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A Guide To Healthy Low-Carb Eating With Diabetes

A Guide to Healthy Low-Carb Eating with Diabetes

A Guide to Healthy Low-Carb Eating with Diabetes

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE
Diabetes is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic proportions.
It currently affects over 400 million people worldwide.
Although diabetes is a complicated disease, maintaining good blood sugar control can greatly reduce the risk of complications.
One of the ways to achieve better blood sugar levels is to follow a low-carb diet.
This article provides a detailed overview of low-carb diets for managing diabetes.
What is Diabetes, and What Role Does Food Play?
If you have diabetes, your body cannot process carbohydrates effectively.
Normally, when you eat carbs, they are broken down into small units of glucose, which end up as blood sugar.
When blood sugar levels go up, the pancreas responds by producing the hormone insulin. This hormone allows the blood sugar to enter cells.
In healthy people, blood sugar levels remain within a narrow range throughout the day. In diabetes, however, this system doesn’t work the way it is supposed to.
This is a big problem, because having both too high and too low blood sugar levels can cause severe harm.
There are several types of diabetes, but the two most common ones are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both of these conditions can be diagnosed at any age.
In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune process destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Diabetics must inject insulin several times a day to ensure that glucose gets into the cells and stays at a healthy level in the bloodstream.
In type 2 diabetes, the beta cells at first produce enough insulin, but the body’s cells are resistant to its acti Continue reading

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Eighth Annual Diabetes Blog Week!

Eighth Annual Diabetes Blog Week!

When I first started Diabetes Blog Week way back in 2010 I wasn’t sure if anyone would sign up. I was so excited to see how many of you wanted to participate. And each year I become more and more grateful that so many d-bloggers continue to show such support and enthusiasm for this event. I’m also thankful for all of the help you’ve given, with topics for us to write about and suggestions to help things run more smoothly. Diabetes Blog Week has continued to evolve and grow in a way I couldn’t have ever imagined. And so I’m beyond excited to kick off the Eighth Annual Diabetes Blog Week. Here we go!
What inspired Diabetes Blog Week? For those of you who haven’t participated before, Diabetes Blog Week was originally inspired by a fiber-blogger event called Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. When I participated that first year on my knitting blog I loved the way it united the community, and I knew I wanted to try to do the same for the DOC.
How does Diabetes Blog Week work? The main idea for Diabetes Blog Week is that bloggers sign up to post about a set topic each day for a week. This way, readers can jump around the DBlog Community and get a big variety of different perspectives on a single topic. The hope is that new DOC connections are made, and that our voices are raised to spread a little more diabetes awareness.
When is Diabetes Blog Week? The eighth annual Diabetes Blog Week will take place next week, from May 15th through May 19th.
Where can I find the Diabetes Blog Week topics? You can find the topics for next week on the Topics and Posts page. They’ve bee Continue reading

13 Books That Can Help You Live Better With Diabetes

13 Books That Can Help You Live Better With Diabetes

One of the untold secrets to thriving as a person with diabetes is to never stop learning, never stop studying yourself and your habits, and never stop trying to gain a better understanding of how your own body works and what it needs.
Whether you have type 1 diabetes and are juggling taking doses of insulin with counting carbohydrates, or have type 2 diabetes and are either taking no medication or managing some combination of insulin and oral medication, there is always more to learn.
But it’s not just about following a diabetes-friendly diet, or just about taking insulin, or just about getting enough exercise and losing weight — indeed, if you have diabetes, you already know that living with this disease is so much more complicated than that.
In my pursuit to better understand and demystify many aspects of diabetes (I’ve lived with type 1 since 1999), I couldn’t help but write a few books myself:
Dealing With Diabetes Burnout: How to Recharge and Get Back on Track When You Feel Frustrated and Overwhelmed Living With Diabetes
I’ve researched and written on many aspects of diabetes, so you could say I’m pretty particular when it comes to recommending other books. Only the best!
To point you in the right direction of other great resources, I’ve compiled a list of what I believe are must-read diabetes books for anyone seeking advice on diet, emotional health, medication management, and more.
Best Books for Day-to-Day Blood Sugar Management
by Gary Scheiner, CDE
This book should be handed to everyone the moment they are diagnosed. While it speaks largely to those Continue reading

The Connection Between Diabetes and Stroke

The Connection Between Diabetes and Stroke

If you have diabetes you are at higher risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. As with many of the health problems associated with diabetes, higher-than-normal blood glucose (blood sugar) levels raise the risks.
High Blood Sugar Levels Raise Stroke Risk
Persistently elevated blood glucose levels contribute to the buildup of plaque in blood vessels. Plaque -- a pasty substance made up of cholesterol, calcium, cellular waste and protein -- sticks to the walls of blood vessels and can interfere with blood flow.
This impaired blood flow can lead to stroke.
Your blood sugar level over the past couple of months is indicated by the hemoglobin A1c test. The American Diabetes Association says that people with A1c levels above 7% are nearly three times as likely to have a stroke as people with an A1c level below 5%.
For those with diabetes, the important thing to do when it comes to reducing stroke risk is to keep blood sugars within the target range. Controlling blood glucose levels will help minimize plaque buildup.
What Is a Stroke?
A stroke involves blood vessels and the brain. According to the American Stroke Association, “A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot [ischemic stroke] or bursts [hemorrhagic stroke]. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.”
Strokes happen suddenly and require immediate medical attention.
Treatment within 60 minutes of the first symptoms often leads to a good prognosis. If deprived of oxygen for more than a Continue reading

Chasing Diabetes' Connection To Pancreatic Cancer

Chasing Diabetes' Connection To Pancreatic Cancer

Diabetes and pancreatic cancer affect the same organ, but they have more in common than just their location. People who have one of these conditions are also more likely to have the other one.
About 30 million Americans have diabetes. Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in nearly 54,000 people each year, and it's the third-leading cause of cancer-related death. Most people aren't diagnosed until their cancer has already spread and is harder to treat.
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Pancreatic cancer has gained attention from the diagnoses of several prominent figures, including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who was diagnosed in 2003 and died Oct. 5, 2011. Jobs had an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, a rare form of the disease. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and actor Patrick Swayze have also faced pancreatic cancer. Swayze died in 2009. The lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 65.
Researchers have been looking at the link between diabetes and pancreatic cancer for many years. Now they're trying to use this connection to diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier, when treatment is more likely to improve survival.
Diabetes is both a risk for, and a warning sign of, pancreatic cancer. "The relationship goes both ways," says Lynn Matrisian, PhD, chief science officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Researchers don't know exactly why, but people who have had diabetes for several years are slightly more likely to get pancreatic cancer than those without diabetes.
Pancreatic cancer can also cause diabetes. About half of people with pancreatic cancer have high blood sugar. When the Continue reading

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