What Causes Diabetes During Pregnancy
Some women have diabetes before they get pregnant. This is called pregestational diabetes. Other women may get a type of diabetes that only happens in pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Pregnancy can change how a woman’s body uses glucose. This can make diabetes worse, or lead to gestational diabetes.
During pregnancy, an organ called the placenta gives a growing baby nutrients and oxygen. The placenta also makes hormones. In late pregnancy, the hormones estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen can block insulin. When insulin is blocked, its called insulin resistance. Glucose can’t go into the bodys cells. The glucose stays in the blood and makes the blood sugar levels go up.
General Treatment Of Diabetes
People with diabetes benefit greatly from learning about the disorder, understanding how diet and exercise affect their blood glucose levels, and knowing how to avoid complications. A nurse trained in diabetes education can provide information about managing diet, exercising, monitoring blood glucose levels, and taking medication.
Dry Skin Itching And Skin Infections
High blood sugar levels can increase the risk for dry, itchy skin as well as skin fungal infections , especially in areas of the body with folds of skin, such as the groin, armpits, between fingers and toes, and under the breast. Blood sugar management is important for preventing and managing both of these complications.
Moisturizing regularly, especially after showering, and avoiding hot showers can help relieve itching from dry skin, according to Betul Hatipoglu, MD, Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Diabetes & Obesity Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio. To prevent fungal infections, keep skin clean and dry.
Over-the-counter creams are available for treating external skin fungal infections, but you may want to first check with your dermatologist or your gynecologist first. Some fungal infections may require prescription antifungal drugs.
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How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
Diagnosis of diabetes must be made by a doctor. There are several blood tests that may be conducted to help diagnose the condition. Those with symptoms of diabetes or high risk factors should be tested. Early diagnosis and co-operating with health care professionals will help prevent serious complications that can result from untreated or poorly managed diabetes.
Foods And Beverages To Limit
If youve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or even if youre trying to avoid diabetes and manage your weight, there are certain foods and beverages that you should limit if possible. These include:
While no one food, enjoyed every so often, should knock you off your healthy path, its a good idea to talk with your doctor about dietary restrictions based on your blood sugar levels. Some people may need to monitor their glucose more carefully than others after eating these foods.
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How Is Diabetes During Pregnancy Treated
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your age, and your general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment focuses on keeping blood glucose levels in the normal range, and may include:
A careful diet with low amounts of carbohydrate foods and drinks
Oral medicines for hypoglycemia
Wine For Type 2 Diabetic Patients
Abstract To ensure an acceptable quality of life for Type 2 diabetic patients, the food recommendations have to be as liberal and individualized as possible. Unfortunately, disagreements exists about the consumption of different types of wine. Diabetic patients are advised by some to restrain their wine intake and to use dry wine containing little carbohydrate, while others are more liberal. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of dry and sweet wine on the glycaemic control in Type 2 diabetes. Twelve diabetic patients consumed a light meal with either 300 ml tap water 300 ml dry white wine, 300 ml sweet white wine with ethanol added or 300 ml dry white wine with glucose added. Similar glucose, insulin, and triglyceride responses were obtained in all four situations. There was a greater suppression of the free fatty acid levels in the three situations with wine as compared with water . This effect may be caused by an attenuation of the free fatty acid mobilization and esterification of free fatty acids to triglycerides induced by alcohol. Our results indicate that patients with well-controlled Type 2 diabetes can drink moderate amounts of wine with meals without risking acute deterioration of glycaemic control. Whether the wine is dry or sweet has no impact on the glycaemic control.Continue reading > >
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Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels
Blood glucose levels can be measured easily at home or anywhere.
A fingerstick glucose test is most often used to monitor blood glucose. Most blood glucose monitoring devices use a drop of blood obtained by pricking the tip of the finger with a small lancet. The lancet holds a tiny needle that can be poked into the finger or placed in a spring-loaded device that easily and quickly pierces the skin. Most people find that the pricking causes only minimal discomfort. Then, a drop of blood is placed on a reagent strip. The strip contains chemicals that undergo changes depending on the glucose level. The glucose meter reads the changes in the test strip and reports the result on a digital display. Some devices allow the blood sample to be obtained from other sites, such as the palm, forearm, upper arm, thigh, or calf. Home glucose meters are smaller than a deck of cards.
Continuous glucose monitoring systems use a small glucose sensor placed under the skin. The sensor measures blood glucose levels every few minutes. There are two types of CGMs, with different purposes:
Professional CGMs collect continuous blood glucose information over a period of time . Health care providers use this information to make treatment recommendations. Professional CGMs do not provide data to the person with diabetes.
How Do Health Problems From Diabetes Begin
If your diabetes is not well controlled, the sugar level in your blood goes up. This is called “hyperglycemia” . High blood sugar can cause damage to very small blood vessels in your body. Imagine what happens to sugar when it is left unwrapped overnight. It gets sticky. Now imagine how sugar “sticks” to your small blood vessels and makes it hard for blood to get to your organs. Damage to blood vessels occurs most often in the eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. Let’s look at how this damage happens.
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Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes: Whats The Difference
Type 2 diabetes is not the same as Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make any insulin. In Type 2, your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, and the insulin it is making doesnt always work as it should. Both types are forms of diabetes mellitus, meaning they lead to hyperglycemia .
Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though its becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.
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Treating High Blood Glucose
Hyperglycaemia can occur when your blood glucose levels become too high. It can happen for several reasons, such as eating too much, being unwell or not taking enough insulin.
If you develop hyperglycaemia, you may need to adjust your diet or your insulin dose to keep your glucose levels normal. Your diabetes care team can advise you about the best way to do this.
If hyperglycaemia isn’t treated, it can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, where the body begins to break down fats for energy instead of glucose, resulting in a build-up of ketones in your blood.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is very serious and, if not addressed quickly, it can lead to unconsciousness and, eventually, death.
The signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include:
- frequently passing urine
Read more about the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis
Your healthcare team will educate you on how to decrease your risk of ketoacidosis by testing your own blood for ketones using blood ketone sticks if you’re unwell.
If you develop diabetic ketoacidosis, you’ll need urgent hospital treatment. You’ll be given insulin directly into a vein . You may also need other fluids given by a drip if you’re dehydrated, including salt solution and potassium.
What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High
Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very tired.
- Having blurry vision.
- Needing to urinate more often.
If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
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What Are The Complications Or Effects Of Diabetes
When the pancreas does not produce insulin, glucose builds up in your blood. This condition is known as hyperglycemia. Fluctuations of blood glucose levels outside of the target range can lead to serious health problems involving the blood vessels and nerves, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, heart attack, and blindness.
When the body does not have glucose for fuel, it starts to use fat. As a result of that process, the cells produce ketones that are then released into the blood. Some of these ketones will pass out of the body through the urine. However, high levels of ketones in the blood can cause the blood to become acidic. In people with diabetes, this is called diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. DKA can lead to coma or death if not treated. DKA is more common in those with type 1 diabetes, but can also happen to those with type 2 diabetes.
Hypoglycemia can also occur. Hypoglycemia is too little glucose in the blood. It can occur when insulin removes too much glucose from the blood as a result of increased physical activity, too much medication, too little food , and the effects of drinking alcohol.
Medications For Type 2 Diabetes
In some cases, lifestyle changes are enough to keep type 2 diabetes under control. If not, there are several medications that may help. Some of these medications include:
- Metformin.This can lower your blood glucose levels and improve how your body responds to insulin. Its the first-line treatment for most people with type 2 diabetes.
- Sulfonylureas. These are oral medications that help your body make more insulin.
- Meglitinides. These are fast-acting, short-duration medications that stimulate your pancreas to release more insulin.
- Thiazolidinediones. These make your body more sensitive to insulin.
- Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors. These are milder medications that help reduce blood glucose levels.
- Glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. These slow digestion and improve blood glucose levels.
- Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors. These help your kidneys remove sugar in your body through urine.
Each type of medication listed above can cause side effects. It may take some time for you and your doctor to find the best medication or combination of medications to treat your diabetes.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be so mild that you don’t notice them. About 8 million people who have it don’t know it. Symptoms include:
- Being very thirsty
- Weight loss without trying
- Getting more infections
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you lower your risk of diabetes.
- Lose weight. Dropping just 7% to 10% of your weight can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes in half.
- Get active. Thirty minutes of brisk walking a day will cut your risk by almost a third.
- Eat right. Avoid highly processed carbs, sugary drinks, and trans and saturated fats. Limit red and processed meats.
- Quit smoking. Work with your doctor to keep from gaining weight after you quit, so you don’t create one problem by solving another.
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Alternative Medicine For Diabetes
As with other chronic health conditions, many people living with diabetes seek out natural ways to treat their condition, such as taking vitamins, minerals, herb, or other dietary supplements.
Some studies have suggested that certain supplements may help improve blood sugar control in some people with diabetes. However, according to Dr. Hatipoglu, due to safety concerns and possible interactions with medications we give, patients should consult their doctors if they want to try supplements.
Dietary supplements that have been studied for diabetes include :
What Should A Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan Include
Ask your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to recommend a meal plan thats right for you. In general, a Type 2 diabetes meal plans should include:
- Lean proteins: Proteins low in saturated fats include chicken, eggs and seafood. Plant-based proteins include tofu, nuts and beans.
- Minimally processed carbohydrates: Refined carbs like white bread, pasta and potatoes can cause your blood sugar to increase quickly. Choose carbs that cause a more gradual blood sugar increase such as whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain pasta.
- No added salt: Too much sodium, or salt, can increase your blood pressure. Lower your sodium by avoiding processed foods like those that come in cans or packages. Choose salt-free spices and use healthy oils instead of salad dressing.
- No added sugars: Avoid sugary foods and drinks, such as pies, cakes and soda. Choose water or unsweetened tea to drink.
- Non-starchy vegetables: These vegetables are lower in carbohydrates, so they dont cause blood sugar spikes. Examples include broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.
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Moderate To Severe High Blood Sugar
You may have moderate to severe symptoms if your blood sugar levels are consistently high. These symptoms include:
- Blurred vision.
- Flushed, hot, dry skin.
- Restlessness, drowsiness, or difficulty waking up.
People with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes produce little or no insulin. These people may also have:
- Rapid, deep breathing.
- A fast heart rate and a weak pulse.
- A strong, fruity breath odor.
- Loss of appetite, belly pain, and/or vomiting.
If your blood sugar levels continue to rise, you may:
- Become confused and sluggish.
- Pass out if your blood sugar levels are very high.
Understanding Diabetes From Other Causes
In addition to type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, a small minority of people develop specific types of diabetes due to other causes. This includes:
- Monogenic diabetes syndromes, such as neonatal diabetes and maturity-onset diabetes of the young
- Diseases of the exocrine pancreas, such as cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis
- Drug or chemical-induced diabetes, such as with glucocorticoid use, in the treatment of HIV/AIDS or after organ transplantation
Because these types of diabetes are rare, they are often misdiagnosed as other types of diabetes. You can learn more about these types of diabetes in the Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes section in the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. If you think you might have one of these types, be sure to talk with your doctor.
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Health Problems Linked To Type 2 Diabetes
If your blood sugar is frequently imbalanced, you may be at a greater risk for the following type 2 diabetes complications.
Diabetic retinopathy In diabetic retinopathy, high blood sugar weakens the capillaries that supply the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye.
The capillaries then swell, become blocked, or leak blood into the center of the eye, blurring vision. In advanced stages, abnormal new blood vessels grow.
Diabetic neuropathy Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can affect any nerve in your body. Most commonly, it affects the nerves in the feet, legs, hands, and arms this condition is called peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause tingling, burning, pain, or numbness in the affected areas.
The pain of peripheral neuropathy is difficult to control, though some find topical products that contain capsaicin to be helpful.
Diabetic nephropathy In diabetic nephropathy, the nephrons in the kidneys become damaged from chronic high blood sugar.
High blood pressure compounds the problem, and high cholesterol appears to contribute to it as well.
In the early stages of diabetic nephropathy, you may not notice any symptoms, but standard blood and urine tests can detect early signs of dysfunction, and early treatment can stop or slow its progression.
Diabetic ulcer People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing foot ulcers .