diabetes month

American Diabetes Month at Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving

Did you know that November is American Diabetes Month? Diabetes is a huge problem faces American adults and children alike. Diabetes has become so common that nearly 10% of the population—1 in 11 people—have diabetes, and nearly three times that number are at risk of developing diabetes. At the Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving, we wanted to explore what causes diabetes and how to combat this growing problem.

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes and is possibly caused by genetic or environmental factors. With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas struggles to produce insulin. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, occurs when the body cannot process its own insulin. Oftentimes, type 2 diabetes is linked to inactivity, excess body weight, or genetic factors.

If you are worried about diabetes, what can you do? One of the most important things to focus on is your diet. Too often, the food and drinks we consume contain too many sugars and lack the proper nutrition that our bodies need. Instead of foods heavy on calories, fill plates with vegetables and unprocessed foods instead. Generally speaking, if half of your plate has non-starchy vegetables, you are in good shape. The other half of your plate should contain lean protein and a healthy carbohydrate, like brown rice or whole grain pasta.

Activity is another important step in fighting diabetes. In this day and age, it is very easy to get sucked into inactivity. On top of leisure activities like movies and television, more and more Americans are working office jobs. A good idea is to set limits to how much time you sit still every day. Even at work, you can move about the office once every hour or so. You should also consider lifestyle changes, like walking to lunch or holding walking meetings.

Diabetes is a serious health risk that endangers the lives of countless Americans. This November, take the time to join the fight against diabetes. While sometimes diabetes is outside of your control, this advice will help minimize the risk of developing diabetes.


When Exercise Isn’t Enough: Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise is generally considered a good thing. Perhaps too much exercise can be bad for health, but in general, physicians, researchers, scientists, life coaches, and plenty of other professionals recommend that all of us sneak in some exercise into our daily routines. However, we’re still exploring exercise and how it effects individuals. Case in point: one study recently explores why approximately one in five individuals with type 2 diabetes do not respond to exercise.

When we exercise, we typically expect our bodies to condition over time. Muscles are stressed and are conditioned to work better than before, including our heart. However, there is some unknown factor in some people with type 2 diabetes that causes exercise to not help improve health. This latest discovery opens up whole new avenues of research in physical health.

That being said, with only an estimated 20% of the Type 2 community exhibiting this problem, consider including exercise in your regular routine. Doing so can help you in a number of ways, including:

  • Boosting energy
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Burning fat
  • Using insulin (which helps control your blood sugar levels)
  • Lowering bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • Improving good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Reducing the risk of strokes

If you have problems exercising with Type 2 diabetes or considering starting or changing your exercise routine, remember you can always talk to your physician. Do the same if you feel like your exercise routine is not improving your health. Remember that sometimes exercise will feel difficult and might sometimes feel like you’re not making any progress. Your physician can give you a clearer picture as to the progress you are making and how it is impacting your health.

If you are still looking for a physician that can help you create a plan for your Type 2 diabetes, the Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving is home to a number of doctors that are more than willing to help. Our great locations along MacArthur Boulevard in Irving make us easily accessible, and our commitment to serving our community has earned us a reputation of caring and concern.  If you wish to schedule an appointment today, contact us at 972-253-4200.


Putting the Diabetes Problem in Perspective

It is likely that each one of us knows at least one person with diabetes. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in America, and while our methods of managing the disease have improved over the years, it is still a serious condition that can affect lifestyles. However, it is also a disease that has been with us for centuries now, which means we often overlook how serious the diabetes problem has become in America.

The Center for Disease Control and Emory University in Atlanta estimate that 2 in 5 Americans will develop diabetes, more than likely type 2 diabetes, sometime in their life. Additionally, over 50% of some ethnicities will also develop some type of diabetes.

Part of this alarming statistic comes from the fact that people are living longer lives, meaning that there are simply more years where they can develop diabetes. However, researchers also point to dietary changes in American eating habits, including eating at restaurants more often, eating larger amounts of food than recommended, and increasing the amount of refined sugar in diets.

If this isn’t alarming enough, the National Health Interview Survey showed that the lifetime risk of diabetes developing in women rose from 26.6% to 39.6% and 20.2% to 40.2% for men compared to risk measured in 1985-1989.

  • So what can you do to minimize your risk of diabetes?
  • Maintain a healthy weight. This means keeping your body mass index (BMI) less than 25.
  • Exercise. It has been shown that 30 minutes of exercise a day can significantly reduce the chances of developing diabetes.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This includes not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking, or fatty foods.

If you follow these steps, you can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes and help you enjoy a long, healthy, and happy life. If you feel like you may be at risk of developing diabetes, consider setting up an appointment with the doctors at MSCI and discuss the factors in your life that you can change to help you minimize risk.


Diabetes on the Brain: Another Danger

Diabetes is one of the most common conditions in the US and affects around 25.8 million children in adults, with approximately 1.9 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in 2010. While many people are familiar with the way that diabetes affects insulin production and usage, but new research indicates that type 2 diabetes may have another unfortunate side effect: loss of brain volume.

Some previous research indicated that the brain may reduce in size due to diabetes, and the previous hypothesis was that this effect stemmed from diabetes’ ability to damage the small blood vessels in the brain. Now, however, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania believe that diabetes reduces brain volume not because of damage to blood vessels but because the way the brain handles excess amounts of sugar.

The results of diabetes can be fairly drastic. Researchers noted that “for every 10 years someone had diabetes, the brain looked as if it was about two years older than the brain of someone without diabetes.” The areas of the brain particularly affected by volume loss are known as gray matter. These areas include the parts of the brain that involve muscle control, sensory processing like seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, self-control and decision making.

There are many factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes, and while the causes of the disease are not fully understood, doctors do believe that those who are at highest risk are those obese or overweight, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, have little exercise, exhibit high blood pressure, and have low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides. If you are worried that you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, consulting a doctor is highly recommended. There are steps you can avoid to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

If you are looking for a doctor in the North Texas or Irving area, the physicians at MSCI are available to help. Contact our North Texas clinic today and schedule an appointment.


The Importance of Blood Sugar Management

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, you know that hypoglycemia is something to be wary of. In fact, hypoglycemia is something that you have to constantly deal with. A new study links reduced cognitive function with severe hypoglycemia.

The study, published in Diabetes Care, surveyed 1,066 individuals with type 2 diabetes between the ages of 60 and 75. Those contacted were asked to return four years later. The researchers looked at the history of hypoglycemia in these individuals and performed cognitive tests to see if there were any links. What researchers found indicates that those with frequent and severe hypoglycemic episodes performed poorer on the cognitive tests for verbal, nonverbal, processing and working memory skills.

As our population gets older and more and more individuals are diagnosed with cognitive impairment, cognitive decline and dementia, this information becomes more important. We know the importance of a good diet and exercise, which can help reduce the chance of type 2 diabetes. Leading a healthy lifestyle might not only improve your physical health but also your mental health as well, particularly in later years.

Researchers concluded that hypoglycemia has a connection to “steeper decline in cognitive function” and that hypoglycemia “is a risk factor for cognitive decline.” Researchers also pointed out that those with poor cognitive ability may not be able to recognize signs of hypoglycemia and have a harder time managing their diabetes. The study concludes, however, that the link between cognitive decline and hypoglycemia may be casual, but living a healthy lifestyle can always be beneficial. Not only may it benefit your cognitive development later in life, but it will allow you to be more active and healthier for all the other stages in your life.


Understanding Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

Thanks to modern technology and medical understanding, people living with Type 2 Diabetes can live normal lives. As the most common form of diabetes in the US, Type 2 can be manageable to live with, particularly when those diagnosed with the condition are educated about the associated challenges.

Did you know that there are actually two different types of insulin resistances? Type A is characterized by a decrease in the number of insulin receptors, while Type B results in auto-antibodies fighting against a person’s insulin receptors. The important distinction between the two types of insulin resistance is the fact that Type B resistance decreases insulin’s ability to attach to insulin receptors and the proper cells, minimizing the effectiveness of insulin.

In patients who have an increased body fat content, there is a greater chance of developing insulin resistance. This is because fat cells actually store hormones, which contributes to adipocyte mediated insulin resistance. At the same time, fat tissue also decreases adiponectin (a protein that helps regulate glucose levels and breaking down fatty acids) and increases TNF-a and resistin.

One study, Pharmacology of signaling pathways: In type 2 diabetes, points to a connection between insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the study suggests that insulin resistance is not caused by total body fat but by an increase in body fat content. This opens up the possibility in the future of companies developing better drugs to help those with type 2 diabetes cope and live with their condition.

The doctors at the Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving are always looking to stay current with the latest findings and will continue to educate their patients about new treatments and developments in the study of medicine.