How to Maintain a Low Carb Diet

Low Carbohydrate

Typical Low Carb Meal

A Low carb diet does not use the ‘official’ food pyramid; therefore it can be difficult to know what you can and cannot eat when on the low carb diet. However, the Food and Drug Administration has made it easy for you to figure out what you can and cannot eat on your low carb diet. It may be a little difficult, but figuring out your carb will be a little easier after reading this article. As you may know, the key to maintaining your low carb diet is in counting carbs; however, it’s not the overall carb count that you need to watch, you need to figure out the net carb count. To figure out your net carb count, you need to identify the carbs that don’t have a high impact on your blood stream and glucose levels – those carbs that are found in fiber and sugar alcohol, and subtract that total from the overall carb count. To figure out net carbs, you need to take the total number of carbohydrates and subtract the total amount of dietary fiber and sugar alcohol content.

Let’s use an example. Right here I have a can of Campbell’s Select™ New England Clam Chowder Soup. The total amount of carbs for this bowl of soup is 16g. The amount of carbs from dietary fiber is 2g and alcohol sugar is 1g. Therefore, this bowl of soup has a net carb count of 13g. That wasn’t too difficult, was it?

Finding the carbs hiding in your house has become easier, how about when you are out running errands, going shopping, picking up your dry cleaning, and dragging yourself from one after-school activity to another? Since the easiest thing to do in these times of time-crunching is stopping by the local fast food chain restaurant, they’ve made it much easier for you to find something that will satisfy your appetite and maintain your delicate balance of carbs.

Many fast food restaurants, such as Blimpie’s, McDonalds, Arby’s, Subway, and Burger King even have low carb diet friendly menus. The really neat thing about the way the fast food industry is tackling the low carb diet trend is how they’re sidestepping the bread issue. As anyone with on one of these diets know, the bread is public enemy number one when it comes to your diet. So, instead of serving the usual bakery bread, they’ve created new low carb diet bread, so you can have your sandwich and eat it too! It’s a great way to bring the low carb conscious consumer into their restaurants without having to worry about all those carbs – it’s the best of both worlds.

As you can see, it’s now simple to figure out how many carbs are hiding in your pantry, and your local fast food restaurants have healthy low carb diet alternatives to your favorite McMeal. Your local supermarket will have healthy low carb diet alternatives that you can add to your next meal. If you continue counting your carbs using our simple formula you’ll be able to maintain your balance of carbs and lose weight and stay healthy – without much work at all!

* * * * * * * * * *

If you are on a low carb diet, one of the great things is your choice of fresh fruit and vegetables; you really have a large choice. On average vegetables have higher carb values than fruits, ranging from 4 to around 12 per 100 grams, and fruits range from 2 to around 10 grams per 100. Even if you want to stay with just the low end range, you have some really healthy options, with broccoli, cabbage, cucumber if its peeled, closed cup white mushrooms, Brussels sprouts next to broccoli are one of the healthiest vegetables you can get, the reason so many people don’t like them has nothing to do with the sprouts it’s the preparation, you have to cut the stem level with where the leaves start, and cut a cross in the stem and remove the outer layer of dark green leaves, before you boil them for about twelve minutes, and then you will never again have bitter tasting sprouts. Next we have green, red and yellow peppers, cauliflower, red onions, carrots, and green peas in the pods. The fruits are just as good, water melon being lowest, strawberry’s, avocado, cantaloupe, blackberries, honeydew melon and peaches are all good for you, grapefruit and the various oranges are next, with plums, raspberries, pineapples, apples, pears, blueberries and kiwi fruits, all of these are really healthy. To add some meat to your selection of fruits and vegetables, one of your best choices is chicken breast with no skin, which has a 0 rating. For some interesting low carb recipes try:   You have plenty to choose from and there free.

Fat Loss Workouts.

Cycling for Fitness

Cycling for Fitness

An important fat loss truth is that fitness only comes with physical training. Perhaps we resent spending long hours at the gym, we may hate cardio exercises and aerobic sessions, we could even try to develop fat loss workouts at home, but the truth is that 90% of dieters act chaotically when it comes to training for weight loss. People don’t know how to create efficient fat loss workouts, how often or how long to train. Mistakes even abound in the use of gym machines.

Inconsistencies and disagreements appear between professionals on numerous occasions. Some trainers say that there are very rapid sets of exercises precisely designed as fat loss workouts, while others call such techniques inefficient and stick to traditional training models of 60-minute sessions, three times per week. The problem is that everybody claims to be right, every program author brings scientific evidence and lots of testimonials in support of his/her theory, and only adds up to the general misunderstanding. In fact, it seems that confusion characterizes the nature of fat loss workouts by now.

In case you no longer know what to believe, a physical activity that you enjoy will be the perfect alternative to fat loss workouts. Swimming, cycling, jogging, walking, stair climbing or hiking are fine examples here. Or maybe you play football weekly or you take dancing lessons. It’s perfectly okay as long as you don’t develop a sedentary lifestyle. Yet, do not assume that some physical activities now and then will do for weight loss. There needs to be a permanence or a routine to compensate for fat loss workouts.

Now, if you nevertheless decide to stick to a certain type of fat loss workouts, because of the way that a certain program appeals to you, make sure your efforts have the desired outcome. The major risk of fat loss workouts is that routine generates a physical plateau. This means that you lose weight up to a point and then no progress occurs because the body has already got used to the effort level. Cyclic training should solve this problem.

Let us consider sit ups and crunches for example. They are excellent for the toning of the abdominal muscles, and they could help you reach a good fitness level if performed correctly. Yet, you will constantly have to increase the number of reps so that the extra effort forces the body into further progress, and you continue to lose weight or maintain your good physical shape.

Isometric exercise or Tai Chi?

If you are looking for an easy type of exercise that anyone can do, isometric exercises may be for you. Isometric exercises are exercises in which there is no visible movement done during the exercise. Yoga, as well as many other forms of exercise, make use of isometric exercises to help strengthen the muscles of the body.

When you are learning isometric exercises it is important to acknowledge that these forms of exercises are resistance based exercises. This means that you are resisting a form of pressure, which then builds your muscles. By maintaining the same position, you are forcing your muscles to work harder. This can have the same result on your body as forced motions, such as running, walking, aerobics and many other cardiovascular exercises. The primary difference between these exercises and isometric exercises is the fact that you can do isometric exercises anywhere at any time.

In yoga, as well as some other meditation based exercises, isometric exercises are done by resisting the forces of your own body. For example, the motions of pressing your palms together, and exerting force is one of the basic isometric exercises that is used in yoga. You can enhance these isometric exercises by using body positions that make maintaining this posture more difficult. By doing so, you can exercise your entire body without moving. These isometric exercises can be done by anyone, even those with severe handicaps.

When you are learning isometric exercises it is important that you do not stress your body too much. Like other forms of exercise, it is possible to strain and injure your muscles if you are not careful. When you are performing isometric exercises, take your time and approach them cautiously. If you feel pain, you should cease the exercise. Pain is a way that your body is telling you that something is wrong. If you are in pain, you may not be performing the isometric exercises properly. However, pain is not the same as muscle strain and sore muscles. Your muscles will become sore from doing isometric exercises. What you want to avoid is the sharp pains of active injuries rather than the soreness of muscles being used.

If you have never done isometric exercises, it is possible to learn them without assistance of a teacher. However, if you are new to exercising, you should have someone spot check you while you are learning the exercises. Doing this will prevent you from learning bad habits that could cause injury to your muscles and bones.

* * * * * * * * * *

Tai Chi

Tai Chi: For Fitness, Health,and Longevity

Isometric exercises are a benefit to all age groups, but as we get older we also need to keep ourselves mobile, and as well as isometrics you would really need to walk, cycle, or swim at least three times a week, or there is something you have probably never even thought of. I am talking about Tia Chi, which is an ancient form of Chinese exercise, that strengthens the body, calms the mind, and balances the bodies energy. The exercise uses slow and graceful movements, increasing ones awareness, health, and longevity, which is now practiced by people of all age groups all around the world. Although Tia Chi is perfect for our modern times, its roots go back over 1200 years, and is linked to the monasteries of the Buddhist and Taoist monks, and also the now famous Shao Lin Temple, so I think we can all be assured this system has stood the test of time. Tai Chi also has roots in Traditional Chinese medicine helping to balance the bodies energy by enhancing the flow of “chi” as it moves through pathways called meridians. Tai Chi’s benefits have been studied in China for hundreds of years. However, Western medical research is rapidly discovering what Chinese medicine has long realized. Tai Chi provides more health benefits than any other form of exercise. When practiced regularly there is wide range of benefits. It is an exercise that enables the practitioner to realize a high level of wellness by promoting physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. The slow, gentle and relaxing movements of Tai Chi are good for stress reduction by helping eliminate stress and its negative impact on the body. It has also now been proved that Tai Chi can help, improve your cardiovascular system and lower blood pressure, enhance the body’s natural healing ability, and enhance the range of motion and joint mobility, all being advantageous to the older generations.

If you would like to learn more about Tia Chi, and take advantage of all the benefits of practicing this form of exercise, I can highly recommend a good book Yang Tai Chi for Beginners, by Master Yang. Dr Yang explains how Tai Chi Chuan is a kind of moving meditation with ancient roots in Chinese martial arts. In this program, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming teaches you the traditional Yang-style form step-by-step, while explaining the meaning of each movement. His teaching is easy to follow and will soon have you reaping the benefits in practicing Tai Chi  with improved health and well being, but it is recommended that you first take a beginners class with an instructor to get you started properly with your stance and forms.

Flexibility Exercises


Improve Flexibility by Stretching

If you suffer from stiff muscles, flexibility exercises may be what you need to help you loosen those muscles and enjoy a nicer range of flexibility. Unlike standard forms of exercises, flexibility exercises are designed to help you lengthen your muscles. Flexibility is often a measure of how tense your muscles are on your bones. The more flexible you are, the looser your muscles are on your body. By using flexibility exercises, you can enhance your flexibility without damaging the muscles. There are several things that you need to keep in mind. Flexibility exercises can be dangerous if you are not careful with how you do them. Due to the fact that your goal is to lengthen and stretch your muscles, incorrectly performing flexibility exercises can cause severe muscle damage. Muscle tearing and strains are commonly injuries to those who are not careful about how they go about their flexibility exercises.

The key aspect of doing flexibility exercises correctly is to never move in jerky, fast motions. Every move you take should be done gradually so you can feel how your body responds to that action. While sore muscles are a necessary part of exercising, there should never be any sharp pains. If your muscles start to hurt, you should ease back and find the right place where your muscles are just beginning to feel the strain and sustain that position. This is a core aspect of flexibility exercises, as it is what encourages your body to allow the muscles to safely lengthen to allow for more flexibility. The changes will be gradual, but over time, your body will respond to the flexibility exercises you are doing and give you the higher level of flexibility you have been after.

Like with other forms of exercise, you should mix your flexibility exercises with other exercises. In order for your new flexibility to not go to waste, you need to have strong muscles to support that. Being more flexible is not a good thing if you are unable to have the strong bones and the muscles to back it. Being flexible can cause injury if you suffer from weak muscles. You need to balance giving yourself more flexibility with pure physical strength. This will ensure that you do not put yourself at unnecessary risk of injury.

* * * * * * * * * *

If like me you fall into one of the older age groups you need to take care, because your joints can start to get stiff, you can start to suffer from the beginnings of arthritis, and if these things are left unchecked, it can seriously start to effect your mobility, and therefore your overall quality of life. Last year I was suffering with my sciatic nerve, which appeared as if it was my hip joint, and I was far too heavy for a hip joint replacement, in permanent pain, and quality of life just didn’t exist. Once we realized what the problem was, some simple stretching exercises started to help, and at night sleeping with a pillow between my knees to take the pressure off really helped, and I was soon back to normal. One thing that happened was, it made me realize what we take for granted, being able to walk and climb stairs normally without pain, and generally being able to get around, it really is precious. The fact that these days we are living longer, it is important that we keep ourselves fit, so we can reap the benefits, and to achieve that we need a sensible diet and plenty of exercise.

As we get older there are 12 flexibility exercises which we really need to try and they are: neck stretch, shoulder stretch, shoulder and upper arm raise, upper body stretch, chest stretch, back stretch, ankle stretch, back of leg stretch, thigh stretch, hip stretch, lower back stretch, and finally the calf stretch. If you visit the following site you will get all the information in picture form on how to perform each exercise correctly, plus lots more to help you keep fit, healthy and very active. All the information on the site is totally free and you don’t need to sign up to anything, so make the most of it and stay healthy.           

The New Food Pyramid.

When it comes to the food pyramid, there is quite a degree of information that you need to get. For instance, did you know that the first food guide was introduced in 1916 for small kids? Thereon after it developed into something different. The most basic fThe New Food Pyramid consists of milk, meats, breads, and fruits and also vegetables. Yet subsequently as the years went by, there has been a change in the evolution of the food pyramid. In 1994, the USDA after taking careful consideration of all dietary requirements came up with a food pyramid that has also once again changed in recent times.

Still the “food pyramid” from 1956 right up to 1992 consisted of four layers. From top to bottom it was meats, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, and nuts; then dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; then grains and wheat products and fruits and vegetables. It was after this point that a proper food pyramid came into being. It will come as no surprise that there have been many people who offer their own version of a food pyramid. For instance, the Harvard School of Public Health offers the Healthy eating pyramid, that includes calcium and multi-vitamins and small amounts of alcohol too.

Another food pyramid would be one that is offered by the University of Michigan. It states that its Healing Foods Pyramid proposes plant-based choices, variety and balance. There are also sections which include seasonings and water as well as a good degree of healthy fats. Ideally based on the current food pyramid, what you should be avoiding are sweets and oils which do have a tendency to help you get overweight. With America and a lot of Europe facing a terrible time thanks to fast food joints and its every growing popularity, what you should be doing is to curb on these excessive eating habits.


The New Food Pyramid

Finally, just ensure that you read up as much as you can on all types of information pertaining to food and its benefits. The fact of the matter is that while there are many article resources that are sure to help you in understanding what food is all about, you will enjoy also reading up on the many conflicting articles that challenge the conventional pyramids. All in all, just ensure that what you do read is something that is written with an objective mindset. There will be many proponents of various ideas and their thoughts may be great, yet it is best to always go with medical advice especially if you are suffering from something like diabetes.

Nothing is worth putting your health at risk, since this could lead to bad repercussions at the end of the day, so to stay fit and healthy look to all of the food groups, especially the fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and give yourself a proper healthy well balanced diet.

Fat Burning Workouts.

Fat Burning Workout

Fat Burning Workout

Everyone today turns to diets in order to lose weight. Similarly the other easy way to lose weight would be to burn these calories! And the best way to do that is with the use of an exercise program. Whether you decide to choose to buy one of the many different exercising machines in the market or choose to try out certain fitness work out programs, the choice is all yours.

One great option would be for you to join a gym. This has several advantages. While being able to try out different exercise machines that will help your body in different ways, you would also have a trainer to guide you. Having a fitness trainer really helps, as he/she would help you keep to your work out routines, and you will be better disciplined with someone watching over you.

You would need to burn more calories than the amount of calories that you take in. The best fat burning workouts will achieve this easily. It would take you a lot of energy and effort to see good results.

When it comes to fat burning workouts, there are different options for both males and females. This is because our bodies are structured differently, and what would work for a man may not always work for a female body. You could also choose to burn the fat in just certain places of your body, by choosing fat burning workouts that deal with those particular areas.

Fat burning workouts can also be found on video, if you are unable to visit a gym regularly. These videos will help you burn fat and lose weight with the help of a professional instructor who will guide you the work out session. Whether you decide to use a treadmill or go for a jog outside, cardio workouts have also been known to give great results. All you would need is 30 minutes in a day to have a good proper workout. Do not start off with high intensity fat burning workouts as your body may not be used to it just yet.

The key to seeing good results from these fat burning workouts is to be consistent at it. You cannot expect to be involved in fat burning workouts for just a week and then discontinue them as they are a long term process. You must also keep an eye on your calorie intake. You must eat healthy. Exercising alone will never be as effective as combining it with a healthy well balanced diet.

* * * * * * * * * *

As we get older high energy fat burning workouts might not seem quite as appealing as they do to the younger generations, but we can still make them work for us, but with less high energy and impact. Walking is very good, but if you considered power walking for thirty minutes just three days a week, it will really improve your overall fitness and help you lose more weight. Can you remember back to those heady days of youth when skipping was a regular pastime; well this would be a good exercise to take up again, as you can go at your own pace and gradually build up your heart rate. Another very good workout is swimming, as it uses all your muscle groups, and again you can go at your own pace. The important thing is to keep at it, vary what you do so you don’t get bored, and enjoy yourself, don’t make it a task, because at the end of the day it is helping you achieve your goal of better health and weight loss, without the need of high energy fat burning workouts.

Diabetic Retinopathy.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults and affects nearly 16 million Americans and in the United Kingdom 7.37% of the population are already registered as being diabetic, and that figure is rising constantly. High glucose levels resulting from un-managed diabetes set in motion a cascade of problems which ultimately cause the oxygen-deprived retina to grow more blood vessels. Ironically, the leaky surplus of vessels can ultimately destroy vision.

To explain diabetic retinopathy a bit more, you must understand how our bodies use food. Our bodies use food as a source of energy, and the main source of energy in food is glucose, a form of sugar. As food is digested, it is broken down into glucose molecules which enter the bloodstream to be distributed to the cells located throughout your body. For glucose to enter cells insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, must be present.

The normal body produces enough insulin to move glucose into cells. In people with diabetes, however, there is either not enough insulin or cells do not respond properly to the insulin. As a result, the glucose remains in the blood and cells are not provided with energy.

High blood sugar levels affect many tissues located in your body – it can affect the skin, eyes, heart, kidneys, nervous system, gums, feet, teeth and gums. Diabetic retinopathy refers specifically to the damage of the blood vessels of the retina caused by the glucose levels in untreated diabetes. Because blood vessels bring oxygen and nutrients to the retina, when the blood vessels become damaged they weaken and break, which causes fluid to leak in to the retina and sometimes swell. Because the body tries to repair itself, new blood vessels grow on the retina, which can make blurred vision or temporary blindness happen. Even scar tissue can form and cause permanent blindness where the old blood vessels was attached to the retina
Depending on the stage of the disease and the problem that needs attention; diabetic retinopathy can be treated in many ways. The retinal surgeon relies on tests to monitor and track the progression of the disease and to make decisions on treatment; the tests include: fluorescein angiography, retinal photography, and ultrasound imaging of the eye.

The abnormal growth of blood vessels and the associated complication of bleeding is one of the most common problems of diabetic retinopathy. This is usually treated with laser surgery called pan retinal photocoagulation (PRP). With PRP, the surgeon uses a laser to destroy the oxygen-deprived retinal tissue outside of the patient’s central vision. While this creates blind spots in the peripheral vision, PRP prevents continued growth of the fragile vessels and seals the leaking one. It usually stops the progression of the disease.

As you can see, without proper treatment diabetes can be a very dangerous disease. It can take many forms, many of which can cause permanent injury and disability to a person. However, when diabetic retinopathy is treated correctly by a surgeon, you have a great risk of not only surviving the disease, but also surviving and correcting the complications of the untreated disease.

* * * * * * * * * *

You may wonder what an article on Diabetic Retinopathy, and some of the other Diabetic related ailments we have covered, has to do with a weight loss and fitness site, and the simple answer is age and diet. As this site is for the middle and older age groups who are overweight, type 2 diabetes is an ever growing problem, therefore the more information we can give you about the symptoms, and what to look out for, plus the consequences if you ignore them, then at least it should make things better in the long term. The positive news these days is, that with the right diet and some exercise the effects of diabetes in many cases can be reversed, and we are not talking about bland unpleasant diets, just cutting out bad fats, cutting down on red and fatty meats, and using some common sense, which we all have but sometimes chose to ignore.

Diets That Work.

Foods for a Balanced Diet

Foods for a Balanced Diet

Let’s face it, most of us who care about how we look have considered dieting more than once, and some of you might have tried all sorts of diets, but might not have gotten the results you expected. Dieting is as much about looking good as it is about, or even more, to stay fit; so we need to find a diet that cuts off the excessive calories and keeps you nourished and energized at the same time, and so begins the hunt for diets that work.

Having over 60 percent of its citizens who are or above 20 years of age suffering from being overweight, the United States has its own sub culture attached to dieting. With the media that are constantly flooded with people who don’t even seem to have an ounce of fat on them and TV shows such as ‘The Biggest Loser’, people are driven to find diets that work for them. The American citizen spends roughly around 48 billion dollars a year on dieting, trying to find diets that work; and most end up in failure, with the guilt of being overweight still remaining.

If one is to ask the reason for the failure in finding diets that work, the answer would be depending on several variables. However the number one factor in most of the cases is that people don’t always stick to their diet, they drift off track and eat that juicy steak or cheeseburger that is practically oozing with calories. Another reason for not being able to find diets that work is the life style we are engaged in; it is virtually impossible to lose weight just by dieting, therefore we need to find a diet that is in par with the amount of exercise we can do and the amount of calories we burn on an average day. And the other most common scenario that happens to people who are going after diets is that those diets aren’t practically applicable to them, and therefore after a few weeks they abandon the diet half way through, leaving the hunt for diets that work, still open for them.

When you are looking for diets that work, keep in mind that there is a huge market with relation to dieting, with various diets popping up every day. Be very careful not get lured into those diets that seem too good to be true, and always think whether this particular diet would work for you with the time, money and will power you have; and you will be able to find diets that work for you.

* * * * * * * * * *

A question that I think you really need to ask yourself is this, why do I need to purchase some diet plan, is it the fact that you are paying for it that gives you the driving force to stick with it. When you consider the amount of money some spend on dieting, looking for that magic formula that will lose that excess fat in record time, but only end up back at the same weight or even heavier. Some do have medical problems that cause them to gain weight, and then find it almost impossible to lose or even control the weight gains, but in reality that is a very small percentage. The cure for most of us is a very simple formula, eat less do more, that’s it, now I know it’s not that simple with our fast moving lifestyles these days, when we want food we want it now, hence all the fast food chains, and saturated fats, and overweight population. The one thing you need to realize now is that there is no magic pill or potion or diet, that is going to make you slim again by next Thursday, its taken time to put the weight on and it needs time to take it off. The easiest way to lose weight is with a sensible balanced diet cooked at home, cut back on sugary fizzy drinks and replace with water, plus use normal size portions, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, cutting down on red and fatty meat, and no skin on chicken, and you will lose weight, add a little exercise and your really on the right path. As for the time you think you will lose by cooking, it is more than made up by you being healthier, fitter and getting more done anyway, so give it a try, the diet that works for you could be the free, and simple one called common sense, good luck with whatever your choice is, I just hope its one of the diets that work for you.

Walking to Lose Weight.

Walking to Lose Weight

Ever wondered why the number of people suffering from obesity has sky rocketed during the last few decades? Although there are several reasons for this like the unhealthy lifestyle most of us are engaged in, and the amount of junk food we eat regularly, one thing stands out from the rest and that is, we spend less physical energy on our day to day chores. With the development of technology, humans have very little need to do any work at all when it comes to getting physical; but now people have started to go back to the basics to find ways to rid them of their curse of being overweight, and one way to do that is walking to lose weight.

During the recent years walking to lose weight has become a very popular concept among many people. This notion of walking to lose weight is practiced by many because of a few main factors; it is fun, easy, very effective, and you don’t need special equipment or a physical trainer to do that. Walking is a very effective exercise not only for your body, but also for your mind. In order to lose weight one must engage mainly in cardio exercises, which are exercises that would increase your heartbeat and burn calories faster. Jogging is on top of the most effective cardio workouts, but jogging can be a bit hard on you if you are on pavements or hard ground, and someone who is overweight, and especially if you are not so young, as it puts a lot of strain on your knees and ankles. This is another reason why people stick to walking to lose weight; because walking burns close to the same amount of calories as jogging does. Another plus point about walking to lose weight is that it increases your metabolism; this enables you to keep burning calories even after you have stopped; after a brief walk of about two miles one can keep you burning calories for almost half a day.

Walking is fun, so enjoy it and don’t try to overdo it, move at your own pace and you’ll be walking to lose weight in no time, and if you have a nice park you can enjoy your surroundings while doing it. The benefits are truly surprising, just half an hour a day, really can help you work rest and play, it clears your head so you can think and work easier, you have more energy to play with, and it also aids a sound nights sleep, and that’s win, win, win.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve disorder caused by diabetes. The symptoms of the disorder can include the numbing and/or pain in the hands, feet, or legs. Because diabetic neuropathy can cause nerve damage, it can also lead to problems with the internal organs such as the heart, digestive system, and sexual organs causing indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, bladder infections and even impotence.

Diabetic neuropathy can flare up without warning it is very complicated for sufferers to deal with. Many sufferers find they have sudden weakness and/or weight loss, along with depression. While there are a few treatments available, there still needs to be a considerable amount of research done to understand how the disorder affects the nerves.

The disorder can come as it pleases. The neuropathy can develop within the first ten years after a diabetes diagnosis and the chances of contracting diabetic neuropathy actually increases the longer a person has diabetes. Studies have shown that sixty percent of diabetes patients have some form of neuropathy, and frighteningly enough, up to forty percent of those cases have no symptoms. It appears that this form of the disease is more common in smokers, people over forty years of age, and those who have had problems controlling their glucose levels.

No one seems to know what causes the disorder, but it seems that many things contribute to the disorder. High amounts of blood glucose have a direct effect on diabetic neuropathy. High levels of glucose create chemical changes in nerves, which also impair the nerves’ ability to transmit signals. How the high blood glucose levels affect and lead to nerve damage is still a subject of research. While researchers have found that the levels affect the metabolic pathways in the nerves, the precise mechanism of the disorder is still unknown.

Researchers have also found that with diabetic neuropathy the amount of nitrous oxide in the nerves changes. People with diabetes have a higher chance of nerve damage with low levels of nitrous oxide, therefore scientists are finding this area of research very promising as to the real reason why this disorder happens, and how to heal patients who have it.

Treating diabetic neuropathy is not really ‘treatment’ but more ‘easing’. The current treatment regimen is supposed to relieve discomfort and prevent further tissue damage. Because doctors, researchers, and scientists do not know exactly what causes the disorder, it is difficult to find a ‘cure.’ Surely, more research done on the disorder will eventually find a real cure and relief for sufferers of the disorder.

The first step of the treatment is to bring blood glucose levels under control by diet, oral drugs, and/or injections. It is also important to take special care of the feet, which the disorder poses a significant threat to. It has been noted that maintaining a lower blood sugar can actually help reverse the pain or loss of sensation that diabetic neuropathy can cause. Good control of blood sugar helps to prevent or delay the onset of further problems.

* * * * * * * * * *

The following is additional information from , Diabetic Foot.                              People with diabetes are at increased risk of peripheral vascular disease and neuropathy, as well as having a higher risk of developing infections and decreased ability to clear infections. Therefore, people with diabetes are prone to frequent and often severe foot problems and a relatively high risk of infection, gangrene and amputation.

Motor, sensory and autonomic fibres may all be affected in people with diabetes mellitus.

  • Because of sensory deficits, there are no protective symptoms guarding against pressure and heat and so trauma can initiate the development of a leg ulcer.
  • Absence of pain contributes to the development of Charcot foot (see ‘Charcot foot’, below), which further impairs the ability to sustain pressure.
  • Motor fibre abnormalities lead to undue physical stress, the development of further anatomical deformities (arched foot, clawing of toes), and contribute to the development of infection.
  • When infection complicates a foot ulcer, the combination can be limb-threatening or life-threatening.
  • Detection and surveillance of diabetic neuropathy are an essential routine part of a diabetic annual review.
  • To read the full article click here