Gestational Diabetes – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Gestational Diabetes is a very rare form of diabetes which occurs exclusively in pregnant women during the gestational period of the fetus [5]. Similar to the other forms of diabetes, Gestational Diabetes also results in the cells of the body being unable to effectively absorb blood sugar, leading to a higher concentration of glucose in the blood.

Gestational Diabetes

Resistance to insulin is a normal physiological response during pregnancy induced by the maternal hormones released by the mother’s body. However, in some cases, this resistance becomes high enough to result in high levels of blood sugar, enough to be classified and diagnosed as Gestational Diabetes. In such women, the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance.

Gestational Diabetes may be defined as hyperglycemia with its first presentation or onset during pregnancy. About 2-6% women suffer from gestational diabetes. The disease proves to affect both the mother and the child and can also cause major complications at the time of delivery of the child.

Usually, after the delivery of a child, the blood sugar levels of the mother return down to normal, but both the mother as well as the child are at a risk of developing Type II Diabetes later on in the future. As such, Gestational Diabetes is not by itself a chronic condition, but it exposes individuals to the risk of developing chronic diabetes later on in life.

While Gestational Diabetes is a serious pregnancy complication that must be dealt with seriously, it can easily be controlled by a combination of a healthy diet, sufficient exercise and also medication in some cases.

Pathology of Gestational Diabetes



The exact cause of Gestational Diabetes is still unknown and researchers still debate on the possible causes as to why some particular women stand a higher risk of developing the disorder than other women. However, the way in which a woman’s body behaves in this condition is fairly well-known and agreed upon.

During pregnancy, the insulin sensitivity falls in the mothers and this subsequently increases the blood glucose levels to provide adequate nutrition to the fetus. The Human placental lactogen hormone, also known as Human Chorionic Somatomammotropin reduces the insulin sensitivity in mothers. It also alters the metabolism of fatty tissues in pregnant women, releasing fatty acids as an alternate energy source for the mother, freeing up glucose for the fetus.

Gestational diabetes

The mothers who face a greater risk of developing Gestational Diabetes are those who:

  • Are older than 35 years of age when pregnant
  • Have a history of any type of diabetes in first degree family members
  • Have had a baby that had a birth defect or weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are hypertensive in nature
  • Have excess amniotic fluid in the body, a condition known as polyhydramnios
  • Have had a history of stillbirth or an unexplained miscarriage in the past
  • Were overweight before their pregnancy with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30

Just like Type II Diabetes, even Gestational Diabetes occurs due to inadequate insulin secretion as well as decreased responsiveness to insulin. In most of the cases of gestational diabetes, it is corrected after the delivery but in some cases it may continue to occur. Gestational diabetes is harmful to both mother and fetus and may result in few complications if not controlled.

The placenta connects the blood supply of the mother to the blood supply of the developing fetus and it allows hormones to also pass through. Thus, the abnormality caused by Gestational Diabetes also passes on to the child’s blood stream and this can trigger very harmful conditions. The high concentration of blood sugar can allow the baby to grow to a much larger size than normal and one of the most common complications associated with child birth in mothers with Gestational Diabetes is the requirement of delivery of the baby through a C-Section surgery operation. This procedure is recommended if the baby grows to more than 9 pounds in weight and such procedures are also carried out much in advance to the expected delivery date of the child.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes



Usually the symptoms of Gestational Diabetes are mild and are not life-threatening. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Increase in appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Frequent infections
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss

Gestational Diabetes may cause the mother to develop a condition known as preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a very serious complication associated with Gestational Diabetes which proves to be life threatening to both the mother and the developing fetus.

Understanding Gestational Diabetes

Another one of the major and common complications that may be encountered with Gestational Diabetes is that the increased blood glucose levels may enter into the fetus’ blood leading to macrosomia or large sized baby which may further lead to difficulty in delivering the child via the birth canal. This also raises the chances of a C-section birth rather than a normal birth.

Gestational Diabetes also raises the risk of an early labor and associated complications, which includes babies born with a respiratory distress syndrome. Such affected babies require assistance with breathing until the lungs are capable of functioning properly on their own.

The babies that are born out of a mother with high blood sugar levels may suffer from low blood sugar levels in their body after birth as their body’s production of insulin is much higher than normal. This condition, known as hypoglycemia, if left unattended, may even result in seizures and other complications in the baby.

Both the mother and the child that are affected by Gestational Diabetes also face a high risk of developing Type II Diabetes later on in life.

Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes



There are several different types of screening tests that are used in order to diagnose Gestational Diabetes [1].

Since Gestational Diabetes develops in third trimester of pregnancy, thus the women should be screened for diabetes by Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) between 24th-28thweek. OGTT measures the ability of the body to use glucose.

The World Health Organization (WHO) proposes using a 2-hour 75g OGTT, with a threshold plasma glucose concentration of greater than 7.8 mmol /L (140 mg/ dL) at 120 minutes as screening for gestational diabetes.

Diabetes OGT test Diabetes HbA1c test

These days a simple glucometer may be used at home to measure the blood glucose level themselves by the mothers. There are various tests for monitoring the well-being of fetus like the non-stress test.

Some of the routine tests that are typically carried out include the glucose challenge test to the mothers which is then followed by a glucose tolerance test in order to diagnose the disorder in pregnant women.

Women who have been diagnosed with the disorder will require very frequent medical check-ups and these are to be even more followed during the final three months of pregnancy. The pregnant women will also need to actively monitor as also manage their high blood sugar levels, in conjunction to the medical check-ups. The condition can lead to very serious complications for both the mother and the developing fetus if left unattended.

Post the delivery of the child, usually the blood sugar levels in the mother fall down back to normal. However, all mothers who have suffered from Gestational Diabetes will require medical check-ups every now and again. The glucose levels of the blood will also need to be monitored as the mother is at a high risk of developing Type II Diabetes later on in the future.

Treatment of Gestational Diabetes



It is extremely essential to control the levels of blood sugar in pregnant mothers o as to prevent the complications associated with Gestational Diabetes [2]. The first and foremost step in the successful controlling of the conditions is to closely monitor the sugar levels in the bloodstream of the pregnant woman. This is recommended to be done several times a day and any unexpected change in the levels of glucose in the blood should be attended to at the earliest. While monitoring can be done at a professional healthcare clinic, it is highly recommended that pregnant mothers should monitor their blood sugar levels on their own as well. The process of monitoring is a relatively easy process and it can easily be made into a habit to last throughout pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes Diet

A healthy diet is the next step that a pregnant women suffering from Gestational Diabetes should take. The diet of a diabetic mother must have a correct balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, along with sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals, and calories. It is necessary to keep the glucose levels stable, and women should avoid skipping meals. Such women must avoid sugary items like candy, cakes, and aerated sodas. Recommended foods for diabetic mothers include having more of whole grains, fiber and also fruits and vegetables. Since all women have a unique physiology, their diabetic diet will differ from others. It is essential that a diet is based making all possible considerations and also in consultation with a dietician or a practicing healthcare professional.

While exercise is recommended to everybody, it is an absolute must for diabetic mothers. Regular and frequent exercise promotes the cells of a diabetic to absorb the blood sugar more efficiently and this can greatly help in controlling the symptoms of Gestational Diabetes. Exercise also increases the sensitivity of the body to the released insulin. It is recommended that diabetic pregnant women should get as much moderate to rigorous exercise in a day as possible, after consulting a physician and a dietician.

Pregnant woman diabetes diet

In some cases, just exercising and maintaining a healthy diet are not enough in controlling the symptoms of the disorder and in such situations medications are required in order to help return the blood sugar levels to normal. Only 15% of women with Gestational Diabetes need medications like oral hypoglycemics or sometimes insulin analogues.

Regular monitoring of the blood sugar levels of both the mother and also baby will need to be carried out. There may be complications with the baby after birth and these will need to be attended to at the earliest. The monitoring of blood sugar levels will need to be continued throughout the lives of both the mother and the child as they stand a risk to developing diabetes later on in life.

Preparing for a Medical Appointment



In most common cases of Gestational Diabetes, the disorder will be diagnosed in the screening tests carried out in the third trimester of pregnancy [3]. Once diagnosed, diabetics will need to prepare themselves both physically as well as psychologically in order to combat the disorder. While this can be stressful, it must be remembered that the condition is life threatening and intensive care must be provided in order to protect the health of both the mother and the child.

Any medications that are being used by the diabetic individual should be disclosed with a physician to determine whether they can be continued or not. Any type of unusual symptom that the pregnant woman experiences should also be referred to the medical professional and all key personal information, including family medical history should also be made available to the physician.

Diabetic Diet

It is also recommended that pregnant women who are diabetics have a close friend or an aide, who can help out in case the sufferer forgets or misses anything.

The different screening tests for gestational diabetes as also various other tests that are carried out over the course of treatment of the disorder are important and should be done properly. Some of these tests require fasting while others challenge the body’s ability to take up insulin and every test must be done as per the prerequisite that it has along with it.

There are also a number of support groups for diabetics and pregnant diabetic mothers can also try being a part of these groups [4]. Not only does this help in keeping sufferers cheerful, but it also helps sufferers gain a lot of knowledge as well as support from other people who are facing the same conditions. It is also recommended that women find out as much about the disease, its scope, the limitations of treatment and also future risks associated with Gestational Diabetes.

 

References




[1] Perinatal outcomes associated with the diagnosis of gestational diabetes made by the international association of the diabetes and pregnancy study groups criteria, Ethridge JK Jr, Catalano PM, Waters TP.; 124(3):571-8 – Sep 2014 – DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000412, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25162258


[2] Benefits and harms of treating gestational diabetes mellitus, Hartling L, Dryden DM, Guthrie A, Muise M, Vandermeer B, Donovan L.; 159(2):123-9 – Jul 16, 2013 – DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-2-201307160-00661, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23712381


[3] Screening and diagnosing gestational diabetes mellitus, Hartling L, Dryden DM, Guthrie A, Muise M, Vandermeer B, Aktary WM, Pasichnyk D, Seida JC, Donovan L.; (210):1-327 – Oct 2012: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24423035


[4] Epidemiological analysis of outcomes of pregnancy in gestational diabetic mothers, L. Martínez-Frías, E. Bermejo, E. Rodríguez-Pinilla, L. Prieto and J.L. Frías; – 6 DEC 1998 – DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-8628(19980630)78:2<140::AID-AJMG8>3.0.CO;2-S, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/(SICI)1096-8628(19980630)78:2%3C140::AID-AJMG8%3E3.0.CO;2-S/abstract


[5] Gestational Diabetes and the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes, Catherine Kim, MD, MPH1, Katherine M. Newton, PHD2 and Robert H. Knopp, MD3; vol. 25 no. 10 1862-1868 – October 2002 – DOI: 10.2337/diacare.25.10.1862, http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/10/1862.full

Understanding Diabetes – What is Diabetes?

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The term diabetes refers to a group of metabolic diseases and is quite prevalent all over the world [2]. Medically, known as Diabetes Mellitus, the disorder is also spreading quite rapidly. Diabetes is caused due to an increased level of blood sugar or glucose in the blood stream, which in turn can be caused by a number of different factors, most primarily, the role of the hormone insulin in the body.

Diabetes

 

There are three major types of diabetes [5] which include:

  • Type I Diabetes, in which the body is unable to produce the required amount of the hormone insulin. It is a rare form of diabetes and is prevalent in less than 10% of people with diabetes, mainly with children.
  • Type II Diabetes, which is the most common type of diabetes, in which the body cells show resistance to the insulin hormone. Type II diabetes is also known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM). It is the most prevalent form of diabetes accounting for almost 90% of the total number of people with diabetes.
  • Gestational Diabetes is another type of diabetes which is exclusively found in pregnant women. This is a much rarer form of diabetes.

 

Diabetes types

There is also another condition known as Prediabetes which is often diagnosed in individuals. In this condition, the glucose levels in the blood prove to be higher than normal, but the levels are not high enough for the condition to be classified under Type II Diabetes.

While Type I and Type II Diabetes prove to be chronic and long lasting conditions, both gestational diabetes and prediabetes are reversible conditions which can be treated completely by following adequate remedies and methods of treatment.

Diabetics by country

Type I Diabetes



Type I Diabetes occurs when body’s own immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. This results in complete deficiency of insulin. It is suspected that heredity and genes have a major role to play in an individual encountering Type I Diabetes as it is passed on from one generation to another. It may also be triggered by environmental factors like diet, viruses, and some specific toxins.

Type II Diabetes



In Type II diabetes, either the body produces insufficient amounts of the hormone insulin, or the body develops a resistance to the action of insulin. This results in the body cells being unable to effectively use up glucose, consequently leading to an increased concentration of sugar in the blood stream. While this is the most common type of diabetes in individuals, the actual causes of Type II Diabetes are yet to be known. The disorder is most commonly found in elderly and obese people. Various factors that may trigger Type II Diabetes include dietary habits, lifestyle and genetic susceptibility.

Diabetes day Nov 14

Gestational Diabetes



Gestational diabetes may be defined as hyperglycemia with its first presentation or onset during pregnancy. Approximately 2-6% women suffer from Gestational Diabetes. The human placental lactogenic hormone also known as Human Chorionic Somatomammotropin, which is released during the gestational period, reduces the insulin sensitivity in mothers and it may lead to an increased level of blood glucose. While the body systems of most women counter this by increasing the production of insulin, some women are susceptible to the disorder. If left uncontrolled, this condition may soon lead to Gestational Diabetes. This type of diabetes causes complications for both the mother and the developing fetus.

Understanding what causes Diabetes

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes



There are a number of symptoms which may help you to diagnose the presence of this metabolic disease.

  • Frequent urination: Also known as polyuria, this proves to be one of the most common symptoms of diabetes, wherein the sufferer feels an urge to urinate several times in a day and over 2.5 liters of urine is excreted per day. The phenomenon is more noticeable during the night.
  • Increased thirst: Sufferers feel an increased urge of thirst in order to compensate for excessive fluid loss due to urination.
  • Increased hunger: Also known as polyphagia, this condition is also noticed in diabetic patients. If cases of increased hunger coexist along with above two symptoms in a sufferer, diabetes is said to be diagnosed.
  • Fatigue: Increased tiredness and fatigue are other important symptoms in a diabetic patient. This is caused due to an impaired production and utilization of calories by the body. This may also result in the wasting of muscles.
  • Slow healing: Slow healing of wounds is also an important feature that is seen quite commonly in diabetic patients. This condition affects almost all diabetic individuals and is considered to be one of the easiest ways of diagnosing if diabetes has affected an individual.
  • Abnormal sensation: There may be occurrences of numbness or tingling sensation felt in the limbs in diabetic. In some cases, a person may feel a loss of sensation in the hands or the feet.
  • Increased risk to infections: A diabetic person is more prone to an infectious disease as compared to a normal person.
  • Miscellaneous: There are some other symptoms of diabetes which may include a blurring of the vision, unexplained loss of weight, lack of interest and concentration while working or studying.

Diabetes signs

If these symptoms are not taken care of, and treatment of diabetes is neglected, it may result in a number of complications such as:

  • Diabetic neuropathy: The excess sugar levels present in the blood stream can prove to cause damage to the blood vessels and capillaries. This can eventually lead to damage of the nerves and loss of sensation in particular regions of the body such as the fingers and the toes.
  • Diabetic nephropathy and diabetic ketoacidosis: Damage can be caused to the kidneys due to the excess glucose present in the blood in diabetics. There is also a high presence of ketones in the urine which is caused by deamination of some amino acids and also the improper breakdown of fatty acids.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetes can also cause damage to the blood vessels surrounding the retina of the eye. While this may result in some eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataract, over longer periods, it can also lead to permanent blindness.
  • Cardiovascular or macro vascular diseases like stroke or peripheral vascular disease: The risk of encountering cardiovascular diseases is greatly increased in diabetics. These include potentially serious conditions and diseases such as a heart attack, a stroke, pain in the chest and also a constriction of the arteries in the body.
  • Muscle wasting and weakness: Due to the cells being unable to effectively absorb glucose, diabetic individuals cannot efficiently or effectively use their body muscles. While this causes general fatigue and tiredness, over longer periods it may lead to a gradual wasting of the muscle tissues.
  • Diabetic coma: While it is known that diabetic patients suffer from increased risk to nerve damage, in some extreme cases, this nerve damage can also lead to a condition of a coma.
  • Others: There are many other complications which can be associated with diabetes and these include damage caused to the limbs, infectious skin diseases and conditions, an impairment of hearing and also the development of Alzheimer’s disease is some individuals.

Diagnosis for Diabetes



Some tests are used for the diagnosis of diabetes [5]:

  • Fasting Plasma Glucose Test: This test measures blood glucose levels after going for at least 8 hours of fasting. This test is used to detect diabetes or prediabetes.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test: This test is used to measure the blood sugar level. The test should be taken after at least eight hours of fasting and two hours after drinking a glucose containing liquid. This test is also be used to diagnose diabetes as well as prediabetes.
  • Random Plasma Glucose Test: In this test, the doctor checks the blood sugar level without observing to the last meal. This test helps in assessment of symptoms and for diagnosing diabetes, but it does not diagnose prediabetes.
Diabetes OGT test Diabetes HbA1c test

Treatment of Diabetes



Treatment of diabetes include use of medications [3] or correcting the underlying causes such as diet and exercise [4].

  • Diet: A diabetic should always take a balanced nutrition to maintain the short-term as well as long-term blood glucose levels under control. Following a diabetic diet is a necessary aspect for diabetics.
  • Physical activity: It is another important and effective method of treating as well as preventing diabetes especially in Type II Diabetes mellitus caused due to obesity or overweight.
  • Medications: Type I Diabetes can be treated with the insulin therapy where combinations of NPH and regular insulin or synthetic insulin analogues are administered to the patients with diabetes. Type II Diabetes can be treated effectively with the use of oral hypoglycemic medication like metformin. There are other medications as well which include angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or the angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

Whatever the method of treatment for diabetes may be, care must be taken to periodically monitor the sugar levels in the blood stream of diabetics. While the treatment methods may prove to be effective on their own, diabetes should always ensure to monitor their glucose levels. This is the most effective way to ensure that targets are being met and that the medications or treatment remedies are proving to be effective.

Diabetes reduce risks

There are also a number of home remedies and lifestyle tips that can be used to provide relief to the symptoms of diabetes. These include:

  • Making an active commitment to combat the disease. This is the first and foremost step and sufferers must ensure that they collect as much information about the condition as possible.
  • Following a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Getting adequate physical activity every day.
  • Identifying the specific type of diabetes as Type I and Type II need to be differentiated.
  • Taking vaccinations on time to combat the increased risk of infections. Flu shots are recommended to be taken every year.
  • Keeping a check on the blood pressure and on bad cholesterol levels. While regular exercise and diet can help in keeping these in check, measurements need to be taken regularly in order to avoid complications.
  • Taking care of the gums and the teeth. Diabetes can have dire consequences on the gums and the teeth and regular brushing and flossing of the teeth should always be done.
  • Avoiding the exertion of unnecessary pressure on the feet. The toes and the feet can very easily get damaged in diabetics. Any problems in the feet should be referred to medical practitioners immediately.
  • Drinking alcohol responsibly and within recommended daily limits. The recommended limits are one drink of alcohol a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Carbohydrates on the consumptions of excess alcohol can upset the balance that is required in the dietary plan.
  • Smokers should cease smoking immediately. Smokers who also have diabetes have an extremely high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and the smoking and other forms of tobacco should be stopped at the earliest. If addiction is a problem, consult medical practitioners for alternatives to smoking.
  • Stress and strain on the body should be considered very seriously as they may adversely affect a diabetic. Prolonged stress can prove to be very harmful to the tiny blood vessels and can lead to serious complications such as a stroke. Plenty of sleep is recommended for diabetics.
  • Regular visits to the doctor and frequent eye checkups are required to be a part of a diabetic’s life.

Diabetes Treatment

While diabetes cannot be cured completely, following proper medication which is coupled with a healthy lifestyle with lots of physical activity can provide relief to sufferers. Following an effective treatment plan with a well-maintained lifestyle can help keep symptoms in check and can help diabetics lead a closer to normal life. However, diabetics must make sure to understand the fact that complications related to the disorder can spring up at any time and they need to always maintain a high level of care in order to keep symptoms in check. Diabetic sufferers do not have an easy time, but integrating a new lifestyle and adopting healthy measures as daily habits can greatly help in managing the symptoms of this disorder.

 

References




[1] Diagnosis of Diabetes, Silvio E. Inzucchi, M.D., N Engl J Med 2012; 367:542-550 – August 9, 2012 – DOI: 10.1056/NEJMcp1103643: www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcp1103643


[2] Diabetes and oral health, Joanathan A. Ship; Volume 134, Supplement 1, Pages 4S-10S – October, 2003 – DOI: 10.14219/jada.archive.2003.0367, http://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(14)65193-X/abstract?cc=y


[3] The Patient-Provider Relationship: Attachment Theory and Adherence to Treatment in Diabetes, Paul S. Cjechanowski, M.D., M.P.H.; Wayne J. Katon, M.D.; Joan E. Russo, Ph.D.; Edward A. Walker, M.D., Volume 158 Issue 1, 29-35 – January 2001, – DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.158.1.29, http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.158.1.29


[4] Using Bitter Melon to Treat Diabetes, Kathy Abascal, Eric Yarnell; 11(4): 179-184 – August 11, 2005 – doi:10.1089/act.2005.11.179, http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/act.2005.11.179


[5] Diabetes Knowledge, Health Belief, and Diabetes Management Among the Igala, Nigeria, Samuel OjimaAdejoh; 26 June 2014 – DOI: 1177/2158244014539966, http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/4/2/2158244014539966.abstract

About Diabetes

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Diabetes

What is Diabetes?



Diabetes is a very common disorder which is widespread all over the world. This metabolic disease is characterized by the presence of large amounts of glucose or sugar in the blood stream.

Diabetes occurs in an individual due to the malfunctioning of the hormone insulin in the body, which affects the way in which sugar is absorbed by the body cells. Lower amounts of insulin in the circulatory system correspond to a higher level of blood sugar.

Causes of Diabetes

Causes



What are the causes of diabetes? To understand diabetes, its underlying conditions as well as the role of glucose and the hormone insulin should be considered. It is important to learn what the causes of this disorder are in order to successfully avoid it.

Diabetes Symptoms

Signs & Symptoms



Diabetes affects many people all over the world especially those who are overweight people and those who have diabetes in their family. If you are concerned about diabetes, it is essential to learn about and recognize the signs and symptoms of the disease.

Diabetes Treatment & Tests

Treatment



Diabetes can manifest in different forms and different types of the disease require different treatment methods. Treatment of the disease can be successfully done once the disease has been properly diagnosed. Find out more about the different treatment options available for diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type I Diabetes



Type I Diabetes is a form of the disease which is observed more commonly in children and younger adults. This section deals with the causes, the signs and symptoms, the complications and also the treatment options available for Type I Diabetes.

Diabetes Symptoms

Type II Diabetes is more commonly found in the elderly people. It is much more widespread than Type I Diabetes. Find out more about the causes, symptoms and the treatment options available today for Type II Diabetes in this section.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes



Pregnant women can suffer from a reversible type of diabetes known as Gestational Diabetes. This section deals with the causes of gestational diabetes, the effects on a pregnant woman and the child and also the treatment options for the disorder.

Diabetes Diet

Diabetes Diet



Diabetics are urged to follow a strict diabetic diet. This section deals with all the foods that are considered to be unhealthy for a diabetic and offers alternatives to these. A diet is one of the most important segments in the treatment plan of the disorder and must be adhered to as best as possible.

Diabetes Medication

Medication



There are various medications available today that can keep blood sugar levels low and can help control the signs and symptoms of diabetes. Find out more about the different types of medication and their effects on the body in this section.

Diabetes Management

Management



Diabetics need to manage the condition throughout their lives as it is a chronic disease. This section contains helpful lifestyle tips and remedies which can help patients better manage the condition. Effective management can greatly improve the quality of life of a diabetic.

Diabetes in Men

Diabetes in Men



Diabetes can affect men in ways different than that to women. This section deals with diabetes in men, its causes, symptoms and also the effects that the disorder can have on a man’s body and also on the quality of life.

Diabetes in Women

Diabetes in Women



Women are as prone to diabetes as men added to the fact that gestational diabetes is exclusive only to women. This section will help you find out more about how the different types of diabetes can affect a woman.

Diabetes in Dogs

Diabetes in Dogs



Not only humans, but even pets such as cats and dogs can be affected by diabetes. The epidemic of domestic pets being diagnosed with diabetes is on the rise. Learn more about the symptoms and how to manage and treat the disorder in dogs.

Prediabetes

Prediabetes



Prediabetes is a special condition which is precursor to diabetes. If not remedied, prediabetes will most definitely lead to diabetes in the future. This section includes the causes, the signs and symptoms of prediabetes and the treatment options available.

Diabetes & Alcohol

Diabetes & Alcohol



Alcohol can prove to affect a diabetic’s calorie count and may also affect the blood sugar levels. Learn more about what effects alcohol have on a diabetic’s body and also what the appropriate drinking habits for a diabetic should be.

Celebrities with Diabetes

Celebrities & Diabetes



Anybody can be affected by diabetes be they rich or poor, male or female. This section takes a look at some of the best known celebrities from across the world who have struggled with diabetes and also its associated complications.

Prediabetes

Congenital Diabetes



Congenital diabetes, also knows as Neonatal Diabetes, is a rare condition which affects new born children below 1 year. If undiagnosed, the disease may prove to fatal for the infant. This section includes the causes, the signs and symptoms of Congenital Diabetes and the treatment options available.

Celebrities with Diabetes

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On this page: Celebrities with Type I Diabetes, Celebrities with Type II Diabetes, Celebrities with Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic disease which is prevalent all over the world and is increasing rapidly [1]. Diabetes is caused due increased levels of blood glucose which in turn can be caused due to a number of factors. Diabetes is of two major types – Type I Diabetes mellitus where the body cells are unable to produce that amount of insulin required to our body and Type II Diabetes in which the body cells are resistant to insulin. Type II diabetes is also popularly known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. There is a third type of diabetes also – Gestational diabetes – which is exclusively found in pregnant women who never had a history of diabetes before, however this is a much rarer form of diabetes in humans.

Diabetes and Hollywood

Diabetes is a disease which can affect anyone in the world whether it is poor or rich, a common sedentary man or highly professional athlete, a young or old, anyone [3] [4]. There are many celebrities who have risk of developing diabetes infect some have, but they all fight with bravery to this slow poisoning disease and has changed their lifestyles and diet to live their life actively and blissfully. The risk factors for the celebrities may vary due to difference in their race, ethnicity, weight or family history [2]. Here we are listing some of the celebrities which are struck with diabetes or diabetes mellitus.

Celebrities suffering from Type I diabetes



JAY CUTLER

Jay Cutler

He is an American football player. He was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes when he was 25 years old. He started losing his weight when he started developing this disease but he faced this disease with bravery and now he uses insulin pump to monitor his blood sugar.

BRET MICHAELS

Bret Michaels

He is a singer for the famous band Poison. He was diagnosed with this type of diabetes when he was 6 years old. But now despite of all the complication, he gives his best performance in his work.

MISSY FOY

Missy Foy Diabetes

She is the well-known and influential marathon runner who was diagnosed with Diabetes Type I when she was 33 years old. She has set example for all the patient suffering from diabetes by becoming the first athlete with diabetes to qualify for Olympic Marathon trial.

MARY TYLER MOORE

Mary Tyler Moore Diabetes

She is a famous actress who is now in her 70s. Mary was diagnosed with the disorder when she was 33 years old. She is the chairperson of the international Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

JEAN SMART

Jean Smart Diabetes

This actress was only 13 when she was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. She is a dedicated activist, mentor and also fundraiser for the disease. She has starred in a number of movies, television shows and theatrical plays.

DORIAN GREGORY

Dorian Gregory Diabetes

The host of the show Soul Train, Dorian was diagnosed with having Type I Diabetes at the early age of 9. Diabetes has been a part of Dorian’s family and he has also issued a lot of public statements on how to effectively manage living with the disorder.

NICK JONAS

Nick Jonas Diabetes

This teen idol was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at a young age. In a public comment made to FOX, part of the Jonas brothers, Nick hopes to inspire other people to be able to fight the disease and manage living with the condition.

ANNE RICE

Anne Rice Diabetes

In 1998, author Anne Rice was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. She had also slipped into a diabetic coma prior to her diagnosis.

DAMON DASH

Damon Dash Diabetes

The former CEO of Roc A Fella Records has tried to guard the fact that he is a Type I Diabetic Sufferer as he felt that he is good to manage living with the condition on his own.

SONIA SOTOMAYOR

SONIA SOTOMAYOR Diabetes

This judge was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at the age of 8. She has maintained an active and a well-maintained lifestyle ever since in order to combat living with the disorder.

CASEY JOHNSON

Casey Johnson Diabetes

The heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes and she unfortunately passed away as she could not effectively manage living with the disorder. She had twice failed to take her insulin dosages and had been hospitalized earlier as well.

GARY HALL, Jr.

Gary Hall Diabetes

This Olympic swimmer had proven everybody wrong by competing in an Olympic level event after being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes.

 

Celebrity Stories on Life with Diabetes!

Celebrities suffering from Type II diabetes



LARY KING

Larry King diabetes

He is an American TV host. He is suffering from type 2 diabetes. Due to this disease he has developed many complications like heart disease and many other serious body organs problems. But diabetes was not only risk factor to all these problems, alcohol and smoking had also contributed. But after being operated for bypass surgery for heart, he helped his heart by taking care of diabetes.

RANDY JACKSON

Randy Jackson Diabetes

He is an African-American and was obese. As both of these factors contribute to high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, this American Idol judge struggled hard to lose his weight and control his glucose level in the body. He weighed in excess of 300 pounds and had an abnormally high blood sugar level. After diagnosis of Type II Diabetes, a gastric bypass surgery was performed on Randy, which enabled him to shed off 100 pounds.

PAULA DEEN

Paula Deen Diabetes

She is famous chef, well known for her buttery and sugary recipes. When she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, she faced the problem with full spirit and wants the public to know that disease can be controlled and is not a death sentence.

TOM HANKS

Tom Hanks diabetes

This infamous actor was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and unnecessary weight gain at the age of 36. Since then Tom has been dedicated to battling the disease and managing life with the disorder.

PAUL SORVINO

Paul Sorvino Diabetes

This famous actor to be featured in Goodfellas and in Law and Order was diagnosed with having Type II Diabetes in 2006. Paul has the disease under control thanks to following a healthy diet, exercise and medications.

MIKE HUCKABEE

Mike Huckabee Diabetes

Mike was a host at FOX News and also a former presidential hopeful candidate. He had been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in 2003 and has since reduced his calorie intake and has maintained a healthy diet and lifestyle. Today, Mike claims that he has reversed his conditions successfully.

DELTA BURKE

Delta Burke Diabetes

This star to be featured in Designing Women was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in 1997 when she was 41 years old. Delta has been resorting to a diabetic diet and medications in order to keep her blood sugar levels under control.

DICK CLARK

Dick Clark diabetes

This legend in broadcasting stated that he had been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes at the age of 64. He had also suffered from a stroke post his diagnosis. Dick passed away at the age of 82 after a heart attack.

BILLIE JEAN KING

Billie Jean King Diabetes

Tennis champion Billie Jean King is a perfect example of how diabetes can affect anybody. She was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes at the age of 63. Billie has a family history of diabetes and she manages to keep her condition in check by following a healthy diet, medications and also with lots of physical activity. Billie makes sure to monitor her blood sugar levels at least one or twice in a day.

PATTI LABELLE

Patti LaBelle Diabetes

This Grammy award winner passed out on stage due to Type II Diabetes in 1994. There were cases of severe diabetes in her family and Patti got in shape and maintained a healthy diet ever since. She has also launched three different books for cooking which include recipes for diabetic individuals.

HALLE BERRY

Halle Berry diabetes

This actress caused quite a lot of controversy when she claimed that she was a Type II sufferer after having been long recognized as a Type I Diabetes sufferer. This misdiagnosis had occurred when the famous actress was only 22.

SHERRI SHEPHERD

Sherri Shepherd Diabetes

The cohost of The View, Sherri was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in 2007. She has since slimmed down and effectively managed to battle the disease by working closely with a personal trainer and a nutritionist.

DREW CAREY

Drew Carey Diabetes

This comedian and sitcom star revealed that he was suffering from Type II Diabetes in 2010. Since then, Drew has dropped over 80 pounds and has been following a strictly healthy lifestyle in order to battle the conditions of diabetes.

DAVID WELLS

David Wells Diabetes

Popularly referred to as ‘Boomer’, this baseball player struggled with weight issues throughout his career. He was diagnosed with having Type II Diabetes in 2007 and has since been on a strict diet regime in order to manage living with the condition.

Celebrities suffering from Gestational diabetes



SALMA HAYEK

Salma Hayek

The actress suffered from gestational diabetes, the diabetes develops in pregnant woman. She also has family history of diabetes. This type of diabetes usually gets corrected as pregnancy goes away but it increases the chances of developing diabetes type 2 in future [5].

 

Diabetes can affect any individual, whether they are rich or poor, or whether they are famous or not. There have been many celebrities who have suffered from this disease and this fact shows that the condition could happen to just about anyone.

 

References




[1] Diabetes TV News Coverage Lags Behind, Stephania T. Miller, PHD1, Marquita N. Campbell and James W. Pichert,; vol. 25 no. 3 607 – March 2002 – 10.2337/diacare.25.3.607, http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/3/607.short


[2] Effective spokespersons in a public service announcement: National celebrities, local celebrities and victims, Mark Toncar, Jane S. Reid,; 11 Iss: 3, pp.258 – 275 – August, 2007 – DOI: 10.1108/13632540710780247, http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/13632540710780247


[3] Celebrities help promote campaign to destigmatise mental illness, BMJ2009;338:b309 – 26 January 2009 – DOI: 1136/bmj.b309, http://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b309.short


[4] The effects of DTCA on patient compliance: Exploring the impact of endorser selection and message tonality on patients with diabetes, Kai N. Bergner, Tomas Falk , 7 Iss: 4, pp.391 – 409 – May 2013 – DOI: 10.1108/IJPHM-05-2013-0031, http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/IJPHM-05-2013-0031


[5] Promoting Healthful Eating Patterns Among Patients With Diabetes – Carrie S. Swift, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE,; vol. 25 no. 2 67-68 – May 2012 – DOI: 10.2337/diaspect.25.2.67, http://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/2/67.short

Diabetes and Alcohol

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Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs due to defective insulin production or due to decreased responsiveness to insulin leading to raised blood glucose levels [1]. It is a common disease with increased prevalence throughout the world due to various factors. Diabetes if not controlled adequately and timely may also result in fatality. Various studies have shown that there is a close link between alcohol consumption and diabetes. It was found that alcohol consumption on occasional basis and in lesser quantities benefits by increasing the insulin sensitivity n the body and lowers the risk of diabetes. But at the same time, in moderate to heavy drinkers, there is a higher risk of development of diabetes.

Diabetes and alcohol

Alcohol consumption should always be carefully considered if a person is suspected to be at a risk of developing diabetes. Not only alcohol, but also the drink which is used to mix the alcohol can prove to upset the delicate calorie count in a diabetic individual’s diet. Alcohols and mixers can prove to have a lot of calories.

Some of the different ways in which consumption of alcohol may adversely affect diabetics include the following [2]:

  • Excess amounts of alcohol can cause the sugar level in the blood stream to fall to extremely low levels.
  • Sweet wine and beer can have a large amount of carbohydrates and may increase the sugar levels in the blood stream.
  • Alcohol can also prove to stimulate the appetite causing individuals to overeat. Alcohol can also prove to affect the abilities of judgment of individuals and lead them to make poor choices in food. Consumption of excess alcohol can be tempting, but it can lead to very poor choices of both food and other decisions.
  • Consumption of alcohol may tend to increase the blood pressure levels in individuals.
  • Excess alcohol consumption is linked to an excess of triglycerides in the body.
  • Alcohol may also prove to cause nausea and an increased heart rate, both of which are also complications associated with diabetes.
  • Drinking excess of alcohol can also increase the risk of hypoglycemia even after sleeping and waking up the next day.
  • In case diabetes has already caused some type of damage to the blood vessels or the nerves, consumption of alcohol can prove to increase the discomfort.

Diabetes alcohol

On drinking an alcoholic beverage, it is found that the alcohol penetrates into your blood stream without undergoing any breakdown in the stomach. This results in an increased level of alcohol content in the bloodstream within just 5-10 minutes of consumption. Since the metabolism of alcohol takes place in the liver, for an average weighing individual it takes almost two hours for metabolizing a single drink. If excess alcohol is consumed, then the excess alcohol travels through your bloodstream and enter other vital organs of your body, including the brain as the body is not able to metabolize alcohol at the rate same as your consumption rate. This is the primary reason why buzzing is felt after the consumption of alcohol.

For diabetic patients, especially those who are on insulin or other oral hypoglycemic drugs, heavy alcohol consumption poses higher risks as it interferes with the normal liver functioning. The liver instead of regulating the blood sugar level is diverted to eliminate alcohol from the blood stream, leading to much lower blood sugar levels that may also cause hypoglycemic shock.

Diabetes Alcohol

Type I Diabetes sufferers are usually young adults and as such, they need to maintain caution if they are looking to consume alcohol. Some of the tips for consumption of alcohol include:

  • Always keep a glass half full. If a second drink is offered, the half empty glass can help in making a polite refusal.
  • Always make sure to have no more than two drinks a day. It is also important to have the drinks slowly and along with food. Food must also be taken before going to bed.
  • In case a diabetic sufferer feels extremely drowsy and sleepy after moderate amounts of alcohol, then immediate medical attention will need to be provided.
  • Insulin will always need to be administered no matter if the diabetic is consuming alcohol or not.
  • It is best to let everybody know of the diabetes disorder when drinking in a group.

Some of the facts regarding the consumption of alcohol and diabetes include the following [3]:

  • Alcohol proves to interact with some of the medications used for the treatment of diabetes and may result in sudden and severe episodes of hypoglycemic attacks.
  • Alcohol prevents the liver from doing it regular functions and instead makes it focus on eliminating the alcohol from the blood stream.
  • Alcohol consumption on an empty stomach can prove to reduce the blood sugar levels at an alarmingly quick rate.
  • Blood sugar levels should always be monitored before, during and after the consumption of alcohol. The threat of hypoglycemia still lingers even after 24 hours from the consumption of alcohol and as such, the blood sugar levels always need to be monitored and made sure to be in check.
  • Excess alcohol can easily cause hypoglycemia which has similar signs and symptoms as drinking too much. As such, care must be taken in order to distinguish between these two.
  • Drinking slowly and along with food greatly reduces the chances of hypoglycemia and should always be followed.
  • The recommended limits of drinking should always be observed in order to prevent any unnecessary complications.
  • It is always recommended that diabetic individuals should carry around instant glucose medications while consuming alcohol to prevent the chances of episodes of hypoglycemia occurring.

Alcohol Diabetes

It is really difficult for alcohol addicts to quit drinking. Thus there are a few basic tips for diabetic patients who are into alcohol consumption

  • Heavy drinking should always be avoided. As per the American Diabetes Association, it is suggested that men should not have more than 2 drinks per day, while women should not have more than one, for both diabetics as well as non-diabetics.
  • Preparedness for emergencies must always be observed. Diabetics should always carry sugar tablets or some source of sugar along with them to avoid chances of a sudden hypoglycemic shock.
  • Consultation from physician for advice should always be taken. It is always better to reveal drinking habits to a physician and know the effects of alcohol on the health rather than try and manage two problems together.
  • Alcohol consumption should never be combined with exercise. Exercise and alcohol consumption when done in conjunction, increases the risk of low blood sugar conditions.
  • Regular monitoring of blood sugar before and after consuming alcohol should be observed. Monitoring of blood sugar should also be observed before going to bed.
  • Alcohol consumption when on an empty stomach should always be avoided. The presence of food in stomach lowers the rate of absorption of alcohol into bloodstream.
  • Diabetics should always carry an identity proof with the conditions of diabetes mentioned over it in order to get immediate management in case of a hypoglycemic shock. The symptoms of low blood sugar and excess consumption of alcohol are quite similar and include disorientation, nausea and sleepiness. There is a high chance of diabetic indivuals not getting appropriate attention for they are mistaken to be on excess alcohol.
  • Alcohol, if consumed, should be consumed slowly and should not be mixed with other drinks. Alcohol may be mixed with water, soda or sugar free diet drinks.
  • Diabetics who have consumed alcohol should never drive a vehicle as there may be sudden complications that can cause injuries.
  • It is absolutely essential for diabetics to know what drink they are having and also to eat well and know the recommended drinking limits.
  • Diabetics must ensure that they understand the symptoms of hypoglycemia and that they also relay this information out to close friends and loved ones. Cases of hypoglycemia can occur very suddenly. As such, diabetics and the people around them should know all about the symptoms and how they can be triggered by drinking alcohol.
  • Diabetics who consume alcohol should always keep a watch on both their waistline as well as the heart. Diabetics can have a number of illnesses related to the cardiovascular system and also other body organs. Consumption of alcohol can trigger complications, elevating the risk of diseases being encountered.

An alcoholic beverage may take above two hours to be completely digested and metabolized by the liver [4]. As such, it is essential that diabetics consume their drinks as slowly as possible. Excess of alcohol puts a lot of unnecessary stress on the liver and also, the complications of drinking at a quick speed may manifest after a few hours and may elevate at alarmingly quick rates. It is essential to always have food along with alcohol in order to counter the excess stress put on the liver and also to slow down the rate of absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.

Alcohol and Diabetes: Do They Mix?

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends alcoholics to ask themselves 3 basic questions:

  • Is your diabetes is under control?
  • Know from your physician if you have any health problems like diabetes or hypertension that alcohol may worsen?
  • Do you know the ill effects of alcohol on your health especially on diabetes?

Some of the tips in choosing alcoholic beverages for consumption include the following:

  • Alcohol intake should be limited in case of Type II Diabetes sufferers as they are generally obese and are looking to reduce weight. Alcohol can provide a lot of empty calories to the body and this can result in weight gain.
  • Diet juices, soda, water and sugar free alcohol mixers should be chosen.
  • Dry wines should be preferred instead of sweet wines, sparkling wines and dessert wines.
  • Light beer should be preferred over regular beer.

It is important that diabetic individuals maintain as much care as possible while consuming alcohol. Dangerous activities such as dealing with heavy machinery, driving a vehicle, activities which require coordination or concentration and also activities which require alertness should always be avoided. Alcohol consumption should never be combined with hot baths, saunas or steam baths as the heat in conjunction with the alcohol can cause the blood pressure levels to drop at an alarming rate.

A diabetic does not need to completely give up on alcohol, but however, individuals will need to take care of their drinking habits. There are also some substitutes for alcohol available which can greatly help addicts who also have diabetes symptoms. Drinking in moderate limits and within the recommended levels does not prove to cause complications in diabetes. However, care should always be taken by diabetic individuals as there may be sudden and serious complications at any point in time. It is essential to always consult a dietician or a professional healthcare provider before deciding on whether alcohol consumption is off limits for diabetics or not. Alcohol can prove to weaken the resolve of individuals battling diabetes. Alcohol can greatly affect the judgmental abilities of individuals and it may tempt them into making poorer food choices as well as lifestyle choices. While diabetics need not give up on enjoying the consumption of alcohol, they must proceed with extreme caution when doing so. Alcohol by itself can prove to cause a lot of trouble and impairment to individuals and when combined with other disorders such as diabetes, conditions could even worsen to the state of serious and life threatening ones.

In case diabetics decide on giving up alcohol for good, it is the best possible scenario [5]. However, giving up on alcohol, something which is so prevalent in society is not an easy task. Diabetics will need to decide for themselves whether the cost and the efforts they put into the consumption of alcohol is worth it or not. Furthermore, the expenses and the trouble that can be caused by alcohol related complications can be greatly detrimental to all aspects of a diabetic’s life. Diabetics will require a support group as well as advice from medical professionals before proceeding on with alcohol consumption.

 

References




[1] Moderate Alcohol Consumption Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – A meta-analysis of prospective observational studies, Lando L.J. Koppes, Jacqueline M. Dekker,; vol. 28 no. 3 719-725 – March 2005 – DOI: 10.2337/diacare.28.3.719, http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/28/3/719.short


[2] Prospective study of cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and the risk of diabetes in men, Eric B Rimm, June Chan,; BMJ1995;310:555 – 04 March 1995 – DOI: 1136/bmj.310.6979.555, http://www.bmj.com/content/310/6979/555.short


[3] Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review, Andrea A. Howard, MD, MS; Julia H. Arnsten, MD, MPH; and Marc N. Gourevitch, MD, MPH.; 140(3):211-219 – 3February 2004 – DOI: 7326/0003-4819-140-6-200403160-00011, http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=717163


[4] Smoking and diabetes in Chinese men, G T C Ko, J C N Chan, L W W Tsang, J A J H Critchley, C S Cockram,; 77:240-243 – 14 August 2000 – DOI: 10.1136/pmj.77.906.240, http://pmj.bmj.com/content/77/906/240.short


[5] Alcohol as a Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes – A systematic review and meta-analysis, Dolly O. Baliunas, Benjamin J. Taylor, Hyacinth Irving, Michael Roerecke,; vol. 32 no. 11 2123-2132 – November 2009 – DOI: 10.2337/dc09-0227, http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/11/2123.short

Diabetes in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Has your pet dog been diagnosed with diabetes? There is a growing epidemic of diabetes among pets and pet owners should be able to identify and manage the disorder as early as possible in order to save their pets [1].

Dog Diabetes

The diabetic epidemic in pets is spreading at an alarming rate. It is estimated that out of every 160 dogs, 1 suffers from diabetes. Most of the conditions of diabetes that are diagnosed in dogs are Type I Diabetes as found in humans, wherein the auto immune system of the body ends up attacking the beta cells of the pancreas. This leads to no insulin being produced by the body. There is no evidence of Type II Diabetes occurring in dogs although there have been some reported cases of the disorder in cats.

The pathology of diabetes in dogs is similar to humans. Diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes is the condition in which dog’s body is not able to make or process insulin. Due to this, there is increase in the blood sugar levels, thus leading to this metabolic disorder called sugar diabetes or diabetes. While diabetes mellitus cases in dogs can range from mild to severe, this disorder in dogs is usually manageable, but if it is not treated at the right time, it can lead to several complications such as malnutrition, weakness in the legs, cataract and many other disorders and can prove to greatly interfere with the quality of life of the diseased animal. Cataract is one of the most common disorders and symptoms associated with diabetes in dogs. Diabetes is much more common in female dogs as compared to male dogs.

Diabetes in dogs – Symptoms and Diagnosis

Commonly affected breeds of dog by Diabetes



While diabetes can affect any breed of dog at any age, it is much more prevalent in middle aged and older dogs of some breeds. Some of the breeds of dogs which are more susceptible to diabetes include the following:

  • Pomeranians
  • Golden Retrievers
  • German Shepherds
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Fox Terriers
  • Schnauzers
  • Poodles
  • Keeshonden
  • Spitz
  • Bichon Frise

The mean age at which this diabetic condition develops in these breeds is when they are about 4-14 years old. Genetics play a major role in dogs and the primary reason of this condition developing in dogs is not known.

Diabetes in dogs

It is estimated that almost half of the cases of diabetes in dogs are due to autoimmune disorders which prove to cause damage to the pancreas. Type II Diabetes cases in canines is generally uncommon and is much more common among felines. There are, however, a few reported cases of canines developing resistance to the effects of insulin on the body. This is usually caused because of some other underlying condition which causes the body to develop this resistance, such as Cushing’s disease.

While obesity is a high risk factor for diabetes in humans, there is no proven evidence that the case is the same for canines [2]. Obesity, however, can cause the body to develop a slight resistance to insulin, but typically, it is not one of the foremost risk factors which cause diabetes in canines. Gestational diabetes is also common in many canines, but this usually disappears after delivery of the babies.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs



As pet owner, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of this condition. The symptoms at which you should take caution include the following:

  • Polyuria or frequent urination in dogs.
  • Polydipsia or increased thirst wherein the dog drinks larger amounts of water than usual.
  • Polyphagia or the condition of hunger pangs and having a much larger appetite than usual.
  • Malnourishment despite the larger appetite with an accompanied loss of weight and appearance is common in cases of diabetes in dogs.
  • Clouding of the eyes and an acute onset of cataract is also an indication of diabetes in dogs.

If you find these symptoms in your dog, then you should visit the veterinarian and get this disorder treated at the earliest. If the symptoms and signs go unnoticed, there may be several complications and these may even prove to threaten the life of your pet.

Diabetes in dogs

Diagnosis of Diabetes in Dogs



The diagnosis of diabetes in dogs can be done very easily with simple tests to determine the concentration of glucose or sugar in the blood stream and also the urine. The presence of ketones in the urine is also an indicator of diabetes.

An elevated cholesterol level, the presences of an excess of triglycerides, hyperlipidemia, an increased level of liver enzymes and an enlarged liver, high specific gravity of urine, an increased count of white blood cells and a low level of phosphorus in the blood and urine are also some of the diagnostic test results that are usually accompanied with diabetes [3].

While the cases of diabetes in canines can range from severely complicated to mild, most of the cases are moderate and do not require any hospitalization. Proper home care is adequate in order to treat the dog of this disease.

Dog Diabetes – Questions and Answers from a Veterinarian

Complications of Diabetes in Dogs



Diabetes in canines can present a range of complications including a number of degenerative diseases and infections. Some of the common complications associated with diabetes in dogs include the following:

  • Nephropathy or fibrosis occurring to the kidney tissues. This tends to damage the kidneys greatly. The cause of kidney nephropathy is the increased stress put on the nerves and the blood vessels by the excess amounts of sugar in the blood stream.
  • Infections including urinary tract infections are quite common in diabetic canines. This happens due to the impairment of both the circulatory system as well as the immune system of the body. Infections may occur on the teeth and the gums of dogs as well.
  • A hepatic disorder involving the liver is also common in dogs with diabetes. The liver is the organ which is responsible for converting food into blood sugar and many diabetic dogs show and enlarged liver with an elevated production of enzymes.
  • Hyperthyroidism and hyperadrenocorticism are also complications associated with diabetes if the disease is left untreated.
  • Cataract in dogs is one of the most common complications that are associated with diabetes. The increased glucose levels in the blood can prove to damage the delicate blood vessels in different parts of the body and the eyes are most prone to being damaged.
  • Ataxia or the loss of balance and coordination is also associated with diabetes in dogs. Diabetic canines may also exhibit lethargy, dizziness, confusion and trembling due to the excessive amounts of glucose in the blood stream.
  • Excessive dehydration may also lead to seizures and loss of consciousness. Dehydration can easily be caused despite drinking fluids as there is a lot of urine being excreted out in order to get rid of the excess glucose concentration.

Management of Diabetes in Dogs



Early diagnosis of diabetes may lead to prevention of cataract or any kind of neuropathy conditions in your loving pet [4]. You should know how to manage these conditions in your pet and show your warm love to your pets. Your main goal while managing this condition is to maintain glucose levels regulated and try to do away with symptoms of this condition such as excessive drinking and urination. The condition is definitely much more manageable if you change the diet and induce healthy lifestyle in your dog apart from regular insulin injections.

Diabetic dog

When it comes to following a treatment plan or to administer medications for diabetes in dogs, the veterinarian must be consulted before the procedure commences.

Since Type II Diabetes in canines is unheard of, diabetic dogs must be treated with similar methods that are used to treat Type I Diabetes in humans. This means that external administration of insulin or insulin analogues should be provided to the dog in order to make up for the lack of physically produced insulin by the pancreas. If canines are provided with the medications for Type II Diabetes such as some oral medications, the dogs unfortunately do not show any positive response.

Some of the effective methods for the management of diabetes in dogs include the following:

  • Insulin injections: Your diabetic dog may require insulin injections almost every day to regulate and maintain blood glucose levels in its body. Every breed of dog needs different amount of insulin, so go with your veterinarian advice and give the correct dose of insulin to your diabetic pet. You should learn to administer the insulin in your dog’s body if daily dose is required, as is often the case.
  • A healthy and regular diet: The diet should be of high protein and high fiber content so that glucose gets metabolized in an efficient way. Try to feed your dog same food every day and at the same time. Take your veterinarian recommendation before feeding your diabetic dog.
  • Regular exercise is also highly recommended for a diabetic walk. You should ensure to take your pet dog out on walks and the dogs should receive as much physical activity as possible as this raises the sensitivity of the body to the insulin hormone. The amount of daily exercise should be consistent.
  • Glucometers and urine strips are often used in order to monitor the glucose levels in both the blood stream and also in the urine. These devices need to be used frequently in order to determine whether the blood sugar levels are in check after the administration of insulin and healthy lifestyle measures.

Some of the general guidelines that should be followed in managing diabetes in pets include:

  • Maintaining a balance between carbohydrate consumption and the amount of insulin in the blood. Complex carbohydrates and foods that have a low glycemic index are recommended for diabetic dogs.
  • Maintaining a moderate level of fiber in the diet is recommended. A mix of both soluble and insoluble fibers should be included in the diet. Excess of soluble fibers can cause gas and diarrhea while an excess of insoluble fiber can result in a loss of appetite, constipation and vomiting.
  • Maintaining protein levels in the diet. While this is not necessarily a requirement, diabetic dogs often tend to lose weight and muscle mass and as such; a protein rich diet can prove to be helpful.
  • Maintaining a regular and consistent diet, particularly in terms of carbohydrate consumption. Simple carbohydrates which can be quickly digested and have a high amount of sugar should be avoided in a diabetic dog’s diet.
  • Getting adequate amount of physical activity for the dog is recommended. However, care must be taken not to over exert the pet dog and also to maintain a regular and consistent amount of physical activity. It is recommended that diabetic dogs get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise before a meal and before the administration of insulin.
  • Often, some dietary supplements such as L-Cartinine, Zinc, Chromium, Probiotics, digestive enzymes and omega 3 fatty acids may be prescribed. However, a veterinarian’s opinion or recommendation must be obtained before administering dietary supplements.
  • In severe cases of hypoglycemic episodes in canines, glucose or infusions of glucagon may be administered to the diabetic canine. However, this must only be done in extremely severe cases and must always be carried out under professional medical recommendation and supervision.

Diabetes in Dogs

It is essential to frequently monitor the blood sugar levels in order to determine whether the treatment procedure is effective [5]. Diabetes in dogs can be easily managed if the signs and symptoms of the disease are diagnosed early and appropriate measures are taken.

Caring for a pet dog which has been diagnosed with diabetes can prove to be really stressful, expensive and also time consuming. However, if managed effectively, the condition can be treated and the pet dog can lead a healthy and normal life.

The prognosis of diabetic dogs is generally good if the diagnosis of the disease was done early before any damage or complications could occur. As such, with proper treatment and monitoring of blood sugar conditions, the quality of life of the pet dog can be greatly improved and it can lead a much closer to normal life.

 

References




[1] Metabolic Dysregulation With Atypical Antipsychotics Occurs in the Absence of Underlying Disease A Placebo-Controlled Study of Olanzapine and Risperidone in Dogs, Marilyn Ader, Stella P. Kim, Karyn J. Catalano,; vol. 54 no. 3 862-871 – March 2005 – DOI: 10.2337/diabetes.54.3.862, http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/54/3/862.short


[2] ALLOXAN DIABETES IN THE DOG, William S. Lynn.,; Volume 33, Issue 5 – July 01, 2013 – DOI: 1210/endo-33-5-297, http://press.endocrine.org/doi/citedby/10.1210/endo-33-5-297


[3] Pregnancy diagnosis and abnormalities of pregnancy in the dog, Margaret V. Root Kustritz,; Volume 64, Issue 3, Pages 755–765 – August 2005 – DOI: 1016/j.theriogenology.2005.05.024, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0093691X05001871


[4] Diabetes Mellitus and the Dental Pulp, I.B. Bender, DDS, A.B. Bender, MD,; Volume 29, Issue 6, Pages 383–389 – June 2003 – DOI: 10.1097/00004770-200306000-00001, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0099239905610497


[5] Treatment of type I diabetes using encapsulated islets, Patrick Soon-Shiong,; Volume 35, Issues 2–3, Pages 259–270, – 1 February 1999 – DOI: 1016/S0169-409X(98)00076-3, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169409X98000763

Diabetes in Women – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs either due to impaired insulin production or due to reduced responsiveness to insulin in body leading to abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood stream [1].

It is common disorder to affect both women and men. Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes which is exclusive to pregnant women. However, the occurrence of this disease is much rarer than that of Type I and Type II Diabetes.

Women Gestational Diabetes

Causes of Diabetes in Women



The exact causes of diabetes in women are still debated and it is difficult to find a conclusive answer as to what is the exact cause of diabetes. In women, diabetes mellitus is believed to be caused due to a number of factors which include:

  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Being overweight and cases of obesity
  • Various environmental factors which act as triggers to the condition
  • Gestational diabetes may occur during pregnancy due to an improper balance of hormones or the body not effectively reacting to insulin. If left untreated, it can cause Type II Diabetes in both the mother and the child.
  • Prediabetes, if left uncontrolled, can lead to the development of Type II Diabetes in the future

What Is Diabetes?

Signs and symptoms of Diabetes in Women



There are a number of signs and symptoms of diabetes in women. Such symptoms include:

  • Excessive urination, also known as polyuria is a common symptom of diabetes where the diabetic individual feels an urge to urinate several times in a day. This results in excreting in excess of 2.5 liters per day as the body tries to eliminate the excess glucose in the blood stream through urine.
  • Increased thirst and dryness of the mouth is also quite common. This condition is also known as Polydipsia and it is induced due to loss of fluids from the body. The condition may even lead to dehydration if not fulfilled and this may eventually lead to a comatose state.
  • Increased hunger or Polyphagia is also very commonly observed. In diabetic patients, the body cells do not get sufficient calories for routine activities due to the reduced response to insulin. This subsequently results in the accumulation of glucose in blood.
  • Fatigue or increased tiredness due to insufficient calorie production even though there is sufficient glucose in the blood. This may prove to greatly hinder daily activities.
  • Slow healing of wounds is another important feature that is seen in diabetic patients. The immune system as well as the circulatory system of the body in diabetics are greatly impaired and as such, whenever damage in done to tissues or a wound occurs, healing takes place at a much slower pace than usual.
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in limbs as the blood circulation is reduced due to accumulation of high level of glucose in bloodstream. This may range from mild to severe and care and attention must be provided to this symptom as the limbs are very susceptible to being damaged in case of diabetic individuals.
  • There are many other symptoms which accompany the different types of diabetes and include a blurring of the vision, a lack of interest combined with irritability, loss of concentration while working and the presence of a dry and fruity odor in the breath.

Diabetic woman

Some of the features specific to the different types of diabetes that may affect women include:

Signs and Symptoms of Type I Diabetes in Women



Type I Diabetes in women is generally diagnosed in children and in young adults. This is a much less prevalent form of diabetes as compared to Type II Diabetes, but is nevertheless, quite widespread. Some of the signs and symptoms that are associated with Type I Diabetes in women include:

  • A sudden or unexpected loss in weight despite an increased appetite and consumption of lot of food.
  • Excessive urination and the presence of ketotic bodies and excess sugar in the urine.
  • An increased feeling of being dehydrated and thirsty due to the excessive loss of fluids from the body.
  • A feeling of nausea frequently accompanied with vomiting.
  • General nervousness, irritability, confusion and a lack of interest in otherwise enjoyable activities. Fatigue and weakness is also common in Type I Diabetes sufferers.
  • An increased susceptibility to infections due to an impaired immune system and circulatory system. Wounds and damage done to the body also takes much longer to heal due to the same problem.
  • An increased appetite and an increased feeling of hunger. This happens despite the fact that there is enough glucose in the blood stream as the body cells still require more energy in order to function. There may also be an unexpected or unforeseen loss in weight even though the appetite may be considered to be healthy.
  • A feeling of numbness or a tingling sensation in the limbs. This also occurs due to impaired circulation of blood because of the excess glucose content in the blood stream. Care must be given to this symptom as the limbs of Type I Diabetes sufferers are greatly susceptible to being damaged.

Signs and Symptoms of Type II Diabetes in Women



Type II Diabetes is a much more prevalent form of diabetes in women. Type II Diabetes is generally encountered by women at an elderly age, although there are also a few cases of the disorder being diagnosed in younger women.

Type II Diabetes can be encountered if a woman has suffered from an episode of Gestational Diabetes or prediabetes in the past.

Some of the signs and symptoms of Type II Diabetes in women include the following:

  • A condition known as Acanthosis Nigricans or the appurtenance of dark patches on the skin
  • Dry and scaly skin which may show itching and rashes
  • Fungal infection on the skin, especially on the vagina
  • Psychological changes in moods such as frequent irritability, a feeling of agitation and also a feeling of nervousness
  • General loss of libido, sexual dysfunction or discomfort as well as pain during sexual intercourse. This is primarily due to reduced lubrication due to the presence of excess glucose in the blood stream in the genital area
  • Urinary tract infection, also caused due to the frequent excretion of urine rich in sugar and glucose
  • Sudden or unexpected gain or loss in weight due to the faulty metabolism of carbohydrates and fats and the buildup of excess glucose in the blood stream.

Gestational Diabetes



Women who become pregnant after 35 years of age are susceptible to developing a condition known as Gestational Diabetes [2]. This condition involves a number of pregnancy related complications where the increased glucose levels in blood may enter the fetus through placenta and may cause large size of baby that may lead to complications during delivery.

Diabetic Diet

Gestational Diabetes is not easy to be diagnosed as the signs and symptoms only manifest themselves in the third trimester of pregnancy. As such, women, who are believed to be at a risk of encountering diabetes, should ensure to get screening tests conducted as early as possible.

Diagnosis of Diabetes in Women



There are a number of tests and medical check-ups which can help diagnose diabetes. The following tests are quite common these days in order to diagnose or detect diabetes:

  • Fasting blood sugar test
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
  • Random sugar test with a glucometer
  • A1C test, also known as hemoglobin A1C or the glycohemoglobin test
  • The 8 autoantibody test which helps to determine the type of diabetes in individuals
Diabetes OGT test Diabetes HbA1c test

Women who are over the age of 35 who get pregnant should get screening tests for diabetes conducted [3]. Screening tests are also recommended for all women who are believed to be at a risk of encountering the disease.

Very often, the diagnostic tests for diabetes go hand in hand with a number of other tests to check for damage done to other parts of the body due to diabetes. Some of the common tests include tests of the cardiovascular system, the kidneys, the heart, monitoring of blood pressure levels and also the monitoring of blood sugar levels. Eye examinations, examinations for hearing and examinations of the limbs, especially the hands and the feet are also carried out in conjunction to the other diagnostic tests.

Pregnant woman diabetes

Gestational Diabetes manifests itself clearly only in the third trimester of pregnancy and as such, it is essential that women get screening tests conducted at the earliest. If left uncontrolled, Gestational Diabetes can go on to cause Type II Diabetes in both the mother and the child. This is because the excess glucose in the mother’s blood stream is transferred onto the baby through the placenta.

Prediabetes is a condition which is characterized by high blood sugar levels, but these levels are not high enough to be considered to be a case of Type II Diabetes. Nevertheless, prediabetes should also be dealt with care as the disease can very easily develop into Type II Diabetes if allowed to go uncontrolled.

Diabetes must diagnosed at the earliest and people susceptible to encountering the disease should take utmost care of signs and symptoms and should also get screening tests conducted on a frequent basis.

Treatment of Diabetes in Women



Diabetes is a serious disorder which must be provided with utmost care and attention in order to prevent the occurrences of any complications related to the disease [4]. While prediabetes and Gestational Diabetes are both reversible conditions, wherein the blood sugar levels may be restored to normal levels, these conditions render the patient susceptible to encountering Type II Diabetes later on in life. As such, prediabetes and Gestational Diabetes both require careful management in order to successfully prevent Type II Diabetes.

Type I Diabetes and Type II Diabetes are both chronic conditions and there is no definitive cure for these types of the disease. Managing the signs and symptoms and keeping the blood glucose levels in check are the only effective methods for the treatment of diabetes. There is active medical and scientific research being carried out in order to determine a proper cure for diabetes.

Diabetic woman

Some of the common methods and remedies that are employed in order to treat the different types of diabetes mellitus include the following:

  • Prediabetes can easily be controlled with regular exercise combined with a diabetic diet. Only in very rare cases are medications used. Prediabetes should be treated at the earliest in order to prevent the disease from degenerating into Type II Diabetes.
  • Type I Diabetes can be managed by a combination of exercise, a diabetic diet and external insulin administration. The bodies of women who suffer from Type I Diabetes do not produce any insulin at all and as such, external administration of insulin is a must.
  • Type II Diabetes is first remedied with rigorous daily exercise, a loss in weight and by following a strict diabetic diet. It is only when all of these measures fail, that oral hypoglycemic drugs such as metformin, prandin, glimepiride and pioglitazone are used to keep the blood sugar levels in check. In some cases however, oral medications also prove to be insufficient in controlling the conditions and in such cases, treatment with insulin or insulin analogues like insulin Lispro, insulin Glargin and insulin Aspart are considered to be useful.
  • Gestational diabetes can be treated by regular exercise and by a diet modification itself. Only 15% of women diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes need medications like oral hypoglycemics or sometimes insulin analogues.

Diabetics need to follow a strict medical routine involving a number of frequent check-up and monitoring sessions [5]. While it is not possible to completely cure diabetes, the blood sugar levels can easily be kept in check by following a healthy and regular diabetic diet, performing loads of physical activity on a daily basis, oral medications and sometimes also by the administration of insulin. While all of these can greatly help in alleviating the symptoms of the disease, a diabetic must always maintain care throughout the course of their lives as even the smallest factors or the smallest triggers can cause the blood sugar levels to rise at an alarming rate and this may lead to serious and life threatening complications.

 

References




[1] Diagnosis and Management of the Metabolic Syndrome, Scott M. Grundy, James I. Cleeman, Stephen R. Daniels,; Circulation2005; 112: 2735-2752 – September 12, 2005 – DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.169404, http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/112/17/2735.short


[2] Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Women, Jamal S. Rana, Murray A. Mittleman,; vol. 27 no. 10 2478-2484 – October 2004 – DOI: 10.2337/diacare.27.10.2478, http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/10/2478.short


[3] Why Is Diabetes Mellitus a Stronger Risk Factor for Fatal Ischemic Heart Disease in Women Than in Men?, Elizabeth L. Barrett-Connor, MD; Barbara A. Cohn, PhD; Deborah L. Wingard, PhD; Sharon L. Edelstein, MSc; 1991;265(5):627-631 – February 6, 1991- DOI: 10.1001/jama.1991.03460050081025, http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=384908


[4] Impact of diabetes on coronary artery disease in women and men: a meta-analysis of prospective studies, W L Lee, A M Cheung,D Cape and B Zinman.; 23no. 7 962-968 – July 2000 – DOI: 10.2337/diacare.23.7.962, http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/23/7/962.short


[5] WEIGHT AS A RISK FACTOR FOR CLINICAL DIABETES IN WOMEN, GRAHAM A. COLDITZ, WALTER C. WILLETT,; Am. J. Epidemiol. (1990) 132 (3):501-513 – March 30, 1990 http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/132/3/501.short

Diabetes in Men – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Diabetes can affect men at any stage in life. This condition in men is characterized by blood glucose levels of more than 140 mg/dL (post the administration of prandial), leading to several symptoms and complications [1]. The condition is diagnosed as diabetes or diabetes mellitus. It is a metabolic disorder which can be of two major types in men depending upon the underlying cause.

Diabetes Men

Diabetes can occur to men at any stage of life. While the exact cause of the different types of diabetes is still unknown, it is generally agreed upon that the disease is caused by a combination of genetic factors, which are triggered off by environmental factors.

Some of the risk factors that cause men to be susceptible to encountering any type of diabetes include the following:

  • Men who are obese or heavily overweight with a BMI greater than 30 are at a higher risk of encountering diabetes.
  • Men who tend to lead a sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity.
  • Men who indulge in carbohydrate and sugar rich diets on a regular basis.
  • Men who have a history of any type of diabetes having occurred to family members.

Diabetes in men causes a number of complications with many different organs of the body. This is because the nerves and the blood vessels get damaged due to the presence of extra glucose in the blood stream. Complications may involve disorders with the cardiovascular system, the kidneys, the hands and the feet, the ears and also the eyes.

Type I Diabetes in Men



In this type of diabetes, the diabetic individual’s immune system acts against the own body. In this disorder, the beta cells located in the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system. The beta cells are the cells which are responsible for the production of the hormone insulin and once these are damaged or suffer from dysfunction, the levels of insulin go down. Insulin is the hormone which stimulates different cells of the body to take up glucose from the blood stream. Lack of insulin proves to cause an increase in the blood sugar levels of individuals, leading to Type I Diabetes.

While Type I Diabetes can occur to an individual at any age, it is a much more common disorder amongst children and younger adults. Type I Diabetes is however, much less common that Type II Diabetes and affects less than 10% of the total sufferers of diabetes.

Diabetes

Signs and symptoms of Type I Diabetes in Men



Type I Diabetes manifests itself in men with a number of related symptoms and signs. These may include:

  • Erectile dysfunction might be found in males due to type I diabetes. This happens because the delicate blood vessels and the nerves which carry blood to the genitals and the erectile tissue get damaged due to the presence of excess glucose in the blood.
  • Excessive urination is a very common symptom involving Type I Diabetes. Also known as polyuria, this common symptom of diabetes causes the affected individual to feel an urge to urinate several times in a day, even more than 2.5 liters per day. This is because the body tries to eliminate the excess glucose through urine.
  • Increased thirst: Polydipsia or excessive thirst is another common symptom of Type II Diabetes Mellitus which is induced due to loss of fluids from the body.
  • Increased hunger: Also known as polyphagia is found in diabetic patients as the body cells do not get sufficient calories for routine activities due to accumulation of glucose in blood and inability of glucose to enter these. As more food is consumed, it is broken down to release even more sugar into the blood, while the body cells are unable to take these up.
  • Slow healing of wounds is another important feature that is seen to be a very common phenomenon in diabetic patients. The immune systems of diabetic individuals are greatly hindered by the presence of excess sugar in the blood and consequently, any wounds or damages done to be the body take an exceptionally long time to heal.
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in limbs: When a person feels loss of sensation in his/her hands or feet as the blood circulation are reduced due to accumulation of high level of glucose in bloodstream. While these sensations may be mild, proper attention must be provided to them in order to prevent the worsening of symptoms.
  • Prone to infections: A diabetic person is more prone to an infectious disease as compared to a normal person due to lower blood circulation and a much lower immunity. Once infected, the body of the diabetic individual takes extremely long to heal and often the infections tend to spread around at a rapid rate. As such, diabetic individuals are urged to be up to date and also regular with their vaccinations in order to prevent the onset of infectious diseases.
  • Fatigue and weakness that may be accompanied with nausea, persistent headaches, and vomiting is also common in Type I Diabetes. The cause of this is the fact that the body cells do not receive enough sugar or energy in order to function at optimal levels. Diabetic individuals must maintain extremely high care as weakness and faint can be triggered at different times by different factors.
  • Some of the other miscellaneous symptoms of Type I Diabetes include the blurring of vision, an unexplained weight loss, a lack of interest, a fruity odor in the breath and also loss of concentration while working or performing daily activities.

What Is Diabetes?

Type II Diabetes in Men



In Type II Diabetes, the body cells of the individual show a resistance to the effects of insulin [2]. The condition is also known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. While insulin may be produced by the pancreas, the body cells show little or no effect and are unable to effectively absorb the sugar from the blood stream. This results in an increase in the blood glucose levels, high enough to be classified under Type II Diabetes.

Type II Diabetes is the most prevalent form of diabetes in the world, accounting for almost 90% of the total diabetic cases. While Type II Diabetes is typically encountered at an elderly age, there are some cases of the disorder being diagnosed in children and in young adults.

Diabetes in men

Signs and Symptoms of Type II Diabetes in Men



Diabetes manifests itself with a number of different signs and symptoms, which are largely consistent across the different types of diabetes. While the symptoms and the signs may be the same, it is very important to be able to distinguish Type I Diabetes from Type II Diabetes as the disorders have methods of treatment which are quite different from each other.

Some of the signs and symptoms of Type II Diabetes in men include:

  • Loss of libido and sexual impotency
  • Pigmentation on the skin with the appearance of velvety patches or dark spots
  • Itching, rashes and infection may be common around the genital area
  • Weight gain that could be sudden or unexpected due to the improper metabolism of excess carbohydrates and fats in the body
  • Dryness of the mouth and a feeling of being dehydrated

Diagnosis of Diabetes in Men



Diabetes can be diagnosed by a number of medical tests. These include:

  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
  • A1C test, also known as hemoglobin A1C or the glycohemoglobin test
  • Fasting blood sugar test
  • Random sugar test with a glucometer
  • The 8 autoantibody test which helps to determine the type of diabetes in individuals
Diabetes OGT test Diabetes HbA1c test

 

Screening tests are also recommended for men who are at a risk of encountering some type of diabetes [3]. Screening can greatly help in determining prediabetes at an early stage and appropriate measures can be taken to control and treat the condition at the earliest before any chances of complications arise.

The diagnosis of diabetes also goes hand in hand with a number of other diagnostic tests in order to determine the underlying causes and also to find out if any other parts of the body or the body organs have suffered any damage. The kidneys, the liver and the cardiovascular systems in diabetics are often diagnosed for disorders. Frequent tests for monitoring the blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels, the condition of the ears and the eyes and also examination of the hands and the feet are commonly carried out tests in patients who are suspected to be at a risk of encountering diabetes.

Diabetes Man Exercising

Complications associated with Diabetes in Men



Diabetes is a long lasting or chronic condition and care must always be taken by diabetics to keep their blood sugar levels under control. While prediabetes may not be a chronic condition, if left untreated, it can very easily lead to Type II Diabetes. As such, any form of diabetes should be dealt with utmost care in order to prevent the chances of any complications happening.

Complications can be kept in check by following a strict diabetic diet combined with heavy and rigorous physical activity [4]. In some special cases, medication and other forms of treatment may be used in order to keep complications at bay.

Some of the complications that are associated with the different types of diabetes include:

  • Extreme cases of dehydration due to excessive loss of fluids from the body
  • Nerve damage or atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries and the blood vessels tend to get damaged due to the presence of excessive amounts of glucose in the blood stream
  • Nephropathy or damage caused to the kidneys due to improper amounts of sugar in the blood stream
  • Various cardiovascular disease which may lead to strokes and seizures
  • Retinopathy or damage to the blood vessels of the retinas of the eyes, which might even lead to permanent blindness if left completely unattended to
  • Infections occurring on parts of the body which are exerted more than others such as the feet and the hands. Complications can even lead to amputation of limbs in order to stop infections from spreading
  • Loss of hearing due to damage caused to the blood vessels of the ear canal
  • Diabetic coma may occur in individuals who face extreme dehydration
  • Skin disorders and skin conditions may also manifest in cases of untreated diabetes
  • Susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease and some other diseases encountered in old age

Treatment of Diabetes in Men



The treatment of diabetes primarily involves maintaining the blood sugar levels under control. This can be done with a combination of a healthy diabetic diet combined with regular physical activity. In some cases, external insulin administration or the use of other medications is also resorted to in order to successfully keep the blood glucose level in check.

Male diabetes

Diabetics are required to conduct very frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels and must have regular medical check-ups. While diabetes cannot be completely cured, the symptoms of the disease can be easily kept in check if diabetics follow a strict and healthy lifestyle. This allows diabetics to enjoy a higher quality of life, but a diabetic individual always needs to take care of themselves throughout the course of their lives to prevent any complications.

Prediabetes is the stage where one can control the blood sugar level from rising and prevent diabetes from occurring [5]. This can be treated with exercise as well as diabetic diet. While prediabetes may not be a chronic condition, care must be taken to manage the symptoms and to bring the blood sugar levels down as prediabetes may easily develop into Type II Diabetes. As such, prediabetes patients should always be on their toes and maintain a healthy diet combined with regular exercise.

Type I Diabetes, unfortunately cannot be treated and managing the condition and its symptoms with exercise, a diabetic diet and insulin is the only way to manage living with the condition.

Type II Diabetes is first controlled with an exercise plan, a reduction in weight and by following a strict diabetic diet. It is only when these measures fail, that oral hypoglycemic drugs such as metformin, prandin, glimepiride and pioglitazone are administered to Type II Diabetes sufferers. If oral medications also prove to be insufficient, treatment with insulin or insulin analogues like insulin Lispro, insulin Glargin and insulin Aspart may be considered useful.

 

References




[1] Excess risk of fatal coronary heart disease associated with diabetes in men and women: meta-analysis of 37 prospective cohort studies, Rachel Huxley, Federica Barzi,; BMJ2006;332:73 – 12 January 2006 – DOI: 1136/bmj.38678.389583.7C, http://www.bmj.com/content/332/7533/73?linkType=FULL&ck=nck&resid=332/7533/73&journalCode=bmj


[2] The Metabolic Syndrome and Total and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Middle-aged Men, Hanna-Maaria Lakka, MD, PhD; David E. Laaksonen, MD, MPH; Timo A. Lakka, MD, PhD; Leo K. Niskanen, MD, PhD; Esko Kumpusalo, MD, PhD; Jaakko Tuomilehto, MD, PhD; Jukka T. Salonen, MD, PhD,; 2002;288(21):2709-2716 – December 4, 2002 – DOI: 10.1001/jama.288.21.2709, http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1108360


[3] Health Consequences of Obesity in Youth: Childhood Predictors of Adult Disease. William H. Dietz, MD, PhD,; PEDIATRICS Vol. 101 No. Supplement , pp. 518 -525 – March 1, 1998 – http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/101/Supplement_2/518.short


[4] Inflammation, Aspirin, and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Apparently Healthy Men, Paul M. Ridker, M.D., Mary Cushman, M.D., Meir J. Stampfer, M.D., Russell P. Tracy, Ph.D., and Charles H. Hennekens, M.D.; 1997; 336:973-979 – April 3, 1997 – DOI: 1056/NEJM199704033361401, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199704033361401


[5] European guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practice: Third Joint Task Force of European and other Societies on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice (constituted by representatives of eight societies and by invited experts), Guy De Backer (Chairperson), Ettore Ambrosionie,; vol. 10 no. 1 suppl S1-S78 – December 2003 – DOI: 10.1097/01.hjr.0000120621.99766.ef, http://cpr.sagepub.com/content/10/1_suppl/S1.short

Living with Diabetes – Diabetes Management

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Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which may be caused due to defective insulin production or due to impaired response to insulin production [1]. Diabetes is mainly of chronic nature and there is unfortunately no definite cure for this disease. However, diabetes can be managed by keeping the blood glucose levels in control to stay at the optimal levels without causing hypoglycemia.

This can be achieved by use of medications or by correcting the underlying causes such as maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise. The first and foremost step is to make a proper and accurate diagnosis of the specific type of diabetes and then move on to the possible methods of treatment.

Diabetes Diet

Diabetes Diet



It is the most important management measure that keeps a check on the blood glucose level. A diabetic individual or people who are susceptible to encountering the disease should always take a balanced diet including different types of nutrition in order to maintain the short-term as well as the long-term blood glucose levels under control. Following a diabetic diet is a necessary aspect for diabetics. The ADA or The American Diabetics Association has issued appropriate diet guidelines with low fat and carbohydrates spread over three meals.

Diabetic individuals are recommended to have foods that are rich in fiber and also those which release carbohydrates slowly. Examples of such types of foods include whole grains, rolled oats, green leafy vegetables, peas and bran flakes.

Foods should be consumed such that the glycemic index of the diet remains low. A lower glycemic index indicates a lower blood sugar level. Some foods are slow to be digested and as such, sugar is released into the blood stream at a much slower rate than usual. Some of these foods are also more filling and diabetics feel fuller for a longer period of time after consuming such foods. The basic principles that are to be observed in following a low glycemic diet include:

  • Eating foods which have undergone minimal processing
  • Eating foods which have a low starch content
  • Refined food produces should be avoided as far as possible
  • Sweet eating should be highly limited
  • Healthy proteins obtained from fish or seeds and legumes should be consumed
  • Foods with healthy fats such as those found in fish and in some nuts and oils may be consumed
  • Meals should never be skipped
  • Meals should be taken at a slow speed and stopped once the individual feels full

Diabetes Diet: Healthy snacks

In general, all foods are classified into three different categories as per their glycemic index. These categories are:

  • Coal Foods: This class of foods represents all the foods that have a low glycemic index and should be preferred for use in a diabetic diet. Some examples of coal foods include brown rice, whole grains, lean meat, sea food, nuts and seeds and legumes.
  • Water Foods: This class of foods represents all foods that have a neutral glycemic index. As such, these foods are generally considered safe to be included in a diabetic’s diet. Water foods include whole cut fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. They do not, however, include any processed form of fruits and vegetables and even freshly squeezed fruit juice is excluded from this category.
  • Fire Foods: Fire food is used to classify any food item which has a high glycemic index. Such foods are both high in carbohydrate content and are quick to be digested by the body as well. These foods are to be avoided as far as possible by diabetics and also people who are at a risk of contracting the disease. Examples of foods which lie in this category include sweets, fried foods, chips, white rice, white bread, white pasta and also most baked and processed foods.

Any food which is packaged and manufactured contains the nutritional information along with it. Diabetics must carefully always choose out the foods which lie in the coal and water food categories.

Pregnant woman diabetes diet

Following a healthy and strict diabetic diet is the foremost thing that people suffering from the disease must follow. Any wrong type of food or any indulgence in sweets or fried foods can greatly raise the blood sugar levels and cause severe complications such as a stroke.

Diabetics are also at a risk of a number of cardiovascular diseases and as such, no diabetic individual can afford to smoke. If people are prone to encountering the disease and are smokers, smoking should be stopped at the earliest.

When it comes to drinking alcohol, diabetics must make sure to drink only within the recommended limits as both the alcohol and the mixer can prove to upset the calorie count as well as the nutritional balance that a diabetic’s diet requires. The recommended limit for consumption of alcohol is one drink a day for a woman and two drinks a day for men.

Any type of unhealthy fat present in a diet will need to be replaced with healthy fats such as those found from fish, nuts and seeds. A diabetic must refrain from having sweets and sugary foods and should always maintain a daily steady calorie count. As such, diabetics are recommended to never skip a meal and to regularize meals as far as possible. Diabetics are also urged to have as many meals as they can in a day, preferably up to six meals.

Diabetics are also urged to consume as much water as possible in order to make up for the loss due to excess urination.

Physical Activity



Physical activity proves to be the second most important thing to be done in order to manage as well as to prevent diabetes especially in Type II Diabetes mellitus sufferers, which is caused due to obesity or being overweight [2]. Physical activities stimulate the cells of the body to be more responsive to the effects of insulin and the cells absorb glucose from the blood stream better. This proves to be of great help to diabetics and all patients and also people who are at a risk of contracting the disease are urged to get as much physical activity as possible. Physical activity also improves the circulatory functions of the body and prevents individuals from gaining unnecessary weight. Regular exercise also offers the added benefits of strengthening the immune system of the body and this helps keep away any infections that may indirectly lead to diabetes in susceptible individuals.

Diabetes exercise

It is quite important for people who are prone to the disease to lose weight as soon as possible. Studies have linked diabetes to people who are obese. Moderate to aggressive physical activity on a daily basis is recommended for people in order to effectively prevent onset of the disease.

Diabetes Medication

Medications for Diabetes



There are many different types of medications available which can prove to be of great help in controlling the different types of diabetes. However, the medications for Type I Diabetes are quite different to that of Type II Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes. As such, proper diagnosis of the type of diabetic disease should be confirmed before proceeding on to medication and treatment.

Type I Diabetes can be treated with the insulin therapy where combinations of NPH and regular insulin or synthetic insulin analogues are administered to the patients with diabetes. Insulin will need to be administered externally to patients and as such, Type I Diabetes sufferers will always need to keep an insulin syringe or an insulin pump handy.

Type II Diabetes can be treated effectively with the use of oral hypoglycemic drugs out of which metformin is the most commonly prescribed oral hypoglycemic. There are other medications as well which include angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or the angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

Insulin Lispro, Insulin Aspart, Insulin Glargin and Insulin Determir are some of the insulin analogues which are given in gestational as well as Type I Diabetes mellitus [3].

Diabetes: How insulin works?

Sometimes, additional medication is prescribed along with diabetes medication in order to protect other parts and organs of the body. These medications include drugs to lower the blood pressure, drugs to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, drugs such as aspirin to protect the heart and also drugs which prove to slow down the process of digestion.

Prediabetes usually does not require any medication and the disease can be controlled by following a healthy diet with lots of daily physical activity.

If medications have been prescribed they must be thoroughly followed. In case the patient suffers from any other disorder and requires other medication, then it must be made sure that there is no reaction between the drugs. Some of the medications for diabetes are also known to have side effects and allergies. Patients ought to proceed with extreme care in order to avoid potential complications while using medications for diabetes.

Pancreatic and Renal Transplant



These are the last resort of treatments for diabetic patients with severe complications who have already undergone all the other treatment options. Since the pancreas contain the main insulin producing beta cells, thus any highly damaged pancreas which has undergone fibrosis needs to be replaced with the donor pancreas. In case of failure of both the kidneys, even renal transplant is recommended in patients with severe diabetes. Usually, a pancreatic transplant is only carried out if a renal transplant is being carried out as well.

Cell Transplantation



In the recent past, there has been active medical and biological research in the domains of cell transplantation [4]. If these new and emerging results prove to be conclusive, the world may see newer and more effective cures for diabetes.

Some of the cell transplantation techniques that are actively being researched include transplantation of the islet cells of the pancreas and also stem cell transplantation.

Amputation of Limbs



Diabetic individuals are more prone to damaging their limbs, especially the feet and the hands. This is because of the excess glucose in the blood stream, which puts a lot of pressure on the delicate nerves and the blood tissues and often ends up damaging them. As such, infections are also common in areas which receive a lot of stress, such as the ankles. Infections can lead to some serious complications if not treated on time. Cases of gangrene occurring in the hands and feet of diabetic patients are a common and major complication. In such cases, the affected limbs of the diabetic are amputated to prevent any further spread of infection.

A diabetic must ensure to take good care of the hands and the feet. Any signs of problems or infections should be attended to at the earliest. Many diabetics also resort to frequent medical checkups including eye checkups and tests for infections. Diabetics must also make sure to get vaccinated and also on time.

Support System



Managing to live with a chronic disease like diabetes can prove to be very frustrating. Very often, diabetics find that despite following strict routines and procedures, sometimes the smallest of mistakes or changes can cause the blood sugar levels to rise.

It is important for diabetics to have a good and healthy support system consisting of close friends and family [5]. While the diabetic patients are urged to learn as much about the disease as possible, the members of their support system should also know the basics of the disorder. There may be a case of emergency at any point of time in a diabetic’s life, and it is important that the support system knows how to effectively deal with the situation.

Addressing the concerns of the diabetic patient and supporting them also helps in faster and better recovery of patients. It is necessary to take into consideration the other factors like stress that acts as a triggering factor.

Diabetes unfortunately has no definitive cure and controlling the disease and managing its symptoms are the best that a diabetic individual can do. However, by following a strict diabetic diet and by maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity, a diabetic individual can greatly improve on the quality of life. In some cases, medications can also prove to be of great help to diabetics. In Type I Diabetes patients however, insulin therapy medication must always be kept handy in case of emergencies.

 

References




[1] Barriers to Buying Healthy Foods for People With Diabetes: Evidence of Environmental Disparities, Carol R. Horowitz,Kathryn A. Colson, Paul L. Hebert, and Kristie Lancaster; 94, No. 9, pp. 1549-1554 – September 2004 – DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.94.9.1549, http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.94.9.1549


[2] The Evidence for the Effectiveness of Medical Nutrition Therapy in Diabetes Management, Joyce Green Pastors, Hope Warshaw, Anne Daly, Marion Franz, Karmeen Kulkarni; vol. 25 no. 3 608-613 – March 2002 – DOI: 10.2337/diacare.25.3.608, http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/3/608.short


[3] Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Diabetes Mellitus Incidence among U.S. Adults, Earl S. Ford, M.D., M.P.H.1, Ali H. Mokdad, Ph.D.; Volume 32, Issue 1, 33-39 – January, 2002 – DOI: doi:10.1006/pmed.2000.0772, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743500907722


[4] Effect of intensive diabetes management on macrovascular events and risk factors in the diabetes control and complications trial, DCCT Research Group, Bethesda, Maryland, USA,; Volume 75, Issue 14, Pages 894–903 – May 1, 1995 – DOI: 1016/S0002-9149(99)80683-3, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002914999806833


[5] A critical review of the literature on fear of hypoglycemia in diabetes: Implications for diabetes management and patient education, Diane Wild,Robyn von Maltzahna,Elaine Brohana, Torsten Christensenb, Per Clausonb, Linda Gonder-Frederick,; Volume 68, Issue 1, Pages 10–15 – September 2007 – DOI: 1016/j.pec.2007.05.003, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0738399107001760

Diabetes Diet and Prevention

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There are a number of risk factors for diabetes which include dietary habits, obesity, physical inactivity, hypertension, genetic susceptibility, certain diseases or syndromes and other environmental factors that determine the chances of developing diabetes in an individual [1]. It is important to keep them in account and undergo regular blood sugar monitoring to prevent the development of diabetes at any stage of life.

Diabetes Diet

Diabetes Diet



The first and foremost step to prevent diabetes is to have control over diet to prevent the risk of developing Type II Diabetes or may follow a diabetes diet [2]. The American Diabetes Association has made few recommendations in October 2013 for preventing and controlling diabetes. It states:

  • Diabetics should avoid or limit the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages especially those with caloric sweeteners like sucrose or high fructose containing a sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and honey. Fructose has 4 calories per gram. Corn syrup should be used to avoid any weight gain that may lead to worsening of cardiovascular risks.
  • The general population should reduce sodium intake to less than 2300 mg per day which is also applicable for diabetic patients, with even more reductions for the ones with high blood pressure.
  • The consumption of omega-3 supplements EPA or DHA for the preventing or treating cardiovascular disease is not of much use to the diabetic patients disease of the heart and blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries).. Instead it is recommended to take at least 2 servings of fatty fish or at least 2 times per week for the general public and is also appropriate for diabetic people.
  • It is also stated that there are no clear evidence of benefits from mineral or vitamin supplements for diabetics without any underlying mineral or vitamin deficiency. There is no evidence to support that the use of cinnamon or other herbs or supplements are effective for the treatment of diabetes.

Diabetes diet

 

Tips for Diabetic Diets



The first and foremost tip regarding a diabetic diet is to choose slow releasing carbohydrates which are high in fiber. The following foods are considered to be high in fiber and slow releasing in carbohydrates:

  • Brown rice or white rice which can be used in place of white rice
  • Yams, sweet potatoes, cauliflower mash and winter mash should be used in place of white potatoes
  • Whole wheat type of pasta should be used instead of regular pasta
  • Whole grain and whole wheat bread should be used instead of white bread
  • High fiber breakfast cereals should be used instead of sugary breakfast cereals
  • Rolled oats or steel cut oats should be used in place of instant oatmeal
  • Cornflakes should be replaced with bran flakes
  • Corn should be avoided and instead leafy greens and peas should be used

High fiber food

Foods which have a low glycemic level should be resorted to as these foods are slow to be digested and sugar is released at a much slower rate than otherwise [3]. Some of the principles to be followed in order to follow low glycemic eating include:

  • Eating a lot of foods which are low in starch such as fruits, beans and vegetables
  • Only grains which have undergone lesser amount of processing should be eaten
  • Refined grain products and white potatoes should be avoided as far as possible
  • Concentrated sweets should be limited as far as possible
  • Healthy protein found in fish, legumes and beans should be consumed
  • Foods which have healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil can be consumed
  • Full meals should be had throughout the day and snacks should also be consumed every day
  • Meals should be had slowly and stopped when full

Diabetes Management: Healthy Eating

Food can be classified to lie in three different categories as per their glycemic indexes. These include:

  • Fire foods: These foods have a high glycemic index and are low in protein and fiber. These foods should be avoided as far as possible. Examples of fire foods include white foods such as white pasta, white rice, sweets, fries and chips, processed foods, potatoes, white bread and baked food goods.
  • Water foods: These foods are considered to be neutral and diabetics can have as much of these foods as they feel like. Such foods include only fresh fruits and vegetables and not any processed forms or even juices.
  • Coal foods: These foods are low in their glycemic index and are high in both protein and fiber. These should replace all fire foods in a diabetic’s diet. Examples of coal foods include legumes, seeds, nuts, sea food, lean types of meat, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and whole wheat bread.

Pregnant woman diabetes diet

These days, all nutritional information with regards to manufactured or packaged foods is provided and diabetics must take care to ensure that they choose only those foods that have a low glycemic index. This will need to be done and if adhered to properly, diabetics can still follow a healthy life. It will enable diabetics to fell fuller for longer periods of time, while also reducing the blood sugar concentration by being digested much slower than other foods.

Processed foods and packaged cereal should be avoided and in general, the consumption of refined carbohydrates should be reduced as much as possible. Fruit juices should also be replaced with freshly cut or whole fruits as far as possible.

Fruits & Vegetables for Diabetic

The second tip with regards to a diabetic diet includes being smart about the way sugary foods are handled. It is not necessary to completely eliminate sugar but the consumption of sugar should be limited and diabetics should be smart about handling such foods. Some tips that allow diabetics to include some of their favorite treats include:

  • If dessert is wanted, then other forms of carbohydrates should be avoided. This keeps the extra carbohydrates in check.
  • Desserts which contain healthy fat may be included in the diet as these are slow to be digested.
  • If a sweet is to be consumed, it should be had along with a meal and not on its own. This lowers the rate at which sugar is released into the blood stream.
  • If anything can be sweetened, diabetics should do so by themselves rather than accept other people’s measure of sugar. This can allow them to enjoy their food while keeping the sugar level in control.
  • Soft drinks, juices and sodas will need to be reduced as far as possible from a diet.
  • There are many fruits and low fat frozen yogurt options that can be used to replace ice creams and other unhealthy desserts. Dark chocolate can be had as opposed to milk chocolate.
  • The dessert of a diabetic should ideally be half of that of a normal person and the other half should comprise of healthy fruits.

Alcohol Diabetes

Consumption of alcohol should be handled with extreme care. Both the alcohol, as well as the mixers used in the drink can upset the calorie count in a diet. It is recommended that women have no more than a single drink and men have no more than two drinks a day.

Unhealthy fats should be replaced as far as possible with healthy fats [4]. Unsaturated fats, which are obtained from fish and plants, are considered to be the healthiest of fats and these should be used to replace the sources of unhealthy fat. Omega 3 fatty acids as found in salmon and some other fish are excellent sources of healthy fat. Some of the ways to reduce unhealthy fat include:

  • Cooking with healthy oil such as olive oil instead of the traditional butter or vegetable oils
  • Visible fat should be removed from meat as also the skin from the meat before cooking starts
  • Seeds and nuts can be used as snacks instead of fries and chips
  • Baked, boiled and grilled foods should be preferred over fried foods
  • Fish should replace red meat as far as possible
  • Avocado can be used as a healthy substitute to cheese
  • Applesauce or canola oil can be used for baking rather than butter
  • Low fat dairy products should be used in place of cream as far as possible

A diabetic must ensure that food habits are consistent and regular. Meals should never be skipped and it is often recommended that diabetics have up to six meals every day, keeping the calorie intake the same throughout each day. A food diary can also be used to help this purpose.

Myths about a Diabetic Diet



There are many myths that commonly surround diabetic diets. These include the following:

  • Sugar must be avoided at all costs: This is one of the most commonly heard of myths which is quite far from the truth. If combined with a healthy exercise regime and a properly followed diet, with careful planning, a treat can be enjoyed, but only rarely.
  • A high protein diet should be followed: This is quite contrary to the truth. Too much protein in the diet, especially animal protein can prove to cause resistance to insulin to be developed in the body and this is a key factor to the worsening of diabetes. The diet should be balanced and not protein concentrated.
  • Diabetic foods will be needed: There are many branded supplements and special foods marketed as diabetic foods. These provide no additional benefits and also prove to be expensive. An old fashioned diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with the appropriate balance of nutrients is good enough to keep the symptoms of diabetes in check.
  • Carbohydrates will need to be cut down: While this is true to some extent, the key to a diabetic diet is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet which contains a mix of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in appropriate proportions.

Diabetes Prevention



Type I Diabetes unfortunately, cannot be prevented. The condition can only be controlled so that the diabetic patient can lead a normal life. This can be done by adopting healthy lifestyle choices and by maintaining a strict diet. Such sufferers of Type I Diabetes will need to carefully monitor and choose their actions throughout the course of their lives.

Diabetes Man Exercising

Besides diet, other factors necessary for prevention of Type II Diabetes, Prediabetes and Gestational Diabetes are [5]:

  • Regular physical activities: It is important for people susceptible with diabetes to take up physical activities regularly to prevent or control diabetes. Physical activity helps to lose weight and lowers blood sugar by increasing blood circulation and adding to the responsiveness of insulin. This means that the body cells are able to accept the inflow of sugar more easily and consequently, the glucose levels in the blood are lowered.
  • Losing weight: Losing weight and burning calories is must for reducing the risk of diabetes. One can start with mild exercise or even brisk walking to proper fitness training to reduce susceptibility to diabetes. Various studies have proved that there is up to 60% reduction in risk to develop diabetes in people who have lost over 7% of their body weight.
  • Plenty of water consumption: It is also recommended to consume plenty of water to make up for the loss by urination. This also helps individuals keep themselves hydrated.
  • Consuming more fibers: Consuming fibrous diet including fruits, leafy vegetables, whole grains potentially lowers the risk of developing diabetes by keeping healthy and also keeps away other heart related diseases. These foods can help people full for longer while providing much lower calories.
  • Regular blood tests: Regular health check-up especially blood tests is a must now days to keep a check on the blood sugar status and timely prevention of developing diabetes. While this is recommended for everybody, people who face the risk factors of diabetes should definitely make sure to undergo these tests.
  • Avoiding soft drinks and other beverages which contain artificial sweeteners. These artificial sweeteners are high in calorie content and can cause the normal blood sugar level to increase.
  • In some special cases of prediabetes, oral medications such as Glucophage, metformin, Glumetza and many others may be used in order to prevent the onset of Type II Diabetes.

Diabetes reduce risks

 

References




[1] Nutrition Recommendations and Interventions for Diabetes, Bantle, John Pand Wylie-Rosett, Judith and Albright, Ann L and Apovian, Caroline M and Clark, Nathaniel Gand Franz, Marion J and Hoogwerf, Byron J and Lichtenstein, Alice H and Mayer-Davis, Elizabeth andMooradian, Arshag D and Wheeler, Madelyn L.; 31 no. Supplement 1 S61-S78 – January 2008 – DOI: 10.2337/dc08-S061Diabetes Care, http://health-equity.pitt.edu/2864/


[2] Diet, nutrition and the prevention of type 2 diabetes, NP Steyna1 c1, J Manna2, PH Bennetta3, N Templea4, P Zimmeta5, J Tuomilehtoa6, J Lindströma6 and A Louheranta.; Volume 7 / Issue 1a /, pp 147-165 – February 2004 – DOI: 10.1079/PHN2003586, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=569860&fileId=s1368980004000187


[3] Type 2 diabetes is prevalent and poorly controlled among Hispanic elders of Caribbean origin, Tucker KL,Bermudez OI, Castaneda C .; 90(8):1288-1293 – August, 2000 – DOI: 2105/AJPH.90.8.1288, http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/10937011


[4] Eating disorders in young women with type 1 diabetes. Prevalence, problems and prevention, Daneman D,Olmsted M, Rydall A, Maharaj S, Rodin G.; Suppl 1:79-86 – October, 1998 – DOI: 1159/000053110, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9677005


[5] Translating the Diabetes Prevention Program into the Community: The DEPLOY Pilot Study, Ronald T. Ackermann, MD, MPH, , Emily A. Finch, MA,; Volume 35, Issue 4 Pages 357–363 – October 2008 – DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.06.035, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379708006041