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How Diabetes Changed My Life

How Diabetes Changed My Life

How Diabetes Changed My Life

At the age of 16, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was the worst day of my life.
I was devastated. At the time I was a competitive tennis player in Sweden and had represented my country on several occasions in the European and World championships. I was in the best physical shape of my life, and did not like losing. That made this diagnosis worse, since I could not accept or even understand how I could be punished like this. My lack of acceptance made everything more difficult. My two younger sisters, Anna and Lisa, who were 6 and 14 at the time, were supportive but in shock. I was their big sister who had always been strong, and now I was in the hospital. I would have to inject insulin multiple times daily, change my diet, and face the risks of short and long term complications from a disease we did not know much about.
Upon diagnosis, I made the decision to dedicate my future to discovering a cure for diabetes.
I would go to medical school as soon as I graduated from high school. I got accepted to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden where I graduated with both MD and PhD degrees after only six years. My research was, of course, in diabetes, but I kept a promise to myself not to let diabetes affect my behavior or require others to adjust to my needs. To do so I kept my diagnosis a secret from everyone except my family and doctors. Even my best friends in high school and my med school classmates had no idea that I suffered from the condition. When I stood before more than 100 people in the grand auditorium at the Karolinska Institute to defend my thesis, t Continue reading

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Can You Eat Ginger If You Have Diabetes?

Can You Eat Ginger If You Have Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic condition that some people are born with and others may develop over time. It affects the way people produce or respond to insulin, which in turn affects the way your body processes sugar.
Because of this, it’s important to take note of what you’re eating and how it may impact your blood sugar levels. Ginger, for example, is low in carbohydrates and calories. It has only 1.3 grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon. Known for its spicy taste and unmistakable flavor, ginger also contains potassium, iron, and fiber.
Over the years, ginger has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels and help regulate insulin response in people with diabetes.
In one 2014 animal study, obese rats with diabetes were given a mix of cinnamon and ginger. These rats experienced a wealth of benefits, including:
reduced body weight
reduced body fat mass
decreased blood sugar levels
increased insulin levels
According to researchers in a 2015 study, ginger powder supplements may help improve fasting blood sugar. Participants in this study were given 2 grams of ginger every day for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, researchers found that people in this group also experienced lower levels of:
hemoglobin A1c
apolipoprotein B
apolipoprotein A-1
malondialdehyde
Researchers in a 2016 study on rats with diabetes found that ginger might help protect against heart problems that occur due to diabetes.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties may also help prevent certain diabetes complications.
Although many studies suggest that ginger could be useful in diabetes management, you should Continue reading

What is the best diet for gestational diabetes?

What is the best diet for gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes can cause a range of complications during pregnancy. Fortunately, a woman can help reduce complications by following a healthful diet. What foods should women eat and what foods should they avoid if they have gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes occurs if a woman's body cannot produce enough insulin, during her pregnancy. This deficiency leads to high blood sugar. High blood sugar levels may cause problems for the woman and her baby if not managed properly.
This article explains what type of diet a woman should follow during pregnancy if she has gestational diabetes. It also considers other treatment options for gestational diabetes and what complications may occur if the condition is not properly managed.
Contents of this article:
Understanding gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2 and 10 percent of pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes each year in the United States.
This type of diabetes occurs when a woman's body cannot make enough of the hormone insulin. Insulin is made by the pancreas and helps the body's cells to use sugar from the blood as energy.
When a woman is pregnant, her body will produce more hormones, and she may put on weight. Both of these changes may mean that her body's cells may not use insulin as well as they used to. This is called insulin resistance.
Becoming resistant to insulin means that the body needs more of it in order to use up the sugar in the blood. Sometimes a woman's Continue reading

Symptoms of EARLY diabetes: Five risk factors putting YOU on course for type 2 diabetes

Symptoms of EARLY diabetes: Five risk factors putting YOU on course for type 2 diabetes

Prediabetes is also referred to by medics as borderline diabetes, is a metabolic condition.
If undiagnosed or untreated, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes; which is treatable but not easily reversed.
Experts said it is a ‘critical stage’ in the development of diabetes because lifestyle choices - such as changing diet and exercising - can return blood sugar levels to normal.
It is therefore crucial to recognise it as early as possible, medics argue.
The condition is considered to be a grey area between having normal blood sugar levels and those verging on diabetic levels.
Diabetes.co.uk states : “Prediabetes is characterised by the presence of blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classed as diabetes.
“Prediabetes may be referred to as impaired fasting glucose (IFT), if you have higher than normal sugar levels after a period of fasting, or as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), if you have higher than normal sugar levels following eating.
“Each year in the UK, 5 to 10 per cent of people diagnosed with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes.”
There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so people could be suffering with the condition without knowing it.
However people with prediabetes might be suffering with similar symptoms to type 2 diabetes.
These include urinating more frequently, feeling thirsty and feeling tired.
Symptoms can also include itching around the penis or vagina as a result of thrush, cuts or wounds which heal slowly and blurred vision.
Being overweight can also cause type 2 diabetes.
Fri, Aug Continue reading

The how, what, and why of exercise and type-2 diabetes

The how, what, and why of exercise and type-2 diabetes

Diabetes is a common problem among the American population and worldwide. Aside from the impacted life span and quality of life, diabetes is associated with an increased burden on society in relation to medical costs which has a great economic impact. The most influential factors that have been found to be related to diabetes include genetic factors and environmental influences. While you may not be able to change your genetics you can make a change on environmental risk factors.
Risk factors
Obesity and inactivity are two of the main risk factors of acquiring diabetes. Environmental factors may be mostly modifiable which means that many people that acquire diabetes may have been able to avoid this condition and may also be able to reverse this condition with lifestyle changes. Diet is a crucial aspect of the overall management of diabetes as well as exercise and physical activity.
Type 1 versus Type 2
Type 2-diabetes can be difficult to treat and can be expensive to manage and that is why avoiding this diagnosis is imperative. Diabetes occurs because the body does not produce or does not properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreases that allows glucose or sugar to enter the cells. If the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or when muscle, fat, and liver cells do not properly respond to the insulin that is there then glucose builds up in the blood which can become toxic. Hyperglycemia is a condition that occurs when there is too much glucose in the blood. Type 1-diabetes is not related to diet and inactivity but is the type of diabet Continue reading

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