19Aug

How The Insulin Pump Has Changed Life For The Diabetic

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It’s important to recognise that everybody’s requirements are different for insulin infusion. Some may have to administer the hormone more often than others, whilst some people might need other ways than simple injection to administer the substance. By speaking with a doctor or a clinician, a diabetes sufferer will be able to discuss their options and decide which way they want to administer their infusion insulin every day.

Insulin Infusion pumps are widely considered one of the most advanced ways to inject insulin into the body, however, they can carry a heavy price tag with an initial cost of up to $6,000, as well as the extra costs for the other equipment that is necessary. If you are lucky enough to have a great insurance plan to pay for this equipment it makes it easier than ever to use infusion insulin, which can minimise the impact that diabetes has on your life.

For those who suffer with diabetes, injecting insulin into their body can be problematic or difficult – especially when they are first diagnosed with the condition. For many, administering a substance like this can be traumatic. That’s why it’s important for people to realise that they are always able to contact their doctors both about the facts about their condition, and the different ways they can administer the hormone.

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Insulin is incredibly important for the body. Its function allows for the correct amount of glucose to remain flowing through the bloodstream. If the body has too much glucose, or even too little, disastrous effects can be had on the body. Insulin is one of two hormones in the body that regulate the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Insulin works by telling the liver, fat cells, muscle cells and other cells in the body to absorb some of the excess glucose that currently is flowing through the bloodstream. This means that the amount currently flowing can be regulated, and kept at a level that is safe.

If the body does not have insulin (which is what happens with diabetics whose pancreases are unable to secrete the hormone into the body correctly), then the individual will suffer from hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a condition that causes symptoms like extreme hunger, cold sweats and dizziness. If these symptoms can be found early enough, then kits like infusion insulin pumps can be used inject the correct amount of insulin on a regular basis.

Whether you’re using an infusion insulin pump, or other kits that simply involve needles, a variety of tools are available. Syringe auto-injectors are popular, whilst other commercial injectors are a totally different kind of equipment that allows people who have problems with other equipment to get the dosage of insulin that they require.

For whatever equipment is being used, cleanliness is key. Without clean equipment, infections can occur – causing more problems for the body. Be sure to use the right equipment, and the procedure can be made simple.

18Aug

Herbals for the Management of Diabetes

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Many people with Type 2 diabetes use plants, or plant parts, for the self-management of their medical problems. This is what most people refer to as herbal medicine, botanical medicine, or phytomedicine. In the United States more than one-third of people with diabetes use herbal or traditional and alternative medicine alone, or in combination with their prescribed anti-diabetic medication, according to the Johns Hopkins Point-of-Care Information Technology Center (Johns Hopkins POC-IT Center).

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There are many types of herbal preparations used for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. In fact, in almost every culture there is one herbal medicine intended for the management of increased blood sugar levels. However, there are only a few tested and evaluated systematically and scientifically for this purpose.

Here is a list of the most commonly used herbal and medicinal plants for the management of Type 2 diabetes:

Ginseng: Ginseng is one of the most popular medicinal herbs globally.

There are two major types of this herb:

1. Asian ginseng, the Panax ginseng
2. American ginseng, the Panax quinquefolius.

The active compounds in the ginseng herbs that makes them useful are the ginsenosides. According to one particular study, information from the Johns Hopkins POC-IT Center states ginsenosides can potentially improve insulin resistance. Ginseng can be safely used at a dosage of 1 to 3 grams per day.

However, the adverse effects of using this herbal medicine include:

*hypertension,
*headache,
*insomnia,
*nervousness and palpitations, and
*nausea.

Ginseng is also known to interact with the action of warfarin, an anticoagulant (more commonly referred to as a blood thinner). Ginseng unfortunately causes warfarin to be less effective.

Cinnamon: There is new evidence cinnamon can be helpful in regulating blood sugar. Cinnamon is not just another spice that can be used for cooking and baking. According to Johns Hopkins POC-IT Center, cinnamon can increase the effectiveness of insulin therefore improve your blood sugar level. Human trials indicate that taking between 1/4 and one teaspoon of cinnamon every day helps control blood sugar levels. However, various results from other studies contradict these findings. The safety profile of cinnamon is clean and there are no drug interactions noted with the use of cinnamon.

Bitter melon: Different cultures and traditions used bitter melon (Momordica charantia) for the management of diabetes. Many people believe it can decrease insulin resistance… bitter melon is composed of several compounds with confirmed blood sugar lowering properties. It must be pointed out though, clinical trials regarding this herb show contradicting results.

Although taking as little as 2 ounces of the juice has shown good results in clinical trials, adverse effects with the use of bitter melon include:

*gastrointestinal symptoms, and
*favism, or bursting of red blood cells,

with the ingestion of seeds in certain G6PD deficient diabetics.

Fenugreek: The herb fenugreek is one of the most impressive natural substances helpful for people with diabetes. Fenugreek is a traditional spice often used in curry in Asia and the Mediterranean countries. Fenugreek is believed to contain 4-hydroxyisoleucine, a chemical that can enhance insulin production and secretion by the pancreas. Some clinical studies claim its effectiveness in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. It lowers blood sugar much the same way that drugs in the class of sulfonylureas (such as glyburide) do.

Adverse reactions related to fenugreek use include:

*dizziness,
*flatulence, and
*diarrhea.

However, no herb to drug interaction has been observed.

Fenugreek helps you lose weight because the seeds of fenugreek are rich in dietary fiber, so it delays stomach emptying and after-eating sugar spikes. As the seeds are bitter, taking supplements may be the better choice. As lowered blood sugar is an expected effect of using fenugreek, if you combine it with medications and do not monitor yourself properly, you could find yourself with very low blood sugar. Make sure you see your doctor regularly to supervise your regimen.

17Aug

Eating Nuts Every Day May Help To Keep Diabetes Away

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Making sensible food choices is the number one way to manage Type 2 diabetes. One of the best decisions you can make is to include a healthy selection of nuts in your eating plan. Not only are certain nuts good for your heart and cholesterol, but they have an amazing positive effect on your Type 2 diabetes, as well.

Numerous studies have shown nuts protect against heart disease. And it also appears these crunchy little morsels help fight diabetes as well.

How do nuts help protect against Type 2 diabetes?

Nuts provide several health benefits:

  • the fiber and magnesium in nuts help maintain lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • as well, nuts are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats… which may also help prevent insulin resistance.
  • it’s also possible the antioxidants, phytochemicals, and protein in nuts may play a part in diabetes prevention as well

Studies show three nuts in particular have amazing health benefits for diabetics:

1. Walnuts serve as a naturally occurring wonder food. They are great for the heart, for lowering “bad” cholesterol, and they have their own way of helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. For those who do not fancy eating them outright, they can be made into a plethora of dishes where they are hidden, but their substantial benefits can still be derived.

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2. Almonds. Research has shown almonds have the amazing ability of lessening blood sugar increases and insulin levels, even four hours after a meal. It has also been proven when they are combined with food that rates high on the glycemic food index, they also have the ability to reduce spikes in blood sugar levels after a meal.

The positive effects of almonds can also be directly attributed to the volume which is consumed. It has been found as an individual integrates a reasonable amount of almonds in their eating plan, they lower their risk of spikes in blood sugar levels after eating.

3. Cashew nuts. Another popular nut that has taken its place in the arsenal of diabetes management is cashews. Cashews have a few distinctions of their own. For one, approximately 75 percent of the nut is made up of a mono-unsaturated fat, called oleic acid, that is not only good for the heart, but it also happens to be the same type of fat that is present in olive oil… another heart-healthy product.

Oleic acid is a wonder of its own in the fact it is great for lowering triglyceride levels, which is a type of fat found in our blood. This is important in and of itself since high triglycerides are a major contributor to heart disease. So, in essence, cashews ward off two complications at the same time.

Another interesting component of cashews is that they are listed as having some of the lowest fat content of all nuts. This makes them a naturally good choice for snacking. But some of the best news comes from the fact that it appears cashews may also be beneficial for monitoring hyperglycemic effects.

A word of warning though: One quarter cup of nuts contains approximately 200 calories (840 kj), so it’s important to find ways to substitute nuts for other foods such as sweets and chips.

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