Archive for February, 2010
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!
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.
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.
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 2, the cells in the body do not react properly by stimulation from insulin. Therefore they do not take in enough glucose from the blood to store it or to use it as energy source. This condition is called insulin resistance. The amount of glucose in the blood therefore rises. Also the insulin production can rise to regulate the glucose amount down, but this effort to reduce the blood glucose is not effective enough. If the disease persists for many years, the insulin production may tire out, so that the amount of secreted insulin decreases.
THE CAUSES AND MECHANISMS OF DIABETES TYPE 2
The exact mechanism that causes the disease is not known. There may be an autoimmune response to insulin or to the molecules on the cell surfaces that the insulin connects to. However, these lifestyle factors can cause the disease:
-Too high consume of sugar and fat
-Too less exercise over many years.
Therefore diabetes type 2 can be prevented by a right diet and with regular exercise.
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 2 are a consequence of these mechanisms.
THE SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES TYPE 2
Diabetes type 2 is the most common kind of diabetes, actually 10 times more common than diabetes type 1, where the insulin production is reduced or stopped. The disease usually appears after the age of 50, but the high sugar and fat consume in western countries nowadays also causes young persons to acquire the disease. Symptoms of diabetes type 2 come gradually. The symptoms are.
-Increased urine production
-Dehydration, that is a lack of water in the body
-Abnormal high thirst
-Slow healing of physical injuries
-Itching in the skin
-Infections caused by yeasts
In the long turn, the disease can cause atherosclerosis with blood vessel narrowing, heart disease and stroke.
THE TREATMENT OF DIABETES TYPE 2
The treatment of diabetes type 2 is most often diet with a low sugar amount and weight reduction. These measures will lighten the burden upon the blood sugar control of the body so that it manages to normalize the blood sugar levels. If this does not work good enough, medicines to lower the blood sugar is used.
If the insulin production is reduced, insulin injections are also used.
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, but they can help the body to regulate the blood sugar. 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 have proven their effects in scientific studies.