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Unexpected sight loss is more common than you may think. Blindness often happens without prior warning signs and in people unaware they are at risk.

Diabetes, Glaucoma Put Millions At Risk for Unexpected Blindness

Diabetes, Glaucoma Put Millions At Risk for Unexpected BlindnessUnexpected sight loss is more common than you may think. Blindness often happens without prior warning signs and in people unaware they are at risk.The two most common culprits of unexpected sight loss are diabetes and glaucoma. These diseases are known as the "sneak thieves of sight" because symptoms may not occur in the early stages. By the time a person realizes something is wrong, irreversible vision loss often occurs.In fact, diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in adults. An average of 55 Americans go blind from the disease each day. The numbers threaten to rise sharply as diabetes becomes increasingly common due to poor eating habits, infrequent exercise and an aging population. One in three children born in the United States five years ago are expected to become diabetic during their lives.Diabetes causes partial or complete loss of vision in as many as 70 percent of those who have it. Yet 30 percent of all people who have diabetes don't even know they have it. Even people who know they have diabetes downplay the risks they face.According to a survey of diabetics sponsored by Lions Clubs International, 60 percent were not worried about going blind or losing a limb. In reality, 74 percent of diabetics will develop serious complications that could lead to loss of sight or a limb or kidney failure.Glaucoma, on the other hand, is a group of eye diseases that slowly damage the fine nerves that connect the eye to the brain. For most people, this damage occurs when pressure in the eye is too high. When these nerves are damaged, vision loss may result.Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness in the United States. But like diabetes, not enough people know about it: An estimated 4.2 million Americans have glaucoma but half are not aware of it.Diabetes and glaucoma are especially prevalent among blacks and Hispanics. These groups are believed to have a genetic predisposition to the diseases and are much more at risk than Caucasians. Others particularly at risk for glaucoma are people over 60, those with a family history of glaucoma, diabetics and the very near-sighted.The good news for those at risk is that a dilated eye exam can detect the two diseases and early treatment can prevent vision loss. Vision experts urge at-risk people to have regular eye exams.Raising awareness of diabetic eye disease and glaucoma is key to preventing unnecessary blindness. Lions Clubs International works with Lions clubs, community groups and individuals to publicize the need for early detection and timely treatment of the two diseases. The Lions Eye Health Program provides materials for distribution at health fairs, senior citizen centers and similar gatherings. It also offers strategies for raising awareness of the eye diseases.

Goji and Diabetes

Goji and Diabetes

More than 18 million people in the United States have diabetes. And nearly one-third of them are undiagnosed. This can be devastating, as diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure, limb amputation, and new onset blindness in American adults. People with diabetes are also two to four times more likely than people without diabetes to develop heart disease. In fact, 65 percent of diabetics die from heart attack or stroke.Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, chapatis, yams and plantain, from sugar and other sweet foods, and from the liver which makes glucose. Diabetes is a disorder that affects the way your body deals with the foods you eat. Normally, carbohydrate foods are broken down into the sugar glucose, which travels in the blood (hence the name blood sugar) until it reaches your cells, where it is taken in and used for growth and energy. For this to happen, however, the hormone insulin must be present. Produced by the pancreas, insulin acts as a key that unlocks cells so that they can receive blood glucose.Insulin works like a key to open the door of the cells so glucose the fuel you get from food - can come inside and be converted into energy - cause serious complications and premature death. Insulin is vital for life. It is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the glucose to enter the cells where it is used as fuel by the body. The main symptoms of untreated diabetes are increased thirst, going to the look all the time especially at night, extreme tiredness, weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, and blurred vision.In diabetes, either the pancreas may produce insufficient insulin, or the body has lost its ability to use it effectively (insulin resistance). Glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body without fulfilling its role as the bodys main source of fuel.Two types of diabetes:Type 1 diabetes develops if the body is unable to produce any insulin. This type of diabetes usually appears before the age of 40. It is treated by insulin injections and diet and regular exercise is recommended. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). In most cases this is linked with being overweight. This type of diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40, though in South Asian and African-Caribbean people often appear after the age of 25. However, recently, more children are being diagnosed with the condition, some as young as seven. Type 2 diabetes is treated with lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, weight loss and increased physical activity. Tablets and/or insulin may also be required to achieve normal blood glucose levels.The main aim of treatment of both types of diabetes is to achieve blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as near to normal as possible. This, together with a healthy lifestyle, will help to improve wellbeing and protect against long-term damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and major arteries.Managing Diabetes: Begin with the ABCsThe National Diabetes Education Program suggests that you reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by working with your health care team to monitor three critical factors, which they have named the Diabetic ABCs."A is for the A1C test. This is a number that shows how well your blood glucose has been controlled over the last 3 months. Bad glucose control can hurt your eyes, kidneys and feet. The goal for most people is an A1C of less than 7. It should be checked at least twice a year.A 1998 research study showed that increased in blood pressure could be prevented significantly by gojis master molecule polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are very long-chain sugar molecules that provide nourishment for macrophages, the large white blood cells which are an important component of the bodys defense system against invading microbes and the malignant cells which form tumors.Four polysaccharides discovered in Goji berries have not been found in any other fruit. The Goji polysaccharides enhance the bodys production of human growth hormone (HGH), which helps build muscle and repair skin cells. The LBP polysaccharide complex unique to Goji berries has been found to be a powerful secretagogue - a substance that stimulates the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH) by the pituitary gland.One research study in China showed that the LBP polysaccharide facilitated the proliferation of stem cells and increased the number of monocytes in bone marrow. The LBP polysaccharide helps the monocytes convert to matured leukocytes.B is for blood pressure. The goal for most people is 130/80. High blood pressure can cause heart attack, stroke and kidney disease."C is for cholesterol.Bad cholesterol (LDL) can oxidize and clog blood vessels, causing heart attack or stroke. Good cholesterol (HDL) helps to lower bad cholesterol. The goal for most people is LDL under 100 and HDL over 40.Goji contains eta-sitosterol, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Its antioxidants keep cholesterol from oxidizing and forming arterial plaques. Goji increases exercise tolerance, stamina, and endurance. It also helps to eliminate fatigue, especially when receiving from illness.

The Diabetes Diet

The Diabetes Diet

Although a "miracle" diabetes diet does not exist to cure the disease, if you have type 2 diabetes, there are dietary rules you can follow that will ensure you stay as healthy as possible. When it comes right down to it, proper nutrition is the only diet you need to follow. Many people are inexperienced with following a healthy diet, but once you get into the swing of things, eating properly will become part of your lifestyle.To start off, its best to follow the nutrition guidelines in the Food Pyramid, with special attention to carbohydrate intake. Also, diabetics should maintain a regular meal schedule and exercise portion control.Starches are allowed in a diabetes diet, as long as you control portions and dont consume too much starchy food. Starches are present in bread, cereal, and starchy vegetables.Consume five fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. This can easily be accomplished by eating a piece of fruit for a snack several times a day, or by eating vegetables with dinner. Soups, stir-fries, and chili make good hiding places for veggies if you need clever ways to add more good stuff into your meals.You can still eat sugars and sweets (perhaps surprisingly) with type 2 diabetes, but do so in moderation, which means once or twice a week maximum. One way to eat fewer sweets without neglecting your sweet tooth is to split a dessert in half.Especially beneficial for diabetics are soluble fibers, so you need to get as many as these into your diet as possible. Luckily, you can find soluble fibers in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Soluble fibers are excellent because they aid in slowing down and reducing the absorption of glucose from the intestines. Legumes (such as cooked kidney beans) have the highest amount of soluble fibers, and also keep blood sugar levels in check. Insoluble fibers, found in bran, whole grains and nuts, are also part of a healthy diet because they work like intestinal scrubbers, by cleaning out the lower gastrointestinal tract.For many people, contacting a dietician is the best way to put together a good diabetes diet. Everyone is different, so keeping in contact with your physician and nutrition consultant will ensure your diet plan is the optimum one for you. A professional will take into account your lifestyle, medication, weight, other medical issues, and your favorite foods to come up with a plan that will keep you healthy and satisfy your cravings for particular flavors.A Healthy Weight and LifestyleIf you have type 2 diabetes, its also very important to maintain a healthy weight ( http://www.healthline.com/adamcontent/diabetes-diet ). With type 2 diabetes, added body fat actually makes it more difficult for your body to produce and use insulin. Trimming down as little as 10 or 20 pounds has the potential to improve your blood sugar significantly.Smokers are advised to quit as soon as possible, as smoking can aggravate diabetes and make it more difficult to cope with the disease. Because diabetics often experience circulation problems in the legs and feet, smoking is a dangerous habit to continue - it decreases blood flow even more. Smoking also increases LDL cholesterol and raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.If you keep your blood sugar under control, moderate alcohol consumption is allowed, but avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as this can lead to low blood sugar. To learn how much alcohol you can safely include in your diet, consult your doctor.Fat and CarbsYou can control the amount of carbs you consume by practicing carbohydrate counting. This involves keeping track of the total number of grams of carbs you need to eat at meals or snacks, depending on your medication and exercise. Usually this method involves the use of a carbohydrate counting book, which you can purchase at a supermarket or bookstore.Those with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk for heart problems, so most physicians make a recommendation to limit fat below 30% of your total daily caloric intake this tends to be done by eating less fat overall and staying away from saturated fat. You should also pay attention to cholesterol levels by eating smaller amounts of meat, and sticking to lean meats, such as poultry and fish.It will take some time to adjust to your new diabetes diet and healthy lifestyle, especially if you havent followed healthy living practices in the past, but the results will be worth the effort. Not only will you be able to better manage your diabetes, but you will also become a much healthier person.

It Pays to be Prepared

It Pays to be Prepared

Having diabetes can change to life of person entirely. From the way one chooses the foods that he will eat to the way he lives his daily life, everything will change. For someone who doesnt know much about diabetes there are a lot of webs sites, magazines, and books that can help you understand better of the nature of diabetes. The greatest problem for diabetics is not being able to access medication when emergency situations occur. That is why, it is important to always have an emergency kit at hand. To keep the medicines from expiring, use them from time to time and replace them with new refills. The emergency kit can include cold medications, antacids, cough syrup, test strips and insulin with syringes if you use one and blood glucose monitoring supplies. If you will purchase over the counter medicines, make sure to read the label before using it. If there is a warning that diabetic people should consult their doctor before using the product, then do so. If you have these emergency kits at home, try to also have it at work or at school. It is also essential to include in the emergency kit your medical history, prescription medications and emergency contacts. To keep them from getting wet, keep them in a water proof bags. If you are using insulin keep extra syringes, glucagons emergency kit and urine ketone strips. A glucagon emergency kit consists of a syringe filled with liquid which must be mixed with a powder. This kit is only used in case of a Severe Hypoglycemic Emergency. Try also to keep the insulin in a cool place as much as possible to keep it from being damaged. For people who got caught in the Katrina and Rita hurricane disaster, being prepared made the difference between life and death. And for people with diabetes, being prepared is important to their own personal safety and health. Hence, the best thing a diabetic person can do to prevent any problem with diabetes is to live a healthy lifestyle. It is important to eat healthy foods and have a regular exercise to keep blood pressures at normal and reduce the risk of heart disease and other serious conditions. And most importantly, have emergency kits close at hand at all times.

Honestly, How Serious Is Diabetes?

How serious is Diabetes?Very! The early symptoms of untreated diabetes mellitus are related to the elevated blood glucose levels. Excess glucose in the blood ultimately results in high levels of glucose being present in the urine (glucosuria). This increases the urine output, which leads to dehydration and increased thirst. Other symptoms include extreme tiredness, weight loss, blurred vision, itchy skin and repeated minor infections such as thrush and boils.Another form of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes, occurs in some women during pregnancy. It is a temporary condition caused by pregnancy and usually occurs in the later stages, once the baby has formed but is still growing.Although there is currently no cure for diabetes mellitus, it can be controlled successfully with an active treatment plan. The potential benefit of pancreas transplants and islet cell transplants in type 1 patients is being investigated.What are the symptoms of diabetes?Type I diabetes develops very quickly. The classic signs of diabetes include:1. Frequent urination, because the body is trying to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood2. Intense thirst, because the body needs to replace the fluid lost through the urine3. Increased hunger, because the cells need nutrients4. Weight loss, because without insulin, the body begins to starve. The onset of Type 2 diabetes is often very gradual and may develop without any symptoms at all. Sadly, the diagnosis most often is made only after a complication of the disease happensAcupunctureAcupuncture is a procedure in that a practitioner inserts needles into designated points on the skin. Some Western scientists believe that acupuncture triggers the release of the body's natural painkillers. Acupuncture has been shown to offer relief from chronic pain. Acupuncture is sometimes used by people with neuropathy, the painful nerve damage of diabetes.Your weight affects your health in many ways. Being overweight can keep your body from making and using insulin properly. It can also cause high blood pressure. The DPP showed that losing even a few pounds can help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes because it helps your body use insulin more effectively. In the DPP, people who lost between 5 and 7 percent of their body weight significantly reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes.

What Is Diabetes?

With diabetes such an epidemic today, it is essential that you know exactly what it is. Why? Well, to prevent getting diabetes yourself that is!In layman terms, diabetes is the inability of the body to process sugars properly. When we eat or drink, our pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin is released into the blood and helps to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. Diabetes is a condition where this process does not function correctly.The reason why diabetes occurs is because no insulin is being produced (often called Type 1 Diabetes) and requires the sufferer to use insulin injections, or insulin is produced but the body becomes resistant to it. This renders the insulin ineffective. This is normally called Type 2 Diabetes and is rapidly becoming more common. The danger is that while diabetes is not immediately life threatening the long term effects of high blood sugar can be damaging to one's health. Uncontrolled diabetes and prolonged high blood sugar levels can, in later life, cause problems to many organs including the kidneys, eyes, nerves and the heart.This may sound grim, however controlling blood sugar by a combination of medicine, diet and exercise will vastly reduce the long term complications. Recent research shows that 2 in every 100 people have diabetes. Alarmingly half of these people do not even know they have it. Many people have diabetes without being aware of it because someone with diabetes looks no different from anyone else. How do you find out if you have diabetes? The simplest way to check if you have diabetes is to arrange a blood sugar check with your doctor. A tiny sample of blood, obtained by pricking a finger is checked using a small electronic tester.A normal blood sugar level is generally between 72 - 126 mg/dl or 4 - 7 mmol/l (where 1 mmol/l = 18mg/dl). If the body is unable to keep the blood sugar level within these limits, then diabetes is diagnosed. Diagnosis of diabetes can occur out of the blue during a routine check-up but more often it follows from the sufferer experiencing the "symptoms" of diabetes. These symptoms can be many or few, mild or severe depending on the individual. Common Diabetes Symptoms:Loss Of Weight - Glucose is the form of sugar which is the body's main fuel. Diabetics cannot process this properly so it passes into the urine and out of the body. Less fuel means the body's reserve tissues are broken down to produce energy with a resultant loss in weight.Thirst - Often it seems no matter how much you drink your mouth still feels dry. The problem is compounded before diabetes is diagnosed by sufferers drinking huge amounts of sugary drinks! Of course this only increases the blood sugar level and leads to increased thirst.Urinating More Often - Sufferers need to urinate often and pass large volumes each time. In addition this symptom takes no account of time so sleep is constantly disturbed by having to visit the bathroom during the night. It is a mistake to think this is caused by the increased thirst and drinking more. On the other hand, high sugar levels in the blood spill over into the urine making it syrupy. To counter-act this water is drawn from the body causing dehydration and therefore thirst. If you have experienced any of these symptoms it does not necessarily follow that you are diabetic however it might be advisable to visit your doctor to be sure. If it does turn out that you have diabetes please do not panic! It can come as a shock and it will mean some changes in your life. While it is incurable it can be treated so the long term complications are reduced or even eliminated.By knowing exactly what diabetes is and recognizing the symptoms early on you can prevent it from ever building up within you. Start today by monitoring your health and daily eating habits. Or as they say, preventing is better than finding a cure later on!

Summary

Unexpected sight loss is more common than you may think. Blindness often happens without prior warning signs and in people unaware they are at risk.