Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Diabetes 101: Mediterranean Diet

When a person is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes most doctors start by getting their patients set up with a diet plan. Many people turn to a classic, low-fat regimen, while others have opted for a higher-fat, Mediterranean-style diet filled with lots of olive oil, as well as vegetables, whole grains and fish and poultry.

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Researchers studied groups of people who were following both diets and they found that after four years both groups had lost similar amounts of weight.

But, only 44% of the Mediterranean dieters needed to take diabetes medication, as compared to 70% of the low-fat dieters.

One of the major benefits of the Mediterranean diet is that it is full of healthy foods and primarily because it doesn’t recommend fat-reduced foods that are chock full of refined carbohydrates.

Natural Ways of Lowering your Blood Sugar Levels

There are a couple of natural ways of lowering your blood sugar levels. This require changes in your lifestyle habits. Controlling your blood sugar levels is essential especially for diabetics. However, this should still be consulted with your doctor. Taking supplements and changing your eating habits must be consulted with a doctor to eliminate and side effects this could have in your health.

Drastically changing your sugar intake can also lead to dangerously low levels of sugar. This can lead to another medical condition and again place your health at risk. So before proceeding with your blood sugar management program, consult a doctor to keep things safe.

spring exercise

Live a more active lifestyle

Parking your car a few blocks from work and walking could do wonders for your blood sugar levels. This increases insulin which is responsible for breaking down blood sugar. This also helps in solving your weight problems and strengthen the heart.

Before participating in an exercise program, be sure that you are physically ready for the task at hand. Walking or swimming are physical activities that help you burn sugar without putting too much stress on your body. This reduces the risks for injuries.

Exercising does not only help you break down excess sugar but also helps in your weight loss efforts. People with overweight problems are more likely to suffer from high sugar levels. Overweight place people at high risk for developing diabetes.

Adding more Fiber

There are two types of dietary fiber. Both of which are beneficial in managing blood sugar levels. Soluble and insoluble fibers takes more time to digest, which keeps your stomach satiated. This in turn increases your insulin sensitivity which makes managing your blood sugar levels easier. Taking more fiber improves digestion.

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of fiber. Substituting sugary treats for fruits gives you a healthier alternative for your sweet cravings. Apples, pears, oranges, oats and celery are just some of the fiber-rich foods that can help you lower blood sugar levels. Sources for insoluble fiber on the other hand includes whole wheat, tomatoes and dark leafy vegetables such as celery. Good sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber are carrots and cucumbers.

Avoid Sugar-rich Foods

While increasing your fiber intake is recommended, avoiding sugar-rich foods is a must. Increase in blood sugar levels is mainly attributed to eating certain types of food. Things to avoid include bread, pasta, rice, pasta and other foods rich in starch. Sweet drinks such as soda is also discouraged.

Vitamin D

Studies have shown that the levels of Vitamin D has a profound effect on insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels. Research has shown that low levels of Vitamin D has a negative effect in insulin resistance and on the pancreas which is responsible for producing insulin.

Increasing your Vitamin D levels can be done by simply spending at least half an hour under the sun every day. Taking a multi-vitamin with a minimum of 400 IU of Vitamin D is also recommended.

Taking the Bite off Diabetes

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Diabetes continues to be a top concern for many health professionals across the world. It is a condition that could easily be managed with proper diabetes treatment. Diabetes is not a debilitating disease. If properly managed and treated, people with diabetes could live fuller and more productive lives. However, the success of any diabetic treatment ultimately depends on the patients understanding and commitment to treatment.

3 Things to Remember in the Treatment for Diabetes

  1. The first step in the treatment of diabetes type 1 or 2 is proper education. This could be done by regular communication and establishing a relationship with your health provider. Learn everything about diabetes and make a lifelong commitment towards eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Diabetes can be managed by eating a healthy diet. Shedding some extra pounds could go a long way in controlling your blood sugar. A typical diabetic diet should consist of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and good fat.
  3. Living an active lifestyle also helps people manage their weight better. Exercising regularly helps maintain blood sugar levels. All it takes is thirty minutes of simple exercises like walking or climbing a flight of stairs to help you keep weight under control. Moderate exercises and activities like dancing, yoga or any aerobic exercise combined with a healthy diet helps you live a fuller life, with or without diabetes.

What is the Management and Treatment for Diabetes

  • Proper Identification – People with diabetes constantly walk a fine line between having too much or too little blood sugar. This makes the possibility of a diabetic attack highly probable. Wearing a tag or bracelets that identifies you as a person with diabetes helps emergency services or people treat you more effectively. Having a glucagon kit readily available ensures quick treatment of diabetic symptoms.
  • Regular Checkups  – Diabetes poses serious medical complications if left untreated. Poor eyesight, glaucoma, cataracts and retinal damage for example are medical complications that can occur due to diabetes. Regular checkups help identify early symptoms of diabetes and help your physician provide proper care and treatment.
  • Strengthen your Immune System – Diabetes symptoms include a weakened immune system. Boost your immune system by eating a healthy diet and getting a flu shot every year. Hepatitis B vaccinations are strongly advised for diabetic patients who have no previous records of vaccination.
  •  Maintain Proper Blood pressure Levels – Elevated blood sugar levels can cause high blood pressure. Ask your doctor if medication is required to help you maintain proper blood pressure levels. Diabetes symptoms include headaches and dizziness that may be caused by elevated blood pressure. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly prevents fat buildup that could complicate your current medical situation.
  •  Feet and Teeth Care – Check your feet regularly for cuts, sores or blisters. Consult with your doctor immediately if you see any of these signs. Regularly wash your feet with lukewarm water. Dry them thoroughly and apply moisturizers. A compromised immune system makes us susceptible to infections. The mouth is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Proper mouth care helps prevent the growth of bacteria and reduces your risk for infections and disease.

Switching to Healthy Lifestyle

We all know the health risks that come with smoking and this could be aggravated by diabetes. Smokers with diabetes have a higher chance of acquiring cardiovascular disease. Switching to a healthy lifestyle and quitting the smoking habit goes a long way in helping your manage your diabetes.

Alcohol when drank in large amounts could elevate or decrease blood sugar levels. Coupled with an unhealthy diet, this could complicate your medical condition. Alcohol also contains carbohydrates. Include the carbohydrate content found in your drinks to help you manage your blood sugar levels better.

Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Stress could elevate your blood pressure and affect blood sugar levels. Finding yourself with diabetes can be very stressful. The body reacts to stress in many different ways. This includes elevated blood pressures and the release of hormones. This could affect how the body reacts to insulin.

It’s All in the Feet

As odd as it may seem, your feet may be the window to your overall body health. Here are some things to look for regarding your feet that will give you clues that there may be other important body issues to look into.

No hair on your feet or toes

If your feet or toes are lacking hair, it can be a sign of having poor circulation because of vascular disease.  If you notice that your feet and toes do not have any hair on them, you will want to consult your doctor to find out ways to improve your circulation thereby reducing your risk of acquiring vascular disease.

A wound that won’t heal on your foot

Wounds on your feet that just won’t heal could be an indication of diabetes.  Over time, elevated blood glucose levels can lead to serious nerve damage in your feet and because of this damage you may not feel when you have a sore or a wound on your foot.  If your wound continues to go unhealed there could be major problems, including amputation.  If you notice a wound that won’t heal on your feet be sure to contact your doctor to discuss your wound.  If you are currently living with or being treated for diabetes, be sure to check your feet often and mark any changes.

Cold feet

While most women are known for their “cold feet” there may be something even more serious going on if you constantly have cold feet.  For women, having cold feet is a sign of an under functioning thyroid, the gland that regulates temperature and metabolism.  Poor circulation is another explanation of cold feet in both women and men.  If you experience cold feet that simply don’t warm up with warm socks or slippers, talk it over with your doctor to have your thyroid checked and explore your options, which may include thyroid medications.

Thick, yellow toenails

Toenails are not supposed to be thick and/or yellow.  Thick, yellow nails are most often an indication of a fungal infection living beneath your toenails.  People that have other medical conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other immune deficiencies are more likely to get a fungal infection than those that do not have these conditions.  To treat thick, yellow toenails, you will need to consult a podiatrist.  While there are plenty of over-the-counter treatments for thick, yellow toenails, by the time your nails are already discolored and thick it is too late for any over-the-counter creams or medicines to work. You must discuss your options with a professional.

An enlarged big toe

Gout is the condition when the big toe suddenly swells up to an uncomfortable size. Gout is actually a form of arthritis due to the buildup of uric acid. This condition typically shows up in your big toe because it affects the part of your body with the lowest temperature, which is often the big toe.  It can also occur in your knees, elbows, Achilles tendon and the instep of your foot.  If you discover that your big toe has swollen to an abnormally large size, contact a foot care specialist, who with diet recommendations and medication, can help to cure this condition.