Posts Tagged ‘Diabetes’

How to Prevent Pre-Diabetes From Getting Worse

April 8th, 2021

Diabetes is a very serious chronic disease suffered by millions of people worldwide.

If you are diabetic and fail to control your blood glucose levels you are likely to end up with one or more serious medical conditions, such as heart disease, kidney failure and damaged nerves among many others.

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be but not so high that you are diagnosed as diabetic. Research suggests that up to 70% of persons with pre-diabetes go on to develop full type 2 diabetes.

But this means that 30% manage to halt the development of diabetes before it becomes a chronic disease. So, if you have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, developing full-blown diabetes is not inevitable.

You can’t change your past behaviour, your age or your genes but you can change your lifestyle… how you disport yourself and what you eat and drink.

How your digestive system works

The foods you eat are mostly a combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in various proportions. A piece of meat, for example, contains mostly protein and fats. Vegetables such as potatoes contain lots of carbohydrates.

When you digest a bit of food, it is broken down into it main components… carbs, proteins and fats. These components are then broken down further in your digestive system and released into to your blood-stream which delivers them around your body.

Your energy comes from glucose. Glucose is just a simple sugar. But it is your body’s primary source of energy.

Most glucose comes from digesting the sugar and starch in carbohydrates which you get from food such as rice, pasta, grains, breads, potatoes, fruits and some vegetables. The glucose produced by digestion in your stomach is absorbed into your bloodstream which delivers it to your body’s cells.

Glucose is the fuel for your cells… it powers your movements, thoughts and just about everything else you do.

In order to power your cells, glucose has to get into them. It can only do this with the help of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone (a type of chemical). It is produced by your pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream where it travels around your body and meets up with glucose on the same trip. The purpose of insulin is to enable glucose to enter your cells.

To do this, insulin attaches itself to a receptor in the surface of the cell. This causes the cell membrane to allow glucose to enter the cell. The cell can then use the glucose as its fuel.

This glucose-insulin system has to work properly if you are to be healthy.

If the insulin does not do its job of ‘opening the cell door’ for glucose, the glucose will not be able to get into the cell… and the cell will run out of fuel.

Diabetes is a condition in which the glucose-insulin system does not function correctly.

There are two major types of diabetes: (a) type 1 and (b) type 2. More than 90% of diabetics have type 2 diabetes.

In type 1 diabetes the pancreas does not produce any insulin or, at best, very little. Type 1 cannot be cured. The only way these diabetics can survive is by taking regular shots of insulin.

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does produce insulin which is released into the bloodstream. But when the insulin arrives at a cell it has trouble attaching itself to a receptor. So it cannot induce the cell membrane to open and allow glucose to enter the cell.

Insulin resistance is the condition in which insulin is unable to attach itself to cell receptors.

Imagine a key trying to slide into a lock in a door. If the lock is jammed… say, with a bit of chewing gum… the key cannot get in. There is nothing wrong with the key and nothing wrong with the lock. But before the key can get in, the lock has to be cleaned out.

One of the main reasons for insulin resistance is having cell ‘doors’ that are jammed with fat. The only way to ‘unjam’ them is to eliminate all fat as far as possible from your diet for four to six weeks (at least) until the cell receptors are free of fat.

So what do you have to do to prevent type 2 diabetes developing from pre-diabetes to the full-blown chronic condition… with its elevated risks of heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney transplants, leg amputations, and other dreadful conditions?

Change your lifestyle using:

Exercise, and
Diet
Here are 12 things you can do:
[1] Avoid sedentary behaviour

A sedentary lifestyle is one in which you sit most of the day and undertake little physical activity. The link between sedentary behaviour and the risk of diabetes is well proven.

An analysis of the results of 47 studies found that people who spent most of the day engaged in sedentary behaviour (eg, office workers) have a 91% risk of developing diabetes.

If you work in an office, there are several ways you can change your sedentary habits:

Stand up from your desk and walk around for a few minutes every hour.
Stand instead of sitting when talking on the phone.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Park far away from the supermarket so you have to walk a good distance to get inside.
Go for long walks in the evening (easy if you have a dog).
The best way to reverse sedentary tendencies is to commit to specific actions you can do every day.
[2] Get plenty of exercise

Research indicates that physical exercise increases the insulin sensitivity of cells… when you exercise, less insulin is required to enable your blood glucose to enter your cells.

Many types of physical activity reduce blood glucose levels in pre-diabetic adults who are obese or overweight… including aerobic exercise, strength training and high-intensity interval training.

One study of pre-diabetics indicated that high-intensity exercise increased insulin sensitivity by 85%… while moderately intense exercise increased it my more than 50%. But this effect only happened on the days that they actually worked out.

Another study found that to improve insulin response in pre-diabetics, they needed to burn at least 2,000 calories a week through exercise… but that is not too hard to do if you set your mind to it.

The trick is to find a physical activity you enjoy and can undertake regularly, and then stick to it for the long-term.

[3] Quit smoking

Besides cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, colon, oesophagus and digestive tract, as well as emphysema and heart disease, research indicates that there are strong links between smoking (and exposure to second-hand smoke) and type 2 diabetes.

Smoking increases the risk of diabetes by 44% in average smokers and 61% in heavy smokers (more than 20 cigarettes a day), compared to non-smokers according to a meta-analysis of several studies that together covered more than one million smokers.

But quitting reduces this risk over time, not immediately.

A study of middle-aged male smokers indicates that five years after quitting their risk of developing diabetes was reduced by 13% and after 20 years it was the same as people who had never smoked.

[4] Lose weight

The majority of people who develop type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. In addition, people with pre-diabetes tend to have visceral fat … ie they carry their excess weight around their middle and abdominal organs such as the liver.

Studies have shown that excess visceral fat promotes insulin resistance, increasing the risk of diabetes significantly. This risk can be reduced by losing weight, especially around the middle.

One study of more than 1,000 people found that for every kilogram (2.2 lbs) they lost, their risk of diabetes was reduced by 16%. This study also found that the maximum reduction of risk was 96%, ie a loss of 6 kilogram (13.2 lbs).

There are many healthy ways for losing weight… exercise… dieting.

You have many dietary options to choose from: Mediterranean, paleo, low-carb, vegetarian. The best, perhaps, is the Beating-Diabetes diet.

[5] Reduce the fat in your diet

As you already know, the main cause of type 2 diabetes is fat gumming up the receptors in your muscle cells, so the insulin cannot open the cell membranes to allow glucose to enter. The “cure” is to unblock the receptors.

As you are pre-diabetic it is likely that fat is already beginning to gum up the receptors. You can unblock the receptors by minimising the fat you ingest in your diet.

To minimise the fat you eat:

make sure that less than 10% of the energy in any food you eat comes from fat (read the labels), and
reduce your consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products as much as possible, and focus on foods based on plants (fruit and vegetables).
It’s that simple.
[6] Reduce the refined carbs you eat

Refined carbohydrates are refined sugar and grain products that have been milled. The process removes dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals from the grains.

Examples of refined carbs include white sugar, granulated sugar, high fructose corn syrup and so on, as well as white flour, white rice, white pasta etc. These are digested more rapidly than unrefined carbohydrates.

Many studies have shown a link between the frequent consumption of sugar or other refined carbs and the risk of diabetes.

For example, an analysis that looked at a total of 37 studies found that persons with the highest intakes of refined carbs are 40% more likely to develop diabetes than those with the lowest intakes.

This is because simple sugars and refined carbs are digested very quickly and are absorbed rapidly in the bloodstream. This results in a spike in the level of glucose in your blood.

But, as you are pre-diabetic, your body’s cells are resistant to the action of insulin. As a result the glucose spike stimulates your pancreas to produce more insulin.

Over time this leads to higher and higher blood glucose and insulin levels in your blood until you develop full-blown diabetes.

To avoid this you need to stop putting sugar in you tea and coffee, and stop drinking sodas and other sugary drinks.

You also need to start eating natural foods such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and uncooked vegetables, all of which are top sources for unrefined carbohydrates.

[7] Eat a high fibre diet

Dietary fibre is the indigestible portion of plant foods. There are two types of fibre and eating plenty of both types is crucial for preventing pre-diabetes turning into the full-blown variety.

Soluble fibre is fibre that dissolves in water to form a viscous gel-like material that slows the rate at which food is absorbed, reducing the likelihood of sudden spikes in blood glucose.

Insoluble fibre cannot dissolve in water but does absorb water which makes your stool more bulky, easing its passage. It too is linked to reductions in blood glucose but how it works is not clear.

The main sources of soluble fibre are… legumes (beans, peas, etc)… grains (oats, rye and barley)… vegetables such as broccoli, carrot and artichokes… root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and onions… and the insides of some fruits such as prunes, plums, berries, bananas, apples and pears.

Insoluble fibre is mostly found in… whole grains… wheat and corn bran… nuts and seeds… potato skins… flax seeds… fruit such as avocados and bananas… some skins such as on tomatoes… and vegetables such as green beans, cauliflower, courgettes (zucchini) and celery.

Some plants contain significant amounts of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit and you will get enough fibre to prevent your pre-diabetes developing into diabetes.

[8] Minimise your intake of processed foods

Processed foods, such as bacon, sausage, paté, salami, breakfast cereals, cheese, tinned vegetables, bread, savoury snacks (crisps, sausage rolls, pies and pasties), cakes and biscuits, microwave meals and so on, are full of oils, added fats, added sugar, refined grains and all sorts of additives.

Processed foods are linked to all sorts of health problems, including diabetes. One study found that poor-quality diets that are high in processed foods increase the risk of diabetes by 30%.

So to prevent your diabetes developing into chronic diabetes, you need to cut back on processed foods. Eat vegetables, fruits, nuts and other plant foods instead.

[9] Restrict portion sizes

Once food hits your stomach, it all starts to be digested at once.

Thus, unsurprisingly, eating too much at one sitting has been shown to cause higher blood sugar and insulin levels in people who are pre-diabetic.

A two-year study of pre-diabetic men found that those who reduced the amount of food they ate in one meal had a 46% lower risk of developing diabetes compared to those who continued to eat large amounts.

Another study of people with re-diabetes concluded that those who practiced portion control lowered their blood glucose and insulin levels significantly after 12 weeks.

So, to prevent the onset of diabetes, you need to practice portion control.

[10] Drink lots of water, coffee and tea

Water… lots of it… should be your primary beverage.

Sticking with water most of the time means you will be avoiding beverages that are high in sugar, preservatives and other questionable ingredients.

A large observational study of 2,800 people found that those who consumed more than two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages a day had a 99% increased risk of developing LADA and a 20% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

LADA, latent autoimmune diabetes of adults, is a form of type 1 diabetes that occurs in people over 18 years of age.

Some studies have found that increased water consumption (as oppose to upping the quantity of sodas or fruit juices you consume) leads to better blood glucose control and insulin response.

One 24-week study, for example, showed that overweight adults who replaced diet sodas with water as part of a weight-loss programme experienced a decrease in insulin resistance and lower levels of blood glucose and insulin after fasting.

So drink plenty of water, at least 2 to 4 litres, a day to stop diabetes developing.

Make sure you avoid the sugar-filled sodas and energy drinks. Instead, when you need a pick up or energy booster, go for coffee or tea.

Coffee and tea contain polyphenols, antioxidants that may protect against diabetes. Green tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a unique antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the release of blood sugar from the liver and to increase insulin sensitivity.

Several studies have shown that drinking coffee on a daily basis reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by anywhere from 8 to 54%. The greatest reduction in risk is seen in those who drink the most.

An analysis of several studies, that included tea as well as coffee, found similar results. This review also showed that the risk of developing diabetes was reduced the most in women (of all sizes) and overweight men.

So it’s plenty of water, tea and coffee for pre-diabetics who wish to avoid developing diabetes.

[11] Take a daily nutritional supplement

The term nutritional supplement covers micro-nutrients such as vitamins, dietary minerals and fatty acids.

Vitamins are vital for health. All vitamins fall into one of two main groups… water-soluble or fat-soluble.

Water-soluble … are all the B vitamins plus vitamin C. These vitamins are not stored in your body and you get rid of excess quantities in your urine. Thus they cannot build up to toxic levels in your body.

Fat-soluble … are vitamins A, D, E and K. To absorb these vitamins, you need a little fat in your diet. Any excess amounts are stored in your body fat so they could, theoretically, build up to toxic levels. But this is extremely rare.

Minerals are divided into two groups… major minerals and trace minerals.

Major minerals are the minerals you need in amounts of 100 milligrams (mg) or more each day. These minerals are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulphur, potassium, sodium, and chloride.

Trace minerals are needed in amounts of less than 100mg each day. Trace minerals include iron, iodine, zinc, fluoride, selenium, copper, chromium, manganese, and molybdenum.

Minerals are used in a variety of processes. For example, your body uses calcium to make bones and teeth, and iron to make the haemoglobin in your red blood cells.

Although the functions of all vitamins and dietary minerals are not yet fully understood by scientists, and even though the results of clinical tests often contradict each other, a daily dietary supplement should help prevent your pre-diabetes developing into diabetes.

Here’s what you need to take on a daily basis:

Multivitamin • to make sure all your nutritional needs are covered
Vitamin B12 (4mcg) in a separate tablet • for the health of your nervous system as your pre-diabetes is likely to be affecting your nerves already
Calcium (400mg) plus vitamin D (2.5mcg) together in a separate tablet • to ensure the health of your bones
High-strength cod-liver oil capsule with vitamins D and E, in a separate capsule • to make sure you ingest adequate amounts of the essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6
There is an emphasis on vitamin D because this vitamin is important for good control over your blood glucose.
A variety of studies show that persons who have too little vitamin D in their bloodstream are at a greater risk of all type of diabetes. One study found that persons with the highest levels of vitamin D in their blood were 43% less likely to develop diabetes compared to persons with the lowest levels.

Most health organisations recommend maintaining a vitamin D blood level of at least 75nmol/l (30ng/ml).

Controlled studies have shown that when people who are deficient in vitamin D take supplements, their blood glucose levels normalise and their risk of developing diabetes is reduced significantly.

[12] Add natural herbs to your diet

The internet is full of claims, mostly spurious, that certain herbs can prevent your pre-diabetes from developing into the full-blown version of the disease. Here are a few of the more credible claims:

Cinnamon … is a highly-aromatic spice with a very distinctive flavour. It is used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of medical conditions, apparently with some success.

Reports on the internet suggest that cinnamon can cut fasting glucose levels by up to 30%, so I began sprinkling one large teaspoon on my porridge (oatmeal) in the morning. Within a few days, my average glucose levels on awaking had dropped by nearly 0.5mmol/l (9mg/l) or about 8%, quite a bit short of 30%… a significant reduction nonetheless.

So it seems to me that this spice, in the form of ground powder you can buy from your local supermarket, can help you improve your blood glucose levels and thus help prevent your pre-diabetes developing into diabetes.

Bitter melon… aka bitter gourd or karela (in India), is a unique vegetable-fruit that can be used as a food or medicine. It is often recommended for the control of diabetes.

A number of clinical studies have shown that bitter melon is effective in improving blood glucose levels, increasing the secretion of insulin and decreasing insulin resistance.

In January 2011, for example, the results of a four-week clinical trial were published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, which showed that a 2,000 mg daily dose of bitter melon significantly reduced blood glucose levels among patients with type 2 diabetes. However the hypoglycemic effect was less than that of a 1,000 mg per day dose of metformin, a popular diabetes medication.

Although it may be of some help in preventing your pre-diabetes getting worse, bitter melon needs to be treated with care as it has been associated with miscarriages and induced abortions in animals… it should be avoided if you are pregnant or want to get pregnant.

Curcumin … is a component of turmeric, one of the main ingredients in curries. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

Research shows that curcumin can help reduce inflammatory markers in persons with pre-diabetes.

In a controlled 9-month study of 240 pre-diabetic adults, none of those who took 750mg of curcumin per day developed diabetes, but over 16% of the control group did. The study also noted that insulin sensitivity amongst those who took curcumin increased, as did the functioning of their insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Thus the benefits of curcumin in decreasing insulin resistance and reducing the risk that pre-diabetics will develop full blown diabetes appear to be well proven.

Berberine … is an alkaloid extracted from various plants used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic effects. It works by reducing the production of glucose in the liver and increasing insulin sensitivity.

An amalgamation of 14 studies of human and animal research has shown that 1,500mg of berberine, taken in three doses of 500mg each, is equally effective as taking 1,500mg of metformin or 4mg glibenclamide, two popular pharmaceuticals for treating type 2 diabetes. Berberine is one of the few supplements shown to be as effective as conventional diabetes drugs.

Berberine, however, can interact with other medications and caution needs to be exercised… ask your doctor before you try to use it to prevent your pre-diabetes getting worse.

Caveat (1): Spurious claims that certain supplements can cure or prevent diseases abound on the internet. However there are a few reliable sites that contain research-tested information. These are mainly connected to reputable universities, medical schools and teaching hospitals.

Caveat (2): Some herbs and supplements may interact with your diabetes medication (including insulin) and cause excessively low blood glucose. So check with your doctor before using them.

Conclusion

Pre-diabetes can develop into full-blown diabetes very quickly if you do nothing about it. And the medical consequences of diabetes are very serious indeed.

So take your pre-diabetes seriously and deal with it as outlined above… this will enable you to live a pleasant and fruitful life.

Paul D Kennedy is a type 2 diabetic. He used his skills as an international consultant

Statins And Diabetes

February 8th, 2021

Diabetes is a relatively common illness that impacts millions of people. A person is said to be diabetic if his or her ability to create and/or respond to insulin is impaired. This means the body cannot process food for energy in the normal way that it should. The body’s lack of insulin or the misuse of it causes an elevated glucose level and an abnormal metabolism of carbs. This article will discuss both statins and diabetes as well as how to spot the symptoms of diabetes and ways to support healthy living with diabetes.

TYPES OF DIABETES
Diabetes is typically divided into two types: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called insulin-dependent, and it can also be referred to as juvenile onset diabetes. This form of the disease can develop at any age. However, in most cases it presents itself before a person has reached adulthood. Type 1 is the least common of the two types, as it accounts for only about 5% to 10% of total diagnosed cases.

Some risk factors for type 1 diabetes are genetics and family history. For instance, a person who has a parent or a sibling with the disease is slightly more likely to develop it. Some research also shows that autoimmune factors can lead to the development of type 1 diabetes.

SOME AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES THAT CAN POTENTIALLY INCREASE THE RISK OF DIABETES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Thyroid disease

Addison’s disease

Gastritis

Celiac disease

Type 2 diabetes is also known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes. Most diabetics have type 2. In fact, estimates show that about 90% of diabetes cases are classified as type 2.

SOME RISK FACTORS FOR TYPE 2 ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Advanced age

Obesity

History of gestational diabetes

Family history of diabetes

Impaired tolerance for glucose

Lack of regular physical exercise

In addition to the above risk factors, certain races and ethnicities are more likely to develop diabetes. If you are black American, Latin American, Native American, or Asian American, you might be slightly more likely to develop type two diabetes.

In a small percentage of pregnancy cases, a woman will develop diabetes. This form of the disease is called gestational diabetes, and it typically goes away at the end of the pregnancy. However, in some cases, a woman who develops gestational diabetes goes on to develop diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes tends to occur more frequently in Hispanics, blacks, Asians and American Indians. It is also more likely to appear in those who have a family history of diabetes.

In a very small percentage of cases, people get diabetes as a result of an infection, a surgery or a genetic disorder. Malnutrition also accounts for a small percentage of cases.

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES
For some diabetics, the warning signs may be mild and almost unnoticeable. In fact, some diabetics don’t know they have the disease until they are treated for another health concern. This is especially the case for many type 2 diabetics. However, with type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to be more severe and they may happen suddenly and unexpectedly.

SOME SIGNS OF DIABETES TO LOOK FOR ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Hunger

Thirst

Frequent urination

Fatigue or weakness

Blurry vision

Dry mouth

Itchy skin

Sores and cuts that are slow to heal

Yeast infections

Numbness in feet or legs

Pain in feet or legs

The above symptoms most frequently occur at the early onset of the disease and are especially prevalent in type 2 diabetics. Type 1 diabetics might also experience some unexplained weight loss. This weight loss may occur even in those who have not changed their exercise or eating habits. The weight loss is a result of the body not getting enough energy from food. Thus, the body burns fat and muscle, which results in the weight loss.

Type 1 diabetics are also susceptible to both vomiting and nausea. This is caused by the body’s process of burning fat. When fat is burned, a diabetic can develop ketones. Ketones are chemicals made in the human liver. Everyone has them. However, in diabetics, when too many ketones are produced, the body cannot use them for fuel in the way they are supposed to. This results in a diabetic feeling nauseated and also vomiting. In the worst case scenario, too many ketones can be fatal.

A person’s ketone level can be monitored at home using either a blood test or a urine test. These testing devices are available for purchase over-the-counter. Both tests can, of course, also be given at a doctor’s office. A patient should check his or her ketone level when pregnant and also when feeling physically injured or sick. A blood sugar level above 250 mg/dl also indicates that a person might have a high level of ketones, and thus the ketone level should be checked regularly.

WHAT ARE STATINS?
Statins and diabetes: Statins are a specific type of drug often prescribed to treat patients who have high levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as harmful or “bad” cholesterol. LDL is considered the bad cholesterol because it deposits fatty residue in a person’s arterial walls located in the brain and heart. As these fat deposits build up, the arteries can be blocked. A blockage can lead to a stroke or a heart attack, both of which can be fatal. With Statins and diabetes, statins work by blocking a substance in the liver used to make LDL cholesterol. Fortunately with statins and diabetes, statins benefit patients with high cholesterol by lowering LDL cholesterol.

IN ADDITION TO LOWERING A PATIENT’S RISK OF SUFFERING A STROKE OR HEART ATTACK, STATINS ARE ALSO USEFUL IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:
heart attack, statins and diabetes
Decrease inflammation

Lower the risk of developing blood clots

Improve and strengthen the lining of blood vessels

While statins perform many important functions in the body, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has recently cautioned diabetics about taking statins. While the use of statins and diabetes does help, the FDA has warned that statin use may raise a patient’s risk of developing diabetes type 2. This puts people in a quandary because so many patients with heart disease and high LDL cholesterol need statins to lower LDL cholesterol. However, if a patient has a history of cardiac trouble or suffers from heart disease, taking statins may be necessary, regardless of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

WHO SHOULD TAKE STATIN DRUGS?
Not every patient with a heart problem needs to take statins. According to some heart specialists, there are several groups who can benefit from statins. The first group includes those who are at risk for cardiovascular disease but have not developed the disease. The second group of people who might benefit from statins would be those who are at high risk for heart attack and also have risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Smokers, those who have hypertension, diabetes, and/or high cholesterol all fall into this second group.

The other group of people who could benefit from learning about statins and diabetes are those who have already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. This group includes those who have atherosclerosis, a term used to describe hardening of the arteries, and patients that have already suffered from a stroke or heart attack caused by a blood vessel blockage. People who have a history of surgery to repair or replace coronary arteries and those with peripheral artery disease all fall into this last group.

Two other groups, who may benefit from understanding statins and diabetes, are those who have excessively high LDL cholesterol and patients who have diabetes. This high LDL cholesterol group includes those whose cholesterol reads at least 190 mg/dl.

THE DIABETIC GROUP THAT MAY BENEFIT MOST FROM STATINS AND DIABETES INCLUDES INDIVIDUALS WHO FIT INTO THE FOLLOWING CATERGORIES:

People who have an LDL reading between 70 and 189 mg/dl

Those who show risk factors for heart disease

Those who show signs of vascular disease

Smokers

Those over 40 years old

People with hypertension

Some experts recommend starting low to moderate dosages of statins for adults aged 40 to 75 who display at least one risk factor for cardio disease. A low to moderate dose is also recommended for those who have cardio disease and have at least a slight chance of having a cardiac episode within the next decade.

If a heart patient is concerned about type 2 diabetes, then he or she should speak with a physician about their options. This is especially true for patients who have a family history of diabetes and also for those who think they may already shows signs of the disease. Sometimes, a doctor might recommend a different statin or a different dosage for a patient who is at risk of developing diabetes.

ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS OF STATINS
In addition to raising a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, statins and diabetes also have several worrying side effects. Among the most common side effects are as follows:

Mental lapses or fuzziness

Liver damage (in rare cases)

Muscle pain

Digestive problems

Not everyone who takes statins will experience the side effects listed above. Patients who take multiple drugs to treat high cholesterol are at a greater risk of developing the above side effects.

OTHER RISK FACTORS THAT MAKE A PATIENT MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO SIDE EFFECTS FROM STATIN DRUGS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Having a petite body

Being female

Advanced age (age 80 and above)

Excessive alcohol use

Liver disease

Having hypothyroidism

Kidney disease

Having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

HOW TO COMBAT PREDIABETES
A person is said to have prediabetes if he or she has elevated glucose levels and is at a great risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Typically, a physician will help a patient manage their prediabetes by cutting most simple sugars from his or her dietary plan. To learn more about statins and diabetes, a patient should direct questions to their doctor or other healthcare provider. This is especially important because two diabetics might have slightly different health concerns and treatment plans. What works for one patient may not work for another.

RISK FACTORS FOR PREDIABETES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Being overweight

Advanced age (over 45 years old)

Family history (a sibling or parent already has the disease)

Do not exercise regularly (Most experts suggest exercising at least three times weekly, if possible)

Have birthed a baby larger than nine pounds

Have ever developed gestational diabetes

If you are black, Latino, Asian or Native American

It is possible to reverse prediabetes or outright prevent it with some basic lifestyle changes. For instance, an overweight person could lose weight by changing eating habits and exercising regularly. Most physicians can recommend steps a patient can take to lose weight and eat healthier.

HOW TO MANAGE DIABETES
In most cases type 1 diabetes is treated with injections of insulin. Type 1 diabetics should also monitor the amounts of carbs and sugars they consume and also check their blood sugar frequently. Type 2 diabetics should also monitor their blood sugar readings and take either insulin or oral medications or sometimes both.

A physician can help a patient develop an individual and personalized care plan that involves both a dietary plan and an exercise regimen. Some family doctors will recommend that a diabetic be treated by a specialist who has handled many diabetes cases. A doctor or specialist can also inform the patient of their target glucose reading range. That way, when the patient consistently tests above that range, the patient knows to contact the doctor.

Diabetics usually check their own blood sugar at home. Some may even be required to check their reading multiple times per day, especially if the patient takes insulin. In fact, careful blood glucose monitoring is the best and most efficient way to ensure the reading stays within a healthy range.

In addition to checking blood glucose levels, daily insulin injections are required for many diabetics. Several specific kinds of insulin are available for use. Patients may use long-acting insulin, rapid-acting or intermediate insulin. Some patients use a variety of different types, and this depends on their needs and the doctor’s specific instructions.

Insulin tablets are ineffective because swallowing insulin orally would enable stomach acids to weaken the effects of the insulin. Most often, diabetics inject insulin using a small needle or insulin pen. Insulin pumps are now available, too. The pump is a small device worn outside the patient’s body. It can fit in a pocket or on a belt and is about the size of a cellular phone. A small tube connects a catheter under the skin to a small reservoir of insulin.

One other option is the tubeless pump, which dispenses a certain amount of insulin. The specific amount is programmed into the pump. However, the amount can be adjusted to pump less or more insulin, depending upon physical activities performed, the recent meals consumed and the current blood sugar reading.

In addition to insulin injections, some diabetics must also take oral medications. These medicines stimulate the patient’s pancreas so that it creates and releases more insulin. Other drugs prescribed for diabetics block processes in the stomach and intestines that break down carbs. Some other oral meds block the production of glucose from the liver. As a result, a person needs less insulin to move the sugars into the body’s cells.

A pancreas transplant is an option for some patients, though these risky surgeries are not often recommended. As with any organ transplant, there are many risks involved. For instance, if a patient undergoes transplant surgery, he or she must also take many drugs in attempt to ensure the body does not reject the organ. The downside is that the drugs have many serious side effects. The risks and side effects are so severe that in most cases physicians don’t recommend transplants. However, in successful transplant cases, the patient no longer requires insulin therapy.

Some diabetics undergo stomach surgery to reduce their body weight. Some patients see a significant improvement in blood sugar readings after the surgery. However, more research and studies must be conducted to draw a conclusion on the long-term effects and benefits of gastric bypass as a viable treatment for diabetes.

WHEN TO CONTACT A DOCTOR
When a person experiences debilitating symptoms from their diabetes and are unable to control their blood sugar at home, he or she should contact a physician.

SOME REASONS OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH A PATIENT SHOULD SEEK EMERGENCY CARE ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Hyperglycemia, especially if persistent, or if blood sugar is excessively high

Hypoglycemia, especially if persistent, or if blood sugar is excessively low

High ketones count in urine

Warning signs for a diabetic coma

A person is said to be suffering from low blood sugar when his or her blood sugar falls below his or her targeted range set by a physician. Low blood sugar is also referred to as hypoglycemia. Blood sugar may drop for several different reasons. For instance, people who take medication to control blood sugar may notice a drop in their glucose level when they skip a meal or exercise more than usual. Taking the wrong dosage of insulin or another diabetes-specific medication can also impact blood glucose levels.

To prevent blood sugar from getting too low, the patient should monitor blood sugar levels daily or as often as directed by a physician.

SIGNS THAT INDICATE ABNORMALLY LOW BLOOD SUGAR ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Sweatiness

Shaky feeling

Weak and fatigued feeling

Dizziness

Hunger

Seizures

Losing consciousness

Heart palpitations

Blurry vision

Diffculty speaking or slurred speech

Drowsy feeling

Low blood sugar can be treated at home by consuming carbs. Glucose tablets or fruit juice can typically bring blood sugar levels up. However, in cases where blood sugar cannot be controlled at home, or when a patient consistently shows low blood sugar readings, the patient should contact a physician.

A patient is said to be suffering from hyperglycemia when the blood sugar level has risen dangerously high. This condition can be caused by many factors, including failure to take medications and insulin, eating too much or not following dietary guidelines. Sickness or infection can also impact blood sugar levels. To combat hyperglycemia, the patient should check sugar levels as often as recommended by a physician.

THE PATIENT SHOULD ALSO BEWARE OF THE FOLLOWING HYPERGLYCEMIA SIGNS:
Thirst

Dry mouth

Frequent urge to urinate

Fatigue and weakness

Nauseated feeling

Blurry vision

Those with hyperglycemia should contact a doctor immediately for further instructions. Ambulatory care is required if the patient is unable to bring down their blood sugar with diet or medication. Ambulatory care is especially important if hyperglycemia persists over time.

A diabetic coma is a life-threatening condition that occurs most commonly in type 2 diabetics, though it could occur in either type. These comas typically occur in patients who have a blood sugar reading higher than 600 mg/dl. A person is said to be in a diabetic coma when he or she becomes severely dehydrated as a result of high blood sugar.

Diabetic comas have many warning signs, such as extreme thirst combined with a parched mouth and dry skin that does not sweat. A high fever is typically present in the patient along with difficulty with vision, sleepiness, hallucinations and confusion. A patient might also complain of a weak feeling on one side of his or her body.

Because a patient might lose consciousness as a result of diabetes-related health problems, it is important that all diabetics wear an ID bracelet. Such bracelets identify patients as diabetic, and this warns others to call for help when a patient behaves strangely, loses consciousness or cannot make decisions independently. An ID bracelet also alerts medical professionals that the patient has special and specific medical needs.

It is also important that diabetics alert their friends and family of what to do in emergency situations. Family members should be able to recognize signs that a diabetic is in distress. Patients should carry all diabetes medications and insulin with them at all times. It might also be a good idea to carry hard candies, just in case an insulin boost is needed.

ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR MANAGING DIABETES
Diabetics should always be careful in regards to diet and exercise, and this is especially true if a diabetic takes statins. Overall, there are several day-to-day things diabetics should do to live a healthier lifestyle. For starters, all vaccinations must be kept current. This is because high blood sugar often weakens the immune system. The hepatitis B vaccine, the pneumonia vaccine and also the yearly flu shots are recommended for diabetics, though patients should speak with their physicians before taking these shots.

In addition to getting vaccinated, diabetics should also monitor their cholesterol and blood pressure. If a doctor prescribes medications for these issues, the patient should be sure to take all medicines on time as prescribed. Patients with statins and diabetes should seek emergency medical help when experiencing any severe or ongoing issues with blood pressure or blood sugar.

Diabetics should also be mindful of the condition of their feet. Washing and drying feet daily is important. Drying the spaces between the toes is also recommended, especially because diabetics are prone to skin infections and slow-healing cuts and sores. Skin should be checked daily for any sores, blisters, cuts or swelling. A medical consult is imperative for anyone who finds slow-healing cuts on the body.

It is also important that diabetics practice good oral hygiene. Good dental care is important for everyone, but especially for diabetics, and this is because diabetics are more susceptible to gum infections.

A FEW STEPS TO TAKE TO IMPROVE AND MAINTAIN GOOD ORAL HYGIENE ARE AS FOLLOWS:
toothbrush, brushing, oral hygiene
Brush teeth at least twice daily

Floss teeth daily

Schedule regular dental exams

Call a dentist or dental hygienist when signs of gum infection are present (ie. swollen gums, red gums or bleeding gums)

Smoking and alcohol use can cause harmful complications for diabetics. For instance, smoking increases a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and diabetic smokers with cardiovascular disease are more likely to die from it than nonsmokers. Even smokeless tobacco is harmful for those with cardiovascular disease. Thus, diabetic smokers and smokeless tobacco users should quit their tobacco use.

Alcohol use should also be kept to a minimum, especially because it can impact blood sugar levels. Most experts recommend no more than 1-2 drinks daily. Diabetics who drink should be sure to do so in moderation and only with food, never on an empty stomach.

Stress management is also essential in regards to managing diabetes. This is because hormones in the body of a diabetic can inhibit insulin from working, which results in raised blood sugar levels, and this is especially true for people who endure high levels of stress over time.

A FEW WAYS TO MANAGE STRESS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Learn relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga

Set daily, realistic goals at work and at home

Prioritize important tasks

Go to bed at a reasonable hour

While there is no cure for diabetes, the disease can be managed by making the proper lifestyle choices. It may be necessary for diabetics and prediabetics to take statin drugs to improve their quality of life and help lower LDL cholesterol levels. If taking a statin drug, diabetics should be extra careful about monitoring their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

When a diabetic experiences severe or long-lasting side effects from statins and diabetes or from other medications or insulin, he or she should seek advice from a physician. Drug dosages can be adjusted, or the patient may be placed on another statin drug. With statins and diabetes, for patients who rely on statins, the side effects might be worth enduring if the drug can prevent a life-threatening emergency, such as a stroke or a heart attack.

Overall, diabetics can control their symptoms with proper diet, exe