Articles, news, reviews and information for the diabetic or caregivers

Insulin Resistance: the Plague of Modern Society!

Posted by David Desrosiers on Apr 1st, 2008 in Information | No Comments »

Insulin resistance affects tens of millions in the United States. While insulin resistance can run in families, it is most influenced by lack of activity and the consumption of too much unrefined sugar. Both lead to an overweight condition, which then makes the problem of insulin resistance worse.

In order to understand insulin resistance, it is first important to understand how the body’s normal insulin-glucose cycle works, then what can go wrong with this cycle.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance is just what it sounds like – the pancreas produces more insulin than the body’s cells need. What’s more interesting is how insulin resistance develops in the first place.

How Should the Insulin Cycle Work Normally?

Your body has a finely-tuned mechanism for determining how much sugar is needed in the cells in order to function properly. The cycle goes like this:

The body has some glucose in each of its cells. Cells use up glucose due to activity. Brain cells use glucose if you’re thinking a lot (like doing a math problem or writing a speech). In fact, brain cells use around 20% of all the glucose your entire body needs – it’s an area that needs constant glucose in order to function!

The pancreas detects that the cells need more fuel – glucose – to carry on their functions. This organ produces insulin and sends it into the bloodstream. In a properly-functioning system, the cells absorb the insulin, which then triggers them to absorb more glucose.

The cells, triggered by the insulin, take in more glucose to keep their functions going.

As the level of circulating glucose declines, the insulin spurs your liver to produce more glucose. If it has lots of sugars nearby, it will use those (like when you’ve just eaten a candy bar). If there is less sugar, it will go to complex carbohydrates. If there’s none of that around, the liver will convert fat to glucose.

The glucose then circulates in your bloodstream and finds its way to the cells, whose appetite has been whetted by the insulin that they’ve absorbed.

And If I’m Insulin-Resistant, How does It Go Wrong?

The body’s finely-tuned insulin-glucose cycle worked well when we were all pursuing active lifestyles. The caveman hunters who had to run after prey every day got lots of exercise. And they ate foods that were unprocessed: game meats, complex carbohydrates (whole grains such as rice or wheat) and lots of fiber from tubers and other vegetables. The body never had an excess of sugars, as they just weren’t available in the diet.

This virtuous cycle persisted until a hundred years ago. People still worked hard in the factories and the fields, and food was generally wholesome.

In modern times, sedentary lifestyles and the high consumption of refined starches (like white bread) and sugars (like soft drinks or juice) have led to a disruption of this insulin-glucose cycle. The body consumes too much sugar and the cells use too little glucose. The result: circulating glucose levels and circulating insulin levels remain high as the pancreas tries to offset the overabundance of sugars in our system. Over time the cells become resistant to insulin, which means that ever increasing amounts are required for the same response.

The result is insulin resistance. It’s a plague, but one that can be combated by reducing our intake of refined sugars, losing a few pounds, and getting off the couch and putting our muscles to work!

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Is There A Connection Between Diabetes and Hair Loss?

Posted by David Desrosiers on Mar 31st, 2008 in Information | No Comments »

If you have diabetes and you start losing your hair, you may be experiencing diabetes related hair loss. Although the connection was long thought to have already been established, the link between diabetes and hair loss needs to be further studied. Looking however at the basic facts about diabetes and hair loss may help you understand why there might be a real connection.

Hair Basics

Before we look into the diabetes and hair loss link, it is important to first understand both diabetes and hair loss basics. Head hair may seem to have no functional use other than as an appearance enhancer. Nonetheless, it is still very much a part of the human body. Your hair will therefore stand to benefit or suffer from whatever you put in your body and whatever is going on in your body in general.

Hair grows from a root and follicle located underneath the human scalp. The hair grows and is nourished by through the bloodstream which transports nutrients from the body to the hair roots and follicles. If there your body does not have sufficient nutrients or does not have proper blood circulation, hair growth and health is also affected.

Hair Loss Basics

Not all cases of hair loss in diabetic persons may be attributed to diabetes alone. It is only a possibility. It is therefore important to seek out the real cause of hair loss in your condition through the process of eliminating other possible causes before tagging diabetes as its cause.

One other factor of hair loss is through genetics and heredity. 95% of people suffering from hair loss have androgenetic alopecia. This is a hair loss condition brought about by genetic make-up and hormonal activities in the body. Because both conditions have their sources in genetics, it may be more difficult to identify which condition is causing your hair loss.

Diabetes and Hair Loss

The relationship between diabetes and hair loss can be determined best by taking a careful look at the nature of diabetes and how it affects the body. Diabetes is a condition in which the body neither produces insulin nor respond properly to it. When this occurs, glucose cannot always enter the body cells to provide energy that the body needs. Since glucose has been rejected by the body’s cells and therefore has no place else to go, it will start collecting in the bloodstream. If you have high blood sugar levels, fat deposits may also begin to attach on blood vessel walls, consequently clogging blood passageways which results to improper blood flow and poor blood circulation.

As previously explained, the hair’s source of primary nutrition is the blood. Poor circulation may mean poor hair health. Poor blood flow can also result in infections and skin irritations among diabetics. The scalp is of course still a part of the skin which may be infected too and result in hair loss.

The Diet

If your hair loss is caused by diabetes, you may have harder time dealing with it than an ordinary hair loss condition. This is because in an ordinary hair loss, the condition may be treated with nutritional supplements and proper diet. However, if your hair loss is caused by diabetes, you will have to consider following a diet that is more proper as a diabetic rather than a person suffering from a hair loss. In such case, you will have to consult your doctor for a proper dietary plan before tackling your hair loss condition.

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The Truth and Facts about Vitamin E

Posted by David Desrosiers on Mar 19th, 2008 in News & Articles | No Comments »

The Truth and Facts about Vitamin EIt is important to understand that we are ultimately responsible for our own well-being and should do whatever is necessary to maintain our health and assist our bodies in resisting and fighting disease. Since health practitioners agree that vitamins are essential for life and health, we must ensure that we receive adequate amounts for our bodies to function properly and to protect us from illnesses.

Vitamin E is one of the vitamins to which we should pay particular attention.

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Diabetes Symptom – You Can Do A Self-Check Of This Fatal Disease

Posted by David Desrosiers on Feb 16th, 2008 in News & Articles | No Comments »

Are you finding yourself battling dizziness? Do you have the need to wake up and use the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning? Is you weight yo-yoing for no apparent reason? These are symptoms that have been associated with diabetes. If you answered yes to more than one of these diabetes symptom questions, you should see your doctor. But, if you answered yes to these questions, don’t automatically assume that you are diabetic. Following are some things to keep in mind when waiting to talk to your doctor.

There are two types of diabetes; Type one or Type II that show different symptoms. Blood sugar levels in the body that are elevated is a hallmark of the disease. And insulin production, or rather how it is used, is what differentiates the two types.

Type I diabetes is where there is not enough insulin made by the body to balance sugar levels in the blood. Teenagers and young children are more common like to have this which is why this is also known as Juvenile Diabetes.

When the body struggles to produce insulin is the Type II diabetes. This is the more common form of the ailment. Between the ages of 35-45 is when this will usually show itself. Also, three to five percent of pregnant women will experience gestational diabetes. The hormonal imbalance during pregnancy is the reason for this to occur during the 24th to 28 week of pregnancy.

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What is the Difference Between Juvenile and Adult-Onset Diabetes, and What Can We Do about It?

Posted by David Desrosiers on Nov 25th, 2007 in Information, Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes | No Comments »

Image of a pancreas It used to be clear that Juvenile, or Type-I diabetes, occurred only with children, and Type-II (“Adult Onset”) diabetes occurred solely among adults. While Type-I diabetes remains a problem of the young, and has a different etiology than Type-II diabetes, both are climbing in incidence. Each has a different cause, and can be treated in different ways.

The classic definition of Type-I diabetes was a reduction in the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin-producing parts of the pancreas, the Islets of Langerhans (a good trivia question on your college biology exam), would somehow lose their ability to produce insulin. As a result, children of otherwise normal weight and constitution would need to move relatively quickly to treat their affliction, or die in a diabetic coma.

Recently, we’ve learned that much of Type-I diabetes occurs because children develop a form of auto-immune reaction to their own pancreatic cells. This hyperreaction to the body’s own cells results in a destruction of the Islets of Langerhans, and results in a lifelong need to replace insulin production with injections.

Type-I diabetes is a serious pathology, which can lead to much-increased levels of blindness, heart disease and neuropathies. If not treated properly, Type-I diabetics can contract diabetic ulcers of their feet and legs, leading to amputation.

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Medical Alert Jewelry: A Life Saving Fashion Statement

Posted by David Desrosiers on Nov 25th, 2007 in Information, News & Articles | No Comments »

Medical Alert Bracelets for DiabeticsNo one really wants to be labeled as “different”.

And certainly, no one wants to create that label and apply it to him or herself. But many medical conditions require some form of identification indicating that such a condition exists and must be considered in the case of an emergency. Thus, millions of people with hundreds of medical conditions must advertise that fact simply to protect themselves. For many, jewelry is the chosen medium.

  • Fact: Up to 15% of the population of the United States could experience a life-threatening reaction to foods, drugs, insect bites or latex.
  • Fact: Many diabetics suffering from hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) have been mistakenly identified as being drunk.
  • Fact: Over 400 Americans die annually from an allergic reaction to penicillin.

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Insulin Resistance and Morbid Obesity

Posted by David Desrosiers on Nov 18th, 2007 in Foods & Eating, Health & Exercise | No Comments »

Morbid obesity We are suffering an obesity epidemic in the United States. About 66 million people are classified as ‘obese,’ which means that they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30%. That means that a person’s body is over 30% fat.

Morbid Obesity: An Epidemic

Even more concerning is the number of ‘morbidly obese’ people in the US. One in six, or over 10 million people, is defined in this category. That means that they have a BMI of 40 or greater. When you assume that a healthy person has a BMI of 20 or less, a morbidly-obese person has over twice the body fat of a person at a healthy weight.

We all know that morbid obesity can cause heart problems and strokes. What many don’t know is that morbidly obese people suffer from high rates of diabetes. For the most part, their diabetes emerges because they don’t exercise enough and eat too much.

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Herbal Formula Replaces Conventional Medicine For Diabetics

Posted by David Desrosiers on Nov 15th, 2007 in News & Articles | No Comments »

Herbs and CapsulesDiabetes has afflicted my life physically, emotionally and spiritually for the last sixteen years of my life. My wife of twelve years and daughter has had to live with an abnormal functioning husband and father. As the years went by as a diabetic, it became more and more difficult to control my blood sugar levels. My diet had to consist of a lot of calories because I have a fast metabolism and twenty pounds underweight.

The increasing periods of uncontrolled blood sugar interfered with my thought processes at work and especially with my family.The most detrimental effect of high blood sugar happened when I had to be hospitalized during the birth of my only daughter. My wife was hurt because it appeared that I purposely used the excuse of diabetes to not want to be with her for my daughter’s birth.

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Diabetes: Do You Know If You Have It?

Posted by David Desrosiers on Oct 18th, 2007 in Gestational Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes | No Comments »

Diabetes meter Nearly 7% of Americans have some type of diabetes. Unfortunately, nearly one third of those people are unaware they suffer from it. When a person has diabetes, their body is unable to use the glucose that is in the food they eat.

Diabetes is a very serious illness that, if left untreated, can have adverse affects on a person’s nerves, eyes, heart and kidneys. Since the body is unable to use the glucose, it gathers in the bloodstream, which can then cause damage to the various parts of the body.

There are various symptoms that can indicate a person has diabetes. The most common symptom is excessive thirst. Another common symptom is going to the bathroom more than normal. Feeling very hungry, losing weight without dieting, feeling extremely tired, sores that seem to heal extremely slow, dry itchy skin, tingling in hands or feet or losing feeling in your feet, along with sexual dysfunction and blurred vision are also symptoms associated with diabetes.

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The Truth About Weight Loss; The 6 Biggest Myths About Dieting for Diabetics

Posted by David Desrosiers on Aug 18th, 2007 in News & Articles | No Comments »

Myths about Weight LossAll of our behavior results from the thoughts that preceded it, so the thing to work on is not your behavior, but the thing that caused your behavior, your thoughts. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Let me preface this article with the notion that I truly, indeed detest the word diet, but for simplicities sake… I’ll use it!

The stark reality is that sometimes eating too little can be a literal roadblock in attaining a lean fit and healthy body.

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