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Are you a diabetic? Do you smoke? Do people around you smoke? We all know smoking is a direct cause of cancer but if you have diabetes smoking - including passive smoking - leads to other health problems...

7 Reasons Why Smoking is Even More Hazardous for Diabetics

7 Reasons Why Smoking is Even More Hazardous for DiabeticsHere are 7 reasons why mixing diabetes with smoking is a very bad idea:1) You are more likely to get nerve damage (neuropathy). This is because smoking affects your blood circulation and that in turn means your nerve endings are not getting the nutrients they need. If this happens to the nerves in your feet it could lead to sores and infections and, if not taken care of properly, even amputation. 2) There is an increased risk double in fact -of you getting limited mobility in your joints. It's no fun trying to bend, climb stairs or lift something when you have a painful joint.3) Because of smoking you could develop kidney disease.4) When you smoke your blood pressure increases. Increased blood pressure creates a real risk of heart disease.5) Research has shown that diabetics who smoke increase, 3-fold, the risk of dying of heart (cardiovascular) disease.6) By smoking you increase your blood-sugar levels. This makes it more difficult to control your diabetes because your glucose levels could be fluctuating quite dramatically. This, in turn, leads to other problems.7) And it also increases your cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of a heart attack.In fact smoking - and passive smoking - have a seriously detrimental effect on the ABC's of diabetes management: A1C - the measurement of your blood glucose over a 3-month period B - your blood pressure, which should be below 130/80 C - your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol levels include LDL, HDL and triglycerides. Your LDL should be below 100. HDL levels should be above 40 (for men) and above 50 (for women). Tryglycerides should be below 150.And, of course, on top of all that there's the proven risk of cancer!

Common Knowledge About Gestational Diabetes

Common Knowledge About Gestational Diabetes

I did not become familiar with gestational diabetes until recently when my sister-in-law and my best friend were both diagnosed with it within a week. Many women I know, myself included, have made it through pregnancies without having any serious problems like "gestational diabetes" .Basically, gestational diabetes is a disease that can come on during pregnancy but that usually disappears once the baby has been born. In some women, pregnancy results in their blood sugar levels getting out of balance. A pregnant woman might realize that she is having blood sugar problems on her own or it might take a doctor to determine that her levels are not normal. Regardless of how it is discovered, gestational diabetes is a serious issue that needs to be handled with caution and care throughout a woman's pregnancy and after.When my sister-in-law and my closest friend were struggling with feeling abnormally up and down during their pregnancies, their doctor took blood tests and determined that their blood sugar levels were being affected by their pregnancies and their food choices. They were both diagnosed simply by having this blood work done. At first they were hesitant and scared because gestational diabetes sounded huge and they didn't know how relatively simple the treatment process could be.Gestational diabetes, because it is primarily an imbalance of blood sugar, can often be regulated by changes in diet and levels of exercise. The amount of changes that are necessary are dependant upon how poor of habits the women have to begin with. My sister-in-law and my friend had to make different levels of changes to their diets, but neither had to make such significant changes that their lifestyle was radically altered. Mostly their changes consisted of going on a low-sugar and low-carb eating plan. Gestational diabetes brings a risk of the baby getting to large during its gestational period and needing to be delivered early or by c-section. The more the pregnant mother cuts down on sugar intake, the less likely it is that the baby will get too large to be delivered vaginally.If you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant in the near future, take some time and learn about ways to prevent gestational diabetes. It is the best for you and your baby. Prevention is always a better option than having to find a solution to high blood sugar levels. Be wise with your food and exercise choices from the start and you should be able to avoid dealing with gestational diabetes in your pregnancies. Talk with your doctor and take every possible precaution.

Diabetes: Health 'Coaches' Will Help To Combat Rising Diabetes Cases

Diabetes: Health

Pennsylvania has a moderate rate of increase in diabetes hospitalizations, accounting less than 1 per cent over the last two years, however, diabetes is a serious problem in this region. An amount of 8 per cent of adults of this state is affected by diabetes, which is 1 per cent above the 7 per cent people affected throughout the country. Moreover patients from various counties in Western Pennsylvania have high rates of end-stage kidney disease, one complication of diabetes.The above mentioned situation alongwith the continuos growing rate in diabetes hospitalizations which increased 9 per cent in the past five years to 23,725 during 2004, make them create a new health program to reduce health care costs through a initiative of health coaches. According to a study from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, hospitalizations generated more than $673 million in hospital charges last year alone, although 40 per cent of these are paid by health plans. The main idea of this new iniciative is to lower the health care costs associated with employees with diabetes and to keep them out of the hospital, but on the job at same time. This iniciative will start in January, and will provide health coaches to 4,200 diabetic employees at 10 companies in the region, under a program that will be launched by the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health, a coalition that includes human resources and benefits executives from 62 area companies. In the new program, employees who volunteer to participate will have counseling sessions with pharmacists about using diabetic medications. Health coaches will check patients are getting the tests needed to monitor their condition and are following recommendations about diet and exercise.

Why Knowing Your Body Mass Index Can Help You Fight Diabetes

Why Knowing Your Body Mass Index Can Help You Fight Diabetes

This is how staggering the rise of obesity has become: according to the Surgeon General's office, the number of obese or overweight adults in this country is 50% higher than it was just a decade ago. Recent studies have projected that 1/3 of the children born in 2000 will develop Type 2 Diabetes, which was once commonly referred to as adult-onset diabetes and is primarily driven by excessive weight. And perhaps most unsettling of all: over the last ten years the number of deaths directly related to obesity-inspired diseased has increased by 33%. Obesity contributes to diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. Diabetes leads to an increased risk of heart disease, blindness, limb amputation, and kidney problems. The close relationship between excessive weight and diabetes is undeniable. Which is why it's so important for those who are either pre-diabetes or have been diagnosed with "Type 2 Diabetes" to monitor their body mass index.What is your "body mass index" (BMI)? It's an easily calculated number which tells you the percentage of your of body weight that consists of fat. Although this number is not 100% on-the-money perfect, especially when the calculation is based solely on height and weight, it's a good ball park figure. Certainly good enough to use as a guide if you're trying to lose weight. Other factors that are normally taken into consideration are sex and age.The most accurate way to determine your body mass index is by working with your doctor. Not only can he offer you some additional insights into the meaning of the number, he can advise you on how best to start losing weight. However, if you'd like to get a quick peek at where you fall in the BMI scale, there are a number of online calculators you can use. The quickest path to a calculator is by doing a search for the term "BMI" or "body mass index." Either will do. But if you're in even more of a hurry, can try one of these:The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/Centers For Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/index.htm After you've determined your BMI number, you'll want to know what it means. As a rough guideline for adults a BMI of less than 20 implies underweight, over 25 is overweight, and over 30 is obese. For a more specific idea of where you fall in the index, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides a complete Body Mass Index Table for your convenience. You can find it here: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.htm The bottom line: if you're overweight, you're in danger of developing diabetes. This dreadful disease is nearly silent, yet it can cause kidney failure, heart damage, strokes, even the loss of limbs to amputation. This is why it's so important to keep a close eye on your weight and particularly your body mass index.

The Diabetes Diet

Although a "miracle" diabetes diet does not exist to cure the disease, if you have type 2 diabetes, there are dietary rules you can follow that will ensure you stay as healthy as possible. When it comes right down to it, proper nutrition is the only diet you need to follow. Many people are inexperienced with following a healthy diet, but once you get into the swing of things, eating properly will become part of your lifestyle.To start off, its best to follow the nutrition guidelines in the Food Pyramid, with special attention to carbohydrate intake. Also, diabetics should maintain a regular meal schedule and exercise portion control.Starches are allowed in a diabetes diet, as long as you control portions and dont consume too much starchy food. Starches are present in bread, cereal, and starchy vegetables.Consume five fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. This can easily be accomplished by eating a piece of fruit for a snack several times a day, or by eating vegetables with dinner. Soups, stir-fries, and chili make good hiding places for veggies if you need clever ways to add more good stuff into your meals.You can still eat sugars and sweets (perhaps surprisingly) with type 2 diabetes, but do so in moderation, which means once or twice a week maximum. One way to eat fewer sweets without neglecting your sweet tooth is to split a dessert in half.Especially beneficial for diabetics are soluble fibers, so you need to get as many as these into your diet as possible. Luckily, you can find soluble fibers in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Soluble fibers are excellent because they aid in slowing down and reducing the absorption of glucose from the intestines. Legumes (such as cooked kidney beans) have the highest amount of soluble fibers, and also keep blood sugar levels in check. Insoluble fibers, found in bran, whole grains and nuts, are also part of a healthy diet because they work like intestinal scrubbers, by cleaning out the lower gastrointestinal tract.For many people, contacting a dietician is the best way to put together a good diabetes diet. Everyone is different, so keeping in contact with your physician and nutrition consultant will ensure your diet plan is the optimum one for you. A professional will take into account your lifestyle, medication, weight, other medical issues, and your favorite foods to come up with a plan that will keep you healthy and satisfy your cravings for particular flavors.A Healthy Weight and LifestyleIf you have type 2 diabetes, its also very important to maintain a healthy weight ( http://www.healthline.com/adamcontent/diabetes-diet ). With type 2 diabetes, added body fat actually makes it more difficult for your body to produce and use insulin. Trimming down as little as 10 or 20 pounds has the potential to improve your blood sugar significantly.Smokers are advised to quit as soon as possible, as smoking can aggravate diabetes and make it more difficult to cope with the disease. Because diabetics often experience circulation problems in the legs and feet, smoking is a dangerous habit to continue - it decreases blood flow even more. Smoking also increases LDL cholesterol and raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.If you keep your blood sugar under control, moderate alcohol consumption is allowed, but avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as this can lead to low blood sugar. To learn how much alcohol you can safely include in your diet, consult your doctor.Fat and CarbsYou can control the amount of carbs you consume by practicing carbohydrate counting. This involves keeping track of the total number of grams of carbs you need to eat at meals or snacks, depending on your medication and exercise. Usually this method involves the use of a carbohydrate counting book, which you can purchase at a supermarket or bookstore.Those with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk for heart problems, so most physicians make a recommendation to limit fat below 30% of your total daily caloric intake this tends to be done by eating less fat overall and staying away from saturated fat. You should also pay attention to cholesterol levels by eating smaller amounts of meat, and sticking to lean meats, such as poultry and fish.It will take some time to adjust to your new diabetes diet and healthy lifestyle, especially if you havent followed healthy living practices in the past, but the results will be worth the effort. Not only will you be able to better manage your diabetes, but you will also become a much healthier person.

Diabetes: Breast-feeding May Help Babies and Women Against Diabetes

Babies and women may be protected against developing diabetes disease through breast feeding, according to new research. This current study states that the longer women nursed, the lower their risks of developing diabetes.Diabetes as a medical disorder characterized by varying or persistent elevated blood sugar levels, especially due to eating, is a serious disease which symptoms are very similar for all types of diabetes.Breast feeding is when a woman feeds a baby or a young child with milk produced from her breasts. The best thing for feeding a baby is breast milk, as experts say, if the mother does not have transmissible infections. Although study findings are not conclusive, researchers explain that breast-feeding may change metabolism of mothers which may help keep blood sugar levels stable and make the body more sensitive to the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin. This theory is based on some evidence that show that in rats and humans that are breast-feeding, mothers have lower blood-sugar levels than those who did not breast-feed. According to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, women who breast-fed for at least one year were about 15 per cent less likely to develop diabetes type 2 than those who never breast-fed. For each additional year of breast-feeding, there was an additional 15 per cent decreased risk. A total of 157,000 nurses participated in the new study. They answered periodic health questionnaires and were followed for at least 12 years. During the study, 6,277 participants developed type 2 diabetes.

Summary

Are you a diabetic? Do you smoke? Do people around you smoke? We all know smoking is a direct cause of cancer but if you have diabetes smoking - including passive smoking - leads to other health problems...