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Too Much Sitting Linked To Heart Disease, Diabetes, Premature Death

Too much sitting linked to heart disease, diabetes, premature death

Too much sitting linked to heart disease, diabetes, premature death

Like many people, I have a job that involves sitting in front of a computer most of the day. Because I work from home, I don’t have to sit through a long commute, and my dog gets me up out of my chair for walks a couple times a day. Still, a new study about the health hazards of sitting too much (or what researchers call sedentary behavior) has made me more conscious of how much uninterrupted chair time I’m logging each day.
According to the report, published in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine, more than half of the average person’s waking hours are spent sitting: watching television, working at a computer, commuting, or doing other physically inactive pursuits. But all that sitting could be sending us to an early grave—even those folks who exercise up to an hour a day, say the Canadian researchers who did the study.
Their findings were gleaned from 47 studies that looked at the health effects of sedentary behavior. The researchers adjusted for other types of activity people did, from leisure-time activities to vigorous exercise. Over the course of these studies, people who sat for prolonged periods of time had a higher risk of dying from all causes — even those who exercised regularly. The negative effects were even more pronounced in people who did little or no exercise.
The health hazards of not moving much are wide ranging, says Dr. Joanne Foody, who directs the Cardiovascular Wellness Center at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “While we often think of the dangers of inactivity in terms of worsening cardiovascular health, there ar Continue reading

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Can Chronic Dehydration Lead to Type 2 Diabetes?

Can Chronic Dehydration Lead to Type 2 Diabetes?

We all know how rotten dehydration feels. But not only do we feel sluggish and cranky when we don’t get enough water — in this state, the body isn’t able to pump enough blood to the heart, brain, kidneys, and muscles, says Robert Rizza, MD, former chair of endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. As a result, your organs don’t run well, Dr. Rizza explains. There’s even some evidence chronic dehydration is associated with diseases like chronic kidney disease and heart disease.
For people with diabetes, dehydration can be especially dangerous. That’s because it causes blood pressure to fall and the body to secrete stress hormones, like norepinephrine and epinephrine, which may raise blood sugar, Rizza explains. When you have high blood sugar, you will often need to go to the bathroom more, contributing to further dehydration and leading to a vicious cycle.
A study published in October 2016 in the journal Diabetologia found that recurrent diabetic ketoacidosis — a serious and sometimes life-threatening complication that can be caused by severe dehydration — is associated with a higher risk of early death. For people admitted more than five times for diabetic ketoacidosis over a median follow-up period of about 2.4 years, the risk of death was about 1 in 5, compared with a risk of about 1 in 20 for patients admitted only once over a median follow-up period of about four years.
Can Dehydration Lead to Diabetes?
Although dehydration can lead to serious health issues, not much research has looked at whether chronic dehydration — and the associate Continue reading

17 Herbs and Spices That Fight Diabetes

17 Herbs and Spices That Fight Diabetes

You can make your meals even healthier (and tastier, too!) while strengthening your fight against the diabetes-inducing inflammation in your body. How? We will look to nature and whole plant foods.
All of the herbs and spices listed here have anti-diabetic and/or anti-inflammatory properties and can be sprinkled on any meal to help reduce the chronic inflammation in your body. So when you're cooking your next meal, toss in some of the herbs and spices listed below. And don't be afraid to experiment in order to get it just right: By trying new combinations, you'll learn which herbs and spices offer the best flavors for your dishes and how much you prefer to use.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is that aromatic kitchen herb that reminds us of summer, Italy, and good eating times. It is fragrant in salads, soups, and pesto. In a study of herbal infusions of kitchen herbs, turmeric, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, and basil were the five front-runners in flavonoid content. And basil, specifically, lowers blood sugar.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillum) is the European form of blueberries. Bilberries are superior to blueberries because they are blue throughout, whereas our form is blue only on the outside. And the blue color carries anthocyanins—the wholesome antioxidants that fight diabetes, strengthen your heart, and lower inflammation and blood fats.
A study conducted at the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition found that regular consumption of fresh bilberries (400 grams daily) reduced inflammation markers and improved glucose tolerance in people with features of metabolic s Continue reading

A Major Shift in Diabetes Treatment Targets and Goals

A Major Shift in Diabetes Treatment Targets and Goals

Out with the old, in with the old and new?
In the not too distant past, patients with diabetes were managed by targeting a specific range of blood glucose values. Like anything else in the medical community, these ranges fluctuated as expert consensus and opinions changed over the years as new findings became available. As proof of this, one needs look no further than the history of the American Diabetes Association’s “Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes,” which is released annually. As an example, in 2014, the ADA changed the range of targeted fasting blood glucose from 70-130 mg/dl to 80-130 mg/dl. While this change does not appear to be overwhelming, it was decided that tight control to 70 mg/dl increased the incidence of hypoglycemia, which is recognized as a dangerous sequela of diabetes treatment. Another example is the discovery by Dr. Samuel Rahbar in 1968 that hemoglobin A1C is elevated in patients with diabetes. It took several years for this idea to take hold, but following the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial in 1993, and the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study in 1998, with established HbA1C as a useful clinical marker in type 1 and type 2 diabetes respectively, the ADA agreed in 2010 that HbA1C be used in the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes. Since then, it has been widely regarded that HbA1C should be maintained below 7 to achieve “good control,” and, more importantly, to minimize the risk of adverse cardiovascular events and improve overall survival.
In the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, discus Continue reading

Diabetes can be prevented and reversed with carbohydrate restricted diet, says UAB expert

Diabetes can be prevented and reversed with carbohydrate restricted diet, says UAB expert

According to a new comprehensive financial analysis reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Washington Post diabetes leads a list of just 20 diseases and conditions that account for more than half of all spending on healthcare in the United States.
U.S. spending on diabetes diagnosis and treatment totaled $101 billion in 2013, and has grown 36 times faster than spending on heart disease, the country's No. 1 cause of death, researchers reported.
University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor of Nutrition Barbara Gower, Ph.D., conducts research on diet composition and disease risk and says that diabetes can both be prevented and reversed with a carbohydrate restricted diet.
Type 2 diabetes can be managed with diet alone in many cases. However, this message is not getting to the patients; they are told to take drugs. A clinic at UAB treats diabetics with a diet that dramatically reduces carbohydrates. In most cases, patients can eliminate all medication.
"They are thrilled to stop injecting insulin, and they question why "no one ever told them" they could control their diabetes diet alone," Gower said. "The conventional advise to diabetics is to eat carbs, and then inject insulin - or take other drugs.
Why do this?
"The medication is needed because diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate intolerance; if the patient does not eat carbs, they do not have to use medication," she said.
"I use the 'cigarette' analogy. We know it is bad to smoke, so we tell patents not to smoke. Why don't we do the same thing with sugar and processed starches? The excuse I he Continue reading

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