All about Diabetes


What is Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus

About Diabetes – a short article Read here >>>

Diabetes mellitus widely known simply as diabetes is a chronic disorder of glucose metabolism which affects millions of people all over the world. According to the World Health Organization at least 171 millions of people worldwide have diabetes, while the amount of people suffering from diabetes is expected to be more than double by 2030. Although diabetes is often considered a disease of developed countries death related to diabetes is higher in the developing countries. According to the WHO 5% (3,2 million) people have died from complications associated with diabetes in year 2000.

Diabetes occurs when pancreas, a gland organ among other also responsible for producing insulin, does not produce enough insulin or the body can not use the produced insulin effectively. Such condition can lead to serious complications causing cardiovascular diseases or damaging kidneys, eyes (diabetes is the leading cause of blindness), skin, feet (amputation), nerves and brain, and in worst case even result death.

There are two basic forms of diabetes.

  1. Type 1 diabetes mellitus or insulin-dependent diabetes
  2. Type 2 diabetes mellitus or noninsulin-dependent diabetes

People with Type 1 diabetes produce insufficient amounts or no insulin, while Type 2 diabetes which is most common is characterized by disability of using the produced insulin effectively because of insulin resistance or reduced insulin sensitivity. There is also a third type of diabetes – gestational diabetes which resembles Type 2 diabetes and occurs in some pregnant women but it usually disappears after pregnancy.

Diabetes can affect anyone although majority of people with diabetes are adult after age of 40. At the moment there is no cure for diabetes and for that reason people with diabetes will have it for lifetime. However, both types of diabetes can be managed with regular insulin injections and anti-diabetic drugs but to live normally and fully with diabetes is also very important healthy diet and regular exercise.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus


Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes most often affects children and young adults before age of 30 but it is very rare. Despite the widespread of diabetes in such proportions worldwide that it is often referred as an epidemic, Type 1 diabetes represents only 10% of all diabetes cases. However, Type 1 diabetes is the most severe form of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when beta cells in the pancreas stops producing insulin. Without insulin which controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood the body cells can not absorb glucose from the blood what results high blood sugar levels, condition which is known as hyperglycemia. Its symptoms are very similar than in Type 2 diabetes but they occur and develop very rapidly and severely. When the symptoms occur Type 1 diabetes requires immediate medical assistance and regular insulin injections for lifetime otherwise it results death.

Most of people that are affected with Type 1 diabetes are otherwise healthy when the disease breaks out. Most frequent causes for Type 1 diabetes are genetic predispositions, while experts believe that besides genetic factors Type 1 diabetes is also triggered by unknown environmental factors but there has been also some indications that it might be linked to a viral infection.

There is no cure for diabetes including Type 1 diabetes and the patient have to live with it whole their lives but despite that it can be successfully managed with regular insulin injections, proper diet and regular exercise. Thus people with Type 1 diabetes can still live their lives fully and healthy. Living with Type 1 diabetes does not significantly affect daily activities and does not hinder a patient in any matter as long as they take care for regular insulin injections. Insulin injecting is usually uncomfortable at the beginning but eventually the majority of people gets used to it. After all, at the moment there is no alternative to insulin injections which are vital for people with Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 2 diabetes or noninsulin dependent diabetes represents about 90% of all diabetes cases and most frequently affects people after age of 40 but because of improper lifestyle it also more often affects younger people. In Type 2 diabetes the pancreas is still producing insulin sometimes even more than in healthy people but the body cells become insensitive or resistant to insulin what results high sugar levels in the blood like in Type 1 diabetes.

In contrary to Type 1 diabetes which practically occurs over night Type 2 diabetes develops much slowly and in some people can last for several years without any symptoms. Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes become more obvious when the cells cease to respond to the produced insulin. Thus in many people Type 2 diabetes is detected coincidently or when its symptoms become severe. According to the WHO almost half of all people are not aware they have diabetes.

The causes of Type 2 diabetes are not exactly known but according to the International Obesity Task Force and the WHO Health Report 2002 about 58% of diabetes is linked to overweight and obesity. In higher risk of diabetes are also people with strong family history of diabetes and women that had diabetes during pregnancy, while the WHO also reports that higher rates of Type 2 diabetes are in people of Asian and African origin, and in indigenous peoples of Americas and Australasia.

Type 2 diabetes is less severe form and does not require insulin injection but it requires treatment as well. If not treated Type 2 diabetes might severely damage the blood vessels, heart, brain, eyes, skin and kidneys, and eventually cause premature death. For that reason symptoms which may imply on diabetes should not be ignored and visit at a doctor not postponed. If detected and treated early one might improve his/her condition even without use of any anti-diabetes drugs.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that happens during pregnancy.  When you are pregnant your doctor will do lots of test to make sure that you and your unborn child are in good health.  If your blood sugar (glucose) levels go up during pregnancy, then the doctor will tell you that you have gestational diabetes and develop a plan of care for you.

How do people get gestational diabetes?

During pregnancy, the different hormones in the pregnant woman’s body result in not using insulin very well.  Perhaps, this is because the unborn child may place a demand on the woman’s body for sugar (glucose) to get needed nourishment.  But, there has to be a balance.  When the woman’s body determines that there really is too much sugar available in the blood stream, then the pancreas (organ in the body that makes insulin) will simply just produce more insulin, and every thing will be fine.  In the case of the woman with gestational diabetes, the pancreas will not make the extra insulin that is needed.  The result is acquiring gestational diabetes.

What happens when gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy? 

The extra sugar (glucose) will cross the placenta to the unborn baby.  Their little pancreas will make more insulin and they will have more energy than the need at this time; as a result, the baby will become fat or macrosomic.  These babies may have difficulty being born due to their large size and the mother may require a c-section at the time of delivery.  The baby may also have low blood sugar after birth; this is dangerous. Also, the baby may also develop breathing difficulties.  These babies may grow up to have Type 2 diabetes at a young age, and/or become obese.

How is gestational diabetes treated?

The doctor must get your blood glucose levels back to normal right away.  So, a special diet plan will be provided to the expectant mother along with a recommendation for increased exercise (if the expectant mother is not on bed-rest). The doctor will have you test your blood sugar levels several times a day, and may also place you on insulin injections for the rest of the pregnancy, if needed.

Diabetes symptoms

Signs of diabetes

Signs of diabetes

The diabetes symptoms for Type I and Type II diabetes are similar, but for Type I diabetes, it is a disease of younger people, (also known as juvenile diabetes). Type II diabetes is more prevalent in those age 45 and older with the risk of getting it increasing with age. With age in mind, some of the most prevalent signs of diabetes include:

Type 1 diabetes Symptoms

Type 1 diabetes symptoms include excessive urination, fatigue, moodiness, increased thirst or hunger and unexpected weight loss. If your child or young adult has any of these diabetes symptoms, consult your pediatrician immediately.

Type 2 diabetes Symptoms

Type 2 diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, tiredness, crankiness, excess hunger and thirst, unexpected weight loss, vision problems including blurred vision, tingling and numb sensation in fingers and hands, recurring infections or slow healing wounds.

What can be confusing about diabetes symptoms is that they may masquerade as symptoms of other illnesses or may develop so slowly that they aren’t that apparent to you. However, if you have other risk factors for diabetes, such as advancing age, are in a high-risk ethnic group or are overweight, you should be on the watch for diabetes symptoms such as these. You may even want to proactively ask your doctor to screen you for diabetes even if you have no diabetes symptoms.

Even more disturbing is that many Americans have no diabetes symptoms and still have the disease. Roughly 7% of diabetes sufferers were diagnosed without ever showing any diabetes symptoms. As of now, there are millions of Americans with diabetes that are undiagnosed. While some of these cases are those without diabetes symptoms of any kind, most of these are people who have diabetes symptoms that are ignoring them.

Ignoring diabetes symptoms won’t make them go away. While no one wants a diagnosis of diabetes, prolonging it by not addressing your diabetes symptoms is not the answer. If you have risk factors for diabetes, you should be very aware of your health and anything out of the ordinary.

The Times Union recently interviewed a nutritionist who specializes in diabetes who said, “Symptoms can develop very slowly, and although being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can be frightening, early intervention can help make the disease more manageable.”

If you are overweight, smoke, drink excessively, are sedentary or don’t eat a healthy diet, you are at risk for diabetes. If, on top of this, you have even one of the symptoms listed above, you should consult your physician immediately to make sure you are not at risk for diabetes. Diabetes symptoms should never be ignored, even mild ones.

Diabetes diet

Diabetes diet plan

Diabetes diet plan

If you have diabetes, your best bet for a longer healthier life is to manage the illness. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is through eating a well balance diabetes diet. Before you hear the word diet and think deprivation, you should know that a diabetes diet means never going hungry – it simply means making better choices as to what you eat and when you eat it.

Diet for diabetes plans typically recommend that you abandon the three square meals outlook and instead plan on five small meals spaced evenly throughout the day along with snacks between meals. The focus of a diabetes diet is to keep your blood glucose level (or blood sugar levels) consistent. Spikes in blood sugar and insulin are what makes diabetes more difficult to live with and manage.

When it comes down to what foods are part of your diabetes diet, try the following:

  • On a diabetes diet, 6-8 servings of starches are recommended per day. Whole grain breads, pastas, brown rice, whole grain cereal without added sugar, baked potatoes and corn tortillas can all be chosen on a healthy diabetes diet.
  • For a diabetes diet, 2-3 servings of fruit are good for you. Raspberries, apples, pears, apricots, blueberries, strawberries and avocadoes are all part of a healthy diabetes diet.
  • On a diabetes diet, 3-4 servings of vegetables are best. Spinach, carrots, broccoli, green beans and other non-starchy vegetables are recommended for a healthy diabetes diet.
  • For a diabetes diet, 2 milk servings should be consumed each day. Skim milk, non-fat yogurt and non-fat cheese are all options on a healthy diabetes diet.
  • On a diabetes diet, 4-6 ounces of protein are recommended each day. Fish, skinless poultry and lean red meats such as pork loin and sirloin are great choices for a healthy diabetes diet.
  • For a diabetes diet, 3-4 fat selections can be consumed each day. Fish oils and canola oil are good options on a diabetes diet. Try to keep sweets to a minimum, but if you want to have dessert, just make sure you don’t eat the whole thing and do it occasionally rather than regularly.

Many people find that by adopting a healthy diabetes diet are able to wean themselves off of diabetes treatment medications. In fact, many diabetes sufferers who convert to a healthy diabetes diet are eventually proclaimed disease free. It’s not even a matter of cutting our foods you like, but of finding substitutes – such as whole grain bread instead of white bread, diet soda instead of sugary soda , etc.

Diabetes treatment

Diabetes treatment

Diabetes treatment

At one time, the primary diabetes treatment was insulin injections and a strict diet. But medical advancements, particularly in the last decade have drastically improved quality of life for diabetes patients. Diabetes treatment options now include in addition to injections, oral medications, lifestyle modifications and even surgical options.

Diabetes treatment has become much more aggressive and looks to the illness proactively rather than waiting for complications to arise.

Medical Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus

New medications used in diabetes care include:

  • New types of insulin – a very popular diabetes treatment includes new longer lasting insulin that entail just one shot of insulin each day
  • DPP-4 Inhibitors – this class of diabetes treatment are oral drugs that promote a natural compound already present in the body that helps manage glucose
  • GLP analogs – these diabetes treatment injections encourage the body’s ability to signal the need for increased insulin at mealtime
  • Synthetic hormones – these diabetes treatment injections help lower blood sugar in insulin-dependent diabetics
  • Combination diabetes treatment – these single pill options combine several medications in one easy to take dose for convenience – they cost more, but are much less hassle

Some changes in diabetes treatment were necessary because they increased other health risks – one medication increased risk of cardiovascular disease and another increased the risk of bladder cancer. When side effects from diabetes treatment outweigh the benefit, changes become necessary.

Rapid advancements in glucose monitors have made diabetes treatment easier and more convenient as have the prevalence of insulin pumps which give you smaller, more precise doses throughout the day without the need for manual injections – a much easier method of diabetes treatment.

Advancements in diabetes treatment are forthcoming every day. One company is working on a combined glucose monitor and insulin pump that will continuously check your blood glucose level and administer needed insulin automatically without you knowing or having to trigger the treatment yourself. Diabetes treatment that includes lifestyle management such as healthy diet and exercise are also strongly recommended.

Diabetes Management

Lets cut to the chase,  if you are a recently diagnosed diabetic, then one of the first things you MUSTunderstand is the need for ‘diabetes management‘, and what it involves.

You will need to do the following:

  • Follow the guidelines on our page: ‘A Healthy Diet for Diabetes’.
  • Understand and your blood glucose levels, as explained here: Checking Blood Sugar Levels’
  • Eye Checks for Diabetics are crucial – you must get this done regularly.
  • Improve your fitness levels (follow the advice here: Exercise for Diabetics)

The better your diabetes management skills, the less damage diabetes will do to your health.

Good Diabetes Management

Managing and maintaining your diabetes is a lasting obligation that consists of big adjustments in one’s way of life.  Management of diabetes consists of learning how to deal with the disease.  A diabetic is not the only one affected by this disease.  The family and loved ones of the diabetic are affected in much of the same ways.  Powering yourself with the knowledge of good diabetes management will help you to modify your way of life to incorporate nutritional changes that can be easier done if loved ones do the same.

Living with diabetes is a lasting obligation that consists of big adjustments in one’s way of life.  New treatments, prevention, and studies are popping up all the time.  It is of extreme importance that a diabetic constantly be aware about the latest diabetes management.  Medical advancements have occurred to help with the care and treatment of diabetes to assist those who have this severe illness, but there is still no known cure for diabetes.

The management of diabetes mainly consists of learning how to deal with the disease.  The illness of diabetes not only affects the person diagnosed, but also the loved ones of the person.  This makes it vital to keep yourself and your family informed of the latest breakthroughs and information.

How to Get the Latest Breakthroughs and Information on Diabetes Management
  • Individuals are now getting a better grasp on how to attain information from various sources.  The most vital source of information on diabetes is from your physician.  Usually, a doctor who specializes in diabetes is certified and accredited by the Board of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism.  These specialists are the most reliable source for information.  This specialist will assist you in the management of this illness.
  • Besides managing the illness, a diabetic should also be aware of how to specifically manage the other conditions that could happen because of already having diabetes.
  • There are many professionals who can offer information regarding particular concerns that you may have regarding diabetes.  Among these professionals are internists, allopathic doctors, certified nurses, general practitioners, geriatric doctors, vascular specialists, urologists, transplant doctors, nutritionists, registered dietitians, preventive medicine physicians, podiatrists, pediatricians, osteopathic doctors, optometrists, ophthalmologists, and practicing nurses.
What Information You Should Know About Diabetes Management

The main worry of diabetic patients is managing their blood glucose levels.  This covers medication, diet, and maintenance of weight, lifestyle, and their physical activity level.  An appropriate diabetes program will assist with knowledge with these aspects.

The management of diabetes is something that is not a simple job without the assistance of prescriptions.  A patient may need to consume medication or insulin shots to help stabilize their blood glucose levels, depending on the harshness of the disease.  The appropriate knowledge should be given to help keep patients away from medicines that could cause more problems than help.

Knowledge Needed Regarding the Diabetic Diet

Diabetes management requires much more than just taking a prescription.  A change in your diet will be required.  Many people hate the sound of the word diet, but this modification will most likely be a lot easier than you think.  A diabetic’s diet consists of reducing the amount of sugary foods that they consume.  It will consist of introducing healthy foods like lean meat, whole grain, fruits, and vegetables.  This is the main staple of a diabetic’s diet.

Diabetes Management : Changes Within Your Lifestyle

The patient will also be required to modify his or her lifestyle.  Diabetes can cause great strife within one’s daily life.  It is vital to understand how to deal with living with this disease and not trying to just shove it off.  Diabetics usually have energy levels that rise and fall without notice.  This can cause great problems with their jobs, physical activity level, and sexual lives.  A good modification program and diabetes management will help you to understand how to take these changes and deal with them in the most efficient way possible.

Diabetes Management Workout Regimen

Making sure that you are at a normal weight and being active on a regular basis is very important to the management of diabetes.  Diabetes has been linked to obesity and it is vital to maintain a normal healthy weight.  This helps in regulating the blood sugar levels.

It is recommended for diabetics to be able to deal with everyday life and the disease by taking on appropriate and effective diabetes management.  Good knowledge is vital and can be gotten from various sources.  It is up to the individual to take advantage of the sources that are available.  Dealing with diabetes does not have to be as hard as some think.  Incorporating diabetes management modifications into your everyday life can be simple when you are powered with knowledge.

Exercise for Diabetics

Diabetes is usually controlled with the intake of a variety of medications taken on a regular basis. However, most diabetics don’t recognize or believe that lifestyle modification, such as performing prescribedexercise for diabetics, may also be pursued to control blood sugar levels. A combination of proper medication, healthy diet and adequate exercise can significantly affect how the body metabolizes body fat and utilizes insulin. Various benefits can be achieved from performing physical activities for diabetics, therefore if you want to decrease the severity or reduce the long-term complications of diabetes, diabetic exercises should be pursued.

Most professional diabetic specialists usually prescribe lifestyle modification and medical management to control diabetes. Although medical management can greatly affect how the body uses up glucose in the body, lifestyle changes such as proper exercise for diabetics can also decrease the severity of the disease. Pursuing a prescribed diabetic exercise regimen has its benefits and risks therefore you need to be aware of certain facts related to physical activities performed by diabetics.

Before a diabetic exercise program can be prescribed by a specialist on diabetes, a careful and systematic medical exam needs to be performed on the patient. This is in accordance with the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association. The examination is done to rule out any risk for coronary artery diseases and to ensure that the patient’s blood glucose levels are adequate to start a diabetic exercise regimen. A diabetic may be prescribed to perform routine exercise for diabetics if:

* Blood glucose level is not greater than 250 mg/dl
* Coronary conditions such as aneurysms, angina and embolisms are not present
* Damage to the kidneys, blood vessels of the eyes, nerves and blood vessels of the extremities is non-existing.

When a person with diabetes exercises, there is a need for energy in the form of glucose to be consumed by the working muscles. Physical activities that are short, such as a swift dash to catch a bus can stimulate the liver to release glucose for fuel. Moderate diabetic exercises on the other hand can decrease blood sugar levels by using up more glucose that is stored in the muscles or released by the liver. However, strenuous and prolonged exercises performed by diabetics can give the opposite effect. The body might recognize the activity as a stress and in turn will release stress hormones that act to increase blood glucose to supply the body with energy. This is the reason why some people still need insulin even after working out intensely on diabetic exercises.

Not all types of diabetic exercises can be performed be every patient though. Exercise for diabetics are classified into three different routines, according to the type of activity involved, intensity and duration for routines, area of the body being worked on and purpose for each type of exercise:

1. Aerobic Exercises for Diabetics

This type of diabetic exercise may include a brisk walk, dancing, swimming, and other low-impact exercises such as stationary walking or cycling. People with type 2 diabetes can greatly benefit from these kinds of physical activities since these can promote management of the weight. The intention for this type of exercise is to increase the heart rate, work on muscles and improve the breathing capacity of the lungs. Aerobic exercises for diabetics are usually performed 30 minutes to an hour for five days a week. Keep in mind though that if you have been inactive, you should start off slowly and gradually increase one factor (intensity of exercise, frequency of routines, and days performed in a week) at a time. Do not start an intense routine since aerobic exercises are intended to be performed moderately.

2. Strength Training for Diabetics

People without any complications from diabetes can perform strength training exercises to increase the glucose uptake of the muscles thereby reducing blood sugar and promoting weight control. Be sure to see a physician first before you enroll in any strength training sessions using elastic bands, weights, or plastic tubes. 8-10 repetitions of a set of exercise targeting specific muscle groups is recommended to be performed two times a week or whichever is prescribed by your diabetic specialist.

3. Flexibility Exercises for Diabetics

Keeping your body flexible is important so that you will avoid any injury that may result from other exercises recommended for the diabetic patient. 5-10 minutes of simple stretching before and after each exercise routine can greatly help in keeping the joints flexible and preparing your body for an aerobic or strengthening exercise.

Medications can control your blood glucose level but if paired up with proper exercise, a better result can be achieved. Beginning an exercise routine can be a daunting task but you might be able to motivate yourself into pursuing this lifestyle modification by checking your blood glucose level before and after performing these exercises.

The benefits of performing recommended exercise for diabetics are tremendous and life-changing thereforeit is crucial that you start a diabetic exercise routine today.

The Importance of Eye Checks for Diabetics

Diabetes causes a lot of vision problems.  Among the top are diabetic retinopathy and macular edema.  40% to 45% of all diabetics will be diagnosed with some form of diabetic retinopathy.  Many diabetics are not aware that they are at high risk for these vision problems.  If left untreated blindness will occur. For this reason, Eye Checks for Diabetics should be pursued.

There are a huge number of diabetic patients that have not been to the eye doctor to have a dilated eye exam – this is foolish and dangerous.  Eye checks for diabetics are something that all diabetics should have done regularly.  Many diabetics are not even aware that their eye problems can be caused from having diabetes.

There is one eye disease in particular that all diabetics should know about. This is called diabetic retinopathy, it is one of the most debilitating diabetic complications, and it can lead to blindness.

If you are fortunate to live in the UK, then these diabetic eye checks are free of charge, and available from the N HS. In other countries, eye checks for diabetics may be covered by your health insurance. Either way, you must make sure you take full advantage of these eye tests, as the consequences of not doing so are quite terrible.

Let me just stress that again – regular eye checks for diabetics are the only way to make sure that retinopathy is identified whilst there is still a chance to do something about it – get your eyes tested at least once a year or you WILL pay the price.

A Healthy Diet for Diabetes

Sticking to a healthy diet for diabetes may seem difficult but it is not as hard as it sounds.  Working with you dietician or physician can simplify the process. Having diabetes does not mean you cannot enjoy the same food as your family.  You can indulge once in a while in your favorite foods; it just requires you to monitor your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Eating healthy can be something your whole family can benefit from.

What is a Healthy Diet For Diabetes?

A healthy diet for diabetes is a set schedule that lets you know the amount of food to consume and the types of food you can choose from to build the right meals to eat and the right snacks.  A proper diabetic meal planshould correspond well with your times of eating and your eating routine.  The correct diabetic diet will assist you in improving your blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol and may also benefit keeping your weight within the normal range.  If you are trying to maintain your weight, decrease sugar levels or lose a few pounds, this diabetes diet guide can benefit you.

Individuals who have been diagnosed with Diabetes have to be extra careful with how their food consumption is balanced with their insulin and other orally taken medications.  Sticking to a healthy diet for diabetes will necessitate you to perform carbohydrate counting every time you eat your meals. Exercise is also recommended to help control the levels of blood glucose.

At first look, keeping a healthy diet for diabetes may seem like a difficult process and a very time consuming task.  This is not the case though if you have an idea about the facts behind this type of diet. Your physician can assist you in creating a diabetic meal plan that is correct for your individual needs. You can improve your health by choosing healthy food to consume and can even aid in the prevention of heart disease, hypertension, and various cancers.

There are various methods to assist you with sticking to your diabetes meal plan.  You can follow the Food Pyramid Guide, plate rating, exchange lists, and carb counting.  These are all different methods but one is bound to fit in with your lifestyle.

To apply a healthy eating diet to your everyday food consumption, you must eat a avriety of foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lean meat, fish, poultry, and non-fat dairy.  There is no such thing as a perfect rounded food, so eating a variety of nutritional foods and portion control is the way to a healthy diet.  Make sure you choose food that is rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber.  Foods that have been processed are not recommended types of healthy food.

Just because you have been diagnosed with Diabetes does not mean you cannot eat the same types of foods that your family consumes.  Adjusting your family’s intake of healthier items can benefit not only your self but everyone who is eating the meal.  Talk to your family about implementing healthier food choices so you can work together in controlling your diabetes with a healthy diet for diabetes.

You can still consume some of your all-time favorite foods by carefully planning what you eat around the idea of a healthy diet for diabetes. Monitoring your blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels are also needed when you are on a diabetes diet to ensure that you are on the right track.


Checking Blood Sugar Levels

The number of diabetic patients in the U.S. has increased at an alarming rate over the last couple of years. Checking blood sugar levels with a glucose meter is the best way to make sure your glucose tolerance is under control.  Knowing what the reading that you get means is very important.  The numbers show you what range your blood sugar level is at and if you have it completely under control or if something is wrong and you need to see your doctor immediately.

One of the most prevalent diseases nowadays is diabetes.  The number of diabetic patients in the United States has increased at an alarming rate over the last couple of years.  If you are one them, it is extremely important to keep your diabetes under control if you are to avoid diabetic complications.  Checking blood sugar levels on a regular basis will let you know if your lifestyle, meal plans, level of physical activity, and prescriptions are keeping your diabetes under control.

There are two main ways of testing your blood sugar level on your own.  Both methods will require less than two minutes of your time.

  1. Checking blood sugar levels by Finger-Stick Testing
  2. Checking blood sugar levels by Non-Invasive Testing
Checking Blood Sugar Levels With Finger-Stick Testing

Most of the testing supplies that are available to you will require sticking your finger with a little needle, also known as a lancet.  This is used to draw a tiny drop of blood.  There are some testing supplies that will allow you to test your blood sugar on your forearm.  When trying to read your blood sugar level, utilization of a glucose meter with a digital display is the easier way to make sure there are no mistakes in your interpretaion of the reading.

There are various kinds of meters on the market today.  Your physician can assist you in choosing the best one for you and helping you to use it the correct way.  If you still have questions regarding your meter, read the instructions that came with it or you can always call your physician if you don’t get the answers your require from the instructions.  Currently new to the market are the new models of the glucose meter that require testing on less sensitive spots on the body instead of the fingertip.

Using your Glucose Meter for Finger-Stick Testing
  1. Make sure that you wash and dry your hands thoroughly prior to checking blood sugar levels.  You can also utilize an alcohol wipe if you prefer to swipe the tip of your finger where you will be doing the test.  Move your arm so that your hand is facing down and your hand is below your waist.  This assists in getting the blood into the fingertip.
  2. Once you have prepared the glucose meter and the needle, or lancet, make sure you have a clean, sterile test strip ready.  Prick the side of your fingertip with the needle.
  3. Place a drop of blood onto the test strip that you had ready.
  4. Your result time can vary depending on your meter.  Follow your instructions that came with your meter.  Many will give you results in a matter of minutes.
  5. Once you have your results; record them on your paper and include the time of day that you performed the test.

**Your physician will most likely want to see your results to find out how well you are managing your blood sugar level.

Non-Invasive Blood Sugar Testing

All of the non-invasive testing supplies do not require you to draw blood.  The most popular product is worn on the wrist as you would a watch.  It tests your blood sugar through your skin.  It utilizes a tiny electrical current to draw fluid through the skin and into the meter and then it will read your sugar level.

Keep in mind that this method of testing should not be your only method of testing.  It will not replace your regular finger-stick glucose meter.  This glucose watch will allow you to watch the rise and fall of your blood sugar through various times of the day.  When utilizing this method, there are some details you need to know.

Using your Glucose Watch for Non-Invasive Testing
  1. You are required to wear the watch for at least 3 hours prior to taking a reading.  During this 3 hour period, do not get it wet.
  2. Input the last reading you received from the finger-test into your glucose watch.  This is called adjusting your device.
  3. The watch is then automatically programmed to give you a reading every 20 minutes for the next 12 hours.  It will have an option to have an alarm go off when your blood sugar level is dangerously low or dangerously high.

Checking blood sugar levels is very important, but it is more crucial to know what your readings mean.

Below is a guide on what your blood sugar reading indicates:

mg/dl mmol/l What it means
35 2.0 Very low, You face the danger of becoming unconscious.
55 3.0 Low, You can have a minor insulin response.
75 4.0 Marginally low, You can begin to have signs of exhaustion.
100 5.5 Common Reading.
90-110 5.0-6.0 Normal Reading for prior to eating. – This is a normal reading for someone without diabetes
150 8.0 Normal Reading for after eating. – This is a normal reading for someone without diabetes.
180 10.0 This is the maximum normal reading for someone without diabetes immediately after eating.
270 15.0 This is normally classed as ‘very high’ – it would not be normal for a non-diabetic to have this reading even after a meal.
360 20.0 Extremely high. If you regularly see readings like this, you need to consult your doctor.

Healthy lifestyle

Healthy diet and adequate physical activity are also very important in treatment of Type 2 diabetes and in some cases might reduce the glucose blood levels without use of hypoglycemic drugs. However, if changing of diet and regular exercise do not help is necessary to use oral anti-diabetic drugs which work in different ways:

  1. Increase the insulin production and increase sensibility of body cell to insulin (sulfonylureas, meglitinides)
  2. Reduce production of glucose in the livers and its output into the blood (biguanides)
  3. Inhibit metabolism of carbohydrates (alpha-glucasidase inhibitor)

Sometimes also a combination of different drugs is used.

Treatment of diabetes also requires regular monitoring of glucose blood levels as well as of cholesterol and triglycerides, blood pressure and body mass index.


Everyone looks for Diabetes Treatment Options. However learning to live with is the best treatment.

It is possible to manage your diabetes in order to reduce your chances of having a heart attack or stroke and living a longer healthier life.

It is very important to change your lifestyle.

  • Obtain and maintain a healthy weight by choosing foods wisely and eating healthy.
  • Plan meals to include a variety of foods, eating less trans fat and eating more fiber, fruits and vegetables
  • Limit salt
  • Perform regular physical activity
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Keep blood glucose levels as recommended by your doctor
  • Take medications as directed by your doctor
  • Have blood pressure, blood cholesterol and triglyceride tests regularly
  • Limit alcohol as it can affect blood glucose levels and can also cause weight gain

Tips for healthy eating:

  1. Eating at regular times helps to control glucose levels. Eat three meals per day no more than six hours apart. Choose healthy snacks.
  2. The more sugar you eat, the higher your blood glucose. Limit sugars, sweets, regular pop, desserts, candies, jams, honey and refined foods.
  3. Artificial sweeteners can be used in place of sugar when following recipes.
  4. High fat foods may cause weight gain. Healthy weight helps control blood glucose levels which helps to keep the heart healthy. Limit the amount of fried foods, chips and pastries.
  5. Foods high in fiber may help you feel full and help to lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Eat more foods with high fiber content like whole grains, breads, cereals, dried beans, peas, lentils, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
  6. Drink more water if you are thirsty.

Physical Activity:

Everyone needs to be active and healthy; however, physical activity for a diabetic can help:

  • To improve blood glucose control
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Control weight

All it takes is 10 minutes of activity

  • Walk the dog
  • Get off the bus a stop early
  • Park your car a little further from the door
  • Rake, shovel, mow or vacuum
  • Take two brisk walks a day
  • Perform resistance exercises such as lifting weights or ride a bike three times a week.

Foot Care

Foot care is very important for the diabetic – contact your doctor immediately whenever foot ulceration occurs. Early medical attention is important. Ask for a referral to a Certified Podiatrist to have your shoes, socks and feet evaluated.

Do not use worn out shoes or socks which can cause problems (such as corns, ulcers and calluses).

Diabetes Healthcare

Diabetes Healthcare

Diabetes Healthcare

Diabetes Control??

If your doctor diagnoses you with diabetes,   you will need to do the following to reduce your risk of developing chronic complications.

The first thing that you will need to know, that will be taught to you by your diabetes educator is the importance of diabetes self management education.  Diabetes self management education includes the following:

1. Testing your blood sugar (sugar). 

Anyone living with diabetes must monitor their blood glucose levels at least twice every day (first thing in the morning before eating and drinking, and two hours after your largest meal).  These results let your educator and doctor know how the diabetes impacts your body without food for 8 hours (fasting/basal) food and with food (post prandial/bolus).  These results can be used by your educator and doctor to prescribe a plan of care (that includes medications), just for you.

The diabetes educator will provide a glucose meter (testing machine) and instruction on how to use it.  Testing blood sugar does not have to hurt anymore.  All new meters may be used for what is known as alternate site testing.  That means that, not only does one have to stick their fingers, but that can use arms or legs as well.  The lancet (needle) that is used is so small that it can barely be felt.

2. Finding out what your A (A1C), B (Blood pressure), C (Cholesterol)  are. 

A1C is the measurement that lets your educator know how your diabetes is controlled.  It is a blood test that is taken every three months.  A normal range is 4-6 %.  If you are living with diabetes, then your educator will want your A1C to go no higher than 7%.  If it is higher than 7% then that means that you are at risk for developing complications.

Type 2 diabetes is considered a cardio-vascular disease.  By that we mean that it increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes.  It is so important that the person with diabetes maintains a Blood pressure below 130/80 mm/hg.  This can be accomplished by low sodium diet (which your educator will instruct you on), exercise and sometimes oral medication.

It is important that the person living with diabetes also keeps their Cholesterol low as well.  The LDL (bad cholesterol) needs to be kept below 100 mg/dl.  Again, exercise and a low fat diet alone may accomplish this.  If additional help is needed, the doctor will prescribe a statins (medication to lower cholesterol).  The educator will explain how this medication is used.

3.  Nutrition, Again!

If you are overweight, just losing a few pounds will improve diabetes control and lower blood pressure.  The educator assist persons with diabetes on choosing a diet plan that is just right for them. This plan includes the cultural foods that have always been eaten, and enjoyed.  The educator will suggest new portion sizes, removing fat from meat prior to cooking, use of unsaturated oils, and delicious ways of seasoning foods without salt.
Exercise:  The best exercise is simply walking.  After getting approval from the doctor, start out by walking for 15 minutes twice everyday. This time can be increased to 30 minutes after two weeks.  Exercise works with diet to decrease weight, blood pressure and elevated blood sugar.

4. Medications

In an effort to control diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol, the doctor may prescribe oral medications or even injectible medications such as insulin.  The educator will teach the patients all about their medications: what they look like, how they work in the body, how to take them, what time to take them, and when to call the doctor.

5. Complications

There are two types of complications:

  • Chronic: When these arrive, they can be controlled but not reversed.  These are retinopathy (eyes-can lead to blindness), neuropathy (nerves- can lead to ulcers on feet/amputation), nephropathy (kidney failure), heart attacks and strokes. Chronic complications need to be avoided.
  • Acute: These are low blood sugar and high blood sugar.   These can be reversed.

6. Diabetes and feeling “In the dumps”. 

Diabetes is a chronic disease and has been known to go “Hand in hand” with stress and depression.  When one feels depressed, it becomes very hard to care for one self.  The diabetes educator will work with the patient on how to develop coping mechanisms, offer referral for talk therapy and even work with the doctor on suggesting medications if needed

Diabetes complications

Diabetes complications

Diabetes complications

What are some of the negative and chronic complications that may follow from poorly controlled diabetes?

If diabetes is not kept under good control, then the following complications may develop:

  • these are blindness (e.g. diabetes retinopathy),
  • heart disease,
  • strokes,
  • kidney failure,
  • the amputation (loss) of toes, feet or legs.

Complications in pregnancy

What are complications for those with gestational diabetes?

Diabetes in women can be extremely complicated, especially during pregnancy. Complications that can follow for both the woman and her unborn child include the following: diabetes, heart disease, miscarriage, and birth defects.

Complications with vision

What is diabetes retinopathy, who is at risk, and how does it impact vision?

Diabetic retinopathy involves damage to the blood vessels in the retina, as a common complication that can follow from diabetes. Anybody with any form of diabetes is at risk for developing diabetes retinopathy.
Retinopathy, at first, does not have any symptoms, then suddenly it is as though black spots are held up on front of the eyes. These black spots block areas of sight, just like the pictures below.

What if I am found to have diabetes? How do I find out if I have diabetes retinopathy?

What happens during a vision screening for diabetes retinopathy? Where do I go?
The eye doctor (opthalmologists/optometrist) will put a liquid in your eyes that will cause the pupil to dilate (or become large) so that he can look into your eye.
Why can’t I drive after my vision screening appointment?
After your eye is dilated, your vision will become very blurred therefore, it will not be safe to drive after your appointment.

How often do I need to go for vision screening?

At least once every year; but if you have been diagnose with diabetes retinopathy you should try to do it every six month (twice a year).

How does vision change over time for people with diabetes when compared to people without diabetes? What might the doctor discover if I go for vision screening? Could I have other conditions that are discovered? What happens then?

That depends on how well your diabetes is controlled. Uncontrolled diabetes places you at risk for retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. These are all conditions that the eye doctor may discover during a vision screening. But don’t be afraid, these conditions can be treated if discovered early enough. That is why you MUST go in for your screening at least once per year.


Diabetes causes

Diabetes causes

Diabetes causes

Diabetes causes differ primarily between the three types of diabetes – type I diabetes, type II diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes causes

Type I diabetes causes are thought to be from autoimmune disorders. These are illnesses that occur when your body’s natural immune system attacks healthy cells. In the case of diabetes, it attacks the pancreas destroys its ability to produce insulin which your bod must have to live. Diabetes causes for type I diabetes are untreatable – meaning that if you have this type of autoimmune disorder, the disease is unavoidable. Other diabetes causes related to type I are exposure to enteroviruses which cause illnesses such as meningitis and can also lead to type I diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes causes

Type II diabetes causes are more numerous and one of biggest risk factors is a genetic predisposition. This means that for some reason, diabetes runs in your family. You may have parents, grandparents, aunts or uncle who already have the disease. The genetic diabetes causes cannot be prevented but other diabetes causes can be controlled to keep you from developing the disorder.

Many diabetes causes are completely under your control such as unhealthy lifestyle choices you may be making:

  • Excessive drinking is one of the diabetes causes. It drives diabetes causes such as chronic inflammation of your pancreas which in turn makes it less able to produce insulin. Lack of insulin leads to diabetes.
  • Obesity is another of the diabetes causes. It drives diabetes causes such as insulin resistance. When you have more fat cells than muscle cells, insulin isn’t absorbed properly and too much glucose builds up in your bloodstream which can make you sick.
  • Smoking is another of the diabetes causes that is a lifestyle choice. Smoking impairs your body’s ability to process insulin properly. The heavier of a smoker you are, the more serious of the diabetes causes this is.

There are other diabetes causes that you can unfortunately do little about such as your age, gender or ethnicity.

  • Age as diabetes causes is different between type I and type II. For type II diabetes causes, the older you are, the more likely you are to develop the illness. For type I diabetes causes, the younger you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed.
  • Gender as one of the diabetes causes differs by type I and type II as well. Males are more likely to have type I and females more likely to have type II.
  • Ethnicity is one of the final diabetes causes to consider. For type I, Caucasians are more susceptible, for type II ethnic diabetes causes are more prevalent in Hawaiians, Latinos and African Americans.

Diabetes prevention

Diabetes prevention

Diabetes prevention

Diabetes prevention efforts are focused on people at risk for Type II diabetes because there is no method of diabetes prevention for Type I diabetes. If you are in a high-risk ethnic group, are overweight or have a family history of diabetes, prevention is key to staving off the disease and prolonging your life.

There are five key strategies to consider in diabetes prevention strategies.

Fiber as a tool for diabetes prevention

Fiber is a powerful tool in the diabetes prevention fight – it fills you up so you eat less, lowers your heart-disease risk (which often goes hand in hand with diabetes) and improves blood glucose management because it digest slowly over time.

Get moving for diabetes prevention

Regular physical exercise is one of the best diabetes prevention strategies out there – you don’t have to do anything drastic like marathon training or expensive like joining a pricey gym – walking 30 minutes per day is more than enough. Exercise naturally lowers your blood sugar while you are in motion, helps you lose weight (another risk factor for diabetes) and increasing insulin sensitivity are all benefits that help with diabetes prevention

Diabetes prevention in weight loss

One study showed that every 2.5 pound weight loss can shave up to 16% off your risk for diabetes – losing weight is one of the most effective tool for diabetes prevention – overweight people who were able to take off 5-10% of their initial body weight combined with exercise reduced their diabetes risk by 60%

Whole grains promote diabetes prevention

Researchers aren’t sure why, but whole grains help keep blood glucose levels consistent and seem to reduce the risk for diabetes – if you want to tap into this diabetes prevention method, switch to whole grain options for breads, pasta and rice

Talk to your doctor about diabetes prevention

Even if your weight is within a healthy range, if you are over age 40, you may want to ask your doctor to proactively screen you for diabetes, especially if you have any other risk factors – even under the age of 40, if you have risk factors such as excess weight, you will want to talk to your physician about diabetes prevention

While there is no cure for diabetes, for a great number of Americans, diabetes prevention can be 100% effective. Millions of cases of diabetes are not caused by naturally occurring issues like Type I diabetes – most people put themselves at risk for Type II diabetes by choosing to be sedentary, overeating, making poor food and lifestyle choices, putting diabetes prevention in your hands.

Diabetes prevention also includes making better choices such as alcohol consumption in moderation and not smoking. Take diabetes prevention into your own hands for a healthier tomorrow.

Diabetes quote

Diabetes quote

Diabetes quote

The CDC says that someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 17 seconds and that over the next four decades 33% of Americans will develop diabetes. Quote on mortality rates indicate that diabetes now outpace AIDS and breast cancer combined. Because the illness is becoming more and more prevalent and more deadly, getting a life insurance diabetes quote is more important than ever.

When it comes to getting a diabetes quote for life insurance, there will be a number of factors that determine what rate you will be quoted including:

  • The age you are when you were diagnosed is a factor in your diabetes quote – the older you are when you were initially diagnosed, the more affordable your life insurance for diabetes quote will be. If you were diagnosed with diabetes long ago, you are considered more likely to develop organ damage from long-term diabetes suffering which can be fatal, making you a worse candidate for an affordable life insurance diabetes quote.
  • The type of diabetes you have is another factor – Type II diabetics will have lower life insurance for diabetes quote rates than Type I diabetics. A diabetes quote will always be higher for Type I diabetics and may not be offered a quote at all – even if they are controlling the disease, because it is much more likely to be fatal.
  • How well you manage your disease will be another factor in how much your life insurance diabetes quote will be – if you can demonstrate consistently low blood glucose levels indicated by HbA1C level of less than 7 or 8, fructosamine levels less than 1.9 and fasting blood sugar levels of 140 mg/dl or less will result in a lower diabetes quote for life insurance.

If your A1C levels are in the double digits, many carriers may either postpone granting you a quote or reject your application altogether because it indicates that you are not properly controlling your condition. If your A1C is consistently low, you may even get a diabetes quote that is on par with the rates offered to someone without the illness.

  • Another factor in getting the lowest rates on your diabetes quote is allowing the insurance company carte blanche to your medical records – if you are willing to let them access your medical history, the insurance company will be able to construct a more accurate picture of your overall health and make an informed decision that could lower your diabetes quote.

If your diabetes has ever raged out of control, you will need to get it under control and keep the disease under control for 6-12 months to see an effect in a diabetes quote for life insurance. If you have a premium set at a higher level due to poor management of your illness, your insurance carrier will not typically lower your premium rate for any reason. However, you can apply for a new policy with a fresh diabetes quote based on your health improvement with another company and simply cancel the coverage that has the higher rates.

Even with a more expensive diabetes quote, having life insurance is still preferable to not having life insurance coverage when you have an illness this serious that can take you from your family suddenly.

Diabetes for life

Diabetes for life

Diabetes for life

Diabetes Management

Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Have you been diagnosed with or do you have symptoms of diabetes? Do you have family members with the illness? If you are at risk for diabetes or have been recently diagnosed, you may be upset or angry that you have the illness. You may think that a diagnosis of diabetes means you have diabetes for life – but in many cases, this is just not true. If your diabetes is Type II, you can recover from diabetes. For life to go back to normal , though you will need to make some serious changes.

The first aspect to look at is your weight.

Ask yourself honestly, am I overweight? If you’ve been avoiding it, get on a scale. You can develop diabetes for life without being overweight, but if you are overweight, you are contributing to the risk of developing the illness. Next, ask yourself, how much should I weigh? No one needs to be rail thin, but there are recommendations for a healthy body weight based on your height, age and bone structure. It’s not easy to lose weight, but is much easier that having diabetes for life.

There are two factors to getting your weight under control so you don’t have diabetes for life.

What and how much you eat and how active you are.


The foods you eat, even if they haven’t made you overweight, can make your body more insulin resistant which can lead to Type II diabetes. Two if the main culprits in your diet for developing diabetes for life are refined carbohydrates and trans-fats. Refined carbohydrates are basically pure white sugar and simple carbs (like eating Twinkies and chasing them with a Coke). Trans-fats are oils that are listed on food labels as either ‘poly’ or ‘mono’ unsaturated fats. You may assume that having diabetes for life means no sugar and no carbs. That’s not true, but it’s the type of sugars and carbs that you eat that can make you more insulin resistant and at the same time fatter and fatter. Programs like Weight Watchers and dietary information from your doctor can help you make better choices to get this risk factor for diabetes for life under control.

Activity level

Type I Diabetes and Exercise

Best total body exercise for type 2 diabetes

Your activity level is another critical factor in getting control of your health so you don’t have diabetes for life. If you are overweight, you may think there’s no way you can exercise, but there is. You can walk – even if you are on a walker – you can walk. After consulting your physician, you can start with a low impact program. If you are completely sedentary, walking even to the end of the driveway and back is a start. You can do this every day until you can do it easily – then do it twice a day. Next, walk to the end of your block and back. Every day, you will be pleased to find that you can go a little further. Getting in better shape to avoid diabetes for life can mean as little as daily walks for as little as one-half hour.

If you can learn to replace insulin resistance promoting foods in your diet and get moving, you can decrease your risk of diabetes for life by nearly 60%. Losing as little as 10 pounds or getting in motion for just 15 minutes a day can drastically cut your risk for Type II diabetes for life.

Diabetes managment

Taking control of your illness can help you work through some of the anger, anxiety or guilt you may be having about being at risk for or diagnosed with diabetes for life. But a diagnosis of Type II diabetes is not a death sentence and it doesn’t even mean that you will have diabetes for life. By making some simple lifestyle changes, you can turn diabetes for life into a better life without diabetes.

Diabetic life insurance

Diabetic life insurance

Did you know that there are things that people with diabetes can do to help get the best diabetic life insurance rate? Watch this whiteboard video to learn how to get your best diabetes life insurance rate.

There are a multitude of answers to considering why life insurance if you have diabetes. Life insurance give you peace of mind – life insurance allows you to take care of your family after your death – life insurance can represent a cash asset you can draw on in times of need. These are all reasons you should consider when you think ‘why life insurance’ and are at risk for or have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Read more about Diabetic life insurance in this page.

NOTICE: The material on this site for informational use only and should not be taken as medical advice. This email does not constitute any doctor-patient relationship, or any other type of relationship. The material has been thoroughly researched and believed to be the most up to date information at time of publishing. This material is offered as information only and the reader has the responsibility to verify any medical decisions or actions with his or her health care team.

Copyright © 2016. Diabetes is not a disease - it's a lifestyle!!

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