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November: World Diabetes Day And Diabetes Awareness Month!

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

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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

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a disorder characterized by abnormally high blood sugar levels. In this form of diabetes, the body stops using and making insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Specifically, insulin controls how much glucose (a type of sugar) is passed from the blood into cells, where it is used as an energy source. When blood sugar levels are high (such as after a meal), the pancreas releases insulin to move the excess glucose into cells, which reduces the amount of glucose in the blood.
Most people who develop type 2 diabetes first have insulin resistance, a condition in which the body's cells use insulin less efficiently than normal. As insulin resistance develops, more and more insulin is needed to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. To keep up with the increasing need, insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (called beta cells) make larger amounts of insulin. Over time, the beta cells become less able to respond to blood sugar changes, leading to an insulin shortage that prevents the body from reducing blood sugar levels effectively. Most people have some insulin resistance as they age, but inadequate exercise and excessive weight gain make it worse, greatly increasing the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age, but it most commonly begins in middle age or later. Signs and symptoms develop slowly over years. They include frequent urination (polyuria), excessive thirst (polydipsia), fatigue, blurred vision, tingling or loss of feeling in the hands and fee Continue reading

10 Healthy Snacks for People with Diabetes

10 Healthy Snacks for People with Diabetes

Here are 10 healthy snacks for people with diabetes.
World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on 14th November and is an annual reminder of how this disease is taking over the lives of millions across the globe. The adverse effects of a combination of poor and unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle and long working hours are becoming increasingly worrisome. Diabetes happens to be one of the most dangerous outcomes as it not only puts people at the risk of obesity, heart disease and a stroke, but also triggers an extreme lifestyle change.
Diabetes is commonly known as the silent killer and in many cases is diagnosed accidentally. This makes it extremely important that we are aware of the symptoms which can help in an early diagnosis and possible recovery.
If you're suffering from diabetes, then it's extremely important to keep a strict watch on your diet. You should eat small and healthy meals through the day in order to keep your blood-sugar levels in check and be sure to not include processed or high fattening food. Instead, find foods that perfectly combine protein, carbohydrates and fats.
If you're confused about what to eat or have run out of ideas, then here's a list of 10 super healthy and delicious snacks:
1. Whole grain crackers - Crackers made of cracked wheat, quinoa, rye, oats are healthy as these grains help in lowering blood-glucose levels and cholesterol levels. You can eat crackers with hung curd dressings or cottage cheese to enhance the nutritional value of the snack. It also gives it a more delicious spin. (Recipe by Chef Seema Chandra)
2. Fruits for sna Continue reading

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