Posts Tagged ‘diabetes management’


Learn about both the short term and long term complications that can arise from the mismanagement of diabetes in order to avoid irreparable damage.

Short Term:

Diabetic Ketoacidosis – While this is a short term complication it is also potentially fatal. Diabetic Ketoacidosis occurs when there is a rapid build-up of impurities (ketones) in the blood causing acid in the blood. The patient becomes dangerously dehydrated leading to potential coma and death. Immediate treatment by rehydration and insulin dosing to replace the electrolyte balance and flush the ketones from the blood can help the patient make a full recovery. This condition often requires admission to the hospital for proper treatment and assessment of metabolic damage to the system following recovery.

Yeast InfectionsBoth oral (Thrush) and vaginal yeast infections occur more frequently in patients with diabetes due to the increased levels of sugar in the saliva and urine. Thrush will present as an opaque white film on the tongue and interior of the mouth and unlike milk or dairy residue cannot be scrapped off without bleeding. The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are itching, burning, redness and an abnormal discharge. However, because many different vaginal infections and diseases can present in the same way, it is imperative to have a doctor correctly identify the source of the infection to ensure that you are treating it with the correct medication. Properly controlling your blood sugar and regulating your fluid levels is the best prevention for yeast infections. Prompt detection and doctor approved treatment can provide relief of the symptoms and a speedy recovery.

High Blood PressureAlso known as hypertension, can lead to long term issues such as heart disease and stroke when left untreated. High blood pressure control through weight loss, exercise, healthy food choices and medications is an essential part of a healthy diabetic lifestyle. Although a serious concern for diabetics, high blood pressure is a treatable problem when it is detected early and the patient commits to blood pressure monitoring.

Diabetic Ulcers – This is a fancy term for open sores that occur due to diabetic neuropathy, slow wound healing and infections that are aggravated by poor circulation. There is a direct link between diabetic ulcers and a failure to properly control blood sugar levels. Treatment involves antibiotics for the infections, proper bandaging and wound care and potentially amputation of the affected limb when the wounds continue to progress despite medical care. Amputations can often be avoided through diligent attention to foot care and fastidious treatment of even the smallest cut or abrasion, regular exercising to strengthen the circulatory system and maintaining balanced levels of blood glucose levels.

Long Term:

Diabetic Nephropathy – The kidneys begin to malfunction and stop processing protein properly, allowing it to be flushed out with the urine. Unfortunately, there is no cure once kidney disease has begun, although you can only slow the progress of the deterioration. Often diagnosed by the increased levels of protein in a urine test, other symptoms of diabetic nephropathy include obvious water retention, vomiting, fatigue, itching and dry skin and recurrent hiccups. As the kidneys continue to fail, the patient will need to use dialysis to cleanse the blood of impurities while they await a transplant. Clearly prevention is the best option.

Heart Disease and Stroke – Diabetics have an increased risk of developing heart disease and/or stroke at an earlier age than the rest of the population due to a diabetic’s tendency towards high blood pressure. Heart attacks and strokes are both urgent and life threatening conditions that are treatable if caught in the early stages. However, they can each have lasting debilitating ramifications so prevention through healthy lifestyle choices is the best protocol.

Diabetic Neuropathy – This is a term for the nerve damage caused by diabetes. The blood vessels that connect to the nerves are impaired creating several different reactions by the body. The affected nerves can be found in the peripheral limbs such as hands and feet or internally, affecting the major organs. With the loss of sensation comes an inability to function properly which could be dangerous for a diabetic with nerve damage affecting their digestive tract. If the nerves are damaged in such a way that they continue to fire messages to the brain without stopping, the diabetic may find themselves in continuous pain. Many diabetics experience intense foot pain due to neuropathy and find some relief through the use of compression stockings and diabetic socks. Treatment of diabetic neuropathy involves a mixture of different pain alleviating medications as well as tighter control of blood glucose levels and some physiotherapeutic treatments of electrical nerve stimulation. There isn’t a cure for this complication, so properly managing your blood glucose levels and maintaining a healthy circulatory system is the best prevention.

Diabetic Retinopathy – This complication can lead to complete blindness. The retina (part of the eye) is damaged through poorly controlled levels of sugar in the blood. There are generally little to no symptoms of the development of diabetic retinopathy and it is usually caught through a regular eye exam. If caught early and treated, vision can be mostly restored.



Women, especially women who have Type 2 diabetes, often suffer magnesium deficiencies. An easy way to counteract those deficiencies is to use Epsom salts, not as a nutritional supplement, but in the bath.

Why women who have Type 2 diabetes need magnesium: Scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles have discovered that just a small amount of magnesium in the diet, just 100 mg a day, is enough to stop the inflammation that causes tightening of your blood vessels and high blood pressure. Since inflammation also drives the development of Type 2 diabetes and the storage of belly fat, getting more magnesium is of great value to women’s health.

Magnesium is also essential to bone health: Calcium and magnesium complement each other. Women who take calcium without magnesium have low calcium levels even if they take calcium supplements, but women who take just magnesium are able to maintain normal calcium levels even if they do not take calcium supplements. Magnesium helps your body keep calcium levels healthy all over your body and especially in your bones.

Getting magnesium from food: It’s not hard for women to get the magnesium they need from food, especially if they enjoy green leafy vegetables. Two to three servings of green leafy vegetables out of five to nine total servings of fruits and vegetables each and every day is enough to provide a woman’s body with the magnesium she needs. But women who do not eat their greens may need to take supplements.

Getting magnesium from supplements: Magnesium supplements are safe, effective, and inexpensive. There’s just one problem. They can cause loose bowels. There is, however, a completely safe way to get the levels of this mineral a woman’s body needs.

Getting magnesium from the bath: All that is needed is to dissolve 1/4 cup (about 50 g) of Epsom salts in the bath water before taking a long, leisurely soak. The minerals in the bath water will go right through the skin, but only just as much magnesium as the body needs. It’s a great way to replenish your body’s magnesium stores, and a great excuse to read a good book in the tub!

Research shows:

  • people with a high magnesium intake are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, and diabetics seem to have lower stores of this mineral
  • magnesium helps to increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin
  • deficiency occurs because low amounts of vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grain are eaten



If you are particular about health stuff, you must know that diabetes is one medical condition that can be fatal, if not debilitating. What’s worse is that the symptoms of diabetes may not be immediately visible or felt, and even if they were, they could easily be mistaken for something else. The only good thing about diabetes is that it can be controlled, and if truth be told, it’s quite easy to control given the advancements in technology and science. Unfortunately, for quite a lot of Americans, around 16 million of them, in fact, control measures may come too late already.

Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent the occurrence of deadly diabetic complications. That is why it is very important that you know the signs and symptoms associated with diabetes for you to be able to take immediate actions. When you are thirsty all the time, urinating more frequently than before, having blurry vision or are experiencing sudden weight loss and fatigue, consult your doctor without delay because you may be having diabetes. A series of tests may be conducted to confirm the incidence of diabetes.

The reason why diabetes presents with these signs and symptoms is because of too much glucose in the body following insulin resistance. Normally, insulin which is produced by the pancreas, converts glucose into glycogen, but for a person with diabetes, insulin is not able to do its task well or the body itself rejects insulin, that is why unconverted glucose pools in the bloodstream. In response, the body needs to dilute the excess glucose in the body. This explains why you get thirsty and why you need to drink more water.

It is vital that you understand the warning symptoms of diabetes so you can get immediate medical attention. Although diabetes is not in itself deadly at first, unchecked or uncontrolled diabetes can cause debilitating illnesses involving various organs of the body such as the kidney, the eyes, the heart, and the nerves. In worst cases, these complications can lead to death.

The need to constantly monitor blood sugar levels cannot be overemphasized, either. It is very important that your blood sugar levels are always within the normal bounds for diabetics. There is a diabetic chart that you can refer to so you will know if your body is responding well to the treatment or not.

Usually, the recommended treatment for diabetes involves eating foods appropriate for diabetics, exercising regularly, and taking the right medications. You need to understand, too, that certain foods, most particularly those that are high in fat and sugar content may cause spikes in blood sugar levels and must therefore be avoided. In many cases a diabetic dietician or nutritionist can help you prepare your daily menu so you can be sure that you are getting essential nutrients without increasing your blood sugar levels.

Prevention is better than cure, they say, but even if you already are afflicted with diabetes, there are many things you can do to control it and be on top of the situation.



The journal Diabetes Care reported in March 2010 that Australian researchers had established women (age forty-five and above) were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes if they had breastfed their infants. Specifically, the fifty three thousand women tested showed the same odds of developing type 2 diabetes as did women who had never had children… this is in stark contrast with women who had breastfed their babies and who showed a fourteen percent reduction in the “diabetes risk”.

Although these findings do not suggest that breastfeeding actually protects women against diabetes type 2 in later life, they do echo several earlier studies… according to University of Western Sydney researcher Dr Bette Liu.

“What’s new,” she reported, “is that the study also included childless women… and they were fifty percent more likely to develop diabetes type 2 than their counterparts who breastfed. In other words, while having children does increase the risk, feeding babies naturally reverses this.”

“Put slightly differently” Liu continued, “it appears that while having children increases the chances of women developing type 2 diabetes in later life, breastfeeding can restore this risk to the same level as that of women who have never had children.”

The fifty three thousand subjects were given questionnaires that covered health and life-style issues. After collating the raw data on diabetes prevalence, the researchers factored in a number of issues they thought might have an impact. These included age, weight, family history of type 2 diabetes, reported exercise habits, education, income levels and, of course, breastfeeding patterns.

“The results are great,” said Liu. “Breastfeeding is a natural activity that women can usually choose to do and it’s wonderful to know that it is good for their health as well.”

The researchers remain unsure as to exactly how the effect they discovered works in practice. Liu speculates that it could have something to do with a long term impact the hormonal changes that come about with breastfeeding might have on a women’s ability to process blood sugar. “I would say to women considering breastfeeding that there are benefits not only for the health of their babies but also for their own longer-term health,” she concluded.

As scientific research journeys on, it seems to happen more and more that we rediscover the wisdom of the ancients that is often little more than a return to common sense and naturally healthy lifestyles. This is includes the knowledge that breastfeeding not only produces healthy children, but also reduces the mother’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Would you like more information about alternative ways to handle your type 2 diabetes?

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