Tag Archives: Borderline blood glucose

Type II Diabetes Epidemic

Diabetes Increases Risk for Heart Disease

Obesity ConceptMillions of people have Type II diabetes and the number is growing with the obesity epidemic. At first, as blood sugars rise, Type II diabetes is a silent disease without recognized symptoms, but behind-the-scenes, excess sugar molecules in the blood are causing harm.

Diabetes occurs when inadequate insulin is available for sugar metabolism. Instead of being used by cells for energy, the sugar molecules increase in the blood and interfere with cell function. This leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, vision impairment and kidney damage.

Type II diabetes is a complex metabolic problem. Although the body produces enough insulin at first, it isn’t being used properly because at the cellular level, insulin resistance develops. This stimulating the pancreas to produce more and more insulin, until the cells become distressed and die off, leaving the body unable to maintain proper insulin production. The disease worsens.

Treatment for diabetes is variable. It can be very complex, requiring numerous medications, self testing and the addition of insulin injections. Some people do very well for years in a pre-diabetic state. If a fasting blood sugar is minimally elevated, just taking the oral medication metformin, may reduce progression. But if the sugar continues to rise, additional treatment must be started as soon as possible to normalize the sugar.

If someone you know is overweight, particularly if the weight is carried around the waistline, blood sugar levels should be monitored and treated if elevated. Losing weight will help, but weight loss is not easy.

Best results occur with reduced caloric intake and healthful food choices, combined Family exercisewith exercise. Even walking thirty minutes a day, helps lower blood sugar, burns calories and improves longevity.

Type I diabetes is different from Type II. Type I is usually seen in young often thin people, including infants and children. Cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed and are unable to produce insulin, a hormone essential for sugar metabolism. Insulin cannot be taken orally. It must be injected or taken as a nasal spray.

obesityType II diabetes had been a disease of aging people until recent years when overweight children began developing this serious problem. Like adults, children are at risk for serious cardiovascular disease. Elevated blood glucose levels damage arteries throughout the body. Over time the vessels become so narrowed they cannot carry an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to vital organs. As more children become obese, more of them develop diabetes and are at risk for early heart disease.

So, what should we do? First, understand that Type II diabetes is a serious health risk even when no symptoms are apparent. The American Diabetes Association recommends having a fasting blood sugar test performed at least annually. Blood is taken after having nothing to eat or drink for at least eight hours. A fasting blood sugar above 100 is abnormal.

Another blood test, the hemoglobin A1C, measures red blood cell glucose attachment. This test correlates directly with the blood glucose levels over preceding weeks/months. If the A1C is 8, the glucose average has been 183mg/dl. Until more information becomes available, specialists believe an A1C goal of <7% is valuable in reducing health risks.

Symptoms of High Blood Sugar:
Excess urination (Ex.-Getting up at night repeatedly.)
Excess water consumption (Ex.-Drinking water during the night.)
Increased appetite, blurred vision, low energy
Neuropathy (burning pain and numb feelings in hands and feet)

Additional information regarding diabetes, healthful eating and weight control can be found on the following websites:
www.realage.com, www.diabetes.orgDiabetes Health in your handsBetty Kuffel, MD

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WEIGHT CONTROL THROUGH THE 5/2 EATING PLAN

The Five/Two Eating Plan

As a method of weight loss and weight control, this easy solution of five/two pertains to a 7 day eating plan. Once you have reached your ideal weight, you transition to healthy baseline calorie intake every day. If you gain a pound, then you can transition back to the 5/2 plan. This is how it works:

·         For 5 days a week, you eat a healthy diet based primarily on fruits, vegetables, a few nuts, a little olive oil, limiting pasta or rice to twice a week. Add limited whole grains tokabob veg the mix, with low-fat meat, including salmon or other similar fish. Mirror your food selections with the Mediterranean diet like people who live along the southern Italian coast and Greek islands. Eating primarily fresh fruits, vegetables, and little saturated fat, they tend to live longer, in better health and with lower heart disease.

·          For two days a week, eat very few calories, only 500-600. The two days must not be consecutive. Instead separate them such as Monday and Thursday.

 Why not do the low calorie days together? Harsh calorie restriction can trigger what researchers call the starvation response. With starvation, the body revs up to store calories by lowering the metabolic rate and packing on calories when food becomes available. It is a natural process to maintain life.

Even though the two low calorie days are not true fasting, if they are consecutive such as Monday and Tuesday, your metabolic rate may be affected. Separating the days, combined with daily exercise such as walking is known to increase metabolic rate and calorie burn. — And, with exercise, you are unlikely to stimulate a starvation response. In fact, with a marked reduction in calorie intake and consistent exercise, you will lose weight.

 British physician Michael Mosley, described the 5/2 diet in his book FastDiet in 2012. In a follow up study done at the Aston University in the UK, they found intermittent fasting (very low calorie days) more effective than daily calorie restriction and calorie counting. Favorable findings included:

  • Reduced weight
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced blood glucose
  • Reduced lipids (cholesterol)
  • Reduced blood pressure

True fasting (consuming no nutrition) has been shown to lower weight, prolong life, lower blood glucose and lower cholesterol levels. However, fasting also lowers metabolic rate, something you do not want, because your body becomes very efficient at storing excess calories and weight returns.

Eating two low calorie days per week is usually safe for Type 2 diabetics. Those taking medications and insulin must consult their medical provider for advice and to help manage medication dosages when reducing calorie intake. In the end, with weight loss, some Type 2 diabetics can reduce or stop some of their medications. Or, for those with borderline glucose elevations, weight loss and the drug Metformin, may help ward off the development of full-blown Type 2 diabetes. Without interventions, most people with borderline elevation of blood glucose will evolve to Type 2 diabetes within ten years.

 Pay special attention to your daily intake:

  • Choose fruits over sweets for desserts.
  • Exercise portion control. Avoid second helpings. Wait 30 minutes and see if you are really still hungry.
  • Do your best to prepare low calorie meals such as turkey breast instead of hot wings or steak.
  • Forget potatoes, pasta, gravy, cheese sauce and fattening salad dressing.
  • If you are preparing meals, serve light calorie recipes and fruit for dessert.
  • Take time to exercise

 Note: If you are, pregnant, breast feeding or a Type 1 diabetic, following a Mediterranean-type cuisine is healthy but do not follow the very low calorie day recommendations. However, this is a heart-healthy approach for those with high blood pressure and heart disease, even those who have had bypass and stent procedures.

 Betty Kuffel, MD

Follow: yourheartbook.com blog for additional updates

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YOUNG WOMEN WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES: BEWARE OF HEART DISEASE

PART 1 — PREVENT HEART DISEASE & SAVE YOUR LIFE

A recently released study from Johns Hopkins University not only confirms the relationship of coronary artery disease to Type 2 diabetes but emphasizes the importance of preventing progression of associated heart and vascular disease in young women.

When researchers analyzed data on 10,000 men and women without a history of heart disease, clear gender differences surfaced. Men with Type 2 diabetes did not develop the same increase in heart disease they found in women. Under age sixty, when women are usually at less risk for heart disease than men — they found presence of Type 2 diabetes increased female risk up to four times.

 Uncontrolled glucose in diabetes stimulates an inflammatory process affecting the whole body. Tissues become insulin resistant and blood sugar rises. This contributes to the development of artery narrowing and reduced blood flow to the heart and other organs. Arteries stiffen, cholesterol accumulates and arteries develop thick areas called plaques that begin blocking blood flow.

Coronary arteries supply the heart with blood and nutrients, when the arteries become too narrow to carry enough oxygen, discomfort may occur. At first the disease is silent. There are no symptoms. In some women, symptoms are subtle and not recognized as heart-related. These include: jaw aching, upper back discomfort, breathlessness or upset stomach. When these potential heart symptoms are recognized, both patients and their physicians must search for the cause.

In women, a special type of coronary artery disease called microvascular dysfunction may occur. This problem involves tiny branching arteries supplying the heart muscle. Often large surface arteries are open and even a specialized invasive study of the inside of the vessels called a coronary angiogram is normal. Further testing is needed to identify the cause. Risk factors must be reviewed, other reasons must be ruled out and an exercise tolerance test combined with nuclear medicine or echocardiogram is needed to make the diagnosis.

Women must be cognizant of symptoms and seek medical attention for full evaluation of heart risks and laboratory studies to evaluate blood glucose, blood lipids (cholesterol) and other silent diseases such as thyroid abnormalities and anemia.

♥  Sixty-four percent of women who die of sudden death had no recognized heart symptoms.

 ♥  Fifty percent of people who have heart attacks die before reaching the hospital.

 With cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death in adults, it is past time to take control, make lifestyle changes and improve health.

 Dr. Betty

TAKE ACTION TO AVOID TYPE 2 DIABETES

Person's Hands Pricking Their Finger with a Glaucometer

Type 2 Diabetes Increases Heart Attack Risk

Would you jump out of the way of a rolling car if you knew the inevitable impact might kill you? Type 2 diabetes is like a rolling car.

 If you have Type 2 diabetes, elevated blood sugars and accumulating intra-abdominal fat have already released your ‘brakes’ setting you in motion for a health crisis.

The bad news is: Type 2 diabetes often leads to coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in both women and men.

 The good news is: Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease are preventable. And —you have the ability to stop the progression of both diseases by eating healthy and making good lifestyle choices.

 If you’ve been told you have pre-diabetes or “borderline” blood sugar elevations, it is time to take control to stop cholesterol plaques from forming inside the large vessels on the surface of the heart. The build up of cholesterol gradually slows, and then stops blood flow causing a heart attack. Other arteries around the body are also affected. Blood flow in the neck and arteries feeding kidneys, eyes and limbs also become diseased.

A study presented this month at the American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions reported important findings: Women of all ages, from 19 to 84, showed Type 2 diabetes was a major contributor to arterial plaque buildup regardless of age, family history, smoking or having high blood pressure.

 If borderline blood glucose levels are present, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with weight control, exercise and the addition of the medication, Metformin. Men and women with Type 2 diabetes who keep their weight in check, eat healthy, exercise and take glucose-lowering medication also reduce their risks for heart disease, kidney damage and visual loss.

 Obesity is a major contributing factor to developing diabetes. Because so many people are overweight, the incidence of Type 2 diabetes has increased. Screening females for cholesterol plaques at younger ages is now recommended so the disease can be identified and aggressively treated. This may also pertain to men with Type 2 diabetes, although this particular study only included women.

Scale measuring tape jpeg Stop your run-away car. Take control. If weight is a problem for you, read my next blog on a new approach to lifetime weight management.

Betty Kuffel, MD