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Things Only The Loved Ones Of People With Diabetes Would Know

Things Only The Loved Ones Of People With Diabetes Would Know

Diabetes is an illness that commonly affects many of our loved ones and close friends, yet it is often misunderstood. Tom Hanks has famously been known to have diabetes and has brought light to this illness.

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease which affects the way the body handles sugar in the bloodstream. Here are some common myths about those who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is not a serious illness

Diabetes may not be seen in the same category of illness as heart disease or cancer, but it is in fact a chronic illness that is responsible for more deaths annually than AIDS and breast cancer combined. It is also known that diabetic individuals have twice the risk of having a heart attack. Luckily, there are medications that help monitor diabetes and therefore can lower risks for associated complications.

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Only overweight people have diabetes

Being overweight and having diabetes often seem to have close associations, but the truth is that anyone can develop this disease, no matter what their BMI is. Other risk factors that are important to pay attention to besides weight are age, family history, and ethnicity.

People with diabetes should only eat certain “diabetic” foods

Specific foods that are labeled as “diabetic” are not really as effective as eating a well-rounded diet that is low in fat and sugars. Diabetic foods often raise blood sugar levels, produce a laxative effect, and end up being more expensive on average.

Diabetics cannot eat any form of sugar

In small amounts, sugar is fine for someone with diabetes to consume. You do not have to worry about hiding all the chocolate when a diabetic person is present, since having a small sweet treat every once in a while is completely acceptable.

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You can catch diabetes from someone else

The reasons why some people develop diabetes is still unclear, but it is definitely not contagious. Spending time with loved ones who suffer from this disease will only aid your connection to them, something that the both of you will benefit from.

Diabetics have weak immune systems

Diabetics are no more susceptible to colds or the flu than the average person. However, it is recommended for them to get a flu shot because of the possibly serious complications that they could suffer as a result of the flu.

A need for insulin means diabetics have poorly monitored their diabetes

For some diabetics, their blood sugar can be controlled by lifestyle changes, such as a well-balanced diet, medication, and exercise. As the disease progresses, sometimes the pancreas can simply stop creating enough insulin and diabetics will be required by their physician to inject insulin into their bodies. This is not related to poor maintenance on the individual’s part, but rather just is a natural progression of the illness.

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Diabetics know when their blood sugar is low

People with diabetes do not always know when their blood sugar is low, especially as it can be confused with other things like feeling lightheaded from the common flu. The longer that someone has diabetics, the better they get at knowing when their low blood sugar is related to their diabetes.

Carbohydrates are bad for diabetics

Carbs often get a bad rap for diabetics because they are known to affect blood sugar levels. Not all carbs are created equal though, and whole grains can be eaten in moderation and are actually a crucial part of a balanced diet.

Insulin can make up for an unhealthy diet

Taking insulin does not mean that diabetics have a free pass to eat anything that they want. It is still important to take medication in addition to a healthy diet that is low in sugar and fat.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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