Saturday, August 08, 2009

Health Tips for August 8

Health Tip: Preventing Complications From Diabetes

If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise could be just what the doctor ordered.

These lifestyle improvements may require some dramatic changes in your routine. But where do you start?

The American Diabetes Association warns against trying to change too much at once. It offers these suggestions:

  • Take a number of small steps, over a sufficient amount of time. This should make accomplishing your goals much easier.
  • Face your bad habits, and realize that you need to change them. Ask for help from family, friends and medical professionals, if you need it.
  • Find a motivating goal -- wanting to be around when your grandchildren grow up, for example.
  • Prioritize your changes. Complete goals that you're comfortable with initially, and save others for later.
  • Look at how much impact these changes will make, and start with those that pack the biggest punch, such as getting more active.
  • Setting goals should include what you'll do, how quickly you can accomplish it, and how to incorporate the task in your daily life.

Health Tip: What's Ketoacidosis?

Hyperglycemia, the medical name for high blood sugar, affects just about every person with diabetes at one time or another, the American Diabetes Association says.

Left untreated, hyperglycemia can trigger a condition called ketoacidosis, sometimes called diabetic coma. This occurs when there isn't enough insulin for the body to process blood sugar, so it begins to process fats for fuel instead.

That's when toxic waste products called ketones are produced. When the body can't expel ketones fast enough through the urine, they start to build up, possibly leading to ketoacidosis.

This condition needs immediate treatment. Symptoms include difficulty catching your breath, fruity scent to the breath, vomiting, nausea and dry mouth.

Exercise can help reduce blood sugar and prevent ketoacidosis. But if your blood sugar rises above 240 mg/dl, you should check your urine for ketones. If you detect ketones, do not exercise and seek immediate medical attention, the ADA warns.

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