I felt that if I told people, then they would think it was my fault.... 
that if I had worked out harder or eaten better, I might have prevented it.
It is not fair to judge which diabetes condition is more serious, all types of diabetes have a serious impact on people’s health, it is a difficult condition which takes a lot of time, persistence and care to manage.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Benefits of Cinnamon

I have been drinking Cinnamon tea for a couple of years now and use it where ever possible in and on food. I believe it has had a significant effect on my bgl.

Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.

Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.

In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.

In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.

In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.

When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.

Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.

It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

source  healthdiaries.com

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Taking a look at Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys certain cells in the pancreas, an organ about the size of a hand that is located behind the lower part of the stomach. These cells -- called beta cells are contained, along with other types of cells, within small islands of endocrine cells called the pancreatic islets. Beta cells normally produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body move the glucose contained in food into cells throughout the body, which use it for energy. But when the beta cells are destroyed, no insulin can be produced, and the glucose stays in the blood instead, where it can cause serious damage to all the organ systems of the body.
For this reason, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to stay alive. This means undergoing multiple injections daily, or having insulin delivered through an insulin pump, and testing their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. People with diabetes must also carefully balance their food intake and their exercise to regulate their blood sugar levels, in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can be life threatening.
The warning signs of diabetes include extreme thirst; frequent urination; drowsiness or lethargy; sugar in urine; sudden vision changes; increased appetite; sudden weight loss; fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath; heavy, labored breathing; stupor; and unconsciousness.
Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. Scientists do not yet know exactly what causes type 1 diabetes, but they believe that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved.

extract from JDRF.org

Monday, 25 April 2011

Combating the Stigma associated with Type 2 Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you may run into a "blame the victim" mindset. Type 2 diabetes still carries a certain stigma.

Type 2 Diabetes is often thought of as a disease caused by too much food and too little exercise and indeed, it can be exacerbated by those factors. This perception unfairly casts type 2 diabetes as a willpower problem.

Genes and other factors  play a complex role in determining who gets type 2 diabetes and who doesn't. While the likelihood of having type 2 diabetes increases with age and weight, that isn't always the case. Anywhere from 10% to 20% of all people who have the disease are not overweight. What's more, many overweight people never get diabetes.

"People think, 'Oh well, you deserve it: You've overeaten, you've abused yourself, and that's why you have diabetes,'"

People with type 2 diabetes sometimes shy away from talking about it. I  felt that if I told people, then they would think it was my fault,,,,, that if I had worked out harder or eaten better, I might have prevented it.

Lack of knowledge contributes to stigma
Talking about diabetes can help, because part of the problem is a lack of knowledge about diabetes in general.

"There's an important genetic contribution to developing diabetes that's out of people's control," says William Bornstein, MD, an endocrinologist at the Emory Clinic in Atlanta. "Secondly, It may actually be harder for diabetics to lose weight and that may be part of the disease as well."

In some cases, patients can develop complications after years of carefully controlling their blood sugar and people will still accuse them of causing their own problems because they saw them, say, eating a piece of cake.

"That's not true at all. I mean, their diabetes was under good control. In that situation, having a piece of cake was no worse for them than it is for anybody else," says Dr. Bornstein. "So I think that that's an unfortunate aspect of diabetes and we need to do a better job of helping understand that this blame is not appropriate and not helpful at all."

Taking a look at Type 2 Diabetes

- MedicineNet,.com

Anyone can get type 2 diabetes. However, those at highest risk for the disease are those who are obese or overweight, women who have had gestational diabetes, people with family members who have type 2 diabetes and people who have metabolic syndrome (a cluster of problems that include high cholesterol, high triglycerides, low good 'HDL' cholesterol and a high bad 'LDL' cholesterol and high blood pressure). In addition, older people are more susceptible to developing the disease since aging makes the body less tolerant of sugars.

Although it is more common than type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is less well understood. It is likely caused by multiple factors and not a single problem.
Type 2 diabetes can run in families, but the exact nature of how it's inherited or the identity of a single genetic factor is not known.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes vary from person to person but may include:
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and occasionally vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
  • Frequent infections of the skin, urinary tract or vagina

If your health care provider suspects type 2 diabetes, he or she will first check for abnormalities in your blood (high blood glucose level). In addition, he may look for glucose or ketone bodies in your urine.
Tests used to diagnose type 2 diabetes include a fasting plasma glucose test or a casual plasma glucose test.

Many people with type 2 diabetes live long, healthy lives. The key to good health is keeping your blood sugar levels within your target range, which can be done with meal planning, exercise and medication which may include pills and insulin.     You will also need to check your blood sugar levels regularly.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Some Diabetic Myths dispelled

There are many myths about Diabetes that make it difficult for people to believe some of the hard facts – such as diabetes is a serious and potentially deadly disease.  These myths can create a picture of diabetes that is not accurate and full of stereotypes and stigma. 

Myth: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.
Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.  Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

Me: I  get this all the time. That it is no 'big deal.'  
Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.
Fact:  Being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people disregard the other risk factors for diabetes and think that weight is the only risk factor for type 2 diabetes.  Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight. 

Me: I was not 'fat' and had an active lifestyle. Genetics played a huge role for me.  I know a lot of overweight people who are not diabetic.  I believe it to be a scare tactic advertising to get people to look after their health. but sadly ignorant folk who believe everything they read and see on tv use it as a weapon against suffers of db.   

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes. 
Fact: No, it does not.  Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors.  Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories, whether from sugar or from fat, can contribute to weight gain.  If you have a history of diabetes in your family, eating a healthy meal plan and regular exercise are recommended to manage your weight.

Me: I was a  foodie so that carefree attitude about trying anything and everything and throw genetics into the mix and it finally caught up with me

Myth: People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods.
Fact: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy diet for anyone – low in fat (especially saturated and trans fat), moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on whole grain foods, vegetables and fruit.  Diabetic and “dietetic” foods generally offer no special benefit. Most of them still raise blood glucose levels, are usually more expensive, and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols.

Me: I do not agree with this theory. Sugar, grains and white foods ie potatoes, rice, flour, all = high carbs.  My undoing, as that is how I ate before db caught up with me.  Now I can only tolerate 1/2 an orange, 1/4 of an apple, no bananas and so on.  I do agree with the affects of "dietetic" foods.  I also think that everyone's metabolism is different and while I have a low tolerance another diabetic may not.  Another reason that I 'eat by my meter'

Myth: If you have diabetes, you should only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta. 
Fact: Starchy foods are part of a healthy meal plan.  What is important is the portion size.  Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks.  The key is portions.  For most people with diabetes, having 3-4 servings of carbohydrate-containing foods is about right.  Whole grain starchy foods are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep your gut healthy.

Me: hmmm I think eliminating all starchy foods that once were part of my daily meal plans has been what has helped me gain control.   I have a daily limit on my carb intake.
 I also eat by my bgl meter reading, if I have a nice low reading I can afford to eat something that is higher in carbs.  Not often, and certainly not every day.  Always making sure it is within my allowed carb count.  Which means I swap it for something else.

Myth: People with diabetes can't eat sweets or chocolate.
Fact: If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes.  They are no more “off limits” to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes. 

Me: I was also told this and nearly blew the top of my head off.  Even diabetic jelly etc I have to be very careful with.  I can eat about 2 squares of 80% cocoa dark chocolate but that is about it for the week.... hardly worth the effort really.

Myth: You can catch diabetes from someone else.
Fact: No.  Although we don’t know exactly why some people develop diabetes, we know diabetes is not contagious.  It can’t be caught like a cold or flu.  There seems to be some genetic link in diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes.  Lifestyle factors also play a part.

Me: Oh darn, there are a few people I would have loved to sneeze on if this were true.  Though I have been treated like a leper on the odd occasion.  Or been told that they will not get diabetes because they watch what they eat or that they have sympathy for T1 diabetics but not T2 as we brought this on ourselves...

Myth:  People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses. 
Fact: You are no more likely to get a cold or another illness if you have diabetes.  However, people with diabetes are advised to get flu shots. This is because any illness can make diabetes more difficult to control, and people with diabetes who do get the flu are more likely than others to go on to develop serious complications.

Me: Since I was diagnosed a couple of years ago I am much healthier in the cold and flu department than before diagnosis.

Myth: If you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor says you need to start using insulin, it means you’re failing to take care of your diabetes properly.
Fact: For most people, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When first diagnosed, many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose at a healthy level with oral medications.  But over time, the body gradually produces less and less of its own insulin, and eventually oral medications may not be enough to keep blood glucose levels normal.  Using insulin to get blood glucose levels to a healthy level is a good thing, not a bad one.
Me: Yikes hope this isn't true.  Not something I want to look forward to.

Myth:  Fruit is a healthy food.  Therefore, it is ok to eat as much of it as you wish. 
Fact: Fruit is a healthy food.  It contains fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals.  Because fruits contain carbohydrates, they need to be included in your meal plan.  Talk to your dietitian about the amount, frequency and types of fruits you should eat.

Me:  I used to be called "the fruit fly"  I thought all fruit was good for you and I loved my fruit and therein lies my problem.  Now I only have to look at grapes and my bgl rises.  As they say, all things in moderation but I can barely even have a taste without my bl shooting skywards.  So, now I get by, by smelling the fruit and remembering how it once tasted... there is a psychological term for that, and it works for me.

I  found low-carb is the best way for me to control bgl and carb counting is vital along with reading labels.  I restrict myself to 60g of carbs a day. so the next time you are out shopping check that packet of breakfast cereal and at 42g carbs (the lowest I have found)  it doesn't leave me much left over for the rest of the day.

Hope I have helped someone understand db just a little better and how food and stress.... yes. stress impacts on diabetics differently,  Diabetes is not a disease that  goes into remission. It is a silent disease with us 24/7.


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Sugar is my enemy

Doctors know that controlling your blood sugar and insulin is the #1 factor for good health and long life.

It's a starling fact, but out-of-control blood sugar is linked to every serious degenerative disease on the Top 10 Killers list, including of course diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even dementia.

It's a fact: Excess blood sugar harms every important organ in your body, including, your heart, brain, eyes and kidneys. But Eating Less "Sugar" Won't Protect You...

That's because so many hidden sugars and sweeteners are being added to our foods today - even the ones that aren't supposed to be "sweet."   For example, sometimes there will be small amounts of many types of sugars, so none of them end up being in the the first few ingredients of the label. Examples of these include dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, corn sweetener and the dreaded high fructose corn syrup.

Other times, sugar masquerades as apparently more "healthy" ingredients, such as honey, rice syrup, or even "organic dehydrated cane juice".

The problem.... These are ALL sugar in disguise and they ALL spike your blood sugar and put you at risk for developing a laundry list of degenerative diseases.

But there's an even bigger problem which most people aren't even aware of...    Many Carbohydrate Foods Spike Your Blood Sugar -- Even If They Contain No Sweeteners.....    Bread. Baked goods. Breakfast cereals. Pasta. Chips. Even white potatoes and rice. These and many other innocent-looking foods carry a dangerous secret...  They become blood sugar just as rapidly as if you ate pure table sugar!  Eating these high-carb foods can play havoc with your blood sugar and create serious health problems.

Sugar is everywhere,  so I have to pay strict attention to food labels, eat less refined foods, avoid sweets, some fruit and surprisingly some vegetables.
I try not to feel guilty about EVERY meal or snack I eat but gosh it is hard.