Diabetes Glossary

Diabetes Glossary

Diabetes Glossary

Antibodies are specialized proteins that are part of the immune system. They are created when an antigen (such as a virus or bacteria) is detected in the body. The antibodies bond with the specific antigen that triggered their production, and that action neutralizes the antigen, which is a threat to the body. Antibodies are created to fight off whatever has invaded the body. See also autoantibodies.
An antigen is a foreign substance (such as a virus or bacteria) that invades the body. When the body detects it, it produces specific antibodies to fight off the antigen.
Autoantibodies are a group of antibodies that “go bad” and mistakenly attack and damage the body’s tissues and organs. In the case of type 1 diabetes, autoantibodies attack the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Autoimmune disorder
If you have an autoimmune disorder (also called an autoimmune disease), your body’s immune system turns against itself and starts to attack its own tissues.
Basal secretion (basal insulin)
We all should have a small amount of insulin that’s constantly present in the blood; that is the basal secretion. People with type 1 diabetes must take a form of insulin that replicates the basal secretion throughout the day; that’s basal insulin.
Beta cells
Beta cells are located in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. They are responsible for making insulin.
Blood glucose level
The blood glucose level is how much glucose is in your blood at a given time. This level is very important for people with diabetes, and they must monitor thei Continue reading

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Diabetes: a lost childhood

Diabetes: a lost childhood

On the day five years ago when my daughter Izzi, then aged 10, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, her seven-year-old brother Rowan was reluctant to visit her in the hospital. "Is she going to die?" he asked gravely. It was hard to reassure him through my tears, as I had only the vaguest idea of what type 1 diabetes was. I now know that, without insulin, which she will need to inject multiple times every day for the rest of her life, the answer would almost certainly have been yes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which insulin-producing cells in the pancreas just give up. No one knows why, and there is no cure. Izzi did nothing to cause this to happen and we have no family history of the condition, so, for us, there is no genetic link. She was just unlucky, like the 400,000 other people in the UK who have it. The condition is a life sentence: every organ in her body is under constant attack and the only defence is to pump herself full of insulin.
We only realised something was wrong when Izzi started to drink large quantities of water. At first I was pleased: I had always thought she didn't drink enough. But when one day she forgot to take her water bottle to school and went into a massive panic, I began to suspect there was a problem. We later learned that the need to drink lots was a result of her body's attempt to flush out the excess sugar in her blood. Insulin is the hormone that acts as a key to unlock pathways between the blood and the body's cells, which need the sugar for energy. Without insulin, the concentration of sugar in the blood can build up to Continue reading

Statin induced diabetes and its clinical implications

Statin induced diabetes and its clinical implications

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“Then comes the question, how do drugs, hygiene and animal magnetism heal? It may be affirmed that they do not heal, but only relieve suffering temporarily, exchanging one disease for another”.
Statins are one of the most widely prescribed groups of drugs in the world. Although statins have been shown to be beneficial in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a number of trials, current reports of increased risk of type 2 diabetes with statin use are of concern. As a result of these reports, on February 28, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration added new safety label changes for the statin class of cholesterol-lowering drugs regarding the potential for increased hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and fasting plasma glucose. The present review discusses the evidence available from clinical trials and meta-analyses regarding possible diabetogenic effect of statins, probable mechanisms of this association and how these new observations might change clinical approach to statin use. Continue reading

Healthy Cereal Brands for Diabetes

Healthy Cereal Brands for Diabetes

When you’re in a morning rush, you may not have time to eat anything but a quick bowl of cereal. But many brands of breakfast cereal are loaded with fast-digesting carbohydrates. These carbs usually rate high on the glycemic index. That means your body quickly breaks them down, which rapidly raises your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, that can be dangerous.
Fortunately, not all cereals are made the same. Read on to learn about diabetes-friendly cereal options that can get you out of the door quickly, without putting you through a blood sugar rollercoaster ride.
We’ve listed our recommendations from the highest rating on the glycemic index to the lowest rating.
The glycemic index, or GI, measures how quickly carbohydrates raise your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, it’s best to choose foods with lower GI ratings. They take longer to digest, which can help prevent spikes in your blood sugar.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health:
low-GI foods have a rating of 55 or less
medium-GI foods have a rating of 56-69
high-GI foods have a rating of 70-100
Mixing foods can influence how they digest and adsorb into your blood, and ultimately their GI rating. For example, eating high-ranked GI cereal with Greek yogurt, nuts, or other low-ranked GI foods can slow your digestion and limit spikes in your blood sugar.
Glycemic load is another measure of how food affects your blood sugar. It takes into account portion size and the digestibility of different carbohydrates. It may be a better way to identify good and bad carb choices. For example, carrots have Continue reading

10 Foods to Avoid With Diabetes

10 Foods to Avoid With Diabetes

Foods No One With Type 2 Diabetes Should Eat
The top 10 foods that should never be eaten by type 2 diabetics are ones that are high on the glycemic index, full of fats that are easily oxidized or foods high in advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). These are the foods to avoid with diabetes at all costs.
Here’s a quick view of the list:
Protein bars
Jasmine rice
Tofu ice cream
Genetically-engineered wheat
Fried foods
Trans fat foods
Vegetable oils
Boxed cereals
Hot dogs
Read on to learn about why you should be avoiding these foods.
Protein Bars, Rice, Ice Cream, and Wheat
The first foods every diabetic should avoid are Cliff™ protein bars, jasmine rice, tofu ice cream, and genetically engineered wheat.
The glycemic index is a scale from 0 to 100 that measures the rate that sugars are released into the bloodstream from carbohydrate foods. A rating low on this scale between 0 and 55 correlates to a food that is not a problem to diabetics. When these low glycemic index foods are eaten, blood sugar stays low in diabetics. Examples include cherries, apples, lettuce, celery, beans, and chickpeas.
On the other hand, foods high on the glycemic index that are rated 70 to 100+ are ones that cause an exceptionally high burst of insulin after the blood sugar levels skyrocket. This reaction will eventually wear out the pancreas and may even cause the need for insulin at a later date.
Fried Foods, Trans Fat Foods, and Vegetable Oils
The problem with many types of fat is that their chemical structures aren’t stable when heated. The type of fat they have is called unsaturated, Continue reading

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