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Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Diabetes treatmentDiabetes treatment for those suffering from type 2 diabetes focuses on improving the habits and lifestyle of the patient and may include medication and insulin therapy in severe cases. Diabetes treatment also invariably includes a more active lifestyle with at least a one-hour-a-day exercise.

Type 2 Diabetes Triggers
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin due to damage in the insulin receptor cells. There may be various medical causes for the damage to the cells, but generally speaking, Type 2 diabetes is often considered a lifestyle disease.  People following a less active lifestyle combined with diets high in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids with little or no fiber intake are at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes treatment
Type 2 diabetes treatment stresses on healthy eating and regular exercise to control weight. The reason is because more than 55% of people with Type 2 diabetes are obese. Healthy eating involves a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low in fats and calories. Diabetes treatment for Type 2 may also make use of certain medications as well as insulin therapy depending on the patient’s needs. When we talk of medication for diabetes treatment, it could mean taking drugs to slow down the movement of food in the stomach to avoid a spike in blood sugar levels.

Diabetes treatment includes daily monitoring
Blood glucose monitoring is another important aspect of Type 2 diabetes treatment. Since diabetes treatment focuses on maintaining the ideal blood sugar levels, it becomes essential to monitor it on a daily basis. This is done with the help of a device known as a glucometer. This procedure that forms a part of the patient’s diabetes treatment plan involves pricking the finger with a lancet to extract a small drop of blood that is placed on a testing strip. The testing strip is inserted into the glucometer which gives a reading in about 30 seconds. Your doctor or health care practitioner in charge of your diabetes treatment plan will help you set up a regular glucose monitoring schedule to be followed.

Hygiene and attention to yourself as part of the Diabetes treatment
Self care is important in your diabetes treatment plan. Diabetics usually suffer from foot problems due to lack of proper blood circulation and nerve damage leading to an inability to fight infections. As part of diabetes treatment plan it is essential that diabetics take proper care of their feet to avoid further complications. Make checking your feet for sores and cuts a routine part of your diabetes treatment plan so that problems do not go unnoticed. Wear comfortable shoes and soften dry skin with lotion or petroleum jelly. Diabetics can also suffer from problems relating to the teeth, gums and eyes. Hence, diabetes treatment should involve scheduled visits to the dentist and ophthalmologist at least once a year.

Diabetes treatment without insulin
Some people with Type 2 diabetes are able to manage their blood glucose levels with a healthy diet and regular exercise, thus avoiding the conventional diabetes treatment. However, there are others who are not so fortunate and may require diabetes treatment involving insulin therapy. Depending upon the patient’s requirement, doctors may prescribe rapid action insulin and long-acting insulin. Insulin can either be injected with a needle and syringe or with an insulin pen. The other option is an insulin pump. The patient can choose the method of insulin therapy for diabetes treatment depending on his convenience.

The significance of self care, healthy diet and regular exercise cannot be stressed enough in type 2 diabetes treatment. These are lifestyle changes that the individual must take seriously for successful diabetes treatment.

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Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Blood Sugar levelWhen glucose begins to accumulate in our blood stream a series of symptoms of diabetes will be manifested. While these symptoms of diabetes may not conclusively proof diabetes, the presence of any of the symptoms of diabetes should logically lead you to do a blood glucose test.

The instant we hear that someone in our family has diabetes we begin to worry and with sound reasons too after all, diabetes is very hereditary. This blog gives you a clear bird’s eye view of the symptoms of diabetes.

Essentially there are three types of diabetes – (1) Pre-diabetic stage (2) Diabetes Type 2 and Diabetes Type 1

You are Pre-diabetic if your blood sugar is a bit higher than normal and Blood glucose tests reveal that it happens on several occasions. Diabetes Type 2 is the next stage i.e. your blood glucose is habitually higher than normal either due to impaired insulin production or inability of your blood cells to utilize insulin. Diabetes Type 1 is when your body does not produce insulin leading to accumulation of glucose in your blood.

So is blood sugar testing the only means to find out if we are diabetic or not? Fortunately no, so let’s take a look at the symptoms of diabetes beginning with Pre-diabetic and diabetes type 2. I have combined these two because the symptoms of diabetes for both stages are the same. The classification of Pre or Type 2 depends on the severity and state of your Pancreas.

Symptoms of Pre-diabetic and Diabetes Type 2:

Symptom of diabetes 1: Fatigue

Have you been feeling increasingly fatigued lately? Here’s what happens; normally your body metabolizes glucose and converts it to energy which in turn powers up your activity. If you body cannot metabolize glucose then fat is metabolized into energy. This alternate method however is not efficient and the body goes in negative calorie effect, which results in fatigue.

Symptom of diabetes 2: Thirst

As the concentration of blood sugar increases, the brain triggers a thirst signal in an effort to get you to drink water and dilute the excess sugar in the blood. If you were drinking an average three glasses of water a day and now instead you have been drinking 5 or more glasses than you should seriously consider a blood glucose test.

Symptom of diabetes 3: Excess urination

Tied in with symptom 2 of diabetes is increase in the number of times you need to urinate. Excess intake of water results in excess urination. At this stage the urine essentially is secreting the excess sugar. It tends to be dark yellow.

Symptom of diabetes 4: Excessive hunger

In an all out effort to control the sugar level, your Pancreases will increase the production of insulin. Insulin however, apart from breaking down glucose in the blood also triggers sensation of hunger.

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What is Diabetes Mellitus?

No, Diabetes Mellitus is not some exotic new form of diabetes. Diabetes Mellitus is the medical term for diabetes. Thanks to our 20th century lifestyle, Diabetes Mellitus or diabetes as it is more commonly called is one of the most common diseases in the United States and it is estimated that over 16.5 million Americans have Diabetes Mellitus.

Diabetes Mellitus is fatal!

If Diabetes Mellitus is almost as common as flue or cold, then do we really need to bother about it? The answer is yes because unlike common cold, Diabetes Mellitus does not ebb and go away after the mandatory 7 days. If Diabetes Mellitus is left untreated it quickly becomes fatal. In fact, Diabetes Mellitus is one of the contributors to premature deaths in the United States.

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder that occurs when insulin produced in our body is either insufficient or cannot be utilized. Insulin of course is a hormone required by our body to convert starches, sugar and other foods into energy that we use for our day to day activity. Even when we sleep or just sit in one place and think we utilize energy. People suffering Diabetes Mellitus therefore have high levels of unutilized or un-metabolized blood sugar (glucose) in the body. Therefore, on the one hand they have very low levels of energy and on the other hand, they have high levels of glucose. Energy starvation caused by Diabetes Mellitus leads to shut down of the body (comma) and ultimately death.

Just as our body temperature needs to be maintained at a constant 98.6° Fahrenheit, our blood glucose level too needs to be maintained within a very narrow range. There is a complex mechanism that does it but the chief controllers are insulin and Glucagon.

There are three main types of Diabetes Mellitus or diabetes:
Type I diabetes, Type II diabetes and Gestational diabetes

Why is Diabetes Mellitus more prevalent in modern times?

The first two forms of Diabetes Mellitus i.e. Diabetes Type I & II are called lifestyle diseases because they are triggered by what we eat, when we eat and our activity levels. To a lesser extent, Type II diabetes can also be triggered by depression, tension or trauma.

Over the past few years our lifestyles have changed dramatically. We now have machines in the kitchen and house, machines that get us to work and machines at the place of work. Diabetes Mellitus is more prevalent in modern times because on the one hand our physical activity level has dramatically reduced while on the other, we’ve been enticed with unhealthy food including but not limited to; deep fries, ice creams, chocolates, pizzas and mouth watering pastries.

Do people with Diabetes Mellitus lose weight?

People with untreated Diabetes Mellitus will lose weight. When the body is unable to obtain energy from glucose, it finds an alternate solution – break down fat and protein and convert it into energy. The drop in the person’s weight can be quite dramatic and extremely unhealthy.

Check out for Type 2 diabetes information and What is high blood sugar

Diabetes and Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure and DiabetesThree out of every five clients who have diabetes along with blood pressure seem to consider blood pressure as a ‘minor’ issue and diabetes to be the major issue. In reality, high blood pressure puts severe strain on the kidneys, heart, arteries and other organs all of which depend on being nourished through adequate blood supply. Any alteration in the pressure and flow of the blood supply is analogous to driving a car with clogged fuel lines – the car will either drive very slowly due to fuel starvation or proceed in bursts and spurts depending on the flow of gas. Cut to the human body and you have the same effect except, all you might feel are some stab like sensations and that too, if you’re paying attention to your body.

If you have diabetes you should aim to keep your blood pressure well controlled. Having high blood pressure is one of several ‘risk factors’ that can increase your chance of developing heart disease, a stroke and some other complications. Treatment includes a change in lifestyle risk factors where these can be improved. Many people with diabetes and blood pressure need to take medication to lower their blood pressure.

I’m a dietician and personal trainer specializing in nutrition and physical fitness for diabetics. I’ve written several dozen blogs covering various aspects of diabetes including symptoms, monitoring, explaining glycaemic index, carbohydrate counting, and correlation between body weight, lifestyle and diabetes and so on. Today I intend to blog on relation between diabetes and blood pressure and why blood pressure and diabetes can be a deadly combination.

It isn’t for fun that the medical practitioners labeled blood pressure as a ‘silent killer’. All our organs indeed, every part of our body including hair and skin need nourishment that is supplied via the blood vessels. This nourishment needs to keep coming in a steady flow that is typically achieved only when your blood pressure is ‘normal’ i.e. 120/80 or near normal. Variations due to physical activity are normal and not a cause for concern. If your blood pressure is 140/90 or more then you need to visit your doctor and have the issue addressed.

Mild increases in blood pressure can be addressed through lifestyle changes that might include exercising regularly, drastic reduction in number of cigarettes smoked or preferably, quit smoking, a reduction in body fat and keeping a check on your salt intake and overall intake of food i.e. counting your calories. Ideally, you would want to consult your doctor, a dietician and a physical trainer in that order.

A doctor will recommend what changes are required. The dietician and physical trainer – if they are two different individuals will need to work together and this can sometimes be a daunting task so ideally, you need to consult a dietician-cum-personal trainer – someone like myself. This combination of skills is vital because food and exercise are deeply inter-related. The kind of food you eat, how much you eat, when you eat shares a deep connection with when you exercise, what kind of exercise you do and the level of intensity.

The moment the doctor specifies diet and exercise, too many people simply rush off and do their own thing. At best they end up with poor results, at worst they end up complicating an already delicate situation. Folks, there’s more than meets the eye here so please consult.

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Leading a Healthy and Fulfilling Life despite Diabetes

I’m Deborah Susan, a dietician and personal trainer specializing in nutrition and physical fitness for diabetics. So far the topics I’ve covered include how diabetes develops, what triggers diabetes, symptoms of diabetes, diagnostic tests you can take to confirm (or deny) presence of diabetes, monitoring your high blood sugar levels at home, key factors that keep your blood glucose under control and long-term implications of undiagnosed diabetes and how best to tackle it. Today I will dwell on lifestyle and its relation to diabetes.

Diabetes is a dark shadow that follows bad life style. Switching over to a healthy life may not get rid of the shadow but it will turn it into a less intense, pale reflection of its former self. Healthy lifestyle includes eating regular meals at the right times especially if we have to balance the effects of any tablets or insulin that might have to be taken. What’s in our food – carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fiber – enables us to make choices that help control blood glucose levels.

Principles of healthy eating

The principles of healthy eating for a diabetic are no different from that applicable for normal healthy humans. No foods are banned – but some should be eaten less often. Sometimes you might not have a choice about what food is available but generally you can adapt recipes and meals so that you can enjoy food while eating healthily.

The principles of healthy eating are:

* Eat regular small meals ensuring you include a portion of carbohydrates (I recommend a portion control plate as it makes this process easier)
* Eat more high fiber diet (including adequate quantities of fruits and vegetables).
* Switch to wholegrain – it is tastier and healthier.
* Cut down (don’t eliminate) fat.
* Dramatically reduce protein from animal sources.
* Dramatically reduce (don’t eliminate) sweets.
* Dramatically reduce (don’t eliminate) salt consumption.
* Dramatically reduce (eliminate if possible) alcohol consumption.

Diabetes and carbohydrates

When you have diabetes, your body is unable to use foods that contain carbohydrates in the normal way. All foods containing carbohydrates are normally broken down into glucose. Glucose is converted into energy through action of insulin. Underproduction of insulin or insulin intolerance means your blood glucose levels will rise each time you eat carbohydrates. But you still need to eat carbohydrates otherwise there will be no energy. The trick then is to eating carbohydrates in amounts that will balance out the tablets or insulin.

Type 1 diabetics taking short action insulin should eat food about at the same time they take insulin. Type 1 diabetics taking long action insulin should eat five small evenly paced meals.

Type 2 diabetics on the other hand, due to their impaired insulin production or action, should eat foods that take longer to be broken down into glucose. Therefore fruits and deserts should be consumed after meals. (So that it is queued in the digestive tract). Eat carbohydrates in moderation. If you are taking tablets for your diabetes you will need to take them in relation to your meals. Some tablets work by helping your digestive system break down the meals more slowly while other tablets work by stimulating the Pancreas into producing more insulin. Matching meals times to your medication is therefore important.

Check it out also for Glucose Levels Chart and Symptoms of High Blood Sugar

Tobacco smoke and diabetes are happy companions

Tobacco and DiabetesI’m Deborah Susan, a dietician and personal trainer specializing in nutrition and physical fitness for diabetics. I’ve written over three dozen blogs covering various aspects of diabetes including symptoms, monitoring, explaining glycaemic index, carbohydrate counting, and correlation between body weight, lifestyle and diabetes and so on.

The other day one of my clients walked into my clinic with a half smoked cigarette in his hand. He put it out as he walked in but I used the opportunity to talk to him about the effect of cigarette smoke on his family members. He said he smokes inside the house only during winter. During other times of year he smokes a single cigarette after dinner while relaxing in the porch. “What about other family members?” I asked. “Well, we all sit in the porch and discuss something or the other” he admitted sheepishly.

The problem with cigarette smoke is that it induces type 2 diabetes for the smoker as well as those around him. More the smoke greater the risk and this not mere hearsay; research carried out by various government and non-government agencies is quite conclusive, has been well established and has not been disputed even by the cigarette manufacturers. Obviously, due the volume of cigarette smoke entering the lungs, the cigarette smokers are first to get diabetes type II and people inhaling secondhand smoke are next in line.

In the case of women, cigarette smoke presents an even bigger problem. Not only can the smoke induce diabetes, it (diabetes) can also be passed on to any unborn or future child.

For those who quit smoking cigarettes, the probability of getting diabetes is only slightly reduced. The only real solution is to not smoke at all and to avoid second hand smoke effects to whatever extent possible. If you have just started smoking then quit now before your internal organs are permanently impaired. This is not to say that people who have been smoking for many years should not quit. The earlier you quit the less damage your internal organs suffer.

Those who smoke, especially if you smoke in excess of 2 packs of cigarettes a day, and have been doing so for more than a few years, the chances are you will be insulin resistant. Research has also proved conclusively that the risk of diabetes increases with every year you spend smoking or inhaling 2nd hand smoke. And here’s the final nail in the coffin for cigarette smoke inhalers: you have an increased risk of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy.

Patients suffering from Diabetes Type II who are or were heavy smokers, usually also suffer from macrovascular complications, peripheral vascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke. Also, achieving glycemic control in smokers or ex-smokers suffering from diabetes is always a challenge and requires consultation of senior doctors.

At the end of my short lecture, he said “if I’m certain to get diabetes, what does it matter if I smoke or not?”

Unfortunately it does matter – smoking continues to degrade your internal organs and in the process creates further unnecessary complications. Imagine tobacco and diabetes in combination with lung or throat cancer – do you really want that kind of complication?

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