Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

Having diabetes shouldn't stop you from enjoying holiday celebrations and travel. With some planning and a little work, you can stay healthy on the road and at holiday gatherings with friends and family.

Preparation is the key to managing diabetes during holiday travel and festivities. Know what you'll be eating, how to enjoy a few traditional favorites while sticking with a healthy meal plan, and how to pack necessary supplies for a trip, and you're all set to celebrate!

Feasts and Parties

Before you go, take these steps to make sure you stick to your healthy meal plan.
  • Eat a healthy snack to avoid overeating at the party.
  • Ask what food will be served, so you can see how it fits into your meal plan.
  • Bring a nutritious snack or dish for yourself and others.

You don't have to give up all of your holiday favorites if you make healthy choices and limit portion sizes. At a party or holiday gathering, follow these tips to avoid overeating and to choose healthy foods.

  • If you're at a buffet, fix your plate and move to another room away from the food, if possible.
  • Choose smaller portions.
  • Choose low-calorie drinks such as sparkling water, unsweetened tea or diet beverages. If you select an alcoholic beverage, limit it to one drink a day for women, two for men, and drink only with a meal.
  • Watch out for heavy holiday favorites such as hams coated with a honey glaze, turkey swimming in gravy and side dishes loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese or mayonnaise. Instead, choose turkey without gravy and trim off the skin, or other lean meats.
  • Look for side dishes and vegetables that are light on butter, dressing and other extra fats and sugars, such as marshmallows or fried vegetable toppings.
  • Watch the salt. Some holiday favorites are made with prepared foods high in sodium. Choose fresh or frozen vegetables that are low in sodium.
  • Select fruit instead of pies, cakes and other desserts high in fat, cholesterol and sugar.
  • Focus on friends, family and activities instead of food. Take a walk after a meal, or join in the dancing at a party.

Traveling for the Holidays

Leaving home to visit friends and family means changing routines. Make sure you remember to take care of your diabetes while traveling. Check blood glucose (sugar) more often than usual, because a changing schedule can affect levels.

Remember Your Medication

  • Pack twice the amount of diabetes supplies you expect to need, in case of travel delays.
  • Keep snacks, glucose gel, or tablets with you in case your blood glucose drops.
  • Make sure you keep your medical insurance card and emergency phone numbers handy, including your doctor's name and phone number.
  • Carry medical identification that says you have diabetes.
  • Keep time zone changes in mind so you'll know when to take medication.
  • If you use insulin, make sure you also pack a glucagon emergency kit.
  • Keep your insulin cool by packing it in an insulated bag with refrigerated gel packs.

On the Road and in the Air

  • Get an influenza vaccination before traveling, unless your medical provider instructs otherwise. Get the flu shot, not the nasal spray.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water. Try to avoid contact with sick people.
  • Reduce your risk for blood clots by moving around every hour or two.
  • Pack a small cooler of foods that may be difficult to find while traveling, such as fresh fruit, sliced raw vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
  • Bring a few bottles of water instead of sweetened soda or juice.
  • Pack dried fruit, nuts, and seeds as snacks. Since these foods can be high in calories, measure out small portions (¼ cup) in advance.
  • If you're flying and do not want to walk through the metal detector with your insulin pump, tell a security officer that you are wearing an insulin pump and ask them to visually inspect the pump and do a full-body pat-down.
  • Place all diabetes supplies in carry-on luggage. Keep medications and snacks at your seat for easy access. Don't store them in overhead bins.
  • Have all syringes and insulin delivery systems (including vials of insulin) clearly marked with the pharmaceutical preprinted label that identifies the medications. Keep it in the original pharmacy labeled packaging.
  • If a meal will be served during your flight, call ahead for a diabetic, low fat, or low cholesterol meal. Wait until your food is about to be served before you take your insulin.
  • If the airline doesn't offer a meal, bring a nutritious meal yourself. Make sure to pack snacks in case of flight delays.
  • When drawing up your dose of insulin, don't inject air into the bottle (the air on your plane will probably be pressurized).
  • Stick with your routine for staying active. Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Diabetes Epidemic Will Hit Half of U.S. by 2020

Diabetes Epidemic Will Hit Half of U.S. by 2020

More than half of all Americans may develop diabetes or prediabetes by 2020, unless prevention strategies aimed at weight loss and increased physical activity are widely implemented, according to a new analysis.

These efforts could in theory also save about $250 billion in health care costs in the next 10 years, suggests the analysis published by UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, a specialized center within UnitedHealth that focuses on health care reform issues.

“We need a sense of urgency. There is a lot of money and human suffering at stake,”says Deneen Vojta, MD, senior vice president of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization, which is based in Minneapolis. “The good news is that we know what works, and if we work together in a concerted national way, we can win.”

Weight Loss and Exercise

For example, programs such as the UnitedHealth Group Diabetes Prevention Program, which is done in conjunction with the Y, can help make a dent in this burgeoning epidemic. This program is based on the U.S. Diabetes Prevention Program, which shows that modest weight loss through dietary changes and increased physical activity could prevent prediabetes from progressing to diabetes.

Prediabetes refers to blood sugar (glucose) levels between 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Ideal fasting blood levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.

Now, Vojta says, “If I do diagnose you with prediabetes, I can say that there is a program in your community that can add years to your life.”

"As stunning as these projections are, there is hope that we can slow and reverse this epidemic with proven interventions,”says Tom Beauregard,an executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group and the executive director of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.

Early Diabetes Diagnosis

Diagnosing diabetes or prediabetes earlier is a key part of the prevention strategy, Beauregard says. As it stands now, a majority of people with prediabetes and many with diabetes do not even know they have it, he says.

“On a technical level, we can identify prediabetes and diabetes and we have proven evidence-based intervention,” he says. “What it comes down to is well-organized public awareness campaigns and incentives, and we need to reimburse community-based prevention programs.”

Once people are diagnosed, efforts are needed to help improve management of diabetes by boosting adherence with medications, the new report suggests. Improved adherence will stave off diabetes-related complications. This will also help curb costs because the cost of caring for a person with diabetes increases exponentially in the presence of complications.

Leonid Poretsky, MD, director of the Friedman Diabetes Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, thinks it is time for all insurers to cover the costs of diabetes prevention programs.

“Prevention of diabetes means weight reduction, including nutrition counseling and exercise, and most payers don’t cover these,” he says.

“These are often covered once you have diabetes, but it is much better to prevent it from occurring in the first place,” he says. “Insurers need to cover screens for diabetes and prevention treatments widely for the entire population, not just certain programs in certain communities.”

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Medicine Alone Can't Control Diabetes

'Medicine Alone Can't Control Diabetes

Landmark Group vice-president Renuka Jagtiani joined hundreds of Bangaloreans who hit the road to spread awareness about diabetes. She is one of the key organizers of The Times of India and Lifestyle `Beat Diabetes' walkathon and has organized similar walkathons in West Asia as well. Renuka shared her ideas about why Landmark Group chose to focus on the issue. Excerpts from an interview:

Do you think walking can control diabetes?

Yes it can. We have checked with doctors and realized that medicine alone cannot control it. One has to exercise regularly. Simple activities like walking and swimming help keep metabolism rate high and control diabetes.

Why did you choose diabetes for your corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign?

Both India and West Asia have very high incidence of diabetics. India, with 70 million affected, is the diabetes capital of the world.

How was your campaign in West Asia?

In Dubai, where we organized the event for the second time this year, around 7,000 people took part, many of whom were children. Cricketer Wasim Akram, a diabetic himself, also participated. We want more kids to walk. I am thrilled to see so many Bangaloreans taking part in the walkathon.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Facebook to Help Fight Diabetes in Latinos

Facebook to Help Fight Diabetes in Latinos

A Facebook application to help educate Latinos about the risks of diabetes launched this month on the popular social networking website.

HealthSeeker Explorando tu Salud, Paso a Paso is a Facebook application that aims to help the almost 10 million Latinos who use the site by providing lifestyle and nutritional tips to help manage and prevent diabetes.

Latinos are twice as likely to have diabetes as their non-Latino counterparts, and approximately 10 percent of Latinos are reported to have diabetes, latina.com reports.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Learn the Basics of Diabetes Care

Learn the Basics of Diabetes Care

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Described in simple terms, diabetes is a chronic disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. It is a lifelong condition that has no cure.

There are three basic classifications of the disease: Gestational diabetes, Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms vary with the classification. Generally, high blood levels of glucose can cause several problems including blurred vision, excessive thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, hunger and weight loss.

However, because Type 2 diabetes develops slowly, some people with high blood sugar experience few if any symptoms.

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include fatigue, increased thirst, increased urination, nausea, vomiting and weight loss despite an increase in appetite.

People with Type 1 diabetes often develop symp-toms over a short period of time. Unfortunately, the condition is often diagnosed in an emergency.

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include blurred vision, fatigue, increased appetite, increased thirst and increased urination.

Immediate goals are to treat diabetic ketoacidosis and high blood glucose levels. Because the onset of Type 1 diabetes is sudden and the symptoms severe, people who are diagnosed in an emergency are likely to go to the hospital.

Long-term treatment goals are reducing the symp-toms and to prevent diabetes-related complications such as amputation of limbs, blindness, heart disease and kidney failure, all of which can have deadly consequences.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to keep you alive. To do that requires careful and regular self-testing of blood glucose levels, education, exercise, foot care, meal planning, controlling weight and medication or use of insulin.

Remember, there is no cure for diabetes. Treatment is the only option. Learning these skills will help prevent the need for emergency care: how to recognize and treat high blood sugar, what to eat and when, how to take insulin or oral medication, how to test for and record blood glucose, how to adjust insulin or food intake, and changing exercise and eating habits.

Knowing the fundamentals of care, understanding how the disease can cause long-term health problems and learning new and improved ways to treat the dis-ease as new methods are developed are the best ways to control and minimize diabetes and its impact on your life.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

China Spends RMB 173.4 Billion (US$25 Billion) A Year On Diabetes Treatment

China Spends RMB 173.4 Billion (US$25 Billion) A Year On Diabetes Treatment

Marking World Diabetes Day on November 14, the Chinese Diabetes Society of the Chinese Medical Association, and the International Diabetes Federation launched the findings of a new study revealing the social and economic impact of diabetes in China.

The study, conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Chinese Diabetes Society (CDS), is a follow-up to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that China had twice as many people with diabetes than previously estimated (92.4 million adults).

Key Findings Of IDF-CDS Study

Approximately 5,000 people were interviewed between January 2008 and August 2010 in 12 sites for this nationally representative study. Early results from data based on 1,920 responses from 5 sites reveal the following key findings:

1) CDS and IDF estimate that 13% of total medical expenditures in China are directly caused by diabetes: RMB 173.4 billion or US$25 billion. People with diabetes in China report 3 to 4 times more in-patient care, out-patient visits, and emergency room visits than people without diabetes of the same age and sex.

2) These numbers will increase rapidly over the next 10 to 20 years when approximately 50 million Chinese with undiagnosed diabetes enter medical care, and when they and the 50 million Chinese with diagnosed diabetes start developing preventable diabetes complications such as stroke, blindness and kidney disease.

3) Health expenditures for people in China who have had diabetes for 10 or more years are 460% higher than for people who have had diabetes for 1 to 2 years.

4) Urban Chinese with diabetes are so far well-protected from the financial impact of diabetes that often causes destitution in countries without health insurance systems. 89% of people with diabetes in the 5 Chinese cities studied had health insurance. Only 11% of their total household income was spent on medical care. However, they spend 9 times more than people of the same age and sex without diabetes. Persons who have had diabetes for more than 10 years spent 22% of their current household income for healthcare.

5) Diabetes prevalence is skyrocketing in China. People are getting diabetes at a younger age. However, China has a window of opportunity to prevent an epidemic of serious diabetes complications, which will increase spending dramatically. Currently, fewer than 5% of Chinese people with diabetes have experienced stroke, heart attack and heart failure. Less than 5% report kidney disease, eye surgery, or problems with their feet or legs. Half the people interviewed use glucose-lowering drugs but few use anti-hypertensives (16%), statins (1%), or aspirin (13%) which are inexpensive and highly effective and can together lower the risk of complications by 50% or more.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Millions of People Live with Diabetes

Millions of People Live with Diabetes

More than 300 million people live with diabetes around the world. Within a generation, that number is expected to reach half a billion. 8.5% of European adults have diabetes. This is no small number, especially considering an estimated 630,000 Europeans died from diabetes and its complications in 2010.

On the occasion of the World Diabetes Day 2010, Chris J Delicata, Chairman of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), European Region, stated that “more than €85 billion will be spent on treating diabetes and its complications in Europe this year. This is spent to treat this life-long condition and the serious complications associated with it. It’s a huge cost for the global health budget but inevitable in the circumstances”.

Starting today, people from all corners of the world are uniting together for 3 days of celebration to put diabetes firmly in the public spotlight. World Diabetes Day is the best opportunity there is to draw attention to the silent killer that is diabetes. Celebrated every year on November 14, World Diabetes Day was initiated in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes poses to the global community.

“World Diabetes Day is a great opportunity to unite and increase understanding and awareness of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). With better awareness, people may understand the risks associated with diabetes and take control immediately before it is too late,” Mr Delicata said.

IDF’s Chief Executive Officer, Ann Keeling said that the world is finally waking up to the threat of diabetes and other NCDs. The UN General Assembly voted unanimously to hold a UN High Level Summit on NCDs in September 2011.

“The UN Summit will bring heads of state, government representatives, NGOs and public health experts together to discuss the global threat and commit to the global response required for diabetes and other NCDs,” she said.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Know Your Diabetes Numbers

Know Your Diabetes Numbers

November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day. Diabetes affects more than 220 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation, and this figure is likely to double by 2030 without intervention. We need to know our numbers to prevent type-2 diabetes:

35 and being a woman

The evidence shows that abdominal fat increases our risk for type-2 diabetes and a simple marker for women a waist size of 35 inches or more. Belly fat goes deep into organs and around organs. These fat cells are dangerous, as they produce hormones and other substances that affect our health.

Fat around the middle can make us insulin-resistant, leading to type-2 diabetes. Insulin is important in the utilisation of blood glucose. In insulin resistance, the cells of the muscles, liver and fats are not as responsive as they should be to insulin. More insulin is produced, as the pancreas tries to keep up, but without the desired effect. Type-2 diabetes is the end result of insulin resistance.

40 and being a man

Men also have a number to monitor. If their waist is 40 inches or more they are at increased risk for type-2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Prevention Program, a major multicentre clinical research published in 2002, shows that people at risk for type-2 diabetes can reduce their risk by increasing physical activity and consuming a healthy, low-calorie diet to reduce body fat. In the study, risk was reduced between 58 and 71 per cent in participants older than 60 years old. Though reducing one's weight is challenging, a consistent effort can yield results. Make manageable changes and stick with them.

Increase whole foods and reduce highly processed foods which are often high in fats, sugars or sodium and low in fibre. Have smaller portions, especially of high-calorie foods. Have set meal times and avoid hunger which leads to bingeing. Drink water most times instead of juices and drinks, and have a glass or two of water before meals; this can reduce your food intake. Having a large fresh salad before your meals can also reduce the space for large portions of high-calorie foods.

Take 5,000 steps

Consistency and adequacy are important in helping you burn calories as you increase physical activity. Many people are sedentary because of our modern lifestyle. Activities should be structured. One useful tool when starting to increase activity is a pedometer that counts your steps. The number of 5,000 steps is the one to beat; fewer steps per day are considered sedentary.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Fat Tissue Inflammation Linked to Diabetes

Fat Tissue Inflammation Linked to Diabetes

Fat tissue cells that cause inflammation may be what links diabetes with obesity, researchers in Australia have said.

The discovery - made at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne - may allow for more effective anti-inflammatory treatments to prevent resistance to insulin.

The scientists say for the first time they have found evidence that fat tissue macrophages in humans create cytokines that prevent cells from responding to insulin.

One researcher, professor Len Harrison, said: “We have shown that insulin resistance in human obesity is closely related to the presence of inflammatory cells in fat tissue - in particular a population of macrophage cells.”

Monday, 8 November 2010

Talk To Raise Awareness On Diabetes

Talk To Raise Awareness On Diabetes

In a bid to raise public awareness on diabetes, the number three killer disease in Brunei, a talk was held by the Diabetic Support Group of the Suri Seri Begawan Hospital yesterday. Saadiah Hj Mohadi, the nursing officer at the Physician Clinic, who was also the speaker, said that it was imperative for the public to understand the symptoms of diabetes and what were the risks posed by the illness.

"People need to know what are the causes of diabetes, and we also want them to understand what to do if they have diabetes," she said.

According to the nursing officer, hypertension and diabetes are like sisters, and very frequently come hand-in-hand.

"People who have hypertension are more prone to getting diabetes, and likewise, diabetes patients are also at risk of having hypertension."

Saadiah also said that families with a history of diabetes must also be extra careful, likewise with people suffering from obesity.

Asked what should diabetes patients do to alleviate the symptoms caused by diabetes, the nursing officer said that while diabetes was incurable, the patients were encouraged to follow a strict diabetic diet to help reduce the effects of diabetes.

"All these are being done in order to delay the complications, which can be really harmful for the patients," she said.

There are many complications that diabetes patients may suffer from, including heart problems, blindness, kidney damage, nerve damage, and even amputation.

The hospital recently conducted two such operations (amputation) on diabetic patients.

The aim of the talk was to educate the public of the harmful effects that diabetes can cause, and that the best way to prevent the illness is to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Are you aware that unwanted weight is just about the number one risk factor for type 2 diabetes?

Yes, additional circumstances, for instance genes and aging do play a role in type 2 diabetes. But a major international Obesity Task Force estimated in 2002 that 60 percent of diabetes cases around the globe were due to weight gain, and in Western nations it was nearer to 90 percent.

If you are obese or overweight, you are 90 times as more likely to develop diabetes as somebody who isn't, as outlined by a review of medical literature published in 2003 by University of Kentucky as well as other

In accordance with Gerald Bernstein, MD, director of the diabetes management program in the Gerald J. Friedman Diabetes Institute at Beth Israel Clinic in Nyc, fat cells which go close to your belly work to close
the action of insulin, that is essential to lower the blood sugar.

Insulin normally triggers the liver to take up extra blood glucose and store the energy for future use. But when the liver is submerged in fat tissue, insulin can't get the liver to react.

As a result, blood glucose levels can accumulate in the bloodstream, where it might damage organs all over your body. But even a relatively moderate quantity of weight reduction and exercise can shield you from diabetes.

Routine workout makes cells more responsive to insulin, so they absorb more blood sugar. Exercise also improves your cholesterol and lowers blood pressure level.

All three factors are crucial. Individuals with either prediabetes or diabetes have a much greater risk of heart attack and stroke than other folks in the population and controlling the 3 can lower that risk.

Inside a 2002 study, people with prediabetes reduced their risk of diabetes by 58 percent after slimming down, eating better, and exercising 150 minutes weekly in comparison with people who did not.

One common goal is by using a pedometer and target walking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.

Exercise helps in case you don't slim down. But if you undertake, you've got added protection against the disease. You should not lose a lot of weight to learn.

In accordance with Nadine Uplinger, RD, a certified diabetes educator and director of the Gutman Diabetes Institute in the Albert Einstein Health-care Network in Philadelphia, Losing approximately 7 percent of
one's weight prevents or delay diabetes.

And also you? What you will be waiting for? Begin to eat healthy and exercise from today!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Don't Wait for Diabetes to Strike

Don't Wait for Diabetes to Strike

As Canadians' waistlines continue to grow, so does the number of nationwide diabetics.

Here in Haldimand and across the country, diabetes statistics are staggering. Each hour of every day, more than 20 Canadians discover they have the disease, and today's sedentary lifestyle has contributed to what's being called a pandemic by health professionals: more than nine million Canadians -or nearly one in four people -are diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes.

In Haldimand and Norfolk counties, 33 per cent of residents have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 27 or greater, which is significantly higher than the Ontario average of 28 per cent, according to H-N Diabetes Program Coordinator Cindy Gekiere. She added that a normal BMI ranges from 20 to 25.

The Haldimand-Norfolk Diabetes Program is working to fight this globally spreading disease.

Next week, Dr. David Kennedy, MD, a Diabetes Program Advisor, will address the widespread health issue by hosting a free presentation, entitled, "Diabetes: The Weight is on You!"

Dr. Kennedy will explain effective ways to manage your weight with diabetes -whether you need to shed or add pounds -and present diabetes products and services that can help manage the disease.

All Haldimand and Norfolk residents are welcome to view the presentation's exhibits from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Dunnville Christian School, located at 37 Robinson Road, and attend all or part of the informative event, which lasts from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Statistics-Health Canada 2010 states that 59.2 per cent of men and 43.9 per cent of women are currently obese, with the number continuing to rise every year.

The good news is that the trend toward developing the disease can be easily reversed. Since obesity dramatically increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the chances of getting it drop by a whopping 50 per cent for patients if they simply get active, lose weight, and introduce healthier foods into their daily diets.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and Diabetes

More than seventeen million Americans suffer from diabetes. This accounts for nearly 6.2 percent of the total population. In addition, nearly six million are not aware of the presence of the disease.

Diabetes is of two kinds. Both types are a result of malfunction of the hormone insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes occurs predominantly in childhood or adolescence. It results in elevated levels of blood glucose.

Nearly 90% of all cases of diabetes are Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs after age forty. However, it is increasingly becoming common for children and adolescents to suffer from this type of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes has an intricate link to obesity and lack of exercise. In this form of diabetes, the body does produce insulin but cannot utilize it in an effective way. Initially, there may be a rise in insulin levels to counter high blood sugar. However, over time the body fails to produce enough insulin, leading to complications. This directly leads to high blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar for long periods of time can cause heart ailments, strokes, blindness, failure of the kidneys, amputation of the feet, and complications in pregnancy.

The sheer number is intimidating: nearly 200,000 individuals die because of diabetes every year.
Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and type 2 diabetes go hand in hand. Obese individuals are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes in comparison with individuals who have a normal weight. Obesity reduces the body’s ability to utilize insulin effectively, which can cause high blood sugar levels. Nearly 90 percent of individuals having type 2 diabetes are obese. The number of cases of diabetes has increased threefold since the 1990s. The trend is only going to rise. The trend can be directly traced to higher incidence of obesity and being overweight.

Prevention of Diabetes

It can be very pleasing to hear that type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Slight alteration to lifestyle and weight loss in the range of 5 to 10 percent can go a long way in the prevention of this disease. Lifestyle modifications include changes to diet and physical exercise. Walking for 150 minutes over a period of one week will reduce your weight and the chances of obesity. This can cut the risk of diabetes by nearly 40 to 60 percent.

Individuals already suffering from diabetes

Eat wisely to prevent high levels of blood sugar. Exercise regularly. Reduce levels of stress and make certain lifestyle changes. Weight loss, even of a few pounds, can go a long way in prevention of diabetes. This would also reduce the need for medication. Proper nutrition can also help to a great extent.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Diabetes Tests Crucial for Seniors

Diabetes Tests Crucial for Seniors

Undiagnosed epidemic

The diabetes epidemic in the U.S. is huge, especially among older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 12 million seniors, age 60 and older … roughly 23 percent of people in this age group … have diabetes, but nearly half of them don't know it. The danger of undiagnosed diabetes is that, left untreated, it increases the risk of heart disease and stroke and can escalate into kidney failure, blindness, loss of limbs and death.

Who's vulnerable?

There are a variety of factors that can put you at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, including:

Family history: The more relatives you have with the disease, the higher your risk.

Weight: Being overweight with a body mass index of 25 or more. See www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi to calculate your BMI. The heavier you are, the greater your risk. Also, having excess fat around your waist, rather than around the hips and thighs increases your risk.

Age: Your risk increases as you get older, especially after age 45.

Blood pressure: High blood pressure of 140/90 or higher.

Cholesterol: Having low HDL (good) cholesterol under 35 mg/dL or high triglycerides over 250 mg/dL.

Race: Hispanic, Asian, African-Ameicans or Native Americans are more vulnerable.


The tricky thing about diabetes is that the symptoms (fatigue, increased hunger, excessive thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, slow-healing cuts or sores, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet) usually seem harmless, and often don't appear for years, until significant damage to the blood vessels already has occurred.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Keeping Diabetes in Check

Keeping Diabetes in Check

Diet and exercise. Diet and exercise. It's a drumbeat most middle-aged and older patients hear from their doctors every year. But for those with Type 2 diabetes, these basic lifestyle factors can play a key role in controlling the disorder and preventing serious complications such as blindness, nerve disorders and kidney failure.

People with Type 2 diabetes aren't able to respond properly to insulin, an essential hormone that helps transfer sugar from the bloodstream to cells, where it is used for energy. When patients become insulin resistant, blood sugar can build up to dangerous levels. The biggest risk factors for the disease are genetic predisposition and being overweight. More than 23 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, and an additional 57 million are at risk of developing it, according to the American Diabetes Assn.

With consistent blood sugar control and careful attention to cholesterol and blood pressure levels, most Type 2 diabetics can keep the disease in check. Large studies confirm the power of healthy habits. Adopting a low-fat, low-calorie diet and regular exercise to trim 5% to 10% of one's body weight is enough to prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing or to bring diabetics' blood sugar, cholesterol and other key markers within healthy limits.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Healthy Dieting To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Healthy Dieting To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

An individual’s risk for diabetes is proven to increase if they are overweight. With obesity reported to be at epidemic levels, the rise in the numbers of people afflicted with the disease of diabetes is increasing rapidly. Eating larger portions at most meals and increased consumption of junk food are not helping the picture for improvement in the spread of obesity. And the rate of growth of children with diabetes has already passed the alarming stage. Any parent or adult with young people in your family should be concerned. Diabetes increases the nation’s mortality rate as one of the top five contributing caused. Awareness is the first step in making a change.

Among those that suffer from Type 2 diabetes almost 40% have high blood pressure, which is another condition that is believed to be exacerbated by excess weight. Being overweight might also lead to a condition known as insulin resistance in which the body no longer responds to the insulin that is needed to assist the body in using sugar and glucose as fuel on a cellular level.

Medical researchers have developed a list of things individuals can do to help lower their risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Most importantly, the list starts out with dropping excess weight and starting a plan of action focusing on health an fitness. The health part, especially in light of Type 2 diabetes, would involve things like making yourself a shopping list of fresh fruits and vegetables that are tasty and in plentiful supply so you won’t run out. And if you have kids, you’d definitely want to include their needs on your list as well. You’ll learn this is especially important because of the rising number of children as young as 10 to 12 years of age who have become victims of Type 2 diabetes, primarily due to being significantly overweight! There has never been a time in history where healthy eating has been as important as it is in today’s fast food immersed world of quick meals without the benefit of nutritionally vital foods on the menu!

Losing weight is always a challenge for most us us and it is not looked at as a game, nor is it fun. But if you don’t move forward with some type of healthy eating and fitness plan for yourself and your family, your definition of the word ‘challenge’ may soon change rather dramatically. You may not be aware that the World Organization of Health has declared that obesity is at the epidemic stage worldwide and has been for at least 10 to 12 years! And children from 10 to 15 years of age are contracting Type 2 diabetes because of their serious state of obesity, namely being 15 to 20 pounds heavier than their healthy weight threshold. So, while losing weight may present a personal challenge, however, once diabetes enters your life, no more formidable challenge could be present. They say that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Why not check with your doctor and take some preventative steps now.

The best defense against rapid weight gain is to search for activities that you can easily add to your daily schedule. You’ll want something that challenges your lax and un-stretched muscles, however, you’ll definitely not want to over do it. Many individuals look to sports like golf and shuffleboard or table tennis to help them keep active. Actually any low stress and low impact activity can help keep control of your weight and it just helps you feel better.

There’s a school of thought that says your freedom of choice is the best of all possible freedoms. However, the freedom of choices is the first loss when an individual becomes a diabetic. Diabetes demands a very strict diet that eliminates sugars and starches and many of the so-called comforts that are all too popular these days. This means that you absolutely must follow your dietary restrictions. Learn to live within those limits in order to live and enjoy life to the fullest you can. The focus on living a healthy lifestyle is one that many subscribe to, however, they miss taking care of all the actions that make it possible to truly live a healthy lifestyle, most often because they don’t watch their diet.