When people eat ordinary table sugar, called sucrose, the body digests it into fructose and glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar that the body uses to provide the cells with energy. The body normally protects itself from the damaging effects of high glucose levels by neutralizing the glucose it does not need. Insulin is the main substance used to keep blood glucose levels from becoming too high, but people who have diabetes might either have a resistance to the effects of insulin or might not produce insulin at all. This is how diabetes and glucose are related.
There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the sufferer does not produce insulin at all. People who have type 2 diabetes do produce insulin, but their bodies do not respond to it as well as a healthy body would. In either type, the relationship between diabetes and glucose is direct. Untreated diabetes causes blood sugar to rise to unhealthy levels.
Diabetes and glucose levels can be controlled by diet, exercise or medication. The mode of control depends on the severity and type of the disease. People who have type 1 diabetes always have to take insulin because their bodies simply do not produce it. Control of type 2 diabetes might never involve the use of insulin treatment if the patient is compliant with prescribed medication and lifestyle modification.
There is a direct correlation between diabetes and glucose tolerance. Glucose tolerance is sometimes tested as part of the process of diabetes diagnosis. The patient drinks a solution of sugar and water right after having his or her blood sugar level tested. Blood sugar is tested two to three hours after drinking the solution. A blood sugar level of 99 to 199 might indicate prediabetes, and levels of 200 and above call for a clear diagnosis of diabetes.
Another test for diabetes involves checking the blood glucose level after the patient has been fasting for at least eight hours. If the level is high enough to arouse suspicion, the practitioner might perform the same test on another day to confirm the diagnosis. Further testing and medical history helps determine the type of diabetes, which will in turn determine the course of treatment.
Hemoglobin A1C is a test that indicates average blood glucose levels over the three months prior to taking the test. Most practitioners use hemoglobin A1C to determine how effective the current treatment is in keeping diabetes and glucose under control. Patients should take this test several times a year to be sure that the prescribed treatment is still working.
People who have pre-diabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than they should be but not quite high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. The condition is quite common in the United States and affects about 57 million people, some of whom may not know that they have the condition since it is usually asymptomatic. Pre-diabetes, formerly known as borderline diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, usually leads to type 2 diabetes unless the patient takes steps to prevent or reverse the condition.
When a person has type 2 diabetes, his or her body is usually unable make or use insulin to metabolize the glucose, or sugar, found in many foods. The sugar then builds up in the blood and can cause damage to the heart, kidneys, and central nervous system. People who have type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Likewise, people with pre-diabetes also face a higher risk of these conditions.
Although the risks are high, many people do not know that they have pre-diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that adults who are overweight and over 45 years old talk with their doctor about being tested for the condition. There are two tests for pre-diabetes, both of which measure the level of glucose in the blood. Both tests are considered equally effective.
Before taking either test, the patient must fast for at least eight hours. For the first test, known as the fasting plasma glucose test, a blood sample is taken and the glucose level is measured. If the glucose is between 100 and 125 mg/dl, then the patient has pre-diabetes. During the oral glucose tolerance test, a patient’s glucose is tested after a fast. He or she then drinks something high in sugar and has his or her blood tested after two hours. If the level in glucose is between 140 and 199 mg/dl after two hours, he or she is pre-diabetic.
After a person is diagnosed with pre-diabetes, he or she can take steps to slow the progression to type 2 diabetes or to even reverse the condition. Patients who lose about 5 percent of their body weight often slow down or prevent the development of diabetes. Patients may also benefit from increased exercise and a change in diet, such as cutting back on sweets and making sure to eat nutritious meals. Cutting back on risky behaviors, such as smoking, and working to lower blood pressure and cholesterol can also cut a patient’s chances of developing diabetes-related illnesses.
Vildagliptin is a substance used to treat diabetes mellitus type 2, more commonly known as type 2 diabetes. It is used for patients who cannot control their blood sugar, or glucose in their blood, with other anti-diabetic medicines. Swiss-based multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis International AG markets the drug under the trade name Galvus.
The medical condition that vildagliptin fights against is the most common form of diabetes. It is sometimes called adult onset diabetes to set it apart from type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes. Either way, the presence of diabetes indicates the lack of the insulin hormone, which leads to an increase of blood sugar. Vildagliptin is introduced to increase the amount of two hormones named glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), which contribute to the control of the body’s glucose level. The anti-diabetic drug does this by inhibiting dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), a protein that inactivates GLP-1 and GIP.
Vildagliptin can also be combined with other antidiabetic drugs. Perhaps the most common combination is Eucreas, another trade name from Novaris, which is a combination of vildagliptin and metformin. The latter is actually a first-line drug for type 2 diabetes treatment and is one of the most widely used anti-diabetic drugs in the world.
Another popular candidate for combination, sulphonylurea, works by increasing the insulin from the pancreas organ’s beta cells. Other anti-diabetic drugs that are commonly joined with vildagliptin include rosiglitazone, brand name Avandia; and pioglitazone, brand name Actos. Both belong to a class of five-membered heterocyclic ring-possessing medications called thiazolidinediones.
Side effects of vildagliptin include constipation, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, swelling of legs and ankles, tremors, weakness and weight gain. Most of these side effects are caused when the drug is combined with metformin, sulphonylurea or glitazone. Physicians can withhold vildagliptin if the patient is over 75 years of age, has mild heart failure, or is taking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which are drugs used to treat the aforementioned condition, as well as hypertension.
On 26 September 2007, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorized vildagliptin. The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), then approved the drug on 1 February 2008 for launch in its member nations. Twenty-four days later, the same body approved Eucreas.
Since then, vildagliptin has launched in 37 countries and has been approved in 70 countries. Novaris, however, has not submitted the drug to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This has placed a halt of the medication’s approval in the U.S., since the FDA has called for additional clinical data in light of skin lesions and kidney problems that have appeared in animal studies.
Metformin is a medication that is utilized by people with Type 2 diabetes to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. When taken at strategic times during the day, the drug helps to support the body’s use of carbohydrates in a manner that minimizes blood sugar spikes. When used in conjunction with a sensible diet and regular exercise, this medication can allow diabetics to enjoy many more years of good health without the damage to various body organs that normally result from constantly having high blood glucose levels.
The medication is available as part of a number of different formulas, such as Glipizide and Glyburide, or may be obtained as a stand-alone medication for treating diabetes. One of the more common trade names for the drug in a number of countries is Glucophage. A number of drug companies produce generic products that are marketed simply as metformin, with the cost of the generic versions being considerably less than the name brands.
Metformin helps to minimize blood sugar spikes by blocking the release of glucose in the liver. This means that less glucose enters the bloodstream and is unable to result in the undesirable effects that higher blood sugar has on the function of the eyes, heart, and lungs. In addition, metformin is also helpful in increasing the sensitivity of the body to the insulin that is produced by the body, allowing the individual to obtain greater benefits from that limited amount of insulin release. The end result is that people who are prone to blood sugar spikes are less likely to experience levels outside a safe range, either in terms of high blood sugar or sudden drops that are below normal limits.
While a typical daily dose of metformin is 500 mg, some patients may require additional doses throughout the day. Many doctors recommend that the medication be taken with the largest meal of the day, while others recommend taking 500 mg at breakfast and another 500 mg with the evening meal. The frequency and amount of the dosage will vary, based on the current condition of the patient, and how well he or she responds to the each individual dose.
While metformin alone is an effective medication for many diabetics, it is sometimes combined with other medicines in order to produce the desired result. For example, drug products containing both metformin and sitagliptin may be necessary if metformin used along with a low carbohydrate diet and regular exercise is not sufficient to control blood glucose levels. In any of its forms, metformin represents a first line of defense for people needing assistance with controlling blood sugar, providing results that are far superior to medications used in past decades.
Diabetes mellitus is a broad term describing a condition where a person ends up with too much sugar, or glucose, in their bloodstream, and not enough getting into their cells to be burned as energy. Although all types of diabetes have the same end result, there are vastly different conditions that fall under the umbrella of this term.
Type 1 diabetes is a type of diabetes mellitus where a person’s blood sugar becomes high because their body can no longer produce insulin, the hormone that moves glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells, where it is used for energy. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin, are destroyed. Usually this is because of an autoimmune disease, where the person’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells.
Although we know that autoimmune diseases are genetic, it is still unknown what triggers the autoimmune response. It can occur at any time. A person can therefore be diagnosed as type 1 diabetic at any age, and not just in childhood as previously thought. Furthermore, by the time a person is diagnosed as diabetic, the antibodies that kill the beta cells have been at work for some time: The pancreas has the ability to compensate for the loss of insulin-producing cells until as much as 90 percent of the beta cells have been destroyed.
Type 2 diabetes is a completely different condition, and accounts for nine out of ten people with diabetes mellitus. People with this disease still produce insulin; in fact they usually produce more insulin than they actually need. Their bodies have just become resistant to insulin, which means they use it much less efficiently than they should.
The causes of type 2 diabetes are more complicated than type 1 diabetes. Some people are diagnosed with type 2 as they grow older, and their bodies presumably become less efficient. However, a growing number of type 2 diabetics have developed the disease because of poor diet, lack of exercise, and obesity, particularly in the United States. In fact, until very recently this disease was thought to occur only in middle-aged and elderly people; now it is being diagnosed in younger adults and even in children, presumably because the deterioration of healthy practices such as proper nutrition and exercise, and the growing number of obese people in the United States.
Whether the disease is type 1 or type 2, the symptoms of diabetes are the same. When blood sugar is too high, the kidneys filter out much of the extra glucose, unfortunately taking a lot of fluids with it. As a result, a diabetic with uncontrolled sugars suffers from constant thirst and frequent urination. Other symptoms of diabetes include muscle cramps, caused by the body filtering potassium out of the bloodstream along with the glucose and fluids, and blurry vision, caused by high glucose levels in the eyes. Additionally, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus often produces rapid weight loss: Although the person may be eating considerably more than normal, and although his or her blood sugar is high, the body’s cells are in essence starving to death because they are not able to access any of that glucose.
Anyone with diabetes mellitus struggles with the same end result: too much glucose in the bloodstream. However, because this occurs for different reasons depending on whether the disease is type 1 or type 2, the treatment is very different for each. Type 1 diabetics cannot make their own insulin, therefore they have to be injected with it. The amount of insulin varies according to the individual’s diet, lifestyle, and other factors.
Type 2 diabetics, on the other hand, usually take drugs to help them use their own insulin more efficiently. They also are usually advised to exercise regularly and follow a healthier, low-carb diet. In fact, in some type 2 diabetics, exercise and diet alone can control and even reverse the onset of diabetes mellitus. However, type 2 diabetics who have poor control of their blood sugars may need to compensate for their body’s lack of efficiency by injecting supplementary insulin.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body fails to make or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone the body uses to convert starches, sugar, and other food products into energy for the body to use to allow it to function properly. The four major types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, gestational, and pre-diabetes.
World-wide, diabetes affects huge numbers of people. In the United States alone, over 6% of the population — roughly 18 million people — are diabetic. While the exact causes remain a mystery, researchers have discovered certain symptoms. These symptoms include extreme thirst and hunger, frequent urination, blurred vision, weight loss, fatigue, and irritability.
For people with Type 1 diabetes, insulin must be taken every day. A diabetic will generally administer the insulin shot using a syringe or have someone else administer the shot for him. This type is more common in Caucasians and in people who live in colder climates.
Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled by monitoring the food one eats and by partaking in regular physical exercise. Some Type 2 diabetics may also need to take insulin shots or pills to regulate their blood sugar levels. Obesity is a major factor in developing this form. If a person has an unhealthy diet of fatty food and exercises infrequently, he or she may be walking a path that will lead directly to this disease.
Pregnant women who become diabetic during their pregnancy have what is called gestational diabetes. This form of the disease affects approximately 4% of all pregnant women in the United States. Women who become diabetics during their pregnancy are likely to have a family history of the condition. Obesity again may play a factor.
Pre-diabetes is simply a term for an individual who has blood glucose levels higher than normal. People with this condition are not quite at diabetic levels, but are more likely to develop the disease.
Though children of diabetics will not necessarily inherit the disease from their parents, research has shown that these children are more likely to get it than children of non-diabetics. Type 1 is also less common in people who were breastfed as infants.
Diabetes is a serious disease which can lead to heart problems, strokes, loss of limbs due to poor circulation, and death. Research continues to indicate that regular exercise and a healthy diet are two factors which can help people avoid this condition, as well as allow diabetics to have functional lives. Anyone who experiences some of the symptoms of diabetes should seek the advice of a medical professional. Unfortunately, millions of people across the globe have the disease, but it goes undetected because they ignore the symptoms and do not seek medical attention.
When the insulin in the body does not function properly or is not produced in sufficient quantities in the body, the person suffers from a disorder known as diabetes. It is one of the most common conditions found all over the world today. Its exact cause is unknown. There are several factors that are responsible for causing it. Although there is no cure for diabetes, following certain methods and making changes in the lifestyle can help in bringing the condition under control. The low GI diet is planned in order to bring diabetes under control. Let us know more on it.
Low GI Diet and Diabetes
In the recent years, we have observed that the major part of our diet consists of refined or processed foods. These foods are known as high glycemic foods, i.e., they contain a high amount of sugar. When we eat foods with high amount of sugars (not literal table sugar, but, sugars found in refined foods), the sugar level in our body rises very rapidly. This brings about a temporary but quick feeling of fullness. However, the sugar level also drops at the same speed as it rises. Therefore, we feel hungry after some time and tend to eat more. Therefore, consuming foods with high glycemic index can lead to disorders like obesity; and also have a negative effect on the body if a person suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.
Now, on the other hand, foods with low glycemic index contain a low amount of sugar and hence, do not affect the blood sugar levels. Secondly, as low glycemic foods comprise complex carbohydrate foods, they get digested in the body very slowly and hence, there is a steady flow of energy. These foods do not exert stress on the body to maintain proper levels of blood sugar. Therefore, a low GI diet, meant for diabetics, is very beneficial in maintaining a proper level of blood sugar and preventing the complications. At the same time, it should also be noted that following this diet regularly can also help in prevention of diabetes and obesity. Secondly, doctors also prescribe low GI diet for high blood pressure to prevent heart diseases caused due to obesity and high blood pressure.
Low GI Foods
The following is a list of foods that can be included in the low GI meal plan for diabetics. Although there are many other foods that have low GI like yams and sweet potatoes, but cannot be included in the diabetes diet. These foods will help in maintaining a healthy weight and normal blood sugar levels.
Whole wheat, all bran, rolled oats, oat bran, mixed grain
Whole wheat pasta, brown rice
Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, split peas, soy, linseed, lentils
Carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, lettuce, red peppers, eggplant, onions
Cherry, grapefruit, plums, prunes, walnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts
Whole milk, low-fat yogurt
There are a few guidelines that you need to follow if following the low GI diet. For e.g. you should substitute white bread and white pasta with the whole grain versions. Secondly, it is better to cut fruit and eat it fresh rather than going for fruits’ juices which are loaded with sugar. Thirdly, you should go for low-fat versions of as many foods as possible. You do not have to give up any foods; just substitute the unhealthy foods with healthy ones!
The low GI diet has proven to be very effective and with no side effects. You can also check on the Internet for low GI recipes for diabetics. Lastly, note that this information is used only for educational purposes. It is recommended to consult the doctor before making any changes in the diet, if you are suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure. Take care!