Diabetes Self-Management Articles

These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from the most basic aspects of diabetes care to the nitty-gritty specifics.

Links not loading properly?

Some of our pages use Portable Document Format (PDF) files, which require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download Acrobat Reader for free, visit www.adobe.com.

Sign up for our weekly e-mail newsletter and receive a FREE GIFT! Enter your e-mail below.

Learn more

Learn more about diabetes

Links to help you learn more about diabetes.

Ask a diabetes expert
Other diabetes resources
Browse article topics

 

Anti-Inflammatory Diets
Hype or Hope?

by Monica J. Smith

A quick perusal of the Web or the health and diet section of any bookstore will turn up a number of articles and books with the word “inflammation” in the title. Authors blame the insidious condition for everything from hay fever and depression to crow’s feet; many assure readers that adherence to their specialized, anti-inflammation diet plan will help them shed pounds, banish pain, and reverse the clock. The types of foods common to many of these diets include whole grains, dry beans and legumes, oily fish, nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables, and certain herbs and spices. These sound like nutritious foods, but is inflammation really the cause of so many ills? And will following a particular diet cure it?

We do know that there is an association between chronic inflammation and obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. What’s less clear is how the association works, how concerned you should be about it, and what, if anything, you can do about it. But first, a little background on inflammation is needed.

What is inflammation?
We’re all familiar with acute inflammation, which you can feel and often see quite distinctly. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and the first step in healing; in its acute form, it can be quite dramatic. Whether you have a virus or a cut, the body sends white blood cells to the site of infection or injury, where they release chemicals to protect you. The most obvious sign of acute inflammation is pain, such as when you have a sore throat; you may also experience fever in the case of an infection, or swelling as your body deals with a traumatic injury.

Chronic inflammation is not so easy to identify. “What we’re talking about here is low-grade inflammation that you don’t see or feel easily,” says Vivian Fonseca, MD, Professor of Medicine, Tullis Tulane Alumni Chair in Diabetes, and Chief of the Section of Endocrinology at Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans. “The whole body is essentially inflamed, particularly the blood vessels.”

This inflammation may lead to further biochemical changes that could be detrimental. “Say you get a virus in your throat. You kill the virus, you have some irritation for a few days, and then you’re OK,” says Dr. Fonseca. “But just imagine if it went on in a very low-grade way for many years; things will never be right. And this seems to be going on in the blood vessels, in some tissues like the liver, and in the heart, and lead to problems in the long term.”

Unfortunately, if you have chronic, low-level inflammation, you probably can’t tell. It isn’t something that you can feel, like swelling or pain. There is a test that may be helpful in detecting it, but it may only be useful under certain conditions. The C-reactive protein (CRP) test measures markers present when inflammation is high and is often ordered if a person is at risk for infection, such as after surgery. High levels of CRP will indicate infection; falling levels indicate the infection is subsiding. For the average person who is not sick or recovering from surgery, however, CRP testing is rarely indicated.

Page    1    2    3    4    Show All    

Also in this article:
Salsalate Study

 

 

More articles on Nutrition & Meal Planning

 

 


Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

 

 

Put Out the Fire of Diabetes Inflammation
Inflammation is a vital body function. It fights infection and repairs injury. But inflammation... Blog

Beyond Diet and Exercise
One thing writing this blog and reading comments for over three years has taught me: Living... Blog

The Pressure Is On
If your doctor has told you that you have high blood pressure, or hypertension, you may well... Article

Can stress have an effect on my blood glucose level? Get tip


Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring — Part 1: The Gear
Blood glucose self-monitoring is one of the keys to diabetes control. Here are the tools you need to carry out this task.

Perfectionism: An Impossible Goal in Diabetes Management
Striving for good self-care is important, but perfectionism can make diabetes care — and life — more difficult.

Recipes for Spring
Enjoy recipes for Baked salmon on beet greens, Tofu and snow pea slaw, Radish and cucumber salad, Spinach pinwheels, Beet salad with citrus dressing, and Stuffed berries.

Complete table of contents
Get a FREE ISSUE
Subscription questions