Monday, March 16, 2009

Diabetes and Obesity

Diabetes Obesity

Obesity in America is an epidemic. Guess what? Diabetes in America is also an epidemic. Seems like diabetes and obesity go hand in hand. If you are obese or overweight then you are much more likely to have type 2 diabetes than the general public. Those smart scientist that make a living studying things like this have put 2 and 2 together. They figured out that people with type 2 diabetes have a high likelihood of being overweight or obese.


So what does this mean to you and me? Well for starters it means that if we are overweight, obese, fat, lazy, slovenly meat heads, we have to start taking care of ourselves. A good first step would be a well thought out diet for diabetes and a exercise regime to control our weight and get rid of some of that tonnage that we have packed on as we happily made our way to obesity city. You may be surprised to learn that in one study overweight adults who lost a modest amount of weight—5 to 10% of their initial body weight--- and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 58% over three years.

Let's take a long hard look at:

  • Diabetes
  • Living As A Diabetic
  • Obesity
  • Diet
  • Insulin
  • Sugar
  • Glucose
  • Symptoms
  • Research
  • Treatment
  • Facts

It is important to understand diabetes and obesity so that we can combat them before it is too late. Or if we are already involved with these diseases then we need to know what we can do to combat these conditions.

Obesity Statistics

Here are some shocking (who would have guessed) statistics: Two-thirds of all American adults are overweight and a full one third are obese. Stop right here and look in the mirror or get on a scale. If you are fat then we are talking to you. By sticking your head in the sand and lying to yourself by saying you are comfortable at your current (sad) physical condition, you are really killing yourself. You are not suppose to be overweight....And you are not suppose to be obese. There are no excuses. You can lie to yourself but you can't lie to science.

Facts to consider if your are overweight or obese:

  • You are much more likely to become a diabetic
  • You are at a much higher risk for coronary heart disease
  • You probably have high blood cholesterol
  • You are at a higher risk for stroke
  • You more than likely will have hypertension
  • Let's hear it for gallbladder disease!!!
  • How does osteoarthritis sound
  • You think sleep apnea is enjoyable
  • And the risk of cancer goes way up

Makes you want to pop another cupcake in your mouth and wash it down with an ice cool soda pop!!

But wait-----There's more!!!

  • Get pregnant and you'll more than likely have complications
  • You'll have menstrual irregularities
  • Excess hair will appear on your body and face...Very attractive
  • Urine leakage...Makes you all warm and fuzzy just thinking about that
  • Depression is common among obese people
  • Increased mortality is an extra bonus of being obese

I'm are going to have to remind me how being overweight can be a good thing? Do you really think convincing clothing designers to make clothes that fit you means anything? It means nothing. It is not the fight you need to be involved with. You need to be fighting the battle of the bulge. Every other fight is a waste of time and energy. When you are laying in bed dying prematurely, nobody is going to say that you looked good in the custom made tent of a dress that the designers made to fit you. Do you know what they are going to be saying? They are going to say that you never should have gained so much weight, that you were very unhealthy, and now you are paying the price.

You need to get with the program and stop making excuses for yourself. And if your friends and family say they love you no matter how much you weigh....they are hurting you more than loving you. They should be pushing you to lose weight. If they truly love you and want to help you they should be telling you the truth about what you are doing to yourself. They should be helping you get healthy. If you are overweight or obese then the only thing that you should be concerned with is weight loss.

Causes of Obesity

We can get very creative or we can put this quite simply. I vote for putting it simply. If you put more calories into your body than you burn up then you are going to gain weight. If you put a lot more calories into your body then you burn then you will get to be obese.

There isn't quite anything like overeating and inactivity to get a person's weight way up. Really there isn't anything that does the job quite so good as stuffing food down your throat and being a couch potato.

Obesity causes major health issues that nobody should have to deal with. But if a person is stubborn and throws caution to the wind and food down their throats, then there is nothing any of us can do to help.

Fast Food and Obesity

There is a growing trend to try and marry fast food and obesity. There is merit to this argument. Fast food is filled with fat and bad cholesterol and shouldn't be eaten very often. Do you eat fast food all of the time?

There are studies that have reported that young adults who eat frequently at fast food restaurants gain more weight and have a greater increase in insulin resistance in early middle age. Despite all of the advertising and PR, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to eat healthy at a fast food restaurant.

But wait just a minute. Is anybody holding a gun to your head and forcing you to eat fast food? No there is not. You are freely walking into these establishments and eating yourself to a slow death. I'm pretty sure a diabetes burger and a obesity shake should be on the menu. How about taking some responsibility for your own health, show a little backbone and courage, and stop eating this garbage. You are to blame...Not the fast food establishments.

Ready for something new? Why not try a vegetarian approach? That's right a vegetarian menu can be very good for you and will help you lose weight. As an added bonus a vegetarian diet might help control and manage your blood glucose levels.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is also known as Juvenile Diabetes. Let's start with a simple explanation of what diabetes is: Diabetes means that your blood sugar, or blood glucose, is too high. With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, gums, and teeth.

Type 1 Diabetes happens most often in children and young adults but can appear at any age.

Symptoms of Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes:

  • Being very thirsty
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very hungry or tired
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Having sores that heal slowly
  • Having dry itchy skin
  • Losing the feeling in your feet or having tingling in your feet
  • Having blurry eyesight

A blood test can show if you have diabetes. If you do, you will need to take insulin for the rest of your life.

Juvenile Diabetes

Juvenile Diabetes is no laughing matter. It is very serious and should be treated as a very serious condition. You should be tested and advised about this condition by a trained medical doctor.

According to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF)

Juvenile or Type 1 Diabetes strikes children suddenly, makes them dependent on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. While diagnosis most often occurs in childhood and adolescence, it can and does strike adults as well. Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. While the causes of this process are not entirely understood, scientist believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved.

Needs Constant Attention: To stay alive, people with type 1 diabetes must take multiple insulin injections daily or continually infuse insulin through a pump. They must also test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times per day. While trying to balance insulin doses with their food intake and daily activities, people with this form of diabetes must always be prepared for serious hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, both of which can be life-limiting and life threatening.

Insulin Does Not Cure It: While insulin allows a person to stay alive, it does not cure diabetes nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating effects, which may include: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputations, heart attack, stroke, and pregnancy complications.

Difficult To Manage: Despite rigorous attention to maintaining a meal plan and exercise regimen, and always injecting the proper amount of insulin, many other factors can adversely affect efforts to tightly control blood sugar levels including: stress, hormonal changes, periods of growth, physical activity, medications, illness/infection, and fatigue.

Statistics and Warning Signs of Diabetes

  • As many as 3 million Americans may have type 1 diabetes.
  • Each year more than 15,000 children are diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. That's 40 children per day.
  • Warning signs of type 1 diabetes include: extreme thirst, frequent urination, drowsiness or lethargy, increased appetite, sudden weight loss for no reason, sudden vision changes, sugar in urine, fruity odor on breath, heavy or labored breathing, stupor or unconsciousness. These may occur suddenly.

Juvenile diabetes is not fun. It is a very serious condition. Type I diabetes as far as we know can't be prevented. But there are types of diabetes that can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. If not prevented that made less severe. Don't you think it is worth putting your best effort towards preventing this disease from gaining a foothold in your body, in your child's body?

You might be able to prevent Type 2 Diabetes according to the latest diabetes research. Prevention is a big deal with Type 2 Diabetes, it is the most common form of diabetes. If you are overweight or obese, have a family history of diabetes, then you need to take steps in order minimize your risk. It is never too late to start changing your lifestyle, eating habits, or exercise routines.

Diabetes Prevention

  • Exercise Diabetes: This is the part where you get your lazy fat butt off the sofa and do some physical activity. Physical activity lowers blood sugar and boosts your sensitivity to insulin. All of this helps to keep your blood sugar within a normal range.
  • Diabetes Diet: Eat plenty of fiber. It may reduce your risk of diabetes by improving blood sugar control. As an added bonus, fiber intake is also associated with a lower risk of heart disease. It may even promote weight loss by making you feel full. High fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Diet For Diabetes: That's right...there's more!! Whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Half of your grain intake should be whole grains. Whole grains are included in many foods: breads, pasta products, and cereals. Look for the word “whole” on the package in the ingredient section.
  • Diabetes Weight: This is key—If you are overweight or obese then diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound that you lose improves your health. You may be surprised to learn that in one study overweight adults who lost a modest amount of weight—5 to 10% of their initial body weight--- and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 58% over three years.
    Diabetes Nutrition: Skip the fad diets. Low carb, low glycemic load or other fad diets my help you lose weight in the short term, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes is not known'; nor are their long term effects. By leaving out or limiting a certain food group, you may be giving up important nutrients. Portion control and variety is what you should be looking for in a diabetes prevention diet plan.

When it comes to diabetes prevention there are certain risk factors like age, and family history that can't be changed. But there are other risk factors like diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices that can be changed and therefore help in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

If you have high blood pressure or if your are overweight, changing your lifestyle habits can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Diet changes and more physical activity or exercising can make a dramatic difference. Lowering your cholesterol, stop smoking, lowering your blood pressure all help reduce the risk of complications.

In a study by the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study Group, researchers reviewed the effects of weight loss, diet, and exercise on type 2 diabetes prevention in more than 500 people who were over weight and also had pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes with an impaired oral glucose tolerance test. They concluded that with changes geared at weight loss and improving physical activity levels, people at high risk of developing diabetes could reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 50%.

I hope it is becoming clear to you that being over weight or obese and either being diabetic or having diabetes goes hand in hand. You need to make changes in your life before it is too late.

Obesity Prevention

Like we said before, obesity is a epidemic in America. You won't be able to take a pill, injection, or read a book to cure yourself. You will need to make lifestyle changes. You will have to change the way you eat, live, exercise, and think about daily life and how you go through it. It won't be easy but it will be worth it.

If you don't take the fight against obesity seriously then you can look forward to premature death and/or disability. There is growing evidence that obesity can be traced to poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity. Obesity does not just strike adults. Children are a growing population in the obesity statistics. The number of obese children has tripled over the past 30 years.

Overweight and Obesity are major risk factors for:

  • cardiovascular (heart) disease
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • type 2 diabetes
  • cancer
  • osteoarthritis

Many of the diseases are increasingly being seen in overweight and obese children. Not only are adults and children that are obese at risk for chronic diseases, but they face being stigmatized in society. This can lead to shame, low self-esteem, and depression.

You are responsible if your child is overweight or obese. If they become type 2 diabetics because of their weight issues then it is your fault. Children eat what is in the house and put in front of them. Children do not drive themselves to fast food joints and pay for the garbage that is served up. YOU DO. How about becoming a good parent and taking care of your kids.

Diabetes Mellitus

You probably have heard doctor's refer to the term "Diabetes Mellitus." The reason they use this term instead of the more generic "Diabetes" is to not confuse Diabetes Mellitus with the less common Diabetes Insipidus. Diabetes Insipidus is a very rare disorder that does not affect blood sugar levels.

Type Diabetes

Prediabetes: When we are discussing Prediabetes what we are really talking about is a medical condition that occurs when blood sugar levels are elevated to the point of being considered high. But they are not elevated high enough to be labeled diabetes. There is no doubt that people with prediabetes be made aware of their condition. They carry a higher risk for future diabetes and heart disease. If these people would decrease their body weight by 5-10% through a strict diet and disciplined exercise regime, they can significantly reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes: Once know as juvenile or insulin dependent diabetes or adult on-set diabetes. The cause of Type 1 Diabetes is that more than 90% of the cells that produce insulin found in the pancreas are permanently destroyed. That is why there is no cure. About 10% of all people with diabetes have Type 1. Most people with type 1 diabetes will develop the disease by the time they are 30 years old.

Type 2 Diabetes: The pancreas will continue to produce insulin for people who have type 2 diabetes. Sometimes the pancreas will produce higher than normal amounts of insulin. The problem with type 2 is that the body will build up resistance to the effects of insulin. What happens is that there is never enough insulin to meet the body's needs. Type 2 Diabetes used to rare among children. But no more.

Obesity and being Overweight are the main causes for developing type 2 diabetes. Obesity causes insulin resistance. In turn, obese or overweight people need very large amounts of insulin in order to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Diabetes Symptoms

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes actually have very similar symptoms. The initial symptom is when the blood sugar level gets elevated and the sugar spills over into the urine. What happens is that the level of sugar in the urine keeps rising higher, which causes the kidneys to discharge extra water in order to dilute the larger than normal amounts of sugar. Because the kidneys are producing such large amounts of urine, people who have diabetes will urinate large amounts with great frequency. What happens when people urinate with such great frequency is that they become abnormally thirsty. Large amounts of calories are lost in the urine, people lose weight. Of course now these people feel hungry and eat too much. Sometimes, especially with type 2 diabetes, during the early stages of the disease, the blood sugar level will be abnormally low. This condition is know as hypoglycemia. There are many other symptoms that we are not covering here. We will in later posts.

Diabetes Complications

People that have diabetes very well may experience serious complications. The more disciplined people are about controlling their blood sugar levels, the less likely that these complications will develop.

Most complications have to do with the blood vessels and circulation. Elevated blood sugar levels and poor circulation can cause harm to the heart, brain, legs, eyes, kidneys, nerves and skin. People with diabetes are much more likely to have problems with infections of the feet and legs. If you can prevent these complications from happening then you better get on the program. See a doctor, get yourself on a diet, and exercise.

Diabetes Diagnosis

The diagnosis of diabetes occurs when people have high level of sugar in their blood. Normally a routine physical exam will reveal this problem. If diabetes is suspected then a blood sample will be taken for tests after people have fasted overnight.

We hope that you see that diabetes and obesity go hand in hand. If you already have type 2 diabetes then you need to have an awakening and start taking care of business. Nobody should go through life with diabetes if they don't have to. If you are overweight or obese you need to stop making excuses, seeking people that are willing to enable your bad habits, and attending your own pity parties. You need to start living a healthier lifestyle. Diabetes and Obesity...don't let them ruin your life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blood Sugar and Stress

High Blood Sugar and Stress go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you have one you most likely are going to have the other. There is medical research that suggests that lowering your stress levels can help lower your blood sugar to a more normal level.

A study was conducted at the Medical University of Ohio. The experiment followed 30 people with diabetes. Half of the people in the study practiced exercises that helped tame their tension such as muscle relaxation. The group in the other half simply took classes that had subjects to help educate diabetics.

The study went on for 10 weeks and came to the following conclusions:
  • The people with diabetes that used the relaxation exercises saw about a 10% drop in fasting blood sugar and in the amount of HbA1c--A sign that their glucose had stayed lower around the clock for the previous few months. These results can mean a smaller risk of diabetic complications, such as heart disease, blindness, and nerve damage.
  • During the same time period, the group that received the classes saw their blood sugar and HbA1c levels actually rise.

Stress and High Blood Sugar

Stress, according to this study, can and probably does set off hormones that raise blood sugar levels. Ronald McGinnis, MD. says, "Reducing chronic stress switches this process off."

If you happen to need more motivation to reduce your stress levels consider this, the group that practiced relaxation techniques also saw a decrease in depression and anxiety!

High blood sugar levels in a person with diabetes can lead to memory problems. It is a problem that is not known to many people. People with type 2 diabetes are more at risk, because of their high blood glucose levels, to experience dementia. There is a growing body of research that suggests that poor blood glucose control is tied to poorer memory function and quite possibly Alzheimer's disease.

Glucose Levels

When people refer to blood sugar concentration or glucose level what they are talking about is the normal amount of glucose that is in a person's blood. Maintaining a normal blood sugar level is important. Failure to maintain blood glucose at the normal level can lead to conditions of persistently high hyperglycemia or low hyperglycemia, blood sugar. Diabetes mellitus, characterized by persistent hyperglycemia from any of several causes, is the most prominent disease related to failure of blood sugar regulation.

The lesson that you need to take away from this is to control your blood sugar. You want to maintain normal blood sugar levels. We will talk about how to exercise this control later on.

If you have diabetes then it is essential that you keep your blood sugar or glucose level as close to normal as you possibly can. If you are able to keep your blood sugar in your target or ideal range then you can help prevent the start of problems associated with diabetes, such as: nerve, eye, kidney, and blood vessel damage.

Diabetes Test

A blood glucose testing is a must for diabetics or anyone who has borderline diabetes. But in reality everyone could benefit from blood glucose test. A diabetes test will certainly give you an early warning if there is something wrong.

Definitely have a blood glucose test if you have diabetes and:

  • You are taking insulin diabetes pills
  • Are on insulin therapy
  • You are pregnant
  • Have a difficult time keeping control of your blood glucose levels
  • Have unexplained low glucose levels without warning signs

Urine checks for glucose are not really accurate. Urine testing should only be done when blood glucose testing is not available.

What Is The A1C Test?

It is a test that measure how much glucose has been sticking during the past 3 to 5 months to the hemoglobin. The hemoglobin is the substance in the red blood sells that carries oxygen to the bodies cells. The A1C test has importance in diabetes as a long term measure of control over blood glucose. A person who is not a diabetic, who has an elevated A1C level, may be at risk for cardiovascular disease.

High Blood Pressure

Make no mistake....Hypertension will make your diabetes even worse than it has to be. The cause of hypertension or high blood pressure many but here are a few causes:

  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Improper diet
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Old age
  • Genetics

Conditions that can be caused by high blood pressure:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Stroke
  • Eye Disease

Hypertension is a crucial factor in the development and worsening of many complications of diabetes, including diabetic eye disease and kidney disease. It affects up to 60% of people with diabetes. People who are diabetic need to be aware of the unique dangers high blood pressure poses for them and take all necessary steps to prevent it.

The American Diabetes Association gives a table that list blood glucose levels for adults with diabetes:

  • Glycemic control A1C <7.0%
  • Preprandial plasma glucose (before a meal) 70–130 mg/dl (5.0–7.2 mmol/l)
  • Postprandial plasma glucose (after a meal) <180>
    Blood pressure <130/80>


  • LDL <100>
  • Triglycerides <150>
  • HDL >40 mg/dl (>1.1 mmol/l)

A blood check works like this: You will use a lancet (a needle) to prick your finger and get a drop of blood. With some of the meters on the market you could also use your forearm, hand, or thigh. Some of the lancets are spring loaded which will make the prick less painful.

The drop of blood will be analyzed in a blood glucose meter. In all meters, your blood glucose level shows up as a number on a screen, similar to what numbers look like on a pocket calculator.


You might have to check your urine for ketones every now and then. Ketones in the urine means that your body is using fat for energy instead of using glucose because not enough insulin is available to use glucose for energy. Ketones in the urine is more common in type 1 diabetes.

If there are small or trace amounts of ketones in your urine it may mean that ketone buildup is starting. You should wait a few hours and test again. Moderate or large amounts are a danger sign that you should not ignore. They upset the chemical balance of your blood and can poison the body. Never exercise when your urine checks show moderate or large amounts of ketones and your blood glucose is high. These are signs that your diabetes is out of control. Talk to your doctor at once if your urine results show moderate or large amounts of ketones.

When To Check For Keytones

  • You blood glucose is more than 300mg/dl
  • You are nauseous, you are vomiting, or you have abdominal pain
  • You have cold or flu like symptoms
  • You are always feeling tired
  • Your mouth feels dry and you are thirsty all of the time
  • Your skin is flushed
  • Your breath has a "fruity" smell to it and you have a difficult time breathing.
  • You feel unsure of you are in a foggy frame of mind. Things seem confusing.

Blood Sugar And Your Brain

Glucose is the type of sugar that moves in your bloodstream to give energy to the mitochondrial furnaces responsible for your brain power. Glucose is the only fuel that is consumed by brain cells. Because neurons can't store glucose, they depend on the bloodstream to supply a steady supply of this precious fuel.

This blood sugar is obtained from carbohydrates: the starches and sugars you consume in the form of grains and legumes, fruits and vegetables.

Consuming too much sugar or refined carbohydrates at one time, however, can actually deprive your brain of glucose – depleting its energy supply and compromising your brain's power to concentrate, remember, and learn. Mental activity requires a lot of energy.

If you need some inspiration to help you stop sugar cravings there is much information on the internet. I also will be posting some helpful hints later on.

For the diabetic stress is a serious topic. It is important that you control your stress in order to control you blood sugar. Remember, Blood Sugar and Stress go together: Control one and you will be on your way to controlling both.

A qualified health care professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product discussed. Readers should verify all information and data before undergoing any treatment. Consult your doctor before making any changes or decisions concerning your diet, medication, or lifestyle.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Information On Diabetes For The Diabetic

Welcome to Diabetes and the Diabetic. This site will provide information on how to successfully live with, prevent, or control diabetes. As a diabetic it is important that you live a healthy lifestyle, eat correctly, and exercise on a regular basis.

Before making any decisions that concern your health you should always first speak with a licensed doctor.

Monday, March 2, 2009


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