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Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Reversed

Type 2 Diabetes can be Reversed

Type 2 Diabetes can be Reversed

A new vocabulary for type 2 diabetes care
To many in the public and the medical communities, the concept of reversing the progression of type 2 diabetes is new. Type 2 diabetes has long been considered a chronic disease with an inevitable progression toward worsening health, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, hearing and vision loss, nerve damage, and even foot or leg amputation. Words like “cure” and “remission” and “reversal” have not been a part of the diabetes vocabulary. Instead, the paradigm has been “diabetes management” where the typical approach is to combine blood-glucose lowering medications with lifestyle changes to keep blood glucose under reasonable control, and in doing so, slowing diabetes progression and reducing the likelihood and severity of life-altering complications. So let’s look at the concept of reversing type 2 diabetes and its many differences from the traditional approach of managing it.
A disease of carbohydrate intolerance
To understand what it means to reverse diabetes, it’s helpful to start with where blood sugar comes from, how our bodies manage blood sugar levels under healthy conditions, and how that management is disrupted in type 2 diabetes.
Carbohydrates are found in large amounts in starchy and sweet foods, including bread, cereal, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, fruit juices, cookies, cake, desserts, and sugary drinks, and they are what cause blood sugar to rise. This is true even in people without type 2 diabetes. Our bodies need to keep blood glucose narrowly controlled – not too high and not too lo Continue reading

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Getting Financial Help for Diabetes

Getting Financial Help for Diabetes

By the dLife Editors
No matter whom you ask—patients, caregivers, medical professionals, insurers, even employers—diabetes is expensive. In 2013, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) released the results of their five-year cost analysis, which showed that people with diabetes spend an average of $13,700 per year on healthcare-related expenses. The Health Care Cost Institute examined the spending of people under the age of sixty-five who were covered by employer-sponsored insurance from 2009 to 2013. They found that expenses were even higher, at approximately $15,000 per person. And when you look at the impact on the workforce, lost productivity and wages send these costs into the billions.
It’s estimated that people with diabetes have healthcare costs totaling almost three times that of people without diagnosed diabetes. It’s no wonder that many need financial help. If you are one of them, there are a number of financial resources to tap into. Here are some quick ideas to get you started.
Look for an insurance plan that covers as many diabetes-related expenses as possible.
Check out the governmental and nongovernmental programs—both federal and local—to see where you qualify. Visit this government site to see what benefits you qualify for: https://www.benefits.gov/
Contact your primary care provider as well as the makers of any medications you use to find out if assistance programs are available.
Dial 2-1-1, a free and confidential services that helps people find the local resources they need.
Contact a medical social worker—typically found in a hospital— Continue reading

8 Valuable Life-Saving Lessons I Learned from My Dad’s Type 1 Diabetes

8 Valuable Life-Saving Lessons I Learned from My Dad’s Type 1 Diabetes

Courtesy Amari D. PollardAlways have a source of sugar on hand
When you think about the best foods for a diabetic diet, sugar is not what comes to mind. And yet, every person in my family carries treats on their person at all times. We have Snickers in our glove compartments, caramel candies in our purses, and the occasional bottle of orange juice in hand—anything that contains fast-acting carbohydrates. These quick-sugar foods put glucose into the bloodstream in as little as five minutes and are a tremendous help during low-blood sugar emergencies, one of the symptoms of diabetes. Whether you’re diabetic or not, you should always have food nearby because you never know when you’re going to feel faint or your blood sugar is going to dip. These are the best snacks for people with diabetes.
Your eyes can be windows to your health
Did you know your eyes can show symptoms of more than 30 conditions, and optometrists are usually the first to spot signs of potential diseases? (These are the shocking diseases eye doctors catch first.) My dad makes sure to get a comprehensive eye exam once a year because retinopathy is common in diabetics and can lead to blindness. But he also pays close enough attention to his eyes so he can tell when something’s abnormal between doctor visits. He knows the signs—a thin white or grey ring around the edge of the cornea can indicate high cholesterol, bulging eyes show overactive thyroid, cloudy eyes can signal cataracts. These are the silent signs of cataracts you should know.
Listen to your body
Our bodies communicate with us on a daily b Continue reading

Is Metformin an Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes?

Is Metformin an Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes?

If your doctor has prescribed Metformin for diabetes or another use, what exactly is this medication and how does it work? What is the best way to take it to reduce side effects? What adverse effects might you experience and why is it important to be aware of these?
Overview
According to the American Diabetes Association Standards of Care, Metformin, if tolerated, is the preferred initial oral diabetes medication for Type 2 diabetes because it is the most effective.
. The problem is that they are either not making enough insulin or the insulin they do make isn't being used efficiently. Metformin is a weight neutral medication that helps the body use insulin. Weight neutral means that it is not associated with weight gain (or loss) as are many other diabetes medications.
Like all medicines, however, Metformin can produce some side effects, some of which it is important to know.
How It Works
, which are derived from the French lilac. Metformin helps to lower blood sugar by utilizing insulin and reducing insulin resistance (making your body more sensitive to insulin.)
Many people with Type 2 diabetes carry excess weight—fat cells prevent insulin from doing its job, ultimately causing the cells to become resistant to insulin. When cells become resistant to insulin, insulin is unable to direct sugar from the bloodstream to the cells to use for energy, and instead, the sugar remains in the blood.
As a result, the liver responds by making more sugar because it thinks the body needs it for fuel and the pancreas responds by making more insulin. You wind up with chaos—high blood Continue reading

When Diabetes Leads to an Eating Disorder

When Diabetes Leads to an Eating Disorder

At age 15, Sara Pastor discovered that she could use her diabetes to control her weight. All she had to do was stop taking her insulin.
“The first day it ever happened, it was Halloween. I ate some candy and forgot to take insulin,” recalled Pastor, now 22 and a student at the University of California, Berkeley. “I got on the scale the next morning and had lost weight.”
She put two and two together. Since childhood, she had managed her diabetes by meticulously dosing herself with insulin and almost always avoiding sweets—and now, it seemed that if she broke those rules, the pounds would come off.
“A couple of months later I went to 7-Eleven to get a candy bar and doughnut and said I won’t take my insulin just this one time. I will get this out of my system,” she says. But one time led to a few more sugar binges, and then more frequent ones. Within a few months, Pastor was struggling with “diabulimia,” the lay term for the dual diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder.
Some studies report that people with Type 1 diabetes, an incurable condition in which the body produces little or no insulin, are twice as likely as non-diabetics to develop an eating disorder, often by underdosing their insulin. This insulin restriction, in turn, leads to further health problems—one study shows they are three times more likely to die of diabetes-related complications than those who follow their medication regimen.
Treating diabetes patients with eating disorders comes with unique, complex challenges, says Marcia Meier, a diabetes nurse educator at the Melrose Continue reading

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