Posts Tagged ‘Diabetes’

Is the world dealing with an epidemic of diabetes?

It’s true that obesity is out of control in the West and consequently the type 2 diabetes numbers are growing rapidly. Left unchecked the figures are not going to get any better.

Between 2001 and 2002, the diagnosis of diabetes went from 5.5 percent of Americans to an alarming 6.5 percent. In just one year!

What are the figures like in 2010? The American Diabetes Association figures are as follows. 23.7 million Americans diagnosed with a further 5.7 million thought to have the disease and do not realize! The worst stat though is that 57 million (yes, that’s right) are pre-diabetic and could develop the disease at any time. Horrendous figures.

Impaired glucose levels due to poor diet are the root cause.

Not knowing is the worst because risks of untreated diabetes puts us at a terrible risk of complications including but not limited to blindness, coma, amputations and ultimately death.

The sad thing is that with some simple lifestyle changes Type 2 can be avoided with some ease. For a start eat less, eat more healthily and start taking some exercise. It only needs to be a brisk walk to start with, but do something. The American obesity figures are damning, if you’re in the bracket do something now, before it’s too late.

Statistically, people are now living longer, and it has been on the rise for years. But this will not continue if type 2 diabetes is not put under control.

We are a massive consumption society and if we don’t change – now – our life expectancy will go into reverse.

And, the problem is spreading. Normally thought of as a “Western” disease, cases are even on the increase in places such as Asia and the Middle East.

Current estimates suggest a vicious 380 million global cases by 2025, proof, if it were needed that this IS an epidemic. And diabetes is now striking earlier as we become more sedentary witnessed by cases in the 40-59 age group recently showing a sharp increase.

Symptoms are the key and we need to raise awareness. If you are feeling a bit down it may not be just a cold, or stress or a bug. If you’re unsure, get checked out.

So, don’t ignore symptoms. Oh and for the record, type 1 can be very sudden indeed. If the onset causes extra stress you may quickly find yourself in diabetic ketoacidosis due to a lack of bodily insulin.

Ketoacidosis symptoms include vomiting and severe dehydration and your blood sugar and potassium levels will be all over the place. Sufferers need urgent medical attention as ultimately this could be fatal.

Less extreme symptoms include hugely increased fatigue more so than you would normally expect.

Diabetics can often suffer extreme weight loss. Now if you’re over weight you may think that is good, but be aware this loss is because as a diabetic your body can’t process food properly. The situation is exasperated by sugar and water loss in the urine.

Extreme thirst is another symptom of diabetes. Diabetes develops high blood sugar levels and the body tries to compensate by diluting the blood, which translates to our brain that we are thirsty.

The increased intake of water leads to more urination. However if you are diabetic the body uses this to get rid of sugar and so increases urination even more, having the knock on effect of dehydrating you further still.

One of the worst side effects is that wounds heal very slowly or not at all in diabetics. This is why there is a tendency to amputations as well as very nasty ulcers.

So, maintain a healthy lifestyle and get checked out if you think you have any of the symptoms outlined above. Eat a proper balanced diet and make sure sugar and things like alcohol are taken in moderation. And…make sure you fit exercise into your routine. If you do this you greatly reduce your chances of suffering from diabetes – you know it makes sense!

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Copyright (c) 2010 Paul Evans

You may know a person who is suffering, or has recently been diagnosed with, type 1 diabetes. You may not know too much about the disease and may wish to learn more about type 1 insulin dependent diabetes for yourself, or for someone you know with the illness who you wish to give support to. As type 1 diabetes is not as heavily discussed, or publicised, in the news, nor are the cause and effect variables as clearly understood as type 2 diabetes, it is sometimes difficult to uncover information about the disease.

You will notice that when a person is suffering an episode of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars caused by the individual expending too much energy/sugar that their body cannot replace naturally), they can often be very aggressive towards others during the hypoglycaemic attack. As a type 1 diabetic myself, I will try to explain the reasons behind these bouts of aggression in diabetes type 1 sufferers.

Firstly, when suffering a hypoglycaemic attack, a diabetic will lose control of their basic bodily functions (their hands may shake uncontrollably for instance). This can be a very frustrating experience for the individual who may take their anger, and feelings of insignificance, out on the person who is trying to help them.

Sometimes a type 1 diabetic does not know why their blood sugar levels have dropped so dramatically and this feeling of the unknown can make them feel vulnerable and annoyed. To the diabetic there may be no obvious reason to explain why their body has rebelled against them. Often, when a diabetic experiences a hypoglycaemic attack, their mind is functioning normally but they just cannot send a message from their brain to their body successfully. For example, they may be aware that their blood sugar levels are dropping but not have the capability to tell the person they are with. This can make the patient very frustrated, and the person they are with seem very stupid or patronising (to the diabetic) – especially if they continue to tell the sufferer that they think their blood sugar levels are low, without realising that the diabetic is already aware of this (but simply unable to communicate it).

Finally, unlike type 2 diabetes (which is generally a result of an unhealthy lifestyle choice), type 1 diabetes seems to be random in its choice of sufferers, with no obvious cause leading to the individual’s pancreas breaking down. To the person diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it can just seem like a stroke of very bad luck with no rhyme or reason behind it. This bad luck is then carried with them for the rest of their life.

All of the above can go, in some part, towards explaining why a diabetic may show feelings of resentment, anger and frustration towards others when suffering a hypoglycaemic attack (especially as, the experience of low blood sugars means the individual’s inhibitions and self control check is dramatically reduced) and we must try to understand that it is not meant as a personal attack to the person trying to help.

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I’ve been coming to grips with my diabetes for over ten years now. I enlisted the aid of my doctor and dieticians but ultimately I know the major contributor to how well I cope with diabetes is me! Coping with diabetes has primarily meant changing ingrained poor nutrition habits. I know for a fact I have been guilty of skipping breakfast. But lesson number one as a diabetes is that you must have at least three balanced meals a day. Breakfast is probably the most important one of all. I appreciated the advice of one nurse. She told me to make sure I switch from hot breakfasts to cold breakfast every other day. This in her words sometimes can allow you to ‘trick’ your metabolism into working a little harder for you. It also will stop you from becoming bored with the same old bacon and eggs everyday. I’m finding this is making me look forward to breakfast a little more.

Aside from this, there are some things that I am learning to do for myself. You’ve probably heard these cliches before but in the case of a diabetic they really apply.

Care About Yourself First
Sometimes we as diabetics may have other family members to care for or just other responsibilities to manage. With diabetic education, I’ve learned that all these must take a back seat to your maintaining your diabetes or keeping it under control. So get breakfast ready for the family but make sure you sit down and eat a well balanced breakfast before or with your family. I’m finding I really have to change my mindset. I’m not naturally prone to the me-first way of doing things but when it comes to diabetes, and when you see all of the damage it can do to you, the me-first attitude is a little easier to apply in your life.

Take a Walk
Walking has amazing benefits to the diabetic. Not only do you get the cardiovascular benefits but you also
derive benefits to your mental health as well. My doctor recommends a brisk walk for 15 to 30 minutes a day. She says this also will help keep my blood sugar levels down. I’ve been trying to go for a walk around the neighborhood or in a park to drink up the beautiful scenery in my part of the county. So diabetic, do take a walk!

See your doctor regularly
I mistakenly thought I could manage my diabetes on my own once I knew exactly what I had to do. I couldn’t have been wronger. Usually, doctors schedule quarterly visits as follow-ups to diabetic patients. This is to monitor how well you are managing your diabetes. They will check your feet as well as getting blood samples to test the recession or progression of the diabetes. This is critical. You may be feeling just fine but your diabetes could be out of control. So making my doctor appointments is one way I cope with my diabetes.

Join a support group
I recently joined a support group of diabetics and this has proved awesome also. We’ve shared recipes and other methods of controlling our diabetes. Groups like these are plentiful on the internet. In summary, common and simple control procedures will really help to manage and treat this medical condition. Educate yourself and feel better today and in the future.

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Hypertension, a problem of very high blood pressure, is a common problem particularly in the United States where as many as one in four people suffer from it. However, those with diabetes are even more susceptible to the problem, and are doubly as likely to have hypertension. Depending on other factors, a person with diabetes may have as much as a 60% chance of also having hypertension.

The two problems are linked by a variety of different factors. The most common and important of which is being very overweight, a problem associated with type 2 diabetes. However, insulin resistance, immune system and autonomic factors all come into play as well. Additionally, hypertension can make some symptoms and conditions of diabetes more dangerous and more prevalent.

Those that have diabetes typically already have stricter blood pressure requirements than those in the rest of the population. This can make hypertension all the more serious, and it’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Serious problems ranging from heart attacks to strokes and more can all stem from prolonged hypertension.

A person who has both diabetes and hypertension can seek out a variety of treatments. There are several classes of drugs which can attack the problem in different ways. Considering the seriousness of hypertension, particularly in those with diabetes, drugs are often recommended as a primary way for combating the issue.

This should also be combined however with a general health and fitness plan designed to lose weight and be healthier. Even moderate amounts of mild exercise can make a big difference over the long term in lowering blood pressure. Participating in moderate to intense exercise several times a week is even better. The physical exertion is healthy in and of itself but should also pay dividends towards a goal of achieving weight loss.

Eating better foods can also make a big difference towards hypertension and high blood pressure levels. Particularly, cutting back on sodium in your diet can have a positive effect as one example. Potassium is a key nutrient that you should be sure to include heavily in your diet as well. While weight loss is a goal, weight loss drugs have to be taken with care. For example, some appetite suppressants actually increase blood pressure as a side effect. Always consult your doctor when considering various medications.

Additionally, smoking can add to the problem of hypertension and needs to be stopped. Avoiding or moderating your intake of alcohol is also important, and other stimulants such as caffeine should be monitored.

With these lifestyle changes you can make a big dent in a combined hypertension and diabetes problem. However, to reach the target goals of improvement and to ensure success it is usually recommended to make these healthier life decisions while also taking one or more medications to help control the problem as well. Considering the seriousness of hypertension and it’s extremely high correlation with diabetes, it is a problem that cannot be overlooked.

Jennifer Kirkman is the owner of many websites, two of the main ones are, and also Visit these sites for much more information on diabetes and diabetes problems, and proper nutrition.

Dr. McDougall's Webinar: How to Prevent and Treat Diabetes, Part 1

Brunzell’s article “Improved Glucose Tolerance with High Carbohydrate Feeding in Mild Diabetes” is available at

Himsworth’s article “Insulin Deficiency and Insulin Inefficiency” is available at


Dr. Gustavo Tolosa’s Biography:

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Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases worldwide. Numbers are expected to double in the next 20 years. Many people suffering from diabetes are not aware of their condition. Symptoms of diabetes could go for years before people become aware of their illness. Patients in poor countries who suffer from diabetes are at the most risks because an affordable way of detecting diabetes at its early stages is financially out of reach. Attitudes towards health and lifestyle have also greatly increased the occurrence of diabetes.

The most widely used method of checking for diabetes in through blood glucose tests. Blood glucose levels are checked and if levels are above normal further tests are taken to confirm a finding of diabetes. Below is some of the most common test to detect blood glucose levels.

Fasting Blood Glucose Test
The best and most convenient way of taking blood glucose test the fast blood glucose test is the most popular way of determining blood glucose levels. This is done by asking the patient to refrain from eating for 8 hours before the test. This is usually done at bedtime when the patient is asked to fast for 8 hours. A blood sample is then taken in the morning and checked for glucose levels. If a person is found to have less than 100 milligrams per deciliter then this would mean that they have normal levels and negative for diabetes. If they are levels between 100 to 126 milligrams per deciliters then they are diagnosed with pre-diabetes. A finding of 126 milligrams per deciliter or above for such test and when another test is taken on two different days means a positive diagnosis for diabetes.

Random (Non-Fasting) Blood Glucose Test
Classic symptoms of thirst, urination or fatigue are experienced by the patient this might signal the onset of disease. A blood sample is taken from a patient and is then measured for blood glucose levels. If it is determined to be 200 milligrams per deciliter or above a person is probably suffering from diabetes. Another test is taken by letting the patient take the glucose tolerance test and if found to have high levels of glucose in the blood a person is diagnosed as diabetic.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Not commonly used nowadays Oral Glucose Tolerance Tests are done mostly for pregnant women. This is a test to determine if a pregnant woman is suffering from gestational diabetes or pregnancy induced diabetes.

If you are a person suffering from severe bouts of thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight gain or loss, increased hunger or a tingling sensation on your hands or feet you might be suffering from diabetes. Diabetes blood test is safe and can easily determine if you are suffering from diabetes. A quick visit from your doctor may help you stop the progress of the disease and help you live a healthier life.

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