Monthly Archives: July 2016

How to Avoid Diabetes

Diabetes is a medical condition wherein the blood sugar levels are consistently higher than the normal range. This condition is closely linked to the secretion of insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas. This hormone plays a vital role in controlling the blood sugar levels. While type 1 diabetes occurs due to insufficient amounts of insulin in the body, type 2 diabetes occurs due to insulin resistance within the body.

There are roughly 300 million people around the globe affected by diabetes, which essentially raises the need for precautionary steps in curbing its symptoms and bringing it under control. Here are some commonly known steps:

Exercise Regularly
When a person exercises, the ability of the body to secrete and absorb insulin becomes stronger. The additional energy that is required by the body forces the blood circulation, which in turn causes many other vital bodily functions to improve by leaps and bounds. People who exercise on a regular basis, are at a 30% lower risk of developing diabetes. Even taking a half an hour walk everyday can have the desired effect.

Quit Smoking
People who smoke are 50% more likely to develop diabetes. There are a number of other health hazards that smoking causes, and this makes it extremely important for an individual to quit smoking. The insulin deficiency in the body can be directly linked to excessive smoking, and the only way to combat this is by cutting down on tobacco intake.

Healthy Diet
One of the best ways to avoid complications resulting from diabetes is to improve one’s eating habits. Eating unhealthy food is one of the biggest reasons behind the development of this condition around the world. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a suitable diet is necessary. One must include food grain with high fiber, fruits, and vegetables which can strongly contribute in balancing the sugar level in the blood. Avoid the intake of food rich in simple sugars at all costs. Moreover, the consumption of sugar-rich food items may even lead to undesirable weight gain. Consult a dietitian and make a proper plan for your meals, which includes all necessary nutrients required for the body. Also drink lots of water, get adequate amounts of sleep, and eat smaller, frequent meals at regular intervals.

Seek Medical Help
It’s not just the adults who are at risk. Those leading sedentary lifestyles are prone to be affected by this condition which also includes minors and teenagers. Preventing diabetes in children and women during pregnancy is a rising concern and should be dealt by promptly visiting a specialist, and carrying out routine checks. These medical issues are easier to solve, when they are discovered at an early stage. These tests can help a doctor determine your health status, giving you a convenient advantage.

In order to prevent diabetes, one needs to make several lifestyle-related changes, which requires self-restraint and a strong will. However, taking these simple steps should be enough to ensure that you live a healthy life, and do not develop diabetes. People with a family history of this medical condition should follow the precautionary measures, as they are at a greater risk.

How to Test for Diabetes

check-diabetes-homeAs mentioned above, diabetes is a common disorder of the endocrine system, which affects the pancreas. It is reputed to affect over 20 million people in the United States alone. Also known as diabetes mellitus, this disorder is associated with the pancreas gland. This gland, located behind the stomach, is responsible for secreting the hormone known as insulin in the body. And this very hormone is in charge for moving the glucose (which is obtained from the food we eat) into the cells of the body for production of energy. But diabetes does not allow this process to continue as it is supposed to. The disorder impairs the pancreas gland from, either producing enough insulin or producing the same at all in the body. So when this happens, the level of glucose in the blood stream increases, and continues to rise if the problem remains untreated. The level may rise so much that it may lead to life-threatening situations for the affected person. This disorder that we are speaking of, exists in four different types; type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 and type 2 are incurable thus, are long-lasting conditions. However, the other two are potentially reversible.

Diabetes Tests and Diagnosis

The following would help you understand the various procedures that are taken up for diagnosing type 1 and type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes was once regarded as juvenile diabetes, and is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. When this particular form of the disorder strikes, the pancreas produces either insufficient amount of insulin or no insulin at all. The procedures that are taken up in diagnosing the condition may include:

  • A common blood test for diabetes is known as the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. With the help of this test, also known as HbA1c, the doctor can determine the amount or more appropriately, the percentage of blood sugar that is attached to the hemoglobin. When sugar level rises abnormally higher in the bloodstream, it combines with the hemoglobin thus, becoming ‘glycated’. So more the number of hemoglobin A1C, the higher would be the blood glucose level. And this test can reveal the information on about 120 days old glucose level in the body. For someone to be diagnosed with diabetes, this test must show a result of the blood sugar level to be 6.5 percent or higher, when conducted twice.
  • In some people, the use of glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test may not yield desired results. So then, random blood sugar test is put to use. As the name suggests, a blood sample of the patient would be tested at any random time. A measure of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher, is a sign of diabetes. This test does not require the subject to keep a fast of any kind. This test may be conducted throughout the day, for checking any variation in the blood glucose level. In healthy people, the variation is negligible, but if the same is of a wide range, then it may indicate diabetes.
  • Another test that is conducted is known as Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) test. Unlike the random test, this one requires the patient to fast for a period of at least 8 hours. After the fast, a blood sample is taken from the subject and tested in the laboratory. 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered normal, and a measure of 100 to 125 mg/dL may indicate prediabetes. And if on two separate occasions, the test shows a measure of 126 mg/dL or higher, then the patient is diagnosed with diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes
Note that all the above steps used for testing diabetes (type 1), are also used for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. This form of the disorder is more common than the type 1. Here, the body develops a resistance to the effect of insulin that is produced by the pancreas.

Prediabetes
As the name suggests, this disorder can be attributed as a stage that precedes type 2 diabetes. Here, the affected person’s blood glucose level, although, is higher than normal, is not high enough for him/her to be regarded as a diabetic. However, according to experts, in a span of 10 years, this condition, without any medical aid, can easily progress to become type 2 diabetes. The tests for diagnosing this type of the condition include:

  • The glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test, as described above is conducted to diagnose this condition. A measure that ranges between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates the onset of prediabetes.
  • And if the A1C test does not fit in the program, then a blood sample test after an overnight fast (8 hours) is done on the patient. If he/she has a blood glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL, then the case may be confirmed as prediabetes.
  • Besides the above tests, there is another one that it may be performed. This is known as oral glucose tolerance test. First, after a fast of at least 8 hours, the patient’s blood sample is put under study. Then, the subject must drink a sugary solution, two hours post which, a blood sample is measured again. And if the results show a sugar level that measures from 140 to 199 mg/dL, then the problem is considered as prediabetes.

Gestational Diabetes
This problem is associated with expecting mothers. During pregnancy, the blood glucose level rises alarmingly, making the mother a diabetic. However, a few days after the delivery, the blood sugar returns to normal. The tests for this type of diabetes includes:

  • The first test involves giving the patient a sugary solution. After an hour, a blood test is performed to measure the blood sugar level. If it shows a measure of more than 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), then it only signifies that the mother is at a high risk of developing gestational diabetes.
  • Another test is conducted wherein, the patient has to fast overnight before the test. After the test, the patient is given a highly concentrated glucose solution. And then the blood sugar level is tested thrice, with an interval of one hour. And if the readings are higher than normal in any two tests, then the diagnosis of the condition can be confirmed positive.

To conclude, you can also test for diabetes at home. For this, all you have to do is to get a diabetes test home kit. Following the instructions as provided by the manufacture can provide accurate readings for the test. However, if you suspect that you might be suffering from the condition, then it’s best to go for a medical diagnosis for proper care and treatment. Home kits are good for monitoring your blood sugar level, in case you already have the condition.

How to Control Diabetes Naturally

Diabetes, it stays for life once it is diagnosed. You might be too robust a person, but the self-discipline and tenaciousness this disease requires, and that too over a lifetime, can tax you to the limit. Howbeit, had it not been these advancements and improvements in the comprehension of the causes, complexities, and cure of diabetes, physicians would have to helplessly stand by their patients overpowered by the intricacies this disease enfolds within. But, there is much more to it. Diabetes, which occurs due to lack of insulin, leads to metabolic abnormalities, thus, increasing the ketone bodies within the blood, mostly in places which lack insulin severely. Now, since your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, it is incapable of turning sugars into the energy required by it. As a result, the sugars that stay in your blood make your kidneys work harder than normal, leading to frequent urination, which is the most common symptom of diabetes.

It is because diabetes can increase the risk of heart diseases and strokes that it’s time you learn how to control the same. Naturally, diabetes can be regulated with the help of an uncomplicated lifestyle. The following natural cures for diabetes have had many people feel that their diabetes has been cured, and that they have bettered their lifestyle, thus, preventing the onset of diabetes. You too can do it, provided you take account of the following tips to cure diabetes naturally.

Note that, diabetes is of two types – Diabetes 1 which is a genetic defect, and can be cured only with the help of medication prescribed by a medical specialist, and Diabetes 2 which can be cured by keeping track of your diet and lifestyle. In order to naturally control the ailment, here are the three most important tips you need to keep in mind.

Bitter is Better
Research claims, anything that is bitter in excess is an excellent cure for diabetes. For example, a bitter melon is a known remedy for lowering your sugar levels. Grind a bitter melon everyday, strain the juice, and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning. Another method of consuming the bitter melon (which is really bitter) is to boil it and then eat it daily. On the other hand, neem leaves are equally bitter that make up for an excellent cure for diabetes. Fry them or crush them and take out the juice – neem leaves are beneficial either way. One of the most adapted methods of consuming neem leaves so that they do not taste too bitter is the preservation of these leaves till they dry, and then crush them into fine powder. You can mix a tablespoon of the powder in warm water, and drink everyday.

Healthy Diet is Right
You know, unless your immune system isn’t strong enough, fighting or controlling diabetes is an impossible deal. Hence, in a bid to control diabetes in the utmost natural manner, watch what you eat. To start with, carbohydrates and starch are a big no-no. Fats are of two types: good fats and bad fats. While bad fats such as potato chips, burgers, pizzas, etc., are saturated fats and are harmful for your body, good fats such as foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids provide you with all the good fats, and should be consumed in bulk. What’s more, anything that grows under the soil such as potato, and other vegetables that are root-type, should be consumed in little amounts. Eat raw vegetables, forget about sweets and junk, and most importantly, give up smoking. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Last but not the least, include foods rich in chromium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc in the diet, for they not only help control blood sugar levels, but also help the body’s cells response to insulin.

Working Out will Work It Out
Exercising, particularly walking and swimming, makes muscles absorb glucose for energy which ultimately causes blood sugar levels to slump down, thereby, treating diabetes naturally. However, too often, in many diabetic patients, exercising tends to have opposite effects, wherein, rather than lowering blood glucose levels, it increases them, posing immense harm. As a result, it is always recommended you consult your physician and find out the type of exercise that works in the favor of your health, and that isn’t harmful in any way. Till date, walking, brisk walking in particular, is one of the best exercises that works in favor of controlling diabetes in the utmost natural way. Not only does it control diabetes, it also helps in reducing body weight. While type 2 diabetes is attributed by reduced sensitivity to insulin in the body, exercising improves the efficiency of production of insulin in the body. Many patients, who were once overweight, acquired this method of controlling diabetes in the natural way, and eventually, not only lost ounces, but also stopped experiencing diabetes symptoms.

Finding yourself drowning more and more into this disease for life can be hard to deal with. Time and again, you might just feel like giving up. At one point of time, it may disgust you to watch out on eating low-carb foods, staying away from your favorite sweets and desserts, and most importantly, a deteriorated sense of well-being. But then, there’s only one way of dealing with this situation, and that is to just do everything it takes to shove away the negative effects that diabetes has on your body, and embrace all the positive effects that work in favor of your health, and that will keep you hanging onto this lifestyle. Learning how to control diabetes naturally does make a difference in leading a healthy life. The ones having suffered from those traumatic days will be able to tell you better.

How to Cope With the Diagnosis of Diabetes

I have known people around, who have had a difficult time dealing with the diagnosis of diabetes. Some were prepared for it, while some had the biggest shock of their lives. And so, I can say, it is absolutely not so easy to cope and accept a life overshadowed with diabetes. Being diagnosed with this disease comes as a bitter truth with overwhelming emotions. Most people express reactions, like those of anxiety, fear, guilt, and denial. Another common feeling which is of depression is also seen in most cases of people diagnosed with diabetes (which is quite a normal reaction). There is a whole surging pile of instructions, medications, and the fear of the future waiting for them.

However, having said all this, one thing to be understood is that even if diabetes is hyped to be a major disorder, it is not the end of the world. It is certainly not among the life-threatening diseases.

What you should remember is, it does not change the kind of person you are or disturb your life drastically. With proper medication and healthy lifestyle, this can be tamed. You can get control on your life and bounce back with confidence again. Below is a short and soothing guide to help you mold a healthy life, even after diabetes makes you a companion!

How to Deal with Diagnosis of Diabetes
Initially, the news of being diagnosed with diabetes sounds scary. It would not be fair if I say, it does not change your life at all. But, with a few alterations in your lifestyle, everything will be just the way it was before. Don’t let negativity hamper your efforts to cope and come to terms with diabetes. Here is what you should do:

Mental Preparation
You just got your test results and are diagnosed with diabetes. But look carefully, has it really affected your life to the extent that you start turning it upside down? So relax and take things one by one to deal with. Remember, you are not the only one affected with diabetes, there are millions in this world tackling this condition.

Get Rid of the Guilt
Stop feeling guilty or blaming yourself. Sure, there was scope for you to alter your lifestyle in the past. But what is gone is gone and you cannot change that. Right now, you should be thinking about dealing with the present situation than frowning about the past. Stop asking yourself questions like “Why me?” Do not be harsh on yourself. Some people even get extreme emotions like mourning. Such intense emotions can be difficult to be dealt with. But, understand that these feelings will eventually pass.

Accept the Condition
Accept the situation; for that is the truth. There are many reported incidents of people diagnosed with diabetes living in denial. They simply imagine the reports to be unreal and pretend nothing is wrong. This should be avoided. Acceptance will take some time. People get extreme emotions and feelings as they near the mental state of acceptance. So, feeling guilty, angry, sorry, depressed, and frustrated is going to happen. Give it some time, but make sure you come out of it too. Love yourself even with the condition of diabetes.

Express Emotions
Suppression of feelings and anger takes a toll on personal care leading to neglect, which is dangerous. Make sure you talk your feelings to someone close. We know it is easier said than done when we say, learn to accept your life with diabetes and love yourself. But the whole point is to get over it. Sadness, regret, rage, and guilt may be overwhelming, but let them out. Talk to your family or friends, cry them out, or even punch a pillow if that helps! Never ever resort to wrong means, like alcohol and smoking. There are better ways to deal with your emotions.

Beware of Social Withdrawal
In most cases, people isolate themselves from family and friends. In extreme cases, they do not even reveal their condition for a long time. The sudden isolation hampers an individual’s mental state, and it takes him down. Keep your social life the same way that it was before. You could also join a circle or a diabetes support group. This way, you will also be assured that you are not alone.

Taming the Disease – Plan of Action
Diabetes is not a disorder beyond control. The good news is that, if you follow your medications, proper lifestyle, eat right, and stay fit, life will be just as normal as it would be without the diabetes in it! When you make a plan for managing diabetes, follow it religiously. This condition may look like a life changer, but it sure can be controlled.

Eat Right
Perhaps you have heard this suggestion a number of times and from everyone. But, that only proves it to be more important. Diet is the first and most crucial aspect of diabetes. Make sure you have a good diet plan, and also make sure you stick to it.

Exercise and Lifestyle
Include healthy habits, quit smoking, and pledge to exercise regularly. Even if you are following a healthy diet plan, exercise is very important for controlling blood sugar levels and any complications that may occur in diabetes.

Keep in Loop
Call your insurance provider. Discuss your condition with them. Know what all gets insurance cover and in what situations. You should inform close family and friends about your condition. Also, keep them informed about what needs to be done in an emergency. Keep at least one close family member and friend informed about your medications and other health check-up procedures.

Tab the Blood Sugar Levels
It is always safe to keep a check of your blood sugar levels several times in a day; at least in the initial days or months after you get diagnosed. Taking a test before and after a meal is advised. Keep records of the readings; they may help understand if your current treatment is effective enough and best for you.

Ask for Help and Guidance
When we say taming the disorder, it does not mean you have to do it all by yourself. Know that you have many options to handle this condition the correct way. Your health care expert will guide you through all that you need to know about dealing with diabetes, like future complications, if any. You could consult him/her on certain lifestyle changes. A good dietitian will arrange a diet plan for you to follow. Plus, you always have friends and family who are ready to help whenever you need them.

Learning Curve

Know the Disease
Educating oneself about diabetes is a very convenient way to overcome the fear and depression that grips a person. The more you know about diabetes, the more comfortable you will be in accepting it. With acceptance will come the strength to fight against it. It was found that people who read, attended groups, and spoke to their health care providers about diabetes, easily took a healthier way of fighting it. Discuss, ask questions, and learn all that you can about this condition. Knowledge about diabetes will help you a long way in dealing with it.

Give it Time
Once the diagnosis is done, it is almost like a nightmare, and as discussed above, acceptance comes slowly. You may be uncomfortable with the sudden change in lifestyle, food habits, medicines, and insulin shots., etc. It may be a big deal in the beginning, but with time, all this will become routine, and one fine day, you will be proud of managing your life with diabetes, get back your confidence, and deal with it all by yourself. Give yourself a chance to learn and grow out of this situation towards well-being. So, give it a try, and you will get through the learning curve in no time!

Analyze Yourself
Different people react and respond differently to the diagnosis of diabetes. Some may take time to come out of the shock and depression. Giving some time for these things to subside is advised; however, if the patient takes too long (more than a year) to accept or get back to normalcy, you might want to take psychiatric help. Research finds that more than a third of people diagnosed with diabetes suffer from depression at some point in time. So watch for those signs of depression. They may not be too obvious, but if you feel tired all the time, have sudden weight loss or gain, insomnia, or loss of interest in otherwise enjoyable activities, talk to an expert regarding this condition.

People diagnosed with diabetes need to know that you are not alone; there is help out there. Helplines, forums, websites, message boards, and other foundations are all available whenever you need help. Don’t let diabetes take control of your life or deplete the sweetness in it! Take care!