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Do You Know Your Insulin Level?

Do You Know Your Insulin Level?

Do You Know Your Insulin Level?

People often keep close watch on their glucose numbers. But how many of us know our insulin level? Dr. Joseph Mercola says fasting insulin is “the number that may best predict your sudden death.” Sounds important. But what does it mean?
Our bodies need some circulating insulin at all times, even when we don’t eat. Otherwise, our livers keep making glucose and dumping it into the blood. Livers do this to prevent blood glucose from going too low.
So a fasting insulin level should never be 0, which it might be in a person with untreated Type 1. It shouldn’t go below 3. But a high insulin level is just as problematic. A high insulin level is a sign of insulin resistance or prediabetes. It can also signify early-stage Type 2.
According to Dr. Mercola, too much insulin promotes weight gain by storing fat. It promotes insulin resistance, lowers magnesium levels, and increases inflammation. It also tends to lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol and raise levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
All of these increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It may be that high insulin levels come before insulin resistance and help cause it.
If you already have diabetes, why should you know your insulin level? Mainly, it helps diagnose what is happening with you. Your blood glucose may be high, but how much of the problem is too little insulin? How much is insulin resistance?
A fasting insulin level test is valuable in several situations:
• Diagnosing prediabetes and metabolic syndrome. “Prediabetes” is one result of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes high choleste Continue reading

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Diabetes-Friendly Drink Recommendations

Diabetes-Friendly Drink Recommendations

Food and eating can be a stressful thing when you have diabetes. If you're living with type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, meal times can be a cause of stress; but another source of worry is what to drink when you have diabetes. If you're controlling your diabetes and blood sugar by diet and exercise or with medications and insulin, you still need to be cautious of the food and drinks that enter your body.
Living with type 1 diabetes myself, I know first hand how much one wrong drink choice can affect my blood sugar levels. A type 1 diabetic does not produce insulin themselves so they must inject insulin with each meal. Making sure what you consume including drinks in between meals is important. In fact, drinking just one sweetened drink a day can raise your risk of type 2 diabetes by 25 percent.
People tend to think that fruit juice is a good choice, but with a high concentration of fructose, diabetics should only consume fruit in its whole form. When fruit is juiced it is stripped of all its fiber, and fiber is what helps to slow down the blood sugar spike. Consuming fruit juice will set you up for a roller coaster of blood sugar levels all day. Fruit juice should be reserved only when you're dealing with hypoglycemia - in this case you are drinking it to increase your already too low blood sugar.
Read more about foods that naturally lower blood sugar levels
Alcohol is another beverage that diabetics should be wary of. Alcohol is a contributing factor to hypoglycemia. You will first experience an increase in your blood sugar levels due to the sugar content, then a rea Continue reading

32 Home Remedies for Diabetes

32 Home Remedies for Diabetes

Even though it looks much the same as any other foot, the diabetic foot requires special attention. Why? Nerve damage is common with diabetes, especially in the lower extremities. Blood vessels are damaged as a result of the disease and circulation is decreased. When this happens, feet and legs tend to be cold and sores heal slowly, in some cases taking years to heal. This can easily lead to infection. Nerve damage can also decrease your ability to feel sensations in your feet, such as pain, heat, and cold. That means you may not notice a foot injury until you have a major infection.
A common complaint from many people is, "My feet are killing me!" For a person with diabetes, that statement could be all too true. Loss of nerve function, especially on the soles of the feet, can reduce feeling and mask a sore or injury on the foot that, if left unattended, can turn into an ulcer or gangrene.
Neuropathy, damage to the nerves, is a common problem for people with diabetes. It occurs most often in the feet and legs, and its signs include recurring burning, pain, or numbness. In addition to being painful, neuropathy can be harmful because if it causes a loss of feeling in the foot, even a minor foot injury may go undiscovered. In extreme cases, this can lead to serious infection, gangrene, or even amputation of the limb. Because of this, people with diabetes must be meticulous in caring for their feet.
Moderate exercise, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, are best for people with diabetes. Because people with diabetes have to take some extra precautions while exercising, you w Continue reading

Get Sugar Smart

Get Sugar Smart

Our intakes of sugar have increased dramatically over the last 10 years. Fizzy drinks and sweet foods are the obvious culprits, but many people are not aware of other foods which also contain large amounts of ‘free sugars’. Free sugars have been classified as simple sugars added to foods by the manufacturer or consumer. Free sugars also includes sugars that are naturally in honey, syrups and fruit juices.
The WHO (World Health organisation) recently published guidelines on sugar intake for adults and children saying that no more than 10% of a person’s energy intake (calories) should come from free sugars. In Ireland, the National Adult Nutritional Survey in 2011 showed that on average our diets contained 14.6% energy from free sugars.
High intakes of this type of sugar need to be addressed because it is associated with:
• Poor dietary quality
• Tooth decay
• Obesity.
It also increases the risk of preventable diseases like:
• Coronary heart disease (CHD)
• Type 2 diabetes.
An average adult requires 1,500-2,000 calories per day. If 10% of this was to come from free sugars, this would equal 10-14 teaspoons of sugar per day.
A teaspoon of sugar is approximately 4g, or one sugar cube.
How can we become sugar smart?
Understanding food labels is a great tool in becoming sugar smart. Added sugars can come under many different names like:
• Glucose
• Sucrose
• Maltose
• Corn syrup
• Honey
• Invert sugar
• Hydrolysed starch
• Fructose.
The higher up on the ingredients list any of these sugars is then the more it contains in the products. Look for the c Continue reading

The Link Between Depression and Gestational Diabetes

The Link Between Depression and Gestational Diabetes

Study finds increased risk during and after pregnancy
Gestational diabetes is defined as ‘glucose intolerance of variable degree with onset or first recognition during pregnancy.” Pregnant females with GDM have an increased risk of developing complications during pregnancy, and can also increase the risk of injury to their infants. Pregnancy itself is an important event in a woman’s life that causes many social, psychological, and hormonal changes. However, it can also make women vulnerable to maternal depression and increase the likelihood of negative outcomes, as well as morbidity and mortality. Moreover, women with GDM are at an increased risk of developing depressive symptoms during or after pregnancy.
The study titled “Depressive Symptoms in Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: The LINDA-Brazil Study,” aimed to evaluate the frequency and severity of depressive symptoms in women with GDM depending on one’s sociodemographic status. Researchers believed that GDM causes adverse effects, thus its relation to depression can affect adherence to treatment and increase the likelihood of poor pregnancy outcomes.
This cross-sectional study focused on 820 women with GDM, receiving prenatal care in the Brazilian National Health Systems. The studies were conducted in low and middle-income countries where depression ranged from 17.3% to 57%. The study was conducted as part of a large multicenter randomized clinical trial, LINDA-Brazil study, which aimed to prevent type 2 diabetes in women previously diagnosed with GDM. Participants eligible for the study were women 1 Continue reading

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