Diabetes -The Medical Perspective
If you have diabetes, remember to care for your eyes. Diabetes
is the leading cause of blindness, but many cases can be
In diabetic retinopathy (disease
of the retina), small blood vessels in the retina of the
eye are damaged, resulting in bleeding and fluid leakage.
This can also decrease oxygen supply to the eye. The damage
to the small blood vessels is worse when blood glucose levels
have been high for long periods of time.
The first step in preventing retinopathy
is lowering your blood glucose to your target range. Even
if you already have an eye disease, lowering your blood glucose
can lessen the progression of the disease.
Your eyes will also be healthier
if you can keep your blood pressure normal. If you
have diabetes, know your blood glucose level and your blood
pressure. High blood pressure increases blood flow
to the eye, but the blood flow is usually turbulent and is
more likely to clot abnormally.
sure you see an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) who has experience
and knowledge about diabetes. You should get a dilated
eye exam each year. Your doctor can tell you what the
pressure is within your eye. He may be able to estimate
your risk of eye disease using your intraocular pressure
and your blood pressure to calculate the mean arterial pressure
(MAP). Some doctors will use this value in a math equation
to calculate eye disease risk. Make an appointment
today for your eye exam!
Diabetes and Food
With the fall season, a new crop of fruits and vegetables
are waiting to fill our plates. The fall vegetables
colors orange and red are good indicators that the vegetable
is a source of carotenoids.
Carotenoids are pigments made by plants. This group of pigments include
beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. Although beta-carotene
can be split to produce vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene have no ability
to become vitamin A. Researchers believe they have
their own work to do in the body.
Research with lycopene has been focused on prostate cancer,
but the answers aren’t
in yet. Although you can buy lycopene supplements, and no toxic effects
have been reported, scientists and nutritionists suggest that the best way to
include lycopene in your diet is with red fruits and vegetables.
Tomatoes are especially rich in lycopene. Lycopene gives tomatoes, pink
grapefruit, watermelon, and guava their red color.
Exercise as a Part of Living
Isometric exercises are those
that are big muscles contractions. When you suck in
your stomach, that is an isometric contraction. Isometric
exercises are completed without moving a joint. Another
example is pushing into a doorframe while contracting the
shoulder and arm muscles.
Isometric exercises are not as
good for your heart as running or jogging. Running and jogging
are aerobic exercises and increase circulation. More
importantly, isometric exercises can increase blood pressure
and should not be performed by those with high blood pressure
or heart disease.
The advantage of isometric exercises
is that you don’t really need to move – you just “tighten
up”. This is probably not the best exercise for
those who have diabetes. Make sure your doctor is familiar
with your exercise routine. If you belong to a health
club or community exercise project, make sure they know your
health status.Choose the activities that you enjoy and that
are right for you!
Recipes To Try
cups; 12 -1/2 cup servings
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, about 14
cans chopped green chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
sauce to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate.
Can be served with tortilla chips. Nutrient analysis will
vary, but in general,
1 ounce is about 14 chips.
1 ounce plain chips
from fat 47%
Carbohydrate 18 grams
1 ounce 95% fat-free chips
from fat 11%
1 ounce bite-sized – about 24
from fat 50%
Over-the-counter medication usually can’t cure you
of anything but it may make you feel better. If you
have diabetes, can you safely take over-the counter medications?
Generally, if a medication should not be taken
be someone who has diabetes, it is on the label or in the instructions. This
situation mostly occurs with cough and cold medications. The only sure
way to know is to read the label or talk with your doctor before you have a cough
or cold so you know what you can safely take when you need it. Doctors’ offices
become more and more busy as cold and flu season hit. Sometimes a vaporizer can
help ease a cough and let you get a good night’s sleep.
For sore throats there are several
sugar-free lozenges or throat sprays. If the sore throat
persists, be sure to check with your doctor about a throat
If with your sore throat you have aches and pains,
acetaminophen (like Tylenol) or ibuprofen (like Advil) may help. To avoid
accidental double doses, make sure cough and cold medication does not contain
Conquering Diabetes: A Cutting-Edge,
Comprehensive Program for Prevention and Treatment by Anne Peters, MD. Published
by Hudson Street Press, New York, NY, 2005. This 349-page
hardcover book is $16 to $24.
The Complete Guide to Carb Counting,
second edition by Hope S. Warshaw and Karmen Kulkarni. Paperback,
240 pages. American Diabetes Association, 2004. $12 to $17.
to Healthy Restaurant Eating, third edition by
Hope S. Warshaw, RD, CDE. 730 pages. American Diabetes Association,
2005. About $18.
Diabetes Carbohydrate & Fat Gram Guide, third edition by Lea
Ann Holzmeister, RD, CDE. 504 pages. American
Diabetes Association, 2005. About $15.
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