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Avoiding Eye Complications

Avoiding Eye Complications

Avoiding Eye Complications

When it comes to diabetes-related eye complications, the good news is that most cases of severe vision loss due to diabetes are preventable. The bad news is that tens of thousands of people still lose vision to diabetes each year, despite all that is known about prevention and treatment.
Diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness for American adults between the ages of 20 and 74. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that 12,000–24,000 people in the United States lose their vision to diabetic retinopathy each year, and studies have shown that people with diabetes have a fivefold to twenty-fivefold increased risk of blindness in their lifetimes.
-- Keep an eye on your vision! Learn about preventive steps and treatments for diabetic retinopathy from retinal specialist Dr. Charles Wykoff. >>
However, these numbers very likely underestimate the true incidence of vision loss and blindness, because diabetes can cause a variety of eye diseases other than retinopathy, several of which can cause severe visual impairment (see “Eye Diseases Associated With Diabetes” ). Moreover, these statistics ignore vision loss less severe than “legal blindness” (defined as vision on the eye chart worse than 20/200 with the use of prescription lenses or severe loss of peripheral vision to within 20 degrees of central vision). But even less severe vision loss can and does substantially affect quality of life for thousands of people with diabetes.
Prevention strategies
Why do so many people continue to lose their sight to diabetes when so much is known about preventing and t Continue reading

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Can people with diabetes eat peanut butter?

Can people with diabetes eat peanut butter?

Peanut butter may help people to manage diabetes, a condition that affects blood sugar levels. How exactly does this popular snack help to control the condition?
A diet high in magnesium is thought to offer protective benefits against the development of diabetes. Peanuts are a good source of magnesium.
Natural peanut butter and peanuts are also low glycemic index (GI) foods. This means that they have a lower effect on blood sugar levels.
This article explores research into the impact of peanut butter on diabetes, to help people with diabetes decide whether eating it could improve their condition. It also considers any risks involved and looks at other healthful snacks for people with diabetes.
How GI affects blood sugar
GI is a 100-point scale applied to foods. This scale measures how blood sugar and insulin spike after eating specific food types.
Foods that are digested slowly and release sugar gradually into the blood stream have a lower GI. Peanuts have a GI score of just 14, making them one of the lowest GI foods.
Foods high in GI cause blood sugar and insulin to spike severely after eating them. This is followed by a crash in blood sugar that can result in hunger, cravings, and tiredness.
These cycles of spiking and crashing blood sugar and insulin levels are not good for the body. They can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Research into peanut butter and blood sugar
By contrast, low-GI foods can help people to better control their blood sugar levels.
For example, a 2012 study looked into eating peanut butter or peanuts at breakfast. This helped obese w Continue reading

Watching TV three hours a day linked to type 2 diabetes in children

Watching TV three hours a day linked to type 2 diabetes in children

INDYPULSE
Watching TV three hours a day linked to type 2 diabetes in children
Children who spend more than three hours a day in front of the TV or a computer may be at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Increased levels of body fat and insulin resistance in children were linked to regular extended periods of screen time in a new study published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Diabetes risk factors including blood fat and glucose levels, blood pressure and resistance to insulin were measured in 4,495 children aged nine and ten from primary schools in London, Birmingham and Leicester.
Children who said they spent the most time watching TV or using electronic devices each day were found to be more likely to exhibit physical risk factors for diabetes.
“Our findings suggest that reducing screen time may be beneficial in reducing type 2 diabetes risk factors, in both boys and girls and in different ethnic groups from an early age,” wrote the researchers from St George’s, University of London.
The scientists said their findings were of “considerable potential public health interest” but emphasised further research was needed to prove the link between diabetes risk and screen time.
“This is particularly relevant, given rising levels of type 2 diabetes, the early emergence of type 2 diabetes risk, and recent trends suggesting that screen time related activities are increasing in childhood and may pattern screen-related behaviours in later life,” they said.
Previous research has suggested a link between time spent on screens and heightened type Continue reading

10 Fiber-Rich Foods for Your Diabetes Diet

10 Fiber-Rich Foods for Your Diabetes Diet

Focus on Fiber, Balance Your Blood Sugar
Ready to give your health a clean sweep? Then consider fiber — nature’s broom, says Toby Smithson, RDN, LDN, CDE, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies.
Found in plant-based foods, fiber is a carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, which helps slow the rise in blood sugar following a meal. There are two types of fiber — soluble and insoluble, and they’ve both got big benefits. “Foods high in soluble fiber become gummy or sticky as they pass through the digestive tract, helping to reduce the absorption of cholesterol,” Smithson explains. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve and promotes bowel regularity.
Other benefits include weight management, because fiber can help you feel more full and satisfied, and better regulation of blood sugar levels. And since people with diabetes are at double the risk for cardiovascular complications, fiber’s ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels is a great way to improve heart health. To get the recommended 20 to 35 grams per day, include these fiber-rich gems in your type 2 diabetes diet. Continue reading

Type 2 diabetes, once considered a disease for adults, is increasingly common in tweens and teens

Type 2 diabetes, once considered a disease for adults, is increasingly common in tweens and teens

For years, health experts have bemoaned the rise of childhood obesity in the United States. About 17 percent of kids and teens in the U.S. are now considered obese, a figure that has more than tripled since the 1970s, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A report in the New England Journal of Medicine lays out one of the consequences of all this excess weight: a corresponding increase in childhood cases of Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when extra body fat makes it hard for cells to use insulin, a hormone that turns sugar into energy. Over time, blood sugar levels rise and cause blood vessels to become stiff, increasing the risk of life-threatening conditions like heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure, among others. More than 75,000 Americans die of diabetes each year, the CDC says.
Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, because it would take years to develop. (That's in contrast to Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, which occurs when the immune system destroys the cells that make insulin.) But these days, doctors are diagnosing Type 2 in school-age kids, and occasionally even in toddlers.
After reviewing data on 10- to 19-year-olds in primarily five states (California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington), researchers determined that 12.5 out of every 100,000 of them had a bona fide case of Type 2 diabetes in 2011 and 2012. That compares with nine cases per 100,000 youth in 2002 and 2003.
After accounting for age, gender, race and ethnicity, the study authors found that the inciden Continue reading

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