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Other beneficial foods for diabetic patients

1. Almond: The use of almond, after its oil has been extracted, is considered beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. It does not contain any starch.

2. Banana: Bananas are believed to the useful in controlling diabetes. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, “Banana and Skimmed milk furnish a simple and effective method for weight reduction in treating diabetic patients”. Unripe bananas, cooked as a vegetable, are considered especially valuable in this disease.

3. Buttermilk: The use of the buttermilk has been found beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. Lactic Acid contained in it stimulates the secretion of the pancreas and thereby helps control blood sugar levels.

4. Flour: Certain whole grain cereals also help to lower blood sugar in diabetes. A mixture of certain flours made from cereals, grains, legumes, and pulses are especially beneficial. One such mixture can be prepared by combining the flour of soyabean, black gram, jowar, bajra, Bengal gram, wheat bran and barley. This mixed flour can be used for preparing chapattis.

5. Legumes: Lentils and other legumes are considered valuable in diabetes. According to American journal of Clinical Nutrition, they are specially effective in the diet of diabetes patients because of their slow release of energy.

6. Sour Fruits: Certain tart or sour fruits have proved to be valuable in stimulating the pancreas and increase the production of insulin. These fruits include sour apple and sour citrus fruits, which can invigorate pancreas.

7. Teas: Certain types of teas are considered beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. Tea prepared from parsley has been found to lower blood sugar. Certain communities use tea made from tender leaves of walnut for controlling diabetes.

8. Tomato: Tomato with its low carbohydrates contents is very good food for diabetic patients and for those who want to reduce their body weight. It is said to be very effective in controlling the percentage of sugar in the urine of diabetic patients.

Start taking magnesium and chromium rich diets to control your diabetes

Manganese – Manganese is vital in the production of natural insulin and therefore important in the treatment of diabetes. It is found in citrus fruits, in the outer covering of nuts, grains and in the green leaves of edible plants.

The loss of magnesium in diabetic ketosis has been known for many years. About 37 percent of infants born to diabetic mothers have been found to be lacking in this mineral. It has also been found that children aged five to 18 years with well-controlled type-1 diabetes have lows serum magnesium values.

Magnesium – Magnesium also decreases the need for vitamin B6 and if it is increased in the diet, the amount of xanthurenic acid in the blood is reduced, even without vitamin B6 supplement. Moreover, magnesium is also necessary to active enzymes containing vitamin B6. Blood magnesium being particularly low in diabetic, it may be reasonably inferred that diabetes can result from a combined deficiency of vitamin B6 and magnesium. It may therefore, be advisable for any person with diabetes or a family history of the disease to take the at least 500 mg of magnesium and 10 mg of B6 daily.

Magnesium is widely distributed in foods. It forms part of the chlorophyll in green leaves. Other good sources of this mineral are nuts, Soya bean, alfalfa, apple, fig, lemon, peach, almond, whole grains, brown rice, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.

Chromium – According to Dr. Richard A. Anderson, at the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, whatever the blood sugar problem, chromium tends to normalize it. Dr. Anderson believes that increased prevalence of type-2 diabetes is partly due to a deficiency of chromium in the diet.

Chromium has been found beneficial in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Columbia University scientists, in a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition established chromium’s benefits for type-2 diabetes. They confirmed that chromium enhances insulin production in the body. Some other researchers have also confirmed that chromium helps stabilize blood sugar and increases energy.

Studies have also revealed that chromium supplements control total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raise the good or HDL cholesterol. In some patients with impaired glucose tolerance, especially children with protein malnutrition, glucose tolerance showed improvement after they were given chromium supplements.

The recommended daily allowance of chromium is 50 to 100 micrograms. Some foods rich in chromium, besides broccoli, are whole grain cereals, nuts, mushrooms, rhubarb, Bengal gram, kidney beans, Soya beans, black gram, betel leaves, bottle gourd, corn oil, brewer’s yeast, pomegranate and pineapple.

Discover how to prevent it developing into type 2 diabetes

Pre-diabetes means you probably have higher than normal blood-sugar levels but, fortunately, not high enough to be classed as being diabetic.

However it does mean that you are susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease if you do nothing about it.

Unfortunately, more often than not, there are no physical symptoms to warn you if you are in a pre-diabetes stage. So it’s worth getting yourself checked out and, if you fall into any of these categories, ask your physician if you are likely to be at risk of pre-diabetes:

* You are overweight and you are aged 45 or older

* Your weight is OK and you’re aged 45+. Ask your doctor during a routine check-up if testing is appropriate for you

* You are an adult under age 45 and you are overweight

* You have high blood pressure; low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides

* Your family has a history of diabetes

* There’s a history of gestational diabetes in your family

* You have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds

* You belong to an ethnic or minority group that has a high risk for diabetes, such as African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino.

The good news is, if after testing you discover that you do have pre-diabetes; your blood-sugar levels are rather higher than they should be but not in the diabetes range, you can take positive action to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

* Reduce the amount on your plate – eating just a little less helps reduce your risk factor.

* Avoid snacks; if you must snack go for a healthy rather than sugar-laden option.

* Drink a glass of water 10 minutes before eating to take the edge of your appetite so you don’t overindulge in food.

* Choose whole-grain foods or sugar-free foods.

* Take a little more exercise; such as walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift or an escalator.

* Don’t shop for food when you are feeling hungry. You’ll be more tempted to buy the foods that increase your blood-sugars; add on weight and generally create a higer risk of moving from your pre-diabetes state into being a fully diagnosed type 2 diabetic.

Taking these and other simple actions can reduce your risk of turning pre-diabetes into type 2 diabetes.

The Truth about Diabetes

What if you are diagnosed with diabetes? Are you going to stay indoors and just inject yourself with insulin everyday? Maybe you need to understand the facts about diabetes and accept it wholeheartedly so that it can’t be a heavy burden in your part.

Let us start from defining what diabetes really is and the probable causes that brings this disease. Diabetes is a disorder which is the misuse of the digested food for growth and energy by our body. The food that we take in is broken down into glucose, the simplest form of sugar in our blood.

Glucose is the main source of energy of our body. And diabetes actually causes the glucose to back up in our bloodstream, and as more of it is present in our bloodstream, our blood sugar can rise too high.

There are two types of diabetes: the type 1 and type 2. The first is also called juvenile-onset diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes where the body stops any further production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use the glucose to produce energy. Persons diagnosed with this type are required to take insulin injections daily in order to survive. Children or young adults are likely to develop this type of diabetes.

The second type is also called the adult-onset diabetes of non insulin-dependent diabetes where the body does not produce insulin or unable to use insulin properly. It also consumes injected insulin for survival.

Diabetes is a life-long condition. So understanding the facts about this disease is important, so that the person affected can sustain his life throughout, despite the presence of diabetes. This allows you to live a full and enjoyable life.

Some useful vitamins that lower blood sugar

Certain vitamins and minerals have been found beneficial in lowering blood sugar and thus useful in the treatment of diabetes.

Vitamin B complex – Vitamins of the B group are valuable in the treatment of diabetes. Despite and adequate intake of these vitamins, diabetics often have abnormally small amounts of vitamin B in their blood because of high urinary loss of exhibit symptoms of vitamin B deficiency. Marked clinical improvement has been reported in patients of diabetes with only 16000 units of daily supplements of vitamin B complex. Because these vitamins help reduce blood fat and cholesterol, they should be generously supplied at all times.

Thiamine or Vitamin B1 – Of the various vitamins of the B group, thiamine or vitamin B1 and pyridoxine or vitamin B6 is of special value in diabetes. Diabetic diet inadequate in vitamin B1, often leads to the development of neuritis, which is relieved as soon as large amounts of this vitamin are given. Vitamin B1 is said to be particularly valuable in preventing damage to the brain during diabetic acidosis. The greater the insulin requirement, the higher is the requirement for vitamin B1, pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 and biotin or vitamin B8.

The primary natural vegetable sources of thiamine are wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, the outer layers of rice, wheat and other whole grain cereals, pulses, nuts, peas, lime, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, banana and apple. Those of pantothenic acid are wheat germ, whole grain bread, green vegetables and peanuts. Biotin is found in brewer’s yeast, rice bran, rice germ, rice polishing and peanut butter.

Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6 – When diet is inadequate in vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, and essential amino acid tryptophan, is converted into a substance known as xanthurenic acid. It has been shown in laboratory experiments that xanthurenic acid tends to damage the pancreatic tissue.

Diabetics who have been given 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily have shown a rapid and marked decrease in urinary xanthurenic acid. In one case, the quantity dropped almost 97 percent the first day. Total absence of urinary xanthurenic acid amongst those who continued with a daily dosage of 10 to 20 mg of this vitamin indicated that none was being formed in the body. Diabetics are thus greatly helped by a liberal intake of vitamin B6. The main natural sources of pyridoxine are milk, brewer’s yeast, cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables and carrot.

Traveling with Diabetes: 11 tips to make it easy for you

Traveling with diabetes requires preparation both before and during your trip. Here are 11 tips to help you make sure your diabetes doesn’t interfere with the pleasures of travel.

1. Visit your doctor at least a month before you leave to make sure your diabetes is under control. If you need to do any stabilizing, a month will give you enough time. The same month should let your body settle down after any necessary immunization shots, so get those at the same time.

2. Get a letter from your doctor certifying that you are diabetic, and listing the various medications and supplies you must carry with you. Without this, you might have difficulties passing through Security at airports and international border crossings.

3. Also get a prescription for your insulin or other diabetes medication. Even though you should have enough syringes, strips and medication to last for the duration of your trip, it’s always good to have a prescription in case you lose them, they become spoiled because of extreme weather conditions, or your trip lasts longer than you original planned.

4. Wear an ID bracelet announcing your have diabetes, and also carry a small card saying so in the local language of the places you will be visiting.

5. Learn to express specific diabetic requirements in the local languages. Since you probably won’t know how to pronounce the words, the easiest way is to carry them on a printed card and simply point to what you want to say.

6. Pack at least twice as much medication and supplies as you think you’ll need. Put half in your suitcase, and half in a special bag that never leaves your possession. The container for these supplies should be sturdy, preferably hard sided, for protection.

7. Carry a sealed pack containing hard candies or glucose tablets in case irregular eating makes your blood sugar drop too low. Your pack should also contain emergency snacks, such as crackers, cheese, fruit, juice — in case you must wait too long between meals, which can happen when we are traveling.

8. Insulin can lose its strength in extreme temperatures, so carry your supply, as well as pills and other medication, in a thermally insulated bag.

9. Carry bandages and first-aid cream, comfortable walking shoes and protective beach shoes. Your feet neet extra special care while you’re traveling.

10. While on your trip, check your blood sugar more often than usual. Many factors, such as fluctuating temperatures and changing time zones, can cause wild swings in your blood sugar levels. If you check often, you’ll be better able to take corrective action as needed.

11. Finally, contact the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers at 417 Center Street, Lewiston, NY 14092. They can provide you with a list of English speaking doctors in the countries you’ll be visiting.

As long as you take sensible precautions to care for your diabetes, there’s no reason why it needs to stand in the way of a happy travel experience. Bon voyage!

Toddlers with Diabetes: Caring for the Littlest Patients

Toddlers with diabetes are suffering from Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes or diabetes juvenile. The number of children under the age of five being diagnosed with diabetes juvenile has almost doubled in the past five years. Caring for toddlers is a challenge under the best of circumstances, and toddlers with diabetes need even more special care and attention.

Symptoms

First, if you are wondering whether your toddler has diabetes in the first place, here are some signs to look for:

•often complains of feeling thirsty
•hungry more often
•suddenly loses weight
•urinates more than usual, diapers more wet than usual
•occasional fruity smelling breath

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, discuss with your doctor the possibility you have a toddler with diabetes.

Special challenges

You or your caregiver will have to closely monitor your child’s blood sugar throughout the day to be sure it stays within a safe range. Ideally this means 6-12 mmol just before meals.

Toddlers with diabetes also require daily insulin shots, which can be traumatic for you as well as your child! When administering both finger pricks for the blood sugar tests and the insulin shots, you should be as quick and calm as possible about the procedure. If your child is playing, go where he or she is rather than having them come to you. That helps establish the procedure as just a normal part of their day.

Of course, your child will resist these procedures, and it can be hard for parents and caregivers to remember they are doing this for the child’s health. It must be done, however, and you may have to learn to restrain the child gently. It also helps to give them a big hug and a kiss after it’s finished to make sure they understand you still love them even though this hurt a bit.

Another problem is that toddlers with diabetes can’t tell you when they are feeling the effects of low blood sugar, which is another reason for careful monitoring.
Toddlers in general can be picky eaters, and toddlers with diabetes are no different. The challenge here is in making sure that all your alternatives fit within a healthy and appropriate diabetic diet. Have as wide a selection of those foods available as possible so that when they do refuse certain foods, you can tempt them with an appropriate alternative.

Toddlers with diabetes should otherwise develop the same way, and at the same rate, as other children of their age. So as long as you take the necessary precautions to treat the diabetes, and your child seems normal in all other ways, there’s no reason why he or she shouldn’t be a perfectly healthy and happy child.

Preparing For Disaster. Diabetic Preparedness Key To Survival This Season

When Hurricane Katrina struck last August, people with diabetes faced particular challenges, especially those using insulin. More than 20 million people in America have diabetes, and many others suffer with other chronic health conditions.

During this year’s hurricane and tornado season, Eli Lilly and Company, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of insulin, suggests that individuals with diabetes or any other chronic illness should follow the guidelines below, no matter where you live:

• Medicine and supplies should be stored in a defined location to be easily gathered if you must quickly evacuate home or work.

• Keep cool packs in your freezer to keep medicine cool.

• Compile an easy-to-reach kit including:

• Medical supplies: syringes, cotton balls, tissues, swabs, blood glucose testing strips, blood glucose meter, lancing device and lancets, urine ketone testing strips, items for your therapy and blood sugar monitoring

• An empty hard plastic bottle to dispose of syringes and lancets

• Cooler for insulin

• Pen and notebook

• Glasses

• Copies of prescriptions, insurance cards, medical information and contact list, including caregiver’s and physicians’ names and phone numbers

• Physician’s orders for your child’s care on file at school and in your disaster kit

• Glucagon emergency kit and fast-acting carbohydrate (glucose tablets, orange juice)

• Nonperishable food such as granola bars and water

• First-aid kit, flashlight, whistle, matches, candles, radio with batteries, work gloves

• Supplies for at least a week

• Something containing sugar in case you develop low blood sugar.

“No one can fully anticipate a natural disaster, but with preparation, people with diabetes can manage their disease,” said Dr. Sherry Martin, medical advisor, Eli Lilly and Company. “Taking the time to prepare could make a huge difference in an emergency.”

If disaster strikes, remember to:

• Maintain meal plan, keep hydrated.

• Monitor blood sugar and record numbers.

• Wear shoes and examine feet often. If a foot wound develops, seek medical attention immediately.

• If relocated, call your doctors as soon as possible to maintain the continuity of your medical care.

• Parents of children with diabetes should identify which school staff members will assist children in an emergency.

• If you are displaced, identify yourself immediately as a person with diabetes so authorities can provide medical care.

More Aware Of Diabetes-Heart Disease Link

With diabetes on the rise, doctors are extremely concerned about associated risks such as heart disease and stroke, which together kill two out of three people with diabetes. Fortunately, a recent study indicates that more people with diabetes are making the link between diabetes and their increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

According to a 2005 awareness survey conducted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC), 45 percent of people with diabetes understand their increased risk for heart disease, which is up from 35 percent in 2001.

Experts believe even more awareness is needed, however. The ADA and ACC continue to work together to share important information, tools and resources to encourage people with diabetes-and health care providers-to learn more about the impact of diabetes on the heart.

Other findings from the 2005 ADA/ACC awareness survey show:

• 69 percent know they may develop high blood pressure (38 percent in 2001).

• 64 percent know they are at risk for cholesterol problems (37 percent in 2001).

Importantly, more people with diabetes are talking to their health care providers about managing diabetes comprehensively:

• 45 percent of people with diabetes now have a goal for blood glucose levels (30 percent in 2003).

• 57 percent have a goal for blood pressure (34 percent in 2003).

• 61 percent have a goal for cholesterol (34 percent in 2003).

These figures are encouraging, but awareness may not be moving fast enough to keep pace with the growing prevalence of diabetes.

Recent statistics indicate diabetes has risen by over 14 percent since last estimates in 2003. The need for increased education and awareness about the link between diabetes and heart disease is now more critical than ever.

Armed with the best information, people with diabetes can properly manage their diabetes, understand their risks for complications such as heart disease and stroke, and take action to live a longer, healthier life.

Natural Foot Care For Diabetics

Because of the disease diabetes, damage can be caused to blood vessels and nerves in the feet, then circulation may be impaired and infections can form on the feet without the person realizing. This can ultimately cause major complications and even amputation. Diabetes also impairs the immune system so diabetics are more prone to infection. Those who suffer from the disease should have regular foot examinations by their doctor and should know whether or not they have nerve damage.

To prevent and check whether there is injury to the feet you should get into a routine of checking and caring for your feet, this is especially important if you already have nerve or blood vessel damage or current foot problems. Here are twenty important natural tips for keeping your feet healthy:

1. Inspect your feet thoroughly every day.

2. Clean your feet daily in lukewarm water (test this with your hands) with a natural soap, dry them thoroughly to prevent fungal infection.

3. Protect your feet constantly by wearing well fitted, comfortable but sturdy shoes.

4. Never walk around without some kind of footwear to protect your feet.

5. Clean, dry cotton or wool socks are also a good way to protect your feet from pressure points and bacteria caused by sweat.

6. Always apply a little amount of a natural foot cream that contains antibacterial agents to the soles of your feet after bathing, avoiding the skin between the toes. Diabetics can find that the skin on their feet dries and cracks easily which can potentially leave them open to infection.

7. When cutting toenails always soak the feet in a good foot soak that has antibacterial properties in it to soften the nails and cleanse away any bacteria and grime from the nails. Remember to cut the nail straight across with a nail clipper, since curved nails are more likely to become ingrown.

8. Using a gentle natural foot scrub can smooth any small rough areas before they become a problem.

9. Exercise promotes good circulation so walk daily and don’t sit in one spot for too long. An easy exercise is to make circle with your feet ten times in each direction, keeping your leg as still as possible.

10. Sitting with your feet elevated for 10 minutes will also help your circulation.

11. Regularly massage your feet, this will also stimulate the circulation.

12. If you do notice a sore or any type of infection, see your doctor for treatment.

13. Stop smoking. It’s awful for the circulation and your health generally.

14. Have any bunions and corns removed by a professional to avoid infection.

15. Regularly clean the shower with a natural cleaner and spray a little diluted tea tree oil around the drain.

16. To keep your feet warm in bed wear loose, comfortable cotton or wool socks.

17. Always make sure your feet are kept at a comfortable temperature, avoiding cold feet.

18. If you have any pain in your feet see a podiatrist or your doctor immediately.

19. Use foot powder.

20. Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle; this will help prevent problems and complications.