Monday, June 29, 2009

High Ketones

High Ketones

When you do not get a sufficient amount of insulin over a period of time, the cells in your muscles will become so starved for energy that your body will take emergency steps and break down fat.  As your body changes the fat into energy, it will produce blood acids known as ketones.  A buildup of ketones in the blood is called ketoacidosis.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a very dangerous condition that can be fatal if left untreated.  DKA is more common in people with type 1 diabetes.  It can be caused by skipping some of your shots or by not raising your insulin dose to adjust  for a rise in your blood glucose level.

Extreme stress or illness, which can occur in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes also may cause DKA.  If you develop a infection, your body will produce certain hormones, such as adrenaline, to help fight off the problem.  These hormones also work against insulin.  Sometimes the two causes occur together.  You get sick or overstressed, and you forget to take your insulin.

In people who are unaware they have diabetes, DKA can be the first sign of the disease.  Early symptoms of DKA can be confused with flu, which may delay appropriate medical attention.

Signs and Symptoms of High Ketones

When the level of ketones in your blood rises, you may experience:

  • High Blood Glucose
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Dry Mouth
  • Frequent Urination

As the ketone levels gets higher:

  • Fatigue
  • Blurry Vision
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Weight Loss
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Weakness
  • Sweet, Fruity Odor On Your Breath
  • Drowsiness

What You Should Do About High Ketones

You should check your ketone level if you experience any of the signs or symptoms or whenever your blood glucose is persistently over 250 mg/dL.  It is also a good idea to also check your ketone level if you are feeling sick or especially stressed.

Buy a ketones test kit at the drugstore and do the test at home.  Most kits use chemically treated strips that you dip into your urine.  When you have high amounts of ketones in your blood, excess ketones are excreted in your urine.

The test strips in the kit change colors according to the level of ketones in your urine.  If the color on the test strip shows a moderate or high ketone level, call your doctor right away for advice on how much insulin to take, and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.  If you have a high ketone level and you can’t reach your doctor, go to a hospital emergency room.

DKA requires emergency medical treatment, which involves replenishing lost fluids through intravenous lines.  Insulin, which may be combined with glucose, is injected in an IV line so that your body will stop making ketones.  Slowly, your blood glucose level is brought  back to normal.

Adjusting your blood glucose too quickly can produce swelling in your brain.  But this complication is more common in children, especially those with newly diagnosed diabetes. 

Left untreated, DKA can lead to a coma and possibly death.  High ketones is serious…Go see your doctor.

Technorati Tags: ,

Friday, June 26, 2009

Low Blood Sugar | Hypoglycemia

Low Blood Sugar or Low Glucose is called Hypoglycemia.  You experience this when there is too much insulin and too little glucose in your blood.  If your blood glucose level drops too low—it could result in unconsciousness, a condition sometimes called insulin shock or coma.


Hypoglycemia which is also called an insulin reaction, is most common among people taking insulin.  People that take oral meds that enhance the release of insulin are also at risk of hypoglycemia.  You can experience Low Blood Sugar for many reasons:

  • Skipping or delaying a meal
  • Not eating enough carbohydrates
  • Exercising longer than normal
  • Having too much insulin from not adjusting your medication when you experience changes in your blood glucose.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

Early Signs and Symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Shakiness
  • Hunger
  • Visual Disturbances
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Cold Clammy Skin

Later Signs and Symptoms

  • Slurred Speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Drunk Like Behavior (Cop miss this one all the time)
  • Confusion

Emergency Signs and Symptoms

  • Convulsions
  • Unconsciousness (coma) could be fatal

What Should You Do?

As soon as you suspect that your blood glucose is low, check your glucose level.  If it is below 70mg/dL, eat or drink something that will raise your level quickly. 

Good Examples:

  • Hard Candy..equal to 5 Life Savers
  • A regular (not diet) soft drink
  • Half a cup of fruit juice
  • Glucose tablets (nonprescription pills made especially for treating low blood glucose)

If after about 15 minutes you continue to experience symptom, repeat the treatment.  If they still don’t go away, contact your doctor or call for emergency assistance.

If you lose consciousness or for some other reason can’t swallow, you’ll need an injection of glucagon, a fast acting hormone that simulates the release of glucose into your blood.  Teach your close friends and family members how to give you the shot in case of an emergency. 
Also tell them to call 911 if you don’t regain consciousness quickly.

Glucose Emergency Kit

A glucose emergency kit includes the medication and a syringe.  The shot is easy to administer and is normally given in the arm, butt, thigh or the abdomen.  The medication starts to act in about 5 minutes.  If you take insulin, you should have a glucagon kit with or near you at all times.  It would be a good idea to have a few kits.  You can keep one in your car, at home, at work, and in your purse or sports bag.

What is Hyperglycemia

The medical term for high blood glucose—blood sugar that is above normal is Hyperglycemia.  Whether you have prediabetes or diabetes, you have hyperglycemia.  The key is to make sure that your blood glucose doesn’t get out of control.  If you have diabetes, regularly testing your blood glucose and keeping it in the target range that your doctor recommends can help prevent serious hyperglycemia.  If hyperglycemia isn’t dealt with early, it can lead to  life threatening problems, such as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state (HHS) or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

You need to take Low Blood Sugar and Hypoglycemia as a serous problem…Because it is.

This website is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for professional or medical advice.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Diabetes Risk

The Risk of Diabetes

Everyone seems to think that eating too much sugar will will increase the risk of a person to get diabetes.  Guess what?  Not true.

The risk factor for getting diabetes is not increased with by the amount of sugar your eat.  Doctors, scientist, and researchers really don’t understand why some people develop the disease while others do not.  One thing is certain, lifestyle and certain health conditions can increase your risk for diabetes.

Family History and Diabetes

The chance of getting diabetes (type 1 or type 2) will increase if someone in your family has diabetes, whether that person is a parent, brother, mother, or father.  You can be certain that genetics plays a role in the disease.  The mystery is that nobody can say with certainty how certain genes may cause diabetes.

People who develop diabetes may certainly have an inherited tendency toward the disease, some type of environmental factor is usually the trigger that puts the inheritance factor into play.

Weight and Diabetes

Being overweight or obese is one of the most common risk factors for type 2 diabetes.  More than 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.  Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Gee, am I overweight or obese?”  If you answer yes, then you are at a high risk of getting type 2 diabetes.  The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your muscle and tissue cells become to your own insulin.  This is really true if your blubber is really piled up around your abdomen and your sorry body is an apple shape.  Learn more about Diabetes and Obesity by understanding why one effects the other.

Way too many people that suffer from type 2 diabetes are fat….That’s right fat!!  They are overweight or obese.  People can improve their blood sugar  levels simply by losing weight.  Let’s repeat that for you slow learners.  PEOPLE CAN IMPROVE THEIR BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS SIMPLY BY LOSING WEIGHT.

Even small weight loss can have large effects on reducing the risk factors associated with diabetes.  It will certainly reduce blood sugar and very well may allow diabetes medication to work better.

Inactivity and Diabetes

When we say inactivity we are really saying that you are a lazy couch potato that would lay around like a beached whale rather then do the slightest bit of physical activity.  I don’t have anything against potatoes, heck I even write a blog that is dedicated to Easy Potato Recipes.  But there is a time and place for everything. 

The less active you are, the greater the risk is that you will contract type 2 diabetes.  Physical activity will help control weight, will use up sugar as energy, makes your cell more sensitive to insulin, increase blood flow and improve circulation.  Exercise will also help build muscle mass.  This is important because most of the glucose in blood is absorbed by muscles and burns as energy.

Age and Diabetes

The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as a person gets older.  It really increase quite a bit after age 45.  One in five people in America age 65 or older has diabetes.  When people grow older they tend to become less physically active, and they gradually lose muscle mass and gain weight….Sound familiar??

Race and Diabetes

About 8 percent of the US population has diabetes. 

Type 1 diabetes is more common in white Americans than in black Americans or Hispanics.  If you happen to be a black American, Hispanic-American you are 1 1/2 times more likely to have type 2 diabetes than somebody that is white.

American Indians and Alaska natives risk of type 2 diabetes more than double compared to whites.

Diabetes risk is real.  Prevention is the best cure.

Technorati Tags: ,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fasting Blood Glucose Test

Fasting Blood Glucose Test

When we talk about Fasting Blood Glucose Test we are actually talking about a glucose test.  Simple!!

Amounts of glucose in your blood fluctuates, but within a very narrow range.  Blood glucose levels are typically at their highest after a meal and at their lowest after an overnight fast.  The best way to test your blood glucose is after you have fasted overnight or for at least 8 hours.  This is called a Fasting Blood Glucose Test.

Blood will be drawn from a vein and sent out to a laboratory for evaluation.  A fasting blood glucose level under 100 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) is considered normal.  If the glucose level measures 100 to 125 mg/dL, then you have what is considered impaired fasting glucose, which is often referred to as prediabetes.  Prediabetes shouldn’t be taken lightly.  It’s a sign that you might be at risk of developing diabetes.  You should get in and see your doctor on a regular basis and take steps to control your glucose.

After 2 tests, your glucose results are 126 mg/dL or higher after at least 8 hours of fasting, you have diabetes.  If your blood glucose is above 200 mg/dL , with symptoms of diabetes, a second test may not be necessary to reach the diagnosis.

Always consult with your doctor when you are about to take a Fasting Blood Glucose Test.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Diabetes | Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Many times there are no signs that you have diabetes.  This is especially true with type 2 diabetes.  This is how diabetes can go undetected for years.  The disease can emerge very slowly.  There will be a lack of symptoms.  And when symptoms do show up they vary quite a bit.  The signs and symptoms of diabetes can be anything and will occur from persistently high blood glucose.

There are two signs and symptoms that are classic red flags when it comes to diabetes:  An increased thirst and a frequent need to urinate.

Increased Thirst | Frequent Urination

High levels of glucose in your blood overwhelms your kidney’s filtering system.  Your kidneys can’t reabsorb all of the excess sugar, and it’s secreted into your urine with fluids drawn from your tissues.  This leads to more urination.  Because of all this urination you start to feel dehydrated.  To replace the fluids that your body is getting rid of, you will start to drink a lot of water or other beverages.

Diabetes Feels Like The Flu

Symptoms of diabetes, like always feeling tired, weakness and loss of appetite, can mimic a viral illness.  The reason being is because when you have diabetes and it’s not under control, the process of using glucose for energy is impaired, affecting the functions of your body.

Diabetes | Weight Loss or Gain

Some people with type 1 diabetes lose weight before diagnosis.  This is because of glucose lost through urination leads to calorie loss. 

More stored fat is used for energy, and muscle tissues may not get enough glucose to generate growth.  The weight loss might not be noticeable in people with type 2 diabetes because they tend to be overweight.  But in most people with type 2, and some people with type 1, diabetes develops after a period of weight gain.  Excess weight worsens insulin resistance, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels.

Diabetes | Blurred Vision

An over abundance of glucose  in your blood will draw out the fluid from the lenses in your eyes, causing them to thin and affecting their ability to focus.  If you lower your blood sugar it will help restore fluid to the lenses.  Your vision will probably remain blurry as the lenses adjust  to the restoration of the fluid.  But ultimately your vision more than likely will improve.  High blood glucose also can cause the formation of very small blood vessels in your eyes to bleed.  The blood vessels are not the cause of the symptoms, but bleeding from the vessels can be the cause of dark spots, flashing lights, rings around lights and blindness.

It is because diabetes related eye changes often don’t produce symptoms , it’s important that you see an eye doctor on a regular basis.  By dilating your pupils, an eye specialist is able to examine the blood vessels in each retina.

Slow-Healing Sores or Frequent Infections

High levels of blood glucose block your body’s natural healing process and its ability to ward off infections.  For females, bladder and vaginal infections are especially common.

Tingling Feet and Hands

If there is too much glucose in the blood it can damage the nerves, which are normally nourished by the blood.  Nerve damage can produce quite a few symptoms.  The most common are a tingling feeling and a loss of sensation that occurs mainly in your feet and hands.  This results from damage to the sensory nerves.  A person can also experience pain in the extremities:  legs, feet, arms and hands, this can also include burning pain.

Tender Gums that are Red and Swollen

One of the things that diabetes can do is weaken your mouths ability to ward off germs.  This will increase the risk factor of infection in the gums and the bones that hold the teeth in place.

Diabetes Warning Signs for Type 1 and Type 2

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Constant Hunger
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • (In Type 2) Unexplained Weight Gain
  • Flu-Like Symptoms..Weakness and Fatigue
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slow-Healing Cuts or Bruises
  • Tingling or Loss of Felling in hands and feet
  • Infections of Gums or Skin
  • Recurring Vaginal or Bladder Infections

If you exhibit and of the signs or symptoms of diabetes you should consult with a medical doctor.