Thursday, April 27, 2006

Diabetes Long Term Complications

Diabetes Long Term Complications

Learning of having Diabetes is hard, and you begin to wonder: What can happen to me in the long run if I don't manage my Sugar Levels properly? The main problems that exist are having complications with your eyes, your feet, sexual problems, in addition to others.

With having high sugar levels on average, you can loose vision in your eyes. This can take many many years before you notice it, however I have seen two personal cases of people neglecting their blood sugar levels and their vision has suffered. One person completely lost vision in their one eye, and the other has very poor vision. It is important to routinely check the condition of your eyes at an eye doctor. I have mine checked every year in August, and so far after 12 years of being a diabetic, I have no complications showing in my eyes. My sugar averages are generally from 7 - 8, which is a good reason as to why nothing is showing.

The problem occurring in Diabetics with their feet, is they loose sensitivity in them and often feel a tingling type feeling. I have not personally felt these symptoms, however this usually is more common to be seen once a person has become older in age.

There is much more to discuss about the long term complications, and in many ways it is affected by Diabetes and your general lifestyle. Keep the sugars in control, and keep the complications at bay!

Michael Kralj
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Diabetes Diet: My Insulin Intake

Diabetes Diet: My Insulin Intake

I thought I would give some insight on my Insulin Intake in a normal work day.

I am normally up at 6 am, where I check my Blood Sugars. Depending on the range of sugars and the contents of my breakfast, I give about 8 - 14 units of Novolin R Insulin. I then eat my breakfast consisting usually of a cereal and fruit such as grapes.

At noon, I have my lunch. Prior to eating I again check my sugar levels. My lunch is pretty consistent being a sandwich and an apple, and I again give Novolin R, but about 8 - 10 units only.

Dinner time rolls around at about 5:45 pm after work. Here I give more insulin due to having a larger meal for dinner. My averages range from 16-20 units of Novolin R, depending on the food eaten.

Lastly, I give NPH long lasting insulin around 9 pm. I normally give on average 30 units of NPH, and my snack generally is a couple apples or two slices of bread or other snacks of that nature.

Again, these are my insulin requirements and what I give to keep my sugars in control. Remember to speak to your Diabetes Diet Doctor to see if this type of control is right for you, and to find the appropriate amount of insulin to give for your Diabetes diet.

Michael Kralj
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Diabetes and Exercise

Diabetes and Exercise

Just giving a brief post about how Diabetes and Exercise work with myself and when I have been playing hockey with Work. We played hockeys on Fridays from 4 to 4:50, so it was about a 50 min playing time of exercise. Great to get you moving and getting the exercise that is critical for a diabetic to keep doing.

We usually had 4 on 4 hockey and one sub at most. So you would play the full 50 mins almost hustling down the ice to get that puck. Quite enduring on the legs and again taking its toll on your diabetic sugar levels. As we know, exercise drops sugar levels in a diabetic and with exercise, less insulin is required.

Prior to playing, it would usually have been near the end of where my Novolin R would finish working. I gave Novolin R at lunch around 12 and since its about 1/2 hr before the insulin works, it would taper off around 4:30 pm, in the middle of the hockey game. Normally, I had checked my levels prior to leaving for the game around 3:15 pm to see if it was low or in a range that required a sugar bump to sustain a healthy sugar level while playing.

When it was lower sugar levels (between 5 and 7), I would eat an apple, some candy or as one of my coworkers brings in sometimes, a free chocolate bar. This would always get me enough sugar to bring it up prior to the game, which I then worked off skating. If it were higher, I would just let the exercise drop it down naturally.

My experience is to have something prior so that your sugar does not drop in a danger level. Also, I notice after playing and getting home and giving Novolin R, the insulin really seems to work harder and I can give less Novolin R with the same blood sugar control.

Exercise really does help with those sugar levels!

Michael Kralj
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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Managing diabetes

Managing diabetes

Whether you have Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, the management is different. I have type 1 diabetes, and am more familiar with that management but will share my knowledge of Type 2 Diabetes control as well.

Managing type 1 diabetes

- Injecting insulin via syringe or Insulin Pen so your body can use the sugar taken in and so you can control your own blood sugar levels
- Follow Doctor's advice about diet and exercise
- Close monitoring of your blood sugar levels. You can purchase blood-glucose monitor kits to test your sugar levels. They require a small drop of blood, that with a lancet you prick your finger and apply the blood to a test strip. It then gives you the reading to know if your high or low with your sugar, or just right. I currently use a One Touch machine for this. The supplies, especially the test strips are usually fairly expensive purchase, and a good drug plan will help cover these costs.
- Hemoglobin A1c test, which I get done about every 4-6 months, dependant on how good my control has been and according to my doctors recommendations. This measures your blood sugar control over from what I've been told, a three month period. It gives you an average to see if overall you are doing well.

We give insulin as Type 1 diabetics to mimick how our pancreas would normally make and release insulin to our bodies. We try to mimick the real flow of insulin from our pancreas, by use of the insulin syringe so our blood sugar levels are kept in tact and in a "normal" range.

Managing type 2 diabetes

- Use pills to help stimulate your bodys supply of insulin when needed to convert and use the sugar you have taken in
- Periodically needing insulin injections when the control of blood sugar levels cannot be done well enough with just taking a pill
- Controlling your diet and amount of exercise you do
- Monitoring sugar levels like a Type 1 Diabetic would with the home blood glucose monitoring kit.
- Getting a Hemoglobin A1c test like a Type 1 Diabetic to see how your control is over a period of time.

Type 2 Diabetics should always consult with a doctor to see what pills they need to use, or if they can control it through diet and exercise. Find out what works for you as every diabetics body is different.

Michael Kralj
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Managing your blood glucose when you are sick

Managing your blood glucose when you are sick

While you are sick, your blood glucose levels will fluctuate more than normal, even if you are following your meal plan. It can cause two things to happen:

1) Blood Sugar to Rise - caused by colds, flu or an infection.
2) Blood Sugar to Fall - caused by having problems with keeping your food and liquids down.
Some general tips to follow while being sick (Remember this is a guideline and consulting your doctor is the best approach to knowing how you can cope with Diabetes and being sick):

- Keep taking your medication, but adjust accordingly and to what your doctor has recommended for sick days.
- Try to keep the intake of food the same as normal, to not disrupt the normal way your meal plan is set. If you are not able to eat, consulting your physician is advised.
- Drink lots of water so you do not become dehydrated. When I am sick, this is an important step for myself as otherwise dehydration can set in quickly.
- Test your sugar more frequently. I test mine about every 2 hrs when sick to ensure it does not go too low or too high.
- Check for ketones if your sugar is hovering in the "High" blood sugar level range as specified by your doctor

In general, it is better for people with diabetes to visit the doctor or emergency room earlier for assistance. Reasons that may tell you to go visit the doctor are:

- Vomitting frequently (more than twice in a 12 hr span)
- Unable to hold down food or liquids
- High blood glucose levels of 17 mmol/L or higher (for a 12 hr span)
- Large amounts of ketones in your urine
- You have signs of dehydration such as a dry mouth

Michael Kralj
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Blood Sugar levels rise even when not giving Insulin?

Blood Sugar levels rise even when not giving Insulin?

If you are insulin dependent like me and you have no insulin in your system, when I don't eat, my sugar levels slowly rise. This is my experience from testing my own sugar levels.

A couple of units of Regular (R) insulin will do the trick for me to keep it steady if I am not feeling the hunger to eat. Remember it varies for everyone, and while doing this, careful monitoring of your blood sugars should be done until you see what works for yourself and discussion with your doctor is recommended.

If you don't eat and give too much insulin, you are in danger of running low sugars. Low sugars is not a good thing. Keep control and live healthy!

Michael Kralj
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