Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Prevention of Ear Pain

How to Prevent Ear Pain:

  • Refrain from putting things into your ears such as cotton swabs, bobby pins, your fingers, etc. as this can cause damage to your eardrum and increase your chances of something getting stuck in your ear/eardrum.
  • When blowing your nose, do it gently and one nostril at a time.
  • Avoid smoke as much as possible. Smoking and secondhand smoke can increase your risk of infection.
  • When swimming, wear earplugs and refrain from swimming in dirty waters.
If you’re an adult and you happen to have an earache, try applying a warm washcloth or a heating pad next to your ear. You can also try the cold therapy method by applying a cold compress or ice bag next to your ear for 20 minutes. Be sure to take a pain reliever, such as an acetaminophen, aspirin, or Motrin (ibuprofen) to help with the pain and reduce inflammation. If nothing works, seek medical attention.
To help open your Eustachian tubes and keep them drained, try the following:
Sleep with your head propped up
Chew gum – especially when experiencing pressure changes (i.e. during plane travel).
Stay awake during the ascending/descending of plane travel – this is when eardrums will plug up and cause pain. Try taking a decongestant a few hours before your plane ride as this will help prevent buildup in your nasal passages.
Try yawning to contract the muscles that open your Eustachian tubes.
Gently blow through your nose while holding both nostrils closed until you hear a pop. This helps promote ear drainage and can be done several times a day.
Take a decongestant when you get a cold and continue taking it until the cold is gone. Check with your doctor to see if it is ok for you to take a decongestant.
Take a hot shower – the steam will help to break up and soften earwax buildup.

In the case of children and earaches, usually they are brought on by an infection in the middle ear. This could be due to the fact that the Eustachian tubes are shorter and smaller in children.
How to tell if your child has contracted an earache:
  • If you notice the ear seeping with fluid or excess ear wax.
  • If your child begins pulling or rubbing his/her ear often, sometime your child will hold or cup his/her hand over the ear.
  • If your child complains of any ear pain.
  • If your child develops a fever.
  • If your child becomes irritable.
  • If your child has trouble hearing you.
  • If your child suffers a sudden loss of appetite.
Make sure that your child finishes, in its entirety; the prescription of antibiotics to make sure that the bacteria has been destroyed. If your child has been seen by the doctor, and has taken medicine (usually antibiotics) for under two days and shows no signs of improvement you should visit your doctor again. Also if there is any swelling behind or around the ear, or if any drainage from the ear continues, you should contact your doctor again.

Home Treatment / Care:

Home Treatment / Care
The following steps may help an earache:
  • A cold pack or cold wet wash cloth applied to the outer ear for 20 minutes may reduce pain.
  • For children old enough to safely chew gum, chewing may help relieve the pain and pressure of an ear infection.
  • If a child is uncomfortable lying down, resting in an upright position can help reduce pressure in the middle ear.
  • Olive oil or over-the-counter ear drops are gentle and effective, as long as the eardrum has not ruptured. Prescription drops, such as Auralgan, are also effective for pain relief.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can provide relief for children and adults with an earache. (Do NOT give aspirin to children.)
You can relieve ear pain caused by rapidly descending from high altitudes by swallowing or chewing gum. Allowing infants to suck on a bottle while the plane is descending can help.
If you feel any problem then Call your Doctor.

What will happen at the doctor’s office?
During an examination, the doctor will use an instrument called an otoscope to assess the ear’s condition. With it, the doctor will perform an examination to check for redness in the ear and/or fluid behind the eardrum. With the gentle use of air pressure, the doctor can also see if the eardrum moves. If the eardrum doesn’t move and/or is red, an ear infection is probably present.
Two other tests may also be performed:
  • Audiogram – This tests if hearing loss has occurred by presenting tones at various pitches.
  • Tympanogram – This measures the air pressure in the middle ear to see how well the eustachian tube is working and how well the eardrum can move.
The importance of medication:
The doctor may prescribe one or more medications. It is important that all the medication(s) be taken as directed and that any follow-up visits be kept. Often, antibiotics to fight the infection will make the earache go away rapidly, but the infection may need more time to clear up. So, be sure that the medication is taken for the full time your doctor has indicated. Other medications that your doctor may prescribe include an antihistamine (for allergies), a decongestant (especially with a cold), or both.
Sometimes the doctor may recommend a medication to reduce fever and/or pain. Analgesic ear drops can ease the pain of an earache. Call your doctor if you have any questions about you or your child’s medication or if symptoms do not clear.

What Can I Do Immediately To Get Relief From Earache?
Raising your head a little in bed by using extra pillows or adjusting the mattress may help.
If your ear feels blocked, do not attempt to clean it with cotton buds or anything else. You may damage your ear permanently. If the problem is a build-up of dried wax in the ear, trying to get rid of it may just push the wax further in. You can buy ear drops from your pharmacist that will soften the wax.
If your ear canal is inflamed, try not to get your ear wet until the infection has cleared up.
Your pharmacist will stock a variety of products for easing the pain of earache or relieving inflammation. Unless your ear is running, you will not usually need antibiotics for a middle ear infection.

What is Earache Treatment?

Earache Treatment:
During an ear exam, your child’s health care provider will look for fluid behind the eardrum
and test to see if the eardrum moves in response to a puff of air. Antibiotic treatment is
generally recommended if fluid is present, the eardrum does not move, and your child has
one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Ear pain (children often indicate this by tugging on their ear)
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Bulging yellow/red eardrum
Your child’s health care provider may suggest a “wait and see” approach for 48-72 hours if:
  • Symptoms are mild and not complicated by other medical issues
  • The eardrum has not burst
  • The child is more than 24 months old
Your health care provider may recommend acetaminophen (like Tylenol) for any pain. If your provider prescribes an antibiotic, make sure your child takes all the medicine as directed, even if he or she begins to feel better after a few days.

Remove Wax From Ear:

What are the symptoms of Ear Pain?

What are the symptoms of Ear Pain?
When a person complains of ear pain, the health care professional needs to know:

  • when the pain started
  • whether the pain is constant
  • whether it is getting worse, better, or staying the same
  • whether anything decreases the pain or make the ear pain worse
  • if there is any ringing in the ear
  • if a change in position increases pain
  • if there are any other symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, headache, itching, or pain in other areas of the face, such as the sinuses or jaw
  • if there is drainage from the ear and, if so, the color and consistency of the drainage
  • if there is any hearing impairment
  • if the individual has a feeling of dizziness or vertigo, a sensation that the room is spinning around
  • what medications, drugs, or herbs the person takes, if any
  • what other medical problems the person has, if any

What are Causes of Ear Pain?

What are Causes Ear Pain?
Ear ache can have various causes, the most common of which is when foreign objects are pushed into the ear in the effort of cleaning it.
In this case, the ear wax is pushed deeper and deeper into the ear cavity where they harden for some time and cause pain, impairing hearing in the process.
Some other and common causes of ear pain are:
  • Swimming - when you swim without ear plugs and this allows the water to enter your ear canal. There are different bacteria in the pool from all the other users of the pool. This water get into you ear and causes ear infection and you will need ear pain relief.
  • Common cold - this can cause pressure to build up in the ears, causing ear ache pain relief.
  • Injured part of the body that is related to the ear, like a tooth ache, can cause headache pain.Each of the different ear pain has different types of pain relief. But there are some things that you can do to get relief from many different types of instances. This will help you get a good nights rest.

What is Earache or Ear Pain?

What is Ear Pain?

Aching or pain in the ear is called otalgia. Ear pain is usually caused by an infection of the ear area, including outer ear infections, mastoiditis, or middle ear infections. However, pain in the ear can also arise from infections or conditions in nearby regions that affect the ear nerves. This is called "referred pain" and may arise from dental conditions, jaw disorders, or afflictions of the upper digestive tract and throat area. There are a variety of possible causes of ear pain and any ear pain symptoms needs prompt professional medical advice.

Ear Pain Examine:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How effective is the flu Vaccine? - and side effect of the Vacine

How effective is the flu Vaccine :
Vaccine effectiveness varies from year to year, depending upon the degree of similarity between the influenza virus strains included in the vaccine and the strain or strains that circulate during the influenza season. Vaccine strains must be chosen 9 to 10 months before the influenza season, and sometimes mutations occur in the circulating strains of viruses between the time vaccine strains are chosen and the next influenza season. These mutations sometimes reduce the ability of the vaccine-induced antibody to inhibit the newly mutated virus, thereby reducing vaccine effectiveness.
Vaccine effectiveness also varies from one person to another, depending on factors such as age and overall health.

The side effects of the vaccine :
Influenza vaccine is very safe. It is rare to have any side effects other than some swelling or soreness at the injection site. A few people may get a mild fever, headache and flu-like signs, such as aching muscles. These reactions start in 6 to 12 hours and last 24 to 48 hours.
With any vaccine or drug there is a possibility of a shock-like reaction (anaphylaxis). This can be hives, wheezy breathing, or swelling of some part of the body. If this happens, particularly swelling around the throat, immediately get to your family doctor or hospital emergency.
It is suggested that persons stay in the clinic for at least 15 minutes after receiving any type of immunization.

Preventing Influenza - When should i get a Flu Shot?

Preventing Influenza :
The best strategy for avoiding the flu is getting a flu shot each year.  The vaccine should be taken each year because as flu viruses constantly mutate and the flu shot is updated annually to include the most current flu strains. Since the immune system needs time to respond to the antibodies in the vaccine, the shot should be given six to eight weeks before flu season begins.
While the vaccine usually protects most people from the flu, sometimes a person who receives the vaccine can get the flu, but it is frequently milder than without the vaccine.  Further, getting a flu shot will not protect you from other viruses that feel like the flu.  It prevents illness from types A and B influenza; however, it does not protect from the mild respiratory illness of type C, which is not thought to cause epidemics.  Influenza type A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two proteins on the surface of the virus.  These proteins are called hem agglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N).  Influenza B virus is not divided into subtypes.  The A viruses and the B virus are included in each year’s influenza vaccine.
In addition to the vaccination, getting proper sleep, eating a healthy diet and regular exercise can boost one’s immune system and help ward off influenza.  Avoiding infected people also reduces the risk of catching the flu bug, as does washing your hands after touching surfaces in public places; telephones, door handles, toilets, etc.
Finally, if you have the flu…wash your hands, as germs spread even when touching your own body; watery eyes, coughing mouth, running or sneezing nose.  Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Stay home and keep your distance from others.  Rest and relax.  You can hurry the healing process by taking care of yourself!

When should I get a flu shot?:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the flu shot every year, between September and mid-November, before the flu season hits (usually December to April). The flu shot takes one to two weeks to become effective.
Although there are many new medications designed to treat flu symptoms and even shorten the duration of the illness, the flu vaccine still offers the best protection against the flu.

Who is at Risk? - Treatment for Influenza

Who is at Risk? 
Influenza can be dangerous to the elderly, especially those who live in residential homes where there is more risk of contracting the virus through contact with others.
People with lung and heart diseases are also more likely to develop complications due to an attack of flu.
Those at risk are advised to get a yearly vaccination. Consult your doctor if you have any problems or questions.

Treatment for Influenza:
Specific treatment for influenza will be determined by your physician based on:
  1. your age, overall health, and medical history.
  2. extent and type of influenza, and severity of symptoms.
  3. your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies.
  4. expectations for the course of the disease.
  5. your opinion or preference

The goal of treatment for influenza is to help prevent or decrease the severity of symptoms. Treatment may include:
  1. medications to relieve aches and fever (Aspirin should not be given to children with fever without first consulting a physician). The drug of choice for children is acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  2. medications for congestion and nasal discharge.
  3. bed rest and increased intake of fluids.
  4. antiviral medications - when started within the first two days of treatment, they can reduce the duration of the disease but cannot cure it. Four medications have been approved and include amantadine, rimantadine, zanamivir, and oseltamivir. Some side effects may result from taking these medications, such as nervousness, lightheadedness, or nausea. Individuals with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are cautioned about using zanamivir. Viral resistance to these drugs may vary. Some drugs may be ineffective if current viral strains have developed resistance. All of these medications must be prescribed by a physician.
  5. Consult your physician for more information.

How is it Transmitted / Spread? - Type of Influenza (Flu)

How is it transmitted?: 
The flu virus is spread from person to person when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks into the air and the other person inhales the virus. 
The virus enters the nose, throat or lungs of that person, begins to multiply and symptoms develop. 
For some individuals, these symptoms show up in 24 hours; while others take up to seven days. 
Once symptoms show, a person is still contagious for up to seven more days.

Preventing the spread of flu:
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing and sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated each fall. 
Type of Influenza:
there are three types of influenza.
Type A:

The most serious type with the most acute symptoms. It is also the most common form, usually breaking out every two or three years.
Type B:

Similar symptoms to type A, but not as serious. The outbreaks happen every four to five years.
Type C:

The mildest type, with symptoms similar to a cold.

What are the Symptoms of Influenza (Flu) Virus?

What are the Symptoms of Influenza (Flu) Virus?:
  1. Headache.
  2. Fever (38o to 40oC).
  3. Aching muscles and joints.
  4. Chest pains.
  5. Lack of appetite.
  6. Fatigue and weakness.
  7. A runny nose and sore throat.
  8. Dry cough.
  9. Restless sleep.
  10. Chills and shivering.
  11. Indigestion.
  12. Vomiting or diarrhoea.
 What can I do?:
  • Drink as much as possible - you lose a lot of liquids during a fever.
  • Rest, preferably by staying in bed.
  • Try to get plenty of sleep.
  • If you have a cough, an over-the-counter cough remedy may ease your symptoms. The pharmacist is the best person to advise on this.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Paracetamol (eg Panadol, Calpol) or aspirin (eg Aspro clear) will reduce fever and muscle aches. (Note that aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age, unless on the advice of a doctor.) Ibuprofen (eg Nurofen) will also relieve these symptoms. These painkillers are also found combined with medicines such as nasal decongestants in various over-the-counter cold and flu remedies. Ask your pharmacist for advice about which are most suitable for relieving your symptoms.
  • Consult a doctor if the symptoms do not disappear after a week, or sooner if you feel worse.

What is Influenza (Flu) Virus?

What is Influenza (Flu) Virus:
Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory infection caused by a variety of flu viruses. The most familiar aspect of the flu is the way it can iknock you off your feeti as it sweeps through entire communities.
The flu differs in several ways from the common cold, a respiratory infection also caused by viruses. For example, people with colds rarely get fevers or headaches or suffer from the extreme exhaustion that flu viruses cause.
 Anyone can get the flu; however, the largest infection risks are in highly populated areas, like schools.
The incidence of flu within schools is greatest among children, ages 5- to 14- years, with bacterial pneumonia being the most common complication.
People most susceptible to flu complications are older adults, those with chronic medical conditions like asthma, and children younger than age two.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 10 to 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu during each flu season, which typically lasts from November to March. Children are two to three times more likely than adults to get sick with the flu, and children frequently spread the virus to others. Although most people recover from the illness, CDC estimates that in the United States more than 100,000 people are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die from the flu and its complications every year.

Is it a Cold or Is it the Flu ?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How to managed diabetes ? - Self monitoring of blood glucose

When is a good time to do the test?
The standard times to check your blood glucose are:

  •  Before meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • 1 to 2 hours after meals
  • Before bedtime
  • At 2 or 3am
How to managed diabetes ? - Self monitoring of blood glucose:
Monitoring your own glucose is done with a Glucose Meter. Self-monitoring is often called SMBG (self-monitoring of blood glucose).
Glucose meters today are small, battery-operated devices.
  1. A sample of blood
  2.  pricking blood
 A sample of blood:
When you want to test for glucose with a glucose meter you need to place a small sample of your blood on a test strip.
Your skin is pricked with a lancet - like a very fast pin-prick.
These test strips are disposable. You then place the strip in the monitor. The strips are coated with glucose dehydrogenase or hexokinase that combines with glucose in blood.
The blood is usually taken from a finger, but some meters allow the use of other parts of the body to supply the blood sample.

How the meter works:
The meter tells you how much glucose is present in your blood. How meters do this may vary. With some meters a measurement of the amount of electricity that passes through your blood sample is measured, while others measure the degree of reflection of light. The glucose level is displayed as a number. In the case of this picture (below right) the person's glucose level is low. Many of the new meters can store a series of test results, while others can be connected to your personal computer to store results, which you can also print out.
How to choose a glucose meter:
According to the FDA there are 25 different meters on the market. They are not all the same. You should bear the following in mind when choosing one:
  1. monitor
  2. Testing speed
  3. Size
  4. Memory (ability to store results)
  5. Price
The newer models have automatic timing, error codes and signals, barcode readers to help with calibration. Some have spoken instructions for people who are visually impaired.

How to use your meter:
Frequency of meter usage varies significantly from patient-to-patient. It is important that you adhere to the instructions given to you from your health care provider. Every person with diabetes should be self-monitoring his/her blood glucose - this is especially so for people who are taking insulin.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), patients with Type 1 should self-monitor blood glucose at least three times per day.
The ADA says that women with gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) should self-test twice a day.
There is no general recommendation from the ADA regarding frequency of self-testing for Type 2 patients.
Most patients who do have to self-test will generally have to do so before meals, a couple of hours after meals, at bedtime, 3.a.m., and whenever signs or symptoms are felt.
When a patient changes medication testing should be carried out more frequently.
If you have an unusual illness or sudden stress, you should test more frequently.
Knowing how to use your meter:
As meters work in different ways you should get training from a diabetes educator.

Using a glucose meter - instructions:
  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap. Dry completely. You could also dab or wipe the area with alcohol and then dry completely.
  • Use the lancet to prick your fingertip.
  • Hold your hand down. Hold your finger at the same time until you see a small droplet of blood appear.
  • Place the blood on the test strip.
  • Follow the instructions for placing the test strip and using your meter.
  • Keep a record of your result.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gestational Diabetes Treatment

Gestational Diabetes Treatment:

Pregnant women who receive treatment for the mildest forms of gestational diabetes including diet and exercise intervention, self-monitoring of blood glucose levels and possibly insulin therapy are less likely to have serious birth complications or develop preeclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy, according to new research. It's been unclear whether treating borderline cases of gestational diabetes would make a difference in pregnancy outcomes. But the study's lead author, Dr. Mark Landon, professor and interim chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University Medical Center, said that the finding "demonstrates that there's a significant clinical benefit to treating even the mildest form of gestational diabetes." "Now, we have two randomized, controlled trials, and both showed decreases in big babies, preeclampsia and maternal weight gain," said Dr. David Sacks, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Bellflower, Calif., and the author of an accompanying editorial in the same issue of the journal. The second study he referred to was done in Australia and published in 2005. Gestational diabetes is a transient form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. However, women who've had gestational diabetes have been shown to have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Depending on the criteria used to define gestational diabetes, the condition occurs in between 1 percent and 14 percent of all pregnancies, according to Landon's study. "The frequency of gestational diabetes is increasing worldwide, and while most obstetricians screen for this condition, some have remained skeptical about treating mild gestational diabetes, and are not as aggressive in treating milder forms with dietary intervention and self-blood glucose monitoring," Landon explained. To get a better idea of whether treating women with mild forms of gestational diabetes could make a difference, he and his colleagues recruited 958 pregnant women who were classified as having mild gestational diabetes. A treatment group of 485 of the women were given counseling on diet and exercise, taught how to monitor their own blood sugar levels and given insulin when necessary. The other 473, considered the control group, received standard pregnancy care. Only 7 percent of the women in the treatment group required insulin, Landon said. The study found that the frequency of babies born too-large for their gestational age was reduced by more than half 14.5 percent of the control group versus 7.1 percent of the treatment group had big babies. The pregnancy complication known as shoulder dystocia, which means that the shoulders have gotten so large they're difficult to deliver, was found to be 4 percent in the control group and 1.5 percent in treated group. Cesarean delivery rates also were lower for women who received treatment for their gestational diabetes 26.9 percent compared with 33.8 percent of the control group. Women who received treatment also had lower rates of preeclampsia and high blood pressure 8.6 percent versus 13.6 percent in the control group, the study found. Landon said that the reduction of many of the birth complications resulted from the mother's blood sugar being under control, which doesn't cause overnourishment of the baby and thus the baby's size stays closer to normal. Neither Landon nor Sacks could explain the reduction in preeclampsia and high blood pressure. Sacks theorized that because both diabetes and high blood pressure are inflammatory processes, what helps reduce one might also help the other. But, he added, no one really knows right now. What is clear, said Dr. Miriam Greene, an obstetrician and gynecologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, is that "when women with mild gestational diabetes are treated well, there's a decreased incidence of birth trauma." Greene said that she's already been treating women with the mildest forms of gestational diabetes, and that it does make a difference. Sue McLaughlin, president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association, said that the study provides "another example of how preventive health care pays off in positive health outcomes and may save lives, dollars in the health-care system and improve the quality of life in future years for these families." According to McLaughlin, "Physicians need to take a proactive role in educating women of childbearing age about their risk for this condition so that women can implement healthy lifestyle behaviors, which promote weight control and prevention of excessive weight gain in this and future pregnancies."

Type two Diabetes Treatement

 Type two Diabetes Treatement:

Type 2 diabetes is a complex disorder generally affecting older people who are often overweight and likely to suffer other medical problems as well. Its management presents considerable challenges to medical and nursing staff, whose care must be directed at the sum of the problems of the individual patient. Management now requires not only attention to blood glucose control, but also to the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia, as well as introducing the necessary measures for reducing cardiovascular risk factors. Optimal treatment of Type 2 diabetic patients, especially those who are symptom-free, overweight and have in addition several cardiovascular risk factors, exercises our clinical skills and judgments to the limit. There needs to be a sense of reality within the consultation, bearing in mind the potential dangers of unacceptable polypharmacy accompanied by low adherence to prescribed treatment as well as a sense of guilt experienced
by those who fail to achieve ideal targets set by physicians. Awareness of the priorities and intentions of individual patients needs to be given consideration, and patients need to agree on the objectives for treatment. Recommendations for treatment must be clinically relevant for the individual patient, who should be involved in choosing which of the many therapeutic options to select after explanation of advantages and risks. The difficulties of controlling Type 2 diabetes tend to increase with the passage of time as the disease progresses. Management is often difficult and needs to be pragmatic: the late Professor John Malins when asked how this should be done used to quote the advice given by Chekhov to his actors that it should be “done as well as possible”.

Diabetes Treatment and Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

Diabetes Treatment:
(i)Type 1 Diabetes Treatment: 
Insulin is essential for strict control of blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes. Tight blood glucose control is the best way to prevent major complications in type 1 diabetes, ncluding those that affect the kidneys, eyes, nerve pathways, and blood vessels. Intensive insulin treatment in early diabetes may even help preserve any residual insulin secretion for at least 2 years.
There are, however, some significant problems with intensive insulin therapy:

  1. There is a higher risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  2. Many patients experience significant weight gain from insulin administration, which may have adverse effects on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is important to manage heart disease risk factors that might develop as a result of insulin treatment.
A diet plan that compensates for insulin administration and supplies healthy foods is extremely important.
Pancreas transplantation eventually may be recommended for patients who cannot control glucose levels without frequent episodes of severe hypoglycemi
(ii)Type 1 Diabetes Treatment:
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure—at least for now. However, it can be managed with proper treatment. The goal of diabetes treatment is to maintain blood sugar levels before and after meals within a healthy range. By doing so, you will feel better on a daily basis and will help prevent or delay the complications of diabetes. Talk to your doctor about what a healthy blood sugar range is for you.
The four main components of treatment are:
  1. Insulin
  2. Diet
  3. Exercise
  4. Blood glucose monitoring

Diagnosing Diabetes

Diagnosing Diabetes:
The fasting blood glucose test is the preferred test for diagnosing diabetes in children and nonpregnant adults. The test is most reliable when done in the morning. However, a diagnosis of diabetes can be made based on any of the following test results, confirmed by retesting on a different day:
  1. A blood glucose level of 126 milli grams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher after an 8-hour fast. This test is called the fasting blood glucose test.
  2. A blood glucose level of 200 mg/dL or higher 2 hours after drinking a beverage containing 75 grams of glucose dissolved in water. This test is called the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
  3. A random—taken at any time of day—blood glucose level of 200 mg/dL or higher, along with the presence of diabetes symptoms.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed based on blood glucose levels measured during the OGTT.
Glucose levels are normally lower during pregnancy, so the cutoff levels for diagnosis of diabetes in pregnancy are lower. Blood glucose levels are measured before a woman drinks a beverage containing glucose. Then levels are checked 1, 2, and 3 hours afterward. If a woman has two blood glucose levels meeting or exceeding any of the following numbers, she has gestational diabetes: a fasting blood glucose level of 95 mg/dL, a 1-hour level of 180 mg/dL, a 2-hour level of 155 mg/dL, or a 3-hour level of 140 mg/dL.

Fasting Plasma Glucose:
This is the preferred test for diabetes. To have this test, you have to fast at least eight hours or overnight. You will have a blood sample drawn and examined for glucose. Most people have a level between 70 and 110 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood. A level of 126 mg/dl or higher on two tests given on two different days confirms a diagnosis of diabetes. (Previously a level of 140 mg/dl or higher was used to diagnose diabetes, but in 1997, the guidelines were revised because by the time a person got a diagnoses of diabetes with a level of 140 mg/dl, serious damage to the body had often already occurred. By lowering the diagnostic levels to 126 mg/dl, early control of the disease can begin and risk of complications is lower.)

Random Blood Glucose Test:
You don't have to fast to have this test, which is sometimes used if symptoms are present. Blood samples are taken shortly after eating or drinking. A blood glucose level of 200 mg/dl or higher points to diabetes, but it must be confirmed on another day with a fasting plasma glucose, an oral glucose tolerance test or another random blood glucose of over 200.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test:
For this test you have to fast at least eight hours and not have smoked or drank coffee. Your fasting plasma glucose is tested from a blood sample. After the test you will be asked to drink a sweet glucose syrup and then your glucose level will be measured from a blood sample taken two hours after you drink the liquid. There can be up to four blood samples taken to measure the blood glucose level. The American Diabetes Association expert committee recommends that this test be eliminated because it is a difficult and time-consuming test.

Glucose Challenge:
This is a test your doctor may give you to see if you have gestational diabetes, diabetes developed during pregnancy. You may be given this test if you are age 25 or older, are overweight, have a close relative with diabetes or if you are Hispanic, Native American, Asian or African American or a Pacific Islander. This test is given between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. You will be given a glucose drink and if an hour later, your glucose is 140 mg/dl or higher, your doctor may suspect gestational diabetes. You may then be given an oral glucose tolerance test.

Impaired Fasting Glucose:
Impaired fasting glucose is a new diagnostic category. If your blood sugar is measured between 110 and 125 mg/dL, it means you have impaired fasting glucose. This means your blood sugar is greater than normal, but less than the level of a person diagnosed with diabetes. It's thought that around 13.4 million adults, about 7 percent of the US population, have impaired fasting glucose. It's suspected that some people with impaired fasting glucose go on to develop diabetes. Talk to your doctor to see if exercise and eating a healthy diet will bring your blood sugar closer to normal.

Complications of Diabetes

Complications of Diabetes:
If you don't take good care of diabetes, over time, it can cause some problems. How you and your child take care of diabetes now affects what happens later on. You may not think it's that big a deal if your child's blood glucose is a little high. Your child may feel just fine, but hyperglycemia is a strain on the body and it can cause problems later on. These problems are called complications.
there are Some diabetes complications like:

  1. Neuropathy is nerve damage. It can cause problems in legs as well as other systems in the body.
  2. Retinopathy is damage to the eyes.
  3. Nephropathy is kidney disease. The kidneys filter waste out of the blood when they don't work well, poisons can build up.
  4. Heart disease is more common in people with diabetes.
There are treatments to help people with these problems. For example, eye surgery can often keep retinopathy from turning into blindness. But the best treatment is to take care of diabetes now and as your child gets older. Good diabetes care now can delay or prevent complications later.
It can be difficult for children to understand why diabetes care is so important. Often children and teens have trouble understanding how what they do can effect the future. Children and especially teens may sometimes want to slack off on diabetes care and say that complications will "never happen to me." Or, they may be the opposite and feel like they will have problems no matter what, so why bother?
If this happens, it is important to try to understand where your child is coming from. It may help to talk a little bit about how frustrating diabetes care can be.
Let your child vent. Then steer your talk back to how good diabetes care today can help prevent problems in the future.

Skin Complications:
At some point in thier lives, as many as one-third of people with diabetes will have a skin problem caused or affected by diabetes. Luckily, most skin conditions can be prevented or easily treated if caught early. To prevent problems, try to keep blood glucose levels in the target range, keep hands clean and dry, treat cuts right away, and include a dermatologist in your child's diabetes care team. Learn more about good skin care.

Foot Complications:
People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage in the feet or when blood flow is poor. Learn how to protect your feet by following some basic guidelines. Learn more about good foot care.

Oral Health:
People with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum disease and other mouth-related problems.

Causes of Diabetes

Causes of Diabetes:
Diabetes is classed as a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth. Most of what we eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar in the blood - it is the principal source of fuel for our bodies. When our food is digested the glucose makes its way into our bloodstream. Our cells use the glucose for energy and growth. However, glucose cannot enter our cells without insulin being present - insulin makes it possible for our cells to take in the glucose. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. After eating, the pancreas automatically releases an adequate quantity of insulin to move the glucose present in our blood into the cells, and lowers the blood sugar level. A person with diabetes has a condition in which the quantity of glucose in the blood is too elevated (hyperglycemia). This is because the body either does not produce enough insulin, produces no insulin, or has cells that do not respond properly to the insulin the pancreas produces. This results in too much glucose building up in the blood. This excess blood glucose eventually passes out of the body in urine. So, even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells are not getting it for their essential energy and growth requirements.

Diabetes Symtoms

Diabetes Symptoms:
there are different type of Diabetes Symptoms:
Type one Diabetes Symptoms:
The symptoms of Type I diabetes often come on suddenly and very severely. They include:

  1. blurry vision
  2.  the need to urinate often
  3. weight loss (even though you may be hungry and eating well)
  4. being exceptionally thirsty
  5. dry mouth
  6. feeling weak and tired
 Type two Diabetes Symptoms:
Sometimes, people with Type II diabetes don't notice any symptoms or the symptoms are experienced gradually. They include:

  1. increased thirst
  2.  dry mouth
  3. need to urinate often
  4. cuts or sores that are slow to heal
  5. leg pain
  6. blurry vision

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects as many as 16 million Americans. For reasons that are not yet clear, diabetes is increasing in our population to the point where public health authorities are calling diabetes an "epidemic" that requires urgent attention. Of the 16 million people with diabetes, about one-third of them don't even know they have it. Every year, 800,000 additional cases are diagnosed. It affects over six percent of the population now, and it is projected that nearly nine percent of all Americans will have diabetes by the year 2025. Health care costs for diabetes are estimated to be nearly $100 billion per year in the US. People with diabetes are unable to use the glucose in their food for energy. The glucose accumulates in the bloodstream, where it can damage the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. Left untreated, diabetes can develop devastating complications. It is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. However, the good news is that with proper care, people with diabetes can lead normal, satisfying lives. Much of this care is "self-managed," meaning that if you have this condition, you must take day-to-day responsibility for your own care. Most important to managing the disease is to know as much about it as you can. The first thing to know is what kind of diabetes you have.
Type of Diabetes: 
There are Different Type of Diabetes:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes:
  2. Type 2 Diabetes:
  3.  Gestational Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body’s system for fighting infection the immune system turns against a part of the body. In diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. A person who has type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily to live. At present, scientists do not know exactly what causes the body’s immune system to attack the beta cells, but they believe that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors, possibly viruses, are involved. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of diagnosed diabetes in the United States. It develops most often in children and young adults but can appear at any age. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop over a short period, although beta cell destruction can begin years earlier. Symptoms may include increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and extreme fatigue. If not diagnosed and treated with insulin, a person with type 1 diabetes can lapse into a life-threatening diabetic coma, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis. 

Type 2 Diabetes:
The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2. This form of diabetes is most often associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, and certain ethnicities. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents, especially among African American, Mexican American, and Pacific Islander youth. When type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin, but for  known reasons the body cannot use the insulin effectively, a condition called insulin resistance. After several years, insulin production decreases. The result is the same as for type 1 diabetes glucose builds up in the blood and the body cannot make efficient use of its main source of fuel. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually. Their onset is not as sudden as in type 1 diabetes. Symptoms may include fatigue, frequent urination,
increased thirst and hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and slow healing of wounds or sores. Some people have no symptoms.

Gestational Diabetes:

You develop diabetes just during your pregnancy.
The good news is that women with gestational diabetes can control their blood glucose levels and greatly minimize the risks.
About 2% to 5% of all pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that usually occurs only during pregnancy. With all types of diabetes, the body is unable to properly use glucose, a simple sugar that the body converts to energy. Glucose gets used by all the different cells in the body with the help of the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. With gestational diabetes, pregnancy hormones block insulin's ability to do its job. When this happens, glucose builds up in the pregnant woman's blood. Left unchecked, gestational diabetes can harm both the mother and the fetus. Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of:

  1. Having a very large baby, nearly 10 pounds or more. This condition,called macrosomia, occurs when the fetus is exposed to high blood glucose levels and stores the extra glucose as fat.
  2. Maternal and/or fetal trauma at birth due to the large size of the baby.
  3. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in the newborn.
  4. Jaundice in the newborn. Characterized by a yellowish skin tone, jaundice is associated with a buildup of bile pigment (bilirubin) in the bloodstream.
  5. Pregnancy-related high blood pressure.
  6.  Premature delivery.
  7. Birth defects (rare).
  8. Stillbirth (rare).