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Myth: Sugar Causes Diabetes

Myth: sugar causes diabetes

Myth: sugar causes diabetes

We all know the stereotype – if you’ve got diabetes, you must have eaten too much sugar. But, with this sweet ingredient found in so much of our food – and, recently, so many of our newspapers – what’s the truth about sugar? And how does it affect diabetes?
What is sugar?
Sugar is found naturally in fruit, vegetables and dairy foods. It’s also added to food and drink by food manufacturers, or by ourselves at home. The debate about sugar and health is mainly around the ‘added sugars’. This includes:
table sugar that we add to our hot drinks or breakfast cereal
caster sugar, used in baking
sugars hidden in sauces, ready meals, cakes and drinks.
Does sugar cause diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
In Type 1 diabetes, the insulin producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed by your immune system. No amount of sugar in your diet – or anything in your lifestyle – has caused or can cause you to get Type 1 diabetes.
With Type 2 diabetes, though we know sugar doesn’t directly causes Type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to get it if you are overweight. You gain weight when you take in more calories than your body needs, and sugary foods and drinks contain a lot of calories.
And it's important to add that fatty foods and drinks are playing a part in our nation's expanding waistline.
So you can see if too much sugar is making you put on weight, then you are increasing your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. But Type 2 diabetes is complex, and sugar is unlikely to be the only reason the condition develops.
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Diabetes and Hypertension: A Position Statement by the American Diabetes Association

Diabetes and Hypertension: A Position Statement by the American Diabetes Association

Hypertension is common among patients with diabetes, with the prevalence depending on type and duration of diabetes, age, sex, race/ethnicity, BMI, history of glycemic control, and the presence of kidney disease, among other factors (1–3). Furthermore, hypertension is a strong risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), heart failure, and microvascular complications. ASCVD—defined as acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction (MI), angina, coronary or other arterial revascularization, stroke, transient ischemic attack, or peripheral arterial disease presumed to be of atherosclerotic origin—is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for individuals with diabetes and is the largest contributor to the direct and indirect costs of diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that antihypertensive therapy reduces ASCVD events, heart failure, and microvascular complications in people with diabetes (4–8). Large benefits are seen when multiple risk factors are addressed simultaneously (9). There is evidence that ASCVD morbidity and mortality have decreased for people with diabetes since 1990 (10,11) likely due in large part to improvements in blood pressure control (12–14). This Position Statement is intended to update the assessment and treatment of hypertension among people with diabetes, including advances in care since the American Diabetes Association (ADA) last published a Position Statement on this topic in 2003 (3).
DEFINITIONS, SCREENING, AND DIAGNOSIS
Blood pressure should be measured at every routine clinical care visit. Patients found to Continue reading

Calculating Insulin Dose

Calculating Insulin Dose

You'll need to calculate some of your insulin doses.
You'll also need to know some basic things about insulin. For example, 40-50% of the total daily insulin dose is to replace insulin overnight.
Your provider will prescribe an insulin dose regimen for you; however, you still need to calculate some of your insulin doses. Your insulin dose regimen provides formulas that allow you to calculate how much bolus insulin to take at meals and snacks, or to correct high blood sugars.
In this section, you will find:
First, some basic things to know about insulin:
Approximately 40-50% of the total daily insulin dose is to replace insulin overnight, when you are fasting and between meals. This is called background or basal insulin replacement. The basal or background insulin dose usually is constant from day to day.
The other 50-60% of the total daily insulin dose is for carbohydrate coverage (food) and high blood sugar correction. This is called the bolus insulin replacement.
Bolus – Carbohydrate coverage
The bolus dose for food coverage is prescribed as an insulin to carbohydrate ratio.The insulin to carbohydrate ratio represents how many grams of carbohydrate are covered or disposed of by 1 unit of insulin.
Generally, one unit of rapid-acting insulin will dispose of 12-15 grams of carbohydrate. This range can vary from 4-30 grams or more of carbohydrate depending on an individual’s sensitivity to insulin. Insulin sensitivity can vary according to the time of day, from person to person, and is affected by physical activity and stress.
Bolus – High blood sugar correction
(also k Continue reading

Does diabetes cause itching?

Does diabetes cause itching?

People with diabetes experience skin itching at higher rates than those without the condition. Ultimately, itching can lead to excessive scratching, which can cause discomfort and pain.
A study of nearly 2,700 people with diabetes and 499 without diabetes found that itching was a common diabetes symptom. An estimated 11.3 percent of those with diabetes reported skin itching versus 2.9 percent of people without diabetes.
A person with diabetes should not ignore itchy skin. Dry, irritated, or itchy skin is more likely to become infected, and someone with diabetes may not be able to fight off infections as well as someone who does not have diabetes.
There are a variety of treatments available that can help to reduce diabetes-related skin itching so that a person can be more comfortable and avoid other skin complications.
Causes of diabetes itching
There are many reasons why a person with diabetes might experience itching more often than someone else. Sometimes itching can result from damaged nerve fibers located in the outer layers of skin.
Often, the cause of diabetes-related itching is diabetic polyneuropathy or peripheral neuropathy. This condition occurs when high blood glucose levels damage nerve fibers, particularly those in the feet and hands.
Before the nerve damage occurs, the body experiences high levels of cytokines. These are inflammatory substances that can lead to a person's skin itching.
Sometimes, persistent itchiness may indicate that someone with diabetes is at risk of nerve damage, so the itchiness should never be ignored.
Also, people with diabetes can expe Continue reading

Diabetes and the Importance of Sleep

Diabetes and the Importance of Sleep

To paraphrase the old Cole Porter love song: Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Let's do it, let's . . . sleep?
"Sleep is a biological imperative," says Stuart Quan, M.D., a Harvard Medical School professor of sleep medicine and editor of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. "You can't not sleep," he says.
Virtually all animals sleep. Fruit flies have been shown to have sleep cycles, and even sea sponges have sleeplike periods, Quan says. While experts have different theories on why we sleep, it's well proven that getting too little has serious consequences for your health and diabetes. Shorting yourself on shut-eye can worsen diabetes and, for some people, even serve as the trigger that causes it.
People who don't sleep enough may:
-- impair the body's use of insulin.
-- have higher levels of hormones that cause hunger.
-- crave junk food.
No snooze, you lose
People who don't get enough sleep often have higher levels of chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Lack of sleep also can increase production of cortisol (the body's primary stress hormone), impair memory and reflex time, elevate blood sugar, and increase appetite -- ultimately promoting weight gain, says Carol Touma, M.D., an endocrinologist at the University of Chicago who focuses on sleep research and metabolism.
And the more you weigh, the worse you sleep. Research by Madhu H. Rao, M.D., an endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, found that a person's body mass index (BMI) affects slow-wave sleep, the deep sleep cycles needed for maximum rest. Very preliminary re Continue reading

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