PCOS And Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke...

PCOS and Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke...

PCOS and Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke...

Ever heard of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? If you’re a woman who has had trouble getting pregnant, you might have. Just about everyone else? Probably not.
PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility, affecting 6% to 12% (as many as 5 million) of US women of reproductive age. But it’s a lot more than that. Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant, meaning they don’t respond effectively to insulin so their bodies keep making more. Excess insulin is thought to increase the level of androgens (male hormones that females also have) produced by the ovaries (egg-producing organs), which can stop eggs from being released (ovulation) and cause irregular periods, acne, thinning scalp hair, and excess hair growth on the face and body.
What’s more troubling, high insulin levels from PCOS can lead to serious health problems, especially for women who are obese:
Gestational diabetes (diabetes when pregnant)—which puts the pregnancy and baby at risk and can lead to type 2 diabetes later in life
Stroke—plaque (cholesterol and white blood cells) clogging blood vessels can lead to blood clots that in turn can cause a stroke
PCOS is also linked to depression and anxiety, though the connection is unclear.
What Causes PCOS?
The exact causes of PCOS aren’t known at this time, but both weight and family history—which are in turn related to insulin resistance—appear to play a part.
Does being overweight cause PCOS? Does PCOS make you overweight? The relationship is complicated and not well understood. Being overweight is associated with PCOS, but many wom Continue reading

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Diabetes and Fibromyalgia: Is there a link between the two?

Diabetes and Fibromyalgia: Is there a link between the two?

It is not a well-known fact that fibromyalgia and diabetes often occur together. Recent medical research shows that keeping your blood sugar levels low also reduces your risk of developing fibromyalgia.
A study published in the 2003 edition of Journal Rheumatology International states that about 15% to 18% of patients with diabetes suffer from fibromyalgia too. This strongly suggests that there is a link between these two health conditions.
Interestingly, controlling blood sugar levels can also dictate the likelihood of developing fibromyalgia. The connection between both diseases is due to the levels of hemoglobin A1C among diabetic patients.
Hemoglobin A1C is blood chemical used to measure how well high your blood sugar was on average during the past 3 months. It was determined that the higher the hemoglobin A1C levels of a diabetic patient is, the more likely he or she will suffer from fibromyalgia.
Another link between these two disorders is how they both seem to react to blood sugar levels. An increase of blood glucose also indicates the severity of the symptoms associated with the two health issues.
How do I know if I have fibromyalgia?
Getting a diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be tricky if you are already dealing with type 2 diabetes. This is due to the fact that diabetes mimics if not all, almost all of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
The only way to get a definitive diagnosis is to seek your doctor’s opinion and get a particular clinical testing on your condition.
Be mindful of your body pains and other symptoms you may feel. Published research papers stated that pat Continue reading

How Many Diabetes Dollars Is Halloween Costing Us?

How Many Diabetes Dollars Is Halloween Costing Us?

If a child ate one package of Starburst Fruit Chews each day as a direct result of Halloween, that could increase his or her risk of diabetes by as much as 26 percent, costing the U.S. billions of dollars.
This Halloween, Americans will purchase 90 million pounds of chocolate, and the average child will consume 3,190 calories of sugar from trick-or-treating alone. It sounds like a recipe for diabetes, but, in fact, the connection between sugar consumption and diabetes is tenuous and strung with caveats. So figuring out how many cases of diabetes are caused by our yearly candy binging ritual is nigh impossible. Nigh.
The bottom-line? Fatherly’s back-of-the-napkin estimate suggests that, if a child ate one package of Starburst Fruit Chews (or one can of soda) each day as a direct result of Halloween, that could increase his or her risk of diabetes by as much as 26 percent, costing the U.S. economy hundreds of thousands of dollars per child diagnosed. (Ironically, this must be taken with a grain of salt.)
Here’s how we figure:
How Much Sugar Do Our Kids Actually Eat On Halloween?
We can’t be sure, but it’s a lot. One British study found that the average child consumes 3,190 calories as a result of trick-or-treating, so let’s go with that figure and apply some elbow grease. One package of Starburst Fruit Chews contains 240 calories and 34 grams of sugar, so the average kid eats the caloric equivalent of about 13 Starburst packages on Halloween. That gives us 442 grams (or about 1 pound) of sugar which, tragically, sounds about right.
Now, that’s probably not enough Continue reading

Fibromyalgia and Diabetes: Is There a Link?

Fibromyalgia and Diabetes: Is There a Link?

You ache all over. You’re not sleeping well. You seem to be forgetting things, and your overall mood matches the Grinch who stole Christmas. And you’ve been feeling this way for months. Is it the stress at work? Blood sugar ups and downs? Or something more chronic? While there are many reasons for your symptoms, don’t rule out a condition called fibromyalgia.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that is associated with pain in the muscles and bones, areas of tenderness, and fatigue. It’s a condition that affects anywhere from 5 to 10 million Americans, but it’s also tough to diagnose because the symptoms are subjective — meaning, there are no tests that can accurately diagnose this disorder.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
As mentioned above, symptoms include:
• Areas of pain or tenderness at certain places on the body (often called trigger points or tender points
• Fatigue
• Difficulty sleeping or sleeping for long stretches at a time without feeling rested
• Memory issues (“fibro fog”)
• Depression
• Headaches
• Sensitivity to light or sound
• Anxiety
• Trouble focusing or paying attention
• Pain in the abdomen
Fibromyalgia can go hand-in-hand with other chronic conditions, too, including:
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Interstitial cystitis
• Endometriosis
• TMJ (temporomandibular joint problems)
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Lupus
What causes fibromyalgia?
Experts aren’t exactly sure what causes fibromyalgia. In fact, until more recently, fibromyalgia was often brushed off by the medical community bec Continue reading

8 Best Smoothies For People With Diabetes

8 Best Smoothies For People With Diabetes

Are smoothies good for diabetes? That depends. If it’s the 32 ounce variety from a smoothie chain with a drive-through, probably not.
If you make it at home in your blender, is it then good for diabetes? That depends also. The ingredients that you put in it, specifically the amount of sugar and balance of protein and “good” fats, and the portion size matter.
For diabetes, you should be counting your carbohydrates.
You should know what a good size smoothie is for you. If you wonder what kinds of things you should put in it to make it healthier and delicious, you have come to the right place. We will help you to make nutritional sense of it all.
I enjoy collecting healthy recipes for my patients with diabetes, and for my family. I have compiled a list of the best and healthiest smoothie recipes that I can find on the internet. It is almost fall, and time for Halloween!
Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, and the first two smoothies on my list are made to gather the spices of fall into one.
If your friends are heading out for a Pumpkin Pie Latte, why not make your own healthier smoothie and invite them to try it? First, let’s see what Brenda’s been drinking.
What kind of smoothie did Brenda have?
Brenda came into clinic. She was proud of herself because she was drinking smoothies. She had heard they were healthy. Her A1C was still a 9. Her fasting blood sugar was 197 mg/dl.
“What kind of things do you put in your smoothie, Brenda,” I said.
“Well I put a banana in, and a half cup of blueberries since they’re in season,” she said. “I have to put a few spo Continue reading

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