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Diabetes And Muscle Cramps: Cause, Prevention, Relief

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.
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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

Peripheral Edema and Diabetes

Peripheral Edema and Diabetes

Peripheral edema
is swelling from the collection of fluid in the feet, ankles, and legs. It can occur in one or both of your lower extremities. If you have diabetes, you need to take extra precautions when you have edema.
Edema is the result of damage to capillaries or increased pressure causing capillaries to leak fluid into surrounding tissues and result in swelling. People with diabetes often have circulation problems that can cause wounds to heal slowly or not at all.
Edema makes it more difficult for wounds to heal. Therefore, controlling edema is essential.
Causes
There are many common causes of edema that are fairly benign. Some examples of more common causes of peripheral edema, not specifically related to diabetes, include physical inactivity, standing or sitting for long periods of time, surgery, burns, hot weather, pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, contraceptive pills, certain medications, excessive salt intake, malnutrition, or a bad diet.
Edema may present in only one extremity (rather than both) due to deep venous thrombosis
(DVT), cellulitis, osteomyelitis, trauma, a ruptured Baker's cyst, or a lymphatic obstruction.
Peripheral edema can also be associated with more serious conditions—many of which can be associated with diabetes complications such as heart disease, venous insufficiency, liver disease, and kidney disease.
Certain diabetes medications can also cause edema, specifically the thiazolidinedione drugs Actos and Avandia.
These drugs have come under a cloud because of their potential cardiac adverse effects, and should not be used in anyone who h Continue reading

Does diabetes make a heart attack feel different?

Does diabetes make a heart attack feel different?

(Reuters Health) - People with diabetes may not always feel classic symptoms like acute chest pain when they have a heart attack, according to a small study that offers a potential explanation for why these episodes are more deadly for diabetics.
Researchers examined data from detailed interviews with 39 adults in the UK who had been diagnosed with diabetes and had also experienced a heart attack. Most of the participants reported feeling some chest pain, but they often said it didn’t feel like they expected or that they didn’t think it was really a heart attack.
“Long term diabetes damages your heart in many ways (increased blocking of the heart’s blood vessels), but it also damages your nerves,” said study co-author Dr. Melvyn Jones of University College London.
“So a bit like a diabetic might not feel the stubbing of their toe, they also feel less pain from damaged heart muscle when the blood supply gets cut off, so they don’t get the classical crushing chest pain of a heart attack,” Jones said by email.
People with diabetes are three times more likely to die from heart disease than the general population and possibly six times more likely to have a heart attack, Jones added.
All patients in the study received care at one of three hospitals in London, and they ranged in age from 40 to 90. Most were male, and roughly half were white.
The majority had what’s known as type 2 diabetes, which is tied to aging and obesity and happens when the body can’t properly use insulin to convert blood sugar into energy. Four of them had type 1 diabetes, a lifelong con Continue reading

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