Controlling Diabetes

Controlling Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycemia, or elevated blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes. Over time, it can lead to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, including nerves and blood vessels.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices Can Prevent or Treat
The Most Common Forms of Diabetes Effectively

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 350 million people currently suffer from diabetes worldwide. WHO projects that deaths from diabetes will double by the year 2003.

Diabetes can occur in different forms. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by deficient insulin production, often developed at a young age. The causes of  type 1 diabetes are not yet fully understood and the disease is neither preventable nor curable at this point in time. Treatment requires daily administration of insulin.

Type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. The vast majority of diabetics has this form of diabetes. It is largely the result of excess body weight and sedentary lifestyles. The symptoms can be similar to those of type 1 diabetes. Formerly only known to occur in adults, type 2 diabetes is now also on the rise in children and adolescents.

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that occurs first during pregnancy. The symptoms are similar to the other two types. If kept untreated, the risk of progressing from gestational diabetes to type 2 diabetes is real.

Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Almost half of all diabetics die from cardiovascular disease.

Treatment of diabetes includes measures to lower blood glucose levels and other risk factors that damage blood vessels. While type 1 diabetes patients require daily insulin injections, type 2 diabetics can benefit from other forms of treatment as well, such as weight management and blood pressure control.

Weight control, diet, exercise and other health-promoting lifestyle choices can prevent type 2 diabetes from occuring in the first place.

How Diabetes and Obesity Are Ravaging America Today
Do you feel exhausted all the time? Are you overweight? Do you have too much belly fat? Do you suffer from diabetes, have serious blood sugar and insulin imbalances, monitor your blood sugar all the time, or have elevated cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels? Do you fear for your health? If so, you may find this remarkable story of one of my patient’s very interesting.
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Scary Statistics of the Diabetes Epidemic
The online journal, BioMed Central, has recently published a nationwide survey on diabetes in the United States that includes a detailed state-by-state breakdown. The results are not surprising and confirm more or less what researchers have known for quite some time: Diabetes continues to be on the rise everywhere in America, and the situation is the worst in the southern parts of the country.
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Diabetes Myths Busted
Diabetes care can be exhausting. You measure your blood sugar, take your diabetes medications, drag yourself out of bed early to walk around your neighborhood and take the extra time to pack your lunch. And with so much to learn, you read everything you can find about diabetes and listen to everyone’s well-meaning advice and personal stories. It’s information overload. But what might not be so obvious is that a lot of what you read and hear is just plain wrong.
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Great Carb Debate – Can Glucose Control and Healthy Eating Coexist?
I appreciate Diabetes Forecast’s effort at tackling the great carbohydrate debates in: “Are Carbs the Enemy?” (March 2011). How appropriate! It’s National Nutrition Month with the theme – “Eat Right with Color” (it’s hard to create a color palate without fruits and vegetables!). I also appreciate the dual challenges, for people with prediabetes and diabetes, of glucose control and healthy eating. Goals which can often seem at odds.
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Insulin Resistance Explained
With the increasing conversation about pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, you’ve likely heard the terms “insulin resistance” and its “opposite insulin sensitivity.” Another term that’s entered our lexicon with the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes is “metabolic syndrome,” a group of symptoms, which, at its core, is insulin resistance. Think of metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes as a continuum.
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