger, MD, FACP, FACE, Chairman of the Grunberger Diabetes Institute, Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Medicine & Genetics at Wayne State University School of Medicine and President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
Up to 10%1 of people with type 2 diabetes may actually have a form of diabetes known as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, or LADA, where the immune system slowly destroys insulin-producing beta cells. That’s the conclusion of a string of studies that have looked at this mysterious high blood sugar problem since it was first recognized by Scottish endocrinologists in the late 1970s.2 Yet 39 years later, most of the estimated 3 million or more Americans with LADA think they’ve got type 2 diabetes. That misdiagnosis can cause frustration, misunderstandings and even health problems, says endocrinologist Stanley S. Schwartz, MD, an emeritus Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
“If your doctor is not thinking about the possibility of LADA, he or she may not prescribe the diabetes drugs early on that could help extend the life of your insulin-producing beta cells,” Dr. Schwartz says. “With LADA, you lose the ability to produce insulin much more quickly than the typical type 2. But a doctor who believes you’re a type 2 may hesitate to prescribe insulin when your blood sugar levels rise, thinking that a healthier lifestyle and higher doses Continue reading

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Preventing and treating leg cramps with diabetes

Preventing and treating leg cramps with diabetes

For many diabetics, muscle pain is just a normal part of life.
Prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels can cause what's called diabetic neuropathy, which may result in pain, tingling, cramps or spasms in the arms, feet, legs or fingers.
Treating leg cramps tends to involve treating the neuropathy while also addressing other factors that may be causing the cramps.
Causes
While there are several different types of neuropathies, peripheral neuropathy is what often causes leg cramps in diabetics.
Potassium imbalance, which can be caused by fluctuating insulin levels and frequent urination in diabetes, can also contribute to leg cramping.
Diabetics who are taking diuretics may also experience more leg cramps, as these types of drugs have been associated with muscle spasms and pain.
Prevention
The best way to prevent diabetic neuropathy is to manage your diabetes well and keep your blood sugar stable.
If the cramps are caused by potassium imbalances, you should talk to your doctor about changing your diet to address this issue.
Exercise is also important, especially stretching, while adequate hydration after long periods of physical activity will ensure your water and electrolyte balances stay stable.
Treatment
Treatment for diabetic leg cramps will usually involve bringing your blood glucose levels into a normal range to prevent further nerve damage. Your doctor may recommend certain medicines or insulin therapies to help control your blood sugar.
Treating the pain that comes with diabetic neuropathy could involve oral medication.
Regular massage might also help relax the Continue reading

Diabetes and Muscle Cramps: Cause, Prevention, Relief

Diabetes and Muscle Cramps: Cause, Prevention, Relief

Muscle cramps, or spasms, are involuntary contractions (shortening) of our skeletal muscles.
Cramps can occur at any time but often wake people during the night. They can affect any muscle but usually show up in the calves, thighs, feet and arms.
Since having either high or low blood sugar contributes to spasms, many people with diabetes report having from mild to severely painful muscle cramping.
Causes of Cramping
Glucose and Electrolytes
The proper contraction and relaxation of our muscles requires a fuel source such as glucose, and a balanced exchange of electrolytes (e.g., sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium) flowing through the cell membranes.
When blood sugar is low, the muscles can become starved for fuel. When blood sugar runs high our body excretes excess glucose via urine, causing dehydration, and a depletion of electrolytes.
These types of imbalances cause cramping in athletes engaged in extended strenuous exercise, those who are active without proper conditioning or hydration, and in active or sedentary people with fluctuating blood glucose.
Nerves and Circulation
Complications from diabetes can trigger muscle cramps as well. Since poor circulation and nerve damage may instigate spasms, people with peripheral vascular disease or peripheral neuropathy may be prone to cramps. In rare cases, muscle cramps are a symptom of kidney problems.
Medications
Medications and substances that contribute to the incidence of muscle cramps include insulin, lipid (cholesterol) lowering drugs, antihypertensives, beta-agonists, antipsychotics, oral contraceptives, and alcohol.
O Continue reading

Warning Signs Of Type 1 Diabetes

Warning Signs Of Type 1 Diabetes

Early diagnosis saves lives
Recognizing the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes is critical. Although Type 1 develops gradually, as the body’s insulin production decreases, blood glucose levels can become dangerously high once insulin production is outpaced. Symptoms may develop rapidly and can be mistaken for other illnesses such as the flu, even by doctors. A misdiagnosis can have tragic consequences.
Many people are familiar with Type 2 diabetes, but there is an under awareness for Type 1.
Learn other forms of diabetes.
Who gets Type 1?
Anyone, at any age, can be diagnosed with Type 1 — it is neither preventable nor curable. While the cause is unknown, studies prove that genes together with an environmental trigger result in the immune system turning on itself and destroying the body’s beta cells.
Early Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes
weight loss (despite an increased appetite)
unquenchable thirst
blurry vision
decreased energy level
frequent urination
a fruity smell to the breath
in children with no previous issues, wetting the bed
in babies and toddlers, heavy diapers
More Advanced Symptom
stomach pain
fatigue or weakness
nausea or vomiting
rapid, heavy breathing
loss of consciousness
What to do
If you recognize any of the symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. A simple in-office test for sugar in the urine is used for diagnosis. If that test is positive, then a drop of blood from the fingertip will confirm diabetes. Every day, thousands of adults and children around the world are diagnosed, but many go undetected. Early diagnosis cannot prevent Type 1, but it can head o Continue reading

Diabetes Warning Signs That Most Women Ignore

Diabetes Warning Signs That Most Women Ignore

Hold onto your pancreas: Did you know that if you live in the United States, you have close to a 1 in 10 chance of developing diabetes? If you are one of the many who will find themselves diagnosed with this complicated condition, you’ll join about 30.3 million people in the country who already have it.
The bad news is that managing diabetes can be challenging, and women seem to have an even tougher time getting things under control than men do. Fortunately, women with diabetes can lead very healthy, fulfilling lives, says Kate McKernan, program coordinator for UPMC Susquehanna Diabetes and Nutrition Care Center in Pennsylvania.
As women, we tend to focus on caring for others and not ourselves.
“As women, we tend to focus on caring for others and not ourselves. If you are a woman diagnosed with diabetes, it is most important to make an appointment for yourself to learn as much as you can about how to best manage your diabetes.”
Let's take a look at how diabetes affects women and what you can do if you find yourself diagnosed.
Although you’ll need to check with your doctor to find out for sure what they mean, your body will often give you warning signs that things aren’t working how they should. Along with common signs of diabetes like hunger, fatigue, and increased thirst and urination, some symptoms are specific to women.
Recurrent Yeast Infections
High levels of glucose in the blood can cause fungus to grow. The result? Recurrent yeast infections. An overgrowth of yeast can appear as thrush in various parts of the body. But don’t wait if you think you have thi Continue reading

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