diabetes pedia

Anything at all that you would like to know about diabetes care, diabetes diets, the causes and types of diabetes, diabetes prevention and related matters. Free information & quick responses to your questions. Search here with keywords related to any aspect of diabetes management. Email or leave a post here if you do not find the information you need: an answer is guaranteed within 24 hours. NO SPONSORED POSTS HERE!

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fight Diabetes through Your Mouth!

There is no safe and ethical for lay people to self-treat diabetes: it is undeniably a condition which requires medical intervention. Medical science has some fine tools to manage diabetes, but they have so many potential side-effects, that it takes a doctor many years of experience to learn how to use them safely. All proven medicines for diabetes management are available by prescription only.

This does not mean that we are helpless by ourselves when it comes to diabetes. The type 2 variety is preventable, and each of us can make a significant effort in this direction, simply by being careful and calculating about what enters our mouths!

The Department of Agriculture has framed dietary guidelines which are easy to follow, and which prevent overloading your system with sugars and fats that can take you down the diabetes path. It is surprising but true that the simple steps of eating right, exercising regularly, and keeping body weight under check can do so much to keep type 2 diabetes at bay. Cereals, fruits, and vegetables, which should form the bulk of nutritious and judicious diets, can be delicious and filling: you will feel the difference from sugar and fat rich meals right away, and feel much better for it!

It is never too late to make a new start. Leave a post here or send me an email if you would like free advice on how you can adjust your diet to keep type 2 diabetes away.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Why the Type of Diabetes You Have Matters

“What is all the fuss about types in diabetes? Who cares whether it is type 1 or type 2 as long as I am saddled with it?”

The answer to this vexed question is that type 1 is reversible, and can be controlled to a large extent, but type 2 is not

Type 2 diabetes can change for the better or worse. It is preceded by long periods of pre-diabetes, which serve as warnings, but which are unfortunately ignored.

Nag your doctor to help you improve your diet, and lifestyle, when he or she brings glad news that you do not have diabetes, so that the disease stays away! Everyone can do more for diabetes prevention, though trying medical experiments on your own can cause harm.

Victims of type 1 diabetes have to live meekly with their prescriptions, until a cure is ready for market, but the type 2 diabetes folk of the world can work with their doctors to reverse the condition.

It is a bit of a bore but worth everyone’s while!

Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Diabetes

You may not have diabetes-as yet! It is an unpleasant and expensive condition, so stay away from it for as long as you can, if not for ever!

Laxity in medical surveillance, and the many temptations for bad habits, leaves untold numbers amongst us with Impaired Glucose Tolerance, though we may feel a false sense of security in having passed a diabetes test in the distant past!

Weight gain, dietary overload, too many calories, and reduction in physical exercise levels, can harm the body’s ability to manage the onslaught of energy that we pump through our mouths and stomachs to our innards!

Random blood sugar tests can yield misleading results if there a long gap by chance between a normal meal and the phlebotomy. Similarly, patients may prevaricate and eat a little less the day before a fasting blood sugar test, or on the day of a post-prandial reading. A glucose tolerance test or a glycosylated hemoglobin test can yield much better information about the states of our glucose metabolism abilities. The latter is not frozen, and can change significantly in just 6 months for an adult or in a year for a child.

Please do not take your glucose metabolism for granted, and assume that you can indulge in a carefree diet and laid back lifestyle merely because you have passed a diabetes test once!

Do leave a post here or send me an email if you would like to know more.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Medicines that Can Cause Secondary Diabetes

Fortunately, there is no danger of developing diabetes from drugs sold over-the-counter. Such danger is restricted to medicines which can only be legally sold by prescription. The Internet has spawned illegal trade in medicines, ostensibly offering major price reductions, but in reality tempting people to self-medicate, and to use products of uncertain quality.

Pain, inflammation, high blood pressure, and problems with heart functions require doctors to prescribe medicines which can stimulate diabetes. Doctors obviously keep these risks in mind when writing their prescriptions. Heart diseases and diabetes are often interlinked, so doctors are acutely conscious of the diabetes-related risks of beta blockers. They would also avoid thiazides and other diuretics for hypertension, because they can also result in the onset of diabetes. Patients can help doctors by not complaining too much about pain which may subside in the course of time, because doctors may prescribe gluco-corticoids for immediate relief, and end up with diabetes in a patient! Diabetes is also a concern when choosing a method of birth control, or managing menopause, because the use of artificial forms of estrogen may result in diabetes.

The best ways of living with the risks of managing the diabetes risks of prescription medicines are:

  • Do not access prescription medicine from Internet sites
  • Observe dose, frequency, and duration instructions in prescriptions strictly
  • Discuss risks, adverse side-effects, contra-indications, and drug-drug interactions with your doctor, when he or she writes out a prescription for you.

Leave a post here or send an email if your doctor is too busy to answer such questions, and if you would like me to provide this information related to medicines which you have been prescribed.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Illnesses that Can Cause Secondary Diabetes

Gallstones, too much alcohol, and imbalances of the growth hormone, and of cortisol, which the body produces to manage stress, are three of the reasons which can cause inflammation of the pancreas, a condition known as pancreatitis.

The symptoms of pancreatitis are: abdominal pain, sometimes radiating to the back, tenderness, nausea, and fever.

An inflamed pancreas will not produce insulin, and the result is…

… Yes, you guessed it right-diabetes!

Fortunately, this kind of secondary diabetes is reversible, because once your pancreas settles down, and starts insulin production again your glucose metabolism will be ship-shape again.

However, pancreatitis is a serious matter, whether acute or chronic, and needs medical attention.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What is All This about Cures for Diabetes?

There is no cure for diabetes-as yet.

Scientists have come close to putting new insulin producing cells of a healthy pancreas in to the body of a person with diabetes. Another approach has been to try and develop new pancreas tissue from undifferentiated umbilical cord cells. This could become reality soon, but the research is hampered by difficulties in getting material after child birth, and by ethical and legal considerations with respect to experimentation with unused blastocysts after artificial fertilization procedures.

Some Ayurveda practitioners claim to have herbs which can offer some kind of remedy for diabetes. This has never been proven, and since the medicines are not clearly specified, may put health at unknown risks.

The only course for people with diabetes at this time is to focus on their prescriptions for medicine, diet, and exercise.

We can also hope for a cure soon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

Weight loss is the best way to break out of the vicious cycle of insulin resistance. These 2 words are prime warning signals when uttered by your doctor, for it is either a penultimate step before the onset of full-fledged type 2 diabetes, or an indirect indication that you have deviated from a prescribed diet, or have skipped exercise sessions!

You should not try to get rid of insulin resistance on you own, but cooperate actively with your doctor instead. The insulin resistance path goes steadily downhill, leaving you with inflated medicine bills and the risk of organ damage. Remember that it is in your hands to make a turn around and to reverse insulin resistance, because doctors cannot be nannies and supervise your daily meals and walks!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Terrifying Threats of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, like a child, can be nice and easy for some, and a terrible nightmare for others!

3 simple steps make the difference between convenient and successful diabetes prevention and treatment on the one hand, and mounting costs with deteriorating quality of life on the other.

These 3 critical steps are:

- Regular, correct, and comprehensive glucose metabolism tests

- Adherence to the principles of diet and nutrition

- Judicious exercise

Why do tests have to be regular, correct, and comprehensive?

I may not have diabetes today. That does not mean that I will free from it for all time. I could even have pre-diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is notorious for raising its head all of a sudden, and after many years of normal results. Tests done over 6 months back are not relevant anymore for adults, and children should be tested once a year.

A test with a defective meter or with a fake strip (these things happen!) is worse than no test at all. You could live under false pretences, or suffer risks of hypoglycemia, if you become a victim of amateur testing. Always have your blood tested at a facility recommended by your doctor, or use a valid and quality self-use device.

Some people test their fasting blood glucose levels, without repeating the procedure 2 hours after a normal lunch. Others do the afternoon test, but skip the fasting one in the morning. You simply cannot arrive at a proper diagnosis about diabetes in such a haphazard way. There are tests for diabetes in which you do not have to fast, and for which blood is drawn only once, but these matters should be discussed with your doctor, and you have to honor the prescription completely once it has been written.

Eating measured quantities of food at the right time, and keeping tabs on the fat, sugar, and salt intakes, can work miracles in terms of keeping type 2 diabetes away. Your doctor can write such a diet which suits your age and sex, or direct you to a specialist for this purpose. Unplanned eating and giving in to tempting food on the table causes more type 2 diabetes than we know!

“I do not have the time”. This common excuse for copping out on exercise schedules can be a recipe for disaster equal to indulgent eating. Excess loads of work, overly-packed schedules, frequent travels, television, and computer games are some prime villains of the ‘couch potato’ world. Your best interests are at stake when you make a trade-off between time for exercise, and everything else. Not all exercise is the same, and anything you try without your doctor’s approval could even harm you seriously. However, walking over long distances (2.5 miles) at least thrice a week should work well for most adults with normal physiology. Jogging is best for younger people, but only if your doctor permits you to do it!

The three simple steps of regular, correct, and comprehensive glucose metabolism tests, adherence to the principles of diet and nutrition, and judicious exercise, are really worthwhile in terms of diabetes prevention.

Consider what unchecked diabetes can do:

- Take away eyesight

- Cause feet to be amputated

- Weaken your heart

- Damage your kidneys, and

- Cost a bomb!

Now is diabetes prevention a good deal or what?

A last word: expecting mothers can develop high blood sugar during pregnancy. This kind of gestational diabetes can harm a fetus. Help your doctor when you expect a baby by following orders strictly when it comes to keeping blood sugar under control. Remember that you may be free of diabetes in general, and still develop dangerously high blood sugar during pregnancy if you are not diligent in following your prescriptions to the letter!


Monday, October 23, 2006

Cheating in Diabetes Management

Can you trust the Internet for diabetes information and management? This question evokes mixed responses amongst patient populations, and most doctors are outright critical about the matter.

The Internet is a double edged sword when it comes to healthcare. Health literacy is desirable, but self-medication is not.

The lines are fairly clear when it comes to prescription medicine, because you cannot get it on your own. It is also fine with OTC products because regulators have tested them for safety and manufacturers maintain vigilance as well.

A grey area is that of Complementary and Alternate medicine. You get all kinds of claims on the Web. It is always essential to go by the advice of a Primary Care Physician-any medication without his or her prior approval could harm you.

There are no cures for diabetes and the only medicines which are known to control the condition in modern science are only available with prescriptions. Diet and exercise can prevent or delay some but not all types of diabetes, and even such diet and exercise regimens should only be followed under a doctor’s supervision.

Push Yourself to a Higher Plane of Diabetes Management

Type 1 diabetes can be managed, but there is not yet a cure in sight. So the best we can do is to take prescribed medicines, and adhere to a planned diet and exercise program.

Type 2 diabetes is different, because the body does produce some insulin in this condition, though not enough. It can also be that there is enough insulin to go around, but our body cells simply will not accept it.

There are 3 things we can do reverse type 2 diabetes over time:

Lose weight

Increase exercise duration to use more calories

Reduce calorie intake so that we can make do with less insulin

The first and third of the steps listed above may sound the same, and indeed they are similar. However, there is an important distinction between reducing body fat, and reducing the total calorie value of food intake, without affecting nutritional balance.

It is possible to make gradual improvements in type 2 diabetes management such that medication can be reduced or even stopped altogether. No one should try such experiments on their own, for changes in diet and exercise, with medicine dose adjustments are safe only under the supervision of a doctor, and with periodic blood tests.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all improvements in type 2 diabetes are also reversible, and any lapse in to old eating habits or sedentary ways, can lead to high blood sugar levels once again!

Please leave a post here if you have personal experience of reducing or doing away with medicine through superior type 2 diabetes management. I would love to hear from you by email as well, if you have a query related to this matter of superior type 2 diabetes management.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Diabetes Excitement in Canada

What if healthy insulin producing cells of a pancreas were to be inserted in to a person with diabetes?

This is not the stuff of science fiction, but a reality in Mexico. The procedure has also been tried with success in Canada, but authorities are not satisfied with available safety information to allow such transplants to continue.

The Canadian refusal could be a temporary phenomenon, because other transplants, such as of entire kidneys and other organs have worked.

There are ethical issues about donations of organs and cells from other human beings, but xeno-transplants, or tissues from animals, is a possible answer.

Insulin producing pancreatic cells have been inserted in to human bodies, enabling artificial insulin injections to be reduced or even eliminated altogether.

Type 1 diabetes patients will be especially pleased with this development, for it holds hope for them that they might one day get a transplant to overcome their glucose metabolism deficiency.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Live in Colorado if You Have Diabetes!

It is tough to manage diabetes alone. Many people are unaware of the basics. Doctors can be brusque, and most prescriptions are sketchy on details. Patients, who thought they had understood it all, find themselves full of questions a day later at home! It is all very well to speak of diets and exercise, but many food labels are incomplete, and we are not all mathematicians to juggle the numbers of calories!

Access to nurses, counselors, and easy sources of information on how to detect and to manage diabetes, helps people, and is a great public health service as well. The elderly and the poor stand to gain the most from this kind of help, but everyone can do with help and advice!

Colorado Medicaid has run a program on diabetes management since 2002. Health care workers make contact with Medicaid members, and offer information. This helps people to be alert against diabetes, to seek timely medical intervention, and to live well with the disease.

Surveys show that a vast majority of Medicaid members in Colorado appreciate the service; it has made a major dent in the incidence of undetected and untreated diabetes in the State.

Everyone does not live in Colorado. Your local authorities may not be able to offer such a service. Perhaps you could do with some answers to questions you have about diabetes. Leave a post here or send me an email. My response will not be a substitute for a personal consultation with your doctor, but I will do my best to respond as best as I can-within 24 hours, 365 days a year, and free of cost!

Weight Gain after Diabetes Detection

Untreated diabetes causes muscles to waste away, and can also affect fluid balance in a body because of kidney malfunction. Most of all, there is insufficient energy for new tissue construction, though a surfeit of glucose circulates in blood. These are the reasons for weight loss being one of the effects of diabetes which lies undetected and neglected.

Diabetes medication can make people put on weight. Some of this is desirable because new tissues start developing, but the element which is due to a better appetite can aggravate the problem.

Though early detection of pre-diabetes can stall type 2 diabetes; however, the type 1 variety stays with us for life. Scientists work on remedies but we do not have one as yet. Many cases of type 2 diabetes also require lifelong management. Keeping your weight within a target range is a key element of diabetes management.

Stay with your prescribed diet and exercise regimen to prevent or limit weight gain. Do keep to schedules of doctor visits, so that your progress can be tracked. Your doctor can make adjustments to your diet to control weight gain after diabetes treatment starts.

Leave a post here or send me an email if you would like to know more.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Diabetes Inheritance

Money, property, traditions and faith are all parts of inheritance which we treasure. Diabetes can be in our genes, but it is most unwelcome!

Type 1 diabetes is entirely inherited. It is a defect of the immune system, which makes it attack insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Infants are born with Type 1 diabetes and it stays with them for life. There is no cure as yet, though the condition can be managed well with artificial insulin.

Some families also have a tendency towards obesity. This increases their chances of developing a degree of pre-diabetes due to insulin resistance. The latter means that the pancreas functions, but body cells are not able to use available insulin and move glucose out of blood.

Food habits at family meal tables, and the contents of refrigerators, determine familiarity and likes that children develop for foods. These habits stay with us in adult life. Salt, fat, and sugar are the three most dangerous items which influence taste, and increase chances of type 2 diabetes.

Parents also influence physical activity habits of their children. Adults who love sports and outdoor activities are likely to transmit their enthusiasm to their children, whereas other may allow their young ones to become ‘couch potatoes’ and excessively studious.

Type 2 diabetes can be kept away, no matter how strongly it may run in a family. Children of obese parents can make conscious diet and lifestyle choices, and enjoy normal blood glucose metabolism. Adults and children, at the same time, may develop pre-diabetes, though there is no family history in this regard. Pre-diabetes, if ignored or undiagnosed, will develop in to full-blown type 2 diabetes over time.

It is all in our hands!

Leave a post here or send me an email if you would like to know more.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Economics of Diabetes

The time value of money is a fundamental principle of investment. Returns tomorrow are not as valuable as money in hand. Diabetes, especially the type 2 variety is very similar in its effects on the wallet!

Type 2 diabetes is so expensive to manage that keeping it away is certain to yield big savings, whether in the form of health insurance premiums, or direct purchase costs for the under-insured and for those without any health insurance.

Pharmaceutical companies love diabetes patients, because we become customers for life!

However, even the cost of diabetes management pales in the face of the costs of neglect. Diabetes can take away eyesight, feet, and stop the kidney and heart from functioning normally. Keeping alive without these vital organs in full flow, is not merely expensive, but of poor quality as well.

Diabetes prevention makes great economic sense, and diabetes management does as well.

Everyone can gain by cutting back on sugar and fats in diet, making time for long walks, and taking glucose tolerance tests on a regular basis. Strict adherence to a doctor’s prescription, once diabetes is discovered, will keep complications away.

You can take the first step to a healthier life and save on medical costs today-leave a post her or send me an email if you would like to know more.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Diabetes Prevention Education Should Start Young!

Juvenile diabetes is not the only reason to worry about diet and habits of children. Young people who develop tastes for foods high in fat and sugar, are likely to suffer from obesity in adult life, and could spend years in pre-diabetes before developing full-blown type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes in children, and the growing incidence of type 2 diabetes in people of all age groups, is a serious public health threat throughout the developed world. There is much that parents and teachers can do to reverse this unfortunate situation. It is now common knowledge that physical activity is a must during both childhood and adolescence. Young people who develop likings for sports and outdoor games are likely to try and find some time for such pastimes in adult life as well. Though exercise can make deep inroads in to the incidence of diabetes in children, snacks and beverages available in and around schools should also be taken in to account.

Choosing something to eat and drink away from the strict eyes of elders is a common pleasure to which most children look forward. Vending machines and retail outlets in educational institutions and on the way home tempt children to stray from healthy diets. Though an occasional indulgence is harmless, adults and authorities should make special efforts to put low-fat snacks, juices without added sugar, and plenty of fruit and vegetables within easy reach of young people.

It is not a matter of availability alone. Awareness counts for a great deal, and children should know about the nature of diabetes, and the principles of nutrition. The food pyramid, for example, is a simple and attractive way of explaining to children the various types of food, and how to balance them in daily diet.

Send me an email or leave a post here if you would like a link to a free color poster on the food pyramid.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Question about Diabetes Medicine for your Doctor

Metformin is an important diabetes medicine in the armory of every physician. Many other forms of diabetes treatment make patients gain weight, or act too well, bringing blood glucose levels before safety levels. Metformin does not have these disadvantages, and is therefore at the forefront on diabetes care.

A recent study shows that long term Metformin use can cause Vitamin B12 deficiency. So do ask you doctor if you need a test to check your level of this vitamin if you have been on metformin treatment for some time. The deficiency is fairly easy to correct through pills, but should not be allowed to linger.

The study may not apply to you, so do not rush off to the nearest store and start popping vitamin pills without asking your doctor! Leave a post here or email me if you would like a link to the study.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

How Parents Can Save Children from the Growing Type 2 Diabetes Threat

Most countries have horrifying statistics of growing juvenile diabetes in their communities. There is no known way of preventing Type 1 diabetes, but the type 2 version is largely preventable. Type 2 diabetes has been an issue in middle-age for some time now, but it is a 21st century phenomenon to find so many children with inadequate insulin.

Parents have central roles in preventing type 2 diabetes in their children. Composition and calorie dimensions of what children eat and drink is almost entirely in the hands of parents. No one can control every snack or beverage which a child may take when away from home and with their peers, but the major nutritional contribution is from the home refrigerator and the family table. Children, whose diet is rich is fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and relatively low in meat, sugar, and fats, should be safe from type 2 diabetes.

Exercise has much to do with the dimensions of diet, and again, it is up to parents to inculcate love for sports and outdoor games in their children. It is unhealthy for children to spend time at computer consoles and in other sedentary pastimes, at the cost of physical development through regular exercise. Children who stay indoors, and who prefer computer games to the real ones, are in danger of type 2 diabetes even if they eat no more than is normal for individuals of their ages.

Review the food and drink you serve to your children, and the time and calories they expend in playing court and field games, and in training for athletics. Make changes which will keep them safe from the scourge of type 2 diabetes.

Leave a post here or send me an email if you would like to know more.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Double Diabetes Dilemma

I prefer type 2 diabetes to the type 1 variety. Type 2 is preventable and even reversible. The pancreas continues to produce insulin in the type 2 diabetes state so we can make an effort to live with the little insulin we have; it is relatively easy to manage with good patient cooperation in any case.

The body’s immune system senselessly attacks the insulin producing cells of the pancreas in type 1 diabetes leaving us without any insulin at all. There is no alternative to taking insulin injections at least once a day, which is such a bother for children.

But there is another issue. Children, who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, tend to put on weight once their insulin regimen becomes stable. This process can lead to insulin resistance in adolescence, leading eventually to the development of a type 2 diabetes state, in addition to the type 1 variety. These teenagers suffer from double diabetes, which is more difficult to manage than one or the other type alone.

The answer lies in regulating diet and exercise for children with type 1 diabetes in a manner that their weight remains under control, and so that they do not develop insulin resistance. So keep your child’s diet and weight under control and keep double diabetes at bay!

Leave a post here or send me an email if you would like to know more!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

No one is Ever Free from the Diabetes Threat

“I do not have diabetes”

“What are your readings?”

“I do not remember”

“When did you last check?”

“About 2 years ago”

“My fasting level is about 100”.

“What about the reading after lunch?”

“I did not go back for that one”.

These kinds of conversations about diabetes are unfortunately common in today’s world. Many people assume or hope that their glucose metabolism is in order, but do not check it thoroughly.

It is optimal to check for diabetes 2-3 times a year. There is a test for glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) which requires drawing blood just once, and without an overnight fast. However, readings after an overnight fast, without one 2 hours after lunch, does not really rule out diabetes. There is another test called Glucose tolerance, in which readings are taken before and after drinking a measured amount of glucose and some doctors prefer this to get a close fix on how well the body is able to handle sugar.

Diabetes is a silent condition and can strike anyone. Some people live on the border between diabetes and normal glucose metabolism, in a condition called pre-diabetes. They may slip in to a diabetic state after major trauma, infection, or even due to indulgent eating in an extended social or business event.

So please get out tomorrow and have a medically valid test for diabetes, if you have not had one in the last 6 months: once a year is fine for children.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

21st Century Diabetes Management

Adults have an advantage over children when it comes to diabetes management. They are aware of the need to adhere to diets and exercise regimens, and can easily remember to take prescribed medication as well.

Children tend to forget these details, especially when away from home and with friends. They could be tempted to have some candy or ice-cream, or just skip a dose of medicine because adults are not around to help them. Steep blood sugar falls are also issues for small children with diabetes because they may easily exercise much more than usual.

Parents cannot be with children all the time, and depend on teachers to help with diabetes management. However, this is not always possible in large schools and poorly developed areas. Diabetes management remains difficult for children.

Things are beginning to change. Software engineers now work on programs which can relay information from embedded blood glucose monitors to distant locations through computers and cell phones. This would enable parents and care givers to alert children whose blood glucose rises or falls beyond a safe range.

This kind of wireless system could be on the market before the end of 2007. It could be expensive, at least at first, but will certainly go a long way in improving diabetes management for children. It could also be used for the elderly who tend to be forgetful.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Exercise is a Form of Insulin

Since exercise demands energy, it helps to consume some of the extra energy in blood in the form of glucose. Exercise therefore acts in the same way as insulin, providing our body cells with energy by moving glucose out of blood, and inside cells.

Your doctor fixes dosages for all the oral medicines and insulin that he or she prescribes for you, based on a schedule for daily physical activity. These dosages have to change if you exercise much more or less than planned. This is why you should consult your doctor before any change in exercise routines, and make every effort to adhere to the plan in this respect.

It is easier to adjust the medicine dose for patients who use pumps, than for those who are on oral medication, or injections of insulin. Therefore, you should ask your doctor about an insulin pump which you can switch off and on, if you expect to have a period of varying physical activity, and perhaps some irregular meals as well. A social or a business event, and travel are common occasions for this kind of daily variation in the case of adults, but it is nearly inevitable with growing children. Insulin pumps are therefore especially useful for kids. Type 1diabetes is more likely in childhood than type 2 diabetes. However, a pump works equally well with both types.

Monday, October 09, 2006

You Can Keep Diabetes a Secret

Not everyone with diabetes wants others to know of their condition. It is not in my place to pass judgment on the merits of keeping medical information secret, but it is certainly an adult prerogative.

Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes are special conditions which people like to keep to themselves. Most type 2 diabetes sufferers develop large circles of friends and acquaintances before they discover the illness, and feel shy about telling the whole world about their new predicament. Similarly, gestational diabetes goes away after child birth, so why tell anyone?

Meals at social events are the most embarrassing times for people with any form of diabetes, for it is very difficult to tell others why you have to stay away from your favorite foods and beverages. Protracted negotiations can delay meal times, and again, some people with diabetes may hesitate to make an issue about eating on time.

There are three specific things that help to keep diabetes management private:

a. Plead that you have been asked to go on a diet, to stay away from fatty and sugary foods which friends know you love.

b. Keep high fiber snacks handy to fill in for delayed or incomplete meals due to exigencies of work.

c. Use a washroom break to take oral medication and insulin on time, no matter how packed a day’s schedule may be.

It is better to share news of diabetes with everyone, for the disease is not a crime! Friends and associates can help keep your spirits up! Nevertheless, a decision to share or to conceal the information is your choice.

One crucial aspect is to keep information on your person about your diabetic condition, your medicine regimen, and your doctor’s telephone numbers and address, on your person at all times. It could save your life in an accident that leaves you unconscious.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Diabetes is a Disease and Not Always Your Fault!

Type 1 diabetes is inherited. So there is no way anyone with this condition can be blamed for it! Type 1diabetes is often discovered in early childhood, perhaps during a first medical examination and it is difficult for young people to understand the nature and origins of their affliction. Parents and teachers can do much to explain matters not just to children with Type 1 diabetes, but to their peers as well, so that there is no teasing or discrimination on this medical account.

Gestational diabetes and Type II diabetes can be prevented or at least delayed to some extent, so people who deteriorate in to these conditions even after being warned to control diet and weight, have some reason to recriminate. However, glucose tolerance can suffer even in the face of the strictest precautions, and some cases of diabetes in pregnancy and later adult life can be reversed in large measures.

It is common but unnecessary to greet news of diabetes in the family with depression. The truth is that few diseases can be managed as well with modern medicine, and with informed patient compliance, as diabetes. It is possible to live well with the disease, and to achieve the most ambitious goals.

Leave a post here or send me an email if you feel low with the weight of diabetes, and we can find a path out of the issue together!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Even Adults with Diabetes can Use Them!

Diabetes kit bags make life for kids at school so much easier! Medicines, a blood glucose meter, snacks in case blood sugar falls too low, and written instructions for emergencies, can all be neatly, discreetly, and conveniently in place. Teachers love these kits as well, because it makes looking after children with diabetes so much simpler.

Manufacturers have come up with great ideas to make kits for diabetes personal and fun to carry. Children can slip in their favorite pictures on top, and some of them are slim enough to slip in to even the smallest place.

Though kits for diabetes are targeted at children, they are useful for adults as well. It is so much easier to rush off to office or on a trip away from home if everything that people with diabetes need is stowed away in one place. Kits are available with elegant covers and designs, so the world does not need to know what you carry around.

So your age does not really matter when it comes to buying a diabetes kit and keeping it stocked and ready-to-go at all times. Your diabetes management will be better for it, and you can go about your vocation without letting your medical condition interfere!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Diabetes Management during Fasting

Fasting is common amongst Muslims, Hindus, and Jains. There could be instances in other religions as well, which I do not know! Glucose metabolism knows no boundaries of faith, so medically, the best fasts are the ones in which some beverages and limited foods are allowed. I like the ones which let you drink milk, and eat apples, some nuts and the like. Unfortunately, I cannot have my way much of the time, so many people are forced or feel compelled to fast without even water. Mahatma Gandhi fasted to fight for freedom, and as a non-violent weapon for social change, rather than because of directives from priests: his secular leanings however, did not spare him from the ill-effects of depriving his body of essential nutrition for long periods!

It is possible though difficult for people with diabetes to fast safely. The main concern is to prevent blood glucose from falling too low (hypoglycemia) during a fast, and to prevent blood sugar from zooming up (hyperglycemia), when delicious food and sweet beverages are placed before us once a fast is over!

Dosages of oral medicines and of insulin prescribed for diabetes control have to change when we fast, and it is important to ask a doctor for these changes before a fast commences.

A doctor may ask you to curtail some activities if you have diabetes and decide to fast. Do not go for a run, or try your hand at some sport when fasting in any case! This may sound frivolous but the truth is that people with diabetes may experience a sudden and severe blood sugar drop if their bodies have to take a sudden work load during a fast.

Ask your doctor to adjust dosages of diabetes medicines

Try to start the day with a nutritional meal and sugar-free beverages before a fast commences

Curtail physical activities during a fast

Do not gulp large amounts of sugary drinks to break a fast

Avoid over eating and fatty food after a fast is complete

Muslims start a fast with a meal before the day begins. This is an excellent method of fasting for people with diabetes, because a nutritious meal with plenty of sugar-free fluids, foods rich in complex carbohydrates and fibers, can keep a body replete with an adequate and steady stream of blood glucose for many hours in to a day. People with diabetes can take modified release forms of oral medicines and long acting forms of insulin with such pre-dawn meals.

Beverages laden with sugar are not the best ways to break a fast, especially if drunk quickly and in copious amounts. They tend to make blood glucose rise too rapidly. Similarly, it is tempting but harmful to eat too much, and to indulge in rich and fatty foods after a long period of abstinence.

Please leave a post here or send me an email if you would like some meal and drink suggestions which will go well with diabetes and fasting.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

International Food Villains of the Diabetes World

Should people with diabetes and those at risk of developing this condition, eat carbohydrates or not?

The answer is ‘yes and no!’

Complex carbohydrates which are low in sugar can help us eat well, and make for the most delicious meals. This is because our bodies take time to digest them, and they do not lead to sudden spurts in blood sugar.

Simple carbohydrates enter the blood stream quickly, and many people who either suffer from diabetes, or who are prone to it, tend to have trouble moving the glucose surges in to cells for energy.

A simple carbohydrate which is high in sugar is a red sign, because it is nearly impossible for anyone without a fully functional pancreas to handle all the calories! Staying away from such food is a cornerstone of diabetes management and prevention as well.

Simple carbohydrates high in sugar are international favorites, and meal tables and food service outlets are full of them. Here is a list of the 10 top villains:









Sodas with sugar

Candies and Chocolate

Do not let this list disappoint you, for I have another list of delicious foods which you can enjoy!

Leave a post here or send me an email to get such a list!