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Does The Drug That ‘fixed’ My Diabetes Have A Dark Side?

Does the drug that ‘fixed’ my diabetes have a dark side?

Does the drug that ‘fixed’ my diabetes have a dark side?

A while back, I wrote about how dapagliflozin revolutionised my glucose control. Almost overnight, I changed from a morbid and morbidly obese failing diabetic to a nearly new fifty-something with a rejuvenated lust for life. My HbA1c returned to normal levels and my retinopathy disappeared. I was advised to stop taking gliclazide as my glucose control seemed to be perfect, and I didn’t want to experience hypoglycaemia. I even stopped pricking my finger to measure my blood sugar. I felt my diabetes was behind me.
I had also discovered a low-carb diet I could live with: bacon and eggs, kebabs, lamb chops and steaks with mustard, hummus and delicious cheeses, all accompanied by lots of salads in mayonnaise, and non-starchy veggies. Yumm! I lost three stone effortlessly. It became embarrassing how many people remarked on how well I looked, having been a sickly fat blighter for all the time before.
I felt strong enough to take on a big project helping to plan and implement the regeneration of healthcare in my very rural locale. It involved lots of travelling to meet the public and speak frankly to them while thinking on my feet. I attended endless meetings and video conferences where I had to learn the tiresome new lingo of management-speak. All of this was done alongside my day and night job as a resident consultant in intensive care and anaesthesia.
Before even six months were up, I began to feel a bit flakey. My memory and concentration were not good. I was having difficulty keeping up with the meetings. I was prone to emotional lability, most noticeably at home, and, most Continue reading

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Does Iron Overload Cause Diabetes and Heart Disease?

Does Iron Overload Cause Diabetes and Heart Disease?

Iron plays an essential role in many physiological processes, including oxygen transport and mitochondrial energy production. However, more iron is not necessarily better! The overaccumulation of iron in the body, a condition referred to as iron overload, has been implicated in the development of several chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Read on to learn why iron overload promotes the development of diabetes and heart disease and how iron reduction strategies can be used to beneficially alter the course of these diseases.
What is iron overload?
Iron overload occurs when excess iron accumulates in the body. The most common cause of iron overload is hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), an autosomal recessive genetic disorder that affects between one in 200 and one in 400 individuals and is caused by mutations in the HFE C282Y and H63D genes. (1) HH is characterized by significantly enhanced intestinal iron absorption and the abnormal accumulation of iron in bodily organs. Excess iron oxidatively damages cells and tissues, essentially “rusting” the body. This generates organ toxicity and promotes chronic disease processes.
However, a negative test result for the C282Y and H63D mutations does not mean a person is “off the hook” for iron overload. In fact, carriers of HFE mutations and people with moderately elevated iron levels also have an increased risk of health complications associated with iron overload. (2) Alarmingly, research indicates that iron overload may be a significant but greatly underappreciated cause of two widely prevalent chronic dis Continue reading

Manage Diabetes by Taking Care of Your Heart

Manage Diabetes by Taking Care of Your Heart

Editor’s note: In this, the ninth article in our year-long series on diabetes, learn about diabetes’ most serious complication.
Diabetes and heart disease are closely linked. What is harmful for diabetes almost always makes heart disease worse; and vice versa. Both diseases are partly caused by, as well as helped by, lifestyle choices. Let’s examine this close relationship.
Diabetes is a complex disease. It can cause many complications, including blindness, amputations, kidney disease, and problems with teeth, skin and nerves. The most serious problem caused by diabetes is heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease (CVD).
If you have diabetes, your risk for heart disease or stroke is two to four times greater than for non diabetics. In fact, more than 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
Even when people with diabetes have their glucose levels under control, they still have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health, that’s because they are more likely to have:
High blood pressure (hypertension), common in people with diabetes, doubles the risk for heart disease.
High blood fat (lipids) levels, including high LDL cholesterol, low HDL (the “good” type of cholesterol) and high triglycerides. Cholesterol problems are also common in people with premature heart disease.
Obesity – being overweight causes harmful changes to the heart and is closely linked to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance (also called impaired insulin sensitivity) is a lipid disorder associated with diabetes Continue reading

46 Chefs Share Healthy Cooking Tips for People With Diabetes

46 Chefs Share Healthy Cooking Tips for People With Diabetes

People with diabetes should cook their meats by baking, grilling, or broiling them for the most part. An occasional fried food should be balanced with a low carbohydrate option, such as a salad or other cooked vegetables. Meals should be well balanced, and include foods from all food groups.
They also often have a “dyslipidemia.” In other words, the “bad” cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol is high, and the “good” cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol is low. Therefore, they should choose their fats wisely, and pick fats that are liquid at room temperature. These healthier oils include olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil, among others. The idea is to increase the good cholesterol in your bloodstream, so that it takes the bad cholesterol out via your liver. Use olive oil or canola oil cooking spray instead of butter.
People with diabetes should cook their vegetables ahead for the week if they have a busy schedule. That way, they will always have some vegetables that they like on hand to fill out their meal. They can also cook their meat or protein portions ahead. It’s best to be prepared, and have some of the foods you love already prepared on hand. That way, you don’t get tempted to go off your plan.
When you make recipes, use low fat dairy products, as opposed to higher fat dairy products. Pick nonfat or 1 percent milk instead of 2 percent or whole milk, for example.
Generally cook with less fat in your meals overall. Limit your fat servings to 1 per meal or a fat that is considered a healthier fat such as olive oil. Brush it on sweet Continue reading

Overlooked Cheap and Healthy Foods

Overlooked Cheap and Healthy Foods

A proper diet is one of the major ways to manage diabetes and healthy foods often get a bad reputation for being expensive. With some planning, there are plenty of diabetes-friendly options that can fit into your budget. Consider these cheaper healthy food options that are often overlooked for people with diabetes.
Preparing for the Grocery Store
The first step to a better eating plan is to prepare for the grocery store before you get there. Determine your budget and make a list of what you need. Check your cabinets and only fill in things you do not already have. Stick to the list to avoid being lured into buying unnecessary extras. Coupons can help you save money on quality foods. Find them in local publications, magazines, and online. Read the circulars for the local grocery stores to find the best deals. Join shoppers clubs at grocery stores and mass merchants to score additional discounts. Never shop when you feel hungry as this may cause you to splurge. Learn the store layout. Often the healthiest options are located on the outside aisles or perimeter of the store. Avoid visiting the aisles filled with packaged cakes, cookies, and other processed temptations. Inquire if the store has discount days you might be able to take advantage of, such as deals for seniors or veterans. Check in the front of the store since they often place “two for one product” at the entrance. If the store has a delivery service, you can shop online and have exactly what you need to be delivered to your door. This minimizes the chances of being tempted by advertisements at the store. It is Continue reading

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