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What It’s Like To Watch People Die From Your Disease

What It’s Like to Watch People Die From Your Disease

What It’s Like to Watch People Die From Your Disease

My immune system attacked my body when I was 10, resulting in a loss of ability to make a crucial hormone called insulin, which turns the food you eat into fuel for your body. Without insulin, the sugar from your food compounds in your blood stream, quickly poisoning you from within.
Before 1921, this event was a death sentence. The only “treatment” was harsh diets that sometimes led to starvation. Even over the last few decades, being diagnosed with this autoimmune disease meant shorter lifespans and drastic changes in what life could look like. Outcomes weren’t great. Complications were inevitable.
Technological advancements have made it so that I, by being born at the right time and into privileged circumstances, can not only live, but can live the life healthy me would’ve lived too.
But the reality is, people still die from complications of type 1 diabetes all the time. And whenever I hear stories of it, I break down.
When people die from this disease, it’s rarely from their own negligence. It’s mostly from simple things – not realizing that what felt like the flu was actually diabetic ketoacidosis. Not waking up from a low blood sugar and dying in your sleep. Not realizing how much medicine or food you would need when you’re out and about. Or, also common, from not having the money or resources to afford what you need to survive.
I, like the rest of the world, am obsessed with “Hamilton.” There’s a lyric repeated throughout the show, “…if there’s a reason I’m still alive when so many have died…”
I’m aware that a large part of my lega Continue reading

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7 Easy Lunches for Type 2 Diabetes

7 Easy Lunches for Type 2 Diabetes

If breakfast is the most neglected meal of the day, lunch can often be the most hurried. A recent survey found that 62 percent of Americans rush through lunch at their desks, and even when we manage to leave the office, fast-food restaurants and food courts often prevail over more healthy options. But they don't have to be your only option — and, in fact, they shouldn't be your first choice if you have type 2 diabetes.
In general, try to pack your own lunch whenever possible — the health benefits, not to mention the cost-savings, can be enormous. Short on prep time? Put these quick and nutritious lunch ideas on your menu to fill you up and keep your blood sugar in check.
1. Salads
Salad should be in regular rotation for lunch. You can create a different salad every day of the week by varying your toppings. Try grilled chicken, shrimp, or fish, but avoid heaping on a lot of fattening ingredients, such as bacon bits and heavy cheeses.
Salads with lots of raw vegetables are best, including carrots, cucumbers, radishes, celery, and spinach. Sprinkle nuts or seeds on top, add a few dried cranberries, and garnish with some avocado chunks to give it zip. Choose a salad dressing made with vinegar and olive oil to avoid added sugars found in fat-free and low-fat versions, and limit the serving to one tablespoon for a side salad and two tablespoons for an entrée-sized salad.
2. Sandwiches
As with salads, there are many ways to spice up a sandwich. Start with whole-grain bread or a whole-wheat tortilla. Pick a lean meat, such as turkey, ham, or grilled chicken; layer on your choi Continue reading

How Yoga Can Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes

How Yoga Can Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, it’s likely not news that exercise should be part of your life. But that doesn’t mean you have to limit your physical activity to biking, jogging, or calisthenics. Give yoga a try, for instance. This ancient practice has been found to help lower blood pressure, improve blood glucose (sugar) levels, and more.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t use the hormone insulin properly. When insulin is not doing its job, blood sugar levels build and can cause health problems, according to the American Diabetes Association. Lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, are an important part of diabetes management.
“Yoga should be part of an exercise plan that includes aerobic exercise as well as strength training," says Lisa B. Nelson, MD, director of medical education for Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, co-author of Yoga & Diabetes: Your Guide to Safe and Effective Practice, and a family medicine doctor in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. “Yoga is particularly good for stress reduction. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can raise blood sugar levels.”
“I recommend yoga primarily for stress management,” agrees Janet Zappe, RN, CDE, the clinical program manager of outpatient diabetes education at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. “Stress elevates blood sugar, which can lead to more diabetes complications. Yoga helps us center ourselves, and centering calms us and can help keep blood sugar levels balanced.”
Yoga’s Effect on Your Mind and Body
In addition to stress Continue reading

Yoga For Diabetes: Yoga Asanas to Prevent or Control Diabetes

Yoga For Diabetes: Yoga Asanas to Prevent or Control Diabetes

Blood circulation is one of the most vital functions of the body. It is responsible for making all the organs work efficiently, thereby keeping a check on various diseases, including diabetes. Diabetes is a condition based on the response of blood cells to the insulin produced by the body. It is referred to as a lifestyle disease because in most cases, it occurs due to a sedentary lifestyle and improper diet.
Various studies have revealed that yoga has the ability to control and prevent diabetes; the twisting and stretching in many of the yoga postures tend to massage the pancreas and stimulate the production of insulin.
According to Ajitsingh Tapasvi founder of Yogisthaan (Bangalore) , “Yoga helps in reformatting the system. It slowly affects the physical body with regular practice and dedication. Also, the flowering plant Vinca Rosea, also known as Sadabahar, has great medicinal benefits and is considered as one of the best treatments for diabetes. Take three to four leaves of Sadabahar and prepare a decoction along with honey.”
Here are five yoga postures that you can follow to keep a check on diabetes -
1. Padottanasana (Wide-Angle Standing Forward Bend)
This pose helps in stretching your back and the thighs while your legs are challenged to be strong. Padottanasana is known to calm the mind. It also relieves mild backache by stretching your spine, shoulder and chest. It's therefore no surprise that this asana is often used as a balm for frayed or anxious nerves.
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Instructions:
1.Stand straight, place your legs 3 Continue reading

3 Reasons It’s Harder For People With Type 2 Diabetes To Lose Weight

3 Reasons It’s Harder For People With Type 2 Diabetes To Lose Weight

Approximately 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.1 While obesity often contributes to the development of diabetes, the bigger driver of weight gain is the high insulin levels that are found well before the diagnosis of diabetes.
There are some good reasons why the standard advice of “eat less, exercise more” doesn’t deliver results for people living with type 2 diabetes.
Reason #1: With type 2 diabetes, insulin is high, and insulin is a fat-storage hormone2
Everyone has glucose, a type of sugar, in their blood at all times. Glucose is a source of energy that largely comes from eating carbohydrates. Simply put, when you eat carbohydrates, your blood sugar rises.
Insulin is produced by your pancreas, and insulin has many functions in the body. One of insulin’s functions is to help get glucose out of the blood and into cells where it can be used. In order to do this, insulin rises along with glucose. So when you eat carbohydrates and glucose rises, the insulin is rising as well. Once in the cells, glucose is mostly used for energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, this process doesn’t work well anymore: your body has become resistant to the signal of insulin, so the insulin isn’t as effective at moving the glucose out of your blood. That’s how you end up with high blood sugar levels after eating carbohydrates. Having chronically elevated blood sugar levels is dangerous, so your body needs to do something about it.
Your body responds by making more and more insulin to try to get the job done. Recall now that insulin has many functions, not just Continue reading

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