Tips to prevent type 2 diabetes

In recent years, the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus has sky-rocketed, and our lifestyles are largely to blame. We’d like to provide you some tips to improve your lifestyle and in turn avoid type 2 diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes. Causes.

 

Diabetes is a metabolic disease, in which glucose is not able to enter cells to be used as energy, instead staying in the blood. This can be due to insufficient insulin being produced, or because this insulin is not efficient, or because our bodies have become resistant to it. High blood sugar levels sustained over a long period of time produce many health problems.

 

Type 2 diabetes was known until recently as adult diabetes, as it was more common in people aged between 40 and 60. Nowadays however, there are thousands of cases in teenagers and young adults. The reasons for this can be found in our lifestyles and eating habits, which have changed a lot over recent decades. The following are therefore important risk factors for type 2 diabetes:

 

  • Obesity or excess weight
  • Hyperlipidaemia
  • Arterial hypertension
  • High calorie diets rich in saturated fats and simple sugars
  • Sedentary lifestyles
  • Metabolic syndrome, which features 3 or more cardiovascular risk factors

 

There is also a genetic element which means that children of people with diabetes are predisposed to developing the disease.

 

Type 2 diabetes symptoms

 

In the initial stages this illness has no symptoms and is usually diagnosed by chance through routine blood tests that register high blood sugar levels. Later on the following may present:

  • Fatigue
  • Eyesight problems
  • Constant thirst
  • Hunger at unusual times
  • More frequent urination
  • Repeat infection processes
  • Wounds that heal slowly

 

How to prevent type 2 diabetes

 

A good diet and active lifestyle, avoiding unhealthy habits, is key to preventing this type of diabetes. Heed the following:

 

  • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. The best type of exercise is cardiovascular, in which you increase energy expenditure because of breathing faster and your heart beating faster, as well you moving your entire body. However any sport or discipline will do. The important thing is to perform the activity for at least 30 minutes, and to do so regularly – 3 or 4 times a week.

 

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Ensure your body mass index does not exceed 24. Note: BMI = weight/ height2. A balanced diet and exercise can help you to achieve this.

 

  • Avoid hyperlipidaemia, whether cholesterol or triglycerides.

 

  • Drink sufficient fluids, around 8 glasses of water a day. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol, and don’t overdo it with stimulating drinks which increase blood pressure.

 

  • Stop smoking. A meta-analysis carried out with studies on tobacco use over the last 40 years confirmed that smoking tobacco increases the risk of suffering from diabetes, up to 60% in those who smoke more than one packet of cigarettes per day.

 

  • Get enough sleep. Rest helps to maintain an active metabolism and to control blood sugar levels.

 

 

Diet for type 2 diabetes.

 

  • Increase your intake of fibre, which aids intestinal transit. Wholegrain foods such as rice, wheat, quinoa, oats, etc. can prevent spikes in glucose levels and help to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

 

  • Eat more often throughout the day. Six or seven times. In this way you eat less overall and will avoid sharp rises in sugar levels.

 

  • Increase your intake of plant proteins: pulses, wholegrains, nuts, seaweed, seeds…

 

  • Reduce your consumption of red meat and increase that of poultry and oily fish.

 

  • Always cook with olive oil.

 

  • Watch the amount of salt you use and substitute it with spices to add flavour. Many spices have metabolic effects which can help to regulate blood sugar levels (oregano, cinnamon, ginger, garlic…)

 

  • Opt for fat-free dairy products.

 

  • The best eating pattern to adopt is without doubt the Mediterranean diet, rich in fresh produce and low in processed foods.

 

  • Strictly limit your consumption of sugary foods. Pastries, sweets, dairy desserts, ice cream, sauces…

 

 

Don’t forget to have regular check-ups and always consult your doctor if you have any worries.

 

References:

  • Content revised by Dr. Trallero.
  • The diabetes.org foundation. Prevention of type 2 diabetes.
  • Sanitas.es. Healthcare medical group. Insurance and hospital services. Diabetes mellitus or type 2: what it is, causes and symptoms.
  • ©NetDoctor-Justesen. Tobacco and Diabetes.

How to identify a CVA. Must-know signs and symptoms

A cerebrovascular accident (CVA), or stroke, is a serious and urgent medical event, which happens when the normal flow of blood to the brain is stopped or drastically reduced. Several signs and symptoms warn the body of this event, which we should know how to identify, so we can seek immediate medical assistance. We’ll teach you the basics below.

 

Types of CVA

There are two types of cerebrovascular accidents (CVA):

  • Ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blood vessel in the brain getting blocked by a clot. This can happen for two reasons:

-Because the vessel is very narrow (for example, due to plaque buildup in the atheroma) and the slowed blood flow causes a thrombus. This is called a thrombotic stroke.

-Because a clot breaks loose from another part of the body (typically the heart) and travels through the vessels until reaching the brain, where it becomes trapped in a narrow area and remains blocked. This is called an embolic stroke.

 

  • Hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by the rupture of a vessel in the brain, thus preventing these areas from receiving normal blood flow. In addition, a hemorrhage irritates brain tissue, causing inflammation. Bleeding leads to a hematoma that displaces normal brain issue. A hemorrhagic stroke is frequently associated with hypertension, the rupture of an aneurysm or the buildup of a protein called amyloid in the arterial walls, especially in the elderly. This makes arteries more susceptible to bleeding.

 

Risk factors:

 

  • High blood pressure.
  • Atrial fibrillation.
  • Hypercholesterolemia and as a result, arteriosclerosis.
  • Family medical history.
  • Cardiac diseases or blood circulation complications.
  • Unhealthy habits: sedentary lifestyle, smoking, alcoholism, obesity…

It’s more common in people who are over 60 years old and those with three or more risk factors.

 

Signs of a CVA

Although a CVA can sometimes occur suddenly, there are a few signs that warn the body of blood flow problems.

 

  • Loss of strength in an arm or hand, or even one side of the face.
  • Sudden loss of vision, in one eye or both.
  • Intense headache for no apparent reason, with sudden onset and greater intensity than usual.
  • Difficulty articulating words, or finding the words to express oneself, or even babbling, which the listener can’t hear or understand.
  • Tingling sensation or loss of feeling in the fingers. Accompanied by numbness in the hands.
  • Vertigo, dizziness or imbalance, as if the ground were moving.

 

These symptoms usually appear right before the CVA, but some nonspecific symptoms may occur days beforehand, warning us that blood flow to the brain isn’t adequate:

  • Sudden changes in the person’s intellectual ability, including forgetfulness, confusion, absent-mindedness…
  • Sudden and inexplicable migraines.
  • Frequent gagging.
  • Clumsiness when walking.
  • Inability to sleep.

 

An early warning approach is key to reducing long-term damage and mortality due to these medical events.

 

Sometimes, transient cerebrovascular accidents occur, which are blood supply failures that are spontaneously resolved within minutes and don’t leave lasting damage. They’re important to note, because they can warn us of a more significant CVA down the road (just as chest pain may warn us of a later heart attack):

  • Memory loss or temporary disorientation.
  • Dizziness or headache.
  • Difficulty following a conversation or paying attention.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Tripping or falling.

 

However, it’s important to emphasize that these warning signs don’t necessarily indicate the onset of a CVA. Some of them are clear (limb paralysis, sudden loss of speech, intense headaches…), but others are much more nonspecific (dizziness, tingling, gagging), especially in the elderly.

 

If you’re experiencing clear warning signs (loss of vision, loss of speech, paralysis), seek immediate medical assistance. If the symptoms are more nonspecific or you’re unsure, consult your family doctor.

Early diagnosis can save lives.

 

References:

  • Content edited by Dr. Trallero.
  • Texas Heart Institute. Signs of a stroke.
  • NISA Hospitals. NeuroRehabilitation Service. Warning symptoms of ICTUS.
  • MD. Health. Dr. Pedro Pinheiro. Medical specialist in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. CVA – CEREBRAL STROKE – CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS.

Heatwave: watch out for heat stroke!

In the last couple of years, heatwaves have been multiplying all over the world. States have been circulating warnings and tips and we all know to drink a lot of water, cool living spaces and help older individuals who are the ones most at risk.

 

Warning signs

We should also know how to spot the warning signs of dehydration such as weight loss, dryness of skin, fatigue and drowsiness. Heat stroke can occur suddenly on the first day, without being preceded by a severe dehydration. The symptoms are immediately severe with violent headaches, nausea, and neurological signs ranging from confusion to loss of consciousness or convulsions… The victim’s body temperature is high (over 39 °C) and their skin is hot to the touch.

 

What to do in cases of heat strokes

Emergency services should be immediately called after placing the person in the shade. While waiting for the ambulance, you should undress the victim, cool them with water and fan them by creating air flow close to their skin.

In addition: heat strokes can affect everyone, including babies (for example when confined in cars). It can also affect those who work in the sun or conduct significant physical activity (long walks, sports).

 

Source: http://www.urgences-serveur.fr/prise-en-charge-du-coup-de-chaleur,2266.html