Category Archives: Health

Diabetes and Exercise

Almost twenty-one million people in the US are living with diabetes and an estimated 6.2 million of these people don’t know that they have diabetes because they are undiagnosed. People with diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures that are 2.3 times higher than non-diabetics, according to the American Diabetes Association. Another study in Population Health Diabetes Management estimates that diabetes is costing our nation $218 billion dollars in health care every year. Yet, most diabetes cases are preventable or reversible through exercise, weight loss, and healthy living.

I find myself wondering. What if the 6.2 million people who were undiagnosed knew they had diabetes? Or the estimated 57 million Americans with Pre-Diabetes were educated on how they could mange their health and avoid becoming a Type 2 Diabetic?

Being diagnosed as Pre-Diabetic does not mean that Type 2 diabetes is inevitable. If you lose weight and increase your physical activity, you can prevent or delay diabetes and even return your blood glucose levels to normal (ACSM 2006). (See sidebar for diabetes terms defined)

This is a very important point that many people do not understand – if you exercise and lose weight you can prevent or delay diabetes.

Do you know the signs of diabetes? Take a look around you. Do you see any signs of diabetes in your friends and family right now? (See sidebar for common signs of diabetes) It is very possible that there are people that are diabetic (or will become diabetic) around you every day. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three Americans may develop diabetes in their lifetime. Those statistics are staggering and PREVENTABLE for most.

What about Type 2 diabetics that have been diagnosed? What if we educated them that through diet and exercise they could reduce their medication or eliminate it? What would this do for our health care crisis? I know that we’d first have to break through many myths, magic solutions, and limiting beliefs. The pharmaceutical companies won’t be happy with me letting this secret out either. But, what the heck, our health care system is in a crisis! Our Nation is sick! There, I said it. So let’s get down to the business of taking some personal responsibility for our health.

Many of you who are trying to understand diabetes and take responsibility for your health immediately have several questions:

o Should you cut out sugar?
o Is your weight putting you at risk?
o If you are skinny, you don’t have to worry, right?
o Can exercise and diet really help YOU?
o How do I control blood sugar levels?

And then there are the issues that you might not even know to ask about:

o Having diabetes for more than five years can increase your likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease
o Regular exercise can make you more sensitive to insulin, which can reduce medication dosages

First, let’s talk about insulin, the prime medication that keeps diabetics functioning and then you can see the answers clearly to your questions.

How does insulin work? Insulin is the main hormone that controls the entry of blood sugar from the blood stream into the cells of the body to be used as energy. How does exercise influence the insulin hormone? Exercise has an insulin-like effect on the body. When exercising, your muscles require a steady flow of sugar to keep contracting and keep you moving. Exercise increases the rate at which your muscles take up the sugar from your blood stream; so exercise acts the same as insulin by emptying the excess sugar in your blood stream into your muscles. This action, therefore, lowers your blood sugar. One twenty minute walk a day can lower glucose levels by twenty points.

Here is a great example to explain insulin’s function in your body. Think of insulin as a bus for a moment. Glucose (sugar) is the passenger. There are two types of diabetics. Type 1 diabetics manufacture no insulin (or have no bus), which, according to the Center for Disease Control, is 5% – 10% of all diagnosed cases. The second type (Type 2), have insulin resistance, which means the bus is there, but it is not picking up passengers and, there are less buses running the route. According to the Center for Disease Control, Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90%-95% of all diagnosed cases.

When you exercise, your muscles work harder than usual and require more fuel than usual; so your muscles send out their own buses to pick up the sugar in the bloodstream and carry it back to the muscles. Working muscles take over for insulin and (for Type 2 diabetics) they can even show the buses (insulin) how to work again (pick up passengers).

Exercising has many benefits for a diabetic. It increases glucose uptake by the cells, improves insulin sensitivity by improving glucose metabolism and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Reduction of blood glucose levels improves insulin sensitivity by making it more effective. Exercise may reduce dosage requirements or need for medication and improve the ability to lose and/ or maintain body weight if combined with an intuitive diet. (See sidebar for Safe Exercise Check List)

There are many popular myths about diabetes. Here are a few that I hear often.

Myth #1 – Diabetics can’t eat sugar or sweets and the only reason they have diabetes is because they ate too much sugar. Yes, simple carbohydrates or sweets do raise your blood glucose levels but if you eat them in moderation and make them part of your meal plan, you can safely eat an occasional sweet

Myth #2 – If I’m skinny I’m fine. Diabetes is only a disease that obese people get.
Not completely true, 20% of people with Type 2 Diabetes are slim. Yes, being obese does put you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The key thing to remember is that there is not an atypical “diabetes” body type, genetic trait, race, age or gender. Type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle choices and diabetes is a disease to take seriously.

Myth #3 – There is no natural remedy for Diabetes. If I take insulin or insulin sensitivity drugs I can continue with my same lifestyle choices and be alright. Well there is a natural remedy, it is called exercise and balanced eating. You can keep a tight control on diabetes by monitoring your glucose levels, combining exercise with balanced eating, or use medication.

Myth #4 – Well I’m only borderline and 170 mg/dl blood sugar reading is normal for me. You may feel normal being a diabetic but high glucose levels are not safe. There is no such thing as borderline. You either are a diabetic or you are not a diabetic. This is a serious disease that requires you to take personal responsibility for your body. There is serious health complications associated with diabetes, especially when you are stressing your body with high blood sugar levels. You have to start to make lifestyle changes so that you can live a quality life over the long term.

Myth #5 – Exercise! What can that do for me? Blah! Blah! Healthy Lifestyle Blah! Yeah, Yeah, I know. The American Diabetic Association recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week. This is exercise of 20-60 minutes, in continuous sessions, 3-5 times a week. The Diabetes Prevention Study revealed that exercising for a total of two hours a week can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 50%, that can be as little as 20 minutes, 6 days a week. Take a short, ten minute walk before and after work and you can prevent diabetes or lower your glucose levels.

The fact is, over 90% of diabetes cases are preventable and can be maintained with some natural remedies such as exercising, healthy eating, and/or combined with low doses of medication without tapping into our health care system to the tune of $218 billion. Start gradually and exercise a little everyday until you build up to the recommended guidelines. Eat a balanced, healthy diet and lose the all or nothing approach. Get educated about your disease, determine what your beliefs are about diabetes and make lifestyle changes starting today. (See sidebar Want to Learn More)

Diabetes is serious but you can do something about it!

Side Bars:

Diabetes Terms Defined
o Type 1 = Auto immune disease that destroys insulin producing cells in the pancreas. The body cannot manufacture its own insulin because the beta cells of the pancreas that are responsible for insulin production are destroyed. About 5-10% of all diagnosed cases (CDC 2005)

o Type 2 = body loses its sensitivity to insulin so the body’s cells are unable to utilize insulin properly (also knows as insulin resistance or adult onset diabetes). About 90% – 95% of all diagnosed cases (CDC 2005)

o Pre-Diabetes = If you have a fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) and your levels are 100 mg/dl to 125 mg/dl you are diagnosed as showing signs of becoming a diabetic unless you make some lifestyle changes

o Gestational Diabetes = When pregnancy hormones interfere with the mothers insulin, causing glucose levels to rise. This is a form of insulin resistance that in most cases ends with the birth of the child.

o Metabolic Syndrome = A combination of medical disorders that increases the risk factors of developing cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL), high cholesterol levels and elevated plasma triglyceride levels.

o Hypoglycemic = abnormally low blood sugar levels which could be caused by excessive insulin, or your diet. Signs would be: trembling or shakiness, nervousness, rapid heart beat, increased sweating, headache, impaired concentration or attentiveness, unconsciousness and coma

o Hyperglycemic = abnormally high blood sugar levels. Signs would be: frequent urination, great thirst, nausea, abdominal pain, dry skin, disorientation, labored breathing, and drowsiness.

Do you know the signs of diabetes? Some very telltale signs include:
o frequent thirst, hunger and urination
o weight loss
o fatigue
o crankiness
o frequent infections
o blurred vision
o cuts/ bruises that are slow to heal
o tingling and numbness in hands and feet
o recurring skin, gum and bladder infections

Safe Exercise Check List
o Get physician clearance before starting any exercise program
o Test your blood glucose level before exercise, immediately after exercise, and again two hours after exercise
o Follow general guidelines for a safe exercise session; warm-up, cool-down, stretch, adhere to an intensity of Type 1 (3 to 5 RPE) and Type 2 (3 to 6/7 RPE), drink plenty of water
o Wear well-fitting, well cushioned, supportive shoes
o Wear polyester or cotton polyester socks so that your feet stay dry and minimize trauma to the foot
o Avoid strenuous, high-impact or static activity unless specifically approved by your doctor
o Carry a carbohydrate snack with you of 10-15 grams of carbohydrate

o Know and monitor signs of exercise induced hypoglycemia
o Do not exercise if 250 mg/ dl blood glucose levels or if you have ketones in your urine
o If you have autonomic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy or any other related conditions to diabetes, you must get a doctors approval before starting an exercise program. These conditions require specific and strict guidelines.
o Exercise with a partner until you know your response to exercise
o Always check your feet before and after exercise for lesions
o Drink plenty of water. A good rule is to take a mouthful or two at least every fifteen minutes

A Disease Growing Fast to Epidemic Proportions

A summary and some stunning statistics
I am a diabetic, a person who suffers from the disease called diabetes, a disease that is growing at a fast rate in North America where in the United States and Canada there are now more that 25 million people diagnosed as being diabetic and where another 6 million are estimated to have the disease and do not yet know it, probably because they have not visited a doctor of late. And it gets worse, the forecast by health authorities is that one in three children born from this moment on will end up with diabetes. And a stunning number of 57 million people have the condition called pre-diabetes, referred to in the text below. And a major problem linked to diabetes is the similarly growing incidence of obesity.

So what is diabetes?
There are three main types of diabetes and a few others less common. There is also a condition referred to as pre-diabetes – and that is a something to be watched for because, as its name suggests, it can lead to the real thing, not a happy prospect for anyone.

No cure
It is generally accepted by the medical profession that there is no cure for diabetes and the condition must be contained and controlled within a specific tolerable range by the adoption of appropriate lifestyle changes. Those include more healthy dietary approaches that are even better if accompanied by exercise and perhaps weight loss and possibly medication to assist in controlling the levels of glucose that enter the bloodstream after eating.

But some say it IS curable
However, having said that there is no cure, I must add that there are a number of quite renowned and successful medical practitioners who insist that by adopting certain dietary approaches the disease can be brought under control until it does not manifest itself and the diabetes will, in effect, not exist for the individual who follows and adheres to that approach. The gestational form of diabetes, mentioned below and not very common, is a temporary diabetic condition suffered by a small percentage of pregnant women.

The three main types of diabetes are known as type-1 diabetes, type-2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes, of which type-2 is by far the most common, making up about 90 to 95 percent of all cases.

In the past, but less so nowadays, type-1 and type-2 were referred to respectively by the more descriptive names of juvenile diabetes and adult-onset diabetes.

Type-1 Diabetes
Sadly, type-1 diabetes is most often a disease that develops in childhood or in young adults, although it sometimes strikes adults. It is called an autoimmune disease that occurs when the individual’s immune system fails to function properly. The immune system is the collection of biological processes in the human body that normally protects us all against disease. But instead, in the case of type-1 diabetes, the immune system actually destroys cells in an organ of the body, called the pancreas, which make insulin. The result is that from that time on, the type-1 person must take insulin each day to stay alive.

Insulin and glucose
Without insulin, the glucose produced from the food we eat and that is needed to provide energy for all the body’s cells cannot be delivered into those cells and when that happens, life cannot survive for long. Without a source of insulin, a type-1 diabetic can fall into a life-threatening coma. A parent of a diabetic child lives with that constant fear and concern that such an event might occur.

Type-2 diabetes
The most common form of diabetes, is a condition in which an above normal level of glucose exists in the blood. That can occur for more than just one reason but most likely due either to insufficient insulin being produced by the body or resistance by the cells of the body to the insulin that is being produced. And it may be a combination of both of those factors.

The role of insulin
Insulin is needed to join with the glucose in the bloodstream and aid in the delivery of the glucose to the trillions of cells in the body where it is needed. It is the insulin’s ability to interact with the receptors that exist on the outer membrane of the cells, in a way acting like a mediator, that enable the process to take place to completion.

To illustrate, in the process, the insulin acts like a key that opens a door to a cell allowing the glucose to enter into the cell. Without that key, without insulin, the glucose cannot be absorbed. And that would lead to a dangerous life threatening situation if not remedied promptly.

Gestational diabetes
Is a usually temporary form of the disease developed by some women, usually late in their pregnancy, who may not even be aware of it because no symptoms are exhibited. It is not common, occurring in perhaps about 5 percent or more of pregnancies but one unfavorable outlook for the mother is that there is a 40 to 60 percent chance of them later becoming full type-2 diabetics by about 5 to 10 years later.

What is pre-diabetes?
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), there are 57 million people in the United States who have pre-diabetes. People with pre-diabetes have higher than normal blood glucose levels but levels not high enough for a confirmed diagnosis of diabetes. In pre-diabetes there is an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes, and research indicates that damage to the body does occur especially in the cardiovascular system, meaning both the heart and the circulatory system, and that can lead to heart disease and stroke.

Important research relating to pre-diabetes
An important clinical research study called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) showed that type-2 diabetes is preventable by adopting lifestyle changes that includes improved eating habits, adding or increasing physically active, and weight management. The weight target is to get down to a body mass index of 25 or less and to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a chart of human body weights related to height and is used by doctors to aid in determining the degree of variance, if any, of a patient’s particular readings with known acceptable index values.

Diabetes is not contagious, it is not a disease that others can catch but in some cases it may have a heredity genetic component so that more than one member of the family may develop the disease. But the cause is really unknown although certain factors are known to increase the possibility of developing diabetes.

Type-2 diabetes is especially associated with obesity and is considered to be a lifestyle disease of the developed western world associated with our generally more sedentary life. The incidence of diabetes is increasing as we, as a population, consume more readily available foods that are rich in fats and contain more calories than we need to sustain our levels of energy output.

Incidence of diabetes
According to data from the Multinational Project for Childhood Diabetes by the World Health Organization, type 1 diabetes occurs equally among males and females but is more common in whites than in non-whites

Type-1 diabetes is uncommon in most African, American Indian, and Asian populations while some countries of northern Europe, including Finland and Sweden, have high rates of type 1 diabetes. The reasons for these differences are unknown. As mentioned above, type-1 diabetes develops most often in children but can occur at any age.

Type-2 diabetes is more common in older people, and overweight people and occurs more frequently in African Americans, indigenous native Americans, and some Americans of Asian origin, Hawaiians and other Americans of the Pacific Islands. Also it is more common among Latin Americans, a segment of the population that is growing faster than the rest.

Severe Diabetic Complications of Diabetes

The five main diabetic complications!

As with any other disease, you may want as much as possible to learn about diabetes and the complications of diabetes. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be overcome and manage diabetes.

Acquiring the Knowledge of diabetes is also useful for those do not suffer from diabetes because this knowledge could be used to prevent the onset of adult diabetes and hopefully avoid this chronic disease altogether.

In addition to knowledge of diabetes such as the diabetes symptoms, diagnosis of diabetes, causes and treatment of diabetes, it is also important to know about all the related diabetic complications. All this knowledge will help you prepare – emotionally and physically – with the possibilities of coping with having not only with your diabetes, but also with other complications that are related to it as well and the lifestyle changes that is necessary to deal with it effectively.

Some factors such as heredity, age and ethnicity can have an influence on people who are prone to diabetes. But regardless of the risk factors associated with diabetes the complications of diabetes will be the same. Below are some of the diabetic complications that people need to be aware susceptible to diabetes are:

DIABETIC NEUROPATHY – If you suffer from diabetes then there is an increased risk of suffering from severe diabetic complications of the nerves. Damage of the nerves in the body will cause poor circulation in the body especially the extremities like the hands and legs, and fingers and toes. Smoking or drinking alcohol only exuberate the problem so limiting these would be a good idea.

HEART DISEASE and STROKE – According to experts, people with diabetes have a much greater risk of developing coronary heart disease, and angina compared to those without diabetes. In fact, these complications are the leading cause of death in diabetics around the world.

Diabetics are prone to heart diseases and stroke because of deposits of fat deposits in the arteries and hardness of the arteries caused by the extra glucose in the blood. This will cause high blood pressure or hypertension to develop.

DIABETIC EYE DISEASE – people who suffer from diabetes have a higher instance of suffering from diabetic eye problems as a result their diabetes. These problems of the diabetic eye may lead to diabetic retinopathy, cataract, glaucoma, and optic nerve damage. If not treated immediately they could lead to irreversible damage of the eyes or even blindness.

DIABETIC KIDNEY DISEASE – Kidney disease is also a very common complication of diabetes, because the parts of the kidneys that filter the blood damage because of high glucose levels. The kidneys will eventually be damaged as a result of being over worked and will be unable get rid of toxic by-product from the blood
This diabetic kidney disease can be avoided by keeping blood sugar levels under control by following your diabetic diets closely and do regular physical activity to keep the blood sugar in check. Other useful things that you could do include: stop smoking and drinking alcohol.

GASTROPARESIS – This is somewhat related to diabetic nerve damage. The nerves in the stomach help the stomach to contract and relax thus allowing the food to pass down into the intestine. When these nerves are damage the food remains in the stomach for long periods causing bacteria to develop. The improper functioning of the stomach also cause the diabetic to struggle in controlling his or her blood glucose level because the organ that convert the food we eat into carbs cannot be predicted. Approximately 20-30 percent of diabetics with type 1 diabetes are vulnerable to suffer gastroparesis because the vagus nerve, which keeps the food moving through the digestive tract are damaged. While people can get type 2 diabetes only suffer from gastroparesis less frequently and only in the advance stages of diabetes.

Early Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a common disease which affects many people worldwide. Chronic uncontrolled diabetes is a major source of death and disability because of the damage it causes to many different tissues and organ systems throughout the body. Over time it causes blood vessel disease which can lead to heart disease and heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. It also has negative effects on the kidneys, eyes and the immune system, to name just a few other long-term damaging effects of diabetes.

Because it is so common and so damaging, many people begin to wonder how to know if they have diabetes. What are the early symptoms of diabetes to look out for? This is actually a very important question because the earlier diabetes is caught, the better the chance of treating it effectively and preventing or minimizing the long-term complications that can occur.

The hallmark of diabetes is poorly controlled blood sugar (glucose). Normally, the blood glucose level hovers throughout the day in a fairly tightly controlled range. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, helps to lower levels of glucose while other hormones (and eating carbohydrates) raise them. The balance between them helps keep glucose levels normal. In diabetes there is an imbalance because insulin is not working as it should to lower blood sugar levels. The glucose goes up and stays high at most times. This high level of glucose in the blood is termed hyperglycemia.

Diabetes Symptoms

When blood sugar levels are very high there are a number of acute symptoms which can occur. The most common are the three ‘P’s’, polyphagia (increased hunger), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyuria (frequent urination). The high blood sugar causes the blood to become thickened, more concentrated, because of the sugar dissolved in it. Sugar also gets dumped in the urine by the kidney which pulls water with it, dehydrating the body and further concentrating body fluids. The net effect is that the body gets dehydrated and urination increases. The brain senses the dehydration and causes an increased sense of thirst and hunger. Other symptoms that can occur with hyperglycemia include blurred vision, fatigue, dry mouth, dry or itchy skin and recurrent infections (such as vaginal yeast infections, groin rashes and others), among others.

Early Diabetes Symptoms

However, these symptoms generally only occur with quite high levels of blood sugar when diabetes is quite severe. In early diabetes, symptoms can be less common. In fact, in very early diabetes patients may be completely asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms. Also, the early symptoms may be mild and may not be noticed or passed off as something less important. At this early stage, sometimes referred to as prediabetes, the blood glucose levels are elevated above normal, but not yet in the high range which could be diagnosed as diabetes. While it is not yet severe, it is still important because the increased sugar may already be doing damage to your organs and most people with prediabetes will go on to develop diabetes in time if they do not make changes in their life to prevent it.

So if early symptoms are absent or mild how do you know if you should be worried about diabetes? For one, simply educating yourself (as you are doing now) about the signs and symptoms of diabetes help to make you more aware so that if you do experience early symptoms you recognize them. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have any concern or suspicion, seek the advice of your own doctor. They can counsel you about your risks for diabetes and perform simple tests which can help identify early diabetes.

Diabetes Risk Factors

One final suggestion is to learn more about your own risk for diabetes. Even if you do not yet have symptoms, knowing whether you are at high risk for developing diabetes can help you to be aware and get screened early. The most common form of diabetes is called Type II Diabetes, adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes. While it generally occurs in adults it can affect younger individuals too, particularly if they are considerably overweight. Many of the risk factors for this type of diabetes are well understood. First and foremost, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle (lack of physical activity) both increase your risk for type II diabetes considerably. There is also a strong genetic link to diabetes which means that family history and ethnicity are important predictors. If you have close family members (parents and/or siblings especially) with Type II diabetes then your risk is greater. Also, individuals of African American, Native American, some Asian and Latino decent are at highest risk for diabetes. Age is also an important factor. As mentioned above, while diabetes can occur at almost any age, its risk increases as one gets older. Finally, in women, a history of gestational diabetes, high blood sugar during pregnancy, is another risk factor.

If you have one or more of these risk factors, your chances of developing diabetes are greater than the general public and you should be on the look out for it. Talk to your doctor about it and ask if getting screened for prediabetes or diabetes is advisable. Also, if you think you are at risk for diabetes or know you have early diabetes, there are changes you can make to help prevent it progressing and causing long-term complications. While some of the risk factors cannot be changed (age, family history, ethnicity, etc.), some are called modifiable risk factors which can be changed. If you improve them, your risk for diabetes will decrease. The best examples are obesity and sedentary lifestyle. Increasing physical activity and exercise both help to control blood glucose and help to control weight. Improving diet and losing weight can significantly improve your body’s ability to keep glucose in a normal range. Other factors, such as quitting smoking, and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol can be useful as well. While they do not directly impact diabetes, they are also risk factors for heart disease, stroke and other blood vessel diseases. Controlling diabetes as well as these other risk factors will greatly decrease your chances of developing these diseases as well.

A Note on Type I Diabetes

Type I Diabetes, also known as juvenile-onset diabetes and insulin dependent diabetes, is a less common form of diabetes. It most commonly presents in childhood although it can affect anyone. In a sense it is a more severe form of the disorder because the pancreas which secretes insulin is completely dysfunctional and there is little or no insulin secreted. Therefore, this form generally presents earlier with more severe symptoms. Patients can quickly develop severe hyperglycemia and the symptoms associated with it (increased thirst, hunger, frequent urination, etc.). In addition, if untreated by insulin injections, patients can develop diabetic ketoacidosis and diabetic coma, potentially life-threatening conditions which require emergent treatment. The risk factors for Type I diabetes are less well understood.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, stay aware of the early signs of diabetes as well as the risk factors which are associated with the disease. By being educated you can better judge your personal risk for the disease and better catch early signs of the disease. Again, if in doubt, ask your doctor. Making an early diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes can help prevent the long-term damage that diabetes can do. It allows you to make changes in your life (improved diet, weight loss, exercise, etc.) which can help control diabetes and prevent the death and disability associated with poorly controlled diabetes.

A Focused Look at Native American Diabetes

The world is facing a new epidemic; type II diabetes. It is vital that smaller groups that have already faced an epidemic of type II diabetes be researched to learn what can be done to help reduce the treatment and to identify what is not worth repeating. Type II diabetes is also know as adult-onset diabetes and it often comes later in life. Native American populations have long faced a greatly increased percentage of type II diabetes. In fact the Pima natives of Arizona have the highest rate of type II diabetes in the world (Wheelwright). They know well that it is a deadly disease. By looking both at the history that has led up to the current diabetes epidemic in native populations and the preventative methods and their relative success rate, world health organizations could better prepare to help reduce the severity of the inevitable diabetes epidemic. National health care associations should begin a world wide prevention program for type II diabetes based on the experience of a population (Native Americans) that has already undergone such an epidemic like this before.

With estimates of the number of people worldwide with type II diabetes exceeding 300 million by 2025 it is vital that health organizations understand the devastating costs both monetarily and personally of this illness (Polikandrioti 217). Diabetes is a life changing and expensive illness. It is estimated that the treatment of diabetes in the United States now costs over $132 billion annually. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States (Type 2). The $132 billion is only the United States’ cost but proportionally higher costs hit other economies. China will lose “$558 billion in foregone national income due to heart disease, stroke and diabetes alone” over the period from 2006-2015 (Diabetes). It is not only the monetary cost that makes diabetes such a challenging illness. According to the World Health Organization, diabetes increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, limb amputation, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, and at least doubles the risk of death (Diabetes). This cost of diabetes was echoed by a study done by O’Connor, Crabtree and Nakamura that found that the mortality rate of Navajos increased from 17% to 39% with diabetes (216). The cost both monetarily in humanitarian loss that is caused by type II diabetes makes the illness one worth trying to prevent.

The good news about this impending epidemic is that type II diabetes is in many cases a preventable illness. This is important because illnesses that can be prevented are far easier and less expensive to prevent than to treat after onset has occurred. It is often referred to as an illness of lifestyle (Miller). Although there can be genetic factors at play, much can be done with a person’s lifestyle to prevent or delay the onset of the illness. The World Health Organization states that maintaining a healthy body weight, staying physically fit and eating a healthy diet can all help to reduce the risk of type II diabetes (Diabetes). Prevention for most cases of type II diabetes can be done through the seemingly simple act of getting people to live healthy lives, with regular frequent exercise and consistently a healthy diet. People who live healthier live are also less likely to get other chronic health problems like heart attack and stroke. A focus on prevention would not only help to reduce the prevalence of type II diabetes but also help in the overall wellbeing and general health of the people who were already being treated, thus world health organization should focus prevention on confronting this epidemic.

Prevention is possible. Treatment is very expensive and often cannot fix the problem. Therefore, prevention becomes the logical, practical and effective focus. If world health organizations are able to implement a successful prevention program that is able to convince its members to live a healthier life style then the overall health care need of that group will be reduced. The United States paying a staggering $132 billion annually makes it vital for the survival of aid organizations to do what they can to reduce the cost of treating major illnesses (Type II). A successful prevention program will not only reduce the number of people with type II diabetes within the community but it will also help to improve the general health of community thus reducing the cost of health care to the community further. Preventative medicine is almost always less expensive and often more effective than treatment, because it allows for the problem to be corrected before it becomes a full blown illness. This is not to say that treatment will not be important, but just that the money of health organizations can and will go further if they put their focus in to the prevention, while still preparing for treatments as necessary.

With the type II diabetes epidemic at the world’s door step, it is a challenge that all the world health organizations use that knowledge which has been gained by the group (Native Americans) that has already suffered from this epidemic. Native American tribes have had to face their own diabetic crises and have done a large amount of work to find what is most successful in the reduction of type II diabetes within their own tribes. Type II diabetes is a relatively new problem to the Native American populations, but the number of type II diabetes cases has risen very quickly (Edwards 33). With the quick rise of type II diabetes with in the Native community and the history of studies that have been done in the treatment and prevention of the illness for this community; Native Americans are a very good focus group for health organizations to consider. The studies that have been done on prevention programs for Native Americans could be very easily applied, and expanded on to help world organizations to reduce this epidemic before it comes.

Native Americans’ have the highest rate of type II diabetes in the world; the Pima in particular are the highest or any subgroup worldwide (Wheelwright). The reasons that type II diabetes is so high in this population are not known, but it is thought that here might be a genetic element. With such alarming numbers of type II diabetes it is important to understand how the Native American population got to this point and see if there are any trends in common with the world situation today. Prior to the 1940’s diabetes was virtually unheard of, but ever since the 1960’s the prevalence has been on the rise (Edwards 33-4). This rise is thought to be in part due to their food history and culture. Native Americans had a diverse food history prior to colonization, but after colonization the natives were forced to live on non-traditional lands and eat government hand-outs for food. Much of this food was of low quality, meaning that here is not much nutritional content for the caloric intake and led to many Natives being malnourished. Even as recently as the late 1990’s one in four Native household had elements of malnutrition (Edwards 32). Today most native diets more closely resemble the western diet than their traditional diet. The combination of the loss of their traditional diet with the replacement of that diet with low quality government food, especially highly processed grain like flour seems to have been a big part of, if not the cause of the increase of diabetes in the Native population. Let us hope that there is time before the world mimics the history of the Native American populations, but that will require action now.

The story around that world today looks much like that of the history books telling of the treatment on Native Americans in the 1940’s. There are many groups of people world-wide in developing nations who are starving to death or are severely malnourished. Many governments throughout the world are now providing food aid of a similar kind to world populations that are facing starvation or famine. Famine is a sociological issue, starvation is a physiological change within an individual. Both can result from unintended consequences of the political and economic patterns of western nations like the United States. Food aid tends to come in the form of inexpensive food products, mostly heavily processed grains. Heavily processed grains are very cheap because wheat, corn and rice are relativity easy to grow and subsidized by our government. Once processed such grains can last for a long time. The problem with such grains is that the human body breaks them down to sugar very easily, thus making its consumers more likely to get type II diabetes (Miller). This type of food aid sets up a structure similar to that which was created in the 1950’s and 1960’s with the Native Americans. The groups that are being given the aid become reliant on that food and lose their native food culture. As well as losing their native food culture, the groups are also staying malnourished, because they are not getting everything that they need from the food aid. Although this type of aid may be offered with the best of intentions, it also has hidden consequences, like type II diabetes. It is in places where aid like this is going that world health organizations need to focus on prevention.

There is another sleeping dragon in the room when it comes to the cause of the world epidemic of type II diabetes; westernization. Companies like McDonalds are now all over the world serving western fast food. This food is well known in America for causing chronic health problems like diabetes. Another western adaptation that is contributing to the diabetes epidemic is soda. Coke -A-Cola is sold in every country around the world and it is full of sugar. A diet that it very high is sugar will increase a person’s risk for getting type II diabetes (Miller). Government food aids along with the strong westernization of the rest of the world are placing the world at an enhanced risk of diabetes. The result of western aid programs and diet are being seen in the dramatic increase of type II diabetes world wide that is going on now. It is the role of western culture, in particular western food culture, that we are witnessing as the cause of the drastic spike in the number of type II diabetes cases world wide. It is western culture that has gotten us in to this mess, it should be the western health organizations that help to get us out.

For prevention programs of any kind to work it must instill the drive to change, and make those changes not only preferable but also achievable. Many people will want to change if they know that it will be better for them, but if that change is very hard or expensive they simply will not do it. For example, if you want a dietary change part of your program to work, you must not only tell people that their way of eating is bad for their health but also make them not desire to eat such foods. A study on the effectiveness of prevention programs in Native American populations found that:
“The major identifiable barriers were not lack of knowledge of healthy dietary practices and the value of exercise but preferences for high fat foods and large servings and less physically active lifestyles. Perhaps more important were a lack of personal confidence, a lack of skills and a lack of social support for bringing about desired changes” (Hood)

For a program to be successful it must not only present the information to the individual, but must also give that person the tools to make the desired changes, and make those changes more desirable. Cultural involvement, personal empowerment, social support and skills training, as well as a focus on preventative health measures all need to be involved in any successful prevention program.

In order to successfully create prevention programs worldwide it is vital that world health organizations look to see what makes programs that are now in use successful. Because of the Native Americans’ abnormally high level of diabetes and the large number of prevention programs in place within the community, they are particularly a good focal group. Successful diabetes prevention programs in Native American populations all have a combination of traditional methods and personal/community empowerment. In 2009 a group of researchers did a review of the literature on diabetes prevention in Native American communities, and found five programs that were exceptionally effective (Edwards 32). All the successful programs incorporated a large amount of personal and/or community support in addition to a focus on healthy living (Edwards 35). Having a strong support system, both individual and community, helps to make this prevention program far more effective. For world health organizations to make a program successful they should look at success of these five programs and mimic their value of a strong support structure. The individual culture of the target group must be taken into account in order to create a successful prevention program with an appropriate support network.

Herbal Supplements and Home Remedies

The word diabetes was coined by the 2nd-century A.D. Greek physician, Aretus the Cappadocian, meaning ‘the siphon’ as the condition is characterized by excessive urination.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels. The word mellitus was added to diabetes in 1675 by Thomas Willis. Mel in Latin means honey and refers to the excess of glucose in the urine and blood of people with diabetes.

Types of diabetes

According to WHO, there are three main types of diabetes:

Diabetes Type 1 – The body does not produce insulin at all. Also called early onset or juvenile diabetes, it requires the person to inject insulin throughout his/her life. People suffering from this types of diabetes are also very prone to ketoacidosis. The cause is not certain and could be genetic, viral, or multifactorial.

Diabetes Type 2 – Also called maturity onset, Type 2 diabetes is a result of insulin resistance. The body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or is not able to utilize insulin effectively.

Gestational Diabetes – A form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

Diabetes Types 1 & 2 are chronic, lifelong medical conditions. Gestational diabetes usually disappears after the birth of a child but can later lead to type 2 diabetes.

Juvenile diabetes may be either Type 1 or Type 2, and is seen in children or adolescents.


Common symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Disproportionate thirst
  • Intense hunger
  • Weight gain
  • Unusual weight loss (More common among people with Diabetes Type 1)
  • Increased fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and bruises don’t heal properly or quickly
  • More skin and/or yeast infections
  • Itchy skin
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Numbness or tingling, especially in the feet and hands

Diabetes is typically detected by carrying out a urine test, followed by a blood test

High risk groups of diabetes

Certain people are at higher risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. High risk groups include those who:-

  • Are over 55
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Had diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a big baby (more than 9 pounds)
  • Are Southeast Asian, Asian Indian, Afro-American, Hispanic American or Native American
  • Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Have heart disease

There is only one way to check if you have diabetes: get your blood sugar level tested.

Diabetes related complications

Diabetes is a chronic, life-long condition that requires careful monitoring and management. Left untreated, it can lead to various complications such as kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and blindness in some cases. Diabetes causes about 5% of all deaths globally each year. Diabetes deaths are likely to increase by more than 50% in the next 10 years without urgent action and preventive measures.

Short-term complications:

Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)

Anyone who suffers from diabetes and takes insulin is going to face the problem of blood sugar falling too low at some point. This state is called hypoglycaemia and can be corrected quickly by eating something sweet, like candy or plain sugar. If it is not corrected, hypoglycaemia can lead to the person losing consciousness.

The typical signs of hypoglycemia are:

  • hunger
  • shakiness
  • sweating
  • dizziness or light-headedness
  • confusion
  • weakness

This is a severe condition caused by lack of insulin. It mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. Acidic waste products called ketones are produced when the body breaks down fats. In the absence of insulin, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, causing ketoacidosis.

Lactic acidosis
Lactic acidosis is the build-up of lactic acid in the body. Too much lactic acid in the body makes people feel ill. Otherwise, Lactic acidosis is a rare ailment. It mainly affects people with type 2 diabetes.

Bacterial / fungal infections
Patients are more prone to fungal and bacterial and infections like boils, boils, athlete’s foot, sties, ring worm, and vaginal infections.

Long-term complications:

Eye disease (retinopathy)
As per statistics, about 2% of all people who have had diabetes for 15 years or more become blind, while about 10% develop a severe visual impairment.

Kidney disease (nephropathy)
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease (nephropathy) and failure. About one third of all people with diabetes develop kidney disease and approximately 20% of people with type 1 diabetes develop kidney failure.

Nerve disease (neuropathy)
Diabetic nerve disease, or neuropathy, affects at least half of all people with diabetes. Common complaints are loss of sensation in the feet or in some cases the hands, pain in the foot and problems with the functioning of different parts of the body including the heart, the eye, the stomach, the bladder and the penis. A lack of sensation in the feet and hands can lead to patients to injure themselves without realizing it.

Diseases of the circulatory system
The risk of heart disease is 2-4 times higher in diabetes patients than for those who do not have diabetes. It is the main cause of disability and death for people with type 2 diabetes in industrialized countries.

Diabetics are more likely (20 to 35 times) to require lower-limb amputation.

Prevention & Lifestyle modification

Experts and doctors believe that while there is yet no evidence to suggest that Type 1 diabetes can be prevented, primary prevention of type 2 diabetes is possible.

Weight control, a balanced diet, and increased physical activity are important in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The benefits of reducing body weight and increasing physical activity also play a role in reducing heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.

Secondary prevention involves the early detection and prevention of complications, therefore reducing the need for treatment. Regular annual check-ups go a long way in timely detection of diabetes. Periodic check of blood glucose levels is a must as are the monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Healthy eating, regular exercise, weight control all contribute to good cardiovascular health. Diabetics should also quit smoking.

According to the Mayo Clinic, daily intake of calories should consist of:

  • Carbohydrates 45% to 65%
  • Proteins 15% to 20%
  • Fats 20% to 35%

Patients are advised to adhere to meal plans for portion sizes and eating times. This will keep blood sugar and your weight ideal.


Though there is no known cure for diabetes, all types of diabetes are treatable. The main treatment for a Type 1 diabetic is injected insulin, along with some dietary and exercise adherence.

If you have Type 1 and follow a healthy eating plan, do adequate exercise, and take insulin, you can lead a normal life. Larry King, Halle Berry, and several well known diabetic US baseball and basketball players lead normal lives. Type 2 patients need to eat healthily, be physically active, and test their blood glucose regularly. They may also be prescribed oral medication to control blood glucose levels. Sometimes, Type 2 patients may also require insulin injections.

Eating Healthy When You Have Diabetes

It is always important to eat a healthy diet, but for those who have such medical conditions as diabetes, it is even more important. There are certain foods that are not good for diabetics and certain foods that they should be getting more of in their diets. Obviously, it is important to make sure that the foods that diabetics eat are not high in sugar and fat, and it also helps to eat foods that will help diabetics maintain a healthy weight.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that causes the body to either not produce enough insulin, which is necessary for breaking down the foods we eat, or not using the insulin it does produce properly. If you have been diagnosed as having diabetes, it is more important than ever to make sure that you are eating right. There are three types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes; Type 2 diabetes; and gestational diabetes. When a person has diabetes, it means that they have extremely high sugar counts in their blood and this must be controlled. Depending on which type of diabetes you have, controlling your sugars could be as easy as making some dietary changes-or you may need to take insulin to keep your sugars regulated.

Type 1 Diabetes – People who have Type 1 diabetes do not have enough insulin coming from the pancreas and must rely on insulin shots to make sure that they have enough. At one time, this involved taking needles, sometimes several times daily. Today, there is a device called an insulin pump, which is attached to the stomach and will supply insulin to the body as it needs it. Often, Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune disorder, and the person with this type of diabetes has an immune system that actually destroys the pancreas cells, making the organ unable to produce enough insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes – When the body does not properly use the insulin created by the pancreas, it is known as Type 2 diabetes. Often, this is a condition that is caused, or at least worsened, by being overweight. It is thought that excess body weight will inhibit the body’s ability to absorb and use insulin, and one way to alleviate this is by losing weight. This can be done by eating a healthy weight loss diet that is meant for diabetics. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, affecting between 90 and 95% of all diabetics.

Gestational Diabetes – This is the only type of diabetes that is a temporary one. It usually occurs when a woman is in the latter half of her pregnancy. It is always important to eat healthy when pregnant, but when gestational diabetes comes into play, it is even more important. When a woman has gestational diabetes, her pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin, and she will have to make some dietary changes, as well as monitor her blood sugar levels regularly. Fortunately, this form of diabetes usually goes away once the baby is born, and it is rare that it will cause the baby to be born with diabetes. It is important for women who are pregnant to be tested for gestational diabetes, so they can start making the dietary changes necessary to control the condition and have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

There are many different symptoms of diabetes and although many people experience many of the same symptoms, others may not, depending on the type of diabetes they have. Some of the most common symptoms associated with Type 1 diabetes include:

– Extreme thirst and hunger

– Frequent urination

– Loss of weight

– Blurred vision

– Extreme fatigue

The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are often very similar to those of Type 1 diabetes, but they are not usually as severe and they come on more gradually. Weight is a huge factor and about 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight.

Risk Factors for Developing Diabetes

There are a number of risk factors for diabetes and if you find that you have some of these risk factors, you should have your physician test you for diabetes. The risk factors for diabetes include:

– If you have a family history of diabetes, you may be at risk of developing the disease yourself.

– Being overweight can greatly increase your risk of developing diabetes and the more overweight you are, the greater the risk.

– Certain ethnic groups are at a higher risk for developing diabetes, including Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and Latinos.

Blood Sugar Levels

When a person has diabetes, it is essential that they monitor their blood sugar levels and take the appropriate steps to make sure that the levels are what they should be. Before eating, blood sugar levels should be between 90 and 130 and after eating, less than 180. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you will have to monitor your blood sugar levels several times a day. Your physician will be able to help you figure out just how often you should be doing this. In order to make sure that your blood sugar levels are regulated, you may have to take insulin (Type 1 diabetes), change your eating habits and get plenty of exercise.

A Healthy Diet Is Essential for Diabetics

There are certain things that must be included in a diabetic diet and foods that definitely need to be avoided. It is important for diabetics to know what to eat, how much to eat, and when they should eat. When a person is first diagnosed as being diabetic, the dietary changes may seem colossal, but they are not really that bad, especially if the person is already somewhat used to eating healthy. It is also important to get enough exercise, which will also help in weight loss and overall good health.

Diabetes The Chronic Killer

Diabetes mellitus or DM is a disease affecting multi-organ systems due to the abnormal insulin production, improper insulin usage or even both. It is a very serious health problem throughout the world effecting thousands of people.A survey conducted in United States showed that almost 6.2% of the population suffers from this disease. It is a matter of great issue that almost one -third of the population is unaware of the disease.


Diabetes is actually the fifth leading cause of deaths in the country of United States. And the real incidence is expected to have a steady increase in the coming years. Diabetes has a very important role in leading to heart disease, adult blindness, stroke, non traumatic amputation of lower limb etc. it is found that diabetic people do have a risk of almost two fold to develop coronary artery disease and that too with more than 65% suffering from high blood pressure.

Diabetes – a short review

Diabetes mellitus are of mainly three types, they include type 1 diabetes mellitus, type ii diabetes mellitus, gestational diabetes and also secondary diabetes. Gestational diabetes as its name refers to deals with the diabetic episode during pregnancy or during the gestational period. It will subside once after delivery. Secondary diabetes is another form of diabetes where diabetes will occur secondary to other diseases, for instance chronic hypertension.

Type I diabetes mellitus or juvenile diabetes

It is known as juvenile diabetes since it is more common among the juveniles or young people below 30 years of age. It is insulin dependent diabetes with a peak onset during the age group of 11 to 13. Type I diabetes is caused due to the progressive destruction of pancreatic beta cells that occurs by the auto immune mechanism. Clinical symptoms include increased frequency in urination or polyuria, excessive thirst or polydipsia, increased hunger or polyphagia, weight loss, fatigue etc are seen. Ketoacidosis is a very serious complication seen in children due to diabetes and is often life threatening and may lead to metabolic acidosis.

Type II diabetes mellitus

Over 90% of diabetes mellitus is type ii the pancreas continues to produce insulin,but this amount of insulin is either poorly used up by tissues or is either inadequate for bodily needs. There are mainly three abnormalities or factors leading to type ii diabetes mellitus. One of them is insulin resistance, where insulin receptors are either minimal in number or will remain unresponsive. Another factor is the poor ability of pancreas to produce insulin. The final factor comes with inappropriate glucose production by the liver.

Risks related to diabetes

When we analyze the analyze risk group for developing diabetes mellitus, a condition that requires primary importance is impaired glucose tolerance or IGT. It is a disease condition caused by the mild alteration of beta cell function. Here the blood glucose level is usually high but not to a level to be called as a case of diabetes. But most people with impaired tolerance for glucose have a high risk for developing type ii diabetes within the next 10 years.

Another important risk related to diabetes is insulin resistance syndrome, also known by the name syndrome x,it is in fact a cluster of abnormalities which will act in a synergistic manner so a stop increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is usually charactracterised by increase insulin levels, high amount of triglycerides, hypotension.

Once identified, then complete cure of the disease is not so easy though proper measures can help you to control diabetes in a very effective way. Though there are many environmental as well as genetic factors involved in causing diabetes, exercises. Balanced diet, adequate rest and sleep and a stress less life could help you to keep away from diabetes or to stop diabetes.

There are a lot of management measures for diabetes control. It chiefly includes nutritional therapy, exercise therapy, oral anti-glycemic agents, insulin treatment etc. therefore a collaborative management is usually preferred for treating diabetes mellitus. Nutritional therapy is one of the main management for diabetes mellitus.

Diabetic diet

Diabetic diet management is one of the main components of the collaborative management. Some of the general guidelines for diabetic diet include the following.

  • Fiber rich diet: Always include the fiber rich food in the diet as it could increase the bulk of your stomach and can add on to your satisfaction.
  • Restrict sodium intake up to even 2400mg/dl.
  • Include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet.
  • There is an alternative mode of planning the diabetic diet which is considered as one of the convenient method. This often referred as plate method. The most important advantage of this method is that here the patient itself could visualize the amount of starch, vegetables, and whatever food filled in the nine inch plate.
  • For lunch and the dinner, half of the plate is to be filled with non starchy vegetables, one fourth with starch and another one fourth with any non vegetarian items up to 2-4 oz. A single glass of milk with low fat and a small piece of fresh fruits could complete the meals.
  • When we look on to the breakfast, the plate has to be filled with starch around half and another one forth with optional proteins.
  • This plate method is found to be very useful as it could owe about 1200-1400 cal/day, which adds on to an appropriate balanced diet plan.

Nutritional therapy can do much to control diabetes. But there is a small variation in the diet plans of patient s with type I diabetes and type ii diabetes. When we consider total calories, type I diabetic people needs increased calorie intake because it commonly occur in young people and therefore for the proper maintenance and restoration of tissues, diet with good calorific value is important. While in the case of type ii people, this is often restricted for obese or overweight people.

Effect of diet is very much crucial in type I diabetes as not only food control but also insulin therapy is also a must in type I diabetes. Uniform timing for meals is considered very strict in the case of type I diabetes mellitus because of the multi doses of insulin’s but this is just desirable for type II diabetes mellitus. If needed, intermittent snack can be taken for diabetic patients with type I form, though it is not much recommended for type II diabetes. Usually the frequent snack is not recommended for type diabetic people.

Diabetes What Everyone Needs to Know

Diabetes is a difficult disease for a child and parent. Physical, emotional, and psychological tolls exist on a daily basis for those living with diabetes. The rate of newly diagnosed patients has increased exponentially over the years, inexplicably by doctors, yet awareness and education has not. It is crucial that in order to work towards a cure for type 1 diabetes, an awareness of the disease, symptoms, treatment, management, complications, and prevention must first be established.

“Early Symptoms of Diabetes”

Diabetes exists in two forms-type 1 and type 2. Approximately 95% of people suffering from diabetes have type 2, while only 5% of Americans suffer from type 1. Though type 2, sometimes referred to as adult on-set diabetes, is more prevalent, type 1, otherwise known as “juvenile” diabetes, is often considered the more serious of the two. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children; however, it is possible to be diagnosed in adulthood. When the body ingests food, the stomach begins to break down its contents into protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It is carbohydrates that further break down into glucose, which the body uses for energy. In a normal, healthy body, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which helps the cells absorb and use the glucose. The insulin acts as a key to the cell, so that when it is released, it opens the cell allowing glucose to be absorbed. However, when insulin is absent, the cell cannot open and absorb the glucose from the bloodstream. A type 1 diabetic’s pancreas does not function properly-it releases little to none of the hormone, insulin, as it should. Therefore, when glucose enters the bloodstream, it is forced to remain there because insulin is not present to open the cell for absorption. It is key to understand that type 1 diabetes is “considered to be an auto-immune disease because the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are attacked and ‘erroneously’ destroyed by the immune system early on in the disease process, resulting in little to no insulin production in the pancreas”. Thus, a type 1 diabetic requires insulin therapy to maintain normal blood glucose levels.

Diabetes is an auto-immune disease that scientists believe has to do with genes. Genes are “like instructions for how the body should look and work…but just getting the genes for diabetes isn’t usually enough. In most cases something else has to happen-like getting a virus infection-for a person to get Type 1 Diabetes”. In other words, diabetes is not considered to be an infectious disease, and it is not like a cold that can be caught from being in contact with someone who suffers from the disease. Unfortunately, doctors still cannot predict who will develop the disease and who will not.

There are many classic symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes that can develop either suddenly or gradually. The most common symptom is frequent urination, followed by increased thirst, weight loss, fatigue, and increased appetite. If anyone experiences these symptoms, especially if there is a family history of diabetes, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Failure to treat these symptoms could result in other health problems such as “stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, breathing problems, and even loss of consciousness. Doctors call this diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA”.

Currently, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes; however, there are some treatments being explored. The three main treatments being explored are Pancreas transplants, Islet cell transplantation, and Stem cell transplants. Pancreas transplants are quite rare because of the risks associated with them. Upon transplantation, one would need a “lifetime of potent immune-suppressing drugs to prevent organ rejection”. In addition to these immune-suppressing drugs, a “high risk of infection and organ injury” exists among those receiving a transplant. Islet cell transplantation “provides new insulin-producing cells from a donor pancreas”. Similar to a pancreas transplant, islet cell transplantation requires the use of immune-suppressing drugs, which carry the same risks. The risk of the immune system destroying the transplanted cells is also a risk. Finally, stem cell transplant is another treatment being explored. Stem cell transplantation involves “shutting down the immune system and then building it up again-[which] can be risky”. All three of these treatments are promising, yet scientists are still working toward finding a more successful and permanent treatment for diabetes.

While there is no cure for diabetes, it is important to follow a strict diabetes management plan in order to live a healthy life. Regular blood glucose monitoring and insulin therapy are two important forms of proper diabetes management. Fortunately, technology advancement over time has allowed blood glucose monitoring to very simple. Upon diagnosis, patients receive a blood glucose meter to carry with them at all times for blood glucose testing. This meter allows a diabetic to monitor their blood glucose, or “blood sugar” level, at liberty in order to maintain better diabetes control. A meter only requires a small drop of blood, and readings are available in approximately five seconds. It is important to keep blood sugar levels between 80 and 120 as much as possible. If steady glucose levels are not maintained or diabetes management is neglected over time, serious complications can result such as “seizures, blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, amputations and strokes.

Insulin therapy is another key to healthy diabetes management. Regular insulin doses help control blood glucose levels following meals and overnight. There are two main types of insulin: short-acting and long-acting. Short-acting insulin is administered during the day or following meals. It is called short-acting because of the small amount of time needed for the insulin to take effect. This is especially important following meals because, as the body absorbs the glucose from food, blood glucose levels rise quickly. Short-acting insulin combats the swift rise in glucose levels and helps maintain a steady blood glucose reading.

The second type of insulin is long-acting insulin. This is administered before going to sleep at night because the insulin slowly acts upon glucose levels. Instead of immediately having an effect on blood glucose levels, the long-acting insulin slowly applies itself keeping glucose levels steady throughout the night. The amount or type of insulin that a diabetic receives varies from person to person-no one person is the same. As a diabetic becomes adjusted to their body and the disease, they will begin to assess their body’s need for insulin. Some will require more insulin than others, and this generally happens over time. As a diabetic patient continues to live with the disease, their body will become more and more dependent on synthetic, or manufactured, insulin rather than its own.

In addition to blood glucose monitoring and insulin therapy, a healthy diet and active lifestyle are key to proper diabetes management. Living with diabetes can mean making a significant dietary adjustment for a newly diagnosed patient. While fats, proteins, and carbohydrates may have never been considered prior to diagnosis, a type 1 diabetic’s diet revolves around them. Careful planning and measuring of food intake to insulin ratio is strenuous and time-consuming, yet essential. It is important for the body to receive all of its essential nutrients while maintaining proper blood glucose levels. This requires careful calculation of carbohydrate, or carb, to insulin ratio. Each diabetic has a standard ratio of insulin per one carb. Fifteen grams of carb is, for general purposes, considered one carb. Based on how many grams of carb are in a meal, the ratio of insulin can then be calculated. It is difficult to imagine doing calculations like this for every meal, but that is the reality of living with diabetes.

The final element of proper diabetes management is maintaining an active way of life. A healthy lifestyle allows a person with diabetes to maintain better control over their diabetes. Being active helps lower blood sugar because “muscle contraction, increased blood flow and increased body temperature cause the body to be more responsive or ‘sensitive’ to insulin during and soon after exercise. In addition, when muscles contract, they can take up glucose from the bloodstream independently of insulin”. Since muscle contraction can take up glucose from the bloodstream without insulin during exercise, being active is particularly encouraged when blood glucose levels are elevated. This will help bring high glucose levels down to a more normal reading quickly. Thus, a well-balanced diet and active lifestyle are imperative to proper diabetes management.

Serious complications can evolve from poor management of diabetes. Seizures, diabetic coma, ketoacidosis (ketones present in the blood stream cause the kidneys to shut down), loss of vision, depression, amputation, and premature death are all complications of diabetes. Lauren Stanford, at 13, felt the frustrations of living with diabetes: “I wanted so bad to be like my other teenage friends who were free to worry about nothing more than boys and movies and fun,” she says. Lauren, like many teenagers, began to neglect her diabetes in order to feel “free” like other children her age. Not only did she neglect to monitor her blood glucose levels, but she began skipping insulin doses as well. Lauren went on to say that, “On October 30th I collapsed and was rushed to Children’s Hospital in Boston where I was put in the ICU. I could have died. Diabetes almost got me”. Ignorance and neglect of diabetes management can carry serious health risks as seen in Lauren’s story. It is important to realize that diabetes is not a disease that will go away if ignored. Rather, serious complications can evolve from neglect. Therefore, it is very important to handle Diabetes in a serious and responsible manner.

Type 1 diabetes is a serious disease that carries serious consequences and health risks from poor management. Therefore, the bruises, holes, and tender skin from finger pricks and injections are a necessary part of life for one living with diabetes. Many parents suffer from the guilt of hurting their child with daily sticks, but this is what keeps a child with diabetes alive. Regular glucose monitoring, insulin therapy, a healthy diet, and active lifestyle are the most important steps in proper diabetes care. Many children and adults suffer from type 1 diabetes, but with the advancements of technology, those suffering from diabetes are able to live a healthy and happy lifestyle until a cure is found.

Fast Ways To Reverse Type One Diabetes!

Diabetes is mainly of two types: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Type 1 is identified as insulin dependent diabetes, where the body manufactures little or no insulin, whereas diabetes Type 2 is characterized by the failure of the cells to act in response to insulin.

So in diabetes Type 2, the islet cells of the pancreas manufacture insulin, other than that the body cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin is the hormone, secreted by the beta cells islets of Langerhans of the pancreas. The tissues and cells of the body is obliged to take in glucose or sugar from the bloodstream. Once there is insufficient insulin in the body, then glucose cannot be transported to the cells efficiently. For that reason, glucose will builds up in the bloodstream thereby causing high blood sugar. So keep reading to find out some more information about Type 1 diabetes, and most especially Type 1 diabetes cure and what causes it to discover how to reverse Type 1 diabetes…

What Are The Causes And Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?

To say the truth here, what causes Type 1 diabetes are still unidentified. However genetic factors and environmental are thought to have a very key role to play in the development of this severe disease called diabetes. Diabetes Type 1 can be caused by an autoimmune reaction, where the immune system by mistake attacks and destroys the insulin manufacturing cells of the pancreas. There are some certain factors that can increase the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. Those factors that can develop diabetes Type 1 are, exposure to certain viruses, genetics, low level of vitamin D and a family history of Type 1 diabetes.

One common issue about juvenile diabetes or diabetes Type 1 is that it can affect folks of any peer group, but is observed to be more prevalent among kids and adolescents. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can produce some similar symptoms but symptoms that are normally observed in Type 1 diabetes are, frequent urination, excessive fatigue, blurred vision, extreme hunger, increased thirst and weight loss.

What Is The Cure For Type 1 Diabetes?

Diabetes Type 1 is curable by means of insulin therapy. Insulin therapy is very important for the survival of Type 1 diabetes victims. Insulin pump infusion or insulin injections are commonly utilized for Type 1 diabetes treatment. This insulin we are talking about can’t be orally taken, given that the stomach enzymes can affect its action. At the moment, a number of insulin types are available for Type 1 diabetes cure, and your medical doctor can recommend a mixture of diverse types of insulin after weighing up the condition well. Diabetes sufferers can require some other medications for instance, cholesterol lowering drugs, high blood pressure medications and aspirin to thwart some certain health problems aside from insulin.

Together with medications, lifestyle adjustment, dietary and close monitoring of blood sugar are needed in order to deal with diabetes, and efficiently manage the blood sugar level. A hale and hearty and balanced diet that comprises a lot of fresh vegetables, whole grains and low carbohydrate foods and fruits can help to control the level of blood sugar and diabetes. For effective management of diabetes, steady physical activity is vital. Some certain herbs and foods are believed to be helpful in controlling the blood sugar level in diabetes victims. Some of which are grapefruit, Indian gooseberry, bitter melon, fenugreek seeds and cinnamon. On the other hand, some of these natural diabetes Type 1 cures can work together with some medications. Therefore, it is recommended that you should seek advice from your doctor prior to taking any kind of herbal or natural diabetes cure Type 1.

Right now, a number of diabetes treatment options are being looked into to find out a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Development of artificial pancreas, islet cell transplantation and pancreas transplantation are worth mentioning before I forget. To this point, scientists have not been able to achieve much success, however studies and researches are still going on to uncover a lasting Type 1 diabetes cure but diabetes reversal report has been very helpful in curing diabetes likewise treatment of Type 1 diabetes.