Category: Diabetes Be Proactive

How Diabetes Damages Your Eyes

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Diabetes affects many important organs, including the eyes. If you are diagnosed to have Type I or Type II diabetes, regular eye checkups are needed to prevent diabetes eye problems. The uncontrolled elevation of blood sugar due to insufficient production of insulin or insulin resistance in diabetics is harmful to the blood vessels that support the parts of the eyes essential for normal vision. According to statistics, diabetes eye problems are the primary cause of blindness in people ages 20 to 74.

The retina is the most common part of the eye damaged in people with diabetes. The retina is the lining at the back of the eyes. The function of the retina can be compared to that of a movie screen, which translates light rays into electrical signals transmitted to the brain. When the brain receives these signals, it translates into images and vision. A healthy retina is nourished by tiny blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen, and as mentioned in previous article, diabetes is also known as the “small vessel disease”. In people with diabetes, their blood becomes so sticky because of too much blood sugar. The very viscous blood has reduced capacity to flow and thus needs high blood pressure. The increased pressure inside the blood vessels that forces the blood to flow causes diabetes eye problems. Read more »

Reliable Tips to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

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In order to prevent type 2 diabetes, people should make some basic lifestyle changes. Maintaining good health is one excellent way to guard against an array of adverse health conditions. Men and women who are overweight should first speak with a certified medical professional, who can help them find a path to weight loss and healthy meal planning. People who work closely with a personal trainer should be able to shed those excess pounds. In the process, they will be lessening their chances for diabetes, heart attacks, and cancer. If any of these health issues run in the family, then individuals should be especially careful with their overall health and fitness.

Some experts indicate that incidences of type 2 diabetes are higher among people who eat meat. This does not mean that men and women have to give up meat completely. However, replacing beef and chicken with beans and leafy green vegetables a couple of times per week certainly will not hurt. Nutritionists can supply interested parties with some exact charts that will show people what they should be eating on a daily basis. Leafy greens, in particular, are chalk full of antioxidants, which minimize free radicals within the body and ultimately promote better health. Read more »

Education a “MUST” for Diabetes

Working in the healthcare  profession for over 20 years, it is painfully obvious that the most basic facts of diabetes are not understood by those not living with the condition.  I see examples of this daily and it still surprises me after all these years.

I left home in a tractor trailer after bartending one evening, “unexpectedly”  and certainly unplanned at an early age,  with a nights worth of tips,  one bag of clothes and my glass syringes and stainless steel needles in a plastic bowl.  My mother was frantic, assuming I was just a little stressed and  would soon be back home, never fully understanding  what I was going through.  Back in those days, I hid my diabetes from everyone I could.  No one in school new, the neighborhood kids I played with were scared, wondering if it was “catchy”, they did  not want to take shots too.   In those days, however, the only thing we were told to avoid was sugar!  Not carbs, not processed foods, no glycemic index or high fructose corn syrup.    So you can imagine what my urine test read all the time…..HIGH, and once glucose is spilling into your urine, you can only imagine how high it was in my blood!

Today is a whole new world, we have great information right at our fingertips on the web, in books, magazines, (Diabetic Forecast is great for Type 2′s) and even health classes at school.  So why do I still hear the same confusion of;  “so if your sugar’s low,  you need a shot right?”  Sounds pretty obvious to me,  but it’s true.  Some of my patients family members, I am up in the Carolina mountains, cannot understand why they should not bring Granny who already has ulcers covering her legs, edema, poor circulation and crazy high BS readings, all the Little Debbie’s she wants, it makes her happy.  I’m kind of hard on these people I admit, but I ask how happy Granny will be living out her days without her legs!   I’m told by other family members, “well she’s a really bad diabetic”,  well, no she isn’t, she and those around her, are just not educated in what needs to be watched.   I’ve even educated nurses on what it feels like when ones sugar is low and how they will  not be acting like themselves.  Glucose is the main food for your brain,  I  know what it feels like to have sugars drop in the 30s and 40s and still trying to hold it together at work.

If nothing else, I would love if this website could be read by family members of diabetics.  When your brain is starved for glucose, you DO NOT think straight or act as normal, just ask my husband who has to chase me down to force feed me juice when he recognizes it and I don”t.   Family members need to know this.  I have fought my husband for years, as he knows when I need help before I do.  Know your symptoms of low blood sugar as it is critical.  Oh the stories I could tell…..I’m surprised I’m still here to write about it…..but that’s another post.  Educate yourself and your family members for your own  safety….

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