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type 1 diabetes

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

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Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. This occurs because the disease makes it difficult for your body to make enough insulin or use it properly. There are two types of diabetes. Type I diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes and it occurs in children and young adults. This type occurs when the body doesn’t make insulin. The second type is Type II diabetes. This type can occur at any age and it is caused if your body doesn’t make insulin or if it doesn’t use it well.

If not treated properly, diabetes can cause serious health problems including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Food problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Dental problems
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Eye problems

What Is Diabetic Eye Disease?

Diabetic eye disease is more than one disease that can affect people who suffer from diabetes. People who don’t keep their diabetes under control are at greater risk of eye complications. Also, each of the conditions can cause serious vision loss and even blindness. If you suffer from diabetes, it is important that you understand each of the diseases and what they can do to your eyes.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. The condition affects the blood vessels in the retina, which lines the back of the eye. If your blood sugar is often high, it can cause damage to the retina’s tiny blood vessels. This can result in the blood vessels bleeding or leaking fluid which can cause distortions in the vision. When the condition progresses, it can result in scarring and cell loss in the retina, causing complete blindness. In many cases, vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy is irreversible. Early detection and treatment can reduce your risk of going blind by 95 percent.
  • Diabetic Macular Edema (DME): DME often occurs in people who have diabetic retinopathy. While it often occurs when the disease progresses, it can occur at any time. It is a build-up of fluid in the macula. This part of the eye is used for seeing straight ahead to read, drive, and recognize faces. Half of the people who develop diabetic retinopathy develop DME. If left untreated, it can cause vision loss.
  • Cataracts: A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. When a person has cataracts, their natural lens would be removed and replaced with an artificial one. Anyone can develop cataracts, however, people with diabetes are two to five times more likely to develop cataracts than those who aren’t diabetic.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is often the result of high pressure in the eye, and it is very common in people with diabetes. Studies have shown that adults who suffer from diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than those who don’t have the disease.

Preventing Diabetic Eye Disease

The only way to prevent diabetic eye disease is to be vigilant when it comes to your blood sugar levels. You should also see your eye doctor every six months. The sooner a problem is detected, the sooner it can be treated, saving your eyesight. Many of the diabetic eye diseases won’t show any symptoms at first, therefore, it is very important that you see your eye doctor regularly.

Diabetes can wreak havoc on many of the body’s systems including your vision. The only way to prevent permanent vision loss and blindness is to check your blood sugar levels regularly and take the necessary steps to keep it at a healthy level.

 

 

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National Women’s Health Week

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Image is from Women’s Health.gov

Annually, the United States Department of health and human service office on women health leads Americans in observing a national women week. It often begins on the popular Mother’s Day and stretches to a period of one week. This year, the Americas celebrate the 18th anniversary of women health week which commences on May 14th and ends on May 20th, 2017. The primary objective of this liturgy is to inspire all women to have a priority in their health and to have a prodigious care of themselves. This year’s celebration emphasizes on the advantages of integrating active and preventive health activities in the day-day do about.

Steps to Take for a Better Health During National Women’ Health Week

The following steps will help you achieve a better health:

Get Moving

Physical activities such as jobbing, aerobics, going to the gym are the most important things that your health needs. It is of importance to your health since it lowers the risks of contracting the disease that is the leading cause of women’s health; the heart disease. For instance, get at least 2 to 3 hours of aerobics every week, have at least 2 hours each week to strengthen your major muscle groups, and finally, reduce your chances of falling by doing balance training.

Get Recommended Screenings and Preventive Care

You can do a regular check up with your health care providers to prevent yourself from getting diseases, disabilities, or injuries. Moreover, it is said that prevention is way better than cure; therefore, preventive care will detect the disease early thus having an initial treatment.

Take Healthy Foods

Food is integral to our life, but at times, it becomes toxic. Therefore, you ought to practice a healthy eating lifestyle such as:

  • Including foods such as greens, fruits, grains, fat-free milk and any other dairy products, low salted lean meat, trans and drenched fats and low added sugars in your healthy eating plans.
  • Women need to have 400 micrograms of folic acid each day for cells that their body generates every day to develop healthily. The only significant ways you can get this folic acid is by eating vitamins rich in folic acid or eating a bowl of breakfast cereal that has folic acid each day
  • Avoiding smoking and drinking too much.
  • Checking on your weight and getting to know if you need an excellent and effective guide to shed off some weight to stay healthy and fit.

Prioritize your Mental Health

You need to have a stable mind and a physically fit body to stay healthy. Evidence has it that a stable and healthy mind is associated with an improved body health. To have a stable mental health, you should:

  • Get a sufficient daily sleep – Enough rest has a noticeable impact on how you do your daily activities and your mood for the day. Psychologists say that adult human beings need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to have a robust mental health
  • learn healthy ways of managing stress since a healthy mind is the one which is free from fear.

Practice Healthy Behaviors

  • Protect your body from the Ultraviolet rays which may damage your skin and eyes, exposing your premature skin may result in skin aging and cancer. Therefore, you are advised to Wear sun cream, sun protection glasses and have a step by step guide on skin protection.
  • Per the research, 18 women die daily in the U.S. due to an overdose of the prescribed painkillers. Therefore, you are advised to follow the doctor’s prescription diligently when taking these drugs.

 

 

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Understanding Meningitis

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Image is from Pinterest

Meningitis is a fairly rare infection of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. These membranes are called meninges, hence the term meningitis. There are several types of meningitis:

  • Bacterial Meningitis is contagious among people in close contact and can be deadly.
  • Viral Meningitis is usually less severe, and most people recover completely from it.
  • Fungal Meningitis is rare and usually only appears in people with compromised immune systems.

How Does it Happen?

Most of the time, meningitis is caused by virus or bacterial infection. It begins elsewhere in the body, such as the upper respiratory tract, sinuses, or ears, and then spreads to the meninges. It can also be caused by medications, autoimmune disorders, or fungal infections, but these are more rare.

Bacterial Meningitis

This is a very serious illness that requires immediate medical attention. Death or permanent damage to the brain or other areas of the body can occur within hours if left untreated. There are several different kinds of bacteria that can cause it:

  • Meningococcus, which is the most common
  • Pneumococcus, which occurs in older patients with a weakened immune system
  • Haemophilus Influenza, type B, was common in infants and small children until a vaccine came out called hib.

Vaccines are also available for Meningococcus and Pneumococcus bacteria and are highly recommended for people with a special risk, such as a compromised immune system.

An infected person can pass the bacteria by sneezing or coughing. It is important for you to contact your health care provider if you are exposed to meningitis to find out what you can do to prevent contracting it. When bacteria gets into your bloodstream, it can travel to your brain and cause meningitis.

Viral Meningitis

This form of meningitis is more common and is usually less severe. There are many viruses that can trigger it, several of which cause diarrhea. Viral meningitis patients usually recover completely and are less likely to incur any brain damage.

Fungal Meningitis

This type of meningitis is rare. However, if you are suffering from a compromised immune system, from HIV for example, your chances of contracting it are greater.

Who is at Risk?

While anyone can contract meningitis, there are some age groups that have a higher incidence than others. These are:

  • Adults over age 55
  • Teens and Young Adults from age 16 to 25
  • Children under the age of 5

Certain medical conditions can also put you at risk, such as chronic disease or a damaged or missing spleen, and especially immune system disorders. These disorders occur when your immune system is either overactive or under active. When it is overactive, the body attacks itself; when it is under active, it decreases your ability to fight off infections. Some examples of immune system disorders are:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Guillian Barre Syndrome
  • Psoriasis
  • Graves Disease
  • Vasculitis
  • Rheumatic Fever

Meningitis outbreaks are most likely to occur in areas where people are living in close quarters, such as a college dorm or army personnel living in barracks. This is because certain germs that cause it can be contagious. People who travel are also at higher risk, particularly if you are traveling to certain parts of Africa where the disease is known to be prevalent.

Keep in mind, however, that even if you are in one of the higher risk groups for contracting meningitis, it is still a rare disease, and there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of getting it.

 

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What to Avoid: Gluten Allergy

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Do you or a family member suffer from frequent or infrequent brain fog, lethargy, painful stomach maladies or a combination of each? The struggle is real. The acknowledgement of gluten allergies in the last decade has recently illuminated the often debilitating symptoms that affect upwards of 18 million people in the United States. One grain of wheat could make the difference between a better quality of life and barely getting by. So what can you do to stop something so seemingly insignificant from negatively impacting the way you live? Discover what to look for and what to avoid in your day-to-day routine to avoid needless pain and suffering.

Show Me the–Ingredients

When going gluten-free, consummate foodies may find the “food lifestyle” change a little daunting. It doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ways you can satisfy your taste buds and avoid the dangers gluten allergies can bring to your everyday nutriments.

1. Be vigilant. It’s simple, read the nutritional information! Do this and at the very least you will be aware of the possibility of gluten in your food choices.

2. Don’t just read the ingredients, read by the asterisk. For gluten sensitive stomachs, cross contamination of food items in factories that also process nuts, soy and wheat products can affect the most sensitive of stomachs. Many packaged products have additional information marked by an asterisk at the beginning or end of their ingredient list. If the product is produced in the same building as wheat products, you may want to set the food item back on the shelf.

3. Know your trigger words. Dextrin, barley, bleached flour, bulgur, beer, brown flour, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, various malt products and yeast products in food can cause the troubling and debilitating symptoms of a gluten allergy attack. If you see any of these in the ingredients, it’s best to steer clear and opt for a clearly marked “gluten-free” substitution.

4. Stay positive and look for options. The more options you find to replace gluten-rich products with gluten-free delicious alternatives the less tempted you’ll be to indulge in that little bit of tainted decadence that can bring on fogginess, cramping, nausea or shooting pains.

5. It is best to abstain. If you can’t find the information you need to determine without a doubt that what you put in your mouth is untouched by gluten, don’t bite. If there is a snack you just can’t live without, do the research. With gluten allergy awareness quickly becoming a must-have for food-producing companies in the current market, food companies post gluten information on their websites for quick and easy answers.

6. Expect nothing. What you may think as naturally gluten free, may be contaminated in processing and packaging. Gluten-free products are not guaranteed to remain gluten-free. Some companies may change the ingredients they use at their own discretion. Many companies engage in their own comprehensive food-testing and may have discovered gluten contamination in the process. If you peruse the numerous gluten-free food lists online that are periodically updated online, what was once gluten free could now be off the list.

Gluten isn’t just found in various foods. Shampoos, cosmetic products, medications, vitamins and even stamps and envelopes may all contain a form of gluten. From hot dogs to precooked flour dusted French fries, gluten is an ingredient that continues to find its way into our lives, but it is possible to avoid it. Thankfully as awareness grows, so does the list of food alternatives. Protect yourself by never making assumptions and you’ll be able to exemplify what it means to live a gluten-free life!

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5 major Risks for Women’s Health

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Image is from Duke Health

It is common knowledge that men and women are different. They have physical differences, emotional differences, and behavioral differences. They also have many health differences. The major risks for women’s health differ from that of men. The best way for a woman to boost her health is to know the five medical conditions that are of the greatest risk to her.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women. According to the CDC, heart disease is responsible for 29 percent of deaths in women. While more men die of heart disease, more women go under-diagnosed. This is because women present with different symptoms than men. Some women will have the typical chest pain when having a heart attack, however, some have symptoms such as jaw pain shoulder aches, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. There are several factors for women developing this disease.

  • Age
  • Hereditary
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Diabetes

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women. The best way for a woman to beat the cancer is early detection. Women who are over 35 or who have a family history of breast cancer should have annual mammograms. Women should also start doing self-breast exams as early as their teens. There are several risk factors for breast cancer.

  • Age
  • Genetic mutation
  • Family history
  • Personal history of cancer
  • Race (white women have a greater risk than African-American women
  • Abnormal breast biopsies
  • Obesity
  • Never giving birth

Osteoporosis

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Osteoporosis affects 44 million Americans each year. Of that number, 68 percent of them are women. Osteoporosis causes brittle bones, a hunched back, and bone loss. The behaviors that women develop when they are children and throughout their teens plays a significant role in the development and progression of the disease. There are several risk factors for this disease.

  • Female sex
  • Age
  • Small boned
  • Ethnicity (White and Asian women are more prone)
  • Smoking
  • Diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • Family history
  • History of eating disorder

Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 12 million women are diagnosed with depression each year, as opposed to the only 6 million men. Depression can be triggered by hormonal changes or lack of connection with other in their lives. Some women suffer from mild depression, some suffer from clinical depression, and some suffer from bipolar depression. There are several other risk factors for any of these types of depression.

  • Family history
  • History of heart problems
  • Chronic illness
  • Substance abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Childhood history of abuse
  • Stressful events (job loss, death, divorce)
  • Vitamin deficiency or thyroid disease

Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases attack the body’s immune system. They can also destroy or alter the body’s tissue. The most common types are lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. About 75 percent of the autoimmune diseases diagnosed occur in women. Unfortunately, these types of diseases can be very difficult to diagnose. It is not uncommon for a woman to need multiple visits to multiple doctors to finally get the correct diagnosis. This is because we don’t know much about these diseases. It is still not known what makes the body attack itself. Until doctors and researchers have a better understanding of the disease, it will continue to pinpoint possible risk factors of developing an autoimmune disease.

The best defense that a woman has against developing any of the above conditions is to understand the risk factors. There are some lifestyle changes that a woman can make to reduce their risk of developing any of these conditions.

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Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

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Image is from Livestrong.com

Gluten sensitivity, otherwise known as gluten intolerance can manifest worse than IBS like symptoms and stomach problems. It can affect other bodily processes and not just the digestive system. It wreaks havoc on your skin, the largest organ, bones, mouth, and endocrine system. You may have a myriad of symptoms that don’t make sense to the physician and may mean they are clueless you’re reporting back to them with symptoms of gluten sensitivity. The currently available drugs only tend to treat symptoms and looking taking care of the underlying issue. This is why doctors are quick to give medication that might only ease your current suffering.

If you feel that the physician is not attending to you like you would wish i.e. they don’t listen to you properly, then it may be time to visit a new doctor.

Below are some symptoms you would want to look keenly

Depression and anxiety

Depression is a grave concern for many. There are myriad symptoms of depression

Including

  • Hopelessness,
  • Appetite changes,
  • Low energy,
  • Anger
  • Sleep changes

While some patients may need medical attention to correct the never ending imbalances with depression, others may not necessarily need. However, the underlying causes of depression are often not investigated. The study has confirmed that glutamic intolerance has a hand in anxiety, depression and mood disorders. The moment you remove gluten from the diet, depression, and anxiety shall have been solved.

Autoimmune diseases

Consumption of gluten has been linked to several autoimmune diseases. You can always know when autoimmune issues are developing before they can show up and their symptoms start to manifest. This will give you ample time to adjust your dieting and lifestyle to alleviate chances of developing full blown autoimmune disorder. Below is a list of some autoimmune diseases usually known to be relating to glutamic sensitivity.

  • Celiac diseases
  • Vitiligo
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Type 1 diabetes

Vital to mention is that this condition is very prevalent.

Low immunity

If you have noticed that the frequency in which you fall sick is relatively higher than normal, then think about gluten being an issue.

IgA is a group of antibodies which occur in the tears, saliva as well as the gastrointestinal tract. Reflect on this class of antibodies as your first line of defense whenever an infection comes to attack you. When you have a sensitivity to gluten, the first sign is a reduced number of IgA antibodies. This means you don’t have a proper defense in place to keep you safe.

Dental issues

Cancer sores, cavities, tooth decay and broken teeth are all indicative of gluten sensitivity. The levels of calcium of gluten sensitivity can be waveringly level due to malabsorption which may lead to weak bones and teeth. A DEXA scan is, therefore, imperative. It’s one of the surest ways of determining calcium levels and the overall health of your bones.

Migraine headaches

Though gluten doesn’t have a hand in all migraines, it has often been linked to many cases. A research was carried out to gauge the migraine headaches in individuals sensitive to gluten. In those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, there was a report of chronic headaches on 56% of the individuals, 30% of those suffering from celiac disease and then 23% of the patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

The above are some of the symptoms of glutamic intolerance.

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Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

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Image is from Diabetes Research

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which is characterized by, among other symptoms, a high concentration of sugar in the blood. With the myriad of disorders, the beta cells located in the pancreas find it hard to produce enough insulin to assist in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Diabetes occurs in two types, type 1 and type 2. Type one is caused by an autoimmune reaction that usually occurs in the pancreas while insulin resistance characterizes type 2. Type 2 can develop and result in the loss of beta cells. Both types of diabetes are chronic and incurable. However, they are treatable with insulin injections and dietary adjustments.

Diabetes is often seen in those who are over 30 years of age. The number of people who are diagnosed with these conditions keeps rising each day. This is attributed to the unhealthy lifestyles and dietary decisions that they take up. It is imperative to have some information on these conditions as it will be easy then to help the patients lead a better life. To get to know about these two closely related diseases, you must learn the difference between the two. Usually, people tend to confuse the two types of diabetes. However, they have different causes, and as such, different treatments. Taking medication for one type if you have the other, can be detrimental to your health and even lead to death in some instances.

Test for insulin levels

To begin with, you must discern the difference between the two types of diabetes. First, the level of the c-peptide of type 1 diabetes is very low while I type 2, the same is either normal or elevated. The level of c-peptides is a determinant of insulin levels in the blood. It is a more reliable way than just measuring the level of insulin itself.

Let’s look at the functional difference between diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2

Type 1 diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, insulin is no longer produced by the pancreas since the beta cells have been destroyed through the process of autoimmune response. This is, essentially, to say the person’s body has rebelled against them and, particularly their pancreas, leading to the destruction of something that is desperately needed by the body. Without insulin, it ‘s hard for your cells to absorb the sugar into the bloodstream. This basically means the cells will be starved. If your body lacks insulin, your cells will no longer function properly, or worse, stop working at all. The people with diabetes in this category need to get regular insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes have almost similar effects as type 1s although the type 2 patient gets the effect for a different reason. Here, the individual’s body is still producing. However, the insulin may not be absorbed properly. At other times, the absorbed insulin may not be sufficient for the amount of sugar present in the blood. Unlike with type 1, the patient in this type of diabetes may not even need insulin at all. Here, the primary factor that causes it is lifestyle choices including the kind of food you take. A significant percentage of people with type 2 are overweight though are factors have a hand too. The person often takes food high in calories and lives a sedentary lifestyle. Type 2 diabetes can, in many cases, be readily managed.

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Understanding Diabetes Awareness Month

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Image is from CEAP

If you are fighting diabetes, no one knows your fight better than another person who is fighting the same battle. If a person is not battling the war on diabetes, more than likely they do not give this illness a second thought.

Is it possible you do not know what an insidious illness diabetes really is to those fighting this illness? During National Diabetes Awareness Month it gives individuals time to reflect, considering their own risks?

Are you even aware of National Diabetes Awareness Month?

Did you know that diabetes affects people in any age group, children, and adults?

Were you aware of the impact diabetes has on your vital organs?

  • Heart Attack
  • Kidney Disease
  • Vision Loss
  • Amputation of an extremity
  • Stroke

Do you know what health care options are available for you if you have diabetes?

Do you know the warning signs of diabetes if you or a loved one gets this disease?

Knowledge is power, and the more knowledge you have of this disease it helps you protect yourself and your family.

Do you know what your risk factors are for contacting this disease?

  • Heredity from a family member
  • Unhealthy eating patterns
  • No exercise
  • Overweight

Did you know that diabetes cases are spiraling out of control throughout the world?

National Diabetes Awareness Month gives you knowledge, and this knowledge gives you the power to fight diabetes, monitor its warning signs, and affords you ways to protect yourself and loved ones.

Diabetes Awareness Month was born in the late 1970’s, proclaimed by the president and Congress as a special day and month to help make everyone aware of diabetes. Now this day is celebrated all over the world on November 14th.

Were it not for the tireless efforts of a Dr. Frederick Banting, your fight with diabetes would be terminal. Dr. Banting discovered insulin, so if you have diabetes, you can control your blood sugar levels, preventing damage to your vital organs.

Twenty years later in the early 1990’s The Diabetes Foundation proclaimed, “World Diabetes Day,” for the sole purpose of informing people. Many special events are set aside in the month of November, such as but not limited to,

  • Public Diabetic Screening
  • Special Educational Materials and Events

When you see a blue and gray ribbon with a drop of blood or a small heart, this is the symbol for diabetes. The blue circle stands for vitality, health, and life.

If you have diabetes, you need to educate and re-educate yourself so you can help yourself and others regarding living with diabetes, maintaining diabetes, and discovering healthy options for diabetes.

Keep in mind that fighting diabetes lasts a lifetime. Diabetes involves making a lifestyle change in the way of regular screenings, proper diet, exercise, education, and a close relationship with your doctor.

National Diabetes Awareness Month wants to make sure you can sort out all the myths concerning diabetes such as,

  • Never let anyone tell you that diabetes is not a serious disease.
  • If you are overweight, you will develop diabetes.
  • If you eat too much sugar, you will develop diabetes?
  • If you have diabetes, you need to eat diabetic foods.
  • Starchy foods do not cause diabetes.
  • If you have diabetes, you cannot eat sweets or chocolate.
  • People with diabetes become sick more often.
  • Diabetes is catchy.
  • If you have diabetes and suddenly need to start insulin, it means you are not taking care of your diabetes.
  • Since fruit is good for you, you should eat as much fruit as you want if you have diabetes.

Get your gray ribbon in November and pass the word on to others.

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Complications for Type 2 diabetes

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The onset of Type II Diabetes occurs after adulthood, and usually between ages of 40 and 50. The causative factors and the treatment, however, is very much the same as for juvenile diabetes: Daily blood sugar level tests and injections of insulin and/or oral medication to provide the body with necessary insulin the pancreas cannot produce.

Carrying high glucose levels damage blood vessels, nerves, and vital organs. Even a mildly elevated glucose level without displaying any symptoms can have long-term and very damaging effects. Complications of Type II Diabetes are life threatening.

  • Heart Disease and/or Stroke

If you have diabetes I or II, you’re five times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke shortening your life and quality of it. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels over a long period of time increase the chance of atherosclerosis, causing your blood vessels to clog and narrow with fatty deposits. This commonly will result in poor blood supply to your heart, causing pain in your chest. This condition also increases the blockages of vessels in your heart or brain, causing heart attack or cerebral stroke.

  • Nerve damage

High glucose levels damage blood vessels in nerves, causing tingling and burning with pain spreading from your fingers or toes through your limbs. It also causes numbness, leading to ulcers of the feet, and these ulcers contribute to eventual amputation loss of that limb. Regular examination of a foot specialist is necessary for Diabetes I and II patients. Damage to the peripheral nervous system, including all of the nervous system outside the central nervous system, is peripheral neuropathy.

  • Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the name for the disease striking the light-sensitive layer of the retina, the tissue layer in the back of the eye. Blood vessels in the retina that have become either blocked or actually leaky can experience haphazard growth, preventing light to completely pass to your eye retina. This damages vision and can blind. Annual eye checks are necessary. If significant damage has occurred the patient can be referred to a specialist in treatment of eye conditions. Therefore, the more control you have over your blood glucose levels, the lower your risk of blinding eye problems. Diabetic retinopathy can be managed by specialists using laser treatment if early enough in the disease. However, this does not improve the sight; it only preserves the sight you have left after damage.

  • Kidney disease

If the smaller blood vessels in your kidney are blocked and/or leaky, your kidneys react by not working efficiently. This condition is linked to high blood pressure and treatment is an important management process. In severe kidney disease, kidney failure occurs, requiring a kidney transplant, dialysis treatment or resulting in death.

  • Sexual Dysfunction

For Men:

Males with diabetes, particularly smokers, suffer nerve and blood vessel damage leading to impotence, usually treated with medication.

For Women:

Women with diabetes may experience the following:

  • loss of libido and sex drive;
  • vaginal dryness;
  • inability to orgasm;
  • pain during sex.

Use of vaginal lubricant or gel can ease those dysfunctions.

  • Miscarriage and stillbirth

Pregnant women with diabetes have a high risk of miscarriage or a stillbirth.

If your blood glucose level is uncontrolled during early pregnancy, there’s also a higher risk of the baby being born with a birth defect. Pregnant women with diabetes must have their checkups in hospital or diabetic clinic to provide protection for their baby and the mother-to-be. This gives your pregnancy care team a close eye on your blood glucose levels and control of your insulin dosage, including monitoring development of your baby.

 

 

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Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the way your body handles the glucose in your blood. There are 27 million people in the United States who suffer from this condition and 86 million people with prediabetes.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

There are several things that cause type 2 diabetes. Usually, it is a combination of a few of the causes.

  • Genes: Recent studies have shown that different parts of you DNA can affect the way that your body makes insulin, resulting in type 2 diabetes.
  • Being overweight or obese: If a person is carrying extra weight, it can cause insulin resistance, causing type 2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome: People who are insulin resistant often have high blood glucose, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and extra weight around the waist.
  • A liver that doesn’t function properly: If you have low blood sugar, your liver produces glucose. After you eat, your blood sugar will go up and the liver will slow down. Some people’s livers don’t function properly, so it keeps cranking out sugar even when it is not necessary.
  • Poor communication between cells: If the cells in the body send the wrong signals or they don’t pick up the signals, it can affect the way that the cells make insulin or glucose, causing diabetes.

Risk Factors

There are certain risk factors that won’t cause you to develop type 2 diabetes, but they can increase your chances of developing it.

  • If you are 45 years or older
  • If a parent, sister, or brother suffers from diabetes
  • People of certain ethnicity are more prone, including African-American, Pacific Islander-American, Alaska Native, Native American, Hispanic, Asian-American.
  • Prediabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Having a baby over 9 pounds
  • Having gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Too much sleep

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Many of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are so mild that they are unnoticeable. There are millions of people who have it and don’t know it. This is because many of the symptoms can be blamed on something else.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Irritability
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Wounds that don’t heal
  • Recurring yeast infections

Long Term Effects of Type 2 Diabetes

Over time, high blood sugar can cause damage and lasting problems. These include:

  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Eyes
  • Kidneys
  • Nerves
  • Would healing
  • Pregnancy

Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes

There are a variety of tests that your doctor can perform to confirm your type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

  • A1C: This test determines the average of your blood glucose over the last 2 to 3 months.
  • Fasting plasma glucose: This test measures your sugar when your stomach is empty. You cannot eat or drink anything but water for 8 hours before the test.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): This is a test that checks your blood glucose before and two hours after you consume a sweet drink. It tests the way that your body handles sugar.

How to Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes

You can still live a healthy life as long as your take the necessary steps to manage your diabetes.

  • Take your insulin faithfully
  • Take your diabetes medications that are prescribed by your doctor
  • Check your blood glucose often
  • Eat a proper, diabetes-friendly diet
  • Don’t skip meals
  • See your doctor for regular checkups and make an appointment if you are not feeling well

Type 2 diabetes can be a very serious condition if it is not diagnosed and treated properly. When managed properly, you can live a full and healthy life with this disease.

 

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