Impact Of Cardiovascular Disease
High blood sugar levels put stress on the body and can damage the nerves and small blood vessels, decreasing circulation.
This means that the heart has to work harder to deliver blood to the bodys tissues, especially those furthest away, such as in the feet and hands.
The increased workload damages the hearts own blood vessels. This can cause the heart to weaken and eventually fail.
A lack of blood reaching the bodys other organs and tissues starves them of oxygen and nutrition, which can cause them to die. Doctors refer to this as necrosis.
The American Heart Association estimate that adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to experience fatal heart disease than those without diabetes.
Among people aged 65 or older with the disease, the AHA report that:
of moderately intense aerobic exercise each week, such as brisk walking or dancing.
Diabetes And Healthy Weight
If you are overweight, even losing a small amount of weight, especially around the abdomen, helps to lower your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
It can be difficult trying to lose weight, so to get started set yourself a short-term, achievable goal. Try thinking about the food you are eating, whether you really need it, if it’s a healthy choice, and consider the portion size. An accredited practicing dietitian can help you set a realistic meal plan and answer any food related questions you may have.
Diabetes Sick Day Rules
If you need to take insulin to control your diabetes, you should have received instructions about looking after yourself when you’re ill known as your “sick day rules”.
Contact your diabetes care team or GP for advice if you haven’t received these.
The advice you’re given will be specific to you, but some general measures that your sick day rules may include could be to:
- keep taking your insulin it’s very important not to stop treatment when you’re ill your treatment plan may state whether you need to temporarily increase your dose
- test your blood glucose level more often than usual most people are advised to check the level at least four times a day
- keep yourself well hydrated make sure you drink plenty of sugar-free drinks
- keep eating eat solid food if you feel well enough to, or liquid carbohydrates such as milk, soup and yoghurt if this is easier
- check your ketone levels if your blood glucose level is high
Seek advice from your diabetes care team or GP if your blood glucose or ketone level remains high after taking insulin, if:
- you’re not sure whether to make any changes to your treatment
- you develop symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis
- you have any other concerns
Read more about sick day rules
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Dogs Who Have A Higher Risk Of Diabetes
While every pup can fall victim to this condition, there are some dogs that have a higher risk of developing diabetes than others. Understanding the potential triggers of this condition can help you better protect your dog going forward, and be aware of the developing illness when it occurs.
Some factors known to make a dog more high risk for developing diabetes include:
Not all of these triggers can be avoided, but many can with simple changes of behavior. By keeping your pup at a healthy weight range, you can eliminate a few potential factors on the list. Always try your best to offer your pup a quality diet, avoid offering any table scraps, and keep up with yearly veterinary exams.
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Diabetes And Brain Health
If you have diabetes, your doctor may screen you for depression or cognitive impairment. Older adults with diabetes are at higher risk for these conditions, compared with others their age who do not have diabetes. Having depression or cognitive impairment can make diabetes self-care challenging.
Your diabetes management plan will cover how to:
- Track your glucose levels. Very high glucose levels or very low glucose levels can be risky to your health. Your plan will show how often you should check your glucose and how often to get the A1C test. If you are managing your diabetes without taking insulin, you may not need to check your glucose as often.
- Make healthy food choices. The food you eat affects glucose levels, so its important to learn whats best for you to eat, how much, and when. If you are overweight, work with your health care team to come up with a plan to lose weight.
- Be active. Walking and other forms of daily exercise can help improve glucose levels in older people with diabetes. Set a goal to be more active most days of the week, and create a plan for being physically active that fits into your life and that you can follow. Your health care team can help.
- Take your medicines. You should take medicine as prescribed even when you feel good. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects or cannot afford your medicines. Also, let your doctor know if you have trouble taking your medicine or keeping track of your medication schedule.
The 2 Types Of Dog Diabetes
There are two types of canine diabetes. Insulin-deficient and insulin-resistant are two different forms you need to be aware of when you own a dog.
Insulin-deficient diabetes is when your dogs pancreas cannot produce hardly if any insulin at all. This is known as type 1 diabetes.
It is a life-long disease that will require your dog to be on medication for the remainder of his or her life.
This is the most common type for dogs, and also the most serious. Your dogs pancreas may be badly damaged or otherwise unable to function as it needs.
Treatments will be required to provide insulin to the body so the job of managing sugar levels can still be completed somehow.
Insulin-resistant diabetes is known as type 2. It can occur temporarily in female, pregnant dogs and in canines who are older and overweight.
This form of diabetes occurs when your dogs pancreas is still able to produce insulin on its own.
The problem is now that even with insulin present, glucose is still not being absorbed properly or transported to the cells it needs. Help will be needed to maintain sugar levels properly.
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Testing For Type 1 Diabetes
A simple blood test will let you know if you have diabetes. If youve gotten your blood sugar tested at a health fair or pharmacy, follow up at a clinic or doctors office to make sure the results are accurate.
If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also be tested for autoantibodies that are often present with type 1 diabetes but not with type 2. You may have your urine tested for ketones , which also indicate type 1 diabetes instead of type 2.
Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes
Four of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are:
- age being over the age of 40
- genetics having a close relative with the condition, such as a parent, brother or sister
- weight being overweight or obese
- ethnicity being of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin, even if you were born in the UK
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What Is Type 1 Diabetes
People who have type 1 diabetes cant use glucose for energy. Thats because their body stopped making the hormone insulin. Normally, after we eat, the amount of glucose in the blood goes up. When it does, the pancreas sends insulin into the blood. Insulin works like a key that opens the doors of the bodys cells to let the glucose in, giving the cells the energy they need.
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesnt make insulin. Without insulin, glucose can’t get into the cells. It stays in the blood, which leads to high blood sugar. Having too much sugar in the blood isnt healthy and can cause problems. Some problems happen quickly and need treatment right away, while others develop over time and show up later in life.
Aging With Diabetes: Why The Outlook Is Bright
Due to a constant stream of new research and medical advances, people with diabetes have good reason to be optimistic about the future. Every day we’re finding new ways to improve quality of life, and better ways to manage diabetes, better medicines, and better care. Certainly, controlling high blood pressure improves it over time, says Munshi.
For example, new research is pointing to inflammation as a cause of type 2 diabetes, and multiple clinical studies are underway to explore medication to reduce the incidence of the condition. Additionally, breakthroughs are being made in drugs, such as ruboxistaurin , which could reduce the likelihood of complications associated with diabetes, such as loss of eyesight.
Also, dont underestimate your own control in your future with diabetes. Think of the factors you can modify improve not only your life expectancy but your quality of life, Munshi says.
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Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Many people with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise alone. Others may need diabetes pills or insulin injections, along with medicines to manage other conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Over time, a person with diabetes may need both lifestyle changes and medication.
Once youve been told you have diabetes, a health care team will work with you to create a diabetes management plan. Your plan will be based on your lifestyle, preferences, health goals, and other health conditions you have.
As part of your plan, your doctor may prescribe one or more medications. Other health care professionals may also be involved. For example, a diabetes educator may help you understand diabetes and provide support as you make lifestyle changes to manage your diabetes. A dietitian may help with meal planning. An exercise coach may help you become more physically active.
What Is Canine Diabetes
Just like humans, dogs can get diabetes. Canine diabetes develops when a dog does not produce insulin at a normal rate, resulting in dysregulation within the body. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and glucose absorption in our furry friends, which helps our dogs sustain energy throughout the day.
When insulin is not produced the way it should be, this causes the body to produce more and more glucose. When there is no filter for a dogs glucose levels, this will cause a buildup of glucose within the bloodstream. This can not only lead to uncomfortable symptoms for the dog affected, but serious health complications in the future.
Most often, a dog will develop diabetes due to the insufficient functioning of the pancreas. One of the main roles of the pancreas is to produce insulin, resulting in diabetes mellitus if it is not performing as it should. While it is less common, dogs can develop diabetes as a secondary complication to prescribed medications or chronic medical conditions.
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Other Complications Caused By Diabetes
Blood sugar is not the only thing affected in dogs with unmanaged diabetes. Diabetes can cause serious health complications when it is not managed properly, ranging from minor concerns to life threatening issues.
Cataracts: About 75% of all dogs with diabetes will develop cataracts. Cataracts cause a cloudiness to develop within the lens of the eye, often leading to changes in vision or blindness if they are not corrected. Due to this, you should always speak to your vet about preventing cataracts if your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis : DKA is a severe complication in diabetic dogs. When the canine body is unable to gain access to glucose, it will begin to break down the storage of fats within the body. This occurrence leads to the production of ketones, which are essentially toxic to the body. If DKA is not addressed, dogs will begin to experience severe symptoms ranging from acute vomiting to neurological symptoms. This is usually seen in the final stages of diabetes, and is a sign that your dogs condition is currently unmanaged . DKA either requires aggressive medical treatment, or euthanasia if the owners are unable to treat.
Monitoring Your Own Blood Glucose
If you have type 2 diabetes, as well as having your blood glucose level checked by a healthcare professional every two to six months, you may be advised to monitor your own blood glucose levels at home.
Even if you have a healthy diet and are taking tablets or using insulin therapy, exercise, illness and stress can affect your blood glucose levels.
Other factors that may affect your blood glucose levels include drinking alcohol, taking other medicines and, for women, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.
A blood glucose meter is a small device that measures the concentration of glucose in your blood. It can be useful for detecting high blood glucose or low blood glucose .
If blood glucose monitoring is recommended, you should be trained in how to use a blood glucose meter and what you should do if the reading is too high or too low.
Blood glucose meters aren’t currently available for free on the NHS but, in some cases, blood monitoring strips may be. Ask a member of your diabetes care team if you’re unsure.
Read about diabetic eye screening.
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When To See A Doctor
Visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:
- weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- blurred vision
Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.
Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.
Why Is My Cat Diabetic And What Causes It
There are a few different ways that cats can contract diabetes. Feeding your cat too much people food can cause inflammation of the pancreas where you find insulin-producing cellswhich can inhibit insulin production. Prolonged use of steroids can also predispose a cat to diabetes. Being overweight puts cats at high risk for developing diabetes.
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Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
The symptoms of diabetes include feeling very thirsty, passing more urine than usual, and feeling tired all the time.
The symptoms occur because some or all of the glucose stays in your blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy. Your body tries to get rid of the excess glucose in your urine.
The main symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:
- urinating more often than usual, particularly at night
- itchiness around the genital area, or regular bouts of thrush
- cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- blurred vision caused by the lens of the eye becoming dry
The signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes are usually obvious and develop very quickly, often over a few weeks.
These signs and symptoms aren’t always as obvious, however, and it’s often diagnosed during a routine check-up.
This is because they are often mild and develop gradually over a number of years. This means you may have type 2 diabetes for many years without realising it.
Early diagnosis and treatment for type 2 diabetes is very important as it may reduce your risk of developing complications later on.
How Is Diabetes Managed In Dogs
The mainstays of diabetes management are insulin, dietary modification, and a consistent routine of moderate exercise.
Insulin is given by injections, usually twice daily, once in the morning and again in the evening.
It is important to monitor blood sugar and watch for signs of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.
Your vet will help you to learn how and when to adjust insulin dosing in order to maintain optimum blood sugar control.
The goal of dietary modification is to optimize the dogs bodyweight and provide the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats, while controlling portion size and caloric intake.
Exercise helps burn calories, increases the conversion of sugar in the body to energy and can improve the cells sensitivity to insulin.
However, strenuous exercise can lead to hypoglycemia and, so, should be avoided.
You should also keep track of your dogs condition in order to manage his diabetes.
Maintain a diary in which you can record the dogs water and food intake. Also record the number of times he urinates each day.
You should also write down the times each day that you give your dog insulin injections, as well as the dose that is given.
In addition, write down the results of blood tests. Take the diary with you when you visit your vet.
This will be a huge help in assisting the vet to evaluate the dogs condition and work with you to optimize the dogs care.
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