Friday, 26 February 2010

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Got Diabetes

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Got Diabetes

1) You can adjust your insulin to your diet rather than adjusting your diet to your insulin.

Most diabetics follow a fairly structured diet and insulin regimen when it comes to managing their diabetes. This offers them the best opportunity to consistently keep their blood glucose levels within an acceptable range.

I, as I do with many things in life, decided to head down a different path. I manage my diabetes with a sliding scale of insulin that I adjust to the number of carbohydrates consumed on a per meal basis. Yes this does mean that I take a shot of insulin every time I eat but it also means I can eat a full plate of pasta one night and 16 ounce steak the next. Or I can eat lunch at noon on Monday and three on Tuesday.

The flexibility this offers far outweighs the slight pain of taking one or two extra shots of insulin per day. In my case it also leads to better overall control of my blood sugar.

2) You can order 3 months worth of prescriptions at a time which saves a ton of money.

After leaving the hospital and or being diagnosed with diabetes you head home with a pocket full of prescriptions and an assumption that your local pharmacy is your best option as it was for pain relievers after your last root canal. This is not the case with many if not all of your diabetes prescriptions.

Personally I take two types of insulin, Humalog as a short acting insulin and Lantus as a long acting insulin. At Walgreens using my current insurance provider it cost $12 per prescription for approximately one month worth of Humalog and 3 months worth of Lantus.

About a year later I realized that same insurance company, and every insurance company I have had since, offered a mail order prescription service where you could get a much larger prescription supply for the same cost or less than what you paid at your local pharmacy. Additional benefits to this method include prescriptions being mailed directly to your home or work, Doctors being able to write a years worth of prescriptions at one time, and the ability to order refills online.

In my case I received a three month supply of Humalog and six month supply of Lantus at $8 dollars per prescription. Not a huge savings but every little bit helps, especially in this economy.

3) There are a ton of options when it comes to choosing a glucose monitor, test strips, and needles.

Along with the pocket full of prescriptions you will likely also have a fairly lengthy supply list to purchase as well. If you are anything like me you will head out and purchase whatever brands and products you were exposed to at the hospital. This usually occurs for one of two reasons. One you are under the impression that whatever the hospital was using has to be the best option for you, or two, you are as unaware as I was to the large number of choices out there for diabetes management products.

The following are just a few of the products I would investigate and try out multiple options on before settling on a long term product. There are huge savings to be found depending on brand and where you purchase your supplies.

Blood Glucose Monitor and Test strips - Test strips can vary from $1 per test strip to $.30 per test strip depending on brand and quantity ordered.

Lancets - Lancets are offered in many different lengths and gauges. You can go a long way in limiting your discomfort by choosing the correct lancet.

Syringes and/or pen needles - Similar to lancets needles are offered in a wide variety of lengths and thicknesses. I personally go with the thinnest and shortest needle available. 3/16th of an inch in length and 31 gauge for thickness.

Alcohol swabs - Pretty cheap anywhere you shop but you might as well get the best deal available.

4) Choose your Dr. and any other members of your health care team wisely.

Choosing your health care team is one of the most important decisions you will make after being diagnosed with diabetes. You want a team consisting of not just competent professionals but also of people you feel 100% comfortable with. There are many sensitive issues you will discuss all of which require total honesty between you and your doctor.

Did you cheat on your diet? Do you smoke? How often do you consume alcohol? How often do you exercise? To receive the best health care possible you need to be upfront and honest about these and many other questions. If you pick the right team you will be able to provide them with the information to create a diabetes management program that gives you the best chance to life a long complication free life.

5) If managed properly being diabetic can actually improve your health.

This is one of those, get out what you put in, situations but I honestly believe being diabetic for the past 13 years has actually improved my overall health. Because of diabetes I exercise more, eat better, and drink less. I do know a few diabetics out there who neglect their diabetes but for me I decided to head down a different path.

It has been my experience with most diabetics that we are significantly more knowledgeable about nutrition and our bodies than your average individual. Some of this is by choice and some of it is out of self preservation.

In order to adequately care for your diabetes, you will need to learn the nutritional information of foods you eat, limit your intake of sugar and carbohydrates, maintain a regular exercise schedule, and have regular blood tests and eye exams. All of which will hopefully lead you down a long diabetes complication free life.

6) Diabetes as a pre-existing condition pretty much eliminates any chance of being accepted into a private insurance plan.

Hopefully this is something that changes with one of the many health care reform bills being discussed in Washington but since there is no guarantee change will happen I will discuss this topic anyway.

If you are diabetic and have insurance through your employer, the insurance company is required to admit you to their coverage under what is usually called "Guarantee Issue Insurance". What this means is if a health insurance plan is described as "guaranteed issue," it means that applicants cannot be turned down for coverage based on their health status. Most job-based group health plans offer coverage on a guaranteed issue basis.

That being said, if you decide to leave your employer's insurance coverage and seek an individual health insurance plan you are in for an uphill battle. I was considering leaving my current job a few years back and looked into private insurance. At the time I was 24 with no diabetes complications or other health risks, and a non-smoker. I applied to 10 different individual health insurance plans and was rejected by every single one on the basis of my pre-existing condition.

At this point, at least where I live in Illinois, any diabetic attempting to secure a individual health insurance police with in all likelihood be denied. As I mentioned this will potentially be changed with the upcoming health care legislation that the Obama Administration is trying to have passed this year.

Most, if not all, of the legislation being proposed included provisions that all applicants must be granted insurance regardless of any pre-existing condition they may have.

Here's hoping....

7) Not all carbohydrates are digested the same way.

This is one topic I would cover more with your doctor or dietitian as they will be able to guide you much better than I. What I can say is different types of carbohydrates are absorbed into the body in different ways and over different periods of time. With that certain foods will have a bigger impact on your blood sugar even though the total carbohydrate count may be the same.

8) Diabetes increases your risks for.......

This topic is not meant to scare you but rather should be considered a word of caution that diabetes should be taken seriously. Even a person with well maintained diabetes is at greater risk for health complications as you can see from the facts below.

• Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74.
• People with diabetes are 40 percent more likely to develop glaucoma.
• People with diabetes are 60 percent more likely to develop cataracts.
• Adults w/ diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults w/o diabetes.
• Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for approximately 44 percent of new cases.
• More than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.
• Periodontal, or gum, disease is more common in people with diabetes. Among young adults, those with diabetes have about twice the risk of those without diabetes.

9) Candy or fruit snacks work just as well as glucose pills.

This one is pretty much self-explanatory but if you are in a pinch and suffering from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) eating or drinking anything with sugar or carbohydrates will usually correct the problem. The trick it to only have a few skittles, life savers, or fruit snacks to raise your blood sugar to the appropriate level and not eat too much and end up with hyperglycemia.

I usually have a small bag of skittles or fruit snacks stashed away wherever I am. Good places to keep them include your desk at work, purse, gym bag, car, and your backpack or briefcase.

10) There are no carbohydrates in certain types of Alcoholic beverages.

When I first started drinking I was under the impression there was no way I could both enjoy myself as every college student should, and maintain my diabetes at the same time. After discussions with my doctor I was informed I could do both fairly easily by making smart choices when I did decide to drink. Keeping in mind that my Dr. stressed on many occasions that alcohol and diabetes should be combined only in moderation we came up with a list of drinks that were to some degree diabetes friendly. For more information please consult your Dr. or diabetes educator.

If you found the above article useful, take a look at others at

Preventing Diabetes While You Still Can

Preventing Diabetes While You Still Can

Even with the wide range and community based awareness against diabetes, this disease is still on the rise. More people are contracting this disease every day and still a lot may not have known that they are on the verge of having one, or maybe even has it already, not until they would hear a surprising diagnosis from their doctor. Preventing diabetes starts with being aware of it's existence as well as it's symptoms so that you can take the appropriate actions.

About 10% of the current population has diabetes. And a disease that was believed to be most prevalent with older people have already made it's mark among the younger ones. For the most part, it was also believed that a person can only contract diabetes through heredity, but now, everybody can fall prey to this condition.

The causes of diabetes are brought about by an unhealthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that constitute of not only over consumption of food and alcoholic beverages, but also the lack of physical activities and exercises. That is to say, defines the average and everyday consumer - that means you.

Now that you are already aware of the possibility that you can be a candidate for contracting this condition, it is necessary to take the appropriate steps now when you still have the chance. The first thing that you should do is to lessen the intake of foods that encourage the proliferation of this disease.

Simple sugars found in chocolates, refined sugar, candy bars, fruit drinks and sodas have heavy influences on diabetes, best that you minimize partaking these. Instead drink fruit juices or eat sweet fruits if you feel the need for sugar supplements.

Lessen foods that have high-glycemic index, such as polished rice and pasta. Replace this with those that have low-glycemic index and good carbohydrates such as whole grain products, lentils, peas, fruits and vegetables. Lessen your intake of beers as this can raise your sugar blood level and cause hyperglycemia.

Active muscles use a lot glucose than muscles that are resting. With this said a good exercise should help you control your blood sugar level so as not to get you closer to contracting diabetes. There are a lot of exercises that you can, but the easiest should be walking and jogging. If you have time to spare and you want to have fun out of your physical activity, go dancing or swimming.

Preventing diabetes should not be as hard as you might think. By being aware of it's existence and the foods, and activities that fuel it, you will know how to take care of it, through proper diet and exercise.

Dorthy T. Weatherbush is an advocate of diabetics. She has relatives that have diabetes and recommends to them to follow a good Diabetic Diet. The benefits of a good Diabetic Diet cannot be spoken of too much.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels and Why Should We Care What They Are?

What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels and Why Should We Care What They Are?

Because, as this article will explain, if they are not normal we may be dealing with a killer...

But first, the blood sugar levels mentioned in the above title refer to the amount of glucose being carried in your bloodstream that is there, quite normally, usually as a result of recently eaten food. And why should we care about it if it is perfectly normal for it to be there? Actually, it is probably more important to know if they are NOT at normal levels, because that might mean, in some cases anyway, that you have a potential health risk in the form of a diabetic or pre-diabetic condition, and that is not to be taken lightly. The problem is that you are unlikely to know what your blood sugar levels are unless your doctor sends you for a blood test, but more of that later.

Just to explain, in simple terms, glucose is the primary source of energy needed by the trillions of cells of the body for them to function properly and perform their ceaseless biochemical metabolic functions that keep our organs and tissues and our bodies as a whole, operating properly. The glucose is carried to the cells, together with other nutrients, by way of the blood stream that constantly circulates throughout the body.

Nutrients are obtained from the foods we eat each day and when those foods are processed by the digestive system, mechanically and chemically, the resultant quantities of glucose and other nutrients from the digested food, pass through the intestine walls into the bloodstream. In a properly functioning human body it is an efficient process, the fast flowing river of blood coursing through the network of blood vessels circulates and delivers to the cells a continuous supply of nutrients and oxygen needed to keep the body alive. At the same time unwanted waste material is collected from the cells and delivered to where they can be subsequently excreted, thus keeping the body in a healthy state.

The foods we eat are composed of various forms of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, together with water. The glucose that eventually arrives in the bloodstream is obtained mainly from the carbohydrate portions of that food. Many of the carbohydrates are wonderful nutritious foods, but many of them provide a large amount of sugar and that, added to the extra fats and oils that are commonly part of our popular north American food intake, leads to the consumption of more calories than are really needed to support the energy we expend in our daily lives with the end result being that we gain weight.

And being overweight while continuing to follow a diet high in the wrong types of carbohydrate and too much saturated fat, fats from animal sources, and probably taking little or no exercise, can lead to obesity which in turn may well lead to type-2 diabetes. Type-2 diabetes is the disease in which the levels of glucose in the bloodstream are elevated to an unsafe level. And have no illusions about that, unless properly managed and controlled the consequences are serious, leading to health risks that shorten life and, to be blunt, diabetes is a killer.

Diabetes is a serious condition of high blood sugar levels and an impaired ability of the body to reduce them to a safe level.

In the United States, in addition to the known cases of diabetes, it is estimated that there are 6 million people who have the disease but are undiagnosed, they just don't know they have it.

And there are a staggering 57 million people classified as pre-diabetic, on the road to full diabetes.

Without a blood test you would not know, so what to do?

There are some symptoms that may indicate a diabetic problem and if you experience them you should see a doctor without delay. Not everyone will necessarily have such symptoms and it is enough to go for assessment if you are substantially overweight. But here are some of the symptoms typical of diabetes, aptly referred to in a Mayo Clinic release as the "Classic red flags of type-2 diabetes." They include: Increased thirst, Frequent urination, Fatigue, Blurred vision. Tingling in the hands or feet, and there are others.

So what are normal blood sugar levels?

Not so much to the point now, after explaining the dangers of elevated blood sugars, but just for the record, without giving here a full explanation of what the units of measurement mean (that would have to be made elsewhere), I will just say that they do fluctuate throughout the day, depending on a number of factors but here are the guidelines:

Fasting blood sugar levels measured after about 8 hours without food or drink other than water should be less than 108 mg/dL (6.0 mmol/L).

According to the American Diabetes Association, for a random test taken during the day they should be less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L). That sound high to me, but I found that in an ADA reference on normal blood sugars.

My own healthcare providers inform me that except for a two hour period after a meal, the blood sugar levels should be less than 108 mg/dL (6.0 mmol/L) and they should always be above 65mg/dl (3.6 mmol/L).

And for a test that indicates the levels over a 12 week period, called the A1c, or Glycosylated hemoglobin test, the normal level is less than 6%. What that means is that less than 6% of the hemoglobin fraction in your blood has glucose attached to it. The hemoglobin content of blood, including water, is about 35% and it is hemoglobin that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body for use by the body's cells.

Author's Comment

I have been a diabetic for more than 20 years and write from the perspective of a patient with an understanding of what my fellow diabetics face.

For additional information on a wide range of diabetes topics visit my diabetes information blog and here for more discussions about diabetes.

A Guide to Diabetes Onset

A Guide to Diabetes Onset

The onset of adult diabetes like Mellitus Type II has been derived from a Greek word which literally means passing through honey. Ancient doctors first observed high levels of sugar in the urine, hence this name was given. This disease is related to high intake of simple carbohydrates in the diet, and is characterized by high levels of blood sugar spilling over into the urine.

Adult onset diabetes is the most common type of diabetes found in the diabetic cases, and person's diet is the most common cause. Most of the people do not even notice the symptoms till quite late in their lives. The onset diabetes starts when the body creates insulin rejection, causing weight gain.

Controlling Adult Onset Diabetes

Adult onset diabetes is related to diet and exercise, and it is important to control the diet in order to prevent the disease from developing. However, as the disease is developed and diagnosed at the later stage of life, the bad fitness regime and eating habits at that stage become quite hard to change.

In order to stabilize the body's insulin malfunction, it is important to plan the meals, and you can take doctor's help to work out a good strategy to control the blood pressure, level of cholesterol and insulin in the body.

Juvenile onset diabetes can affect people of any age group, however, it is more common in the people under 30 years of age. Type 2 diabetes is most common, and is also known as adult onset diabetes. It is non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and it mainly runs in the families. People having sedentary lifestyle, excessive weight and with the family history of Type II diabetes are at the higher risk of developing this disease.

One of the reasons that the early signs of diabetes are ignored and people fail to educate themselves regarding the symptoms of diabetes is the concern regarding developing this dreaded disease.

The symptoms for onset diabetes are excessive thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, weakness, unexpected weight loss, and numbness or tingling in legs, feet or hands. If these symptoms seem to be coming on all at once, seek professional treatment. Diabetes is a killer disease which slowly destroys all the organs and can kill you quickly if not controlled right away.

There is no specific onset diabetes. Some people experience the very fast onset, while others go through a gradual change. There is strong connection between being seriously overweight and this disease. Early onset diabetes is more severe as compared to the one developed in later years.

In most cases of onset diabetes, the pancreas produces more insulin than required by the body, especially during the early stages of illness. Dietary cholesterol and fat infiltrate the blood and do not let insulin make glucose available to the cells. In later stages, the pancreas becomes weak, and level of insulin produced reduces. As the glucose does not get consumed in the cells, the sugar level in the blood becomes abnormally high resulting in constant hunger, thirst and excessive urination. The cells do not get the required fuel to function, and the person feels excessive fatigue. If the disease is left unchecked, it can lead to untimely death of the cells and also the body.

In young people and even older adults, a healthy lifestyle that includes good dietary habits, sufficient physical activity, minimal alcohol use and smoking cessation can lower the incidence of diabetes mellitus.

In case of juvenile onset diabetes, one of the most important things is to watch the blood sugar levels daily. This gives the idea regarding time of the day when the sugar level becomes high or low. Many people with juvenile onset diabetes develop the eye disorder called diabetic retinopathy which weakens the capillaries supplying blood to the retina. Effect on kidneys, nervous system and circulatory or cardiovascular systems are other long term effects of onset diabetes.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.

David Cowley has created numerous articles on diabetes. He has also created a Web Site dedicated to diabetes and how to treat them. Visit

All You Need to Know About Diabetes Causes

All You Need to Know About Diabetes Causes

Diabetes is regarded as a killer disease if not treated. Symptoms of diabetes are showing signs after the person have suffered health issues. It is a condition of excessive glucose that is produced by the body. The pancreas could not able to generate enough insulin that controls the sugar level of the body.

When the insulin levels decrease, sugar levels of the body also increases. This situation can cause several damages to the body and eventually may lead to fatality. Glucose has the important part in the performance for the proper functions of the human body by producing the energy needed for routine activities.

Possible causes of diabetes

Type 1 diabetes - cells that are producing insulin in the pancreas were destroyed that causes insulin deficiency. This happens because the body is aggressive in destroying its own cells within the pancreas known to be the autoimmune reaction.

Autoimmune process falls out during the circulation of the antibodies that can cause beta-cells death. When it is initiated that antibodies causes beta-cells damage, the body's reaction to Type 1 diabetes can be lesser in severity with the treatment. Trough this, the outcome is then a lack of the available insulin. While the beginning is said to be unexpected, alterations resulting for the reduced insulin availability will occur over to a longer episode of time.

There are several factors that cause type 1 diabetes and that include infections or diseases, removal of the pancreas by surgery or alcohol consumptions. This type of diabetes occurs with the children because of the genetic reasons, along with the juveniles because of stress or hereditary reasoning. Persons that are suffering from type 1 diabetes were obliged in taking insulin every day for them to survive.

Type 2 diabetes - with this condition, the pancreas produces insulin. However, the cells that are receiving insulin fail to stimulate it and that it is known to be the insulin resistance. In response with this reaction, more insulin had been produced, and the over production weakens the insulin-manufacturing cells of the pancreas.

Diabetes with type 2 commonly affects the adults. The possible causes of this diabetes type include aging, physically inactive and obesity. This condition of diabetes does not depend on the insulin treatment. However, it requires a proper diet, exercises and oral medication, to be able to keep you under the long term control.

Gestational diabetes - is a type of diabetes that usually happens for the period of pregnancy and stops after the child birth. Pregnant mother who has gestational diabetes have lots of insulin into their body, but certain hormones that are produced for the duration of pregnancy blocks the utilization of insulin, in that way, it creates an imbalanced sugar levels.

Juvenile Diabetes - it is a diabetes condition from which the pancreas generates too little or zero insulin in the child. The causes of these juveniles were generally hereditary.

Heredity- it is one of the major causes of diabetes. When both parents are suffering from Type 2 diabetes, it is possible that almost every child they have will inherit diabetes. When both of the parents have Type 1 diabetes, less than 20% of the children they have will develop the Type 1 diabetes.

Know the possible causes of diabetes. Click here for more Info

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Basics of Diabetes Control

The Basics of Diabetes Control

Diabetes is incredibly common in today's society. More and more people are developing diabetes and even a larger number of babies are being born with it every single year. Diabetes is serious and can severely affect someone's life, which is why it's important to understand diabetes control and how to obtain it if you find that you are suffering from diabetes.

Diabetes: The Basics

Diabetes is a condition wherein someone has a blood sugar level that is too high and unhealthy for one's body. It results from one of two problems: the body either stops producing its own insulin, which controls the blood sugar level. Or the body is still producing insulin as it should, but something interferes with the body's cells' ability to process that insulin correctly. Either of these is dangerous.

There are actually two separate types of diabetes. The first type, known as type 1 diabetes, is more serious and incurable. Type 1 is often the type of diabetes someone is born with. Many people who are born with it will end up going blind. With type 1 diabetes, the body stops producing the insulin it needs. Thus, insulin injections are required to keep their blood sugar levels under control.

The second type of diabetes it diabetes type 2. Type 2 diabetes is defined by something called "insulin resistance." In other words, the cells in the body stop being able to process insulin correctly.

There is a third type of diabetes as well, gestational diabetes. Pregnant women will sometimes end up with high glucose during their pregnancy and they will have to monitor their blood sugar closely to ensure that they and their baby make it through the pregnancy safely.

The Importance of Diabetes Control

It's important to maintain diabetes control because the complications from it can be deadly. In addition to things that are relatively mild - frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger and even weight loss - there are complications that are more deadly. It's common for people to develop eye problems like cataracts or glaucoma, for instance. Even diabetic retinopathy - bleeding and damage to the eyes - can occur.

There are other complications as well. The risk of heart attack goes up, and since heart attacks are often fatal, this is very dangerous. Sometimes damage to the blood vessels that supply the arms and legs with blood occurs, which can lead to further complications. Even high cholesterol and strokes can be caused by uncontrolled diabetes, and strokes are notoriously hard to recover from. Kidney failure and kidney disease are among the most dangerous complications.

Best Diabetes Control Methods

Since most forms of diabetes occur because someone is overweight, one of the easiest things someone can do to obtain diabetes control is to change your diet and start exercising. First, restrict your diet to smaller portions and healthier things so that you start to lose weight. When you start to lose weight, your cells can start to function properly and react properly to the insulin in your body. This will make the diabetes clear up and will also help make you healthier. Exercise also does the same thing - it helps you burn fat, which helps with your weight, which allows your cells to correct themselves.

And for those whose body has stopped producing insulin, there are insulin injections. These injunctions sometimes have to be done multiple times per day. However, watching your diet is also required with this as well because it can help naturally with diabetes control. Diabetes isn't the end of the world. Although it does change your life, it's still possible to attain diabetes control.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.

David Cowley has created numerous articles on diabetes. He has also created a Web Site dedicated to diabetes and how to treat them. Visit

Diabetes - Early Warning Signs

Diabetes - Early Warning Signs

Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 have similar initial warning signs that should be heeded in order to receive proper treatment immediately. The earlier this disease is detected, the better chance a person has in slowing or stopping the progression of the illness. Many people are unaware of the early warning signs of diabetes and wait until they need more advanced treatment than if detected earlier. If you are experiencing these common early warning signs of diabetes, you should see your doctor immediately.

Weight Loss - One of the early problems of the disease is continual weight loss even when you aren't trying to loose weight. Diabetics can loose weight even when they continue to eat the same amount of calories as always.

Extreme Fatigue - Due to the lack of normal glucose levels, extreme fatigue and weakness may become very noticeable to those who are developing the disease. The body is not processing insulin which causes a person to become very weak and lethargic.

Numbing Sensation in Extremities - High glucose levels in the blood can damage the nervous system causing numbing and tingling sensations in the legs, hands or feet. For many people, it isn't apparent until years into a slow onset of the illness.

Excessive Thirst - A very common early sign of diabetes is an excessive thirst that cannot be adequately quenched. It seems that a person can't drink enough water or other liquids to satisfy them.

Frequent Urination - Another warning signal is the need to constantly take trips to the bathroom. Again, when there is an excessive amount of glucose in the blood, the kidneys work overtime trying to filter the blood. This keeps a person running to the bathroom all the time it seems.

These are the most common, early warning signs of diabetes of which every person should be aware. Anyone can develop the illness including children and the elderly. Those who have a family history of the disease are especially susceptible. Be sure to get a checkup immediately if you develop these warning signs of diabetes so that adequate treatment can be prescribed to get you back on the road to optimum health.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Living With Diabetes

Living With Diabetes

There are many celebrities from all walks of life that are living with diabetes. Comedic actress Mary Tyler Moore, pop singer Nick Jonas, pro football player Jay Cutler, and many others are managing to live a full life with the disease.

Learning that you have diabetes can be an emotional shock that takes some getting used to. But, as mentioned above, many famous people are doing ok, and you can also.

If left untreated, diabetes can cause major health problems. It can cause nerve damage which can lead to blindness and strokes. It can also cause damage to major organs of your body such as your pancreas, liver, and heart. And in cases where the body goes into a hypoglycemic state, it can lead to seizures, strokes, and brain damage. But none of these things have to happen if you treat the disease properly.

Living with diabetes will require two major adjustments on your part - one psychological, the other physical. Psychologically, you have to learn to accept the fact that you actually have the disease. Many people, when they are first diagnosed, go through a period of depression. Most get over it and learn to adjust. Others find it difficult to get over and can stay in a depressive state for weeks or months. This is a dangerous state to be in which is why it may be good to seek a few counseling sessions with a psychologist or therapist when you are diagnosed. They will be able to recognize any warning signs and help you to get through this phase.

You will also have to make physical adjustments. These adjustments include things such as dietary changes, learning to measure your blood sugar levels, possibly learning to inject yourself with insulin, keeping your weight under control, and a host of other things that your doctor will inform you about. You will also have to learn which foods affect you and learn to avoid or limit certain ones. The goal of all of these physical adjustment will be focused on keeping your blood glucose levels in normal and safe ranges. Your doctor will tell you what that range is and will give you suggestions and help on how to achieve that balance.

At first, the changes may seem daunting and you will resent them. Gradually, however, they will become part of your daily routine and you will think nothing more or them than other things that you do daily such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, and so on.

The one thing certain about being diagnosed with diabetes is that there will be life style changes. The changes may be small, or they may be huge - the seriousness of your disease will dictate how much change you have to make. But there will be change. To deny or ignore that fact is to basically stick your head in the sands of denial and risk the real possibility of having major health issues further down the road which can't be treated. If you have diabetes, and want to live a relatively normal life, start and continue your treatments as soon as possible.

Alice Saracho writes about nutrition and news related to diabetes such as diabetic diet guidelines and type two diabetes diet. Please visit her website for more articles.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Diabetes Treatment For Everyone

Diabetes Treatment For Everyone

Diabetes can be an extraordinarily difficult condition to have to live with. This disease is one that affects millions of people around the world and that includes men, women and children. Diabetes is a condition in which a person's blood sugar levels are hard to keep under control. Their glucose levels rise too high at the tiniest amount of sugar and then take twice even three times as long as a healthy person to come back down to a normal level.

For anyone who even thinks they are dealing with diabetes so for instance if they are thirstier than they normally are or notice they are urinating more frequently, they need to get in to see their doctor as soon as possible. For any person who is actually diagnosed with diabetes, the first step is talking with your doctor and working on a diabetes treatment plan that is going to be successful for you.

Your Treatment Options

The diabetes treatment that must be used can be different from one person to the next. One person may have a different type of diabetes or just respond differently to certain treatments. Doctors must treat diabetes on a case to case basis in order to have success and ensure that each person is able to enjoy their life as much as possible.

One of the most common choices for diabetes treatment is quite simple and that is a change in diet. Although this sounds too simple to be true, often just with a change in the foods you are eating you can keep your blood sugar levels balanced and stay healthy.

Eating fatty, fried, sugary foods is the worst thing you can do if you have diabetes. Of course it is going to be hard, especially if you are used to noshing on these foods all day long, but now you have to take better care of yourself and make sure that you are not putting your health at risk. That means replacing all this bad food in your cupboards with foods that are going to strengthen your body and combat the disease.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the most important foods to eat, especially if you are looking for a diabetes treatment. These are going to provide your body with the most nutrients and vitamins, to keep you healthy and strong. It is also important to start being more active if you have diabetes. Your doctor will tell you that in order to keep your blood sugar levels at the most balanced rate, you need physical activity. Even if you work at an office all day long, there is no excuse and you can always find ways to be active at some point through the day.

Instead of taking the elevator at work you can walk up the stairs and walk home instead of taking a cab. You can even do squats and leg raise exercises while you are sitting in your chair at work if you have to. Our generation is lazier than any other before ours and it is showing, namely in the number of people who are obese and developing diabetes these days.

There are also other options for diabetes treatment that are often used when diet and exercise is just not enough. Some diabetes patients require insulin injections, sometimes even on a daily basis. Victoza is the most commonly used diabetes medication and is a once-daily injection that is used specifically for type 2 diabetes patients.

If you have diabetes you need to understand that the diabetes treatment that works for one person may not work at all for you. Therefore it is extremely important that you are willing to talk with your doctor and come to a conclusion on which diabetes treatment stands to offer you and only but you the best results.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.

David Cowley has created numerous articles on diabetes. He has also created a Web Site dedicated to diabetes and how to treat them. Visit Diabetes Treatment

What is the Proper Diabetes Diet?

What is the Proper Diabetes Diet?

Diabetes is a condition that millions of people suffer from now, and which many more will be diagnosed with in the years to come. Diabetes is a polygenic disease which can actually be life threatening if proper treatment is not used. Men, women and even children can be diagnosed with this disease which can be incredibly hard to live with.

For any person diagnosed with diabetes, their doctor is going to tell them a few important things. First and foremost they are going to make sure the patient is following a proper diabetes diet. Diabetes is a disease that is based around the blood glucose level in a person's body. Their blood glucose levels spike up more easily than a healthy person's and they also take much longer to come down.

Therefore it is essential that anyone with diabetes is extra cautious with the foods they are eating. A proper diabetes diet is going to help ensure the blood glucose levels stay as balanced as possible, keeping the person in better health. If you have diabetes you should go through your food cupboards and get rid of anything sugary, fatty and processed. These are the worst foods for your body when you do not have a disease like diabetes, let alone when you do.

The Diet Plan

For a diabetes diet, meals should be based around fresh fruits and vegetables. These are the foods that are going to provide your body with the most vitamins and nutrients. It may sound a bit boring especially if you are used to eating fast food and sugar, but there are a lot of different exciting meals you can make. You can steam your veggies, bake them, fry them or have a nice fruit salad on a warm summer's day.

Whole grains are also important to include in any diabetes diet. Whether you eat some 12 grain bread or whole grain English muffins, cereal or whole grain cereal bars, the most important thing is you are getting the health benefits of whole grains which includes a decrease in blood sugar levels. Not only that but also when you eat whole grains like oatmeal and other cereals you will feel fuller longer and this is going to help prevent you from snacking on candy and other goodies.

Once you have replaced the bad food with healthy food in your home, you can get to work on meal planning. This is a very important part of the diabetes diet. This is going to make your life so much easier because you can plan your meals out for a two-week period say, and know what you are going to make for each meal every day. This is going to make it much easier to stay on your diet and not cheat, because you know what you should be eating.

As long as you are sticking to your diabetes diet and not shoving donuts into your mouth behind the cupboard door, you should notice a great improvement in your health and in particular your diabetes.

If you ever need a bit of help planning a diabetes diet you can always talk to a dietitian who is a professional in this field. They will be able to offer you the best advice and give you tips to help you stay on track.

The point of the diabetes diet is to have a healthy eating plan that is going to keep your health in focus and make sure you are controlling your blood sugar. Following a diabetes diet is not the only step in terms of the treatment and monitoring of your disease however, so you also need to make sure you are getting in to see your doctor on a regular basis.

They can perform regular tests to check your blood sugar levels and make sure you are doing okay.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.

David Cowley has created numerous articles on diabetes. He has also created a Web Site dedicated to diabetes and how to treat them. Visit

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Diabetes Type 2 - What You Should Know

Diabetes Type 2 - What You Should Know

Diabetes type 2 is pretty much distinct from the juvenile type of diabetes. In this second kind of diabetes, the pancreas can still synthesize its own insulin however, the problem lies on the fact that the insulin produced is not enough, or the cell within the body cannot accept it. There is a need to resort to oral hypoglycemic agents of medicines, taken orally to lower the blood glucose within the body.

More commonly known as the diabetes for adults, This type of diabetes occurs as a result of obesity and poor lifestyle management. In this condition, there is little occurrence of diabetic keto acidosis to happen. However, One complication that could happen would be the non ketotic hyperglycemia in which th blood sugar sky rockets without any manifestations of ketones turning the blood acidic. Although the manifestations occur without the ketone products found in the blood, this complications can be just as life threatening and it would require prompt treatment distinct from how type 1 is usually treated.

Diabetes type 2 can also be aggravated by other health conditions. Most commonly, those that are directly linked to obesity. Increased levels of cholesterol and metabolic syndromes can greatly affect the exacerbation of this disease. Other health problems that trigger this disease would include chronic pancreatitis, cancer and chronic intake of drugs. Additional causes would also include advancing age, high fat diets and sedentary lifestyle.

Diverse and multifactorial changes in metabolism would often result to damage and malfunction of vital organs most especially in the cardio vascular system. Some of the most common complications would lead to heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis or the blockage of the arteries.

Some of the most common manifestations of this disease would include fatigue that occurs form long periods of time, restlessness and weakness all through out the body, Excessive urination (polyuria), Extreme thirst (poly dipsia) Excessive hunger (polyphagia) lethargy, genital infections, tingling and numbness of the limbs, dramatic weight loss and lethargy.

Some of the manifestations of this condition may be similar to type 1 Diabetes however, some sign and symptoms are more poignant to type to than type 1. For example, dark spots on the skin is likely to be more evident in type 2 than type 1 that would evidently indicate a sign of resistance to insulin.

All of the signs and symptoms of this disease should not be taken for granted. It is essential for a patient to be assertive in terms of anything that does not look or feel right. This condition requires serious health management and counseling. If you continue to overlook the manifestations occurring, this condition can affect your health condition and can even debilitate you.

It is also essential to seek medical counseling promptly when you have noticed the signs and symptoms of this condition. The medical practitioner will be more than willing to render tests that can help confirm the diagnosis of diabetes type 2. It is a simple method that could end up saving your life.

Remember, it it way better to be medically aware of your condition than be ignorant and suffer the consequences of this disease.

For more information, visit

Diabetes Type 1 - What You Should Know

Diabetes Type 1 - What You Should Know

Diabetes type 1, also known as the juvenile type of diabetes is a pancreatic abnormality in which the pancreatic cells called the islet of langerhans do not synthesize a hormone called insulin to regulate the amount of sugar present in your blood stream. When the blood sugar continues to elevate overtime, it can eventually lead to some health problems that are considered to be life threatening in the future. It can affect vital organs such are the hear and kidneys along with other organs such as nerves, eyes, gums and teeth. This type of diabetes occurs in pediatric patients or children (Most common onset would be at the age of 9 years old). Other risk factors that would aggrevate this disease to manifest would be mechanical and pathologic trauma of the pancreas in which this organ will no longer fuction properly to secrete insulin like for example, viral infections and auto immune diseases that would cause the body's own antibodies to attack its own pancreatic cells that produces insulin.

The classic triad of this disease are severe hunger(polyphagia) frequent urination (polyuria) and severe thirst (polydipsia). Other manifestations would include: fatigue, wounds that slowly heal, dry itchy skin, tingling sensations in fingers and toes, and dramatic weight loss.

Most often thtan not, most people suffering from type 1 diabetes are likely to experience life threatening manifestations as well that would need prompt medical attention and treatment. When the blood sugar is very high, chances are the patient is likely to experience diabeteic keto acidosis. This is a condition when unmetabolized suger turns to toxic substances known as ketones. These ketones make the blood so acidic that it can damage the organs. Left untreated, it could eventually lead to renal failure and diabetic coma. Signs and symptoms of this complication would include deep rapid breathing, which is also known as kussmauls breathing, dry skin and mouth, flushed skin appearance, acetone or fruity breath, nausea and vomitting and belly aches. The treatment would require a prompt dose of insulin to lower blood sugar.

On the other hand, when the patient is low in sugar, the body will react in a different way. Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia can set in rapidly and it can be just as dangerous as the state when the blood sugar is too high. This occurs when the blood sugar falls below the normal range which is 80 to 120 mg/dl. Manifestations would include headaches, tremors, lightheadedness,hunger, fatigue, heart palpitations and cold sweats. The treatment would include a prompt intake of simple sugars found in fruit juices, or candies. If a patient becomes unconscious, call the doctor for the infusion of needed fluids and sugar.

There is no known permanent cure for this disease. The patient suffering form this condition would need a lifetimes supply of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. This disease should be strictly managed along with the intake of a proper diet and exercise. It is also necessary to watch out for wounds that slowly heal. Early treatment of the wounds and keeping them clean would prevent complications such as diabetic ulcers.

For more information, visit

Diabetes Risk Factors

Diabetes Risk Factors

There are many diabetes risk factors that are factors in determining the odds that you may or may not develop the disease. Some are in your control and others are things that you can do little or nothing about. However, if you have one or more or the risk factors associated with diabetes, you should periodically ask your doctor to perform a diabetes diagnostic test on you. Following are some of the major diabetes risk factors:

Overweight - This is among the most common and well known risk factor associated with diabetes. It is also the one most in your control. Researchers have determined that of all the controllable factors, obesity is the greatest predictor of who will eventually develop the disease. What determines obesity? For purposes of research, obesity is usually defined as anyone having a body mass index or BMI of 30 kg/m. Using this standard, approximately 20% of all Americans are obese.

Family History of diabetes - If you have anyone in your family, past or present, that has had diabetes, you are at risk for diabetes yourself. This includes parents, grandparents, great grandparents, cousins, and so on. The closer the relative to you that had the disease, the more you are at risk for it. For example, if your father has diabetes, you are more at risk for the disease then if your cousin has it. Anyone with someone in their immediate family who has diabetes should make their doctor aware of that fact and keep especially alert for any signs of the disease in themselves.

Forty five or more years of age - the risk for developing diabetes increases with age. In fact, many health care specialist believe that after the age of 40, all patients should be screened periodically for diabetes - even if they have no other risk factors. In a sense this correlates with other factors such as weight, which also increases with age. In addition, as we age, our bodies naturally start to degrade a bit. It becomes less efficient in its ability to produce insulin making us more susceptible to diabetes.

Ethnicity - It's no secret that certain nationalities are more at risk for developing diabetes than others. Over the years the following ethnicities have been found to be the most at risk: African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and those of Hispanic origins.

High cholesterol - high cholesterol levels are bad for your health in general. They put you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and surprisingly, diabetes. if your normal cholesterol screening reveals that you have elevated cholesterol, check your blood glucose levels as well to ensure that they are within the normal range.

Diagnosed with diabetes in a prior pregnancy - gestational diabetes is when a woman contracts diabetes during the course of her pregnancy. Normally, once the pregnancy is over with, the diabetes gradually disappears. But these women do have a greater chance of becoming diabetic in the years ahead.

According to statistics, most people who have diabetes are unaware of it. That makes it even more important that you regularly monitor your health if you fall into one of the high risk groups for diabetes.

Alice Saracho writes about nutrition and news related to diabetes such as American Diabetes Foundation and type two diabetes diet. Please visit her website for more articles.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes is a potentially life-threatening, medical condition that affects millions of people around the world, young and old alike. What makes it all the more ominous, is that diabetes progresses in an extremely slow, silent, and stealthy manner, and lies dormant and undetected until it is too late.

Unfortunately, most people who display one or more symptoms of diabetes either ignore the early tell-tale signs of this deadly, medical condition by attributing them to other medical issues, or are unaware of the serious harm it can cause to their overall health.

The Price Of Neglect

Unfortunately, a significant number of those who are advised to seek medical intervention when diagnosed with diabetes - based on one or more of its common symptoms - usually fail to heed such advice, and tend to brush aside further medical intervention to control it. It is precisely these people who pay a heavy price - physically, emotionally and economically, as their general health condition worsens with the silent, progressive march of diabetes.

Swift Action Can Help

You'll be well advised never to lose sight of the fact that diabetes is controllable... but NOT curable. This is a lifelong AND life-threatening, health condition that must not be ignored in any circumstances. Therefore, as soon as you experience one or more of the symptoms of diabetes, don't put them on the back-burner, seek medical diagnosis... immediately! By acting swiftly and responsibly, you can and will enjoy a normal, healthy lifestyle, irrespective of whether you are diagnosed with diabetes, or not.

Of course, if you aren't too familiar with the symptoms of diabetes, here are the unlucky 7 of the most common ones. These have proven, more often than not, to be the early warning signs of this dreadful, health condition.

1. Abnormal Pangs Of Hunger

This is one of the common symptoms of diabetes which usually occurs when cells receive inadequate amounts of energy to process the vital functions of the body owing to insulin deficiency. When cells are starved of energy, they express this hunger for energy by transmitting signals to the specific area of the brain which in turn, makes a diabetic constantly hungry. With lack of insulin, the cells cannot extract glucose from food consumed, and this is what leads to the abnormal pangs of hunger.

2. High Urination Frequency

This is another of the 8 common symptoms of diabetes. It is caused by the increased levels of sugar in the blood that, in turn, increases the frequency of urination. What follows is an increased level of blood flow through the kidneys of the diabetic patient. Although frequency of urination increases as one gets older, it must still be diagnosed, if the underlying cause is determined as, or is indicative of, diabetes.

3. Excessively High Thirst

This is one of the symptoms of diabetes that most people diagnosed with this health condition experience. Unquenchable thirst is usually experienced while the kidneys of the diabetic extract more levels of water from the body, which the latter continuously demands to restock.

4. Inordinate Weight Loss

The inability of cells to extract energy from food, owing to insulin deficiency, starves the body of the adequate amount of energy needed for maintaining normal weight. The lowered energy intake results in breakdown of fat mass and muscle which, in turn, leads to unexplained, sudden or inordinate weight loss.

5. Constant Fatigue

Complete exhaustion or even constant fatigue with minimum exertion or routine work, can be attributed to the decreased levels of energy in a diabetic. This is also one of the many symptoms of diabetes.

6. Tingling Or Numbness In Extremities

This is another one of the many symptoms of diabetes whereby a tingling sensation or numbness is experienced in the extremities of the diabetic sufferer. Tingling or numbness is usually felt in the feet (toes); legs; hands (fingers); or arms

7. Blurred Or Impaired Vision

This is one of the symptoms of diabetes that, if untreated, can lead to complete blindness. It occurs when increased levels of blood flow to the retina of the eye, resulting in swollen eye lenses. As a result, the diabetic can experience blurred or impaired vision.

If you experience any of the above "unlucky 7" symptoms of diabetes, DO NOT hesitate to get yourself tested... the sooner, the better for you. Always consult your doctor before using this information. This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.

David Cowley has created numerous articles on diabetes. He has also created a Web Site dedicated to diabetes and how to treat them. Visit Diabetes Treatment.