blood sugar control

  1. Lose weight to prevent diabetes

    Weight loss helps control diabetes

    You hear it from your doctor. You hear it from your friends. You even hear it from your spouse. You hear it so often that instead of well-meaning advice it starts to sound like nagging… so you tune it out.

    Don't.

    The advice is to lose some weight, and it's not just nagging. It's life-changing and even life-saving advice that could help prevent diabetes.

    If you don't have diabetes, weight loss can help you prevent diabetes. And if you already have the disease, it's even more important than ever to drop those extra pounds -- because weight loss is the single most effective way to slow the disease and even reverse some of the damage.

    And now, new research backs the benefits of weight loss in diabetics in a big way, showing how diabetics who lose about 9 percent of their body weight and keep 6 percent off for a decade are less likely to develop kidney disease, vision problems and depression than patients in a control group.

    More importantly, the new study shows how weight loss can also help prevent diabetes symptoms for getting worse by controlling blood sugar levels and reducing your need for medication.

    And most importantly of all, weight loss can decrease your risk of hospitalization and increase your overall quality of life, according to the study of more than 5,000 obese diabetics assigned to either weight loss or counseling sessions.

    The only surprise here is that weight loss didn't do much to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke among patients in the study -- but that may be more because of how they lost their weight and kept it off.

    The program in the study consisted of calorie counting and, at times, meal replacement drinks -- and while these types of diets can be effective at weight loss, they're not necessarily the best ways to get the nutrients you need for heart protection, especially over the long term.

    In fact, a strict calorie-control diet can actually allow for junk foods and other unhealthy treats as long as they're within your daily allotment -- and those low-nutrition foods can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and more even if you're at a normal weight and even if you're not diabetic.

    So lose the weight -- but do it with a diet that's proven to lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Do it by limiting saturated fats, avoiding processed foods and junk foods, and making sure you get plenty of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids your heart needs.

    I recommend the Mediterranean diet for diabetics and non-diabetics alike to prevent diabetes symptoms from getting worse, and for both weight loss and heart protection.

    I'm not done with natural heart protection yet. Keep reading for the most rewarding way to fight off heart disease yet.

  2. Depression increases signs of hypoglycemia

    Depression packs blood sugar risk

    Diabetics, you already know there's a lot more to blood sugar control than just watching your diet and taking your meds. Stress, illness, physical activity, meds, and more can all have an impact on your glucose levels, causing signs of hypoglycemia.

    But many people don't realize that mood can play a role here, too -- and if your mood is low, your blood sugar can plunge right along with it until it reaches the dangerous levels that mark hypoglycemia.

    One new study finds that depression can increase your risk of hospitalization for signs hypoglycemia by 42 percent -- and the risks don't end the moment you leave the ER.

    If you stay depressed, you could find yourself heading right back in, because the study in the Annals of Family Medicine finds depression can increase your risk of multiple hospitalizations for signs of hypoglycemia by a third over five years.

    It's not clear whether the depression itself causes blood sugar levels to plunge or if depressed people are simply less likely to take the care they need to control their blood sugar levels with lifestyle and medication.

    In my experience, it's often a little bit of both at work.

    Whatever the cause, it's essential to ensure your blood sugar levels don't fall too far, since hypoglycemia can cause you to pass out.

    The signs to watch for include anxiety, shaking, and sweating. You may also feel faint, confused, and irritable. But if you're diabetic, you probably already know all about the warning signs.

    The important thing is to make sure the people around you… loved ones, friends, and coworkers… know them, too because when you suffer from signs of hypoglycemia, you may become so confused you don't even realize what's happening.

  3. Green tea can lower blood pressure

    Lower your blood pressure with every sip of healthy green tea.
  4. Diabetics turn to dangerous surgery

    It's no secret--diabetics can often win complete control over their condition by simply losing weight and watching what they eat.

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