Category Archives: Complications

Lactic Acidosis

Lactic AcidosisLactic Acidosis is a term that describes high levels of lactate in the blood. Lactate is the by-product of the breakdown of sugar in a person’s body. It is rare, but people who have Lactic Acidosis can become very ill, and even die from having it. Lactic Acidosis is caused by damaged mitochondria. Mitochondria are cellular machines that are found in cells that are known to produce energy. People who suffer from Diabetes can get Lactic Acidosis.

Laboratory tests can determine if someone is in risk of getting Lactic Acidosis. It can be difficult to get an accurate result because in able to measure lactate levels, a more reliable area to get blood from is the artery instead of the common choice, veins. Not many people would enjoy having this done frequently. People can have the blood taken from their vein, though. It may not show the exact amount of lactic acid in the blood this way.

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. The first signs of having Lactic Acidosis are gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, bloating, loss in appetite and abdominal pains. Other symptoms that can occur include insomnia, headaches, and difficulty swallowing.

Lactic Acidosis can be caused by a class of Biguanides, with the common medicine known as metformin with its brand name being called Glucophage. A different biguanide known as phenformin was taken off shelves in the United States in the 1970s because of such a high rate of people getting Lactic Acidosis when using it. Lactic Acidosis actually caused a delay in the introduction of metformin in the United States until 1995, even though it was widely used in other countries without many cases.

Majority of people who use metformin will not get Lactic Acidosis. There is a small amount that will develop it, though. Lactic Acidosis can be up to 50% fatal in known cases. This condition has been more common in people who have kidney issues. Liver problems can also induce the risk of getting Lactic Acidosis.

There have been reports done that concluded that people who take metformin at any time have a 5 out of 100,000 chance of getting Lactic Acidosis. It was also reported that people who used phenformin had a greater risk of getting Lactic Acidosis. It has not been proven that the use of metformin truly is the reason people get the condition. The Lactic Acidosis could be due to the persons Diabetes or other pre-existing health issues.

Since the mortality rate amongst people who get Lactic Acidosis is high, there are some treatments available. The person should be taken to the hospital. These treatments are aggressive, targeting the participating cause of the Lactic Acidosis. If the person is taking metformin it should be stopped immediately and regular health measures should be taken.

Knowing about Lactic Acidosis is the best way to prevent it from happening. Learning how it occurs and its symptoms are crucial. If you would like more information about Lactic Acidosis, you can always discuss with your doctor who should be knowledgeable about the condition.

Dental Disease And Diabetes

Dental Disease And DiabetesDental Disease And Diabetes: Diabetes can lead to many uncomfortable diseases and problems. Many people however are dealing with one problem that has been common for many years and can be most painful to them and their body, Dental Disease. Dental Disease has been known about in its connection with diabetes for some time; however that doesn’t make dealing with it any easier. There are bigger problems in dealing with diabetes such as Hyperglycemia; dental disease comes in, in sixth place amongst they opathy’s that is related with diabetes. Other complications include vasculopathy, retinopathy, and nephropathy also including autonomic and peripheral neuropathies.

Among those in the world a little over 80% have periodontal disease this is where you have so much inflammation in your and around your teeth that destruction has taken over the soft tissue and bones that surround your gum line and teeth. On the other hand, those with diabetes run a greater risk of developing this disease. It is very important to have many exams in getting older, but it is also important to get many continuous exams when you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Periodontal Disease takes shape in four-different steps, first gingivitis will be seen. This is where inflammation is noticed around the collar of the gum. Gingivitis however can be avoided and also curable by simply taking better care of both your teeth and gums. Flossing is very important since your toothbrush can never reach plaque that is stuck between your teeth. Secondly early periodontal disease will be noticed and diagnosed. This is when deposits of calculus are seen on the teeth and some destruction starts happening in the teeth. The third step in when this destruction starts to take on a whole new level, however not so much damage has been done that it can’t be prevented and helped. The last step is the worst and most likely there will be no helping it when it has been reached. This is when 50% or more of the bone that supports your teeth has been destructed. You’re teeth begin to loosen which will cause your teeth to eventually fall out.

Dentists use a special tool so that they can check for this disease among your teeth, this tool being referred to as a “probing depth” tester, it does just that. The “Probing Depth” test help Dentists to know how much damage has been done to a person’s mouth and what can be done to save as much tooth structure as possible.

Studies have showed that gingivitis shows up in more children who have diabetes than adults who have it. With the periodontal disease people who have a higher level of glucose will find themselves at risk more for the disease than those who have normal glucose levels. Some different factors however may present this complication in having diabetes and those are abnormal collagen metabolism, decreased polymorphonuclear leukocyte function and if your body seems to be taking longer to heal from wounds that can also be assign.

Sometimes when you find yourself having some high glucose levels, it may not be caused by Diabetes there is a chance that it can be caused by diseases in your oral cavity. The first thing you should do when you have checked for diabetes and it has come back negative but you still have diabetes is get a screening from a dentist. The dentist will ask you some of the following questions before starting the exam.

  • Do your gums bleed with you brush your teeth?
  • Do you have any pain in your teeth?
  • Do you chew foods with out any pain?

You will also be asked about dental history and dental future, whether or not you will be having any work done in the near future. The dentist will then move on to the examination process which entails him/her to look in your mouth for abscesses, hypertrophy, recession of the gums, excessive plaque buildup, inflammation, and of course any decay. If the dentist uncovers the signs and symptoms of dental or gum disease they will refer you to a specialist who deals in diabetes.

There are ways that you can prevent dental disease if you have diabetes however, you first step is definitely the most important and that is to regulate your glucose level. You’ll also need to watch your diet and oral hygiene, you should be sure to watch out for the snacks you are eating in between meals and always wash down any food that you have eaten during meals with a drink. Water is preferable but not everyone drinks as much water is preferred. Sugar is the tooth’s enemy, so stay away from sugary candies, dried fruits, fruit rollups and glucose tablets. It is imperative that you try and see your dentist every 6 months for an exam on how your teeth are doing, that way any problems can be taking care of and rectified before the problem gets to far out of hand.

Four other ways to avoid problems with dental disease is to use cleaning aids that your dentist has recommend, if they have not recommended any then have them recommend you something. Floss at least once a day to remove food and plaque between your teeth. Always use a soft bristle brush to brush your teeth others are too hard and could end up hurting your teeth. Finally do not smoke or chew tobacco that is like polishing your teeth with acid very slowly.

If it is too late and you already have dental disease then you will first need to hear some treatments from your dentist. On the other hand, many people do not like taking medication that is produced over the counter by pharmacies. So question your dentist about any herbal medication you might be able to take to help turn around your complication in the mouth. One know herb has helped many people in the area of diabetes for years, Bilberry. Bilberry is blueberries cousin and can be found in the forests of the United States and Europe.

Some people choose to eat bilberries and cream like yogurt, this provides the much needed antioxidants to your body which helps your immune system to fight infections. However, both the leaves and ripe fruit have been used to treat diabetes. These berries do nothing for lowering blood sugar but the help to produce more strength to the blood vessels and lessen the damage that is done to the vessel in which are associated with diabetes. You can also use bilberry extract which can reduce some of the tingling sensations in your arms and legs that you feel when developing neuropathy. Some studies show bilbeery extracts to help dilate veins and arteries. They also help to keep platelets from clumping together, which will thins the blood which will in turn improve circulation.

Eye problems can also be helped with bilberries; such as diabetic retinopathy, night blindness, degeneration of the macula and cataracts. You should always ask your doctor before taking any herbal medicines since some have been known to have some bad side effects with having diabetes. You could also try some of these herbs listed.

  • Propolis – it’s a bee product which helps to stimulate the creation of new tissue, it is anti-viral and helps those who are suffering from mouth sores and ulcers.
  • Myrrh – is an astringent from North America and Arabia.
  • Bloodroot – comes from the eastern woodlands and helps to fight plaque and the decay that is causing bacteria.

Depression And Diabetes

Depression And DiabetesDepression And Diabetes: Depression can be a horrible condition that leads to many other problems therefore making you feel and sick and feel immobile to the world around you. It can come into you’re your world and shake things up so much that you do not know who you are or perhaps what you are living for. Depression can cause you to neglect things in your life that you would ordinary love to do such as play with your children or go out to different places. Things like sports or your job would take a down slope in your life and the only thing left is just you and the depression. Depression is a hard condition that leads people to do and think things that would regularly repulse them such as suicide. It needs to be diagnosed and taken care of before it is too late.

Something that can be much worse then depression alone however it having depression and also having diabetes. Depression is twice as likely though in those who have diabetes and major depression exists in over 15% of the diabetic patients. When you have high glucose levels your health becomes hazardous and thus bringing a lack for motivating yourself to do anything which can very much lead to a depressed life. Therefore those who have been diagnosed should be screened on a regular basis to make sure they have not become depressed. Depression is a disease just like Diabetes and it can take over your life if you don’t get something done about it. It can make you feel horrible, hurt yourself, hurt your family and depress your children. Your children could get the back draft of depression and end up being depressed or wanting nothing to with you because of your sad life. They may never see you smile and children need to see their mother or father smile, it gives them a sense of security in their little lives.

Studies have shown that those who have a history of diabetes are much more likely to obtain depression during diabetes then those who have never shown any signs of having depression before being diagnosed with diabetes. In the last twenty years there has been enormous studies done on the brain to try and help discover depression and why it happens the way it does and what can be done about it. However to much disappointment depression has won out and they have not discovered a way to diagnose it or even treat it. What they have seen however is that depression leads to poorer physical and mental health not to mention its effect on the emotional status in your life. Many people can’t even get out of bed because they have no reason to, smiling faces of their children can even give them a reason to move or a reason to believe they should live.

There are ways to try and help depression however; I don’t recommend the prescription drugs given as a helper. They can produce more harmful effects that strengthen depression but that would be your decision on whether or not you want to take prescription drugs. I would however before taking them read up on them and some effects they have had on other people. That way you have no reason to fear them or every reason in the world to fear them. I would suggest though using Psychotherapy. I know what you are thinking, “I’m not a Psycho, and I’m just depressed.” And you are right you are not crazy, but you should talk to someone who is qualified in the life of the depressed. They can help you to sort out reasons for your depression and what those reasons are doing to you and your family. A psychotherapist is never there to judge you; they are there to listen and offer advice that could help you to feel like a new person and help get your life back to a happy status.

When taking anti-depressants it can take up to several weeks to feel any change and sorry to say sometimes that change can be good at first but then bad for you later. You must always discuss the topic of medication with your doctor whether you are taking drug prescriptions or herbal medications. Recently an herbal drug that has been known to help people fight off depression has shown some side effects that are bring doctors concern. When mixed with other medications that patients are taking it can have some harmful effects. So it is important to consult your doctor and ask any questions no matter how awkward you may feel.

There is a program that has been helpful to those who have found themselves depressed on a daily basis for two weeks or longer. You must however have some of following symptoms to meet the criteria for this program.

Changes in sleep pattern, loss of appetite or eating more, loss of weight or you have gained weight, feeling of self-worthlessness, loss of energy, and loss of enjoyment in activities that you would normally love to do.

These are all signs and symptoms of depression that is not going to get better by itself and should be seen as nothing short of serious. If you show these signs for more then a week’s consultation of a doctor is very important. Depression leads to other mental diseases which take the shape of someone who is not you and you may find yourself doing outrageous things you would have never done before being depressed.

Sometimes depression just happens in your life and there is not explanation, sometimes someone had caused you harm and you don’t know who to deal with the pain. Teenagers show more depression then any other age group because they are simply growing up and it can be hard for them to deal with, or they have a bad home life. And of course sometimes you have a disease causing the depression. Whatever is causing your depression there is someway to get relief.

Spa treatments can be a wonderful way to help those who have a black cloud hanging over there everyday life. Place some happy music around you, open up the blinds and dance even if you don’t feel like the hardest thing to do when you are depressed and take the first step to fixing it. Once you’ve made that first step though you will find yourself on a faster and safer road to recovery. Sometimes all depression really needs is a kick good-bye and you can do that by living your daily routine even if you feel like you can’t. Depression is like a big bully that loves to throw you down when you are fighting to stand. If you stay lying you may never know what it is that you could fight for. A happier you means a happier family, never let depression control you or your family just as you would never let a person do that.

If you want to try some herbal treatments after consulting your doctor try Gingko. It is an herb for depression which comes from two tiny areas of the world Zhejiang province and Eastern China. In this area nearly 1,000 years ago it was said that Chinese monks may have tended and restored these Gingko trees. It is used to help memory and concentration while also helping to stop the awful signs of vertigo.

Heart Disease And Diabetes

Heart Disease And DiabetesHeart Disease And Diabetes: Diabetes is a complicated medical condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate insulin and thus, sugar levels in the body.  According to the recent statistics there are over 23 million people in the United States with diabetes.  Having diabetes takes a serious toll on the body and puts a person at greater risk for many other serious diseases including heart disease.  In fact, a person with diabetes is two times more likely to develop heart disease than someone who does not have the illness.  Diabetes in one of the top five causes of death and although it has no “cure,” proper treatment can help a person live a longer healthier life.

Why does having diabetes increase a person’s risk for heart disease?  Researchers discovered a link between the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream and the occurrence of heart disease many years ago, but how those high cholesterol levels occurred was based on an incorrect assumption.  The scientists, doctors and media latched on to the incorrect idea that eating a diet high in cholesterol leads to an increased risk of heart disease.  The idea spread like wildfire and the low-fat diet became the standard advice from physicians.

The problem was that there was no evidence linking cholesterol in food to heart disease, it was the blood levels of cholesterol.  This is where the connection between heart disease and diabetes comes in.  High blood levels of cholesterol occur when there is too much sugar in the blood.  The liver can only process a certain amount of sugar at a time and the rest is stored in the body in the form of fat—cholesterol laden body fat.  It is also widely understood that increased body fat puts a person at greater risk for heart disease and diabetes sufferers often have increased weight.

So what can be done to prevent heart disease and control diabetes?  Fortunately, by taking the same actions that help keep diabetes under control, a person can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease.  Losing excess weight, getting regular exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in protein, whole grains and vegetables and low in sugar can greatly improve diabetes control and help to reduce the risk of heart disease.  It is also important to see your doctor for regular check-ups and to have your blood tested.

Diabetes And It’s Complications

Diabetes And It’s Complications: Diabetes is a serious condition that must be managed, and most although most people are aware of the dangers of not staying on top of their diabetes, there are several other complications that can be caused by diabetes.  Below, we will discuss some of the more common complications that are associated with diabetes.  However, it is important to note that this may not be a complete list of all of the complications that can be associated with diabetes.  Diabetes can cause both physical and mental complications, and it is important that individuals stay on top of any new symptoms that arise once they have been diagnosed with diabetes.

A common disease that affects the blood vessels within the eyes is diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.  This disease can lead to either visual impairment or blindness.  Unfortunately, over 12,000 new cases of blindness are caused by diabetic retinopathy each year.  Although, it is more common among males, it is the leading cause of blindness among adults who are between 20-74 years of age.

Kidney disease is developed in 10 to 21 percent of individually with diabetes, typically those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels.    And, diabetes is the leading cause of ESRD, or end stage renal disease, which requires a patient to need dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive.  Although much less severe, diabetes also causes urinary tract infection.

Diabetic neuropathy is another very serious condition that is a result of diabetic complications, and is the result of long term damage to nerve fibers.  In diabetic patients, the most common symptom is reduced sensation in the feet.  And, if the nerve damage continues, the reduced sensation will spread to the legs.  The damage itself can be either acute or chronic.  The acute condition will go away once the diabetes is under control; chronic is more serious and long term in nature.  The most severe form of this condition is one of the major contributing factors to lower extremity amputation.  As it stands, over half of the amputations in the US occur among individuals with diabetes.

Cardiovascular or heart disease is another very serious problem that can be caused by mismanaged diabetes.  This disease is caused by an excess build-up of plaque on the inner wall of the large blood vessel, and restricts the flow of blood.  Unfortunately heart disease is one of the most common caused of diabetes-related deaths.

Another common, yet less severe condition associated with diabetes is gum disease.  Typically occurring in people with diabetes who are at least 19 years, and who have type I diabetes.  Diabetes can also affect your body’s immunity, by causing a decrease in your body’s immune cells.  This will inevitably lower your body’s chance to ward of infections, viruses, and bacteria.

Although it is not a physical condition, diabetes can also lead to depression.  Though it may not seem severe depression can be very serious and may even lead to sufferers seeking to commit suicide, withdrawing from friends and family, or losing interests in otherwise favorite hobbies.  For many people, being diagnosed with diabetes is a life altering event.  Often prompting a new lifestyle, that individuals may have a hard time getting used to or coping with, causing them to show signs of depression.

If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to a multitude of complications, many of which can be extremely severe.  So, it is more than important to stay on top of your blood sugar, by checking it frequently.  Allowing your diabetes to lead to another serious condition will increase the one thing that no diabetic patient needs…. more medicine.

Diabetic Neuropathies and Managed Care

Diabetic Neuropathies and Managed Care: One area that many individuals diagnosed with diabetes may not readily consider is the potential for long-term nerve damage as a complication of their disease.

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, “Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness—loss of feeling—in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system.”

It is believed that as many as 70% of those with diabetes will deal with diabetic neuropathies.

Doctors will likely test periodically for potential nerve damage as part of a normal diabetic checkup.

Diabetic Neuropathy Types

  • Peripheral neuropathy, the most common type of diabetic neuropathy, causes pain or loss of feeling in the toes, feet, legs, hands, and arms.
  • Autonomic neuropathy causes changes in digestion, bowel and bladder function, sexual response, and perspiration. It can also affect the nerves that serve the heart and control blood pressure, as well as nerves in the lungs and eyes. Autonomic neuropathy can also cause hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which people no longer experience the warning symptoms of low blood glucose levels.
  • Proximal neuropathy causes pain in the thighs, hips, or buttocks and leads to weakness in the legs.
  • Focal neuropathy results in the sudden weakness of one nerve or a group of nerves, causing muscle weakness or pain. Any nerve in the body can be affected. (Source: National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse)

These various neuropathic dysfunctions can affect virtually every area of your life, which is why regular monitoring of neurological function is important to the managed care of diabetes.

The patient cannot detect some diabetic neuropathies. They settle in without detection and the body simply accommodates the lack of feeling until detected by a health care provider. Other neuropathies can be very painful and require pain management.

One of the primary reasons health care providers urge diabetics not to smoke has to do with the impact smoking has on neurological function. Many who do choose to smoke are at a much greater risk for lower limb amputation due to nerve damage and foot ulcers.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) provides some suggestions for those who have already been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathies.

  • Use a blood glucose meter to help you make decisions about day-to-day care.
  • Get an A1C test (a lab test) at least twice a year.
  • Report all possible signs of diabetic neuropathy.
  • If you have problems, get treatment right away. Early treatment can help prevent more problems later on.
  • Take good care of your feet. Check your feet every day. If you no longer can feel pain in your feet, you might not notice a foot injury. Instead, use your eyes to look for problems.
  • Protect your feet. If your feet are dry, use a lotion on your skin but not between your toes. Wear shoes and socks that fit well and wear them all the time.
  • Get special shoes if needed. If you have foot problems, Medicare may pay for shoes.
  • Be careful with exercising. Some physical activities are not safe for people with neuropathy. Talk with a diabetes clinical exercise expert who can guide you.

Often the reason for foot problems stems from the fact that diabetics may not be able to detect injuries or ulcers without visual inspection. If they can’t feel the pain they may not recognize the problem until it is well advanced and difficult to treat. Foot care remains an important consideration for those who may be suffering with diabetic neuropathies.

The Battle Against Diabetic Hypertension

The Battle Against Diabetic HypertensionHypertension is a word commonly used to describe what many remember as high blood pressure. There was a time when the common belief was that stress was the primary culprit for this condition.

Today we know there are multiple secondary medical issues that can make hypertension an undesired companion. Diabetes is one of those issues. Medical science finds it interesting that the instance of hypertension among diabetics is significantly larger than among those who do not have diabetes.

Hypertension can lead to multiple complications for the diabetic and the management of your blood pressure is an important step in your personal care plan. It is believed that only one in four who experience hypertension can claim to have it under control.

According to a report from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), “Hypertension is twice as common in persons with diabetes as it is in others. Obesity may be a common link between the two disorders, but other factors such as insulin resistance and autonomic dysfunction may also be involved.”

Most medical association who deal with diabetes suggests a blood pressure range that is more controlled than may be necessary for other patients. The reasons may be many, but they all seem to stem from the problems hypertension can cause to blood vessels that may be damaged by diabetes. In some cases the vessels can become brittle and excessive blood pressure can cause internal bleeding. This has proven especially true in vision issues in diabetics.

The AAFP further indicates, “Weight loss and exercise can help to lower blood pressure and may also improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity.” While this is true most health care providers, including the AAFP believe that diabetics will require the further assistance of medical aid.

Diabetics wage war on two primary fronts.

  1.  The management of blood glucose levels.
  2.  The management of blood pressure levels.

Without an understanding of how these two fronts pose problems for those with diabetes it can be easy to concentrate on one to the exclusion of the other.

The following is a list of medical issues that can arise from a lack of hypertension control. While not exhaustive it should provide some of the top medical problems.

  • Coronary heart disease including congestive heart failure.
  • Diseases associated with the kidney often resulting in the need for dialysis.
  • Increased incidence of stroke.
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease. This is important to the diabetic because this is the one that leads to limb amputation if not managed carefully.
  • Intimacy issues including erectile dysfunction (ED).
  • Dizzy spells related to the normal act of standing from a sitting position.

There are multiple drug therapies that can be used to assist in the control of hypertension. Spend time visiting with your primary health provider to determine which may be the right approach for you to take. Be sure to mention every medication you are currently on to avoid drug interactions that may cause other medical problems to arise.

The role of hypertension in diabetic patients should not be minimized. Instead of an either/or issue it should be treated as a both/and issue. The successful management of both leads to both a longer life and a better enjoyment of the journey.

A Vision For Diabetic Eye Care

Eye care is important to all diabetics. However, there are many fronts from which the diabetic battle must take place. The eyes have been referred to as the “window to the soul”. This is why health care professionals work diligently to manage the care of personal vision.

What some diabetics may not know is that when diagnosed early vision can be something you can keep in good health and long-term, but there can be devastating news for those who delay checkups and resist medical intervention.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) outlines several of the main issues with vision, but they also indicate, “Most people who have diabetes have nothing more than minor eye disorders. You can keep minor problems minor. And if you do develop a major problem, there are treatments that often work well if you begin them right away.”

Let’s take a look at some of the primary issues diabetics face when it comes to vision.

It is estimated that diabetics are 60% more likely to develop cataracts than their non-diabetic counterparts. Cataracts tend to cloud vision and reduce light from reaching the retina. Reducing glare and wearing sunglasses are positive proactive measures if caught early enough.

For patients who have had diabetes for ten years or more the potential for developing issues with diabetic Retinopathy is increased. This issue relates to blood flow within the eyes.

Blurred vision in diabetic patients could mean that blood has leaked into the eye as a result of retinopathy. In many cases laser surgery or triamcinolone injections can fix the problem, but the best first course is to deal with eye problems by visiting with an eye care specialist regularly. It is believed that up to 90% of new retinopathy diagnoses could have been avoided if the patient would have engaged in informed eye care prior to the diagnosis.

The initial stages of retinopathy find no change in vision for the patient. However, when vision change happens much of the potential damage has already been done.

The blood vessels in the eye are especially susceptible to alterations in blood sugar. The vision issues experienced by diabetics may be many years in the making and might lead to other vision issues such as macular edema. Interestingly it is the regulation of blood pressure (hypertension) that may be the best course of action in managing diabetic retinopathy.

Risks for glaucoma increase with age, but they can increase by as much as 40% among those with diabetes.

According to Glaucoma is, “A group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve usually due to excessively high intraocular pressure (IOP). This increased pressure within the eye, if untreated can lead to optic nerve damage resulting in progressive, permanent vision loss, starting with unnoticeable blind spots at the edges of the field of vision, progressing to tunnel vision, and then to blindness.”

The ADA elaborates by saying, “The pressure pinches the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina and optic nerve. Vision is gradually lost because the retina and nerve are damaged.”

Again the key element for diabetics is the blood pressure that affects the progression of glaucoma.

In virtually every diagnosis patients need to work at blood glucose control, hypertension and making regular appointments with your eye care professional to manage any developing eye care issues that may be intensified by diabetes.

Diabetes and Depression are Poor Companions

Diabetes and Depression are Poor Companions: Recent studies have keyed in on the role of depression in diabetes. One study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore found that those who suffer from depression are more likely to become diabetic. On the other hand they also found that those who are diabetic might be more likely to become clinically depressed.

In the first scenario it may be that depression leads to choices that contribute to onset diabetes. This may include weight gain, lack of physical activity and a stronger interest in alcohol and tobacco. That being said, the report does indicate that, “The more serious the [depressive] symptoms, the higher the risk of diabetes.”

It is believed that depression can elevate the body’s production of cortisol. Cortisol often impedes the body’s ability to deal effectively with insulin. The end result is a greater risk for diabetes.

In the second scenario the cumulative physical effects of diabetes may contribute to becoming depressed. This report indicates, “People who had been treated for diabetes were 54 percent more likely to develop depression symptoms than the others.”

Perhaps the greatest contributor to a diabetic developing depression stems from the need to deal with the life altering news that the individual must now live with diabetes. The impact of that news can often lead to feeling overwhelmed and ultimately depressed.

The American Diabetic Association (ADA) suggests the following list to check for depression if you are diabetic.


  • Loss of pleasure You no longer take interest in doing things you used to enjoy.
  • Change in sleep patterns You have trouble falling asleep, you wake often during the night, or you want to sleep more than usual, including during the day.
  • Early to rise You wake up earlier than usual and cannot to get back to sleep.
  • Change in appetite You eat more or less than you used to, resulting in a quick weight gain or weight loss.
  • Trouble concentrating You can’t watch a TV program or read an article because other thoughts or feelings get in the way.
  • Loss of energy – You feel tired all the time.
  • Nervousness You always feel so anxious you can’t sit still.
  • Guilt You feel you “never do anything right” and worry that you are a burden to others.
  • Morning sadness You feel worse in the morning than you do the rest of the day.
  • Suicidal thoughts You feel you want to die or are thinking about ways to hurt yourself. (Source: ADA)

If you find that you have several of the symptoms listed above you may benefit by having a heart to heart conversation with your health care provider.

A separate study conducted by Kaiser Permanente demonstrated that those with diabetes were likely to have been treated for depression within six months prior to a diabetes diagnosis.

Some believe depression is a prime trigger for onset diabetes, but what appears certain is depression and diabetes are companions that should be separated as quickly as possible. Help from a health care provider and psychologist may be an effective combined treatment option.

How Diabetes Can Affect the Bedroom: Men

Sexual intimacy is an important topic for couples, but for those who have diabetes the trouble can be complicated by their disease.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) can trouble men at almost any age. In bygone eras this was referred to as impotence, but in the 21st century it is often a problem that can be corrected.

Some might view ED as a psychological disorder, but when it comes to diabetes there are other issues to consider.

According to, “Men with diabetes tend to develop erectile dysfunction 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes.” Further statistics indicate 35-75% of men with diabetes will experience Erectile Dysfunction and these problems seem to progress as men age.

The Cause For ED In Diabetic Men provides an answer to the question many have about ED, “To get an erection, men need healthy blood vessels, nerves, male hormones, and a desire to be sexually stimulated. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control erection. Therefore, even if you have normal amounts of male hormones and you have the desire to have sex, you still may not be able to achieve a firm erection.”

Looking For A Solution
There are several pharmasuticals that have proven helpful in diabetic men with ED. These include products like Viagra and Levitra. There are some concerns however that as diabetes can potentially interfer with the heart the use of these drugs may not be advisable as a solution for all diabetics. You should consult your physician for recommendations.

The Mayo Clinic provides other self-improvement ideas that can help.

  • Control your blood sugar level.
  • Manage your medications.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get physical (exercise).
  • Deal with anxiety and depression.
  • Ask about other treatment options.

While these may be viewed as common managed care options for diabetics it may also provide men with a separate motivation to manage their disease to the best of their ability.

Other ED Causes
It would be naïve to say that all ED in diabetic men is related to blood flow issues. A report in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comprehensive Physiology sheds some new light on the subject. This research indicated, “Erectile dysfunction in diabetes is due to a selective defect in the NO (Nitric Oxide) mechanisms. This defect is a loss in the synthetic enzyme for the production of NO. Restoring this synthetic enzyme may have a significant therapeutic value for diabetic patients with ED.”

There may indeed be medical causes for the presence of Ed in diabetic men. As more information is taken from new studies there may be more treatment options for men who are frustrated by this particular side effect from their disease.

Until more research is conducted and further treatment options offered the tips offered by the Mayo Clinic may provide the best source for disease management and improved libido.