Friday, November 30, 2012

Article # 81. Tips to Prevent Diabetes

Tips to Prevent Diabetes

When it comes to type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is a big deal. It's especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you're at increased risk of diabetes, for example, if you're overweight or have a family history of the disease.

Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds — and it's never too late to start. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage.

Tip 1: Get more physical activity
There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
·         Lose weight
·         Lower your blood sugar
·         Boosts your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greatest benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.

Tip 2: Get plenty of fibre
It's rough, it's tough — and it may help you:
·         Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
·         Lower your risk of heart disease
·         Promote weight loss by helping you feel full
Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Tip 3: Go for whole grains
Although it's not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and many cereals. Look for the word "whole" on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.

Tip 4: Lose extra weight
If you're overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health. And you may be surprised by how much. In one study, overweight adults reduced their diabetes risk by 16 percent for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost. Also, those who lost a modest amount of weight — at least 5 to 10 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent over three years.

Tip 5: Skip fad diets and make healthier choices
Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn't known nor are their long-term effects. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.

When to see your doctor
If you're older than age 45 and your weight is normal, ask your doctor if diabetes testing is appropriate for you. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:
·         You're age 45 or older and overweight
·         You're younger than age 45 and overweight with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes — such as a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of diabetes
Share your concerns about diabetes prevention with your doctor. He or she will applaud your efforts to keep diabetes at bay, and perhaps offer additional suggestions based on your medical history or other factors.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Article # 80. Diabetes diet & Food Pyramid

Lets Fight Against Diabetes, as this is the last day of Diabetes month, I am glad to post this update, hope this will be useful information to the public.

Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan

Your diabetes diet is simply a healthy-eating plan that will help you control your blood sugar. Here's help getting started, from meal planning to exchange lists and counting carbohydrates.
A diabetes diet — medically known as medical nutrition therapy (MNT) for diabetes — simply translates into eating a variety of nutritious foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes.
Rather than a restrictive diet, a diabetes diet or MNT is a healthy-eating plan that's naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In fact, a diabetes diet is the best eating plan for most everyone.

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor will likely recommend that you see a dietitian to guide you on dietary changes that can help you control your blood sugar (glucose) level and manage your weight.
When you eat excess calories and fat, your body responds by creating an undesirable rise in blood glucose. If blood glucose isn't kept in check, it can lead to serious problems, such as a dangerously high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) and chronic complications, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage.
Making healthy food choices and tracking your eating habits can help you manage your blood glucose level and keep it within a safe range.
For most people with type 2 diabetes, losing pounds also can make it easier to control blood glucose and offers a host of other health benefits. If you need to lose weight, a diabetes diet provides a well-organized, nutritious way to reach your goal safely.
Recommended foods With MNT, quality is much more important than quantity. Make your calories count with these nutritious foods:

·         Healthy carbohydrates. During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on the healthiest carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and low-fat dairy products.
·         Fiber-rich foods. Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can't digest or absorb. Fiber can decrease the risk of heart disease and help control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole-wheat flour and wheat bran.
·         Heart-healthy fish. Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish can be a good alternative to high-fat meats. Cod, tuna and halibut, for example, have less total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than do meat and poultry. Fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health by lowering blood fats called triglycerides. However, avoid fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury, such as tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel.
·         'Good' fats. Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — such as avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, olives, and canola, olive and peanut oils — can help lower your cholesterol levels. Eat them sparingly, however, as all fats are high in calories.
Foods to avoid
Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Foods containing the following can work against your goal of a heart-healthy diet.
·         Saturated fats. High-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon contain saturated fats. Get no more than 7 percent of your daily calories from saturated fat.
·         Trans fats. These types of fats are found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening and stick margarines and should be avoided completely.
·         Cholesterol. Sources of cholesterol include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, shellfish, liver and other organ meats. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
·         Sodium. Aim for less than 2,000 mg of sodium a day.
A sample menu :Your daily meal plan should take into account your size as well as your physical activity level. The following menu is tailored for someone who needs 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day. It’s just a sample..
·         Breakfast. Whole-wheat pancakes or waffles, one piece of fruit, 1 cup of low-fat milk.
·         Lunch. Chicken kabab, 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup of cooked rice, 1/2 cup of juice.
·         Dinner. Pasta primavera prepared with broccoli, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash and Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of low-fat milk.
·         Snacks. Six homemade crispy corn tortilla chips, 1/2 cup fresh vegetables with a seasoned garlic sauce.
·         Refreshments such as Green tea with less added sugar or without

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Article # 79. How Does Diabetes Affect The Body?

How Does Diabetes Affect The Body?
Knowing how diabetes affects your body can help you look after your body and prevent diabetic complications from developing.
Many of effects of diabetes stem from the same guilty parties, namely high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and a lack of blood glucose control.
Signs of diabetes
When undiagnosed or uncontrolled, the effects of diabetes on the body can be noticed by the classic symptoms of diabetes, namely:
·         Increased thirst
·         Frequent need to urinate
·         Fatigue
·         Blurred vision and
·         Tingling or pain in the hands, feet and/or legs.

Long term effects of diabetes on the body
In addition to the symptoms, diabetes can cause long term damage to our body.
The long term damage is commonly referred to as diabetic complications.
Diabetes affects our blood vessels and nerves and therefore can affect any part of the body.
However, certain parts of our body are affected more than other parts.
Diabetic complications will usually take a number of years of poorly controlled diabetes to develop. Complications are not a certainty and can be kept at bay and prevented by maintaining a strong level of control on your diabetes, your blood pressure and cholesterol.
These can all be helped by keeping to a healthy diet, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and incorporating regular activity into your daily regime in order to keep blood sugar levels within recommended blood glucose level guidelines.
The effect of diabetes on the heart
Diabetes and coronary heart disease are closely related.
Diabetes contributes to high blood pressure and is linked with high cholesterol which significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes and strokes
Similar to how diabetes affects the heart, high blood pressure and cholesterol raises the risk of strokes.
How diabetes affects the eyes
A relatively common complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. As with all complications, this condition is brought on by a number of years of poorly controlled or uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy has a number of symptoms.
Retinopathy is caused by blood vessels in the back of the eye (the retina) swelling and leaking. High blood pressure is also a contributing factor for diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy can be treated so it’s best to catch it as early as you can. The best way to do this is to attend a retinopathy screening appointment, provided free on the NHS, once each year.

Diabetes and Your Nerves
Over time, high blood sugar levels can harm the nerves. This can lead to loss of sensation or feeling (usually starting in the toes) or pain and burning of the feet. Approximately 60-70% of people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage.
Diabetes-related nerve damage can also cause pain in the legs, arms, and hands, and can cause problems with digestion,
Diabetes and Your Teeth
People with diabetes are at high risk for gum disease. Keeping your diabetes under control, seeing your dentist regularly, and taking good daily care of your teeth can prevent gum disease and tooth loss.
The Cause of Diabetes Complications
Diabetes complications are caused by damage to the blood vessels, nerves, or both.

Symptoms of Diabetes Complications
Symptoms vary depending on the diabetes complication that you have. You may have:
·         No symptoms if you have heart disease or atherosclerosis of a large blood vessel, unless you have a heart attack or stoke. Disease of the large blood vessels in your legs may cause problems with blood circulation, leading to leg cramps, changes in skin color, and decreased sensation.

·         Vision problems, vision loss, or pain in your eye if you have diabetic eye disease

·         No symptoms if you have early diabetes-related kidney disease. Swelling of the legs and feet occur in more advanced stages of kidney failure.

·         Tingling, numbness, burning, or shooting or stabbing pain in the feet, hands, or other parts of your body, if the nerves are affected by diabetes (peripheral diabetic neuropathy). If the nerves that control internal organs are damaged (autonomic neuropathy), you may have sexual problems, digestive problems (a condition called gastroparesis); difficulty sensing when your bladder is full; dizziness, fainting, or difficulty knowing when your blood sugar is low.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Article # 78. Prediabetes

What is prediabetes?
Prediabetes is when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Prediabetes means a person is at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, as well as for heart disease and stroke. Many people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years.
However, modest weight loss and moderate physical activity can help people with prediabetes delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.
How are diabetes and prediabetes diagnosed?
Blood tests are used to diagnosis diabetes and prediabetes because early in the disease type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms. All diabetes blood tests involve drawing blood at a health care provider’s office or commercial facility and sending the sample to a lab for analysis. Lab analysis of blood is needed to ensure test results are accurate. Glucose measuring devices used in a health care provider’s office, such as finger—stick devices, are not accurate enough for diagnosis but may be used as a quick indicator of high blood glucose.
Testing enables health care providers to find and treat diabetes before complications occur and to find and treat prediabetes, which can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes from developing.
Any one of the following tests can be used for diagnosis:*
·         An A1C test, also called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test
·         A fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test
·         An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
*Not all tests are recommended for diagnosing all types of diabetes. See the individual test descriptions for details.
Another blood test, the random plasma glucose (RPG) test, is sometimes used to diagnose diabetes during a regular health checkup. If the RPG measures 200 micrograms per deciliter or above, and the individual also shows symptoms of diabetes, then a health care provider may diagnose diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes include
·         Increased urination
·         Increased thirst
·         Unexplained weight loss
Other symptoms can include fatigue, blurred vision, increased hunger, and sores that do not heal.
Any test used to diagnose diabetes requires confirmation with a second measurement unless clear symptoms of diabetes exist.
The following table provides the blood test levels for diagnosis of diabetes for nonpregnant adults and diagnosis of prediabetes.

A1C Test

The A1C test is used to detect type 2 diabetes and prediabetes but is not recommended for diagnosis of type 1 diabetes or gestational diabetes. The A1C test is a blood test that reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months and does not show daily fluctuations. The A1C test is more convenient for patients than the traditional glucose tests because it does not require fasting and can be performed at any time of the day.

The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent.

An A1C of 5.7 to 6.4 percent indicates prediabetes. People diagnosed with prediabetes may be retested in 1 year. People with an A1C below 5.7 percent maystill be at risk for diabetes, depending on the presence of other characteristics that put them at risk, also known as risk factors. People with an A1C above 6.0 percent should be considered at very high risk of developing diabetes. A level of 6.5 percent or above means a person has diabetes.

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test

The FPG test is used to detect diabetes and prediabetes. The FPG test has been the most common test used for diagnosing diabetes because it is more convenient than the OGTT and less expensive. The FPG test measures blood glucose in a person who has fasted for at least 8 hours and is most reliable when given in the morning.

People with a fasting glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL have impaired fasting glucose (IFG), or prediabetes. A level of 126 mg/dL or above, confirmed by repeating the test on another day, means a person has diabetes.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

The OGTT can be used to diagnose diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. Research has shown that the OGTT is more sensitive than the FPG test, but it is less convenient to administer. When used to test for diabetes or prediabetes, the OGTT measures blood glucose after a person fasts for at least 8 hours and 2 hours after the person drinks a liquid containing 75 grams of glucose dissolved in water.
If the 2-hour blood glucose level is between 140 and 199 mg/dL, the person has a type of prediabetes called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). If confirmed by a second test, a 2-hour glucose level of 200 mg/dL or above means a person has diabetes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Article # 77. About Diabetes

Diabetes, known medically as diabetes mellitus, is a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to how the body uses and digests food for growth and energy. Most of the food we consume is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar in the blood - it is the main source of food for our bodies (our cells).

When food is digested it eventually enters our bloodstream in the form of glucose. Cells utilize the glucose for growth and energy. However, without the help of insulin, the glucose cannot enter our cells.

Insulin, a hormone, is produced by Beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans, which are in the pancreas.

After eating, the pancreas automatically releases an adequate amount of insulin to transport the blood glucose into the cells, which results in lower blood sugar levels.

If you have diabetes, the glucose in the bloodstream does not enter the cells (at all or not enough), so glucose builds up until levels are too high, resulting in a condition called hyperglycemia. This happens for one of two main reasons:
·         The body is producing no insulin - as is the case in Diabetes Type 1
·         The cells do not respond correctly to the insulin - as occurs in Diabetes Type 2
Consequently, excessive amounts of glucose accumulate in the blood. This blood glucose overload is eventually passed out of the body in urine. Even though the blood has plenty of insulin, the cells of a person with diabetes are not getting their crucial energy and growth requirements.
In Diabetes Type 1 the body is not producing insulin, while in Diabetes Type 2 the cells are not responding properly to the insulin, and/or there is not enough insulin being produced.
Types of Diabetes

Diabetes Type 1 patients, who typically develop the disease as children or young adults, are unable to produce insulin. In this type of diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas no longer make insulin because the body’s immune system has attacked and destroyed them. Their symptoms--high levels of sugar in their blood and urine, frequent urination, extreme hunger, thirst, and weight loss, weakness, and nausea--often develop quickly. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes control the disease with daily insulin injections, exercise, and diet.

Diabetes Type 2 formerly called “adult onset” diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, which constitutes the most common form of the disease with over 80% of diabetic patients suffering from this "adult onset" form. Type 2 Diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition linked to excess weight in which muscle, liver, and fat cells do not use insulin properly. In other words Type 2 patients do not produce enough insulin or are unable to make proper use of the insulin they do produce. Although certain symptoms are similar to Type 1 (tiredness, irritability, nausea, possibly increased appetite), Type 2 diabetes develops more slowly and thus can develop undetected for some time.
The precise causes of both types of diabetes are unknown, but in many patients, genetic factors seem to play a role in the manifestation of the disease.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes affects 2 to 10 % of all pregnancies.
The hormones produced during pregnancy increase the amount of insulin needed to control blood glucose levels. If the body can’t meet this increased need for insulin, women can develop gestational diabetes during the late stages of pregnancy.
Although this type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, women who have had gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Research has shown that lifestyle changes and the diabetes medication, metformin, can reduce or delay the risk of type 2 Diabetes in these women. Babies born to mothers who had gestational diabetes are also more likely to develop obesity and type 2 Diabetes as they grow up.

Insulin resistance

Our body produces insulin, but its insulin sensitivity is undermined and does not work as it should do - glucose is not entering the body's cells properly. Consequently, blood sugar levels rise, and the cells are not getting their required nutrients for energy and growth.
The insulin resistance will reach a point in which the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas is not enough to make up for the cells lower response. At this point the person will have to take additional insulin.

Lack of physical activity, being overweight, and some genetic factors make it much more likely that the cells build up insulin resistance more quickly. It is important to remember that insulin resistance is not the insulin not responding properly, it is the cells not responding properly to insulin.
Unfortunately, insulin resistance can lock a patient into a vicious circle, because insulin resistance itself promotes weight gain. So, if people are insulin resistant because they are overweight, the excess pounds are harder to get rid of because of it.
Diabetes - Type I
Diabetes - Type 2
Usually appears before the age of 25Patients tend to be older than 25, overweight, sedentary
Patient can quickly become very illEarly stages don't necessarily produce symptoms
No longer able to produce insulin, so nutrients can't reach cellsSometimes detected during routine blood screening
Blood sugar can skyrocketStill produce insulin, but are "insulin resistant," so cannot use the insulin produced
Managed by insulin injectionManaged through diet, weight loss, oral medication, and possibly insulin injections
Goal of medical team: improve management of disease and life of patientGoal of medical team: improve management of disease and life of patient