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Change Your Ways, Reduce Your Risk: 7 Tips For Preventing Diabetes

Change Your Ways, Reduce Your Risk: 7 Tips for Preventing Diabetes

Change Your Ways, Reduce Your Risk: 7 Tips for Preventing Diabetes

Piggybacking the obesity epidemic, diabetes rates continue to surge. On June 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new and alarming statistics on diabetes. An estimated 29 million Americans have the disease, a nearly 12 percent increase from the 26 million diabetics in 2010.
One-fourth of people don’t know they have diabetes—a scary fact, given the complications of chronically high blood sugar: heart attack, stroke, sight-robbing eye disease, kidney failure, foot amputation. Worse, another 86 million adults have prediabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar just below the threshold for diabetes.
The vast majority of cases are type 2 diabetes, a condition characterized by insulin resistance, meaning cells fail to respond to insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin.
The good news is type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. A seminal 2006 study demonstrated that intensive lifestyle modification reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent, as compared to a 31 percent risk reduction achieved with the antidiabetes drug metformin.
7 tips to help reduce your risk:
Lose excess body fat. Being overweight is a big risk factor for diabetes. In contrast, every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost reduces diabetes risk by 16 percent.
Follow a plant-based, low-calorie diet. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables—a dietary pattern studies show reduces diabetes risk. Foods to avoid are those rich in trans fats (also called hydrogenated fat), saturated fat, and sugar.
Drink water. Studies link sugar-sweetened bevera Continue reading

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Relief for Diabetes Stomach Pain

Relief for Diabetes Stomach Pain

Managing diabetes often brings changes in what we eat and the medications we take. You may also notice some changes in how your gut, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, feels, sounds, and responds.
Changes in eating
You are likely making changes in eating habits, including more foods rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and beans. Fiber can be filling without adding unwanted calories, and it can help improve abnormal cholesterol levels. But there may be a few uh-ohs if you rapidly increase the amount you eat. "Gas and bloating are a side effect of fiber," says Judith Wylie-Rosett, Ed.D., R.D., professor of health promotion and nutrition research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. "Increasing your intake gradually may help." She suggests adding legumes, such as beans and lentils, to increase dietary fiber. "Throwing out the water you soak them in and giving them an extra rinse before cooking may also help decrease the gas and bloating," she says.
Glucose-lowering meds
Several prescription medications used to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes can stir up your gut. Experts tend to suggest that you start with a low dose and slowly increase it based on your provider's instructions.
Metformin
Metformin, the typical starting medication in type 2 diabetes to bring blood glucose levels in range, can lead to heartburn, nausea, or diarrhea. Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the diabetes division at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, says, "I try to use metformin in all of my patients who have type Continue reading

Diabetes and blood sugar: When to go to the hospital

Diabetes and blood sugar: When to go to the hospital

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can be tough.
There are so many factors that can affect blood sugar, like exercise, food, illness, exhaustion and stress. Any of these can cause your careful control to go right out the window.
So how do you know if your loss of control is an emergency?
Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia is the condition of having too little glucose in the blood, usually below 70 mg/dl. It can result from taking too much insulin, not eating, illness or exercise. Hypoglycemia, sometimes called insulin shock or insulin reaction, can cause serious physical and mental changes.
Symptoms and Risks
Physical changes include shakiness, sweating, chills and feeling clammy, increased heart rate, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, weakness or excessive fatigue, tingling and numbness in the lips or tongue, lack of coordination, nausea and, in worst cases, seizures and unconsciousness.
Mental changes include confusion and delirium, anger, stubbornness and sadness. On occasion, someone who is suffering an episode of hypoglycemia might be mistaken for being extremely drunk.
All of the symptoms above are preliminary to passing out and/or entering a coma state, if left untreated.
The danger in hypoglycemia is the risk of accidental injury, including crashing the car while driving, falling down stairs, and so forth. The other risk is the inability of the patient to respond to the symptoms they are experiencing, which results in taking no action to reverse the condition. While rare, severe hypoglycemia, left untreated, can result in death.
What to Do
If the diabetic is co Continue reading

Why Is My Diabetes Making Me So Tired?

Why Is My Diabetes Making Me So Tired?

Diabetes and fatigue are often discussed as a cause and effect. In fact, if you have diabetes, you’re more than likely going to experience fatigue at some point. However, there may be much more to this seemingly simple correlation.
About 2.5 million people in the United States have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). CFS is marked by ongoing fatigue that significantly disrupts everyday life. People with this type of extreme fatigue use up their energy sources without necessarily being active. Walking to your car, for example, can zap all your energy. It’s thought that CFS is related to inflammation that disrupts your muscle metabolites.
Diabetes, which affects your blood sugar (glucose) and the production of insulin by the pancreas, can also have inflammatory markers. A wealth of studies have looked at the possible connections between diabetes and fatigue.
It can be challenging to treat both diabetes and fatigue. However, there are numerous options that can help. You may first need to see your doctor to determine the exact cause of your fatigue.
There are numerous studies connecting diabetes and fatigue. One such study looked at the results of a survey on sleep quality. Researchers reported that 31 percent of people with type 1 diabetes had poor sleep quality. The prevalence was slightly larger in adults who had type 2 diabetes, at 42 percent.
According to another study from 2015, about 40 percent of people with type 1 diabetes have fatigue longer than six months. The authors also noted that the fatigue is often so severe that it impacts everyday tasks as well as quality of Continue reading

Is Milk Bad for You? Diabetes and Milk

Is Milk Bad for You? Diabetes and Milk

Is cow’s milk good food for people, especially people with diabetes? The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) say yes. Given how I feel about ADA and USDA’s record on nutrition advice, I think we should check for ourselves.
ADA recommends two to three servings of low-fat milk (or other low-fat dairy food such as cheese and yogurt) each day. “Including sources of dairy products in your diet is an easy way to get calcium and high-quality protein,” according to their nutrition page.
USDA says three cups a day for people age nine and up. But what do independent experts say? And what does the data say?
Many disagree about milk’s being healthy. Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution, wrote,
“I typically advise most of my patients to avoid dairy products completely… From an evolutionary point of view, milk is a strange food for humans. Until 10,000 years ago we didn’t domesticate animals and weren’t able to drink milk… The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase — the enzyme needed to [deal with] lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five.”
OK. So some experts disagree with the government. But we have to start at the beginning. What is milk anyway?
What milk is made of
Milk is food produced by mammal mothers to feed their young. Mammal milks are all similar, but they have important differences in the specific proteins. It may be that cow’s milk is not a good match for most human populations.
Milk has significant amounts of fat, protein Continue reading

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