Friday, 20 July 2018

Types of Diabetes - Know the Difference

Many people know that there is a difference between Type I and Type II diabetes, but they aren't sure just what those differences are. Others may not know that there are actually several other types of diabetes in addition to Types I and 2 and that there are diseases that may mimic diabetes but are not the "real thing." 

Here are some ideas and tips on how to know the difference between the various types of diabetes.

Type I

Also called juvenile-onset diabetes, Type I usually occurs in people under the age of 25. The pancreas, often due to an autoimmune problem (the body attacks its own pancreatic cells) becomes disabled and can no longer produce insulin. Type I tends to run in families and will affect the person for the rest of his or her life. Insulin will be required and perhaps other medications throughout the diabetic's life. 

Type 2

This type of diabetes usually occurs later in life. Its symptoms are similar to Type I - excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, fatigue, tingling in the extremities, etc. - but unlike Type I, Type 2 can often be managed with diet and exercise, especially if it's caught early. Some sources note that it never really "goes away," but its severity varies. 

Type 2 diabetics usually have a functioning pancreas; it just doesn't produce enough insulin, or the insulin it does produce is not processed or recognized by the body (insulin resistance).

Diabetes Mellitus

The above types are both a form of diabetes mellitus. This is the form of the disease most people think of when they hear the term "diabetes."

Diabetes Insipidus

This is a disease that many may not have heard of. While it shares the same first name and even some of the symptoms (frequent urination and excessive thirst, for example), diabetes insipidus is actually quite different from diabetes mellitus. 

Diabetes insipidus is primarily a kidney disease and is often connected to the pituitary gland. This gland makes two hormones: one that stimulates the kidneys to make more urine (diuretic hormone) and one that "shuts off" the production of urine (anti-diuretic hormone). In diabetes insipidus, the kidneys either stop responding to this hormone or something goes wrong with the pituitary gland so that the hormones are not secreted properly. 


MODY, or Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young, is often confused with Type I or II diabetes. But it's neither one - sometimes it's called "Type 1.5." MODY is said to be caused by a single mutated gene that can be passed on from parent to child. MODY itself has varying degrees of severity, with MODY 1 and 3 possibly requiring insulin, sometimes in the oral form only, and MODY 2 not requiring any form of insulin.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Diabetes: What Is It and Who Gets It?

Diabetes is a significant problem in the developed world and is especially prevalent among certain ethnic groups. Yet many people are not really sure what diabetes is, who gets it, and whether or not they are at risk.

The Basics

Diabetes means too much sugar in the blood. Its proper name is diabetes mellitus. The sugar in the diabetic person's system also comes out in the urine, which diabetics produce a lot of - the ancient Egyptians noticed that the urine of certain people attracted sugar-loving insects like ants. The term "diabetes" comes from the Greek physician Arateus, and means "to siphon." The term "mellitus" (meaning "honey sweet") came about in the late 1600s. 

Diabetics need to take steps to control their blood sugar levels, something that is normally done automatically within the body. How this is done and to what extent it is done depends on the type of diabetes that is present. 


There are two basic types of diabetes. Type I diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes, often occurs in childhood. In this type of diabetes, the pancreatic cells are destroyed, either by the body's own immune system or some external damage to the pancreas, such as injury or surgery. Type I diabetics must inject insulin into their bodies since their pancreas no longer produces insulin. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood and gets it into the body's cells where it can be used. 

Type 2 diabetes is far more common and tends to occur in adults. Generally, those with Type II diabetes have a functioning pancreas; it just doesn't produce enough insulin, or the insulin it produces is "ignored" by the body (insulin resistance). Type II diabetes can sometimes be managed with diet and exercise, and insulin injections may or may not be necessary.

Who Gets Diabetes?

Type I diabetes tends to run in families. Type 2 diabetes can also run in families and may occur in at-risk individuals: those who are overweight, sedentary, over the age of 35 or had gestational diabetes in the past. You cannot "catch" diabetes as it is not caused by a pathogen. 

The prevalent opinion among medical professionals is that Type II diabetes can be prevented or minimized through a healthy lifestyle. The theory goes that too much white flour products, white sugar, corn syrup, and other refined sugars and grains cause the pancreas to become exhausted or the body to resist the insulin that is produced. 

Friday, 13 July 2018

What Causes Diabetes?

Chances are, you know someone with diabetes, or someone in your family has it. But what causes it? How does a person develop the symptoms of diabetes?

There are basically two types of diabetes, Type I and Type II. These differ as to their cause and treatment. Here are some ideas about what causes diabetes.

Type I

Type I diabetes is caused by a malfunctioning pancreas. What causes the pancreas to malfunction differs from case to case. It tends to run in families, but some individuals have developed diabetes in childhood when no one in their family has any history of the disease. 

In some individuals, their own immune system attacks the pancreas and destroys its cells, thereby rendering it useless. In others with Type I diabetes, an injury or pancreatic surgery destroys the pancreas to the point that it can no longer produce insulin. 

Type I diabetes has a different demographic than Type II. Children as young as 2 or as old as 22 can be diagnosed with Type I diabetes - hence the alternate name for Type I diabetes: juvenile diabetes. However, older people can certainly develop Type I diabetes, especially if there is an injury to the pancreas. 

Type 2

Type II diabetes may have some hereditary factors, too, but not to the clear-cut degree that Type I does. In Type II, the body becomes resistant to the insulin that the pancreas is still producing. Or, Type II diabetics have a functioning pancreas but the organ does not produce enough insulin. Older individuals and those who are overweight are considered more at risk for developing Type II diabetes than those with a healthy body weight and lifestyle. 

What Triggers It?

An auto-immune disorder might trigger Type I diabetes, as the body's immune system can inexplicably attack the pancreas and destroy its cells. There might also be some other way that the pancreas gets damaged, which is not age specific.

Type II diabetes may be triggered by unhealthy, sugar-rich diets and a sedentary lifestyle. The pancreas may simply become exhausted trying to keep the blood sugar down in response to the constant influx of sugar from the diet. 

Other possibilities for triggers include high blood pressure and stress. While it's not directly proven as a causal factor, individuals with high blood pressure are statistically more likely to develop diabetes than those with normal blood pressure. 
Stress as a causal factor has a similarly unproven status, but it is often thought by medical professionals that prolonged, unrelieved stress increases the risk of diabetes. Sometimes the stress is caused by trauma or emotional disturbance, somehow making the individual susceptible to developing diabetes. 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Walking while you work

More and more individuals are taking the initiative to walk extra distances at work, in an effort to get healthier. Depending on your job description and the location of your workplace, it may be easier to accomplish than you think. The following suggestions are provided to help you get started.

Start with Your Commute

When you’re ready to add walking to your work routine, the best place to start is your morning commute. If parking is available a half-mile or so from your workplace, drive there a little early and walk the rest of the way. If your house is close enough to work, you can even walk the entire distance. Doing this even a couple of times a week lets you get plenty of walking in. That is, as long as you don’t mind getting up a bit earlier. 

Get Up and Stretch

Your muscles need a chance to stretch every now and then, particularly when you spend hours a day working at a desk. Every hour or so, go grab some coffee, take a trip around the room or stroll around your office building, for at least five minutes. Not only does this help keep your body active, but stepping away from your work periodically can also stop you from feeling bored or fatigued before the end of the day. 

Form a Walking Group

You may be able to find a few co-workers who are interested in doing a bit of walking with you. Asking around at lunch and breaks or posting a notice in a cafeteria or break room, are all great ways to find potential walking buddies. Walking with a group of people makes exercise a much more social (and less tedious) experience, and also helps to encourage you to stick to your routine. 

Store Fitness Gear at Work

If you want to take your workplace workout to the next level, you may want to consider keeping some fitness gear at work. One essential and easy to store a piece of gear is a good pair of running shoes, so you have comfortable shoes for walking during breaks. A small set of weights is also a smart idea, both to hold while walking and to curl during the time on the phone. 

Consider a Treadmill Desk

For hardcore fitness enthusiasts, treadmill desks are a growing trend that allows you to walk while working on a computer or going over paperwork. These treadmills have a workstation built in that keeps your computer right at your fingertips during your walk. 

Because your attention will be shifted away from the machine and onto your work, these treadmills tend to have more safety features than traditional treadmills do, such as a low maximum speed and motion indicator bars painted onto the belt. 

If you've never thought about incorporating some kind of walking routine into your workday, why not give it a try? Start out small and work your way up, if you feel more comfortable that way. Remember, every step you take leads to a healthier you! Hope all my tips will help you in some foam.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Walking safety tips

Walking is a fun and easy way to get your heart pumping and to explore the world around you. But, like many other physical activities, there are some risks involved. Here are a few things you can do during your next hike to make sure that you or your walking group stay safe and have a good time.

Walk on the Sidewalk

When walking near roads or high-traffic streets, the sidewalk is absolutely the safest place to be. Not only will you be well out of the way of any passing cars, following the sidewalk also means you’ll be crossing the road at the safest places. Drivers will expect you to cross at an established crossing, and they may not be prepared to watch for pedestrians in the middle of a long stretch of road. 

If you’re walking alongside a road and no sidewalk is available, make sure you walk toward oncoming traffic. This way, you can see cars as they approach and take evasive action if necessary.

Dress for the Environment

When you’re planning a trip on foot, wearing the proper attire for the climate is just as important as any other preparation. In hot weather, shorts and a t-shirt or tank top will reduce the risk of overheating. In cold weather, you may want a coat or jacket depending on how severe the weather is, and long, insulated pants or jeans. 

The time of day you'll be traveling is another factor to consider before leaving your home. During daylight hours it's recommended that you wear brightly colored clothing so you can be easily spotted by drivers and other pedestrians. At night, however, drivers are less likely to see pedestrians and don’t expect to see people walking around in the first place, so it is highly recommended that you wear reflective material and light-colored clothing. 

Know the Signs of Fatigue

Walking for extended periods can take its toll, especially in the heat of summer. Heat exhaustion, brought on by our bodies being overheated and dehydrated, is an issue walker commonly face. The best way to avoid heat exhaustion is to bring plenty of water with you. If you feel a sudden onset of dizziness, muscle cramps, headache, nausea or weakness, stop in a cool place to rest immediately. 

Bring Along Emergency Gear

If you have a severe allergy to something that could potentially be triggered by an environmental condition such as a bee allergy or a certain pollen, it goes without saying that you should bring an emergency pack containing whatever medication has been prescribed to you. 

This also includes people who are prone to asthma attacks and people who are taking any medications to treat or reduce the risk of any life-threatening issues. And as always, in case of an emergency, having a cell phone or signal whistle to flag down passers-by is recommended for any pedestrian.  

As long as you bring along everything that you need and are careful to pay attention to your surroundings, walking or hiking is a perfectly safe way to exercise. Remember to cut down on distractions such as cell phones and portable media players as much as possible, as these can take your attention away from the world around you.

Rather than plan time after work to take a walk, why not walk while at work. That's what's coming up next.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Walking holidays

Are you thinking about doing something different on your next vacation? Do you love exploring the great outdoors? If so, why not consider a walking holiday? It's wonderful to enjoy your surroundings and keep fit at the same time. Here are three of many exciting suggestions to choose from.


Waterfalling, or waterfall hunting, is the act of hiking down trails and through the wilderness for the purpose of viewing waterfalls. Waterfall tours are very popular in Hawaii, the Sierra Nevada mountains and the upper peninsula of Michigan. All three of these locations offer a landscape that is ideal both for hiking and viewing these wonders of nature. 

It's easy to plot out the course you want to take on your waterfall hunting holiday because there are many established trails running past waterfalls and nearby campgrounds. Whether you're planning a one-day hike or a week-long camping trip, online trail maps and guides indicate what you'll probably encounter along a trail and about how long it will take you to walk it. 

Trail Hikes

While the search for waterfalls provides a great purpose for a hiking trip, there are many other trails, in all parts of the world, which offer a variety of other wilderness experiences. If you happen to be a camping enthusiast, consider this. Many trails are extremely long and can take days or even weeks to complete. In this case, it could mean camping out at rustic campgrounds or along the trail in order to complete your trek. On the other hand, if you're looking more for a day-long or weekend hike, look into hiring a transport service (near your trail) to shuttle you back to your car after a day of hiking. 

Walking Tours

For people traveling to foreign countries, taking a walking tour of the city they're traveling to is a fantastic way to experience both the scenery and culture of that specific location. These tours can take anywhere from a few hours to the entire day. 

These tours tend to focus on sites and locations that pertain to a certain subject, such as a tour of the historic landmarks of Washington DC. Walking tours are generally led by a tour guide who has knowledge of the area and the sites you will be visiting. They can offer information and a perspective you may not get on a self-guided tour. 

Planning Tip

When you Google the term "walking vacation," you'll be presented with hundreds of tour companies specializing in this popular niche. Taking the time to browse several sites is a wonderful way to get ideas - especially if you've never done anything like this before.

Because walking vacations continue to increase in popularity, more unique options are popping up all the time. If you don't want to invest in an already-planned-for-you walking trip, it's a lot of fun to put together your own.

For best results, put some time and effort into the planning stage. Read suggestions and reviews from other travelers. Don't just throw something together without proper research. You want your walking holiday to be an enjoyable one. You don't want it to be a walking nightmare!

Next up, walking safely. You don't want to miss these tips. 

Friday, 22 June 2018

Walking for charity

Walking for charity is not only good for you, it also benefits the cause or causes you’re most passionate about. Charity walks are becoming increasingly popular. Why? Because they work! 

Lesser-known charities are jumping on the bandwagon, right alongside the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Association, and are raising thousands of dollars for their respective organizations. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

How Charity Walks Work

Most charity walks require an entry fee of some sort. But, these fees are typically very affordable. In addition to actually walking, participants must garner sponsors willing to donate money to the cause. Each sponsor pledges a certain amount of money for each mile you walk.

Pledge forms are typically provided by the organization hosting the event. Utilizing your favorite social media platforms makes it easier to solicit sponsorships than ever before. Consider asking for donations on Twitter, Facebook and Periscope. You’ll probably be surprised by the positive responses you receive.

If you want to walk for charity but don’t want to solicit donations, you always have the option of sponsoring yourself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. You get exercise and the organization gets the money. Everyone benefits!

Popular Charity Walks

Many of the most popular charity walks are connected to nationwide organizations, with smaller chapters located all over the U.S. Some events are scheduled to take place all at once, like the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Others are coordinated more at the local level.

Here are a few walks you may have heard of, along with the organizations that benefit:

* Walk a Mile in Her Shoes (money helps fund neighborhood rape crisis centers)
* National Down Syndrome Society’s Buddy Walk
* Out of Darkness Community Walk (American Association for Suicide Prevention)
* Pet Walk (money goes to animal shelters and to help prevent animal cruelty)
* Great Strides (funds research to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis)
* CROP Hunger Walk (funds used to feed the poor and fight hunger)

The easiest way to find out more about charity walks in your area, is to pick up the phone or email organizations that interest you. Speak to the person in charge of fundraising events. If your preferred organization doesn’t host an annual walk, talk to the powers-that-be about the possibility of setting one up. You never know until you ask, right?

Getting Ready for the Walk

Before actually making a commitment, it’s a good idea to gauge your goal. In other words, are you walking strictly for fitness purposes or are you participating more as a means to have fun with your friends?

Fitness experts recommend that the further you plan to walk, the more you need to prepare. On average, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to walk a mile. So, if you plan to walk five miles, you should be used to walking continuously for roughly two hours.

Walking for charity is fun, good for your health, and monetarily beneficial to the organization of your choice. It’s also a great family-oriented activity. If you’ve never participated in a charity walk, there’s no time like the present. Pick an event, grab your comfortable shoes and get walking! 

Take a hike - a vacation hike that is. That's what we'll be talking about next time.