Diabetic retinopathy: Tim’s story

I’ve always grown up with diabetes. It’s just become part of my life. But I’ve never really thought about side-effects. They had always been something you could get but I wouldn’t get, or something I might get in the future when I was really old rather than now. There’s loads of them, blindness, amputations, kidney failure, an increase in heart disease, there’s an increase in most things if you’ve got diabetes. And you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s never gonna happen to me.” In 2004, I was asked to go for a routine eye test at a hospital in Ealing. So I turned up and it was a full-on eye test. The old eye tests had not really done much investigation, whereas this was an actual photograph of the back of my eye. What they do is take a photograph of your retina. So you put your chin on a ledge and they put the lens literally next to your eyeball.

Big flash and they take a photograph. They blow it up on a screen and they can see all the detail of your eye, all the blood vessels. Then they can work out where there’s a problem, if there is a problem. And they found out that I had retinopathy from that photograph. My understanding of retinopathy is that it’s a problem with the blood vessels in the retina, where they’re leaking and it’s that leak that has to be sorted out, because if it gets near the centre of vision then it can become dangerous and can make you go blind.

So with retinopathy you have to try and stop the leaking blood vessels. It was actually quite far gone, which was the scary thing, so if I’d gone five years earlier, or two years earlier maybe, it could have been better, because they would have caught it sooner. But I was a heavy smoker at the time, I was partying and drinking a lot, smoking a lot and having fun. And the consultant said to me, “Unless you give up smoking, you will go blind.” I was like, “What?!” It was a really stunning thing to be told. It’s just all down to me. To improve your eyesight you just have to make lifestyle changes. I gave up the smoking, obviously, which was the really big thing. And it’s all about getting your HBA1C long-term blood sugar down a bit.

I’ve had no other treatment at all, it’s just been a case of watching what I eat and living a slightly better life than I was before. I’ve still got background retinopathy but it’s under control. But if I went back to my old ways, then it would reappear very quickly, which is why you have an eye test every six months. Because six months is quite a long time in the health of an eye..

As found on Youtube

9 Ayurvedic Home Remedies For Diabetes

Herbs are explained in Ayurveda to lower and balance the blood sugar in the body naturally. Here are some home remedies you may not be familiar with which can easily control sugar levels in the body
Remedy 1 Bitter Gourd it is also known as Carla it is considered as the best home remedy for diabetes. It purifies blood Carla can be taken as a juice as a vegetable and also as a powder form

Remedy 2 Fenugreek seeds Take two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds and soak them in water. Soak overnight and the next day in the morning strain the water into a glass have this water daily in the morning by making it as daily routine you can control blood sugar levels. It stimulates the pancreas which increase in the production of insulin

Remedy 3, Cinnamon It reduces blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin, one can use it in curries are also in tea flavor . Take some water and boil it for 10 minutes. Add cinnamon in boiling water allow it to boil for 5 minutes ; after boiling for 5 minutes now filter this water into a glass and have this water daily in the morning with empty stomach for better results.

Remedy 4 Basil leaves .

Basil leaves have many medicinal values. It enhances the secretion of insulin in our body it is an antioxidant and essential oil that has so many diabetic benefits. Take some water and boil them for 10 minutes now add few basil or tulasi leaves to boiling water. Filter this into a glass and drink.

Remedy 5, mango leaves .. Use mango leaves for managing diabetes as these hels to reduce the intestinal absorption of glucose which lowers glucose level. For this we need mango Leaves water now let’s start the process take some water in a bowl have some fresh to wash the mango leaves cut into pieces soak them in the water and leave it for overnight. The next day in the morning filter the water and have this water with empty stomach .It improves blood lipid profile

Remedy 6, Curry leaves ..

Curry leaves have many important minerals which activate Beta Cells of pancreas that are responsible for production of insulin.

Remedy 7, Flax seeds Flax seed stabilize blood sugar levels and it is great antioxidant . These seeds helps in digestion of sugar and as well as fat.

Remedy 8, Indian Blackberry Indian blackberry has a hypoglycemic effect which reduces blood sugar it can be taken in the powder form are you can chew its leaves to get more effective benefits

Remedy 9 Aloe Vera Aloe Vera has traditional uses as a medicine in diabetes. Aloe Vera lowers blood sugar in diabetes it lowers blood glucose and blood lipid levels.

As in any diabetes supplement you may take you may wish to consult your doctor first particularly if you are using a diabetic medication of some kind. I would regularly test my blood sugar levels to see if the remedy is having an effect or not. I would also probably try one at a time.

Peanut Butter and Diabetes?

 

Hello, I’m Ty Mason from TheDiabetesCouncil.com, researcher, writer and I have type 2 diabetes. Today I’m going to answer the question, is peanut butter good for diabetes. So who invented peanut butter? I bet you were going to say George Washington Carver right? Well, he did “invent” something similar to what we call peanut butter today. Marcellus Gilmore Edson was awarded U.S. Patent 306,727( for the production of peanut butter) in 1804.   Carver was merely 20 at the time. But possibly a little bit closer to which is something we use today was developed by Dr John Harvey Kellogg( yes, the cereal person) in 1895,  Then a St. Louis Doctor made a spread for this patients who needed protein but had difficulty chewing. This spread was first introduced at the St Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Regardless of who invented it, I really like peanut butter.

I personally am a Jif guy with all respect to the Skippy and other label devotees. Nutritionally peanut butter is a powerhouse. Two tablespoons of peanut butter contain approximately 12 grams of healthy poly- and monounsaturated fattens, and nearly 8 grams of protein. Peanut butter also contains no cholesterol. The carbohydrate contents of peanut butter is minimal, with less than 7 grams per serving.

The glycemic index of peanut butter is a extremely low-grade 14 which delivers the glycemic load to perfectly ZERO. Peanut butter will not elevate your blood sugar and it also helps regulate your blood sugar with all the amino battery-acids and proteins. When eaten with high-GI meat, peanut butter also helps lowering the spike of blood sugar after snacking. Carol S. Johnson, Ph.D ., guided a study at Arizona State University where researchers likened the blood-sugar levels of two snacks. One snack consisted of a buttered bagel and juice. The second snack substituted the butter with peanut butter which resulted in a minimal rise and fall of blood sugar, while the buttered bagel caused the level considerably more. So YES, peanut butter is very good for diabetes. Feed up! Merely be careful with the jelly!

As found on Youtube

Got Diabetes? Quit Smoking

It’s time you quit smoking particularly if you are diabetic. But, If you have diabetes, you may need to more closely monitor your blood sugar after you quit. New research found that diabetes cases who quit smoking could have more trouble keeping their blood sugar under control . The authors of the results of the study supposed cases should be proactive about their blood sugar during the first few years after ceasing smoking.

Still, the researchers stressed that the benefits of ceasing are value this additional effort, as smoking with diabetes can cause potentially lethal complications. Ask your doctor for help to quit smoking, today ..

cigarette photo

Diabetes Fast Facts

( CNN ) Here’s a look at diabetes , a disease that affects millions of people around the world.

Diabetes is distinguished by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. The illnes can lead to serious complications such as blindness, kidney damage, cardiovascular disease, limb amputations and premature death .

Facts :
Worldwide, the number of people living with the potentially fatal illness has quadrupled since 1980, to more than 400 million , according to the World Health Organization( WHO ).

29. 1 million people in the United States have diabetes, about 9.3% of the population . Of this number, 8.1 million( 27.8%) remained undiagnosed .

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States .

There are several types of diabetes:Prediabeties, Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes .

Prediabetes occurs when blood glucose levels is more important than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Before developing Type 2 diabetes, people almost always have prediabetes. Research has shown that some long-term damage to the body may occur during prediabetes .
Type 1 diabetes develops when the body’s immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells, the only cells in the body that make insulin. This form of diabetes usually strikes children and young adults. Merely 5-10% of the persons with diabetes have Type 1. Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes may be autoimmune, genetic or environmental. There is no known style to avoid Type 1 diabetes .
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells do not use insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes is the most common kind of diabetes and in adults, it accounts for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. It is associated with older age, obesity , family history, physical inactivity and race/ ethnicity. It is more common in African Americans, Latino Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, although still rare, is being diagnosed more frequently .

Gestational diabetes is a form of glucose fanaticism diagnosed during pregnancy. It affects about 4% of all pregnant women. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn’t mean that a woman had diabetes before she conceived, or that she will have diabetes after giving birth .

Other types of diabetes result from genetic conditions, surgery, drugs, infections and other illness. Such types of diabetes account for 1% to 5% of all diagnosed lawsuits .
Possible Symptoms  of Diabetes includes:
Frequent urination
Excessive thirst
Unexplained weight loss
Extreme hunger
Sudden changes in vision
Numbness in hands or feet
Tiredness
Dry skin
Slow healing wounds
Frequent infections
Complications :
Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about two to four times higher than adults without diabetes .

The risk for stroke is two to four times higher among people with diabetes .

People with diabetes are at high risk for high blood pressure

Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20 -7 4 years .

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure .

Between 60% and 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe different forms of nervous system damage or neuropathy .

More than 60% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur on people with diabetes .
U.S. Diabetes Statistics :
An estimated 86 million people 20 or older have pre-diabetes .

21 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes .

29. 1 million, or 9.3% of the U.S. population have diabetes .

8. 1 million people have diabetes, but have not been diagnosed .

28. 9 million, or 12.3% of all people 20 years or older have diabetes .

208, 000 people under 20 years old have type 1 or type 2 diabetes .

11. two million, or 25.9% of all people 65 or older have diabetes .

15. 5 million, or 13.6% of all men aged 20 years or older have diabetes .

13. 4 million, or 11.2% of all women aged 20 years or older have diabetes .

2012 – 1.7 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older .

November 16, 2012 – The CDC releases a report showing that 18 countries had a 100% or more increased number of the prevalence of diabetes from 1995 to 2010. Forty-two states ensure an increase of at the least 50% .

May 4, 2015 – A analyze published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation sees a possible connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more: www.cnn.com

Diabetes: Yet another reason to get out of that chair

treadmill desk photo
Photo by drothamel

( CNN) We already knew that sitting, one of most people’s favorite activities, is a possibility killing you, but now we have new proof that before it gets you, you may get type 2 diabetes, too .

How

Earlier analyzes have shown that sedentary behavior can lead to kind 2 diabetes and many other illness including cardiovascular problems, cancer and other chronic conditions. There’s a reason physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth-leading risk factor for demise for people all around the world, according to the World Health Organization .

So what can you do to reduce your sitting period?

There are some really simple things. Experts indicate one may be as simple as being aware of exactly how much you sit. Construct it a objective to get up for a few minutes every hour. Some pedometers will now even send you reminder notes to get up if you get too engrossed in your work. If you do have to sit for your work, switch to a standing desk.

You may want to click on the images below to look at a few more alternatives particularly if you work from home.


If you watch TV at night, don’t zoom ahead during the commercials with your DVR. Instead walk around or at the least stand up during the display break.

Whatever you do get up and move. Your body will thank you if you do.

Follow CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter .

Read more: www.cnn.com

Photo by drothamel

Prediabetes: Identify And Reverse The Symptoms

As we get older, we all know that there are a few aches and pains that your body just cant shake off the same way it used to.

Your knees ache after an hour or two kneeling in the garden, and your shoulders start to bother you if you forget to stretch them out… These are all just part of your body changing as you age.

Of course, while manyillnesses and injuries are often chalked up to the inevitable aging process, some are actually highly preventable.

Chief among these is Type 2 diabetes, an increasingly common illness that affects how your body stores and processes glucose.

Its an illness that requires constant maintenance and can put you at risk for all sorts of complications, not to mention reduced lifestyle quality.

Fortunately, its also an illness with lots of warning signs. Learning how to spot these early, and stop them in their tracks, could make another unavoidable part of aging, well, a whole lot more avoidable.

Check out our quick and simple guide to understanding your prediabetes symptoms below!

Thumbnail Credit: YouTube

Click

What Are The Signs Of Prediabetes?
Sign #1: Blurry Vision

<u>What

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Prediabetes usually involves your blood sugar dipping and spiking frequently.

All that imbalance can affect your eyes, and make it hard for you to focus them, even with the help of corrective lenses.

If your sight is fine in the morning, and everything is fuzzy at the edges by nighttime, that’s not your prescription getting worse; that’s a sign your blood sugar is out of whack.

Regulating your sugar intake should eliminate the blurriness, without a trip to the eye doctor.

Sign #2: Excessive Thirst

Sign

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

We all need around eight full glasses of water a day, with some minor variation, and staying hydrated is great for your health.

That said, if you find that you are constantly thirsty and always need to guzzle water, it may be a sign that your body is trying to sort out your glucose levels.

If your sugar is too high, your body will attempt to flush it out with water, meaning that you’ll end up taking twice as many bathroom trips thanks to all that excess hydration.

Sign #3: Stubborn Injuries

Sign

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Having a lot of extra glucose in your blood can thicken your blood and make circulation sluggish.

We all know poor circulation can result in chilly hands and feet, not to mention pins-and-needles in your limbs, but it could also mean that you have a harder time healing minor wounds.

This is especially true for injuries to the hands and feet, which are the farthest from the heart.

So if you have a stubborn hangnail, or a blister that just won’t recover, it could be a sign of excess blood sugar.

Sign #4: Darkening Skin

Sign

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

One of the classic signs of prediabetes has to do with your skin cells.

All that extra sugar encourages skin cells to reproduce faster, and it’s especially noticeable in areas of the body where skin cells sloughoff more slowly.

Check the back of your neck, your underarms, and the creases of your elbows.

If you have patches of skin that are a few shades darker than your normal skin tone, and smooth and velvety to the touch, that’s often a sign of prediabetes.

How Can I Reverse Symptoms Of Prediabetes?
Solution # 1: Talk To A Doctor

<u>How

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you suspect you have prediabetes, your first step should be toschedule an appointment with your doctor.

Your doctor can perform a blood test to check your blood glucose levels, and determine your risk for developing diabetes.

A doctor willbe able to help you build a nutrition and exercise plan, and can help connect you with a nutritionist or trainer if that’s something you’re interested in.

Solution #2: Skip Sweets

Solution

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Even if you don’t go to a dedicated nutritionist, be your own best caretaker and make sure you cut your sugar intake substantially.

Cut out the obvious culprits completely, things like donuts and sugary cereals that are high in carbohydrates and extra sugars.

Now, make sure to check for some more unexpected sugar sources.

Juice and smoothies seem healthy but are often full of unnecessary sugars, as are many pasta sauces, salad dressings, and crackers and breads.

Solution #3: Add Whole Grains

Solution

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Instead, consider substituting many of those sugar-hiding culprits with whole foods that will help balance out your glucose levels.

Whole oatmeal (not instant) with fresh fruit is a great option for breakfast and snacks, and swapping in whole grain pastas and bread can make a big difference at dinner or lunchtime.

All of these whole grains are more heart-healthy, and research shows that they help promote your body’s insulin production, which is responsible for regulating blood sugar.

Solution #4: Keep A Food Journal

Solution

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

One of the easiest ways to get off-track and resume a sugar-heavy diet is to eat without paying attention.

As we noted earlier, sugar is hidden in all sorts of unexpected places. You can keep a better handle on your intake if you keep track of everything you eat during the day in a food journal.

When possible, it’s also a good idea to note calories intake and sugar grams, to make sure you aren’t going over the recommended 2,000 calories and 25 grams of sugar.

If you or someone you know is at risk for prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, make sure to SHARE this list and help others recognize the symptoms!

 

Houston’s health crisis: By 2040, one in five residents will be diabetic

Regularly dubbed Americas fattest city, Houstonites dietary selections are merely one element of its spiraling diabetes problem. Can anything be done to reversal this deadly and very costly disease in a city addicted to sugar and cars?

Diabetes is so common in Patricia Graham’s neighborhood that it has its own slang term. At churches you run into people you haven’t seen in years, and they say, Ive got sugar, she says.

Graham does not quite have sugar, but when foot surgery in 2014 reduced her activity level, her blood sugar level rose. And there is a history of diabetes in their own families: three of four brothers and her mother, who lost a leg to it.

So three times a week she comes to the smart, modern Diabetes Awareness and Wellness Network( Dawn) centre in Houston’s third ward, a historically African American district near downtown. Used by about 520 people a month, Dawn is in effect a free, city-run gym and supporting group for diabetics and pre-diabetics: a one-stop shop for inspiration, information and perspiration. Last Friday Graham, 68, was there for a walk-to session.

Not that she or the half-dozen other participants went anywhere. This was strolling on the spot to pulsating music. Had the class stepped outside they would have enjoyed perfect conditions for a saunter: a blue sky and a temperature of 21 C. If they had worked up an appetite, a soul food eatery was only a 15 -minute walk away, serving celebrated( if not exactly sugar-free) food that belies its unpromising locating in a standard shopping center on a busy road next to a dialysis centre.

But most of Houston is not built for walk-to, even on a sunny January day. Theres the constant traffic belching fumes that persist in the humid air; the uneven sidewalks that have a pesky habit of fading halfway along the street; the sheer distances to cover in this elongated, ever-expanding metropolis. Walking can feel like a transgressive act against Houston’s car-centric culture of convenience and its status as the capital of the north American oil and gas industry.

Its one reason why Houston regularly finishes top, or close, in surveys that crown Americas fattest city. Unsurprisingly, it has a diabetes problem as outsized as its residents waistlines. By 2040, one in five Houstonians is predicted to have the disease.

According to data from pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the city is 9.1% with an estimated one in four of these being undiagnosed. Almost a third of adult Houstonians self-describe as obese, according to a 2010 -1 1 survey. Without action, the number of people with diabetes is projected to virtually treble by 2040 to 1.1 million people, with diabetes-related costs soaring from $4.1 billion in 2015 to $11.4 billion by 2040.

Graham is alarmed by the damage diabetes is wreaking on her community. I was talking to my friends and saying, so many of the person or persons we grew up with got diabetes and lost limbs, she says. Its not even so much the seniors any more, its the young people. But it doesnt scare them. They act like they’re not afraid.

Another Dawn member, Verne Jenkins, was diagnosed three years ago. I had picked up a little bit of weight that I shouldnt have, says the 63 -year-old. I knew what to eat, I knew what I was doing, I just got out of control.

Jenkins loves to bake but has cut back on carbs, red meat, salt and sugar, abstaining from one of her guilty pleasures, German chocolate cake. Not that its easy in a city with so many options: All these wonderful eateries, all these different kinds of cuisines, of course youre going to try some. I imagine it leads to our delinquency, she says.

Graham has watched her diet since she was in her 20 s. I eat pretty good, she said. She eats like white folks thats what they tell me!

Time poverty

Diabetes is a major cause of death, blindness, kidney illness and amputations in the US. While federal researchers announced last year that the rate of new diabetes examples fell from 1.7 million in 2009 to 1.4 million in 2014, in Texas the percentage of diagnosed adults rose from 9. 8 % in 2009 to 11% in 2014.

Houston, Americas fourth-largest city, is one of five participating in the Cities Changing Diabetes program, along with Mexico City, Copenhagen, Tianjin and Shanghai. Vancouver and Johannesburg are soon to join the project, which attempts to understand, publicise and combat the threat through cultural analysis.

The majority of people with diabetes live in cities, says Jakob Riis, an executive vice-president at Novo Nordisk, one of the lead partners in the program alongside the Steno Diabetes Center and University College London. We need to rethink cities so that they are healthier to live in otherwise were not really addressing the root cause of the problem.

One of the programmes key and perhaps surprising findings, however, is that assessing the risk of developing diabetes is not as simple as dividing the population according to income and race. The problem is broad much like Houston itself.

Houston
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Houston is 9.1%. 

The view stretches for miles from Faith Foremans eighth-floor office next to the Astrodome, the famous old indoor baseball stadium. Its an impressive sight, but for someone tasked with tackling the citys diabetes epidemic, also a fretting one: the sheer scale of the urban sprawl is part of the problem. The threat of the disease has expanded along with the city.

File:Astrodome scoreboard 1969.jpg

A low cost of living and a strong jobs market helped Houston become one of the fastest growing urban areas in the US. In answer, the city loosened its beltways. Its third major ring road is under building, with a northwestern segment set to open soon that is some 35 miles from downtown.

Once completed, the Grand Parkway whose northwestern segment has just opened will boast a circumference of about 180 miles. That is far in excess of the 117 miles of the M25, although about 14 million people live inside the boundary of Londons orbital motorway, more than twice as many as reside in the Houston area.

Large homes sprout in the shadow of recently opened sections, promising cheap middle-class living with a heavy cost: a commute to central Houston of up to 90 minutes each way during rush hour, with minimal modes of public transport options.
A lot of time in Houston is spent in a car, says Foreman, assistant director of Houstons Department of Health and Human Service. This informs one of the Cities Changing Diabetes studys most notable findings: that time poverty is among the risk factors in Houston for developing type 2 diabetes.

This means that young, relatively well-off people can also be considered a vulnerable population segment, even though they might not fit the traditional profile of people who may develop type 2 diabetes the hell is, aged over 45, with high blood pressure and a high BMI, and perhaps disadvantaged through poverty or a lack of health insurance.

You generally think of marginalised, lower income communities in poverty as your keys to health disparities but I think what we learned from our data in Houston is that we now have to expand the definition of what vulnerable is and what at-risk means. Just because we live in an urban environment, we may all indeed be vulnerable, says Foreman.

In other words , not only its residents dietary selections but the way Houston is constructed as a city appears to be contributing to its diabetes problem, so tackling the issue requires architects as well as physicians; more sidewalks as well as fewer steaks.

Pamphlets offered at supermarkets are part of campaigns to improve feeing habits and reduce diabetes in Houston

Urban isolation is a key challenge, says David Napier of UCL, the lead academic for Cities Changing Diabetes. Houston is growing so quickly and also expanding geographically at such a rapid rate. When you look at how difficult it is for people only to get out and stroll, or stroll to work; the fact that so many people commute long distances, expend a lot of time feeing out they have a number of obstacles to overcome, he says.

A city with notoriously lax planning regulations is now making a conscious effort to set more care into its constructed surrounding, with more modes of public transport, expanded bike roads, better parks and denser, more walkable neighborhoods all evident in recent years, even as the suburbs continue to swell.

Foremans agency has more input when officers collect to map out the future city. That is something that has been a big change over the last two or three years in Houston, she says. We are at the table and we are working with city planning to stimulate those decisions.

But prevention is a vital focus as well as treatment. Along with his team, Stephen Linder of the University of Texas school of public health the local academic result for Houstons Cities Changing Diabetes research gathered data on 5,000 households in Harris County, which includes much of the Houston area.

One way to approach such projects wasnt to focus on diabetes itself but rather to look at some of the preconditioned social factors that seemed to generate the patterns of living that then led to the clinical signs that would designate people as being prediabetic, he says from his office at the Texas Medical Center near downtown Houston the worlds largest medical complex.

These were people who had neither disadvantage nor biological risk factors. They tended to be the youngest group and would normally escape any kind of appraisal we called them the time-pressured-young. Theyre the ones who did the long commutes; theyre the ones whose perception was they could not manage their days worth of stuff, that they have no time for anything.

For this group, obesity is so prevalent in Houston that it distorts an understanding of what a healthy weight is, Linder saw. Their perception of their health was affected by their peers as opposed to other sorts of references. If all of their peers were overweight then in a relative sense the latter are fine. The judgments were about ones peers and not relative to any sort of expert criterion, he says.

Three neighborhoods were identified as having the highest concentration of people vulnerable to developing diabetes, and a Dallas-area research company, 2M, conducted detailed interviews with 125 residents. One place was particularly surprising: Atascocita, a desirable middle-class area near a large lagoon and golf course, about 30 miles north of downtown.

Houston
Houston is one of the fastest growing urban areas in the US. 

Houston has become, according to a 2012 Rice University study, the most ethnically diverse big metropolitan area in the US. But this cosmopolitan air one of the qualities sought by any place seeking to become a globally renowned city may also unwittingly be contributing to the diabetes crisis, the study found.

Some in Atascocita, Linder said, emphasised this sense of change and transition in their neighborhoods, that that was a source of stress for them and that they were resistant to constructing the changing nature of their own lives given the flux that was around them. Because that group happened to be older, even though they were economically procure they did have some other chronic diseases and they satisfied our biorisk characteristics.

We call them concerned seniors. They weren’t constructing changes because there was too much else going on for them. And so if we were to say to them youve got to change your diet, they would say no, I can’t handle any more changes.

This matters since food portions are no exception to the everythings bigger in Texas cliche, while Houstons location near Mexico and the deep south, its embracing of the Lone Star countries love of barbecued red meat and its enormous various forms of eateries serving international cuisine combine to unhealthy effect.

The food that had a traditional aspect to it tended not to be the healthiest food southern food thats fried and lots of butter and lots of starch, then theres African American soul food and then theres Hispanic heavy fat, prepared tamales and the like, and so we saw people various kinds of gravitated to what the UCL people called nourishing traditions, Linder said.

People use food as not only a strengthening of tradition and ritual but also as a way of connecting socially. Youve moved here from somewhere else, its a way to reinforce your identity, its a real cultural asset to have, but in a biological sense its not the best thing.

For Linder, one lesson is that generalised advice about healthy eating that has long been part of diabetes awareness efforts may not be effective locally, given the complexity and various forms of Houstons neighborhoods and the social factors that stimulate populations vulnerable to diabetes.

It does stimulate the task of dietary change a much more complex one than the simple messages about changing your diet, eat more fruit and veggies, get more colors on your plate proposed to. Those things bounce off, its not a useful situated of interventions then for that particular group who rely on these nourishing traditions and find some consolation in the change around them, he said.

Foreman agrees that a targeted approach is vital. How do you change diabetes in Houston? One neighborhood at a time, in a sense, but at the same day you have bigger things that you can change systemwide in policies and how you work together collaboratively, she said. But then as you narrow it and get more granular it is neighborhood, and what works in one neighborhood may or may not work in another.

Patricia Graham can only hope the Dawn program expands to other parts of the city to combat the dangerous union of unhealthy traditional food with a modern convenience culture. Everything is food, and I mean lots of it and all the time, she said. Some people don’t know how to cook without grease or butter. Thats only the way we learn.

Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter and Facebook and join the discussion

Read more: www.theguardian.com

YouTube makeup artist opens up about her diagnosis with type-1 diabetes

Alexys Lex Fleming, 22, usually devotes her YouTube page to creatinghorrorandmacabre special effects makeup and body artusing her own line of paint and brushes.

But this November she’s marking national Diabetes Awareness Month by opening up about her diagnosis with type-1 diabetes at age 13.

In her video, she talks about her fights balancing school with managing her disease, and the toll it took on her personal life in the form of bullying by her classmates. But she detected body painting as a route to take her intellect off the stress of school, bullies, and diabetes. She soon observed her calling, pursuing cosmetology and esthetics and became a licensed esthetician by the time she was 19.

What is diabetes ?

Like cancer, diabetes isnt only one disease. It can be congenital, develop during pregnancy, or develop later in life through a multitude of genetic and environmental factors. But the end result is the same: The body contains too much sugar in the blood or produces too much glucose.

Humans require glucose for energy, and they derive it by breaking down sugars from food. In a healthy person glucose is transported throughout the body by the hormone insulin.

Diabetes suffers a lot of fallacies, like that everyone who has it is overweight and that its always brought on by lifestyle choices like eating too much sugar or not exerting. While weight and diet are both risk factors, they dont tell virtually the whole story.

Type-1 diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, type-1 diabetes arises because the body is totally unable to produce insulin. Without the hormone to deliver glucose to needy cells, glucose only hangs out in the blood, causing blood sugar to spike. Only 5 percent of all diabetics have type-1 diabetes.

Symptoms of type-1 diabetes include increased urination, feeling very hungry or thirsty( even if you are eating well ), and extreme weight loss. But when treated through insulin injections, people can lead very healthy lives.

Type-2 diabetes

The more common sort of diabetes, type-2 diabetes, occurs when the body stops responding to insulin normally. It occurs in people for a variety of reasons that are still not fully understood. In some suits, people can manage type-2 diabetes through careful diet and workout alone. However, managing it well is not the same as curing it, and medication combined with a healthy diet and workout is necessary for most folks with diabetes.

A lot of people think that theres a specific diabetes diet, but according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics can eat anything, even candy. It only has to be balanced against plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats. Fleming added that there is no diet-based( or any) remedy for diabetes.

Vegan, healthy, and vegetarian diets will not remedy us. Cinnamon will not remedy us. Okra will not remedy us. There is no cure at this time, but thanks to modern day medicine, we are able to live long, healthy lives, she told the Daily Dot in an email.

Living with diabetes

Fleming said that managing her disease is a constant roller coaster as she wears her many hats. But she stressed that managing diabetes is always difficult , no matter what path people take in life.

There is NO exact formula to manage blood sugars perfectly. Even with medicines, we will still have highs, and still have lows. my hectic days, I have learned to work through the highs, and to drink glucose through the lows. There are day in which I feel like I could just flop over, or can’t process what people are saying are you all right, but still find the force required to get through tough Diabetes situations. Diabetes will NOT bring me down if I don’t let it .

She added that she feels its important to accept the disease as a part of what attains you who you are. There are many diabetics out there that “says hes” dislike lives with the illness, but you can’t dislike it, she said. The moment you give in to your sugars, is the moment they will continue to control you. At the same period, also know that it’s okay to be stressed out, it’s OK to cry, and know when appropriate for you to relax and listen to your body.

Screengrab via Madeyewlook/ YouTube

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