Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes

Type-2-Diabetes-medical-anatomical-chartOne of the most undemanding and the most workable ways to knock over blood sugar amount, eliminate the dangers of “cardiovascular disease,” and perk up health and welfare in general is exercise.

In spite of that, in today’s inactive world where almost every indispensable job can be carried out on-line, from the ergonomic chair in front of a computer, or with a streaming line of messages from a fax machine, exercising can be a hard argument to win over.

The Weight of Exercise

Everyone should exercise, yet the health experts tells us that only 30% of the United States population gets the recommended thirty minutes of daily physical activity, and 25% are not active at all. In fact, inactivity is thought to be one of the key reasons for the surge of type 2 diabetes in the U.S., because inactivity and obesity promote insulin resistance.

The good news is that it is never too late to get moving, and exercise is one of the easiest ways to start controlling your diabetes. For people with type 2 diabetes in particular, exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, lower the risk of heart disease, and promote weight loss.

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is on the rise. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes every year increased from 1980 through to 2011 by 176%. Nearly all the new cases are Type 2 Diabetes, or adult-onset, the kind that moves in around middle age. Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include increased thirst, appetite, and need to urinate; feeling tired, edgy, or sick to the stomach; blurred vision; tingling or loss of feeling in the hands.

The causes of type 2 diabetes are complex and not completely understood, although research is uncovering new clues at a rapid pace.

However, it has already been proven that one of the reasons for the boom in type 2 diabetes is the widening of waistbands and the trend toward a more deskbound and inactive lifestyle in the United States and other developed countries. In America, the shift has been striking; in the 1990s alone, obesity increased by 61% and diagnosed diabetes by 49%.

For this reason, health experts encourage those who already have type 2 diabetes to start employing the wonders that exercise can do for them. Without exercise, people have the tendency to become obese. Once they are obese, they have bigger chances of accumulating type 2 diabetes.

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that over 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are clinically overweight. Therefore, it is high time that people, whether inflicted with type 2 diabetes or not, should start doing those jumping and stretching activities.

Getting Started

The first order of business with any exercise plan, especially if you are a “dyed-in-the-wool” sluggish, is to consult with your health care provider. If you have cardiac risk factors, the health care provider may want to perform a stress test to establish a safe level of exercise for you.

Certain diabetic complications will also dictate what type of exercise program you can take on. Activities like weightlifting, jogging, or high-impact aerobics can possibly pose a risk for people with diabetic retinopathy due to the risk for further blood vessel damage and possible retinal detachment.

If you are already active in sports or work out regularly, it will still benefit you to discuss your regular routine with your doctor. If you are taking insulin, you may need to take special precautions to prevent hypoglycaemia during your workout. Most people with insulin-treated diabetes notice that symptoms of hypoglycaemia change and become less obvious the longer they live with the condition, so extra precautions really are essential.

Start Slow

For those who have type 2 diabetes, your exercise routine can be as simple as a brisk nightly neighborhood walk. If you have not been very active before now, start slowly and work your way up. Walk the dog or get out in the yard and rake. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the back of the lot and walk. Every little bit does work, in fact, it really helps a lot.

As little as 15 to 30 minutes of daily, heart-pumping exercise can make a big difference in your blood glucose control and your risk of developing diabetic complications. One of the easiest and least expensive ways of getting moving is to start a walking program. All you need is a good pair of well-fitting, supportive shoes and a direction to head in.

Indeed, you do not have to waste too many expenses on costly “health club memberships,” or the most up-to-date health device to start pumping those fats out. What you need is the willingness and the determination to start exercising to a healthier, type 2 diabetes-free life.

The results would be the sweetest rewards from the effort that you have exerted.

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.

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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.

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.

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The following is additional information from Patient.co.uk , 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 http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/diabetic-foot

Diabetic ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is “one consequence of severe, out-of-control diabetes mellitus (chronic high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia). In a diabetes sufferer, DKA begins with relative deficiency in insulin. In the most common cases, this is due to failure to take prescribed insulin. Insulin requirements may rise due to physiologic stress that causes release of catecholamines, glucagon, and cortisol. This stress may be emotional or physical, although the most common cause by far is infection (e.g., pneumonia or urinary tract infection). Simply having uncontrolled hyperglycemia may be sufficient to trigger an attack if significant dehydration occurs.”

Diabetic ketoacidosis is much more common in Type 1 diabetes, because the key component of diabetic ketoacidosis is that there is essentially no insulin throughout the body. Because the balance of storing and releasing energy is controlled by the insulin and glucose ratio, the Type 1 sufferers (who can’t produce their own insulin) are severely affected by the disease.

When diabetic ketoacidosis occurs, a number of ill effects can occur as result. If muscles cannot absorb glucose, then their only source of energy is protein. Since amino acids are not stored as raw materials, they must come from proteins that are used for other purposes. Therefore, muscles will begin to break down their own structural proteins and secrete raw amino acids into the blood stream. This, in turn, creates the thin and wasted appearance many people with diabetic ketoacidosis have – because all their muscles are being broken down to create energy.

Also since high levels of plasma glucose are circulating the body, the liver will act as though the body is starving since insulin is low. In such situation, the liver is forced to create fuel for the brain by using triglycerides to make the glucose the brain needs. Because of this, the bloodstream is filled with a lot of glucose that it cannot use, so it begins to spill into the urine – and as it does this a lot of body water goes with it, resulting in dehydration. Since the dehydration worsens the state of the blood and forces water out along with the glucose, it will keep working this vicious cycle to maintain life; until (without treatment) it ultimately leads to coma and death.

As you can see, diabetic ketoacidosis is a very serious, debilitating disease. Without treatment, it will drain your body of glucose, water, and ultimately lead to coma and death. So how do you ensure this doesn’t happen to you? Ultimately, you need to speak with your physician to be sure, and in the meantime take great care of yourself to ensure you’re getting the proper amount of carbohydrates, and therefore glucose, and if you’re a Type 1 diabetic, make sure you are checking your insulin levels regularly to ensure you’re not at risk. And, as always, pay attention to your body – if it feels different or you feel less like yourself for no noticeable reason, make sure to consult with your physician – it may just save your life.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Diabetes.

When you’re afraid you’re diabetic, symptoms are the first thing you need to look for. The diabetic symptoms vary widely, but there are some commonalities between Type 1 (otherwise known as Juvenile) Diabetes and Type II (or Adult Onset) Diabetes.

The most consistent diabetic symptom associated with both Type 1 and Type II diabetes is elevated blood sugar levels. In Type I (Juvenile or Early Onset) Diabetes, this is caused by the body’s inability to create enough insulin to regulate blood sugar. In Type II (or Adult Onset) diabetes, this is from the body developing resistance to insulin and therefore not properly using what it produces. However, blood sugar isn’t something you can see in the mirror, so it can be helpful to know the common diabetic symptoms.

The diabetic symptoms of Type 1 (Juvenile or Early onset) Diabetes often come swiftly and severely. The diabetic symptoms can include excessive thirst (unrelated to exercise, hot weather, or short-term illness), dry mouth, the need to urinate often (often noticed because you must wake up repeatedly during the night), weight loss (even if you’re hungry and eating your fair share of food), feeling weak and tired (possibly severe enough to make you fall asleep unexpectedly after meals), and blurry vision.

The diabetic symptoms of Type II (Or Adult Onset) diabetes are hard to notice. Many people go for very long periods of time without ever noticing that they have diabetic symptoms, as they include blurry vision (diabetes can lead to macular degeneration and eventual blindness), wounds that are slow to heal (a sign of a compromised immune function), itchy skin, yeast infections (another sign of impaired immune function), dry mouth, the need to urinate often, and leg pain (peripheral neuropathy, a symptom of diabetes, causes nerve damage in the extremities).

If you find that you’re experiencing a number of these diabetic symptoms on a consistent basis, you need to visit a doctor to be tested for diabetes. Ignoring the symptoms can lead to long term serious health risk such as blindness, coma, and even death. While many of these symptoms can be related to other sources, testing for diabetes is relatively painless and easy.

When you visit a doctor about your diabetic symptoms, and you’re tested, diagnosed, and put on a treatment plan, you’ll be on the road of a long and healthy life. Once diagnosed, your doctor will speak to you about your diabetic symptoms and help set you up with a personalized diet plan that will make optimal use of the foods you love while allowing your body to create glucose it needs for the energy to live.

While many people view diabetes as a horrible inconvenience, in all reality it’s a very good reason to get yourself on a good stable diet plan – and one that you should have been on throughout your lifetime. Overall, the diabetic diet will help you create and consume energy, while living life to the fullest and allowing your body to work at peak performance – without dealing with a single diabetic symptom.

Finding the Perfect Shoes when Diabetic

Diabetic shoes

Shoes for Diabetics

When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, one of the first things your doctor will recommend you buy is a specialized pair of shoes designed specifically for a diabetic. Shoes of this nature will need to have proper ventilation, which will allow the feet to have less dampness and heat than regular shoes. Because sweat is an ideal environment for bacteria and infection to grow, you want to make sure the toe and heal curves slightly, so your feet have to be balanced when you walk. Diabetic shoes will also need to prevent injury to susceptible and sensitive toes, so the toe area will probably be high and durable. Diabetic shoes are also usually lightweight and seamless to prevent common shoe irritations such as calluses, blisters, or infection. There are several reasons why you need to wear diabetic shoes. Outlined below are a few good reasons you need to ensure one of your first purchases after your diabetic diagnosis includes diabetic shoes:

The wrong shoes can cause nerve damage. Because neuropathy can cause the loss of feeling in your feet, you’ll be unable to tell if your feet are injured. It’s easy to step onto a sharp object and not know it until you see blood.

The wrong shoes can cause poor circulation, because diabetic arteries are easily rigid and blocked. Diabetic shoes ensure that you’re not cutting off any additional circulation by using the wrong shoes.

If your vision is impaired, you’ll be unable to see small cuts and sores that can happen in normal shoes. By giving yourself the gift of diabetic shoes, you’ll actually be allowing yourself the comfort of knowing that your feet are in a safe place.

When you’re choosing the footwear of diabetic shoes, there are a number of things you need to be watchful for. First of all, shoes that do not fit properly can cause foot trauma, so make sure both your shoes and socks fit well. You also want to make sure that the shoes you buy are made from natural materials to allow for optimal circulation. Also make sure to buy your shoes in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest size, and while you’re at it make sure there’s ample ‘wiggle room’ for your toes.

While diabetic shoes may be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re diagnosed with diabetes, they will be an instrumental tool in relieving many of the aches, pains, and worries associated with the disease. Make sure it’s at the top of your purchase list to ensure that you start your treatment on the right foot!

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I am diabetic but also grossly overweight, and one thing I have suffered with is swollen feet and ankles, but this could vary quite a bit during the day, and I found that shoes that fastened with Velcro, or where softly elasticated really did help me. It is always necessary to make sure whatever type of shoe or trainer you get, are a good fit, because any tightness will cause you a problem. One thing I have found is that now I am into walking and weight loss, swollen feet and ankles are almost a thing of the past, except on really hot days, and surprisingly I didn’t need to lose that much weight for it to take effect. If you are looking towards a trainer type of shoe, check out the Merrell range of footwear,  I have found them to be so light and comfortable you don’t realize you are wearing them.

Diabetes and your Diet


Fruit and Vegetables for a Balanced Diet

The Diabetic diet is very important for any person with diabetes. While there are different philosophies concerning which the best diet is, there is generally a standard go between. This article will show you a little on what I know of the recommended diabetic diet from the caretaking of family members with diabetes – however, when you’re planning your diabetic diet, be sure to speak with a health professional.

In my experience, patients with Type 1 diabetes should have a diet that has 16 calories per pound of body weight per day. Patients with Type 2 diabetes generally have a fifteen to eighteen hundred calorie diet per day to promote weight loss and then to maintain their ideal body weight. This may change depending on the person’s age, weight, sex, activity level, current weight and body style. For example, a more obese person may need a higher calorie diabetic diet so that they can maintain a healthy weight loss – something like a fifteen hundred calorie a day weight loss regimen may be horrible for their health and do them more harm than good.

Also, carbohydrates should make up about fifty percent of the daily calorie intake of the diabetic diet. Generally speaking, lower carbohydrate intake is associated with low blood sugar levels. The benefits of this can be cancelled out by the higher fat diet taken in to compensate for the amount of carbs. Therefore, make sure the daily carbohydrate calorie percentages are between forty to sixty percent of total calories.
Most people with diabetes find that it is quite helpful to sit down with a dietician or nutritionist for a consult about what is the best diet for them and how many daily calories they need. It is quite important for diabetics to understand the principles of carbohydrate counting and how to help control blood sugar levels through proper diet. Below are some general principles about the diabetic diet.

Food is made up of three basic elements – fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the food that can be broken down into sugar; therefore the diabetic diet needs to watch them carefully as they make your blood glucose level rise. Carbs usually come from starches, fruits and vegetables, and milk.

The amount of food you can eat is related to blood sugar levels. If you eat more food than is recommended on your meal plan, your blood sugar will go up. While carbs have the most impact on blood sugars, all the calories you take in will affect your blood sugar.

Carbs can be counted in grams or as exchanges. For example, one carb equals 15 grams of carbohydrates. You will need to follow your doctor’s instructions on how many carbs or carb grams you can intake, and how the exchange relates to you. However, there are a number of ‘free’ foods – ones that you can eat without counting carbs. If a food contains less than 20 calories and less than 5g of carbs, it’s considered a ‘free’ food.

Being a diabetic is difficult, and maintaining a diet can be even more difficult after going most of your adult life without it. By following the diabetic diet, you’ll save yourself countless aches and pains associated with diabetes, all the while treating your body properly!

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I have lived with type 2 diabetes for over ten years with the help of Metformin and several other drugs, in the belief that it is irreversible, but the latest  2013 research has show that with serious weight loss and a  carefully balanced diet, you can start to reverse the effects of diabetes. The NHS (and Diabetes UK) recommend a healthy, balanced diet that is low in fat, sugar and salt and contain a high level of fresh fruit and vegetables. For help in preparing a healthy diet plan visit http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diet/nhs-diet-advice.html the information is first class, and totally free.