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High Blood Sugar Symptoms

High Blood Sugar Symptoms

High Blood Sugar Symptoms

If you’ve had diabetes for any length of time at all, you’ve probably seen lists of the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose dozens of times. Doctors and diabetes educators hand them out. Hundreds of websites reprint them. Most diabetes books list them. You likely know some of the items on the list by heart: thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, slow healing of cuts, and more.
But have you ever stopped to wonder why these symptoms occur? How does high blood glucose cause frequent urination, make your vision go blurry, or cause all of those other things to happen? Here are some answers to explain what’s going on in your body when you have high blood glucose.
Setting the stage for high blood glucose
High blood glucose (called hyperglycemia by medical professionals) is the defining characteristic of all types of diabetes. It happens when the body can no longer maintain a normal blood glucose level, either because the pancreas is no longer making enough insulin, or because the body’s cells have become so resistant to insulin that the pancreas cannot keep up, and glucose is accumulating in the bloodstream rather than being moved into the cells.
What is high blood sugar?
Blood glucose is commonly considered too high if it is higher than 130 mg/dl before a meal or higher than 180 mg/dl two hours after the first bite of a meal. However, most of the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose don’t appear until the blood glucose level is higher than 250 mg/dl. Some of the symptoms have a rapid onset, while others require a long period of high blood glucose to set in. Continue reading

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Can diabetes be cured? A review of therapies and lifestyle changes

Can diabetes be cured? A review of therapies and lifestyle changes

Diabetes is a condition that affects blood sugar levels and causes many serious health problems if not managed well. The health impacts of diabetes can be limited, but can it ever be "cured"?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that develops when the body destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This means people with type 1 diabetes do not make insulin.
In those with type 2 diabetes, there is a decreased sensitivity to insulin and the body does not make or use as much insulin as it needs. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes.
This article reviews therapies and lifestyle changes that can help reduce the effects of diabetes on a person's health.
It also explores whether these treatments can help "cure" diabetes, or if they are simply helpful ways to manage the condition.
Contents of this article:
Is diabetes curable?
Medically speaking, there is no cure for diabetes but it can go into "remission."
Diabetes in remission simply means the body does not show any signs of diabetes. However, the disease is technically still there.
According to Diabetes Care, remission can take different forms:
Partial remission: When a person has had a blood glucose level lower than that of a person with diabetes for at least 1 year without any diabetes medication.
Complete remission: When the blood glucose level returns to normal, not simply pre-diabetic levels, for at least 1 year without any medications.
Prolonged remission: When complete remission lasts for at least 5 years.
Even if a person has had normal blood sugar levels for 20 years, their diabetes Continue reading

Know the Symptoms of a Diabetes Emergency

Know the Symptoms of a Diabetes Emergency

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, there's a lot to learn. In addition to the day-to-day basics of diabetes management and treatment, there's learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of two potential diabetes-related conditions: hypoglycemia
(low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These can occur at any time and need to be treated immediately to avoid a medical emergency.
Causes of Hyperglycemia
Your blood sugars can rise to dangerous levels when you haven't taken enough insulin (if you are type 1) or when your insulin receptors are not working as they should (with type 2).
Perhaps you miscalculated the number of carbohydrates you ate at a meal, or you were under stress or had an illness. Each of these situations can lead to hyperglycemia.
Symptoms That Need Attention
If you have these symptoms please call your health care professional and/or go to the emergency room:
Increased thirst
increased urination
Nausea/vomiting
Deep and/or rapid breathing
Abdominal pain
Fruity smelling breath
Loss of consciousness
Another type of dangerous situation is called Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). This is defined as a dangerously high blood sugar that is >600 mg/dL. It is typically brought on either by an infection, such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection, or poor management of your blood sugar. If left untreated, it can result in coma and even death.
Signs and symptoms include:
extreme thirst
confusion
fever (usually over 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
The best way to prevent HHNS is to take your Continue reading

Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke

Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke

Having diabetes means that you are more likely to develop heart disease and have a greater chance of a heart attack or a stroke. People with diabetes are also more likely to have certain conditions, or risk factors, that increase the chances of having heart disease or stroke, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you have diabetes, you can protect your heart and health by managing your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you smoke, get help to stop.
What is the link between diabetes, heart disease, and stroke?
Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. The longer you have diabetes, the higher the chances that you will develop heart disease.1
People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes. In adults with diabetes, the most common causes of death are heart disease and stroke. Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes.2
The good news is that the steps you take to manage your diabetes also help to lower your chances of having heart disease or stroke.
What else increases my chances of heart disease or stroke if I have diabetes?
If you have diabetes, other factors add to your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke.
Smoking
Smoking raises your risk of developing heart disease. If you have diabetes, it is important to stop smoking because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Smoking Continue reading

Can diabetes cause headaches?

Can diabetes cause headaches?

We all get the odd headache. In fact, 15 per cent of Australians will have popped a painkiller to treat one by the time you finish reading this story. People living with diabetes, however, are more likely to be hit with headaches than the rest of the population, and having diabetes may even increase your migraine risk.
‘Headaches are one of the most common complaints doctors are presented with,’ says Dr Tony Bartone, president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victoria. ‘That, combined with the fact they can be caused by a variety of things, means it’s understandable that some people may not make the link between their diabetes and their headaches.’
Find the link and you are halfway to solving the problem. Here’s what to look for…
High or low blood glucose levels
A headache can be a symptom of hypo- or hyper glycaemia – when blood glucose levels go too low or too high. Low blood glucose levels trigger the release of hormones that cause vasoconstriction – a narrowing of the blood vessels – which may bring on a headache. High BGLs can cause you to run to the loo more often, which sometimes leads to dehydration and, in turn, a headache.
THE FIX: As soon as you feel a headache coming on, test your blood glucose levels. This is especially important if you frequently wake up with a pounding head, which could be a sign of nocturnal hypoglycaemia (going too low overnight) if you take insulin or certain other medications. See your doctor if you suspect this is the cause of your headaches. If your levels are low, treat them with 15g of fast-acting carboh Continue reading

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