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A Complete Diabetes Weight Loss Guide

Diabetes weight loss can definitely make it easier for you to deal with your diabetes, and in some cases, it can help reverse the process. Overweight people generally experience more complications than those at a healthy weight, so losing weight can eliminate other health problems. If you can lose just a few pounds, you will begin feeling much better and your diabetes will have less of an impact on your life.

Your Current Life

You should begin this process by looking at your current lifestyle and determining where you can make changes. Begin by looking at your current weight and see how much you need to lose to reach a healthy rate. You can also look at environmental factors that could lead to weight gain, such as how often you eat in front of the television.

If you can give an honest opinion of the things that could cause you to gain weight, you can take the first steps towards eliminating them. By eating out less and maintaining awareness of the number of calories that you put into your body, you can lose weight relatively quickly.

Starting the Process

When starting diabetes weight loss, begin by talking to your family and friends and asking them to support you. You must burn more calories than you consume, so the fewer calories you put into your body, the less you will have to burn. You do not want to lose weight too rapidly, however, as this can lead to its own health complications.

Try to lose about half a pound per week until you reach a comfortable weight. To do so, cut between 250 and 1000 calories from your diet daily by making healthier choices when grocery shopping. If you live with others, let them know that you would appreciate having healthier food options around the house.

Watch the video and learn how to Lose weight  if you’re diabetic

Choosing Foods

Diabetes Weight Loss FoodsYour diabetes weight loss depends greatly on what you put into your body. You can start by consuming more vegetables and fruits on a daily basis, since they have fewer calories. Make sure that these options do not have added salt or sugar, since your body does not need these additives.

Try to purchase whole grains whenever possible, since they have health benefits not found in refined grains. Stay away from cereals with high sugar content and opt for oatmeal or whole grain bread products for breakfast.

Include lean cuts of beef and other meats in your diet, rather than fatty cuts. Remove the skin from poultry and try to eat fish two or three times per week. Always select low-fat dairy products, like cheese and milk.

Lower your portion sizes and avoid unhealthy snacks, since these can ruin your diet very quickly. If you have trouble keeping your portion sizes down, purchase smaller plates, as this will encourage you to eat less.

Exercise

Keeping active will help you lose weight and also lowers your blood sugar levels when they get too high. Since you need to burn all of the calories that you consume throughout the day, exercise is important because it burns those calories. Make sure that you come up with a specific exercise plan and stick with it throughout the week to maximize your diabetes weight loss.

Sticking With Your Plan

When you come up with a weight loss plan, take all of the necessary steps to stick with it. Write your weight loss goals down on a sheet of paper or in your journal and weigh yourself weekly. Tracking your goals is essential to your weight loss success.

Remember that although the first steps of diabetes weight loss might seem difficult, it does get easier once you get started. After you lose this weight, you will have a much easier time of controlling your diabetes.

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Return to Treatment of Diabetes

Recognize The Ways For Treatment Of Diabetes

Like most modern illnesses, no guarantees come with treatment of diabetes, and a diabetes vaccine is not coming in the near future. While this does paint a bit of a bleak picture, you need to remember that diabetes is a non-fatal illness that you can often manage effectively by changes to your lifestyle; it can often be managed by medication, as well. The treatment that you need will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and your current manner of living.

Diabetic Medical Treatments

Treatment of DiabetesLearning how to control diabetes is a life-long process that starts as soon as you get your diabetes diagnosis. The medical treatment of diabetes will also vary depending on what type of diabetes you have.

People with Type I diabetes are unable to produce any insulin at all, so the main treatment is an insulin injector that must be carried with you at all times. You will also need a blood sugar monitor, although you will learn to recognize the signs of hypoglycemia fairly quickly.

Type II diabetesdescribes patients who have problems producing enough insulin in the pancreas or who have difficulty processing insulin. Numerous oral treatments available for this type of diabetes come from years of Type 2 diabetes research. The treatment of diabetes work in one of three ways:

  • Lowering your blood sugar level through pancreas stimulation. This artificially increases the amount of insulin in your system. The pills can take some time to digest so you will need to take them regularly.
  • Helping the body to move sugar around more efficiently, especially into your muscles. These drugs do cause increases in acid, so they will not be prescribed if you have kidney problems.
  • Lowering the amount of sugar released by the liver. These drugs will also make fat cells more susceptible to being broken down by insulin, which will help you with diabetes weight loss. The these drugs can take a few weeks before taking effect, so you will need to be patient to allow time to see if they actually work for you.

Watch the video below:

Each has its side effects, as with all drugs, and you will need to consult with your doctor in order to find the most effective treatment. One treatment to avoid is the diabetes drug Mediator, which has been linked to deaths and long-term damage in numerous countries.

Herbal Treatments for Diabetes

Herbal Treatments for DiabetesRumors always circulate that different herbs can do the same job as modern medicine for a fraction of the price, and the same is true for diabetes. Some homeopaths hail the Indian plant Salacia oblonga as a new treatment for diabetes, and early research indicates that it could be helpful in controlling the increase in blood sugar levels that happen naturally after eating. As with all herbal remedies, it may or may not work for different people, but always consult a health care professional before using any herbal remedy or discontinuing prescribed medication.

Self Regulation

Reversing diabetes is not possible solely through medication, as the drugs function by helping your body cope with the symptoms rather than fixing them. Only through self control and regulation can you hope to kick-start your metabolism and help your body to process insulin properly. This means taking a careful look at your diet, avoiding giving yourself sugar rushes and making changes to your lifestyle.

You will also need to increase the amount of exercise you do to increase your metabolic rate, which in turn increases insulin production. Finally, the best treatment of diabetes is to give up any poisons, such as nicotine or alcohol, and live a stress-free life, even if this means getting a new job.

 

More about Treatment for Diabetes

Identify The Juvenile Diabetes Symptoms

Known as type 1 diabetes symptoms, juvenile diabetes symptoms most frequently occur in children and adolescents, but can afflict individuals at any age. Initial signs that someone may be suffering from type 1 diabetes include:

Juvenile Diabetes Symptoms

  • Extreme and sometimes unquenchable thirst
  • Urinating more than usual
  • Increased appetite
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Inexplicable weight loss
  • Wounds that do not heal normally
  • Itchy, dry, scaly skin
  • Headache and nausea
  • Tingling in extremities, especially the feet
  • Vision difficulties
  • Amenorrhea in teenage girls

When children develop type 1 diabetes, they may exhibit other symptoms that teenagers and young adults may not, such as crankiness, whining and throwing tantrums. Parents should also be aware that the first symptom of type 1 diabetes might be sudden incidences of bedwetting when previously the child had not experienced any problems with getting up to urinate in the middle of the night. In addition, prepubescent girls who develop vaginal yeast infections need testing for diabetes, as excess blood glucose produces a fertile breeding ground for the Candida bacteria.

Juvenile diabetes symptoms are the result of interplay among genetics, diet and level of physical activity. Some children carrying the genes for type 1 diabetes may never develop the disease because these “triggers” that are partly responsible for instigating the diabetes are not present in their lives. Research into the heritability of juvenile diabetes indicates that the risk of someone eventually suffering from type 1 diabetes is around four percent if his or her mother has the genes. However, it is six percent higher if the father carries diabetes genes.

Possible Viral Cause

Possible Viral CauseIn addition to genetics and environment, scientists have suggested that a virus, possibly Epstein-Barr, mumps or the Coxsackie virus, may induce a severe autoimmune response resulting in infection and damage to pancreatic beta cells responsible for insulin production. When this medical condition occurs, the body cannot access sufficient amounts of insulin to facilitate use of glucose by cells for energy. The resulting imbalance causes juvenile diabetes symptoms as well as potential complications if not treated in a timely manner. Long-term health problems directly related to untreated type 1 diabetes include:

  • Blood vessel and heart disease such as heart attack, atherosclerosis, stroke and hypertension
  • Neuropathic disorders as excess glucose will deteriorate capillary walls, eventually making it impossible for blood to flow into hands and feet. Unless sugar levels are controlled, numbness and tingling may permanently affect extremities.
  • Kidney disease
  • Retinopathy
  • Osteoporosis

Other theories for the development of juvenile diabetes concerns insufficient levels of vitamin D and nitrate-rich drinking water, both of which may heighten the chance of triggering diabetic genes. Some research further suggests that women who gave birth before the age of 25 or suffered preeclampsia during the pregnancy may produce children more vulnerable to experiencing juvenile diabetes symptoms.

Testing for Type 1 Diabetes

Doctors suspecting someone of having type 1 diabetes will administer several tests to determine if the disease exists. The most common type of test is the fasting glucose blood test, which measures blood glucose after the individuals has not eaten anything for at least eight hours.

If additional testing is suggested, the A1c, or hemoglobin A1c test is given which reveals the average glucose level over a period of two to three months. According to the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital website, normal glucose levels for children from six to 12 are between 90 and 180 mg/dl. Adolescents who are 12 to 17 years old need to have levels between 90 and 130 mg/dl. Children who are six years or younger have normal glucose levels when presenting numbers between 100 to 180 mg/dl.

Fortunately, treatment with insulin injections or tablets effectively reverses the high glucose levels in those with type 1 diabetes and adequately prevents these diseases from affecting those with juvenile diabetes symptoms. Children as well as adults who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can live long and healthy lives as long as blood sugar is maintained at normal levels.

 

 

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Return to Diabetes Symptoms

Insulin Resistance Symptoms

Experiencing insulin resistance symptoms indicates that an individual is suffering from inability to absorb insulin in his or her cells. When cells cannot acquire enough insulin for optimal functioning, a series of chemical reactions occur that affect metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.

Additionally, insulin influences muscles cells by facilitating their ability to use blood glucose that also helps regulate glucose levels. With the development of insulin resistance, other cells absorb insulin inadequately, resulting in a condition known as metabolic syndrome with symptoms resembling diabetes.

Causes of Insulin Resistance

While geneticists and endocrinologists think insulin resistance contains a definite genetic component, other reasons for the appearance of this condition exist as well. These include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe illness and infection
  • Chronic stress
  • Long-term medicinal steroid use
  • Metabolic syndrome

When these conditions are treated or removed, insulin resistance generally disappears, unless irreparable damage has occurred that provokes the appearance full-blown diabetes.

Insulin Resistance Symptoms

Because insulin assists cells in appropriating blood glucose for energy, people suffering from insulin resistance do not receive sufficient amounts of energy. Constant fatigue is therefore the most frequently reported symptom. Additional symptoms consist of:

  • Mental fatigue with memory problems, trouble concentrating
  • Feeling jittery, moody or agitated for no reason
  • Sleepiness following a meal of high-carbohydrate foods
  • Weight gain not caused by diet
  • Menstrual problems
  • Elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Appearance of heart or kidney disease
  • Acanthosis nigricans or hyperpigmentation of skin, which usually occurs on the inside of elbows and knees in people with insulin resistance. This darker skin may exhibit a soft, velvet-like texture as well
  • Skin tags, which are growths found all over the body that are non-cancerous, wrinkled or smooth and usually skin-colored
  • Hirsutism or excessive growth of body hair, occurs especially on the face and back. Researchers suspect that when insulin levels are high enough, stimulation of the ovarian theca cells increases production of androgens which results in disproportionate hair growth

When patients present their physicians with this constellation of symptoms, the physician may suspect insulin resistance if the patient:

  • Is overweight
  • Has a sibling or parent suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease or type 2 diabetes
  • Is “apple-shaped” as most body fat is centered around the waist
  • Is older than 40
  • Experienced gestational diabetes
  • Is pre-diabetic
  • Previously diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Is African-American, Native American or Latino
  • Was obese as a child

Insulin resistance symptoms worsen if not treated with diet, medication and exercise. Complications include development of type 2 diabetes as well as permanent damage to kidneys, the heart and pancreas. Treatment involves taking Glucophage or Actos, prescriptions that effectively increase sensitivity to insulin activity.

Additional medications include anti-hypertensives and medications to lower cholesterol. Doctors also highly suggest getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, such as walking or bicycling. Eating healthier foods corresponding to an insulin resistance diet is recommended as well.

Indication of Various Disorders

Indication of Various DisordersSigns of hyperinsulinemia, or insulin resistance symptoms, may also indicate the presence of certain disorders such as Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. A relatively rare disorder affecting the endocrine system, Addison’s disease occurs when adrenal glands are incapable of generating sufficient amounts of steroid hormones.

Symptoms of Addison’s mirror those of insulin resistance such as fatigue, mood changes and acanthosis nigricans. Neglecting to detect Addison’s may result in eventual coma and death. Cushing’s syndrome and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis also present symptoms resembling insulin resistance that include rapid weight gain, jitteriness and hypertension.

Prevention of insulin resistance symptoms involves adopting a preemptive attitude towards maintaining good health by eating balanced meals, exercising, not smoking and keeping weight in proportion to height. Engaging in these activities also reduces the risk of developing diabetes or high blood pressure during the aging process as well.

 

Return to Diabetes Symptoms

Identify The Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes symptoms are not readily apparent in pregnant women, who generally have wellness check-ups every two to four weeks. Gestational diabetes, also known as type 3 diabetes, usually does not appear until a woman are further along in her pregnancy.

Multiple risk factors may cause medical professionals to be cautious but in most cases, women who have gestational diabetes experience no symptoms. A small number of women with gestational diabetes may experience:

  • Elevated thirst levels
  • Upset stomach and nausea
  • Poor eyesight
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Unexplainable infections

The main reason that most pregnant women do not recognize gestational diabetes symptoms is because they are very similar to general pregnancy conditions. Morning sickness, weight gain, weight loss and an increase in hunger and thirst all regularly occur during the course of pregnancies.

Type 3 Diabetes Treatments

Gestational diabetes is the only form of diabetes that can be cured permanently. As soon as a pregnant woman with type 3 diabetes delivers her baby, she will either be diabetic, borderline diabetic or have no signs of diabetes at all. However, gestational diabetes does require some pregnant women to take medications.

Insulin injections and oral insulin medication can treat type 3 diabetes. The most common treatment method for gestational diabetes consists of modified diets. Although pregnant women are required to increase their caloric intake slightly, those diagnosed with type 3 diabetes may need to be selective about the amount of carbohydrates and the types of foods that they consume.

Pregnant women that have gestational diabetes or are at a high risk of developing it will be encouraged to become more active. Taking daily walks, swimming or participating in other low-impact activities can help them to alleviate their gestational diabetes symptoms.

Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors

Any woman that becomes pregnant is at risk for developing type 3 diabetes, but many of the known risk factors are more prominent in some cases than others. Not only are older women more at risk for becoming type 3 diabetics, but any woman that is 25 years of age or over is also more prone to developing the disease. Being overweight either before or during pregnancy can heighten your chance of having gestational diabetes.

If you have a history of miscarriage, stillbirth or other related reproductive issues, your doctor may have you screened for gestational diabetes as a precaution. No one knows why these factors make a woman more prone to becoming type 3 diabetic, but being aware of them is the best form of prevention.

Type 3 Diabetes Prevention

Similar to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, health care professionals debate whether or not gestational diabetes is preventable. Noticing any possible gestational diabetes symptoms and taking action quickly can be helpful, but it is often too late at this point. Doctors do not entirely believe that type 3 diabetes is related to genetics, as all pregnant women are at some risk.

Overall, leading the healthiest lifestyle possible is the best way to avoid this illness. If you have ever been pregnant in the past and warned that you may be a type 3 diabetic, you should take steps to eliminate the most prominent risk factors before attempting to become pregnant again.

The Effects of Gestational Diabetes

The Effects of Gestational DiabetesBeing a type 3 diabetic is only temporary, although it can impact your entire pregnancy. Women that have gestational diabetes usually give birth to babies that are larger than average. This can be problematic for women that have small pelvises, and might even require cesarean sections.

The biggest problem with gestational diabetes is that women who have had type 3 diabetes are more prone to developing type 2 diabetes in their later years. This is why you should immediately report all gestational diabetes symptoms to your physician. The successful management of this disease will ensure that both you and your baby are healthy after delivery.

  • Avoid walking outside barefoot
  • Make sure you are eating a diabetic diet.
  • Manage blood glucose levels properly
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly, preferably each day
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly.
  • Drink plenty of water.

The risk of gangrene is high if you don’t initiate foot ulcer treatment in a timely manner. Symptoms of gangrene include severe pain, oozing of foul-smelling pus, the ulcer turning black in color and the affected individual feeling feverish and ill. Unless attended by physicians, a diabetic with a gangrenous foot ulcer may require amputation of that foot as well as the lower leg if the gangrene is allowed to spread.

 

 

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Return to Diabetes Symptoms

Identify The Common Diabetes Symptoms

It is not surprising how easy it is to misread common diabetes symptoms, as the body has only so many mechanisms to tell you that something isn’t right. This, combined with a lack of general education about the signs of diabetes, can mean that pre-diabetes warning signs can be passed off as symptoms of a passing cold or flu. If you ignore the early signs and you miss preventive care, you can become an insulin-dependent diabetic.

Common Symptoms

Diabetes SymptomsDiabetes affects your body’s ability to produce and process insulin, which is responsible for carrying sugar in your bloodstream into muscle cells where it is converted to energy. Without sufficient levels of insulin, the sugar remains in the blood stream, which is why most symptoms start with high blood sugar levels. Other symptoms of diabetes mellitus that affect all three major types are:

  • Extreme tiredness – This is one of the biggest early indicators that your cells aren’t getting enough sugar, but can often be blamed on doing lots of exercise, an increased work pattern or running a family home. You should see your health care professional if you feel exhausted on days when you have not done anything active.
  • Weight loss – Again, many people will notice themselves getting thinner and attribute it to an improved diet or the new exercise regime they started. Weight loss, and in particular dramatic weight loss, is one of the biggest diabetes symptoms as it represents your body breaking down fat cells to replace the energy that should come from your blood sugars.

Diabetes and Symptoms – Type I

Most often children but occasionally adults are diagnosed with Type I diabetes, also known as juvenile onset diabetes, when the pancreas stops producing insulin entirely. The fact that young children are afflicted makes it difficult to diagnose, as they do not have a full understanding of what their bodies should and should not feel like. However, symptons of diabetes – juvenile onset include:

  • Extreme or constant thirst – High blood sugar levels cause water to be removed from your muscles through osmosis, for which your body tries to overcompensate by stimulating the feeling of thirst. A normal person will drink from one and a half to three liters of water per day. Anything more than that is one of the diabetes symptoms, and you should see a doctor immediately.
  • Extreme hunger – Your body interprets the feeling of fatigue as a sign that you are not eating enough calories to put enough sugar into your blood stream. The big warning sign is if you still feel hungry after you eat, as this shows that you are not processing the calories efficiently.

Specific Type II Symptoms

Specific Type II SymptomsHyperglycemia symptoms – Type II stem from high blood sugar levels. Anyone at any stage in his or her life can contract Type II diabetes, and in many cases, sufferers will have no noticeable symptoms. However, if you have any of the previously mentioned symptoms and any of the following, you should make an appointment with a health care professional immediately:

  • Blurred vision – The removal of water from the body affects all sorts of tissues. Your irises in particular are affected and the lack of water in your eye can affect your ability to focus on objects.
  • Pain in your hands and feet – The reason why your hands and feet get cold first is that they are the hardest places for your body to circulate blood effectively. They start to hurt, if you have Type II diabetes, as they will be getting no sugar at all to convert into energy.

Gestational diabetes symptoms are often a new occurrence for pregnant moms. Watch the video below:

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms

Gestational diabetes is a form of Type II diabetes that affects only a small minority of pregnant women. The specific diabetes symptoms are hard to identify, as the early onset symptoms of pregnancy can often mask those of diabetes. It will always be worth being tested, as while gestational diabetes will often go away once the baby is born, it can leave you more susceptible to Type II in the future.

More About Diabetes Symptoms:

Thyroid Disease and Diabetes

Thyroid disease is common, and the numbers of people affected increases with age. Hyperthyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder among adults and is the most common in elderly women. Thyroid failure due to surgery or radioactive iodine therapy (cancer treatment) is also very common.

Diabetic patients have a much higher prevalence of thyroid disorders compared to the general population. Thyroid disorders are common among females and it is estimated that up to 30 percent of female diabetics have a thyroid disorder. The rate of thyroiditis among diabetic females after pregnancy is 3 times higher than in normal women.

Your Thyroid

Thyroid Disease and DiabetesDiabetes and thyroid disease are both endocrine, or hormone problems. When a person is a diabetic and has thyroid disease it is much harder for them to control blood glucose levels.

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck, not far beneath the skin. The thyroid regulates your body’s metabolism, the process of using and storing energy, by releasing a substance called thyroid hormone. If it produces too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), your metabolism quickens, and if too little hormone (hypothyroidism) is produced your body’s metabolism slows down. You may have heard overweight women complain that weight loss is not possible because of their thyroid not working properly to maintain a healthy metabolism.

Symptoms

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism so you can get treated in a timely manner. Don’t try to self-diagnose or self-medicate because many of these symptoms are similar to many other diseases. Once you begin having any symptoms go to your doctor so he/she can determine what it is that is causing your symptoms.

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms

  • Pounding heart
  • Quick pulse
  • Increased sweating
  • Weight loss despite normal or increased appetite
  • Shortness of breath when exercising
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness or tremors
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Change in menstrual periods
  • Thick skin on the knees, elbows, and shins

Untreated Hyperthyroidism

Untreated HyperthyroidismIf left untreated for a prolonged period of time hyperthyroidism can cause excessive bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis (bone thinning). Osteoporosis raises your risk of bone fractures from routine falls that normally would not be harmful.

People with diabetes who also have neuropathy are at a greater risk for falling due to poor foot sensation. Sometimes patients will experience a loss of the stimuli that tells the brain where a body part is in space, in relation to other objects.

Combine hyperthyroidism and diabetes when neuropathy is present and you have an increased risk of fractures that could result in disability; especially in the elderly.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Sluggishness
  • Depression
  • Feeling of being cold even when others feel warm
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain unrelated to increase in eating
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow pulse

Diabetes and Thyroid Disorder during Pregnancy

Pregnancy-related thyroid dysfunction is 3 times more common in women with diabetes. Postpartum thyroiditis can cause a fluctuation in thyroid hormone levels following delivery. Symptoms can include fatigue, depression, irritability, and heart palpitations. Blood sugar control and insulin requirements may be affected during a period of thyroid dysfunction.

If hyperthyroidism is not controlled properly during pregnancy the risk of complications like preeclampsia and fetal problems like prematurity, increases. It’s vitally important to maintain normal thyroid function and rigid control on blood glucose during pregnancy.

Effects on Diabetes

When your metabolism quickens, (hyperthyroidism), medicines go through your body much quicker. Your blood glucose (sugar) rises because your normal dosage does not stay in your body long enough to control it.

Hyperthyroidism and low blood sugar may be hard to tell apart. If you are sweating and shaking from hyperthyroidism you may think your blood sugar is too low, making you want to eat more food which can cause your blood glucose levels to rise to dangerous levels.

When your metabolism slows down (hypothyroidism), your blood glucose (sugar) can drop because your diabetes medicine doesn’t pass through your body as quickly and stays active longer. Sometimes those with hypothyroidism have to lower their insulin dosage to prevent low blood sugar.

Treatment of Thyroid Disease

Most all thyroid diseases are treatable. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may require long-term or lifelong treatment. Treatment will depend on the specific diagnosis.

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism

Treatment of Hypothyroidism

The treatment for hypothyroidism is to replace the missing thyroid hormone. Levothyroxine, a synthetic medicine, is the most common form of hormone treatment and can be taken in pill form once a day. This is an easy and very effective form of treatment. Initially patients will need to be tested every 2-3 months until a stable dosage is achieved.

 

Return to Diabetes Complications

Identify The Symptoms of Vision Problems Due To Diabetes

It is true that some people with diabetes experience some form of vision problems, but that does not mean that you are going to lose your sight. According to medical experts, the majority of people with diabetes have minor, if any, problems with their eyes. Do not worry yourself sick over it, and make sure that you have an annual dilated eye exam. Be proactive, and chances are that you will be fine. The earlier you notice you are having eye problems, the better chance you have of preserving your vision.

Sometimes increased blood sugar levels can cause blurred vision by swelling the lens of your eye. It is easily corrected by getting your blood sugar level down to 90 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before eating and below180 milligrams per deciliter one to two hours after a meal. Once your blood sugar is regulated, it may take up to three months for normal vision to return.

While blurred vision is often related to elevated blood sugar levels, it could be caused by more serious vision problems, and an ophthalmologist should examine you to determine the cause.

Cataracts and Diabetes

Cataracts cause the eyes to become clouded over, blocking the light and impairing vision, and are one of the most common vision problems associated with diabetes. Anyone can develop cataracts, although diabetics tend to develop them younger than non-diabetics and the disease progresses more quickly among diabetics.

Surgery, including a lens transplant, is the usual prescribed treatment. A good preventive measure is to wear sunglasses, preferably with glare-control lenses, whenever you are outdoors.

The Causes and Treatment of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition where fluid resulting from pressure in your eye is not draining properly, causing damage to the retina and nerves. The most common form of glaucoma frequently shows no symptoms until it has become well advanced and serious vision loss occurs. In its less common form, glaucoma may cause headaches, a throbbing pain in the eyes, visible halos around lights, or excessive watering of the eyes.

Diabetics have an increased risk of developing glaucoma, which is treated with special eye drops or laser surgery. An annual vision screening is one of the best ways that you can prevent serious vision problems from glaucoma.

Your Blood Sugar Level and Retinopathy

Blood Sugar Level and RetinopathyIf you have had diabetes for a long while, or had problems keeping your blood glucose or blood pressure under control, you may be at risk for retinopathy. This damages the blood vessels at the rear of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the main complications that can lead to irreversible blindness. The good new is that it is avoidable with early diagnosis and treatment.

Retinopathy is a long-term condition that usually takes at least 5 years to develop among type 1 diabetes patients. Well-controlled blood sugar levels can decrease your risk of retinopathy up to 75 percent, according to medical researchers.

Type 2 diabetes patients most likely already have eye problems by the time of diagnosis. Maintaining blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol at acceptable levels can slow the progress of retinopathy in these patients.

Prevention of Diabetes-Related Eye Problems

Similar to the diligence of monitoring blood sugar levels, diabetics should carefully monitor their eye health. Recommendations for optimum eye health include:

  • Type 1 diabetes patients should have a dilated eye examination within three to five years of diagnosis.
  • For type 2 diabetes, a dilated eye examination should be done soon after diagnosis.
  • Although eye exams are often recommend every two years, diabetics should have yearly examinations
  • Pregnant women, or women who may become pregnant, should have an eye examination before and during pregnancy.
  • See your doctor if you experience blurred vision, black spots, flashes of light, or “holes” in your vision.

 

 

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Return to Diabetes Complications

Examine The Effects Of Diabetes Neuropathy

Diabetes neuropathy is a complication of diabetes affecting the nerves that are an important part of the body and carry messages from one part to the other, forming the nervous system. When you have diabetes, because of fluctuating blood sugar levels, the nerves can get affected and damaged, giving rise to many neuropathies.

What Is Diabetes Neuropathy?

Diabetes NeuropathyDifferent kinds of neuropathies affect different parts of the body in varying degrees. Among them are:

Peripheral – numbness, pain or tingling in feet and legs, which can later spread to hands and arms. This can be accompanied by cramps, loss of coordination and insensitivity to pain.

Autonomic – affects the visceral nerve and this impacts heart rate and digestion. Nausea, vomiting and other digestive disorders or blurring of vision can point to autonomic neuropathy. It can also cause vaginal dryness in women or erectile dysfunction in men.

Proximal also called diabetic amyotrophy – affects the lower back and goes down to the legs. It can start as a pain in the buttocks or upper thighs and make it difficult to get up from a sitting position. If not treated, it can result in atrophy of the thigh muscles and difficulty in walking. If the abdomen is affected, it can cause bloating orweight loss.

Focal – affects the head, torso or leg, affecting vision, facial paralysis, chest pain, abdominal pain or thigh pain, but usually only affects one part of the body.

How Does Diabetes Neuropathy Happen?

Some people may never develop this complication while others suffer from it. Among the factors that increase the likelihood of developing diabetic neuropathy are

  • Sugar swings on a regular basis due to poor control
  • The longer you have had diabetes the more your risk
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Poor lipid control
  • Smoking – smoking decreases the flow of oxygenated blood and also contributes to delayed wound healing

About 50 percent of people who have diabetes may get this complication and if you drink alcohol and your sugar level fluctuates a great deal, there is greater risk of suffering from nerve damage.

How Do You Prevent It?

developing Diabetes NeuropathyPrevention is better than cure and this is very true in neuropathies – fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause problems, so it is of utmost importance to keep the blood sugar levels under tight control and make sure that your insulin intake or oral diabetic medications and your food are in balance. Exercising and eating the right foods are necessary to prevent diabetic neuropathies.

Diabetics are also prone to infections and ulcers that don’t heal. If you get a sore or any local skin infection, you must take care of it immediately and seek your doctor’s advice instead of trying home remedies.

Make sure that you wear the right footwear, which is comfortable since foot ulcers can be problematic. For diabetics, foot care is of utmost importance: keep your feet well moisturized and cut your nails short. The nerves in the feet are the longest ones and a comprehensive medical exam of the feet is a necessity.

If any neuropathy does occur, it should be treated immediately and prevented from worsening. Other preventive measures include stopping alcohol, smoking and taking care of cholesterol levels.

What Are The Complications Associated With Diabetic Neuropathy?

Apart from the existing problems with nerve disorders, you have to be on the lookout for complications like

  • Urinary infections
  • Bladder infections
  • Kidney problems
  • Face, eyelids or mouth drooping
  • Foot injury due to loss of sensation
  • Muscle damage
  • Decrease in mass
  • Nausea and vomiting that can cause fluctuating sugar levels
  • Skin damage
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Risk of limb amputation

As neuropathies often result in loss of pain sensation, you are at increased risk of not feeling chest pains or angina and have a heart attack without any symptoms.

Diabetes neuropathy is best treated in the early stages with appropriate medication or a combination of drugs and keeping blood sugar levels stable. Anti-depressants, opoids and anti-seizure medicines are usually prescribed for pain relief.

 

 

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Connection Between Diabetes and Itching

Diabetes and itching almost always come together, in fact, 33 percent of diabetics will suffer from one skin condition or another associated with this difficult to manage disease. Diabetes is the inability of the body to control its blood sugar levels through insufficient insulin production or the body’s inability to respond to the insulin being produced and is one of the leading causes of death in the world.

Causes of Itching

The rise in blood sugar levels can cause a number of complications to arise in people diagnosed with the disease and itching is one of the early signs, if a person is at risk for diabetes. The relationship between diabetes and itching can be explained by the rise in blood sugar:

  • Poor circulation – The rise in blood sugar among diabetics causes the blood to turn viscous or thick, and this blood does not flow readily throughout the body. It is described as sluggish blood flow resulting in poor circulation, which contributes to dry, itchy skin.
  • Peripheral neuropathy – Damage to the body’s peripheral nerves causes the sweat glands receptors not to perceive signals from the brain. This keeps the diabetic from sweating that can rob the skin of its natural moisturizer, which results in dry and cracked skin from the absence of sweat.
  • Fungal infections – Glucose is a good medium for growing bacteria and other microorganisms. Candida albicans is a fungus in the body and in the increase in blood sugar causes an overgrowth of the fungus, eventually resulting in a fungal infection that causes itching.

 Should You Scratch that Itch?

Diabetes and itching goes together unless the disease is controlled. In uncontrolled diabetes, the skin will be itchy but it is not recommended for the diabetic to scratch the itch for these reasons:

  • Peripheral neuropathy – Damaged nerves in diabetics means that when a diabetic scratches an itch, he or she might not feel when the scratch becomes an abrasion, which results in wound formation.
  • Delayed healing – Poor circulation in diabetics causes a delay in the transportation of oxygen, nutrients, white blood cells, and other blood components that can aid in wound healing. Once the scratch becomes an abrasion, healing would take place for a prolonged period of time, causing a risk for infection.
  • Necrosis – Most diabetic wounds begin with just a small scratch, as an open wound is a portal of entry for bacteria to enter. With a diabetic’s poor disrupted immune system and delayed healing, this can result in wound necrosis, meaning the tissues surrounding the wound eventually dies and in the worst case, the limb or affected area would have to be amputated.

 Eliminating the Itch

Diabetes and ItchingAlthough diabetes and itching have a direct relationship with each other, some conservative treatments to preventing an itch from occurring are:

  • Avoid dryness of the skin – Limit the number of baths in a day to avoid drying the skin.
  • Use mild, moisturized soap – Using harsh soap will rob the skin of its natural moisture, making the skin dry and susceptible to itching.
  • Moisturize after bathing – Apply moisturizer after bathing to prevent the skin from drying.
  • Rub gently – When rubbing the skin to clean or dry it, rub gently and never with harsh scrubbing. This not only robs the skin of moisture, it can also cause scratches that can become a portal of entry for microorganisms to grow.
  • Blood sugar control – Itching is relative to the body’s blood sugar level so controlling blood sugar to within normal limits will help control the itch.

Diabetics can lead normal lives and not have to fear its many complications, such as the connection between diabetes and itching. When it comes to diabetes, the key factor that helps a diabetic live a long, happy life is controlling the blood sugar. Managing your diabetes and taking good care of your skin will keep dry skin and itching from being one of the symptoms with which you must deal in your management of this complex condition.

 

 

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