Why High Blood Sugar Is Not The Main Problem In Diabetes

Why high blood sugar is not the main problem in diabetes

Why high blood sugar is not the main problem in diabetes

For as long as I have practiced medicine, the mantra of excellent diabetic care was tight blood glucose control. All the diabetes associations, the university professors, the endocrinologists, and diabetic educators agreed. The prime directive was “Get those blood sugars down into the normal range at all costs, soldier!” The only acceptable response was, “Sir! Yes, Sir!” Insubordination was not tolerated.
At first glance, lowering blood glucose as the primary therapeutic target seemed fairly logical. The underlying premise assumes that high blood glucose is the major cause of morbidity. But remember that high blood glucose is only the symptom. In type 1 diabetes, insulin levels are very low and in type 2 diabetes insulin levels are very high. The symptom is the same, but the diseases are essentially opposites. So how could the exact same treatment be beneficial in both cases?
It’s hard to imagine that the same solution exists for opposite problems. For example, we don’t use the same treatment for both underactive and overactive thyroids. We don’t use the same treatment for both over-eating and under-eating. We don’t use the same treatment for both fever and hypothermia. We don’t wash clothes by soaking in water and then dry clothes by soaking in water.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by lack of insulin, so logically, the cornerstone of management is the replacement of the missing insulin. Type 2 diabetes, however is caused by excessive insulin, so logically the cornerstone of management should be the reduction of the high insulin. Further, being predominantly a Continue reading

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Tips for Dealing with Anxiety and Diabetes

Tips for Dealing with Anxiety and Diabetes

While diabetes is typically a manageable disease, it can create added stress. People with diabetes may have concerns related to regularly counting carbohydrates, measuring insulin levels, and thinking about long-term health. However, for some people with diabetes, those concerns become more intense and result in anxiety.
Read on to find out more about the connection between diabetes and anxiety and what you can do to prevent and treat your symptoms.
Research has consistently uncovered a strong connection between diabetes and anxiety. One study found that Americans with diabetes are 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than those without diabetes. This was found to be particularly true in young adults and Hispanic Americans.
The link between anxiety and glucose levels
Stress can affect your blood sugars, though research tends to be mixed as to how. In some people, it appears to raise blood glucose levels, while in others it appears to lower them.
At least one study has shown there may also be an association between glycemic control and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, particularly for men.
However, another study found that general anxiety didn’t affect glycemic control, but diabetes-specific emotional stress did.
Other research has found that people with type 1 diabetes seem to be “more susceptible to physical harm from stress” while those with type 2 diabetes weren’t. One’s personality also seems to determine the effect to some extent as well.
People with diabetes may become anxious over a variety of things. These can include Continue reading

Can Diabetes Cause Muscle Cramps?

Can Diabetes Cause Muscle Cramps?

A recent study looked at links between muscle cramp frequency and severity and nerve fiber measures in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Persons with type 1 and 2 diabetes as well as healthy controls were given an evaluation and their large and small nerve fibers were assessed. Details about their muscle cramps were noted. There were 37 control subjects, 51 patients with type 1 diabetes and 69 with type 2 diabetes.
Muscle Cramps a Diabetes Complication?
The researchers state in their study paper that “Muscle cramps were the most frequent symptom captured by the Toronto Clinical Neuropathy Score (TCNS) in all groups, up to 78% in patients with [type 2 diabetes].” They also explained that in only those with type 1 diabetes, muscle cramp frequency and severity was tied to clinical, large, and small nerve fiber measures.
They concluded that muscle cramps are common diabetes and are associated with clinical and both small and large nerve fiber measures in type 1 diabetes, “suggesting that their origin and propagation might extend beyond the motor nerve,” wrote the study authors.
For the study, those with type 2 diabetes were older and had more muscle cramps, more severe cramps, and worse clinical and small and large nerve fiber measures when compared with those with type 1 diabetes. They also had worse nerve function, but this could have been due to the patients with type 1 diabetes being younger than those with type 2 in the study.
Researchers added that “These findings are in line with previous studies, describing muscle cramps in a large spectrum of polyneur Continue reading

How Does Diabetes Affect the Eye and the Vision?

How Does Diabetes Affect the Eye and the Vision?

Diabetes has always been known to cause quite a few complications if not managed in time. An unmanaged and uncontrolled diabetes tends to affect the eye, liver, kidney and more in the long run. As such, we will be looking into one such complication arising out of diabetes for our today’s entry as part of our informative series on diabetes. We’ll be having a keen look into the Diabetic Retinopathy and shall deal with its causes, symptoms and the treatment module for it.
Diabetic eye problems are closely related as unmanaged diabetes will give way to a host of eye disorders. Diabetic is known to cause different eye related issues often known by as the diabetic eye disease. An untreated instance of such diabetic eye disease can cause complication, in the long run, even pertaining to blindness on some cases.
The most common of the eye problem as a result of diabetes is the diabetic retinopathy which affects the retina of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy when untreated for long can cause diabetic macular edema further on.
Diabetes causes a rise in the blood glucose levels and in the blood pressure levels. Such elevated levels of blood glucose cause the nerves of the retina to get affected. As when the nerves of the retina are affected along, blood vessels may cause leaks with floating spots around. This, in turn, leads to affecting the vision of the eye.
Furthermore, such effect of the blood glucose levels causes the optic nerve, the nerve which transports the light to the brain of which it creates an image for us gets damaged. That in itself affects the vision of the eye and m Continue reading

What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the name given to disorders in which the body has trouble regulating its blood-glucose, or blood-sugar, levels.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. T1D seems to have a genetic component and can be diagnosed early in life but also in adulthood. Its causes are not fully known, and there is currently no cure. People with T1D are dependent on injected or pumped insulin to survive.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is often diagnosed later in life and can be due to genetic predisposition or behavior. T2D is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. It can be managed with diet and exercise or medication. More serious cases may require insulin therapy.
Though they share the name diabetes, the two diseases are quite different.
Signs of T1D
T1D is identified in children and adults as they show signs of the following symptoms:
Frequent urination
Increased thirst
Dry mouth
Itchy or dry skin
Increased appetite
Unexplained weight loss
Yeast infections
What happens in the body of a person with T1D?
People are typically diagnosed with T1D after showing symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, extreme thirst, exhaustion and/or malaise). As the body becomes incapable of creating insulin, which allows the body to use the sugar found in food, called glucose, as energy, people with T1D must work closely with their endocrinologists to determine the insulin doses and lifestyle changes needed to manage their blo Continue reading

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