Notice some bleeding when you brush or floss? That may be an early sign of gum disease. If it becomes more severe, the bone that supports your teeth can break down, leading to tooth loss. Early gum disease can be reversed with proper brushing, flossing and diet. Research has shown gum disease can worsen if your blood sugar is not under control, so do your best to keep it in check.
Diabetes also is an important factor in accelerating the hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to strokes, coronary heart disease, and other large blood vessel diseases. This is referred to as macrovascular disease.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when your blood sugar (glucose), is too high (hyperglycemia). Glucose is what the body uses for energy, and the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin that helps convert the glucose from the food you eat into energy. When the body either does not produce enough insulin, does not produce any at all, or your body becomes resistant to the insulin, the glucose does not reach your cells to be used for energy. This results in the health condition termed diabetes.
Tintinalli JE, et al. Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In: Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Nov. 9, 2015.
Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The poorer your blood sugar control, the greater the risk appears to be. Although there are theories as to how these disorders might be connected, none has yet been proved.
Excess growth. Extra glucose can cross the placenta, which triggers your baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause your baby to grow too large (macrosomia). Very large babies are more likely to require a C-section birth.
Cogger, K., & Cristina, N. (2015, January 1). Recent advances in cell replacement therapies for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Endocrinology, 156(1), 8–15. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/endo/article-lookup/doi/10.1210/en.2014-1691
You may wish to join a support group with other people to share your experiences. The American Diabetes Association and Hormone Health Network are excellent resources. Your health-care provider will have information about local groups in your area. The following groups also provide support:
“Stay on the perimeter of the store, and stock up on seasonal produce that’s on sale,” McManus said. “Not everything has to be fresh. Plain, frozen vegetables and fruits can be easy and convenient substitutes.”
Take care of your teeth. Diabetes may leave you prone to more-serious gum infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss your teeth once a day and schedule regular dental exams. Consult your dentist right away if your gums bleed or look red or swollen.
In a three-month study, repaglinide (Prandin) dropped fasting blood glucose values by 61 mg/dL and post-meal blood glucose values by 100 mg/dL. Because repaglinide is short-acting and given before meals, it is particularly beneficial in lowering blood glucose after meals and does not tend to lower fasting glucose levels to the same degree. Prandin has been used in combination with other medications, such as metformin (Glucophage), with impressive results. In 83 patients with type 2 addition of repaglinide to metformin significantly improved blood sugar control.
Medications that increase insulin production by the pancreas are called insulin secretagogues and may be added to therapy if metformin and lifestyle measures do not adequately reduce blood sugar, or may be started individually if metformin is not tolerated. These include drugs from the class known as sulfonylureas such as Amaryl (glimepiride), Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL (glipizide), or Diabeta and Glynase (glyburide). Glyburide can lead to significant hypoglycemia and may not be the best first choice sulfonylurea. Glimepiride may be a better choice in many situations due to a lower risk of hypoglycemia.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes, it is normal to feel scared, confused, and overwhelmed. There are so many myths out there about diabetes, which can certainly make coping more difficult. Try not to listen to things other people have to say, such as, you can never eat carbohydrates again. Instead, get educated.
The body obtains glucose from three main sources: the intestinal absorption of food; the breakdown of glycogen, the storage form of glucose found in the liver; and gluconeogenesis, the generation of glucose from non-carbohydrate substrates in the body. Insulin plays a critical role in balancing glucose levels in the body. Insulin can inhibit the breakdown of glycogen or the process of gluconeogenesis, it can stimulate the transport of glucose into fat and muscle cells, and it can stimulate the storage of glucose in the form of glycogen.
Joanne M. Gallivan, RD, director of the National Diabetes Education Program at the National Institutes of Health, has this kitchen tip: “Garlic has been shown to have many healthful benefits, including lowering the risk for many cancers. But the way you treat it while preparing a dish can enhance its cancer-fighting properties. A recent study showed that letting garlic rest for about 10 minutes before it is used in cooking may enhance its cancer-fighting benefits. Chopping or crushing garlic helps to produce the active compounds that give it the distinct smell and healthful sulfide compounds. But heating it immediately after it is chopped inactivates the cancer-fighting properties.”
Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is classed as a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth. Most of what we eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar in the blood – it is the principal source of fuel for our bodies.