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It's Your Life. Treat Your Diabetes Well.

It's Your Life. Treat Your Diabetes Well.

It's Your Life. Treat Your Diabetes Well.

November is National Diabetes Month. Here’s to managing your diabetes for a longer, healthier life.
There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle can really reduce its impact on your life. What you do every day makes the difference: eating a healthy diet, being physically active, taking medicines if prescribed, and keeping health care appointments to stay on track.
The Basics
More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 1 out of 4 of them don’t know they have it.
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant, which can put the pregnancy and baby at risk and lead to type 2 diabetes later).
With type 1 diabetes, your body can’t make insulin (a hormone that acts like a key to let blood sugar into cells for use as energy), so you need to take it every day. Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes; about 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
Most people with diabetes—9 out of 10—have type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. If you have any of the risk factors below, ask your doctor if you should be tested for diabetes. The sooner you find out, the sooner you can start making healthy changes that will benefit you now and in the future.
More than 30 million US adults have diabetes—and 1 out of 4 of them don’t know they have it.
At least 1 out of 3 people will develop diabetes in their lifetime.
Medical costs Continue reading

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When Viagra Doesn’t Work

When Viagra Doesn’t Work

Treating Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a common occurrence in men with diabetes. The incidence of erectile dysfunction increases progressively with age, from 5% in men age 20 to 75% in men over age 65. The cause of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes is usually related to a decrease in the blood supply to the penis as well as to injury to the nerves that are responsible for the erection mechanism. A decrease in testosterone production has also been identified as the cause in some men with diabetes.
Since 1998, when sildenafil (brand name Viagra) first came on the market, oral therapy has been successfully used to treat erectile dysfunction in many men with diabetes. (Sildenafil was followed in 2003 by the drugs tadalafil [Cialis], vardenafil [Levitra] and avanafil [Stendra], which work in much the same way.) Some 50% of men with Type 1 diabetes who try the drugs report improved erections, and some 60% men with Type 2 diabetes do, too. However, that leaves a large percentage of men with diabetes and erectile dysfunction who do not respond to therapy with one of these pills. This article takes a look at what can be done to treat those men who do not respond to oral therapy.
Why therapy fails
There are a number of reasons a man may not achieve the desired result from an oral erectile dysfunction drug. In some cases, a man may experience drug side effects severe enough to outweigh any potential benefit of taking the drug. Possible side effects of these drugs include headache, facial flushing, nasal congestion, and transient abnormal vision. (In October 2007 Continue reading

November: World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month!

November: World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month!

With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month in the U.S., you can imagine there’s a slew of awareness campaigns and fundraising events that go on throughout the month.
This effort has taken on more international importance in recent years, with the growth of global observances of World Diabetes Day that takes place annually on November 14, the date marking the birthday of insulin co-discoverer Dr. Frederick Banting.
Here at DiabetesMine, we’ve covered these November diabetes activities at length over the years. Please browse through this overview of posts we’ve written to get a sense of what happens when diabetes awareness becomes a national and international priority.
Diabetes Awareness Month 2017
This year, we believe the need for diabetes awareness month is more important than ever. Many different diabetes organizations have a plethora of activities and initiatives, including the American Diabetes Association and JDRF that are both emphasizing the "invisible illness" aspect of living with diabetes. Our roundup explores all of the happenings within the USA and across the world.
Diabetes Months of the Past
Don’t miss our coverage of what happened for Diabetes Awareness Month last year, in both the U.S. and across the globe. You’ll read about efforts from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), International Diabetes Federation (IDF), JDRF, Diabetes Hands Foundation, and other groups working to raise public awareness and make a difference for the Diabetes Community. You can also reflect back on the prior year, with our coverage of Diabetes Awareness Mont Continue reading

How Diabetes Works

How Diabetes Works

Since diabetes is a disease that affects your body's ability to use glucose, let's start by looking at what glucose is and how your body controls it. Glucose is a simple sugar that provides energy to all of the cells in your body. The cells take in glucose from the blood and break it down for energy (some cells, like brain cells and red blood cells, rely solely on glucose for fuel). The glucose in the blood comes from the food that you eat.
When you eat food, glucose gets absorbed from your intestines and distributed by the bloodstream to all of the cells in your body. Your body tries to keep a constant supply of glucose for your cells by maintaining a constant glucose concentration in your blood -- otherwise, your cells would have more than enough glucose right after a meal and starve in between meals and overnight. So, when you have an oversupply of glucose, your body stores the excess in the liver and muscles by making glycogen, long chains of glucose. When glucose is in short supply, your body mobilizes glucose from stored glycogen and/or stimulates you to eat food. The key is to maintain a constant blood-glucose level.
To maintain a constant blood-glucose level, your body relies on two hormones produced in the pancreas that have opposite actions: insulin and glucagon.
Insulin is made and secreted by the beta cells of the pancreatic islets, small islands of endocrine cells in the pancreas. Insulin is a protein hormone that contains 51 amino acids. Insulin is required by almost all of the body's cells, but its major targets are liver cells, fat cells and muscle cells. Fo Continue reading

Why do I have high blood sugar levels in the morning?

Why do I have high blood sugar levels in the morning?

Some people experience very high blood sugar levels in the morning. But what implications does this have for a person's health?
There are two main causes of high blood sugar in the morning, the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect
This article explores these two causes of high blood sugar levels in the morning. It also discusses what risk factors may cause people to experience them and gives practical advice around how to better manage blood sugar levels.
Contents of this article:
The dawn phenomenon
The dawn phenomenon has to do with natural body changes that occur during the sleep cycle:
Midnight - 3 a.m.
While most people are sleeping, their body has little need for insulin. During this period, however, any insulin that may have been taken during the evening causes the blood sugar levels to drop off drastically.
Between 3 - 8 a.m.
The body automatically begins to dish out stored sugar (glucose) in preparation for the upcoming day. In addition, hormones that actively reduce the body's sensitivity to insulin are also being released.
During this time period, counter-regulatory hormones are being released. This can interfere with insulin, which may lead to a rise in blood sugar.
These include growth hormones, such as:
cortisol
glucagon
epinephrine
These events are all happening simultaneously as bedtime levels of insulin are beginning to taper off. Each of these events ultimately plays a part in causing blood sugar levels to rise at "dawn" or in the morning.
Who the dawn phenomenon affects
Although people with diabetes are generally more aware of the dawn phenomenon, it ac Continue reading

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