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Know The Symptoms Of A Diabetes Emergency

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

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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

The A1C Test & Diabetes

The A1C Test & Diabetes

What is the A1C test?
The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and diabetes research.
How does the A1C test work?
The A1C test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. In the body, red blood cells are constantly forming and dying, but typically they live for about 3 months. Thus, the A1C test reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent.
Can the A1C test be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes?
Yes. In 2009, an international expert committee recommended the A1C test as one of the tests available to help diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.1 Previously, only the traditional blood glucose tests were used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes.
Because the A1C test does not require fasting and blood can be drawn for the test at any time of day, experts are hoping its convenience will allow more people to get tested—thus, decreasing the number of people with undiagnosed diabetes. However, some medical organizations continue to recommend using blood glucose tests for diagnosis.
Why should a person be tested for diabetes?
Testing is espec Continue reading

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Perhaps you have learned that you have a high chance of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes. You might be overweight or have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes. Maybe you had gestational diabetes, which is diabetes that develops during pregnancy. These are just a few examples of factors that can raise your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and eye and foot problems. Prediabetes also can cause health problems. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop health problems, so delaying diabetes by even a few years will benefit your health. You can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing a modest amount of weight by following a reduced-calorie eating plan and being physically active most days of the week. Ask your doctor if you should take the diabetes drug metformin to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.1
How can I lower my chances of developing type 2 diabetes?
Research such as the Diabetes Prevention Program shows that you can do a lot to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Here are some things you can change to lower your risk:
Lose weight and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight.1 For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds.
Move more. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk Continue reading

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