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Friday, May 24, 2013

Diabetes and the Link to Kidney Disease


The complications of diabetes can lead to a variety of issues, one of which is the possible threat of kidney trouble. If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, or even prediabetes, there are certain steps that you can take to help prevent the onset of kidney disease, aka nephropathy. Nephropathy caused by diabetes is known as diabetic nephropathy.

Diabetes is indeed the leading cause of kidney failure today, and is more prevalent in African Americans, aboriginal Americans, and Latin Americans. Unfortunately, the precise interplay between diabetes and kidney disease is not well known, and there is not yet a cure for diabetic nephropathy. Essentially, it is believed that over years with high blood pressure and high blood glucose levels, your kidneys become damaged, thus preventing them from working properly, or even failing altogether. Luckily, proper management of diabetes can prevent or delay any serious damage to your kidneys.

Your kidneys help to filter your blood, excreting waste through your urine. Your kidneys also help to regulate the fluids and salt content in your body, an important factor in controlling your blood pressure. Each of your two kidneys has approximately one million tiny filtration units, called nephrons. And each nephron has a small filter called a glomerulus, which is attached to a tubule. It is through this tubule that waste and water pass through. When breakdown occurs, it is at this point, where the glomeruli work together with the tubules.
As was said above, it is unclear why high blood sugars and high blood pressure should damage your glomeruli, although it is likely related to your kidneys working so much harder to compensate for increased blood pressure. Because high blood sugar levels damage your blood cells, this further stresses your kidneys as the glomeruli are essentially a network of blood cells.

The following are some of the early signs of kidney disease in people with diabetes:

1. Albumin/protein in your urine.
2. High blood pressure.
3. Swelling in your legs, feet or face.
4. Going to the bathroom more frequently.
5. High levels of nitrogen and creatinine in your blood.
6. Less need for diabetic medicines, such as insulin.
7. Nausea and/or vomiting.
8. Headaches.
9. Fatigue.
10. Itchiness.

If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, you will likely be treated as part of a comprehensive approach to treating your diabetes. Some conventional medical options for treatment include medication such as ACE inhibitors, as well as dialysis, or even kidney transplant.
Here are some key ideas on preventing kidney disease:
  • Strictly control your blood sugar levels by eating properly, and monitoring your levels within the target range specified by your doctor.
  • Ensure that your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels are well controlled.
  • Avoid NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), e.g. aspirin or ibuprofen, which have been linked to some issues with kidney function.
  • Don't smoke cigarettes or consume nicotine in any form.
  • Treat urinary tract infections immediately with antibiotics.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks and alcohol.
  • Avoid medical tests that may damage your kidneys, including x-rays that require the injection of contrast dyes.
  • Take your prescribed medications and get regular tests to determine the health of your kidneys.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Follow a healthy meal plan.
Furthermore, getting regular acupuncture can help you to balance your hormonal levels, your blood sugar levels, and your blood pressure as well. Acupuncture does not interfere with medication, and so is completely safe to administer alongside your other treatments. Ensure that whoever is treating you with acupuncture is well trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, so that you will be diagnosed properly.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What To Do After Being Clinically Diagnosed With Diabetes


Are you worried because you have been diagnosed with diabetes recently? Go over the following article to find out what you should do next.
Do not let your condition scare you. It is true that diabetes are more likely to develop a certain number of health problems but you can avoid complications by properly managing your condition. In fact, your diabetes will become very easy to manage once you get in better shape and adopt a healthy lifestyle. It is important to transform your lifestyle quickly and do everything you can to keep your diabetes under control.
Learn how to check your glucose levels. Invest in a quality glucose monitor and buy plenty of test strips. You can save a lot by ordering supplies in bulk online. Purchase some insulin and needles too. If you do not like needles, you should invest in an insulin pen you can use to dose the quantity of insulin you need and perform an easy injection. Test different methods until you find a product you are comfortable with. Put together a bag with your different supplies and get into the habit of carrying it with you at all times.
Make a lot of changes to your diet. If you are overweight, you should focus on losing a few pounds to reach a healthier weight. Lowering your body fat should make your blood sugar levels easier to manage. Identify the unhealthy foods and beverages you need to eliminate from your diet. Adopt a diet rich in whole grains and fibers. You should have several small meals throughout your day if you find that your blood sugar spikes after having a large meal. Adopting a healthy diet will be much easier if you get into the habit of planning your meals in advance.
Being active is a necessity. If you are used to spending a lot of time sitting at a desk or on your couch, find some new activities. Going for a walk is an excellent way to burn some calories after a meal. If you are overweight, exercise three or four times a week. Find some exercises you enjoy to keep your fitness program fun. Do not exercise too intensely until you are in better shape. If you experience dizziness while exercising, stop right away and test your blood sugar levels.
Do not let your diabetes cause you stress. If you feel overwhelmed by your condition, find a support group. Talking to others with diabetes will make you feel better and you will get some useful tips from people who have more experience with managing diabetes. Learn as much as possible about diabetes and you will find this condition less scary. Meet with your doctor regularly to make sure you are managing your condition efficiently.
The tips you just read will help you make some changes to your lifestyle. You should apply these different strategies and get some help from your doctor if you feel that you are not managing your diabetes efficiently.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

5 Tips on Exercising With Diabetes


If you have diabetes or are even borderline diabetic, exercise can be very beneficial to keeping your blood sugar levels in the 'safe zone', and also lowering your risk of heart disease. Of course, it's not always so easy to start up a new exercise routine when you're not used to it. And if you're like many people just recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may be very reluctant to start something new. But the combination of medication, diet, and exercise can go a long way - so consider these tips as a way to get you moving. You'll be glad that you did!

1. Keep it short. Try exercising at first in small increments, such as 10-minute walks. Just make sure that you do them as part of a schedule, i.e. commit to going for a walk 5 days a week. Then make sure that you stick to this easy schedule for at least 3 weeks. Once you get there, decide if you think you can handle longer walks. This adherence to a simple plan will help make exercise a habit, and once it's a habit, you'll start to enjoy the benefits. The increased energy and balanced blood sugar levels will make you feel younger and stronger.

2. Stay active. 10-minute walks only 5 of 7 days a week really isn't much, so what do you do the rest of the time? Well, try staying active by doing things that don't feel like exercise, such as spending more time with family, or taking up a hobby like art classes, Tai Chi, or light yoga. Also, consider getting yourself a pedometer, so that you can accurately measure how many steps you take each day. This will help you ensure that you're getting enough exercise, and can make you feel assured when you do.

3. Call a buddy. Working out with a friend can make all the difference in keeping you motivated. Even better, join a walking group to make sure that there's always someone there to walk with you. Besides motivation, it's nice to have someone along so that you don't get bored!

4. Set some goals. It's great to be committed to exercise and certainly getting out there will help you shed a few pounds and gain some energy. But add a goal to that equation, and you'll not only stay motivated, you'll feel more of a sincere sense of accomplishment. Rather than just saying 'okay, I'll get more exercise', set a goal of something like the above suggested 'walking for 10 minutes, 5 days a week'. You could also add in 'lose 20 pounds' or better yet, how about 'being able to fit into those clothes I haven't worn in ten years'?!

5. Reward yourself. Having a reward to give yourself when you've accomplished your goal will also help tremendously. Use something other than food so that you don't sabotage what you've attained. Something like a planned vacation, getting a spa treatment, or going out to a movie can all be easy ways to remind yourself that what you're doing is a good thing. Best of all, take the time when you're exercising to enjoy what you're doing - feeling your heart pumping or smelling the fresh air can make attaining a goal as easy as... sugar-free pie?

Writing down your goals and tracking them as you go will help tremendously. Remember that you're not alone in this fight: every year more and more people in Canada and the U.S. are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to begin a new chapter on life - one with a good diet plan, and a fun, attainable exercise plan as well.
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