Driving With Diabetes: Safety Precautions

Driving with Diabetes: Safety Precautions

Driving with Diabetes: Safety Precautions

People with diabetes are free to drive unless diabetes complications impair their ability to drive safely.
Complications that negatively affect drivers with diabetes include symptoms of low or high blood sugar, vision problems, and nerve damage in the hands, legs, or feet.
Risk Factors
More restrictions are typically given to drivers who manage diabetes with insulin even though in some studies insulin use is not correlated with a higher driving risk.
Other research shows that the one factor most often linked to driving collisions is a recent history of severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) related to any type of diabetes.
Diabetes Driving Precautions
In light of what is known about the risks of driving with diabetes, these eight precautions from the American Diabetes Association are offered to help those with any diabetes type navigate the roads safely.
Before getting behind the wheel, check your blood glucose level. Do not drive if your blood sugar is too low since your ability to focus and make good decisions will be impaired.
Check your blood sugar level at regular intervals on long drives. Your health care team can help you determine how often you need to monitor.
Have your glucose meter and a store of snacks with you when driving; snacks should include a quick-acting sugar source.
Pull over at any sign of hypoglycemia and check your blood sugar level. Signs include blurry vision, rapid heart rate, sudden nervousness, shakiness, as well as fatigue, headache, confusion, dizziness, hunger, pale skin, sweating, or chills.
If your blood glucose is low, consume a fast-acting Continue reading

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Broccoli Compound Could Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Broccoli Compound Could Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Some people don't like to eat their vegetables, but for obese people with type 2 diabetes, broccoli could hold the key to slowing, and potentially reversing, the disease, according to a new study.
Scientists used both computational and experimental research to zero in on a network of 50 genes that cause symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes. They also located a compound called sulforaphane — which is found naturally in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages — that could turn down the expression of those genes, according to the findings, published today (June 14) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
In the study, the scientists gave sulforaphane to obese patients, in the form of a concentrated broccoli sprout extract. They found that it improved the patients' systems' ability to control their glucose levels and reduced their glucose production — two symptoms of diabetes that can lead to other health problems, including coronary artery disease, nerve damage and blindness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It's very exciting and opens up new possibilities for the treatment of type 2 diabetes," Anders Rosengren, an assistant professor at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, told Live Science. [Science You Can Eat: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Food]
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, affects more than 300 million people globally. For those with the disease who are obese, the excess fat in the liver makes the body less sensitive to the hormone insulin, which can make it diffi Continue reading

What It's Like to Have Type 1 Diabetes

What It's Like to Have Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the body makes little or no insulin. Often referred to as juvenile diabetes because it occurs most commonly in teens and adolescents, type 1 diabetes is a form of autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas which produce insulin. The cause of the disorder is poorly understood but is believed strongly linked to genetics
Type 1 diabetes differs from type 2 diabetes in that lifestyle plays a significant role in the development of the latter.
Type 2 diabetes (also referred to as adult-onset diabetes) can occur any age and is as strongly linked to obesity and inactivity as it is genetics.
It is often presumed that a person who develops diabetes in adulthood has type 2, but this is not always the case. Type 1 diabetes can manifest in adulthood in the same way that type 2 can develop in children. Adding to the confusion is the fact is that some people can have both types, a condition known as latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA).
Facts About Type 1 Diabetes
According to a report from the American Diabetes Association, around 1.25 million Americans are currently living with the type 1 diabetes. It is a condition that many in the public still misunderstand, believing that those affected "brought it on themselves" due to the lack of exercise and poor diet. This is a common misconception.
In fact, with type 1 diabetes, you can be perfect health and still experience the symptomatic ups and downs caused by the lack of insulin control.
Poor diet and inactivity can contribute to the symptoms, but the disease Continue reading

Diabetes & Prediabetes Tests

Diabetes & Prediabetes Tests

This fact sheet compares the following tests:
A1C test
fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test
oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
random plasma glucose (RPG) test
Confirming Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes
Diagnosis must be confirmed unless symptoms are present. Repeat the test using one of the following methods:
Repeat the same test on a different day—preferred.
If two different tests are used—e.g., FPG and A1C—and both indicate diabetes, consider the diagnosis confirmed.
If the two different tests are discordant, repeat the test that is above the diagnostic cut point.
If diagnosis cannot be confirmed using the results of two tests, but at least one test indicates high risk, health care providers may wish to follow the patient closely and retest in 3 to 6 months.1
Interpreting Laboratory Results
When interpreting laboratory results health care providers should
consider that all laboratory test results represent a range, rather than an exact number2
be informed about the A1C assay methods used by their laboratory2
send blood samples for diagnosis to a laboratory that uses an NGSP-certified method for A1C analysis to ensure the results are standardized3
consider the possibility of interference in the A1C test when a result is above 15% or is at odds with other diabetes test results1
consider each patient’s profile, including risk factors and history, and individualize diagnosis and treatment decisions in discussion with the patient1
Comparing Diabetes Blood Tests‡
View the content below as a table in the PDF Version (460 KB) .
A1C Test
Screening and di Continue reading

Should I Get a Flu Shot if I Have Diabetes?

Should I Get a Flu Shot if I Have Diabetes?

Having type 1 or type 2 diabetes puts you at increased risk of illness because elevated blood sugar weakens the immune system. Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself.
Fall is here, and that means that along with pumpkins and hay rides, it’s influenza (flu) season—which can last until May.
For those with diabetes, flu isn’t just a drag: It can result in hospitalization, and occasionally even death. Fortunately, a vaccine can slash your risk of the illness by an estimated 40-60%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The flu shot also lowers your chances of hospitalization, which is most common in flu patients with chronic conditions like diabetes.
The vaccine can also “prevent major respiratory infections during the flu season,” says Kavita Seetharaman, MD, staff physician at Joslin Diabetes Center, a Boston-based non-profit affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
Why Is the Flu So Dangerous for People with Diabetes?
“As with any other infection, the flu virus can cause inflammation, congestion, and mucus production in the respiratory tract,” as well as cough, fever, and even breathing difficulties, Dr. Seetharaman says.
But for diabetes patients, there’s another risk. “When patients with diabetes are not feeling well,” due to illness, infection, or injury, “they can become more insulin resistant. Blood sugar rises [even if patients aren’t eating], and ketones can develop,” she explains. Ketones are chemicals that are produced when there’s not enough glucose (sugar) to fuel the metabolism; the p Continue reading

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