Type 2 Diabetes – Looking at Microbes Present in Diabetes and Heart and Blood Vessel Disease

In November of 2016, the Journal of Medicinal Food reported on a study showing people diagnosed with diabetes and / or heart problems, as well as healthy people, have distinctly different types of bacteria predominating in their intestines. Scientists at the University of Agronomic Science and Veterinary Medicine and the University of Bucharest in Romania analyzed the different bacteria taken from the intestines of the three groups …
1. The diabetic group showed higher levels of aerobic bacteria and coliforms, and low levels of bifidobacteria. Clostridia was present in large numbers, and there were different numbers of each species of bacteria through the intestines of the diabetic group.

2. The heart and blood vessel disease group showed a more near normal bacterial content, with a higher number of beneficial bacteria than were seen in the people in the diabetes group.

Some bacteria make lactic acid, or lactate, which changes the acid balance in the colon. The three groups showed different levels of the molecule, suggesting acid levels that could play a part in colonic health.

Another molecule, ammonium, linked with colon cancer, was found in high concentrations in gram-positive bacterium, a type of bacteria found in quantity in Type 2 diabetics. Could this be the reason for the high risk of some types of cancer in diabetes?

The researchers concluded these discoveries could lead to important treatments for the two serious diseases.

The types of bacteria usually found in the colon are as follows …

1. Aerobic bacteria are those that use oxygen to “breathe.” Anaerobic bacteria do not use oxygen.

2. Clostridia are commonly found in the gut of many species, including humans. There is some research showing this particular bacteria might help protect against the development of food allergies. Clostridia can cause illness if it overgrows.

3. Bifidobacteria are classed as being helpful bacteria because they produce an acid that blocks harmful bacteria.

4. Coliforms include E. coli, harmless strains which are typically found in the human gut. Rare strains can cause severe disease. Other species include Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and Citrobacter.

5. Lactate-forming bacteria are often given as probiotics and can be found in yogurt. There is some concern about the overgrowth of these bacteria causing lactic acidosis.

6. Gram-positive bacterium refers to the gram-stain test, used to help identify the species. Bacteria can be either gram-positive or gram-negative depending upon their cell wall compositions. Ammonium is usually found in the small intestine and is harmless in small quantities.

{ Comments are closed }

Type 2 Diabetes – Reversing Diabetes One Step at a Time

Managing Type 2 diabetes is certainly an appetite and not one to be taken lightly. People diagnosed with high blood sugar levels are in a precarious situation, and that is putting it mildly. But there is no reason to despair. High blood sugar levels and Type 2 diabetes are more than treatable and can be controlled. In the short-term, blood sugar can be monitored and managed to ensure its harshest complications do not become a reality. All it takes is action and awareness. Sadly, this is sorely lacking among many people.

But you should not concern yourself with what others are doing. If you have been given a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, you should just focus on your particular case. Do not worry about other diabetics. It can hurt your recovery to know many diabetics are not doing what it takes to overcome their disease, despite the fact it's common to lament over its presence. But again, you should not look to others as an example. Define your journey when it comes to being healthy and reversing your case of Type 2 diabetes.

When you get started, it may help you to measure your progress in small steps. Treat your condition one step at a time. Since it is a disease that took years to develop, it is not going to unfold over the course of a few weeks. It is likely to take months for your blood sugar levels to return to a healthy range and lose the weight you have gained especially around the abdominal area. It depends on a variety of factors …

  • your diet,
  • physical activity,
  • body weight,
  • insulin response,
  • genetics,

and how eager you are to see your blood sugar stabilize in a healthy range. It is impossible to know how long it will take, so there's no point in estimating.

Focus your physical and mental energy on making those crucial steps forward. Eat a bit less each week. Slowly watch the weight come off your waist. See a difference in your blood sugar levels every time you visit your doctor. Make a daily effort to eat a little bit better than the day before, especially improving your food choices at a pace that is comfortable for you.

Many people set ambitious goals but you have to be careful not to allow your emotions to override your logic. There is such a thing as being too ambitious. It tends to leave you with unrealistic expectations, which are a recipe for failure. The last thing you need is to quit just before you succeed, which often happens to those who try to run before they have learned to walk, so to speak.

Treat Type 2 diabetes one step at a time. It does not matter how much time it takes. What is important is your blood sugar is lowering and becoming stable once again: this is the only way to practice guarantee the worst complications of Type 2 diabetes never affect you.

{ Comments are closed }

Type 2 Diabetes – The Pros and Cons of Obsessing With Your Health

Food obsession is one thing. Obsessing with your health, however, is another. But do not mistakenly believe it is exclusively bad news. Even though it has a negative connotation, there are advantages to obsessing over your health.

Having an obsession with food is often synonymous with food addiction. But in regards to your health, there is a good chance some poses are involved if you are overly concerned about your well-being. Allow us to explain. First, let's go over the cons of obsessing with your health …

1. The Cons. It can be very stressful, to say the least. If you worry obsessively about everything you eat: if you are losing weight, if your blood sugar is stable, if your risk of developing heart disease is going to materialize; you are going to give yourself needless anxiety. And it is going to eat away at your mental health. Stress has been called the “silent killer.” It is closely linked to the leading causes of death, like heart disease and cancer.

When unchecked, any form of obsession can lead to stress and anxiety. After all, this is why the word has a negative connotation. Obsession is often thought to be unhealthy because it is continuously present. But if the cons are managed, there are benefits to be gained.

But whether or not your health improves, in the long run, depends on your ability to temper your obsession. This responsibility rests on you.

2. The Pros. Conditions like Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are physiologically crippling. Many times they have fatal consequences. If you are trying to treat one of these issues, it goes without saying. Otherwise, how are you to succeed? A lackadaisical approach to handling one or all of these problems is simply not enough, and this is when an obsession can prove to be handy.

Obsessing with your health and well-being can ensure you make progress – or else. It is often coupled with fear because the possibilities with these complications are well understood. In this case, an obsession can work as an impetus to push you forward.

Some people with Type 2 diabetes may have seen someone close to them struggle with their high blood sugar and weight issues, or potentially fall victim to an early death. This unfortunate event could have a silver lining: it could motivate the person with Type 2 diabetes to do what is necessary to avoid a similar result. With fear and obsession as the driving forces, treating the condition is much more likely than if the individual were to remain distinct to the circumstances.

Ideally, anyone trying to improve their health will not depend on the extremes. But that does not mean there are not some positives involved.

With discipline, care, and self-awareness, obsessing with your health could very well enrich your life.

{ Comments are closed }

How Exercise Could Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects millions of people across the globe. It is estimated that in the next 20 years, the overall incidence of diabetes may double or even triple. While there seems to be a lot of research currently conducted in the field of diabetes, the best treatment that is still available is diet and exercise.

Currently, the American Heart Association recommends performing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise in order to stay healthy. However, when it comes to managing diabetes, it is more likely that more exercise is required.

The definition of moderate intensity aerobic exercise is one where the individual performing the exercise feels breathless and is unable to speak comfortably in a full sentence. Some examples of moderate intensity aerobic exercises include jogging, brisk walking, swimming and cycling. Any sporting activities such as tennis or badminton are also included in this category.

So how can exercise reverse Type 2 diabetes?

There are a number of different mechanisms that have been postulated. Here we will take a brief look at how exercise can help improve blood sugar control and possibly even reverse Type 2 diabetes.

Exercise improves insulin sensitivity

One of the most common underlining mechanisms of development of diabetes is insulin resistance. This reflects to a resistance of the tissues in the body to the actions of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is released by the pancreas that is responsible for pushing glucose that is absorbed from food into the cells to provide them with energy.

If the cells itself become insulin resistant, they can not get the glucose that is required for them to function normally.

From clinical trials, it is now evident that aerobic exercise can improve insulin sensitivity in people who suffer from type 2 diabetes. While the recommendations made certain to moderate intensity exercise, it has been shown that even exercise of a mild intensity may have some effect on the blood sugars.

Additional research has shown that one single bout of aerobic exercise of moderate intensity can improve and enhanced sensitivity to insulin for up to 72 hours. It is therefore important that all people with diabetes exercise every day in order to maintain this positive effect.

Exercise reduces body fat

It is well-known that regular exercise can help reduce fat around the abdomen. A low body fat has been shown to improve blood sugar control.

Obesity is a common problem in Type 2 diabetes. If one were to lose significant amounts of weight over a period of time, then blood sugar control can become a lot easier. In fact, some patients who have exercised regularly and have lost a good amount of weight have been able to reverse their diabetes completely.

Exercise improves the health of the heart

By keeping the heart pumping at a faster rate, exercise can strengthen the heart muscle and improve its efficiency.

Exercise also helps reduce cholesterol levels and allows for good blood pressure control. These two factors are important in the prevention of heart disease, which is highly prevalent in individuals with diabetes.

Exercise allows better blood sugar control

The current medical evidence suggests that those individuals who perform regular exercise can reduce their blood glucose levels by nearly 20%.

When combined with improve insulin sensitivity, exercise can most certainly help individuals take complete charge of their blood sugar levels.

Conclusion

Exercise and diabetes management go hand in hand. For those individuals who are serious about reversing their diabetes, exercise can play an important role in helping them reach their goal.

{ Comments are closed }

Scared of Christmas?

Christmas fare consists of cocktail sausages, roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, glazed ham, plum pudding, brandy butter, mince pies, Christmas cake, cookies, wine, beer and cocktails, etc etc … all chock full of sugar and fat .

No wonder diabetics experience their worst blood glucose levels at this time of the year.

Everywhere you go at yuletide you are offered tasty lashings of sugar, white floor and fat as snacks. And if you are the cook, it looks that everything in the traditional recipe books is full of those sugars and fats.

But not all the traditional fare is wholly bad for diabetics … there is plenty of protein, fiber and other high-quality nutrients in ye olde Christmas dinner.

Cooking for Christmas

As a cook, you can create healthy versions of classic Christmas dishes … by adapting traditional recipes so that they contain less fat and sugar.

You can also include plenty of vegetables and fruit to give a more balanced meal. Tips:

Cocktail sausages … use low-fat sausages. Pierce the skins and grill them (rather than frying or baking) to allow excess fat to drain away. If you want to wrap the tiny sausages in bacon, use lean back-bacon after trimming off any fat.

Stuffing … use vegetarian stuffing such as sage and onion or chestnut, instead of, high-calorie, high-fat sausage meat. Cook the stuffing in a separate dish to the turkey and serve it side-by-side.

Roast potatoes … to minimise added fat, dry-roast the potatoes. If you must baste them, use a few drops of spray oil.

There are many more ways you can healthify your Christmas dinner using nothing more than common sense.

Eating for Christmas

As an eater, you can easily cut calories, sugar and fat from your Christmas meal without any loss of taste. Here are some useful tactics:

Turkey … to reduce the fat and calories you consume, remove the skin and eat only the white-meat from the breast rather than the darker meat from the legs.

Focus on vegetables … you do this by making sure that vegetables (boiled or steamed rather than fried) make up at least 50% of the food on your plate, while at the same time limiting the amount of roast potatoes and parsnips you eat . Next in volume should be protein, ie meat, and last as well as least come carbohydrates in the form of potatoes.

Do not wait around to eat … Christmas dinner starts late in most households. But if you are very hungry before you start eating, you are very likely to overeat. To prevent this happening, you should break your fast with a snack such as carrot or celery sticks which are filling and digested slowly but are unilaterally to dull your appetite for the main action.

Skip the traditional puddings? … plum pudding or mince pies served with brandy butter, egg custard or double cream are diet killers and need to be treated with extreme caution, ie you should not eat them at all but after it is Christmas!

There does not seem to be a diabetic-friendly substitute for brandy butter, but single cream can be used instead of double cream (a marginal improvement) and the custard could be made with skimmed milk or low-fat soya milk (a significant improvement) .

The best bet might be to skip the traditional plum pudding and instead opt for a bowl of fresh fruit salad with custard or ice cream. But that will not feel like Christmas!

Christmas drinks

What would Christmas be without wine, beer, spirits and cocktails?

The answer … probably a lot healthier but not quite as happy.

But there is no need to turn Christmas into a dry festival. Just consume alcohol, no matter what form it takes, wine, beer or something harder, in moderation.

Easier said than done? No … here are a few tips:

  • Prevent drinking to excess by following recommended guidelines … a maximum of 3 or 4 units of alcohol a day for men and 2 to 3 units for women.
  • Alcohol can lower blood glucose, so you must be especially careful if you are taking insulin or other medication for your diabetes lest you suffer a hypo (in which your blood sugar falls dangerously low).
  • Drinking on an empty stomach should also be avoided lest it induces a hypo.
  • If you have been at a drinking session, eat a starchy snack (eg, toast or cereal) before bed to reduce your risk of a hypo overnight.
  • Drinking a lower strength wine can cut down on the number of calories you ingest.
  • Substitute sugar-free or diet soft drinks for alcohol if you can to limit your consumption of alcohol.
  • Beware of fruit juices as these tend to be high in sugar

Exercise

Provided you eat and drink sensibly you can survive the Christmas period easily. Add in a little bit of exercise and you should be able to keep your blood glucose levels under good enough control.

Frequent exercise over the Christmas period will also keep your weight, blood pressure and blood fats at reasonable levels. There are plenty of things you can do.

Walking briskly or going for long hikes in the cold of December is great for keeping active. Exercises such as going to the sales, playing with the children, and dancing, can also contribute to keeping your body healthy during what is typically a brief season of over-indulgence.

Glucose glitch

There will be times over the Christmas period when you will find that your blood glucose levels are higher than norm … because you are over-indulging or being less physically active than usual.

One or two high readings are unintentionally to affect your long-term control of your diabetes, so there is no need to worry about them.

But if you get consistently high blood glucose readings over several days, you need to rein yourself in lest you compromise your long-term health.

{ Comments are closed }

Getting Older Quicker

Every year Christmas seems to come sooner. Does not it? When we were young, the summer holidays seemed to stretch on forever. Now summer is gone in the blink of an eye.

We use clocks and calendars to mark the passage of time in a reliable way. We also have an internal timepiece that provides us with our perception of the passing of time. Our inner perception, however, seldom looks to accord with our external time-counters.

Most of us first notice that time seems to be speeding up when we have become settled in life, ie have fallen into a routine dictated by work, marriage, and family … going to work every day, coming home, eating dinner, going to the gym, cinema or on nights out on regular days of the week.

After a few years we get the sense that the time these routines take seems to be decreasing, as if we are on a thread-mill that is slowly but inexporably picking up speed.

At the same time we develop a tendency to think that past events happened more recently than they actually did, a phenomenon known as forward telescoping .

Personally, I am always way out when thinking of when something happened. If I think it was two years ago, it usually turns out to be five years past.

So, what causes time to speed up in our perception?

There are several theories …

The proportional theory

This theory states that, as you get older, each time period (year, month, week) results in a smaller and smaller fraction of your life as a whole.

For example, for a child of five, a year is 1 / 5th of his life as a whole, while for a man of fifty, a year is 1 / 50th of his life.

So, as you get older, a year becomes a less significant period of time and so seems to pass more quickly.

This theory offers an explanation as to why the perceived speed of time seems to increase gradually. The problem is that it explains present time purely in terms of past time.

But usually we live in terms of small periods of time, such as from hour to hour, dealing with each time period as it comes without reference to the past.

While it is an interesting idea, there does not seem to be any way scientists could prove this theory to be right or wrong.

The metabolism theory

In this theory, the perception that time is speeding up is linked to the fact that our metabolism slows down as we grow older. Children breathe more quickly, their hearts beat faster and their blood flows sooner than older people, suggesting that their internal clocks experience more time in the space of a day than those of adults.

Thus the internal clocks of children run faster than normal external time, while the internal clocks of the older run slower than the norm.

The metabolism theory is an interesting explanation and seems intuitively correct. The only problem is that, like the proportional theory, there is no way of proving it.

The body temperature theory

Experiments during the 1930s showed that body temperature had an effect on our perception of time … that raising a person's body temperature can slow down his or her sense of how quickly time is passing by up to 20 percent.

This makes sense … children have higher body temperatures on average than adults which suggests that time is 'expanded' for them (eg, a time period of one hour seems longer for them).

As we grow older, our body temperature drops gradually. This offers an explanation as to why we feel that time is passing quick and quick as we get older.

This theory too makes intuitive sense. But again there is no way it can be proved.

The perceptual theory

According to this theory, the speeding up of time is related to our perception of the world around us and our experiences, and how this perception changes as we grow older.

Our perception of the speed of time looks to depend on how much information our minds absorb and process … the more information, the slower time goes by.

In experiments in the 1960s, subjects listened to tapes of simple clicking sounds (among other experiments relating perception). The tapes were turned off after a certain period of time. The subjects were then asked to estimate how long they had been listening to the sounds. The number of clicks on the tapes was increased and subjects were tested again.

The researchers discovered that the more information there was on the tapes (ie, the more clicking sounds there were), the longer was the time period as estimated by the subjects.

The researchers also found that when participants were shown paintings and drawings, those who saw the most complex images estimated the time to be longer.

Thus the quantity and complexity of information extends the perceived length of time.

This suggests that one of the reasons time seems to flow slower for children is that they take in massive amounts of perceptual information from the new world that they are experiencing for the first time. They take in all sorts of details that we adults ignore … tiny insects, patterns of sunlight, cracks in surfaces and so on.

As we grow older we lose this intensity of perception … the world becomes dreary and routine, with few surprises, so we stop paying attention to it. We no longer notice the buildings, streets and other parts of our surroundings that we see every day. In other words, we switch off.

So we take in less information, which means that time passes more quickly.

This theory seems logical and provable.

Decline of new experiences as we age

The longer we live, the more familiar we become with the world. This means that, according to the perceptual theory, the amount of perceptual information we absorb decreases with each passing year, so time seems to speed up.

This happens for two basic reasons:

[1] For a child and teenager, the world is a new fascinating place to be explored. This newness wears off gradually and by the time we reach 40 or so the world contains, for the vast majority of us, much less unfamiliarity … unless we have a job which involves significant overseas travel and interaction with a variety of cultures and technologies .

As a result we absorb less and less perceptual information and our sense of time speeds up.

Because we have used up nearly all our 'stock' of new experiences by the time we are in our forties, you would expect that the speeding up of time would slow down considerately later in life. But this is not so … times speeds up more quickly as we grow even older.

[2] Subjective time continues to speed up as we get past middle age because the experiences we've had already become more and more familiar to us … with each passing year they are converted into a sort of automatic routine.

In this way our lives become duller and progressively more unreal as we traverse our middle and later years. So we take in less and less fresh information so time continues to speed up.

How to slow down time

Time seems to slow down when we're exposed to new environments and experiences, as most of us have noticed. This is due to the unfamiliarity of new experiences that allows us to take in much more perceptual information.

So how do we slow down time as we perceive it?

The perceptual theory and its ramifications provide the clue.

Just make an effort to expose yourself to as much newness as possible … new environments through foreign travel, new challenges, new situations, new information and ideas. Try a new career or learn new skills. Seek out multi-cultural environments and get swimming in unfamiliar cultural waters.

Not only will time slow down so that you seem to be living longer, you will feel fresher and look more youthful. And, for once in 20 years, you will really begin to enjoy your life again.

{ Comments are closed }

The Easy Way to Lose Weight (and Keep It Off)

To beat your type 2 diabetes you need to eat foods that are (1) low in sugar, (2) low in fat, (3) low in salt, (4) high in fiber and (5) are digested slowly.

The easiest way to do this is by concentrating on natural, unprocessed foods that are mostly plants. You also need to avoid dairy products and eggs, and drink plenty of water.

In addition, if you are overweight, you need to bring your weight down to a healthy level … and the easiest way to do so is to concentrate on foods that have low energy-density.

What is satiety?

Satiety is the feeling of fullness you have after a meal. Unless you are a glutton, you will stop eating once you feel satiated.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered that it is the weight of the food we eat that brings on the sensation of satiety … not the amount of protein or carbohydrates, or the number of calories, we have taken in.

It is as if your stomach had an internal set of weighting-scales which, once it has registered a certain weight of food, signals 'enough'.

Thus, to lose weight, you need to eat food that makes you satiated earlier and is low in calories.

Energy-density and volumetrics

The term energy-density describes how many calories are packed into a set amount of a particular food.

Water does not contain any calories. Therefore, food that has a lot of water in it has a low energy-density … it contains few calories per gram. And water is reliably heavy.

Volumetrics refers to eating foods that bring on the sensation of satiety with reduced calories by eating foods that contain relatively more water than other foods.

The volumetric dieting trick is to eat foods that have low energy-density but are also filling … foods containing lots of water.

Most people eat about the same weight of food each day. If you eat a bit less, your appetite causes you to eat a bit more.

By switching from 'drier' foods to 'waterier' foods, you can take in the same weight of food every day but fewer calories (and feel just as full as usual).

Strangely, just drinking a glass of water before you eat will not reduce your appetite. Nobody sees to know why, but water on its own does not seem to register on your internal weighing-scales.

However adding water to other foods (such as casseroles) does increase their weight and brings down their energy density and thus the number of calories in a given weight of that food.

Low energy-density foods

So you can lose weight by switching to low energy-density foods.

And there are plenty of low energy-density foods about that are also filling, ie make you feel satiated easily. These include:

  • broths … but not cream soups
  • vegetables … such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chickpeas
  • fresh fruits … such as apples, pears and oranges which are relatively heavy but contain few calories (but not dried fruits which (by definition) do not contain any water)
  • beans
  • whole grains … in the form of rice and pasta which are water-based and filling (but not rice cakes and bread).

Airy foods, such as bread, pretzels, melba toast and rice cakes, are not high in calories but will not bring on satiety … you have to eat a lot just to get full.

Fatty foods, such as cheese, onion rings, potato crisps and meat are filling but they contain 9 calories per gram, that is, they have a reliably high energy-density.

Shopping

You can check out the energy-density of commercial food products just by looking at the label.

If the food contains less than one calorie per gram, it has a low energy-density … the weight of the food will fill you up before the calories fill you out.

The label will show you the number of calories per gram. If not, it will show the number of grams per serving and the number of calories per serving, so you can easily work out the number of calories in a gram of the food.

For example, a tin (can) of spinach may contain 115 grams per serving and 30 calories per serving, so it will contain 30/115 = 0.26 calories per gram, ie a low energy-density as it less than one.

Or, a slice of white bread might weigh 32 grams and deliver 80 calories; then its calories per gram would be 2.5, ie it has a high energy-density.

There is no need to do the mental arithmetic in your head.

Just look at the label … if the number of grams per serving is higher than the number of calories per serving then that food has an energy-density that is less than one, ie is low.

You will find that choosing foods that naturally contain a good amount of water will help you to lose weight. Volumetrics is a handy way for picking the most filling foods with the few calories … and shows us that the best way to reduce weight and keep it off is to eat a plant-based diet.

{ Comments are closed }

9 Reasons Disturbed Sleep Could Be Undermining Your Blood Sugar Control

Nothing makes you feel worse than a bad night sleep, waking up feeling like you've had a 'night on the tiles' when you've been tucked up in bed, affects your whole performance the next day. If this occurs regularly then it can severely affect your ability to manage your blood sugar levels. Let's take a look at the impact of sleep deprivation, possible under factors and an action plan for a better snooze.

Sleep Stages

There are four stages to non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM):

Stage 1 is transitional sleep

Stage 2 is light sleep

Stages 3 and 4 are the deep stages of sleep during which the body repairs and builds tissues. These stages have the largest and slow brain waves 'delta waves'. Stage 4 is always more intense and each stage can last from 5-15 minutes, during a sleep cycle people progress through all stages then the cycle starts again.

There are also two different sleep states: NREM and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, sometimes called dreaming sleep. In REM sleep we are almost paralysed, with large muscles capable to move – only the heart, diaphragm, eye muscles and the smooth muscles (such as the muscles of the intestines and blood vessels) are able to move.

Sleep Issues

Why we sleep is not yet fully understood, but is thought to include memory consolidation, immune function and maintenance of mood. It is estimated at at some point in our lives 40% of individuals can be affected by a primary sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, snoring, feeling unrested during the day and not getting enough sleep. The main sleep-related difficulties are difficult concentrating and remembering things.

Evidence is emerging the disorders in sleep and sleep disorders play a role in the development of chronic conditions, however the relationship is often unclear. Numerous medical conditions can affect sleep such as diabetes or other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis which can lead to poor sleep quality and indue symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

It has been suggested that poor sleep can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, where an underlying inflammatory component has been proposed.

Sleep deficiency in type 2 diabetes leads to an increased sympathetic nervous system output which in turn increases cortisol, causing increased insulin resistance leading to weight management issues and / or high morning sugar readings for some individuals. This is due to cortisol's action on the liver to release glucose.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia can be described as difficulty falling asleep, waking up often during the night and having trouble falling back asleep, waking up too early in the morning or feeling tired upon waking. There are two types of insomnia:

Primary – a sleep problem which is not associated with any other health condition.

Secondary – a sleep problem caused by something else, such as asthma, depression, arthritis, heartburn, pain, medication or alcohol.

Acute insomnia can last from one night to a few weeks, where chronic insomnia affects an individual for a prolonged period of time, generally at least 3 nights a week for a month.

The 9 Main Underlying Factors

1. Altered levels of various hormones and neurotransmitters, affect blood sugar control.

2. A disturbance related to adrenal issues from stress or trauma (cortisol). Cortisol works with insulin in regulating glucose levels.

3. Melatonin imbalance which is closely associated with the light / dark cycle, the night time rise and the opening of the sleep gate at night. It's disruption affects hormones related to glucose regulation.

4. The hormone ghrelin (along with Leptin) regulates your energy balance and regulates your appetite and body weight. Studies show a dysregulation in energy balance and lowered ghrelin levels in insomnia patients, which is intricately linked with glucose metabolism.

5. The GABA neurotransmitter plays a complex role in the feedback mechanism to the brain in controlling cortisol levels.

6. Blood sugar imbalance in itself, especially low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia)

7. Micronutrient imbalances affect the body's metabolism and regulation of glucose systems.

8. Magnesium – deficiencies are common and magnesium is known to cause neurological issues related to sleep including depression. It is also important for regulating cortisol and the complex feedback system to the brain.

9. Overuse of stimulants.

Actions for Managing Disturbed Sleep and Adrenal Issues

Sleep hygiene – regular routines, exercise and daylight. Bedroom temperature not too hot.

Avoid stimulants an hour before bed – tea, coffee, sugar, TV, computers, laptops and phones.

Manage stress

Avoid poor food choices including poor nutrient reserves, food additives and food reactions / sensitivities which add stress to the body.

Ensure adequate sodium intake , especially if adrenal glands are exhausted through physical (food, infection and trauma) or emotional stress. Exhaustion leads to a reduction in the hormone aldosterone, which stimulates sodium excretion via frequent urination.

Consider supplementing with Magnesium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B5 are key nutrients involved in the biochemical processes associated with cortisol production and regulation.

Deficiency in vitamin B6 (niacin) can lead to sleep problems. Niacin helps to ease anxiety related sleep issues, take with the full complex of B vitamins.

Consider supplementing with 5-HTP (5 Hydroxytryptophan) which is a precursor to serotonin or tryptophan rich foods such as yogurt, cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry (especially turkey), sesame seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, spirulina and peanuts. 5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several conditions where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia and obesity.

Consider herbal extracts such as Valerian , one of the most reviewed herbal supplements which promotes relaxation and reduces stress.

Other popular plant extracts include: Californian poppy, hops, lemon balm, lime flowers, vervain and wild lettuce, use as a dry herb mixture infused in hot water then strained. St John's Wort tablets may also be helpful to some individuals.

Please consult with your pharmacist and doctor for interactions with certain medications and medical conditions. Consult with your doctor before taking any type of supplement, to ensure it is safe and suitable for you.

If you've enjoyed reading this post and found our information useful, please use the social share buttons to help others find resources that could help them too.

{ Comments are closed }

The Importance of Vitamin D in Preventative Health Care

As the days start to get cooler and the amount of sunshine starts to fade, our ability to naturally get the right amount of vitamin D from the sun begins to diminish. Even in the summer months, particularly in the northern hemisphere it is particularly difficult to get your full quota of vitamin D. In fact vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in the UK, with 1 in 5 adults having low levels.

We live in a time where sun exposure is considered by some to be a health menace. In an effort to reduce skin cancer, we have encouraged people of all ages to wear sunscreen and protective clothing and spend more time in shaded areas. Sensible sun exposure without sunscreen it a good way to up intake of vitamin D without burning. This does not unduly raise the risk for skin cancer.

Yet the advanced cancers linked to vitamin D deficiency such as colorectal, ovarian, breast, lung, prostate and thyroid cancer far outweigh skin cancer diagnosis. More than three fourths of these advanced cancer patients have low levels of vitamin D. Research suggests that vitamin D has anti-tumor properties, regulating genes involved in the multiplication and spread of cancer cells.

Vitamin D was mistakenly categorized as a vitamin, in fact it is not a vitamin at all. It's a steroid hormone that affects naturally every cell in your body. From your heart to your brain, to your immune system, maintaining optimal vitamin D levels is incredibly important. Vitamin D is a serious anti-inflammatory hormone. Vitamin D is necessary for insulin secretion, so is an important component of glucose metabolism.

Those individuals with a low blood (serum) level have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D advances the migration of calcium to cardiovascular tissues from the bones, increases HDL cholesterol and reduces LDL cholesterol. It helps control the hormone renin, which regulates blood pressure and reduces the growth of vascular smooth muscle which narrows arteries, as well increasing immune tolerance and reducing inflammation.

Supplementing with vitamin D is an important health essential. The type of vitamin D supplement is critically important, doctors often prescribe vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) supplements, instead of D3 (cholecalciferol). There are several biological mechanisms that contribute to the superior absorbability and efficacy of Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is more metabolized into a bioactive form of vitamin D, which is easily converted to its hormone form in the kidneys. It takes much longer to make this hepatic conversion with vitamin D2. Clearly, these forms of vitamin D are simply not the same, therefore the superiority of vitamin D3 supplements is important to understand.

There is no recommended take in the UK except the older (400 iu or 10 mcg per day). The concern around toxicity of vitamin D at high levels is due to the potential of excess calcium, which can form plaques in blood vessels. The expert panel on vitamins and minerals in the UK acknowledges 4000 iu per day as a safe dose. Human trials have shown 10,000 iu per day to be safe and a 5 year study suggests 40,000 iu is illegally to be toxic.

Foods that provide vitamin D include:
• Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
• Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products and soy milk.
• Beef liver.
• Cheese.
• Egg yolks.

CAUTIONS

Vitamin D may affect blood sugar levels. Caution is advised if you are taking diabetes medication by mouth or insulin, you should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary. Vitamin D may affect blood pressure and associated medications. Vitamin D may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's “cytochrome P450” enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood and may cause altered effects or adverse reactions. The same reactions apply to herbs and other supplements for blood glucose control, blood pressure and other support systems. Consult your doctor and pharmacist about possible interactions.

{ Comments are closed }

Tips to Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a noteworthy health risk over the world. Diabetes risk groups incorporate overweight, obese person and additionally the individuals who have a family history of diabetes. Learn how to reduce the risk of this disease through this article.

Type 2 diabetes affects a many people over the world consistently. In fact, it has turned into a primary cause of death amongst older people. Unfortunately, many young people are additionally falling prey to this disorder. An unhealthy lifestyle can be credited to diabetes at young age. Diabetes, as it may be, can not be cured collectively. Fortunately, it can be controlled with the help of specific medicines and lifestyle changes. People who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes must go for diagnostic test to prevent the risk of developing one.

Ways to Avoid Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition which results because of poor use of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone produced by pancreas. It is mainly in charge of maintaining normal glucose levels in the body. When you eat, the food is separated into sugar or glucose. This glucose enters the bloodstream to achieve the cells, where it gets changed over into energy. However, when the insulin is not absorbed or used properly, the process of conversion of glucose to energy can not be completed. As a result of this, the blood glucose levels in the body remain for all time elevated. This leads to a hardship of energy to cells of different organisms. Prolonged diabetes may result in kidney dysfunction, liver damage, blindness or stroke.

In the event that you have diabetes in your genes, you beyond any doubt can not make a move. Yet, you can keep a tab on it, on the off chance that you know you have a place with the risk group. People who are obese have a far superior shot of controlling diabetes, as they should simply lose weight. It has been logically demonstrated that a little percentage of weight loss definitely cuts down your risk of developing diabetes. The percentage can be as little as 5 to 7%. People weighing 200 pounds or more, can lose 10 to 15 pounds on the off chance that they go for this little percentage loss.

The most effective method to Reduce Diabetes Naturally

Diet and exercise are the main ways of controlling diabetes naturally. Practicing helps you to hold your weight under control. Secondly, it additionally helps in maintaining hormonal balance in your body. This results in proper absorption of insulin in the body. In this way, your odds of regulating glucose levels in the body are moved forward. People suffering from the risk of diabetes can benefit a great arrangement by working out for no less than 5 days a week. On the off chance that you are not a gym person, then you can in any case achieve weight loss by brisk walking for 60 minutes day by day or 5 days a week.

Regular screening for diabetes additionally results in early discovery of abnormal sugar levels. This can help you in taking appropriate measure. Diabetes may likewise happen briefly in pregnant women. Symptoms of diabetes in pregnant women are like chronic diabetic patients. However, to reduce the risk of diabetes amid pregnancy, oneought to consult their doctor.

In this manner, diabetes can be controlled by receiving certain straightforward measures. A healthy lifestyle goes far in keeping diabetes as well as many different diseases under control.

{ Comments are closed }

Type 2 Diabetes – Blood Sugar Control in Pregnant Women

A study completed at the Hospital Del Mar in Barcelona, ​​Spain, linked slowly high blood sugar levels with preeclampsia in pregnant mothers. A normal HbA1c reading is below 5.7%. Gestational diabetes or diabetes of pregnancy and Type 2 diabetes are diagnosed when the HbA1c level is 6.5% or higher. Prediabetes levels lie between 5.7% and 6.4%.

In November 2016 the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reported on a study of 1228 pregnant women. Their HbA1c levels were measured at their first prenatal visits and again at 24 to 28 weeks of their pregnancy. Babies born from mothers with HbAc levels greater than 5.9% were three times more likely to be born overweight than those from mothers with normal HbA1c levels. Mothers with HbA1c levels over 5.9% were more than twice as likely to develop preeclampsia.

From the above results, the researchers concluded further research is needed to verify their performance and establish at what HbA1c level should the pregnant mother be treated.

Gestational diabetes is linked with overweight babies and preeclampsia in mothers. It seems prediabetes carries the same risks. The average infant birth weight ranges from 5.5 to 8 pounds. Infants weighing more than normal are in danger of being overweight or obese during their childhood and beyond.

In preeclampsia, pregnant women can have …

  • high blood pressure,
  • protein in their urine,
  • hyperreactive reflexes,
  • swollen ankles,
  • a rapid weight gain from fluid retention,
  • headaches,
  • vision difficulties,
  • abdominal pain often under the ribs,
  • dizziness,
  • nausea and vomiting, or
  • a decrease in the amount of urine passed.

Preeclampsia is caused by a malfunctioning placenta, which is not entirely understood. The condition can lead to eclampsia or seizures. Other complications include …

  • stroke,
  • fluid in the lungs,
  • heart failure,
  • liver bleeding,
  • excessive bleeding after giving birth, or
  • the risk of developing high blood pressure after birth.

The birth of the mother's baby is the cure. Mothers are also prescribed bed rest, blood pressure medications, and anti-seizure drugs. Babies can be safely delivered as early as the 37th week of pregnancy. Cortisone can be given to help the baby's lungs develop early so the baby can be induced or born by Cesarean section.

Infants are at high risk for premature birth which can at times be associated with …

  • cerebral palsy,
  • learning disabilities,
  • a seizure disorder, Egypt
  • vision defects.

Considering the possible complications of overweight infants and preeclamptic mothers, measuring the HbA1c early and continuing to monitor it, along with diet and exercise could be helpful in preventing many serious health problems.

{ Comments are closed }

Type 2 Diabetes – What Helps You to Achieve Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Weight Loss?

You may be surprised to know there is an order in which you should eat the primary macronutrients on your plate. By macronutrients, we are referring to carbohydrates, protein, and fat. These are the big three that supply your body with essential energy in the form of calories, not to mention vitamins and minerals.

Before we begin, never forget all three macros are necessary. Your diet should include carbohydrates, protein, and fats in adequate proportions. Even if you are a Type 2 diabetic, you should not be eliminating all carbohydrates from your eating plan. That being said, you can certainly control your intake of refined carbs and starchy vegetables, which we advise if your aim is to lower your blood sugar levels and lose weight.

On that note, we are going to give you some ideas on how to make the most of your meals, physiologically speaking. Most people are not aware there is an order helpful to follow. In short, you should be leaving most of your simple carbs or starchy foods for last. This is for multiple reasons:

  • eating simple carbs last will minimize the blood sugar spike following a meal since fats and proteins are being metabolized first
  • eating protein first ensures you will have room for the protein food, which could not be the case if you eat mostly starchy foods such as rice, potatoes, or bread beforehand
  • eating meat and fibrous vegetables before any simple carbs will help with satiety: protein is filling, and the fiber in the vegetables will help you to feel satisfied with a lesser amount of food
  • protein sources usually contain more vitamins and minerals than carbohydrates sources with the exception of vegetables. If you are trying to lose weight, limit your starchy food intake, not your protein consumption.

We must make one thing clear: vegetables are a type of carbohydrates. But they are a different kind – they are classed as complex carbs that do not typically spike your blood sugar. The same can not be said for rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. So when we say you should eat carbs last, we are talking about simple carbs. Simple carbs are usually of a softer texture, examples include bread and rice.

Eat your vegetables first along with your meat. It is an excellent way to ensure you are not full before you finish that part of your meal. The difference eating meat and vegetables first makes can not be overstated, particularly if you are working on lowering your blood sugar levels and increasing your weight loss. This can also help you weakened your need for starchy foods.

Give it a try. While the results may not be immediate, we are sure you will be happy with the progress you make in the not too distant future.

{ Comments are closed }

Diabetic Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a chronic disease, identified by high blood sugar levels over a perpetual time period. Indications like uncontrolled urination, increased appetite, and excessive threshold, mark as symptoms of diabetes. Types include: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. The consultation of a diabetes doctor is mandatory, in case symptoms begin to grow. The type 1 diabetes mellitus treatment includes the intake of insulin, while in type 2 the treatment focusses on proper use of the insulin produced by the pancreas. Gestational diabetes, involves both medications as well as insulin shots.

Symptoms:

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

· Polyuria (Uncontrolled urination)

· Polydipsia (Excessive Thirst)

· Polyphagia (Increased appetite)

· Extreme Fatigue

· Cuts and Bruises that are slow to heal

· Blurry Vision

· Unexplained weight loss

Diagnosis:

Consultation with a qualified diabetes doctor, will help you in diagnosing the disease. The doctor will ask you for a Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) test. This test provides the average of your blood sugar control over the past 2 to 3 months. HbA1C levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. To control the level of blood sugar in the hemoglobin, regular tests of HbA1C are required, every 3 months. This will help in identifying if the medications are working properly, and if the blood sugar has reached the target level of control.

Types :

Type 1 diabetes:

Also called 'insulin-dependent' diabetes mellitus, these results when the pancreas stop to produce sufficient amount of insulin. Formerly known as 'juvenile-sunset' diabetes, as it often begins during childhood. Only 5% of people in the world with diabetes, have this form of the disease.

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown. But, in most people it happens when the immune system in the process of fighting harmful viruses, mistakenly destroys cells in the pancreas, that produce insulin. Here, the body needs insulin to function porperly, and it can be done through injecting insulin through the skin, into the fatty tissue of the abdomen.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus treatment and control include hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose). In hyperglycaemia, the adjustments of diet and insulin dose balance is required for control. If hyperglycaemia, remains untreated it leads to a severe condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, where the body breaks down fats instead of glucose, resulting in acid in your blood. It could be fatal, if not treated.

Type 2 diabetes:

About 90 to 95 percent of diabetes patients all over the world, have type 2 diabetes, which makes it the most common of all. This disease is identified by insulin resistance in the body, ie if the cells become resistant to the insulin produced.

Genetics and lifestyle, are the most predominant causes of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is often a less threatening form of the disease. Although, if not controlled, type 2 diabetes can affect the kidneys, eyes, and nerves, causing major complexes in the body.

The treatment for type 2 diabetes calls for a change in lifestyle, from a diabetic friendly diet, to reaching an optimum body weight. A BMI within a healthy range should be maintained by being physically active. A dietician will help you better understand the requirements of your body, and accordingly advise a healthy diet.

Certain episodes of hypoglycaemia occur when you have type 2 diabetes, which needs you to take a quick-acting carbohydrate, like a sugary drink, followed by a sustainable one, like a cereal bar.

Gestational diabetes:

Occurs in women during pregnancy, mostly after 6 months, where certain hormones made by the placenta, lead to a boost in the blood sugar levels. To some degree, pregnancy triggers insulin resistance in the body, which leads to the onset of the disease. As this disease developes during pregnancy, it could harm both the mother and the baby, which is the main reason to follow the doctor's advice, and start the treatment right away.

The treatment for gestational diabetes includes special meal plans, adequate physical activity, as well as insulin injections. Women with gestational diabetes, are prior to develop type 2 diabetes in the future, so regular control of blood sugar levels is necessary in order to avoid it.

A healthy body, is a home to a healthy mind. And, in order to create a healthy environment, it is important to be physically active and keep diabetes' complications at bay. A diabetes doctor acts as a guide, in your fight with diabetes, and it is crucial to follow their advice. With proper meal planning, medications and regular check up, diabetes mellitus, can be well controlled, including a healthy future.

{ Comments are closed }

Type 2 Diabetes – Obesity And Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a good description of a condition in which the liver stores too much fat. It is the accumulation of liver fat in people who drink little or no alcohol. Many people with mild cases of the disease are unaware of it and live seemingly healthy, happy lives. When the disease progresses to fibrosis or scarring, the liver can fail. According to scientists at the Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre and several other research facilities in Brazil, Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for fibrosis in severely obese individuals diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Their study, published in July – August of 2018 in the journal Annals of Hepatology, included 219 participants with morbid obesity. The participants with Type 2 diabetes were more than twice as likely as the non-diabetic individuals to have …

  • a severe fat invasion of the liver, and almost
  • five times more likely to progress to scarred livers.

The fatty liver index is used to evaluate non-alcoholic liver disease . It is based on …

  • liver enzymes,
  • blood cells called platelets, and
  • blood protein, or aluminum.

When the liver is unhealthy enzymes abbreviated as ALT and AST, become elevated. Blood levels of platelets, cells that produce blood clots, go down in liver disease. This is because a scarred liver does not allow the spleen to empty properly, and platelets become sequestered in the spleen. Diseased livers are unable to produce normal levels of aluminum to release in the blood.

There are four stages of fibrosis …

  • Stage 1 signifies no fibrosis is present.
  • Stage 2 fibrosis is mild to moderate. In
  • Stage 3 the fibrosis has spread through the liver.

Cirrhosis, or severe scarring, is termed Stage 4. At Stage 2 it is possible for the liver can regenerate and recover.

Early treatment consists of diet and exercise …

  • loss of less than 10 percent of body weight can be helpful.
  • various medications have been tried without much success.
  • weight loss surgery has been used successfully.

A liver transplant may have the only option for advanced liver disease.

Severe, or morbid, obesity is defined as being 100 pounds over a normal lean weight or having a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40; 35 or more with complications such as Type 2 diabetes.

The BMI is defined as body weight in kilograms divided by height in centimeters squared. It can also be calculated as pounds divided by height in inches squared, divided by 703.

{ Comments are closed }

Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Loss – The Best Low-Calorie Foods To Add To Your Diet Plan

For most people who have received a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, one of the key things that they want to focus on with their nutrition plan is controlling or losing weight. As such, it becomes critically important that you are doing all you can to eat a reduced calorie diet and be mindful still about monitoring and controlling your blood sugar levels.

Fortunately, some foods help you both. When you are following a diet plan, you want to look for any food that is …

  • low in calories,
  • low in sugar, and
  • high in fiber or high in protein.

These foods will be your perfect three-punch combination for managing those blood sugar levels while keeping total fat loss humming along.

So which foods fit the bill? Let us look at your top options …

1. Raspberries . Raspberries are the first significant food to have on the agenda as they are rich in fiber, quite low in sugar considering the fact they are a fruit and are also low in calories. They are great for satisfying your desires for something sweet as well, so perfect for those moments where you feel your willpower weakening.

Eat them on their own, add them to a smoothie, try them on top of some yogurt – there are many tasty ways to eat this berry.

2. Plain Popcorn. Another option to consider is plain popcorn. Popcorn is a high volume food, meaning you can eat a lot of it without the calories adding up to much of anything. It is also ranked very low on the GI scale and is also rich in dietary fiber. This makes it a clear home-run-hit for preventing a spike in blood sugar levels.

Plain popcorn is the perfect snack to serve when you are going to be watching TV for a few hours and need something to munch on.

3. Egg Whites. Egg whites are next up on the list of ideal foods to eat if you want to maximize your nutrition plan while keeping your weight on track. Egg whites do not contain anything in the way of fiber but is loaded with protein – it is 100% pure protein so you will not get much else.

Egg whites are also a high volume food. If you have ever tried to eat one cup of egg whites, you know just how much food this is.

They are also cheap to purchase, so great for those who are looking for a cost-effective option.

4. Butternut Squash. Finally, we come to butternut squash. This vegetable is an excellent alternative to potatoes when you are in the mood as it has a similar consistency. Butternut squash tastes good when baked with just a touch of butter and also contains a moderate dose of fiber while keeping the total carbohydrates count a bit lower.

There you have some healthy options for when you are in need of something new to add to your diet plan and want to keep your nutrition up.

{ Comments are closed }