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The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index is a concept developed in the University of Toronto in 1981.
The purpose of the Glycemic Index is to measure the effect carbohydrates have on
blood glucose levels. The Glycemic Index is imperative for anyone who needs to
monitor their glucose level due to diabetes or hyperglycemia. With diabetes
reaching epidemic levels in the United States, the development of the Glycemic
Index could not have come at a better time. Each year, more people are
diagnosed with this potentially life threatening disease that can cause many
serious complications. It is important for anyone with this condition to
familiarize themselves with the Glycemic Index so they can empower themselves
and learn which foods should be avoided.

Carbohydrates are a diverse group of foods and all have different ways of
breaking down in the system. People with diabetes have a difficult time
breaking down certain foods, particularly those high in carbohydrates, in their
system. Digestion is slow and sugars and starches are absorbed into the blood
stream, causing an excess in blood glucose. Diabetics are often warned to limit
their carbohydrate intake because it takes such a long time for most
carbohydrates to digest.

However, this is easier said than done and it is difficult, if not impossible,
for many diabetics to eliminate carbohydrates from their diet. This is one of
the reasons many diabetics are non-compliant in their treatment. Because
diabetes does not often cause serious complications at onset, many patients
refuse to take their medicine and continue eating foods that are high in sugar
and starch.

The Glycemic Index is very helpful because it rates different carbohydrates
based upon their effect on the different levels of blood glucose. Those foods
that digest rapidly cause the less harm to the system and have a low glycemic
index. The carbohydrates that take a longer time to digest have a higher rate
as they cause more harm to the blood glucose level.

The Glycemic Index ranges from one to one hundred. A low food in the glycemic
index has a rating of below 55. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains
and some pastas. Foods that fall between the 56 to 69 range are considered
"medium" in the Glycemic Index. They include candy bars, croissants and some

Surprisingly, although a candy bar scores in the medium classification of the
glycemic index, it is not as harmful as those carbohydrates that score in the
high glycemic index range. These include corn flakes, white rice, white bread
and baked potato. In other words, it is easier for a diabetic to digest a candy
bar than a baked potato.

Knowledge of the glycemic index is imperative for anyone who has diabetes or
who has been diagnosed as borderline diabetic. To be able to understand which
foods have the most impact on blood glucose levels is crucial for anyone
fighting this potentially life-threatening condition.

If you or a loved one suffers from diabetes, become familiar with the Glycemic
Index so that you learn about the different categories of carbohydrates and
which groups should be avoided. There are many substitutes for carbohydrates
that rate high in the Glycemic Index and are available at most grocery stores.
While diabetes is currently without a cure, there are many different ways that
people with this disease can life long, productive lives.

The Effect of The Glycemic Index on The Body

The Glycemic Index was discovered in 1981. It determines the rates of how
different carbohydrates effect the body. The Glycemic Index is especially
important to those who suffer from diabetes who need to watch their blood
glucose. Diabetes have a difficult time breaking down glucose found in many
carbohydrates and digesting them normally. This causes kidney and sometimes
liver damage The effect of the glycemic index on the body is that it allows
people to know which carbohydrates are the ones that can cause the most damage
and those that break down easily in the system. The effect of the glycemic
index on the body is crucial to anyone who wants to monitor their blood glucose

For example, certain foods, such as vegetables and fruits, with the exception
of the potato, can be good glycemic foods. They are low on the glycemic index
and tend to take a long time to break down in the body, giving the system
plenty of time to absorb the sugars and eliminate them without causing too much
damage to the body. Other good glycemic foods include whole wheat pastas and
certain types of rice. There are many excellent whole wheat pastas on the
market today that make a wonderful substitute for traditional pastas that are
made from white flour.

By being aware of the glycemic ratings, the effect of the Glycemic Index on the
body can also assist a person who wants to avoid those carbohydrates that absorb
quickly into the system and are the most difficult to digest. These include
white breads, refined sugars, baked potatoes, rice, items made with white
flour. By understanding he ratings of these carbohydrates, a diabetic can be
educated to know the effect of the glycemic index on the body.

Years ago, people with diabetes would simply be told to avoid carbohydrates. It
was not until 1981 when the medical community began rating different
carbohydrates as to their impact on the system. It became apparent to medical
researches that certain carbohydrates absorbed quickly into the system and
others absorbed more naturally and were more desirable alternatives to the
high-rated carbohydrates. By 1981, the medical community was discovering he
effect of the glycemic index on the body not only pertaining to diabetics, but
to others as well. The effect of the glycemic index on the body gave birth to
some very popular low-carb diets such as The South Beach Diet and other diets
that monitored carbohydrate ratings.

The effect of the glycemic index on the body can assist a person who is
watching his or her carbohydrates, either due to diabetes or a diet, to
determine which carbohydrates are more dangerous for their body than others. A
person who has been diagnosed with diabetes should familiarize him or her self
with the Glycemic Index as soon as possible.

Diabetes can be controlled by a healthy diet. By learning about the Glycemic
Index, one can empower themselves to learn which foods should be avoided and
which foods can be beneficial to their health. All individuals can benefit from
the Glycemic Index, but this information is particularly invaluable to someone
with diabetes.

How To Use The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is a rating of carbohydrates that was developed in 1981 by
Dr. David J. Jenkins of the University of Toronto. This concept was developed
to help people who wanted to rank carbohydrates based upon how they affected
the blood glucose levels. Different carbohydrates are absorbed into the system
in different manners and all take different times to break down and digest.
Carbohydrates that break down and cause rapid digestion tend to leave the most
glucose in the blood stream and cause the most damage to a person who is a
diabetic. These carbohydrates are given a high rating on the Glycemic Index.

The carbohydrates that are given a high rating on the Glycemic Index include
those made with white sugar, white flour, baked potato, French fried pototoes,
white break, pastas made with white flour. Even corn flakes are considered bad
carbohydrates on the Glycemic Index. This can be valuable information for
anyone who has just been diagnosed as a diabetic and wants to discover which
foods are more beneficial. While most diabetics will be told to avoid carbs,
avoiding carbohydrates all together is not often feasible. For someone who
thinks a candy bar is way worse than white bread, the Glycemic Index can be a
real eye opener and can be a great way how to use the Glycemic Index for
someone who is trying to discover which carbohydrates are safer than others.

Another way on how to use the Glycemic Index is to learn which carbohydrates
are better for those who are trying to either watch their carbohydrate intake
or who are on a diabetic diet. Some foods, such as fruits and certain
vegetables, are low on the glycemic index and take a longer time to absorb into
the bloodstream, giving the body the benefit of the nutrients while allowing the
body to expel the glucose in a more natural way. One caveat when it comes to
fruits and vegetables is that baked potatoes are not considered in the low
group in the Glycemic Index.

As a matter of fact, potatoes are one of the highest ranking foods in the
Glycemic Index. People consume French fries throughout the world like they are
going out of style. Not only are they high in fat and offer little protein,
they are also very high in carbohydrates.

Intermediate carbohydrates in the Glycemic Index include foods with a rating
from 56 to 69. These include candy bars, some brown rices and croissants. This
an be invaluable news to someone who is learning to develop a diabetic diet but
who is unaware of what foods rank high and rank low.

Most people may assume that a piece of white bread is way worse for a person
with diabetes than a candy bar, but this is not true. By learning the different
ratings and classifications on the Glycemic Index, a person who is watching
their carbohydrates as well as their diabetic diet can learn some invaluable
lessons and learn how to use the Glycemic Index to their advantage.

What is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is a symptom of people with diabetes Type I and Type II. It occurs
when people have too little sugar, or glucose, in their blood. While this often
is the result of medication from diabetes, hypoglycemia has many different
causes and can affect anyone. Those with this disorder present with low blood
sugar. This can be temporary and easily fixed by protein or food. In some
cases, people who have been fasting can develop low blood sugar. Often, this is
quickly cured by protein.

It is a common misconception that someone suffering from hypoglycemia should be
given something sweet to alleviate the condition. The truth of the matter is
that those suffering from hypoglycemia are usually lacking protein and a food
high in protein can alleviate their symptoms. Peanut butter is an excellent
choice in helping someone suffering from hypoglycemia.

In some cases, however, hypoglycemia is a disease as it occurs for many
different reasons in a person. The best way to define hypoglycemia is to say
that it is the opposite of diabetes. While people with diabetes need to avoid
sugar as they have an abundance of glucose in their blood, those with
hypoglycemia have low glucose levels and need to replenish the sugar or glucose
in their blood. In many cases, those with diabetes may develop hypoglycemia as a
reaction to insulin or diet. This is different than someone who experiences
hypoglycemia on an occasional basis, usually the result of not eating properly.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, anxiety, heart palpitations,
sweating, dilated pupils, coldness, feeling of fainting, clamminess. These
symptoms are triggered by the loss of glucose that affects the brain If
untreated, a person with hypoglycemia can fall into a diabetic coma and even
die from the hypoglycemia. If someone is suffering from hypoglycemia, they
should be given something to eat rich in protein to avoid falling faint or, in
the worst case scenario, falling into a coma.

Other symptoms of hypoglycemia include physical symptoms such as vomiting and
abdominal pains as well as hunger. As hypoglycemia continues, neurological
symptoms may include difficulty speaking, slurred speech, fatigue, anxiety,
lethargy, delirium, headache, stupor, abnormal breathing and finally, coma.

One of the first things that a doctor will do to treat someone with
hypoglycemia is to determine the circumstances that caused the disease. A
physical examination is necessary and blood samples will usually be taken. Many
cases of hypoglycemia are unexplained as no sample is taken from the blood
before glucose is given to relieve the symptom.

In many cases, hypoglycemia is nothing to be concerned about. It can simply be
the reaction of malnutrition or fasting. Many people experience hypoglycemia
without even knowing it. If it continues to be a problem, however, many people
will seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause of the illness.

For the most part, hypoglycemia has many common causes and for those who
experience the symptoms, testing by a medical professional is necessary to
determine the etiology of the cause of hypoglycemia. In a good number of cases,
the cause for hypoglycemia is never determined and the situation resolves itself.

Weight Control In Diabetes Management

It is imperative for a person with diabetes to manage their blood sugar and
carbohydrate intake. This is the objective of diabetic management. Unlike
people without the disease, diabetics do not process certain sugars and
carbohydrates through their system, which increases the glucose level in their
blood,. Glycemia is the term used for the measure of glucose in your blood.
People who have diabetes have to measure the amount of glucose in their blood
several times a day. Monitors are provided to people with diabetes by their
physicians so that they can do this. There are many different monitors on the
market today that make monitoring blood glucose levels easy and painless.

There are several reasons as to why certain people are prone to acquiring
diabetes. Although there is a genetic link to the disease, weight also plays a
significant role in diabetes. People who are considered obese have an increased
chance of acquiring diabetes and poor weight management makes it difficult for 
them to control the disease.

People who are overweight can, in some cases, eliminate the condition by losing
weight. If, for example, a significant gain in weight caused a person to acquire
Type II Diabetes, a proper diet and elimination of the obesity can reverse the
condition of the disease. Weight control in diabetes management is not only
essential in treating the disease, but can also actually reverse this
potentially life threatening condition. There have been many instances where
those who have been obese and who have lost weight have also lost diabetes.
This reversal effect, however, only works with those who contacted the disease
by being overweight. Those who contact diabetes through a genetic disposition
cannot reverse the condition.

Weight control in diabetes management can take many facets. From eating the
correct foods and eliminated carbohydrates, particularly those that are high on
the Glycemic Index, from your diet, you can not only lose weight, but manage the

Exercise is crucial for everyone. It raises our energy level, keeps us active,
improves our mental state, is instrumental in treating depression but is
essential when managing diabetes. By exercising, a person with diabetes can not
only better control the glucose in their blood as active muscles can better
eliminate blood glucose than idle muscles, but exercise is an excellent way to
implement weight control in diabetes management.

Weight management in diabetes is one of the more important aspects of treating
this condition. Other ways in which someone can manage their diabetic condition
is to take the proper medication as prescribed by your physician and be certain
to monitor your blood glucose with a testing device. Many diabetics, especially
when first diagnosed, are in denial. Diabetes are among some of the most non
compliant patients treated by physicians, which can be dangerous to the patient
and frustrating to the doctor. By following doctor's orders, eating the proper
foods, taking prescribed medication, monitoring your blood sugar levels and
watching your weight, you can stave off harmful complications of this disease.
Weight control in diabetes management is one of the first methods in treating
your condition,.

Type I and Type II Diabetes

There are two different types of diabetes. Type I and Type II. Type I Diabetes
is usually diagnosed in children and very young adults. Type I Diabetes differs
from Type II in that a person with Type I Diabetes does not produce insulin at
all. Insulin is needed to take sugar from the blood into the cells. Type I
diabetes used to be called Juvenile Diabetes as it was diagnosed in children at
early ages. The symptoms of Type I and Type II Diabetes are very similar.
Frequent urination, frequent thirst, excessive hunger are three of the most
common symptoms.

A person with Type I Diabetes must be on insulin for the rest of his or her
life. This does not mean that they cannot lead a long, productive life. In
fact, people who are diagnosed young in life become accustomed to the treatment
and are generally more compliant than those who are diagnosed with Type II
diabetes later in life and who tend to ignore many treatment options.

Years ago, a child who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes had to inject himself
every day with insulin to remain alive. Today, however, insulin pumps are
available that make daily injections a thing of the past. A person with Type I
diabetes, as is the case with those with Type II diabetes, has to watch their
diet and avoid certain foods high in sugar and starch.

In 1981, the Glycemic Index was developed at the University of Toronto that
rated those foods diabetics should avoid on a scale system. Some foods were
very high on the scale and took a longer time to process in the system, causing
more strain on the kidneys and adverse affects on insulin. Other foods were low
on the scale and digested at a slower pace. For years, it was commonly assumed
that sweets were the cause of diabetes at that these were the only foods to
avoid. With the advent of the Glycemic Index as well as other medical studies,
it became apparent that sweets were not the only foods to avoid. As a matter of
fact, a baked potato, often seen as a nutritional substance, is actually more
harmful than a candy bar.

Carbohydrates are the bane to diabetics. And this is the food group rated on
the Glycemic Index. People with Type I and Type II diabetes must limit their
intake of carbohydrates. Certain carbohydrates, those rated low on the Glycemic
Index, can be taken in smaller quantities. Those on the high scale should be
avoided at all cost.

People with Type II diabetes are generally diagnosed later in life. This
condition often effects older people and those who are obese. The incidents of
Type II diabetes has mirrored incidents of obesity in the United States and
most in the medical community agree that there is a clear link to obesity and
the development of this disease. People with Type II diabetes do not process
enough insulin to break down the glucose in their system and cause their
kidneys to work overtime in getting rid of the waste. While some people with
Type II diabetes are prescribed insulin, most are started on a regiment of

Physicians generally hope that by taking medication as prescribed, exercising,
eating the right foods and monitoring their blood glucose levels, they can
avoid the use of insulin. In many cases, patients are very successful at
maintaining good blood sugar levels by modifying their diet, exercising and
losing weight. Others who are not successful usually end up taking insulin.

As with both Type I and Type II diabetes, there are complications. These
complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease and skin
disorders can be avoided if patients comply with the instructions of their
physician, learn about their disease and do all they can to manage it. Diabetes
is far from a death sentence. With proper maintenance, those with Type I and
Type II diabetes can live long and happy lives.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that is generally determined by the concentration of
glucose in the blood. The amount of glucose in the blood is glycemia. The
Glycemic Index indicates which carbohydrates have the highest levels of
concentration of sugars and starches that make it so difficult for some
diabetes to digest. Most diabetics have either Type I or Type II Diabetes.
Generally, when a person is diagnosed with Type II diabetes, they are generally
adults. Many people develop Type II Diabetes later in life after experiencing
certain symptoms.

Diabetics have a difficult type processing certain foods, such as sugars and
starches, into their digestive system. Certain signs of diabetes include
frequent urination, increased thirst and desire for fluids and may also include
an increased appetite. In many cases, a person with Type II diabetes feels
generally unwell but cannot figure out what is wrong. Symptoms can mirror the
flu or other illnesses. If you are experiencing frequent thirst, excessive
urination and a substantially increased appetite, have yourself checked out for

Fatigue is also a symptom of diabetes and Type I Diabetes may cause loss of
weight, despite increased eating. The reason for the symptoms is because of the
glucose concentration in the blood, also called glycemia. Because the glucose
concentration is raised beyond the allowed threshold, glucose remains in the
urine, causes more pressure and more frequent urination. When uncontrolled,
diabetes can cause kidney edamage.

Some patients with Type I diabetes present with nausea, abdominal pain and an
comatose state. Diabetic ketoacidosis is another term for a diabetic coma which
can result when diabetes is undiagnosed or uncontrolled. A diabetic coma can
result in death.

Most people with diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. There is another
type of diabetes, however, called Hypoglycemia, in which the patient has a
lower than normal amount of glucose in the blood. This can result in a variety
of symptoms including fainting, feeling poorly, impairment of functioning and
even coma.

If you have symptoms of diabetes, you should check your blood sugar level with
your doctor. Although more definitive tests are needed to properly diagnose
diabetes, high or low blood sugar can be an indicator that you should see your
doctor to determine the cause of the abnormal blood glucose.

Symptoms of diabetes can be frightening, but are easily controlled. If you feel
that you have any of the above listed symptoms, do not be afraid to see your
physician. Diabetes, although seemingly scary, is easily controlled. Physicians
know more about diabetes now than ever before and there are many effective
medications on the market to keep your disease under control.

If you have a family of history of diabetes, are overweight, or have not have
your blood sugar tested recently, be aware of the symptoms of diabetes and have
your physician test your blood the on your next visit. If you begin experiencing
any of the symptoms of diabetes prior to your physician visit, do not be foolish
-- go to the ER and have yourself checked out.

You Can Control Diabetes

Perhaps you, like many other Americans, have recently been diagnosed with
diabetes. Diabetes can be a life threatening condition and can cause many
different complications in individuals with this illness. If you or a loved one
has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, be aware that you can control
diabetes. By maintaining your weight, following the instructions of your doctor
and taking your medication, as well as watching your diet, you can eliminate the
complications that often arise in someone with this condition.

There are many ways you can control diabetes. Many people who are first
diagnosed have a period of time where they are in denial. Although Type II
diabetes has become somewhat of a national epidemic, many people refuse to
believe that they could possibly have this disease. Perhaps they are not
overweight or do not eat a lot of sweets. These are only two precursors to
diabetes. Many people who are not overweight or who do not eat a lot of sugar
have also been diagnosed with Type II diabetes. It strikes everyone. And there
are also some indications that it can be an inherited disorder. If you have a
first degree relative who has diabetes, there is a very good chance that you
may inherit this disorder. You should bring this matter to the attention of
your physician so he or she can do some simple blood tests to determine if you
are at risk for diabetes.

You can control diabetes. If you are diagnosed with Type II diabetes, one of
the first things you need to do is to get a blood sugar monitor so that you can
keep a record of your blood sugar. Your doctor will want you to do this several
times a day, particularly after you eat. You will also, most likely, be
prescribed certain medications. You should take them as directed. You will also
be given diet suggestions.

Many people who have Type II diabetes are non compliant. This means that they
do not take their medicine, monitor their blood sugar and eat all the wrong
things. You can control diabetes if you simply comply with your doctor's

One of the best things you can do to control diabetes is by being aware of the
Glycemic Index that is given to certain carbohydrates. Those with Type II
diabetes are warned to stay away from carbohydrates. Diabetics have a difficult
time breaking down the sugars and starches and absorbing them into their system.
Certain carbohydrates have higher blood glucose levels which takes them longer
break down. By being aware of which carbohydrates rank high in the glycemic
index is just one way to monitor the glycerin, which is the amount of glucose
in the blood. It is imperative for a diabetic to monitor their glycemia.

You can control diabetes if you take your prescribed medication, monitor your
blood sugars, become aware of carbohydrates that are high in the gylcemic index
and keep an eye on your glycemia, which is the concentration of glucose in the

By complying with medication, testing and diet, you can keep your diabetes
under control.

Pre Diabetes

Type II Diabetes has become somewhat of an epidemic of late. More and more
people are being diagnosed with this potentially life threatening condition.
Type II Diabetes usually sets on later in life, although more younger people
are being diagnosed every day with this disease.

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 54 million people
in the United States have pre diabetes. Pre diabetes is a condition in which the
blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered
Type II diabetes. Although pre diabetes is not a full fledged disease, it can
also cause complications in the heart and blood circulation if left untreated.

The good news about pre diabetes is that with proper nutrition and the care of
a physician, you can avoid being diagnosed with Type II diabetes. The condition
can reverse itself, but it does take work on the part of the individual, as well
as compliance with the orders directed by your physician.

Obesity is also an epidemic in the United States and many in the medical
community believe that this is contributory to the corresponding diabetic
epidemic. It is the general consensus of the medical community that obesity is
a precursor to Type II diabetes. Therefore, those who have pre diabetes can
stave off the disease by making some healthy life choices that will eliminate
their need for medication or insulin in later years.

One way to reverse the effects of pre diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight.
This can be easily accomplished through diet and exercise. For those who feel
that it is too much trouble to manage their weight or complain that they do not
have the time to exercise, they need to realize that the time they spend
exercising now can eliminate their time spent on dialysis. While not all people
with diabetes experience kidney failure, many do. And when the kidneys fail,
these patients must spend many hours each week, hooked up to a machine that
functions as their kidneys.

Those who complain that they do not want to watch their diet can be reminded
that it is easier to watch their diet than to inject themselves with insulin or
monitor their blood glucose levels several times a day. Those who feel that
foods that are rich in carbohydrates are less expensive than healthier
alternatives can be reminded of the cost of medications and doctor visits for
those who refuse to take control of their condition right away.

While some people are pre disposed to diabetes through genetic factors, others
acquire this disease by eating too many bad carbohydrates, being inactive and
not maintaining a healthy weight. If you have been told that you have pre
diabetes, do not fret. You can reverse this condition. Begin an exercise
regime, even if it only entails walking. Take a look at the Glycemic Index that
explains which foods diabetics should avoid and follow these suggestions.

See your doctor about being put on a weight loss program and make certain that
he or she continues to monitor your blood glucose levels. Pre diabetes does not
have to turn into Type II diabetes. By developing a healthier lifestyle, you can
reverse this condition and lead a longer, healthier life.

Medications That Treat Diabetes

Currently, there are many different medications that treat diabetes. Most
people who are diagnosed with Type II diabetes are given medication instead of
insulin. In most cases, a combination of drugs are used. These drugs work with
the body to increase insulin production and make it easier for the body to
eliminate glucose.

Sulfonylureas are one of the most popular drugs used to treat diabetes. There
are several different types of this drug on the market, the most popular being
Glucotrol. These drugs work by increasing the amount of insulin released from
the pancreas. These drugs work well in lowering blood glucose levels but also
run a risk of a person developing hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is when the blood
sugar level is too low. Because of this potentially dangerous side effect,
sulfonylureas are often given with other drugs, most notably Glucophage, or
more commonly known as Metformin. This drug works well with Glucotrol as it
reduces the amount of glucose in the liver while the Glucotrol increases the
amount of insulin in the pancreas. Both medications must be taken prior to
meals. Most people who are first diagnosed with Type II diabetes are given this
combination of drugs which, when taken as directed, are effective at maintaining
a healthy blood glucose level.

Another drug that is showing promise in working well with Metformin is Prandin.
Prandin also lowers blood glucose levels but at a slower rate than Metformin and
has shown good results in studies. Like Glucotrol, Prandin increases the amount
of insulin in the body and can also cause hypoglycemia. It is very important
for a patient with diabetes to work with their physician to get the right
dosage of each medication and never double a dosage or cut one in half. Prandin
cannot be used in women who are pregnant or nursing children.

Starlix is another drug that works similar to Prandin but does not require
adjustments. The dosage remains constant and is also safe to use on those with
kidney problems. Starlix is yet another promising drug being used to treat
people with Type II Diabetes.

While most medications that treat diabetes increase insulin developed in the
pancreas and decrease the glucose in the liver, newer medications are being
marketed that decrease the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestines.
Precose did remarkably well in trial studies in breaking down the carbohydrates
in the system, making it easier to eliminate. However, this medication has not
done as well as the sulfonlureas, which are considered the best possible
medications that treat diabetes at this time. However, for those who are
allergic to sulfur, Precose is a good alternate.

Other new medications that are concentrating on controlling the glycemic
control in the system include Symlin and Byetta. While these drugs have proven
to be show promise, more testing is needed before they can replace traditional

A diagnosis of Type II diabetes may be frightening for an individual, but there
are many different medications available that can keep this disease at bay. It
is very important, however, for a patient to be totally complaint in order for
these medications to work effectively. It may take increased dosages, lowered
dosages or different combinations of medications in order to get the right
balance that will help you maintain a healthy blood glucose level. This is why
it is so important for an individual to carefully monitor their blood glucose
level throughout the day and keep a record for the physician.

By working with your physician and reporting symptoms and results of blood
glucose monitoring, you can empower yourself to keep your diabetes in check and
avoid any complications that are associated with this disease.

Link Between Diabetes, Heart Attacks And Strokes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body either lacks insulin or does not
produce enough insulin to break ingested glucose into cells. As a result, the
glucose remain in the blood and damage blood vessels. A high content of glucose
in the blood is called hyperglycemia and is often a precursor to heart attack
and stroke. People who have diabetes have twice as much of a chance of having a
heart attack and stroke as those without this condition.

In addition to diabetes itself being a risk factor for heart attack and stroke,
there are other risk factors that people with diabetes should be aware of to
reduce their risk factor for heart attack and stroke. This includes central
obesity. Studies by the American Heart Association have indicated that while
obesity in itself is a risk for a heart attack, carrying excess weight around
the waist increases your risk of heart attack. This is believed to be due to
the fact that abdominal fat increases bad cholesterol more than fat on other
areas of the body.

Speaking of cholesterol, those with diabetes should carefully monitor their
cholesterol carefully. Because the blood vessels are already weakened by the
excessive glucose in the blood level, people with diabetes have to be
especially careful about their cholesterol levels as their arteries can become
blocked easier than those without diabetes. Monitoring cholesterol is important
for everyone, but imperative for those with diabetes.

Hypertension is also a dangerous condition for those with diabetes and can lead
to heart attack or stroke. Damaged blood vessels having to work harder to pump
blood from your heart throughout your body can cause heart damage, stroke, and
even eye problems.

Clearly, those who have diabetes must not only carefully monitor the disease,
but he complications that can rise from diabetes. While it is important for
everyone to check their blood pressure, cholesterol and maintain an ideal
weight, it is even more important for someone who has diabetes.

In order to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke for people with
diabetes, it is important, first of all, to manage the disease. By eating 
proper foods that are recommended for people who have this condition, exercising 
and taking your medication, you can maintain a good glucose level in your blood 
that will reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. By monitoring your 
cholesterol and blood pressure and seeing your physician on a regular basis, you 
can stop a potential problem before it begins.

By empowering yourself to learn all you can about managing diabetes and
complying with the instructions of your physician, you can live an active and
long life with diabetes. Knowledge and facing the situation is the key. Those
who refuse to follow advice, who prefer to eat whatever they feel like, not
exercise and pretend that the disease does not exist put themselves at the most

Type II diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. It does
not have to be a killer. People who follow instructions, learn about the disease
and comply with their physician have an excellent chance at reducing their risk
of acquiring any of the complications associated with this disease. Despite the
link between diabetes, heart attack and stroke, those who maintain their health
can avoid these conditions.

Kidney Disease and Diabetes

Not everyone who has diabetes gets kidney disease. This is yet another popular
misconception about the illness. While uncontrolled glycemia can cause kidney
disease, diabetics who maintain their proper blood glucose levels can avoid
kidney disease.

Diabetics who get kidney disease acquire this life threatening condition
because they are unable to dispose of the waste products of sugars and starches
through their systems. These foods remain in their system and do not break down
and eliminate, as they do in others without the disease. The sugars and
starches stay in the system and cause the blood sugars to rise to high levels
that can be dangerous. Not only that, it makes it difficult for proteins to
pass through the system.

Eventually, when a person has uncontrolled diabetes and does not maintain their
proper blood glucose levels, the elimination process through the kidneys ceases
to function effectively. The kidneys have to work harder and harder to
eliminate the waste products and the proteins are blocked. The kidneys filter
too much blood and begin to leak. Protein is lost through the kidneys and from
the body. Towards the end, waste products begin to build up into the blood.

This is the basics of kidney disease. Kidney disease is acquired in many ways.
In diabetics, it is acquired because the kidneys worked too hard to filter out
the sugars and starches and were unable to remove waste products from the
blood. Eventually, like any organ that is overworked, they shut down. When the
kidneys shut down, a person is often put on dialysis, in which a machine
functions as the kidneys. In some cases, a person with kidney disease can opt
for a transplant, however this is not often available to persons with diabetes.

A person cannot live without their kidneys. Therefore, it is imperative that a
person with diabetes understands how their kidneys function and what they can
do to help these vital organs function efficiently. A diabetic does not have to
contact kidney disease at all. A diabetic can avoid most complications of the
disease by simply following the orders of their physician and maintaining a
healthy lifestyle.

Many diabetics are non compliant patients. Non complaint patients are those who
do not do what the doctor instructs them to do. They do not follow the diet as
recommended in the Glycemic Index. This chart was developed to inform people
with diabetes of which foods to avoid. Those foods that are high in the
glycemic index take the longest to break down and do the most damage to the
kidneys, who try their best to eliminate the waste. The Glycemic Index was
developed in 1981 and is a potential lifesaver for anyone with this disease as
it clearly states which foods to avoid.

Other methods of non compliance include not monitoring their blood sugar. A
diabetic is often prescribed a blood monitor that he or she must use several
times a day to check their blood glucose levels. In addition, the levels are
recorded and should be presented to the physician during their scheduled visit.
Many diabetics do not comply with this integral part of their treatment.

Insulin or medication is usually prescribed for diabetics who sometimes refuse
to take these lifesaving medications. The insulin or medication enables the
foods to break down and assists the kidneys in eliminating waste. There is no
reason not to take these medications and there are many different programs
available for those who cannot afford these medications.

Exercise and weight control are crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle not
only for diabetics, but for the general population. Yet many people simply
refuse to follow these essential guidelines.

Diabetes is not necessarily a precursor to kidney disease. Kidney disease and
diabetes are two different diseases. One does not always lead to the other.

Insulin To Treat Diabetes

When someone has Type I diabetes, which used to be referred to as Juvenile
Diabetes, insulin is the natural treatment. In this case, a person does not
produce any insulin and insulin must be injected in order for the patient to
survive. Just as there are many different types of oral medications to treat
Type II diabetes, there are also many different options when it comes to
insulin to treat diabetes.

Years ago, insulin was derived from animals and injected by a needle. Patients
often needed multiple insulin injections throughout the day. There were
problems with the insulin derived from beef and pork and many patients
developed a resistance to the insulin after a period of time. In 1977, modern
technology in the treatment of diabetes took a giant leap as human insulin was
cloned. Today, insulin to treat diabetes is human insulin and is much more
effective than insulin used in the past.

There are many different types of insulin on the market today and, as is the
case with oral medications, it may take several different insulin types in
order to find the correct balance that will insure good glucose levels. Some
insulin, such as Humalog, is very short acting and peaks within an hour after
injection. Other insulin, such as Ultra Lente, is very long acting and peaks in
18 hours.

There are three characteristics to insulin. Onset is the time it takes for the
drug to reach the bloodstream and begin lowering the glucose. The peaktime is
the time when the drug is at the maximum strength and the duration is how long
the drug continues to work in reducing the blood glucose level.

Each patient has different needs when it comes to insulin and for this reason,
there are many different types of the drug. Cost is also a consideration in
many cases as the insulin must be injected every day and, in certain instances,
many people have to inject the insulin several times a day.

Another benefit of modern technology in managing people with diabetes through
the use of insulin is the insulin pump. This is much more effective than
injections as it is a catheter that remains under the skin and separates the
insulin into three different types of insulin. Basal insulin is injected
continuously. Bolus doses are given to cover any carbohydrates consumed in a
meal. You can also have correction doses or supplemental doses. This is
especially effective if your blood sugars are high prior to eating.

The use of the insulin pump is much more effective than using injections as it
controls your insulin and blood glucose levels on a continuous basis. It is
relatively easy to use and most people with Type I diabetes are using insulin

Not only people with Type I diabetes use insulin. Those with Type II diabetes
who have been unable to control their blood sugars through diet and medication
are often prescribed insulin. Because the insulin pump is so effective at
retaining control of the blood glucose level, many people with Type II diabetes
have also opted to use the insulin pump.

Medical science is continuing to search for a cure for diabetes which has
reached epidemic proportions in some areas. Until a cure is found, however,
there are many ways to treat this disease. When someone gets a diagnoses of
diabetes, they often panic and are overwhelmed at all of the information. If
you or a loved one is diagnosed with diabetes, become empowered by learning all
you can about treating the illness, learning about different medications and
making sure that you comply with orders given by your physician. Patients with
diabetes who are compliant and learn about their disease stand the best chance
of living a long and productive live, despite having diabetes.

How To Prevent Diabetes

In many instances, diabetes is an inherited disorder. People who have first
degree relatives with this disease are more prone to developing this disease
than people with no genetic disposition. People who have a first degree
relative with diabetes can avoid contacting the illness by having themselves
tested by their physician. The physician can do a series of blood tests that
will determine whether or not the patient is pre disposed to this condition. If
a person has a pre diabetic condition, there are many things they can do to
avoid getting this disease.

However, Type II Diabetes has become nearly an epidemic in this country. Many
in the medical community believe that one of the reasons many people acquire
this potentially life threatening condition is from obesity. The diabetes
epidemic has mirrored the obesity epidemic currently overtaking the United
States as well as other countries. People consume foods that are high in
carbohydrates and sugars and low in nutrients at an alarming rate. We often
think of diabetics as being people with a sweet tooth who crave sugar. This is
not the case. More often, a person who is obese has more of a chance of getting
diabetes than a person who maintains his or her weight.

One way how to prevent diabetes is by managing your weight. Although there is
little you can do about having a genetic disposition to the disease, there are
ways you can prevent becoming one of the millions of Americans who develop
diabetes each year.

When seeking how to prevent diabetes, the first thing a person can do is watch
your weight. Studies indicate that people who are overweight are more prone to
developing diabetes. How to prevent diabetes. Rule number one is manage your
weight. One way to manage your weight is to stay way from foods laden with
saturated fats, and sugars. Stay away from fast food, which is usually high in
fats, carbohydrates and sugars. Most fast food offer little in the way of
nutrition but are high in fat and carbohydrates.

Another way how to prevent diabetes is to exercise. Exercising regularly
improves blood sugar control. Because active muscles dispel glucose from blood
quicker than non-exercised muscles, regular exercise can do wonders in staving
off or preventing diabetes. In addition, regular exercise also helps to
maintain stable weight, another factor in preventing obesity.

Again, the misconception that people contract diabetes through excessive
consumption of sugars is inaccurate. It is not only sugar that contributes to
the disease. While it is good to eliminate the use of excessive sugar in your
diet, carbohydrates are also contributory to the onset of diabetes. One way on
how to prevent diabetes is becoming aware of the Glycemic Index. The Glycemic
Index was developed in 1981 and rates which carbohydrates are more difficult to
eliminate glucose from the blood.

When asking yourself how to prevent diabetes, focus your attention on your
weight, exercise and diet. In many cases, simple lifestyle changes can prevent
someone from getting this potentially life threatening disease.

Can A Good Diet Keep Diabetes At Bay?

Upon first being diagnosed with diabetes, many patients ask can a good diet
keep diabetes at bay. Most doctors will agree that a good diet, low in
carbohydrates and sugars can help a person with diabetes avoid many of the
complications that often accompany the disease. While a good diet can not
necessarily cure the illness, a good diet can keep diabetes at bay.

People who have diabetes have a difficult time processing foods such as sugars
and starches. Instead of processing normally through their system, they stay in
the system and turn end up increasing the glucose in the bloodstream. When this
occurs, it is called glycemia -- which is too much sugar in the blood. People
with Type I and Type II diabetes both suffer from having too much glucose in
the blood. As the glucose does not digest normally, it causes problems with the
kidneys, liver, eyesight, heart and blood circulation in general.

Depending upon the stage of their diabetes, a physician will normally prescribe
either medication or insulin. Both help the body process the sugars in the
blood, to break them down and allow the patient to expel them. However, insulin
and medication are no substitute for a healthy diet. Just because a person is
taking medication or insulin does not give them carte blanche to consume all of
the sugar and carbohydrates they can get their hands on. It is absolutely
essential that a person with diabetes not only take medication or insulin as
directed, but also adhere to a diabetic diet. This means getting familiar with
which foods should be avoided and which foods can be eaten sparingly.

The Glycemic Index was established in 1981 to rate which carbohydrates are the
worst for those with diabetes. The carbohydrates that are high on the list,
such as white bread, take longer to digest and should be avoided. Carbohydrates
that have low scores, such as brown rice, can be eaten in moderation. It is very
difficult for anyone to avoid carbohydrates completely, which is why
familiarizing oneself with the Glycemic Index is so important in the treatment
of diabetes.

In addition to carbohydrates that rate high on the Glycemic Index as well as
low, there is also an intermediate group. It may surprise people to know that a
chocolate bar is rated in the intermediate group on the Glycemic Index. This
does not mean, however, that one should feel free to consume all the chocolate
they want. The purpose of the Glycemic Index is to help individuals establish
which foods should definitely be avoided and which foods are okay in moderation.

So, can a good diet keep diabetes at bay. The answer is yes. While it cannot
cure a patient of diabetes, a good diet low in foods that have high ratings in
the Glycemic Index and high in proteins can help an individual with this
condition live a longer, healthier life. Until there is a cure for this
potentially life threatening condition, it is important for all people who
suffer from diabetes to familiarize themselves with the Glycemic Index so they
can better understand how to control their disease.

High Glycemic Foods

In 1981, Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto came up with a ranking
system for carbohydrates based upon how long it takes them to break down into
the system. Some carbohydrates break down very slowly and those release glucose
gradually into the bloodstream and have a low glycemic index. For people who are
diabetes, particularly those who are insulin dependent, a low glycemic index is
preferable. These foods allow the insulin or medication to respond better to
the blood glucose and allows for the sugars to break down more naturally.

Other foods are rated high on the Glycemic Index. These foods currently have
high ratings and raise the blood glucose level quickly. High glycemic foods can
be beneficial for people who are recovering from high exertion or those
suffering from hypoglycemia. People with Type I or Type II Diabetes should
avoid high glycemic foods as they can play havoc with the insulin or medication
they are taking.

Some examples of foods that considered high glycemic foods include corn flakes,
white rices such as jasmine rice, white breads and baked potatoes. People who
have diabetes, either Type I or Type II, should avoid these foods as much as

Other foods that are high glycemic foods include those with large amounts of
white refined sugar or white flour. One thing a doctor will tell a patient on
how to avoid high glycemic
foods is to avoid anything white. This includes white bread, pasta made with
white flour and even cakes or sweets made with refined white sugar or white

High glycemic foods tend to take a long time to digest in the system of a
diabetic. The glucose, or sugar, stays in the blood because the system of a
diabetic is unable to process the refine sugars and flours. The glucose stays
in the blood and in the urine causing the diabetic to frequently urinate,
experience thirst and hunger more than the average person and sweat profusely.

After a while, this takes its toll on the system of a diabetic. The kidneys
begin to hurt because they are not functioning properly. This is one symptom
that diabetics often present with when seeking a physician. They also get blood
in their urine and, in the worst case scenario, they faint or enter into an
episode of semi-consciousness, confusion which can even lead to a diabetic
coma. In some instances, a diabetic coma can prove fatal.

People who have Type I and Type II diabetes should be very mindful of which
foods have a high glycemic index and avoid these foods in their diet. With
proper diet, medication or insulin and monitoring of blood sugars, diabetics
can lead a normal lifespan.

Diabetes is not a death sentence at all. It is simply a condition that many
people possess that does not allow their body to break down sugars and starches
through their system so that they digest normally. Diabetes is harmful to an
individual who does not follow the advice of their physician, does not consume
a proper diet and does not monitor their blood glucose levels. People who
adhere to the medical guidelines concerning diabetes have just as much of a
chance of living a normal life as anyone else.

Good Gylcemic Foods

The Glycemic Index was discovered in 1981 and is the basis for many recently
popular diets, including the South Beach Diet as well as others. The Glycemic
Index determines how long certain carbohydrates take to break down and digest
in the system. Those with a high rating, take the longest time to break down
and do the most damage to the system of someone with diabetes. The good
glycemic foods; that is, those with the lower rates, are more desirable not
only for diabetics, but for those who are watching their carbohydrate intake
through such diets as the South Beach Diet, they should also be aware of what
the good glycemic foods are.

Good glycemic foods tend to absorb slowly into the system, allowing the body to
break down the refined sugars and starches so that the body can digest them
properly. People with Type I and Type II diabetes have a difficult time
digesting carbohydrates, particularly those that are high on the glycemic
index, and this lack of proper digestion makes it difficult for the diabetic to
expel glucose from their blood,. While most diabetics are wise to avoid most, if
not all carbohydrates, as these are what are the most difficult to digest and
break down, certain carbohydrates are better than others for diabetics to

Good glycemic foods tend to have a low score on the Glycemic Index that was
developed in 1981 at the University of Toronto. Good glycemic foods are still
carbohydrates, but make it easier for the diabetic to digest and are much
healthier and preferable than those glycemic foods with high ratings on the
Glycemic Index. Substitutions are available for foods that rate high on the
Glycemic Index and are widely available in supermarkets and other food stores.

Some of the foods that rate low on the Glycemic Index include most fruits and
vegetables, Although fruits and vegetables contain sugar, the sugars contained
in these good glyceic foods digest into the system at a lower rate and also
provide valuable nutrients to the diabetic, or just about everyone. The only
vegetable that a diabetic should avoid is a potato, as it has a high glycemic
index. Other fruits and vegetables, however, are preferable than white rice,
white bread, corn flakes and anything made with white refined sugar or flour.

Other good glycemic foods include wholegrain breads and pastas. If you or a
loved one has Type I or Type II diabetes, you should switch to whole grain
breads and pastas made from wheat flour. This can be tremendously helpful to
anyone who wants to manage their glycemia as well as anyone who wants to follow
such low carb diets. Basmati rice is also considered one of the good glycemic

Often, it is not a matter of eliminating carbohydrates when one is using diet
to control their diabetes, but understanding which carbohydrates rate high on
the glycemic index. Diabetes is a disease that can be controlled by proper
diet, monitoring one's blood sugar and following doctor's orders as far as

Diabetic Diet

Vigilance regarding your diet can not only help you control your diabetes, but
can also eliminate the need for insulin. Many people with Type II diabetes are
often prescribed tablets or pills in an attempt to control their condition
prior to having to use insulin. By following a proper diabetic diet, someone
diagnosed with Type II diabetes, which has reached epidemic proportions
throughout the United States, can either prolong the need for insulin or
continue to treat their condition with more convenient medications.

People with diabetes have a difficult time breaking down carbohydrates in their
system. Carbohydrates are a large group of foods that are necessary for a
balanced diet. While many people assume diabetics must avoid sugar, this is
just one example of carbohydrates. In addition to foods rich in white sugar,
carbohydrates include white bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, some vegetables and
fruits as well as anything rich with white flour. Carbohydrates are a complex
group of foods and different groups cause different effects to the blood
stream. While diabetics have a difficult time breaking down any carbohydrates
in their blood stream, those with the highest Glycemic Index rating take the
longest to break down in the blood stream and cause the most harm.

By following a diet with limited amounts of carbohydrates, being aware of the
Glycemic Index and learning which carbohydrates are the most harmful to a
diabetic diet, someone with this potentially life threatening condition can
keep this disease at bay. If you have recently been diagnosed with Type II
diabetes and have been given medication by your doctor as well as diet
suggestions, follow the doctor's instructions. Diabetics tend to be in denial
more than any other group of patients and remain the most non compliant. By
following a good diabetic diet and taking your prescribed medication, you can
live a full and normal life span.

A diabetic diet should include limits on carbohydrates and increases in
protein. Sugars should be eliminated as well as white flour. Pasta and rice are
also rich in carbohydrates. One way someone can follow a good diabetic diet is
to follow some of the low carb diets that were popular some years back. Many of
these diets either eliminated or limited carbohydrates. There are also many
different diabetic cookbooks for those with this condition that can help a
person live a happier, healthier life.

It is unfortunate that so many people are continuing to be diagnosed with
diabetes. The good news is that there is plenty of information out on the
market with regard to cookbooks and even on the internet regarding how a
diabetic diet can help someone with this disease. Diabetes takes a toll on the
human body after a certain period of time. By following a good diabetic diet,
one can reduce the toll of the disease and live a longer and more fruitful life.

Those with diabetes should become aware of the gylcemic index, follow a
diabetic diet, see their doctor regularly, monitor their blood sugar and take
their medications as prescribed in order to avoid complications that can arise
from this disease.

Gestational Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, about four percent of pregnant
women develop gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a condition in
which a woman who has never had diabetes develops high blood glucose levels
while pregnant, usually within the later term of the pregnancy. It is estimated
that there are about 135,000 cases of gestational diabetes every year in the
United States.

In most cases, women who develop gestational diabetes will not develop Type II
diabetes. This is a condition affected by the pregnancy and the inability of
the mother to use the insulin naturally developed in her body. It is caused by
hormones triggered by the pregnancy and causes the mother to become insulin
resistant. Gradually, the mother develops high blood glucose levels, referred
to as hyperglycemia.

Normally, a woman with gestational diabetes will be treated for the condition
while pregnant. While there are no birth defects associated with this sort of
illness as there are with women who have had diabetes prior to being pregnant,
there is generally not a large cause for alarm for the child. However, if the
condition is left untreated, it can hurt the baby. Because the mother is not
getting rid of her excessive blood glucose, the child is getting more than his
or her share of energy and fat. This often results in macrosomia. Macrosomia is
simply the clinical name for a fat baby.

While some people think a fat baby is the sign of a healthy baby, a child born
too fat may have a problem fitting through the birth canal. This can cause
shoulder damage and may require a cesarean section birth,. In addition, babies
who are born obese can develop breathing problems and, if they remain obese,
may themselves develop Type II diabetes.

Fortunately, there is treatment for gestational diabetes. Insulin injections
are usually given to the mother to keep the blood glucose levels intact. A
woman who is planning on becoming pregnant, however, can avoid the complication
of developing gestational diabetes prior to becoming pregnant. Some of the ways
a woman can do this is to lose weight if she is already overweight prior to
becoming pregnant, develop a healthy exercise routine and follow certain food
guidelines. The Glycemic Index is an ideal tool for a woman who is thinking
about becoming pregnant to use to determine which foods to avoid. The Glycemic
Index was developed for diabetics to categorize carbohydrates for those with

When you become pregnant, follow the advice from your doctor regarding diet and
exercise as well as any carbohydrate diets. Prior to becoming pregnant, discuss
any concerns you have regarding weight or diabetes with your physician as he or
she can probably give you some advice on how to avoid this pregnancy

Even if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, chances are that you will
not develop Type II diabetes, neither will your baby and both of you will be
just fine. Gestational diabetes is not a reason to panic. There is plenty of
care available for women with this condition. Just be sure to follow any
instructions given to you by your doctor.

Foot Complications of Diabetes

Whenever we think about people with diabetes, we often think of them as having
problems with their feet. This is one of the most common complications of
diabetes and diabetes, more than anyone, need to make certain that they address
any problems with their feet early on as such problems can result in a life
threatening condition.

Foot complications of diabetes are caused by neuropathy. Because the high
glucose levels in the blood of a diabetic person affects the central nervous
system after a period of time, it also affects nerves in various parts of your
body. Most often effected are the nerves in the feet. The furthest from the
brain, it is here where people with diabetes who have nerve damage, often do
not feel cold or pain or even heat. People with diabetes that is uncontrolled
often can injure their feet without feeling it. The injury may result in a
blister or wound that will be slow to heal. The blister or wound becomes
infected and the foot complications of diabetes begin.

In addition to not having the proper nerve sensations in their feet, people
with diabetes often develop very dry feet because the nerves that secrete oil
into the feet no longer work. Their feet may peel and crack, which only makes
it even more probable for them to get sores and wounds in their feet.

Because high blood glucose levels make it difficult to stave off infection, a
diabetic with a sore on their foot must be treated differently than a person
without diabetes. The sore may be very slow to heal, if it heals at all.
Infection often sets in. This can lead to gangrene and, in some cases,

Foot complications of diabetes work like this. A person who has diabetes and
who has not been keeping their blood glucose level under control gets an injury
on their toe. It begins to bleed and crack. Then bandage it, hoping it will
heal. It does not heal and soon the wound becomes infected. They go to the
doctor who begins to treat the wound with antibiotics. Sometimes this works,
sometimes it does not.

When the wound does not heal and the infection begins to spread, gangrene can
set in. Gangrene can kill a person, and the doctor knows this. So the person
with diabetes has a choice, they can either lose their toe or their life. In
most cases, they choose to lose the toe.

In some cases, however, the gangrene has already spread to the foot. Plus, the
amputation risks more infection. In many cases, not only does the person lose
their toe, but their entire foot. And this can continue until they lose their

This information is not meant to frighten anyone with diabetes. It is only to
make a person realize how vital it is for anyone with this condition to be
aware of the feet complications of diabetes. No one has to lose a toe or a foot
or a leg.

They simply need to manage their disease so that they can retain a healthy
blood glucose level that will enable them to fight off any infection that may
arise from a bump on the foot and stave off neuropathy. By maintaining a
healthy glucose level and avoiding glycemia, a person with diabetes can lead a
full life. The trick is to follow the rules dictated by the condition.

Avoid foods that are high in starch and sugars. The Glycemic Index is an
excellent tool that can inform a diabetic about which foods should be avoided.
Maintain your weight and exercise regularly. This will also boost your immune
system. Be sure to visit your doctor regularly and monitor your blood glucose
level. Keep a record of the levels to present to your doctor so he or she can
adjust your insulin or medication if needed. By complying with your physician,
you an avoid many of the complications that accompany diabetes.

Diabetes does not have to be a killer. Glycemia is life threatening but can be
controlled. If you or a loved one has this condition, see the doctor regularly
and follow the plans to manage the disease.

Eye Complications of Diabetes

Diabetics do not process sugars and starches though their systems like other
individuals. These substances stay within their system and enter the blood
stream. The high amounts of sugars in their blood, also called glucose, is
called glycemia. Glycemia is a condition when someone has an elevated amount of
blood glucose. This is often determined by a blood test. People with diabetes
have monitors and are supposed to test their blood glucose levels periodically
throughout the day to monitor for glycemia.

Glycemia can cause many complications in the body of a person with diabetes.
Some of the complications include those with the heart, circulation, blood
vessels, kidneys and even eyesight. Because of the high blood glucose levels, a
person with diabetes risks having problems with their eyesight. Eye
complications of diabetes include those affecting the retina, the vitreous, the
lens and the optic nerve.

Eye complications of diabetes take a long time to develop. The first is usually
damage to the retina. Tiny blood vessels make up the retina and too much blood
glucose cause these vessels to swell. They gradually begin to weaken and the
person begins to experience vision problems. For this reason, a person with
diabetes should have an eye exam once a year. During the exam, the eyes should
be dilated to see if the condition has become worse.

The name for eye complications of diabetes is called diabetic retinopathy. A
person with diabetes should rely on a qualified ophthalmologist who is familiar
with this condition.

Some of the signs of retina damage from diabetes include blurry vision,
flashing lights, dark spots in front of the eyes, pain in the eyes, or pressure
and trouble with peripheral vision. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and
are experiencing any of these problems, see your ophthalmologist for a complete
eye exam. There are surgeries available that can enable diabetics to be able to
regain the sight in their eyes and certain treatments can prevent further damage.

One way a person with diabetes can avoid eye complications of diabetes is to
become familiar with the Glycemic Index that rates different foods that should
not be included in a diabetic diet. Exercise is also helpful in diabetic
control as is the elimination of alcohol and smoking. Maintaining a desirable
weight is crucial to managing your diabetes.

Other eye complications of diabetes include cataracts and glaucoma. While
cataracts are relatively easy to cure, glaucoma is a precursor to blindness and
needs to be treated. This is why it is so important that someone with diabetes
manages their disease with the help of a qualified ophthalmologist.

Many eye complications of diabetes can be avoided if a person with the
condition maintains a healthy lifestyle and is compliant in their diabetic
treatment. Maintain your weight. Exercise. Eat a proper diet that eliminates
carbohydrates and sugars and become familiar with the Glycemic Index. Avoid
alcohol and do not smoke. Take prescribed medications as directed by your
physician and see your physician at intervals suggested by him or her. Monitor
your blood glucose level as often as prescribed. By being compliant in the care
of your disease, you can avoid eye complications of diabetes as well as other
more life threatening complications of this disease.

Teeth Complications of Diabetes

People who suffer from diabetes must be extra vigilant when it comes to taking
care of their teeth. Diabetics do not process sugars and starches from their
systems effectively and this causes their blood glucose levels to remain high.
The condition of high blood glucose is called glycemia. It can cause many
complications in an individual including those that affect the kidneys, heart,
blood, eyes, and even the central nervous system. People do not die from
diabetes. They die from complications caused by the disease that is often
allowed to get out of control.

Everyone is prone to tooth and gum problems. There are many causes. Heredity
plays an important role as does dental hygiene. Smoking also contributes to
tooth and gum problems. But the diabetic has more of a chance of developing
tooth and gum disease than the average person. If a diabetic allows his or her
blood glucose level to remain high, it has a severe impact on their teeth. This
is particularly true if the person with diabetes is older than 45, an age when
many people begin experiencing problems with their teeth.

High blood glucose levels make one more prone to infection. Periodontitis is an
infection that affects both the gums and bones in the mouth. People with this
condition often have receding gums that make their teeth look larger than they
are. A person with diabetes must make certain that he or she receives a dental
exam periodically to make certain that they do not acquire this infection of
the gums and bones. If left untreated, Periodontitis can cause someone to lose
their teeth.

It usually begins with a buildup of germs in the teeth that are helped along
with the high blood glucose. One of the problems with having glycemia is that
it enables germs to grow faster than they would on someone without this
condition. As the germs begin to build up on the teeth and gums, the gums begin
to get red and sore and swell. In many times, a person can see that they have
gum disease when they brush their teeth and the gums begin to bleed. This is
the time you want to call your dentist.

If untreated, the gum disease can lead to the infection of Periodontitis that
can become so severe that it causes one to lose their teeth. Many people with
diabetes as well as those with compromised immune disorders risk acquiring this
disease. This is why it is so important to have your teeth examined by a dentist
on a regular basis.

Teeth complications of diabetes do not have to cause one to lose their teeth.
If caught early, there are many procedures a dentist can perform to stave off
infection and save the teeth. In addition, a person with diabetes can help
eliminate teeth complications of diabetes by following the advice of their
physician when it comes to controlling their disease. Use the Glycemic Index to
understand which foods to avoid that will raise your glucose levels. Exercise
and maintain a healthy weight. Do not smoke. Avoid alcohol and take any
medication or insulin as prescribed. In addition, it is imperative for a person
with diabetes to monitor his or her blood glucose levels periodically throughout
the day and keep an accurate record of their readings. This information should
be presented to the physician at each visit so he or she knows if your
medications need to be changed.

By managing the care of your diabetes, you can avoid many of the complications
that accompany this disease. By seeing your dentist on a regular basis and
informing him or her of your condition, they can help you with a regiment that
will enable you to maintain healthy gums, avoid infection and allow you to keep
your teeth.

Diabetes And Sexual Problems

As if people with diabetes do not have enough to worry about, they also have to
contend with sexual problems. Diabetes and sexual problems affect both men and
women but in different ways. Because your body responds to sexual stimuli
through your nerves and high blood glucose levels affect your nervous system,
it is understandable that even sexual response is affected by this potentially
life threatening condition.

In men, diabetes and sexual problems often focus on erectile dysfunction. It is
estimated by the American Diabetes Institute that as many as 85 percent of men
with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction. This can cause problems in
marriage but, more importantly, can cause severe depression in those who are
contending not only with the disease of diabetes, but also what they deem the
loss of their self esteem.

Erectile dysfunction can also be a symptom of diabetes. If a man continues to
experience this malady, he should discuss this problem with his physician to
make sure that he is not suffering from undiagnosed diabetes. Fortunately,
there are certain medications and other treatments available to men who
experience this common side effect to diabetes. The key to eliminating the
problem is for the patient to discuss this with his physician.

Diabetes and sexual problems does not stop at erectile dysfunction, however.
Retrograde ejaculation is a more potentially dangerous situation that can
happen to men with diabetes. In this condition, the semen can go into the
bladder instead of being dispelled out of the penis during ejaculation. A man
who is experiencing this side effect of diabetes should seek consultation with
a urologist who can help with medication or surgery to correct the problem.

Men are not the only ones affected with sexual problems as a side effect to
diabetes. Diabetes and sexual problems also affect women. Because of damage to
the nerve cells within the vagina by high levels of blood glucose, dryness can
occur that can make intercourse very painful. Many women also report that the
nerve damage caused by the hyperglycemia also causes them to lose interest in
sex and have no sensations in their genital area. Needless to say, the lack of
sexual desire can cause psychological problems for both men and women and may
lead to marital difficulties as well.

Many people are embarrassed about speaking to their physician when it comes to
problems relating to sexual relations. People with diabetes should be aware of
the fact that their condition makes them prone to these side effects and should
discuss them with their doctor so they can get treatment. There is a variety of
treatment for those experiencing diabetes and sexual problems.

One way to prevent such problems from occurring is to maintain your blood
glucose levels by eating a healthy diet, exercising and taking your prescribed
medication or insulin. Monitor your blood sugars as instructed by your
physician. If you experience any side effects related to your condition,
discuss them with your physician. By keeping informed of the disease and the
side effects as well as complications, you can empower yourself in managing
your illness and lead a happier as well as longer life.

Depression And Diabetes

Many people who are diagnosed with diabetes are overwhelmed with an onslaught
of new information, medications, doctor visits and a feeling of helplessness.
Diabetes can be frightening, particularly for anyone who is not familiar with
the disease. We read about complications and insulin and medication and feel

Many diabetics experience a period of denial when first diagnosed with
diabetes. They refuse to believe there is anything wrong with them. While they
remain in denial, the condition worsens. This can often lead to depression.
Depression and diabetes often go hand in hand. According to the American
Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have a greater risk for developing
depression than other individuals.

The stress of management of diabetes can take a toll on an individual. There
are new medications to take, blood sugar must be monitored frequently and a
record kept for your doctor. There are frequent doctor visits and there may be
several different medication combinations needed before your blood sugar is
kept under control.

On top of that, people who have diabetes are often faced with sudden lifestyle
changes. Foods that they once enjoyed are now taboo. An exercise regime is
often recommended, which can be good for depression, but people with depression
often have little energy to begin an exercise regime. As the depression
continues, people often lose interest in monitoring their blood sugar levels
and may even skip their medication.

Symptoms of depression include a loss of pleasure in every day activities you
used to enjoy as well as a change in appetite. You may have trouble
concentrating and have trouble sleeping. Or you may even sleep too much. Many
people suffer from depression, but for a diabetic, it can be life threatening.
Depression and diabetes is a dangerous combination.

People who are diagnosed with diabetes can empower themselves by learning as
much about the disease as possible from the beginning. This can alleviate the
feeling of helplessness that often accompanies the diagnoses. Ask your
physician questions. Do research. Find out how you can help manage you disease.

If you feel you are suffering from some of the signs of depression, ask your
doctor to recommend a therapist who is familiar in dealing with people with
chronic illness. Therapy can be crucial for a diabetic patient who feels
isolated because of all of the extra work involved in treating their illness.
Do not be afraid to discuss your illness with family and friends. Diabetes is a
nothing to be ashamed of, it is a disease that affects millions of people.

If at all possible, join a support group for others who also have diabetes.
Here you can not only find kindred spirits who are experiencing some of the
same fears as yourself, but you can also learn new information.

Any time someone is diagnosed with an illness puts them at risk for depression.
Their world has changed and no longer feels safe. Worse of all, they feel out of
control. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, take back the control and learn how
to manage your disease. By empowering yourself, you will not only be able to
effectively manage your diabetes, you will eliminate the depression.

African Americans And Diabetes

According to the National Diabetes Education Program, there is a current
epidemic of diabetes among African Americans. African Americans are one of the
largest groups in the population in the United States that are contracting Type
II diabetes. In addition, diabetes is also one of the leading causes of death
and disability among African Americans in the United States.

There are certain factors that are believed to cause Type II diabetes, which
accounts for nearly 95 percent of all cases of the disease. The causes are
generally someone with a close relative with the disease, being an African
American or being overweight. Other factors include having high blood pressure,
high cholesterol and having gestational diabetes while pregnant. It is estimated
that about 3.2 million African Americans have Type II diabetes and about one
third of them are undiagnosed.

No one is quite sure why African Americans are more likely to get Type II
diabetes than any other ethnic group. One thing is certain, however. Poor
African Americans are more likely to die from complications of the disease than
those in other ethnic groups. This is most likely due to poor health care in
certain communities, limited access to drugs that can potentially save their
lives and less education. Affluent African Americans have the same chance as
other ethnic groups of dying from complications of the disease.

Many people who live in poor communities, in addition to receiving substandard
medical care, little education about disease and limited access to lifesaving
drugs, also are inundated with fast food restaurants that seem to target
certain ethnic groups. Fast foods are usually very high in carbohydrates, fats
and offer very little in the way of nutrition. They are inexpensive, however,
and many people with little money find this to be the only way they can feed
their family on a limited budget. Unfortunately, most of the foods found in
fast food restaurants, particularly French fries, are at the top of the
Glycemic Index when it comes to foods that should not be consumed by diabetics.
French fries are pretty much the staple of any fast food restaurant. They are
high in carbohydrates, high in fat and low in protein. But they are filling.

African Americans can prevent acquiring Type II diabetes in many different
ways. One way is to take a look at the Glycemic Index and realize which foods
are harmful to them and which to avoid. Another way is to start an exercise
regime and, if they are overweight, lose some of those excess pounds. If they
are without health care, they should contact their local municipality about
screening tests for diabetes. Many clinics and health care facilities offer
screening tests for diabetes for those with low income for free. This small
step may end up saving the life of someone who is on the verge of getting this
potentially life threatening illness.

African Americans can also start saying no to fast foods that, in addition to
being precursors for diabetes, are also linked to heart disease, high
cholesterol and even cancer. Many fast food restaurants prey on people in low
income areas without regard for the health of those individuals. African
Americans need to realize that they are experiencing an epidemic of Type II
diabetes in their community and do all that they can to stamp it out.

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