How A Person Dies From Diabetes?

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The problem with diabetes is that it does not give any serious pains or symptoms at the first few years after someone is diagnosed with the illness. High blood sugar level is the only benchmark to indicate the level of diabetes someone is experiencing. Hyperglycemia alone cannot cause death to a person, but it is the long term exposure to high blood sugar concentration that damages the organs inside the body which will eventually surface as diabetes related health complications.

Imagine there are two tubes available. Tube A is passed with water with mild mixture of sugar and Tube B is passed with syrup of high sugar concentration. Liquid in Tube A is flown at fast speed while syrup in Tube B is flown at low speed (almost all diabetes patients have slow flowing blood). After a few days of continuously circling the liquid in the tubes, stop the cycle and drain away the liquids. Cut a section of the tubes respectively and observe the inner walls of the tubes, you will notice there is a layer of harden sugar on Tube B while the wall Tube A is clean.

Tube B is the exact condition happens to a diabetes patient’s blood capillaries over a long period of time. When the inner wall of the capillaries is covered by a layer of glucose, it is very hard or impossible for the nutrient exchange to take place. Cells or tissues around that zone will not be able to receive nutrients and oxygen for metabolism and cannot dispose of the waste products of respiration. Slowly, those cells will start to die off and as the tissues break down, the organs will start to fail.

The parts of the body that are easily affected by the poor blood circulation are the heart, kidneys, eyes, and brain. This is because the blood vessels in these organs are very fine and complex (with a lot of curves and twists) and all those corners are spots where the blood flow slows down which makes it much easier for the glucose to stick and deposit on the wall of the capillaries.

Over time, the blood supply to these areas will be blocked and lack of adequate oxygen and nutrients supply to cells within these organs will eventually lead to heart attacks, kidney failure, vision loss, and stroke. All of these diabetic health complications are fatal and they can visit anytime without prior warning.

Before your diabetes condition reaches the “Death Zone”, you should experience some warning signs. The warning signs I am talking about is in the feet and eyes. The common one is the Diabetic Feet. It is easy for the blood to flow down to the feet (with the help of gravity force and pump pressure from the heart) but it is very hard for the blood to climb back up. This poor blood circulation will increase the probability capillary blockage. This will result in the numbness and tingling feeling on the feet. If there is any open wound in the diabetic feet, it is very hard for the wound to heal and that will open the door to further infection which might end up with amputation!

Another warning sign is the blur vision or cataracts. Blood sugar abnormalities will thicken the wall of the fine blood vessels in the eye retina and over time. As the condition become worse, these blood vessels will swell and causes leak of fluid and blood into the retina. Many people with diabetes notice that their vision becomes blurry when their blood sugar increases. This is because the sugar in the blood is diffused into the lens of the eye which causes swelling and that will change the focal point of the eye. If the leaking or eye hemorrhage is not treated properly, it may result in permanent loss of vision.

The very pathetic part of diabetes is that it takes away the quality of your life long before it ends your life in a miserable way. It is self torture! Prevent it, while you still can.


Type 2 Diabetes – Chocolate and Cholesterol!

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Finally there is good news for chocolate-loving Type 2 diabetics. Eating chocolate with high polyphenol content might help prevent heart attacks! The results of a study designed to discover the affect of chocolate consumption on cholesterol, inflammation, weight and blood sugar control in diabetics will be published in November, 2010 in the journal Diabetes Medicine.

Researchers at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom enrolled 12 Type 2 diabetics into the study. The volunteers were randomly assigned to receive 45 grams of chocolate either with or without polyphenols. After 16 weeks, Type 2 diabetics consuming chocolate with polyphenols showed:

  • an increase in high-density lipoproteins
  • the good cholesterol, and
  • a decrease in total cholesterol, meaning that low-density cholesterol, or LDL, was decreased

Weight, C-reactive protein (associated with inflammation), and blood sugar control stayed the same in these Type 2 diabetics. The volunteers who ate chocolate without polyphenols remained the same also. The researchers then concluded that weight, inflammation, and blood sugar were unaffected by the high-polyphenol chocolate, but cholesterol was lowered.

According to the Hershey’s people, chocolate, and specifically, the cocoa, or non-fat portion of chocolate, is high in the same anti-oxidants found in many fruits, vegetables, tea and wine. This is not surprising when you realize that it comes from a plant. The anti-oxidants are the polyphenols mentioned in the study above. While consuming unlimited amounts of chocolate products, especially those high in added fats and sugar, is clearly not healthy chocolate or cocoa can help the body to repair itself and heal the damage from molecules called free radicals.

The National Institute of Health in Washington DC, United States, defines a free radical as a molecule or ion with a free electron, which makes it highly reactive and capable of stealing electrons from other molecules. Most free radicals contain at least one atom of oxygen.They are implicated in tissue damage callused by radiation, environmental chemicals and aging. Anti-oxidants such as polyphenols receive the extra oxygen with its extra electron, preventing the free radical from doing damage to the body’s other molecules.

When buying chocolate products, check the label for the polyphenol content. Again, according to Hersheys.com:

  • dark chocolate has a slightly higher antioxidant content than blueberries
  • cocoa has slightly less anti-oxidant content than blueberries but rates higher than pecans, cranberries, cherries,
  • walnuts, raspberries and prunes
  • milk chocolate ranks lower than those foods already mentioned, but is still higher in anti-oxidants than
  • red grapes, almonds and raisins

Discuss with your doctor or nutritionist how to make a moderate consumption of chocolate or cocoa a part of a healthy diet that will help to keep bad cholesterol levels down.

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