GOING GLUTEN-FREE

Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.

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A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....

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ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.

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A newer class of injectable medications, GLP-1 agonists (Byetta and Victoza), can cause nausea and vomiting. This is often dose related, so you should start low and go slow with this type of injectable and take it 30 to 45 minutes before eating. GLP-1 agonists slow down the emptying of the stomach, which can cause a feeling of fullness.


Other Medications


Several medications used to lower blood glucose levels in Type 2 diabetes can upset the stomach. As with the injectable’s, it’s best to start with a low dose and slowly increase it until it is at the level you need. Metformin, one of the most frequently prescribed medicines for Type 2 diabetes, can cause heartburn, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. In general, 5 percent to 10 percent of the population cannot tolerate metformin. Others report they must first have a full meal, not just a snack, prior to taking it so they do not experience abdominal and digestive difficulties. Extended-release metformin is usually more tolerable when you gradually increase the dosage over a one- to two-week period.


What Can You Do?


There are many natural remedies you can use to soothe tummy troubles. Top your food with raw parsley, which helps digestion. Incorporate ginger into your diet, either as flavor to dishes or as a tea. Drink peppermint tea. Add a tablespoon of pumpkin puree to dishes. But take note, most canned pumpkin is actually squash, so read the ingredients.

One guarantee that comes with diabetes is change, including changes in what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat at a sitting, in addition to taking new medicine(s). And one thing the stomachs and digestive systems don’t like is immediate change. The way the stomach feels, sounds and responds to these changes and the discomfort and pain in the gut caused by diabetes are not often discussed.


Changes in Eating


Foods rich in fiber are often added to a diabetic diet. Fiber can help improve abnormal cholesterol levels and can also be filling without adding unwanted calories. Rapidly increasing fiber to your diet can cause gas and bloating. To counter this, gradually increase your fiber intake. Legume, beans and lentils, are good choices for adding more fiber. When using dry legumes and beans, soak them in water and rinse them twice. This will decrease gas and bloating.


Blood Sugar Levels


Blood glucose, whether extremely high (hyperglycemia) or extremely low (hypoglycemia), can contribute to gastrointestinal distress. Hyperglycemia can cause two very serious conditions: diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) for patients with Type 1 diabetes and hyperosmolar hypoglycemic state

DIABETES AND STOMACH PAIN

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

(HHS) for patients with Type 2 diabetes. DKA occurs when the body has too little insulin. This causes stored fats to be broken down as an alternative fuel source, which creates a build-up of toxic acids (ketones) in the bloodstream. HHS is essentially profound dehydration that causes confusion in thought, speech and/or motor skills. Hypoglycemia can also cause thought confusion, but also adds an emotional component, feeling panicked, anxious, over-whelmed, paranoid, depressed, etc. HHS is more common in the elderly and those who have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. Both DKA and HHS symptoms can include abdominal pain or cramping, nausea and vomiting. Both conditions require emergency medical care.


Nausea is a symptom of hypoglycemia. Skipping meals when taking certain blood glucose-lowering medications, such as sulfonylureas or insulin, or taking too much rapid-acting insulin can also lower blood glucose. If you struggle with hypoglycemia, ask your doctor about a glucagon injection kit if you are unable to keep down food or liquids.


Injectable’s