Monthly Archives: February 2014

Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Special areas in the pancreas gland, the islets of Langerhans, produce a hormone called insulin. This hormone is a protein of small size. Insulin stimulates muscle cells and other body cells to take up glucose from the blood and convert the glucose to glycogen, a kind of starch, and then store the glycogen. By need the body cells convert the glycogen to glucose and use it as fuel. In this way insulin keeps the glucose level in the blood at a normal size.

By diabetes type I the cells producing insulin are destroyed. Then less glucose is taken up from the blood into the body cells and utilized there, and glucose accumulates in the blood.

THE CAUSES AND MECHANISMS OF DIABETES TYPE I

The cause of the disease is not well known. An auto-immune response attacking the insulin producing cells in the langerhansian islets may be a cause. Virus infection may be another cause. The disease also is to some extend inherited.

When the glucose uptake into the body cells is reduced, but glucose instead accumulates in the blood, the following physiological effects occur:

-The body cells do not get enough fuel for the work they shall do.

-The molecular thickness (osmality) of the blood increases. This causes water to be pulled out from the body tissues and into the blood. The tissues thus get dried out and the urine production increases.

-The tissues begin to break down protein and fat to get energy, causing weight loss and muscular reduction.

The symptoms of diabetes type 1 are a consequence of these mechanisms.

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES TYPE 1

The disease often starts suddenly. Often children or young people are attacked by the disease. The lack of insulin causes an increased amount of blood sugar. Early symptoms of the disease are:

-Increased urine production

-Dehydration (lack of water in the body)

-Abnormally high thirst as a consequence of increased urine production

-Dryness in the mouth

-An abnormal high appetite

-Feeling extremely tired and weak

-Weight loss, even when one eats well

-Impaired vision

If the blood sugar level is not stabilized to a normal value, there will be an accumulation of chemicals in the body called ketones, and this condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis. This serious condition can lead to coma and death. The signs of ketoacidosis are:

-Vomiting,

-Pain in the stomach

-Rapid breathing,

-High pulse rate

-Somnolence (abnormal tendency to sleep)

In the long term, diabetes type 1 can severely hurt the blood vessels in vital organs. This can further cause damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys or other body organs.

TREATMENTS OF DIABETES TYPE 1

Diabetes type 1 is treated with insulin injections. Implanting insuline cells in the pancreas is an experimental treatment. Another experimental treatment is to implant stem cells in the pancreas that can develop into new insulin producing cells.

Another important module of the treatment is regulation of the amount of sugar and fat consumed through the diet so that it fits together with the insulin-amount injected. Also regular monitoring of the blood sugar level to regulate the insulin amount is an important part of the treatment.

There are also natural products in the market that can help to normalize the blood sugar level by diabetes type 2. Those products cannot heal the disease or replace insulin injections, but they can help the body to regulate the blood sugar level. These products contain minerals that are working components of enzymes that stimulate the glucose metabolism in the body. They also contain herbs that have been used for a long time in traditional medicine to regulate the glucose level and that have proven their effects in scientific studies.

February 28, 2014

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February 28, 2014

Diabetes Management: Blood Glucose Meters

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One of the great things about the Internet is that it’s created a global community for discussions of topics such as diabetes. You’ll find there are a number of forums that will allow you to talk to others facing your situation.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with diabetes, one of your first steps will likely be to find a glucose meter. There are some things to keep in mind as you make your decision because this piece of equipment is likely to be part of your life for the foreseeable future.

A glucose meter (or glucometer) is a medical device for determining the approximate amount of glucose in a drop of blood obtained by pricking the skin with a lancet. Glucose meters are portable and designed for use by ordinary people, especially those with diabetes.

There are now dozens of models of glucose meters. Typical features common to most. The average size is now approximately the size of the palm of the hand, though some are smaller or a bit larger. They are battery-powered. A consumable element containing chemicals which react with glucose in the drop of blood is used for each measurement. For most models this element is a plastic test strip with a small spot impregnated with glucose oxidase and other components. Each strip can only be used once and is then discarded.

Cost is a major issue for most people, but there’s good news if you have any kind of medical insurance. A glucose meter is typically considered to be a vital part of medical treatment and insurance companies often pay for a portion or the entire cost of the meter. At the same time, there is sometimes a limit on the amount the insurance company will pay, and that may severely limit your options.

While cost is naturally important, remember that you’re going to be living this life from now on. Finding a cheaper glucose meter that requires a more serious stick for blood may seem like the best option when you’re writing the check for the meter, but the tedium of the daily stick may negate that cost in the long run.

There are some companies out there that help with the cost of a glucose meter if you meet specific income guidelines. This may be a good answer if your quandary about which meter to buy is purely based on financial restraints. Remember that Medicare often pays on this important testing equipment as well. Your doctor, druggist or representative of a local medical supply company may also be good sources of information about how to find the best deals and how to get help paying for a glucose meter.

Finding a very inexpensive glucose meter may be the best answer to this situation. If the meter is accurate, it’ll get you through the initial period of adjusting your life to the regular testing of your blood sugar. Then take time to do some research into what’s hot and what’s not in glucose meters. You’ll find that some make absolutely ridiculous claims and you may have to ask some questions to find those companies that produce the glucose meter that will work best for you and your lifestyle.

February 27, 2014

Diabetes Epidemic because of self-inflicted Obesity

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One of the greatest contributors to the type 2 diabetes epidemic is reckoned to be obesity brought on by our modern lifestyles.

Are you eating yourself into diabetes type 2?

Check if you have these 4 eating habits that could contribute to obesity and possibly make you part of the type 2 diabetes epidemic…

1) Unconscious eating… No, I don’t mean ‘sleep-eating’ (I wonder if there is such a thing?) I’m talking about automatic eating without any conscious thought to what is happening.

How often do you do something else whilst eating? Watching TV; reading a book; reading a magazine or newspaper; listening to music, a radio show or conversation? If you’re anything like me it’s probably a rare occasion when you just sit and have a meal, without interruptions.

A recent study carried out by Penn State laboratory showed pre-school children, who consistently watch TV whilst eating, ate up to 33% more than they did when they had a meal without the TV on.

How much extra do you eat, without realizing it, because you are absorbed in a book or TV program?

2) Eating speed.. Ever finished your meal before others? Ever bolted your food down and then felt bloated afterwards?

In a recent Sky TV program Paul McKenna (the famous hypnotherapist) explained how the simple act of slowing down whilst eating; putting your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, can contribute to weight loss.

Think about it, if you’re eating more slowly you’ll know when you are full. You won’t continue eating and get that uncomfortable bloated feeling. And you won’t put extra weight on.

Watching that program gave me an ‘Aha!’ moment, because that’s exactly what my father has done all his life. It’s a standing joke in the family that he takes so long to eat a meal – he often finishes half-an-hour after everyone else. And guess what? Yep – he’s as skinny as a rake. Wish I could say the same about me!

3) Snacking… Are you really hungry when you snack? Or is it that you “just fancy a bite to eat”?

Snacking is probably one of the biggest contributions to weight gain. It’s not so much the snacking, it’s what you snack on! Cookies /biscuits, chocolate, cakes, snack bars – all these contain massive amounts of sugar that increase the burden on our immune system. If you overload your system with sugar it may not cope, you could end up with insulin resistance and that leads to type 2 diabetes.

Healthy, no added sugar or sugar free snacks are the best options if you MUST snack.

4) Sugary drinks… Do you have a favorite soft drink? If you do, is it a sugar-sweetened drink or a concentrated sugar-rich fruit juice? And, on a hot day, how much do you drink of that favorite? Half-a-liter? One liter?

It’s all added sugar, which not only impacts on your weight, it also impacts on your body’s control of the sugar levels in your blood.

In a recent medical study in the US the results indicated that having just one sugar sweetened drink of fruit juice every day made women more susceptible to becoming part of the type 2 diabetes epidemic, by up to 80%.

So, are you planning to be part of the diabetes epidemic? OK, maybe you’re not PLANNING to… but maybe your unconscious eating habits have got you on that slippery slope to diabetes. A little thought about what you eat, where and how, can reduce the risk for you.

February 26, 2014

Diabetes Care: Diet And Exercising Habits Are A Must For Diabetics

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Diabetes and care- there cannot be a better combination of words in the world of diabetes!

Your doctor may examine and advise you for some time on diabetes during your visits to his clinic or his visits to your residence. But you are your own doctor for 24 hours all through the months and years with diabetes. How many times a day do you contemplate about the word diabetes?

But don’t you despair. You can fight it out with proper care.

The two words that stand uppermost in diabetes care are diet and exercise! If you are disciplined in these two areas, half of your battle is won!

Be in the know that 50 to 60 percent of daily calories come from carbohydrates, 12 to 20 percent from proteins, and not more than 30 percent from fats.

As for diet, let the balance weigh heavily in favor of fruits, vegetables and lots of fiber. More intake of fiber will help you immensely. Give up your past habit of taking heavy meals. Take in small quantities, as and when you are hungry. Extremely high or low blood glucose levels need to be avoided. As for losing weight, “slow and steady wins the race.” You have already consulted your doctor, you strictly go by the norms given to you and you lose two pounds per week. Very good! That’s good progress.

The risk of heart diseases and liver problems are ever there for diabetics. The food items that are major sources of saturated fats must be avoided. Olive oil is often recommended as a good source of mono-unsaturated fat, the healthiest type of fat.

You must remember the following points, which are your lifelines:

1. Maintain the normal blood glucose level.

2. You have the possibility of heart and liver diseases. Limit your food items from this point of view.

3. Maintain the desired level of weight.

With all the emphasis on diet, research on influence of various types of foods on the diabetes patients is still going on unabated. Researchers in this area are the most confused lot. They are certain about effects of some items of food. Vague opinions also float. For example, the researchers are sure that cooked foods raise blood glucose higher than the raw foods. Whether foods with sugar raise blood glucose higher than the foods with starch, is still uncertain!

Diabetes care will, perhaps, be a hot subject for all time to come-so far, diabetes is alive and kicking!

February 25, 2014

Diabetes and Your Mouth

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We diabetics have to pay even more attention to our teeth and gums than other people.

We are at greater risk of cavities, gum disease and tooth infections. Not only that, but those infections can cause our blood sugar to rise, so it becomes a vicious cycle.

Here are some mouth problems common in diabetics.

Plaque

Plaque is, of course, a problem for many people, not just diabetics. But it’s caused by starches and sugars, and of course we have more than our share of those! So diabetics are highly prone to plaque.

Dry mouth

Sometimes my mouth is so dry in the morning I can hardly speak-I’m sure you know how that feels. But it’s more than just inconvenient, it’s dangerous to the health of our mouths. You see, saliva washes away many of the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Dry mouth cuts the amount of saliva available for this job, so the result is more cavities and gum disease. Dry mouth sometimes also creates inflammation of the soft tissue in the mouth, making eating difficult and unpleasant.

While there are artificial saliva substitutes, which your dentist can tell you about, you can usually stimulate your own saliva by sucking on a sugar-free hard candy. I like no-sugar-added Ricola for this purpose. And of course, drinking water helps.< do we diabetics have less saliva than we need, but the saliva we do have is high in sugar content, so it’s double trouble for us. This can cause a fungal infection called candiasis, commonly known as thrush. It produces sore red or white spots in the mouth. Medication can help though, so ask your dentist.

As a diabetic, you must pay great attention to oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, and floss daily. Examine your gums for signs of problems-and always visit your dentist at least twice a year.

February 24, 2014

Diabetes and Your Heart

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Diabetes is one condition that must be treated as soon as it is diagnosed, even though in its early stages it doesn’t hurt, or cause inconvenience, or create any worrisome symptoms. But ignoring it is a mistake, because the blood sugar imbalance we diabetics live with can cause a variety of complications, even leading to other serious health conditions.

One major cause for concern is adverse effects on our hearts. Our unstable blood sugar levels can cause poor circulation-a big step on the road to heart problems. Here are some things to watch for.

Hypertension

Diabetes often goes hand-in-hand with high blood pressure, or hypertension. In fact, your doctor will tell you that diabetics must work to get their blood pressure down even lower than other people. While a systolic pressure (the top number) of 140 might be acceptable for the general population, we diabetics should aim for 130 or lower. It’s all part of the battle against possible heart disease.

Blood fats

Cholesterol and tryglycerides, or blood fats, also need to be kept lower in diabetics. Lots of fruits and vegetables, fewer packaged or fried foods are your best bets for dietary blood fat control. Throw out that frying pan!

Blood sugar

Blood sugar levels need monitoring too, as consistently high levels damage blood vessels and can lead to cardiovascular difficulties.

Weight level

And of course you know it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. Why is that particularly important for us diabetics? First, if you are overweight your heart muscle needs to work harder to pump blood through your system. This weakens your blood vessels, which are then more susceptible to damage from fluctuating blood sugar levels. It’s a vicious cycle you don’t want to create.

Your heart is the main engine of your whole body, so you need to do everything possible to keep it in good shape. For the sake of a healthy heart, take control of your diabetes.

February 22, 2014