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November Is National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

The JDRF community will be raising awareness about type 1 diabetes (T1D) throughout the month of November. We’ll kick things off on T1Day, November 1, 2017, by telling our stories to the world. Every minute of every day, people with T1D persevere in the face of adversity. JDRF is committed to making day-to-day life with the disease easier, safer and healthier while working toward ways to cure and prevent T1D once and for all.
This November, we are continuing our T1D Looks Like Me campaign to spread awareness about life with T1D. Visit our website or follow us on social media to “Get Quizzed by a Whiz Kid” and test your knowledge against that of a nine-year-old with T1D. You can also create a custom “T1D Looks Like Me” profile photo for social media or generate your unique “T1D Footprint.” You can post your footprint image to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to shed light on the cumulative burden of finger pricks, injections and other disruptions that come with living with T1D.
JDRF will also continue our important advocacy efforts throughout the month. We are asking Congress to continue funding critical research through the Special Diabetes Program and pressuring insurers to guarantee that everyone has the Coverage 2 Control their T1D.
Check back with us on World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2017, and throughout the month for more blogs, stories and ways to share what it means to be affected by T1D. Continue reading

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Managing Diabetes

Managing Diabetes

You can manage your diabetes and live a long and healthy life by taking care of yourself each day.
Diabetes can affect almost every part of your body. Therefore, you will need to manage your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar. Managing your blood glucose, as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol, can help prevent the health problems that can occur when you have diabetes.
How can I manage my diabetes?
With the help of your health care team, you can create a diabetes self-care plan to manage your diabetes. Your self-care plan may include these steps:
Ways to manage your diabetes
Manage your diabetes ABCs
Knowing your diabetes ABCs will help you manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Stopping smoking if you smoke will also help you manage your diabetes. Working toward your ABC goals can help lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes problems.
A for the A1C test
The A1C test shows your average blood glucose level over the past 3 months. The A1C goal for many people with diabetes is below 7 percent. Ask your health care team what your goal should be.
B for Blood pressure
The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 140/90 mm Hg. Ask what your goal should be.
C for Cholesterol
You have two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or “bad” cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. Too much bad cholesterol can cause a heart attack or stroke. HDL or “good” cholesterol helps remove the “bad” cholesterol from your blood vessels.
Ask your health care team what your c Continue reading

Improving Blood Flow to the Feet

Improving Blood Flow to the Feet

The Power of Relaxation and Biofeedback
Many people with diabetes experience discomfort in their legs and feet, with symptoms such as cramping, numbness, tingling, and pain. The culprits may be poor circulation, nerve damage, or both, and the underlying causes are referred to as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy. While both appear to be triggered by high blood glucose levels and some of their symptoms overlap, they are two distinct conditions.
In the most common form of PAD, arteries in the legs (and sometimes arms) narrow and harden as a result of fatty plaque deposits, leading to decreased blood flow in the legs and feet. This disorder affects 8–12 million Americans and is far more common in people with diabetes than in the rest of the population: About one-third of people with diabetes over the age of 50 have PAD, although many of them are undiagnosed. Symptoms of PAD include intermittent claudication (cramping leg pain that develops while walking and stops with rest); numbness, coldness, or tingling of the legs and feet; and slow healing of cuts and sores on the affected extremities.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes in which nerves in the feet and legs (and sometimes hands and arms) are damaged, resulting in pain and/or loss of sensation. While the exact mechanism by which neuropathy develops is not known, the condition usually develops after years of exposure to high blood glucose levels. Weakened nerve fibers may give off false sensations in the extremities, often experienced as pain or burning; cramps and Continue reading

Diabetes and erectile dysfunction: What is the connection?

Diabetes and erectile dysfunction: What is the connection?

Erectile dysfunction, also called impotence, is not being able to get and maintain an erection for long enough to have sexual intercourse.
There are many causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) which can be physical, psychological, or both. One of the most common causes of ED is diabetes.
Studies suggest that 35-75 percent of men with diabetes will go on to develop ED. They will also tend to develop ED some 10-15 years earlier than men without diabetes.
Why can diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?
Diabetes can cause ED because it can damage the blood supply to the penis and the nerves that control an erection.
When a man becomes sexually aroused, a chemical called nitric oxide is released into his bloodstream. This nitric oxide tells the arteries and the muscles in the penis to relax, which allows more blood to flow into the penis. This gives the man an erection.
Men with diabetes struggle with blood sugar level swings, especially if their condition isn't managed poorly.
When their blood sugar levels get too high, less nitric oxide is produced. This can mean that there is not enough blood flowing into the penis to get or keep an erection. Low levels of nitric oxide are often found in those with diabetes.
Other causes of erectile dysfunction
Listed below are some other reasons for ED:
nervous system problems including damage to spinal cord or brain
smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and using some illegal drugs
some medications such as those taken for high blood pressure and depression
Pelvic injury or surgery on the prostate, bowel or bladder may cause damage to nerves connect Continue reading

Adults Can Get Type 1 Diabetes, Too

Adults Can Get Type 1 Diabetes, Too

David Lazarus had just moved to Los Angeles to start a new job as a business and consumer columnist for the Los Angeles Times when he suddenly developed some of the classic signs of diabetes: extreme thirst, fatigue and weight loss. He dropped close to 15 pounds in two weeks.
Lazarus was in his early 40s. "The weight loss was the first big red flag. It happened really fast," he says. He consulted a physician, who diagnosed him with Type 2 diabetes and recommended a "monastic" low-carb, macrobiotic diet.
When he continued to feel lousy a few days later, Lazarus spoke with another physician. That doctor suggested that Lazarus might have Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition in which the insulin-making cells in the pancreas are attacked and destroyed. But that physician didn't take insurance.
Finally Lazarus made his way to the diabetes center at the University of California, Los Angeles. There, an endocrinologist diagnosed him with Type 1 diabetes and immediately put him on the correct treatment, insulin.
Without insulin injections or infusion via a pump, people with Type 1 diabetes typically fall into a coma and die within days to weeks, although sometimes adults may have a small amount of reserve insulin that keeps them going longer. Still, eventually all people with Type 1 diabetes must receive insulin.
Lazarus' story is not uncommon. It has long been thought that Type 1 diabetes arises primarily in childhood or adolescence and only rarely in adulthood. In fact, Type 1 diabetes was formerly called "juvenile" diabetes, and that term is still widely used, even though the Continue reading

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