Tag: headache

Nov

21

Hypoglycemia In Diabetics, Help Share The Warning Signs:

Hypoglycemia In Diabetics, Know The Warning Signs: As diabetics chances are we’ve all experienced those dreaded lows, but what are they? What can we do as type 1 diabetics to avoid them and more importantly, what can we do to prevent them?  Lets take a closer look and examine hypoglycemia!

The body’s most important fuel is glucose, a type of sugar. When you digest most foods, sugar is released, and that sugar ends up in your bloodstream as glucose.

Your body, particularly your brain and nervous system, needs a certain level of glucose to function — not too much, and not too little. If your blood glucose level isn’t right, your body will react by showing certain symptoms.

Hypoglycemia occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels are abnormally low, and it’s a potentially serious condition. If you know someone who has diabetes, you may have heard them talk about “insulin shock,” which is the common name for a severe hypoglycemic reaction.

People with diabetes may experience hypoglycemia if they don’t eat enough or if they take too much insulin — the medicine most commonly used to treat diabetes with those who suffer from type 1.

Causes Of Hypoglycemia:

Most cases of hypoglycemia in adults happen in people with diabetes mellitus. Diabetes has two forms, type 1 (loss of all insulin production) and type 2 (inadequate insulin production due to resistance to the actions of insulin).

People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin to control their glucose level; if they skip meals or have a decreased appetite without changing their insulin dose, BAM, you guessed it, bring on the low!

Insulin is also used to treat some people with type 2 diabetes. If a person with type 1 diabetes accidentally takes too much insulin, or a person with type 2 diabetes accidentally takes too much of their oral medications or insulin, he or she may develop hypoglycemia.

Even when a diabetic patient takes medications correctly, improper meals, odd mealtimes, or excessive exercise may result in hypoglycemia.

Classic Signs Of Hypoglycemia:

Symptoms of a low blood sugar will vary depending on the individual, but here is a list of most of the common ones that I’ve personally experienced.  It should be noted that low blood sugars can occur suddenly and the most common low sugar symptoms include:

  • blurry vision
  • rapid heartbeat
  • sudden mood changes
  • sudden nervousness
  • unexplained fatigue
  • pale skin
  • headache
  • hunger
  • shaking
  • sweating
  • difficulty sleeping
  • skin tingling
  • trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
  • loss of consciousness

If you have hypoglycemic unawareness, a condition in which you do not know your blood sugar level is dropping, your blood sugar can drop so quickly you may not even have warning symptoms. When this occurs, you can faint, experience a seizure, or even go into a coma.  I had the unfortunate experience of a seizure a couple of years ago, definitely not something that I want to deal with again.

Continue Reading

Sep

29

Electrolytes And How They Help With High Blood Sugars

What Are Electrolytes? Electrolytes And DiabetesEver wonder why when we are severely dehydrated as diabetics or when we are dealing with an extreme high blood sugar our medical team tells us to make sure we replenish our electrolytes? I mean, what is an electrolyte anyway, what are the symptoms of low electrolytes and how can they help us as diabetics or if your just out mowing the lawn? Diabetic or not, they are extremely important when it comes to our overall health so lets take a closer look!

When dissolved in fluid, salts tend to break apart into their component ions, creating an electrically-conductive solution. For example, table salt (NaCl) dissolved in water dissociates into its component positive ion of sodium (Na+) and negative ion of chloride (Cl-). Any fluid that conducts electricity, such as this new saltwater solution, is known as an electrolyte solution: the salt ions of which it’s composed are then commonly referred to as electrolytes. So that leads us to the next question…

What Are Electrolytes?

There are several common electrolytes found in the body, each serving a specific and important role, but most are in some part responsible for maintaining the balance of fluids between the intracellular (inside the cell) and extracellular (outside the cell) environments. This balance is critically important for things like hydration, nerve impulses, muscle function, and pH levels.

With the correct body water balance, the electrolytes separate into positive and negative ions. When the body loses water or becomes dehydrated an electrolyte imbalance starts to occur. During heavy exercise, sodium and potassium electrolytes in particular are lost through sweating.  To ensure constant electrolyte concentrations in the body, fluids must be regularly consumed.

To avoid an electrolyte imbalance which can cause lethargy and muscle twitching, athletes consume electrolyte solution drinks to make sure the electrolyte balance is maintained during and after exercise – this contributes to achieving optimum performance

You should drink frequently during strenuous physical activity. Thirst usually does not kick in until well after you have reached a state of dehydration, so consume plenty of fluid whether you feel like it or not. About 6 to 8 ounces every 15 minutes is sufficient. Help replace electrolytes by consuming a beverage that contains 0.7 milligrams of salt per quart of fluid. Consuming fruit slices, such as bananas, strawberries and oranges can help restore lost potassium, but obviously we still need to be careful here and a small bolus may be needed after exercise due to the sugar content in fruit. 

7 Major Electrolytes & Their Function:

Let’s take a look:

  1. Sodium (Na+)
  2. Chloride (Cl-)
  3. Potassium (K+)
  4. Magnesium (Mg++)
  5. Calcium (Ca++)
  6. Phosphate (HPO4–)
  7. Bicarbonate (HCO3-)

So what do each of these to?

Sodium (NA+) is the major positive ion in fluid outside of cells (extracellular) and when combined with chloride the resulting substance is table salt. Some functions of sodium include the regulation of the total amount of water in the body and the transmission of sodium into and out of individual’s cells, which plays a role in critical body functions. Many processes in the body, especially in the brain, nervous system, and muscles require electrical signals for communication. The movement of sodium is critical in generation of these electrical signals. Too much or too little sodium can cause cells to malfunction and extremes in the blood sodium levels.

Potassium (K+) is the major positive ion found inside of cells. Some of the functions of K+ are the regulation of heartbeat and muscle function. The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function. Any seriously abnormal increase or decrease in K+ can profoundly affect the nervous system and increase change of irregular heartbeats.

Calcium (Ca++) is needed to build and maintain bones. It also plays a role in nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction.

Magnesium (Mg++) is an essential mineral that is involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Mg supports heart and nerve function. Mg is essential in the formation of bones and teeth and in converting blood sugar into energy.

Chloride (Cl-) is the major anion (negatively charged ion). CI- is found in the fluid outside of the cells and in the blood. The balance of chloride ion (CI-) is closely regulated by the body. Seawater has almost the same concentration of chloride ion as human body fluids. CI- plays a role in helping the body maintain a normal balance of fluids.

Continue Reading

Sep

24

Health Benefits Of Basil Leaves

Health Benefits Of Basil Leaves
Basil
is a common herb in most of our kitchens, but did you know that, besides tasting good in our chicken and pasta dishes, it can be of use toward having more healthy bodies?  It is an excellent alternative health treatment for many minor ailments.  Lets take a closer look at why I absolutely LOVE basil!

Basil For Headaches:

A facial steam with dried basil leaf can help alleviate a headache.  Add a tablespoon of dried basil leaf to 2 cups of boiling water in a large pot.  Carefully lean over the pot, cover head with a towel and breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes until headache starts to subside.  Bonus, you get to smell like an Italian restaurant for the rest of the day!

Good For Upset Stomach:

Us Italians may be on to something with adding Basil to everything.  It is thought to have a calming effect on the stomach and 1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh Basil Leaf in water can often help sooth indigestion and alleviate feelings of fullness.

Basil Leaves And Fevers:

Leaves are used for quenching fevers, especially those related to malaria and other infectious, eruptive fevers common to tropical areas.  Boiling leaves with some cardamom in about two quarts of water, then mixed with sugar and milk, brings down temperature. An extract of basil leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours; between doses you can give sips of cold water.  This method is especially effective for reducing fevers in children.
Continue Reading

Mar

9

The Dangers Of Fasting!

The Dangers Of Fasting I personally don’t understand how not eating food for hours on end can even remotely be healthy for you, or is it? As a type 1 diabetic this would literally kill me, but how healthy is fasting? When you go without food, you are depriving your body of nutrients it needs on a daily basis. Not to mention it makes your breath smell awful. When fasting you deprive your body of nutrients, of food, and vitamins, your body goes into survival mode and begins to store as much fat as it can without burning it off. It will also slow your metabolism down, which will slow down your weight loss even more.

How Fasting Works:

Fasting is usually done by refraining from eating and drinking only water for a set period of time, although there are some fasts that include drinking juices. In the first day of a water fast, your body turns to the stores of glycogen in the liver for calories, which breaks down to glucose. This usually runs out after the first 24 hours, and the body turns to its reserves of fat and protein to support most of the body, and the muscles to support the brain and red blood cells. After the third day, the body has used up all its reserves of glucose, and starts creating what’s known as ketone bodies in the liver. The body can use them for fuel and it spares the muscles from wasting away. This process, known as ketosis, will continue as long as the body has enough fat stores. If you consume juices during the fast, some of this is mitigated due to the glucose in the juice.

Continue Reading

Feb

2

Health Benefits Of Grape Seed Extract

Health Benefits Of Grape Seed ExtractGrape seeds contain incredibly powerful antioxidants that have a wide range of benefits to our health. But, we wouldn’t get very far by just crunching the few seeds we find in grapes! Instead, grape seeds are collected from wine manufacturers, who separate the seeds from the fruit when they are harvested. Then the grape seeds are made into highly concentrated capsules that contain a powerful dosage of the antioxidant.  There are numerous health benefits associated with grape seed extract, lets take a look at a few!

 

Grape Seed And Hypertension:

Theoretically, grape seed extract might help treat hypertension or high blood pressure. Antioxidants, like the ones found in grape seed, help protect blood vessels from damage. Damaged blood vessels can lead to higher blood pressure. In a 2009 study of subjects with metabolic syndrome, researchers found that four weeks of treatment with grape seed extract lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. There is some evidence that grape seed extract supplements may help lower blood pressure.

According to a University of California Davis School of Medicine research study, participants taking grape seed extract experienced significant drops in their blood pressure, with an average 12 mm decrease in systolic and 9 mm decrease in diastolic pressure. While this may be because grape seed’s antioxidants protect blood vessels from damage, more research is needed to fully understand grape seed extract’s effect on hypertension.
Continue Reading