Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe for Diabetics?

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe for Diabetics?

One of the more difficult aspects of dealing with diabetes is the fact that you’ll be making a serious switch in your diet in order to cut out any excess sugar. This can be especially difficult if you regularly consumed sodas, sweets, and other items high in sugar or carbs.

One option that comes to mind as a solution is artificial sweeteners, things that taste sweet without actually being sugar. A lot of people will critique these sweeteners, claiming that they’re actually worse for you than regular sugar, and that you shouldn’t buy into it.

This may be the case for non-diabetic people, but for diabetics, they’re actually a sound alternative. As a diabetic, you’ll already have blood sugar levels that are far too high, and taking in any extra unnecessary sugar can lead to a variety of health complications.

Realistically, many diabetes experts have found artificial sweeteners to be perfectly safe for diabetics. These will be particularly useful for people who crave some kind of sweet tasting treats, but don’t want to put themselves at any kind of risk, understandably so.

There are plenty of these sweeteners available at almost any grocery store and even available online through websites such as Amazon. You can also find these at tables at many restaurants.

Many people use these sweeteners for their coffee - especially if they used to put sugar in their coffee before. After being diagnosed with diabetes, they wouldn’t want to drink sugary coffee, but they also wouldn’t want black coffee.

This is where sweeteners find their market. Not all artificial sweeteners use the same ingredients, though; some are more suited for certain conditions than others. For example, some sweeteners, such as aspartame, aren’t heat-stable, and shouldn’t really be used as substitutes in things like cooking or baking.

On the other hand, sweeteners like saccharin are recommended for these kinds of activities, as they’re actually heat safe. Using sweeteners as a replacement for sugar in existing recipes for things like baked goods can be a bit tricky, since the finished product might turn out a bit different due to the lack of certain properties found in sugar.

Instead, try to find new recipes based off of the sweeteners to begin with. This will ensure a proper taste and consistency, whereas just substituting the sugar in sugar based recipes may lead to off colors, textures, and tastes.

Can diabetes be cured?

Can Diabetes Be Cured?

The first thought that may pop into your head when being diagnosed with diabetes is what you can do to cure it, as you would with any other disease. While it may be a bit disappointing to hear, there isn’t currently a cure for diabetes.

Once you have it, you have it. However, the effects of diabetes can be mitigated and it can even go into remission, which is essentially a lessened version of the affliction. This makes living with diabetes much more manageable, and much easier on your mental health.

In order to curb the effects of diabetes, you’ll need to keep your blood sugar levels under control and at a normal level. Consult your doctor to find out what your normal blood sugar levels should be, and monitor those levels closely to figure out what changes you need to make to keep a normal level.

One strategy that you can use to help you is planning out each one of your meals in advance, making sure they’re healthy for you and are okay for you to eat. This will help you avoid accidental snacking on foods that aren’t diabetes friendly, and could potentially cause issues for you.

For type 2 diabetics, one thing that can help you a lot is exercise. By keeping your body healthy, your blood sugar levels will be kept at more normal levels. Anything from lifting weights to jogging can help, as long as you’re doing something to keep your system active.

Another option for type 2 diabetics is weight loss surgery. It’s been shown that many type 2 diabetics who undergo this surgery have their blood sugar levels return either to normal or close to normal.

However, if you regain the weight that you lost, your sugar levels may return. One of the most important things for all diabetics is ensuring that you have a good, consistent, and healthy sleep schedule.

Scientific studies have shown that those who don’t get a lot of sleep experience symptoms very similar to those of diabetics, with high blood sugar levels, while those who get normal amounts of sleep don’t.

If you’re already diabetic, a poor sleep schedule will only make things worse. Most importantly, be sure to keep in regular touch with your diabetes educator and doctor. They’re there to help you, and can find ways to make the negative effects of diabetes lessened for you.

How Diabetes Results in Nerve Damage

How Diabetes Results in Nerve Damage

While diabetes undeniably comes with a variety of unfortunate side effects and symptoms, many are less severe than others. For example, you might have to change your eating habits or start exercising more.

More often than not, these are simply inconveniences, and don’t actually pose any serious threat. However, there are a few symptoms which do pose very real threats, and one of the more dangerous ones is nerve damage.

Also known as neuropathy, nerve damage occurs when the high levels of sugar in your blood damage the blood vessels running through your nerves, sometimes damaging them beyond repair and rendering them useless.

This can lead to many severe issues, from feet needing to be amputated from infections to permanent loss of vision. When you first begin to develop nerve damage, the first thing you’ll probably notice is a tingling sensation, especially in your feet, and numbness in that area.

These are only the signs of early stage nerve damage, so you don’t need to get too concerned just yet. However, this should also be a bit of a wake-up call that you need to get your diabetes under control by getting in contact with your doctor.

The levels of severity of nerve damage varies heavily, however. In most cases, the nerve damage is negligible, showing no actual signs of damage through symptoms. Others may experience very minor symptoms, but nothing too crazy or dangerous.

However, some do experience very severe symptoms with nerve damage, and these symptoms can even be fatal. On the bright side, there are ways to minimize or prevent nerve damage in most cases.

A recent study has shown that by simply keeping your blood sugar in a normal range, your chances of developing any form of serious nerve damage decrease drastically. This means you’ll have to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly, administer insulin, and stick to a diabetes-friendly diet.

If you get your blood sugar levels to normal and you still continue to see signs of nerve damage, then it’s probably about time to get your doctor involved. Unfortunately, it is possible that you can still show signs of nerve damage no matter what you do individually.

Instead, it may require the intervention of a doctor. However, this kind of situation is the absolute worst case scenario and is very rare. In most cases of nerve damage, you’ll only experience light damage that can be stopped with a few basic lifestyle changes.

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Body

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Body

Diabetes is a very serious disease, and if left unattended and untreated, can have some pretty serious effects on your body. Obviously, there’s a formidable mental role at play in diabetes, learning how to cope with the diagnosis and adjusting your lifestyle, but the physical dangers are even more serious.

One of the most common negative effects of diabetes on the body is the effect it has on your legs and feet. This area of the body is particularly affected by diabetes in that the nerves can get severely damaged if your blood sugar remains too high.

This leads to greater chance of infection, pain, and in severe instances, amputation of the leg, foot, or toes. This can all lead to further mental stress, as well. To combat these effects, you need to keep your blood sugar low by avoiding foods that may raise it.

The damage caused by diabetes isn’t just limited to the feet. Your entire body, anywhere where blood flows through, can be seriously hurt by diabetes. The most dangerous effects to the body can be found in the heart and in the brain, where the increased levels of sugar flowing through can lead to higher risk of blood clots, heart attacks, seizures, and strokes.

All of these can be fatal, so it’s extremely important that you regulate your blood sugar effectively. Another serious body part that gets effected by diabetes is the eyes. The blood vessels in the back of your eye, known as the retina, can be cut up by the excess sugar.

This can lead to permanent and very serious vision loss, and should not be taken lightly. You may also be at higher risk of developing cataracts, which is a bit less serious, but dangerous nonetheless.

Due to these risks, it’s recommended that diabetics visit an eye doctor at least once a year, if not more often, to make sure you catch any damage before it’s too late. Additionally, your internal organs can be affected by diabetes.

Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. Your kidneys are very important because they act as waste disposal for your blood, and without them, the waste will accumulate, often resulting in death.

While kidney transplants are an option, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll find a kidney to match. Alternatively, you could undergo dialysis, but dialysis is usually costly and a very poor way to live.

Gonorrhea versus Herpes Simplex Virus

Gonorrhea versus Herpes Simplex Virus

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD), and so is herpes. These and other STDs can be detected through simple blood and lab tests. Since they can both lead to very serious and in some cases life-threatening situations when left untreated, it makes sense to schedule an appointment with your doctor to see if you suffer from either one of these issues.

According to the World Health Organization, there are 357 million new cases of the four most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) reported each year, one of them being gonorrhea.

Herpes is even more pervasive. While 67% of men and women with the herpes virus (either simplex 1 or simplex 2) will never show symptoms or have adverse effects from the infection, they can still transmit the disease. When symptoms do appear, serious complications can arise if the situation is not treated quickly and properly.

Medical information indicates that as many as 2 in every 3 people between the ages of 15 and 50 currently have some type of herpes infection.

Herpes

There are two different herpes viruses, simplex 1 (HSV-1) and simplex 2 (HSV-2). Herpes initially appears in or around the genitals or the mouth, which leads to these infections being referred to as genital herpes and oral herpes. As mentioned above, in most cases, you may have the herpes virus and never show any signs or symptoms. You may not experience any negative consequences because of the virus. Human beings have tons of bacterial and viral lifeforms inside them, and in most cases, they do not lead to any adverse health effects.

When herpes does provide symptoms, the most common sign is a red blister or sore. These blisters can be painful, and they often burst, expelling a pus-like substance. Herpes is highly contagious when a breakout is experienced, but can be passed to someone else even when no symptoms are present. Oral-to-genital, genital-to-genital and oral-to-oral contact are the most common ways the herpes virus is passed from one person to another.

However, herpes can be transmitted through incidental contact.

If someone has oral herpes and drinks from a container, and then someone else drinks from that same container, the virus can be passed. Aside from red blisters or sores, the herpes sufferer may experience an unexpected or abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina, pain during sex or while urinating, and aches and pains around the infected site. Symptoms may also include fever and headaches, a tingling, burning sensation, fatigue and weariness. Severe complications include encephalitis, meningitis, partial or total loss of vision, brain-based disorders and other serious health problems.

Additionally, herpes symptoms tend to flareup and to go into remission, rather than stay present over a long period of time.

Gonorrhea

This sexually transmitted disease is not always easy to spot, but it can impact your life negatively whether or not you show symptoms. Men are generally more likely to show symptoms of gonorrhea than women. However, a woman's ability to give birth can be severely affected by gonorrhea. Even in the advanced medical times in which we live, gonorrhea is still responsible for stillbirths and miscarriages, and even infertility among women.

Gonorrhea is passed through oral, anal or vaginal sex, and mothers can pass gonorrhea to a newborn child. If symptoms appear, they usually do so about 10 to 12 days after infection occurs. Symptoms in women include painful urination and pain during sex, rectal pain, abnormal discharge of fluids, inflammation in or around the eyes, nausea, lower back pain, sore throat and bleeding between periods.

The most common gonorrhea symptoms for men include frequent and painful urination, pain in the rectum and rectal bleeding, inflamed eyes, and an abnormal discharge from the penis. Less common symptoms include an itching, burning sensation around the head of the penis, a sore throat and pain in the testicles.

Symptoms of HSV in Men and Women

Symptoms of HSV in Men and Women

Herpes is an unfortunately common infection which plagues a lot of people. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that approximately 2 in every 3 people under 50 years of age are currently infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Herpes simplex 1 generally displays no symptoms, and additionally, causes no serious health complications. Most people don't even realize they have the herpes virus inside them.

There is one other type of herpes, herpes simplex virus type 2. HSV-2 plagues nearly 500 million people between the ages of 15 and 49, according to WHO. Combine those statistics, and you see that more than 4.5 billion people between the ages of 15 and 50 have some type of herpes. Herpes simplex 2, like its less serious but equally frustrating and socially inhibiting simplex 1, is usually the cause for genital herpes, while HSV-1 most often appears around the mouth, creating oral herpes.

It should be noted that either of the two herpes strains can cause genital or oral herpes, depending on how the virus was contracted. As far as symptoms go, there are plenty of similarities and differences between men and women, depending upon the type of herpes infection.

Herpes Symptoms for Men

The most common symptom of oral herpes in men is blisters or sores. One or more blisters, often appearing in a cluster, will appear on or around the lips or mouth. They can create different levels of pain, and if the virus is not treated, oral herpes can cause swollen and tender lymph glands in the neck and under the arms. If the immunity of the infected male is very weak for whatever reason, difficulties can lead to flu symptoms, headaches, muscle aches and fever, and in extreme cases, the virus can move up into the eyes and the nervous system.

Genital herpes symptoms for men include the same types of blisters and sores, as well as the other signs of herpes just mentioned. Additionally, pain during urination or sex, pain in the upper thigh area, itching and burning around the infection site and fatigue are sometimes experienced. Less common symptoms include complications which lead to encephalitis, eye infections, meningitis and eczema.

Herpes Symptoms for Women

The symptoms of oral herpes in women mimic those just discussed for men. Painful blisters will appear on the lips or around the mouth, and they can lead to the complications just discussed for males who are infected with oral herpes. Women experiencing herpes in the genitals, anus or buttocks area may experience pain in the upper legs or genitals, a dramatic change in vaginal discharge, headaches and swollen glands, and a feeling of itching and tingling in and around the infection site.

After a few days of a genital herpes outbreak, a woman may experience ulcers and blisters near the infected area, but also in the urinary tract and on other parts of the body where the virus has migrated. Complications of genital herpes for women include transmittal to a newborn during pregnancy or delivery, bladder infections, encephalitis and meningitis, rectal inflammation, and an improved risk of contracting other sexually transmitted diseases at the infection site.

If there is any good news regarding herpes, it is this ... in 2 out of every 3 cases, there are no symptoms, physical or otherwise. Most people with the herpes virus never suffer any negative effects because of it. However, it is important to understand that even if you don't show symptoms, whether you are a woman or a man, you can pass the virus to others. If you have never been tested for herpes and other STDs, considering getting a test soon. Simple lab tests will reveal whether or not you are infected with the herpes virus.

Is It Herpes or Something Else – Conditions Confused with HSV

Is It Herpes or Something Else – Conditions Confused with HSV

Both oral and genital herpes provide similar physical symptoms - blisters and sores, a red rash, and pain at the infection site. Unfortunately, these and other herpes symptoms can mirror non-herpes medical conditions, ailments and illnesses. Because of this, you may wonder if you have contracted herpes, or if another disease or health problem is at work.

Doctors familiar with herpes and the fact that it can produce symptoms common to other conditions can help you determine exactly what is going on. Before you consult a physician, which is always the right move when you don't understand what health hazard you have encountered, there are few questions you can ask yourself to help you narrow down the field of potential causes for your symptoms.

Are Your Symptoms Temporary or Permanent?

Do your signs of illness come and go? Do you experience a tingling sensation right before blisters appear, and then those blisters and other symptoms disappear after a short period of time? The herpes virus tends to last for anywhere from 3 to 14 days when genital herpes has been experienced. If you have a cold sore or another sign of oral herpes, a flareup usually has an 8 to 12 day duration. If your symptoms continue for longer than those periods of time, herpes may not be the issue.

Are Your Blisters Inside or Outside Your Mouth?

If you have blisters and sores appear on the outside of your mouth and around your lips, this could be a sign of the cold sores or so-called "fever blisters" which denote the presence of the herpes virus. If you experience similar sores and blisters on the inside of your mouth, these are probably canker sores. Canker sores are not symptomatic of herpes and will almost always heal themselves without treatment.

Do You Have a Cluster of Blisters, or Just a Few Which are Not Clustered?

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that can produce what looks to be the blisters associated with genital herpes. Syphilis responds very well to antibiotics, especially when the condition is treated as quickly as it is diagnosed. Genital herpes often produces groups of blisters, not the few spread-out, blister-like chancres which are telltale signs of syphilis.

Is There a Burning and Itching of the Vagina Accompanying Painful Urination or an Abnormal Vaginal Discharge?

These are common signs of a yeast infection. A woman may experience an abnormal, thick, gray or white discharge, and may have pain during intercourse. Coupled with the symptoms above, this is usually sign of a bacterial or yeast infection, and not herpes. Men who get a yeast infection will often have no symptoms, but sometimes, a rash or burning sensation in the penis after sex is a sign of a yeast infection.

Remember that herpes can be detected through some simple lab tests. PCR blood tests and cell cultures can determine the presence of the herpes virus. If your symptoms have you confused as to whether or not you have herpes or some other health problem, it always makes sense to contact your doctor. If your doctor is new to testing for herpes, she can refer you to an urologist or dermatologist that can give you the answers you are looking for.

Common and uncommon symptoms of Herpes Simplex Virus

Common and Uncommon Symptoms of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2

The herpes simplex virus is usually just referred to as herpes. It can appear in two different strains, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Herpes simplex 1, sometimes called oral herpes, usually appears on or around the mouth. This is because it is most commonly transmitted by oral to oral contact, such as kissing, sharing someone's drinking container, or using an infected person's toothbrush. The HSV-1 virus can also cause a genital form of herpes.

HSV-2 is usually transmitted through sexual contact. Because of this, herpes simplex 2 generally shows symptoms around the genitals, the upper thigh areas, and the buttocks. HSV-2 causes genital herpes, and along with oral herpes, it is an infection that lasts a lifetime. As far as symptoms go, sometimes there are no signs that you have contracted herpes, either the first or second strain. When symptoms do occur, there are both common and infrequent signs to look for.

Common Signs You Have Developed the Herpes Virus

Oral herpes is extremely common. In many cases it is not very painful, and slightly noticeable if it is noticed at all. Small blisters or ulcers will develop around the mouth area, and when physical symptoms are present, this is when herpes is highly contagious. Bear in mind that someone has to come in direct physical contact with herpes blisters or sores for the virus to be transmitted.

Signs of oral herpes, almost always HSV- 1, are generally referred to as fever blisters or cold sores. HSV- 2 can also be present in and around the mouth, and in this case, was usually transmitted through oral/genital contact during sex. Common herpes simplex 1 symptoms include itching and tingling sensations around the infected site. In 2012, there were as many as 3.7 billion people with some form of oral herpes infection. Common symptoms for HSV-2 mimic the sores and blisters of HSV-1, and these blisters around the anal or genital regions are called ulcers. Genital herpes often causes an irregular discharge from the penis or vagina.

Uncommon Herpes Symptoms

In addition to the mild to medium pain around the infection site due to blisters and sores, herpes simplex 1 and simplex 2 can cause the following uncommon problems. When left untreated and a weakened immune system is also present, due to some chronic illness, side-effect of medication or another reason, herpes can cause high fever and headaches.


Swollen lymph nodes may also appear, along with body aches, and pain in the hips, buttocks and legs with genital herpes. These symptoms usually come and go as the herpes becomes dormant and recurs, which is typical with the herpes virus. Difficulty urinating may also be experienced, and in rare cases, a herpes infection can cause the spinal cord to become inflamed to the point where pain is experienced in the eyes, and a stiff, painful neck may also be present.

A Look at Different Types of Herpes Virus

A Look at Different Types of Herpes Virus

Herpes is a rather common infection that plagues men and women, young and old alike. If you are in your mid to late teens or twenties, you are more prone to become infected by the herpes virus. This happens for a number of reasons. Regardless the factor that puts you more at risk for herpes between the ages of 15 and 29, it makes sense if you are in this age group to get tested for herpes and other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) as soon as possible.

Just because younger people are more inclined to contract herpes does not mean older adults should ignore the possibility that they may have the herpes virus within them. Whether you are 15 or 50, male or female, you have approximately a 2 in 3 chance of being infected by one of the two different strains of the herpes virus.

Herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) are the two different kinds of herpes. HSV-1 is usually encountered on the lips and the mouth area. HSV-2 usually appears around the genitals, or the buttocks, anus and upper thigh areas. In some cases, HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, and HSV-2 can cause oral herpes. The reason why the two different strains of herpes appear where they do has everything to do with how the virus is transmitted.

Oral-to-Oral, Oral-to-Genital or Genital-to-Genital

Genital herpes is given its name because it is usually transmitted when someone's genitals come into contact with the genitals of another person. Genital to genital contact is the most common form of genital herpes, when someone has the herpes virus in or around their genital area, and they pass it to the genitals of another person.

In the case of oral sex, oral herpes can lead to genital herpes, or genital herpes can be passed to the oral region of a sex partner, causing oral herpes. Regardless of which herpes simplex is involved, initial symptoms are generally similar.

The first outbreak of oral or genital herpes will often be precluded by a tingling, burning, itching sensation. This can happen around the mouth, the genitals, the buttocks or the upper thighs. Soon afterward, one or more blisters will appear, often in a cluster. These blisters can be painful and can pop or break, releasing a thick pus-like liquid.

It is at this stage that herpes is the most contagious. Soon afterward, from a few days to a couple of weeks, symptoms will dissipate and eventually disappear. Sometimes, when the host has a healthy immune system, the herpes virus will become dormant and never awaken again. In many cases though, someone that experiences an outbreak of herpes will have one or more flareups in the future, sometimes several times a year.

Concerning oral and genital herpes, early detection leads to the most effective management of this infection. Regardless of your sexual practices, it makes sense to get tested for herpes and other STDs regularly, at least once every couple of years. Since complications can be extremely serious, and herpes can lead to low levels of self-esteem and social withdrawal, it pays to find out whether or not you are infected with this extremely common virus, so you can treat it properly before it spreads, and causes more emotional and physical damage.

Biggest Loser Diet

Biggest Loser Diet

The Biggest Loser Diet consists of three parts to losing weight: lower your calorie intake, exercise and maintain the weight loss. The diet is built on the Pyramid weight loss system, which counts down from 4 to 1.

You eat the most from the food group that helps you feel full for longer. So the first group would be fruits and vegetables and you’d eat four servings. Next would be lean protein for the three, the two would be whole grains and the one would an additional category for foods that were low in calories.

The diet works because it teaches people to eat the right kinds of foods, in the right portion and to get moving. Health benefits that this diet are good for besides weight loss include minimizing the possibility of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and heart events such as heart disease or a heart attack and some types of cancer.

There have been some studies showing that following this diet can also help you lower your risk of getting things that impair cognitive function such as Alzheimer’s. The diet isn’t difficult to put into practice.

You’ll want to make sure that you eat filling foods like fruits and vegetables. If you’ve ever looked this diet up, you’ll know that there are a lot of resources out there on how to accomplish your goals.

The foundation of the diet is found in these resources and you’ll have to know those in order to follow the principles. The diet works by jump starting your nutrition. This is helpful for someone who wants a quick start for losing weight.

There’s also a short term six week resource you can get and one that addresses your overall body and life. In these guides, you’ll find stories from people who followed the Biggest Loser diet and found success.

You’ll also learn how to create your meal plan and important exercise tips. The diet breaks foods down by 45-30-25. The majority of your eating, or the 45 percent, will focus on carbs. The thirty is for your protein and the remaining twenty-five percent is for fats.

There are several things that you can do to help yourself succeed on this diet. Keep a food journal to help keep yourself honest about what you’re eating. On top of that, write down all your successes throughout the day - such as you chose an apple instead of a candy bar.

Or write down the fact that you exercised even when you didn’t feel like doing it. Find a support partner to help keep you accountable and to give you support and encouragement.

Start a habit of moving after you eat. If you eat, you go for a walk or clean a room. Do something besides sitting down. Since exercise is a big part of the success of this diet, you might want to get a fitness tracker and some great workout clothes and shoes. You’ll also want to buy whatever version of the Biggest Loser guidebook that addresses the goals you’ve set for yourself.