Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Diabetes and Oral Health Maintenance

Image Courtesy of Flickr

If you are diabetic, you have probably know that a link exists between diabetes and oral health. It's important for diabetics to spend time making sure their mouth is in good shape. Read on to learn more about how your condition is linked to gum disease and find some proactive measure you can take to protect your health.
Diabetics are twice as likely as non-diabetics to develop gum disease, which in turn makes it harder to regulate blood glucose levels. Fortunately, there is a way to help manage this issue.
About the Connection
Plaque germs can build up on your teeth, and if left untreated, you will likely develop a mild form of gum disease called gingivitis. If you don't receive proper treatment for gingivitis, it can turn to a more serious gum disease called periodontitis, which leaves infected pockets of bacteria between your teeth and gums.
Diabetes weakens your resistance to bacterial infection, the very kind of infection associated with periodontitis. When infection takes hold, it is harder for a diabetic to get rid of it, and the infection can send blood sugar levels spiraling further out of control.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
While only your dentist or physician can give you an official diagnosis, there are some signs of gum disease you should watch for if you are diabetic. According to the American Diabetes Association, the warning signs of gum disease include:
  • Red gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Teeth that fall out
Diabetes and Oral Health Care Tips
If you want to be proactive, consider these dental care tips for diabetics:
  • Gently brush your teeth a minimum of two times every day for at least two minutes each time. It might sound like a lot of brushing if you are not in the habit, but it's only four minutes out of the 1,440 minutes you have every day, and it can help save your teeth.
  • Invest another minute of your day in flossing your teeth.
  • Stay current on dental cleanings and exams. Make sure your dentist is aware you are diabetic before the exam begins.
  • If you suffer from dry mouth, use an antibacterial mouthwash once or twice a day, and sip water frequently throughout the day.
  • Enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Daily exercise and healthy foods can help you maintain a healthy blood glucose level. It's also a good idea to give up smoking if you partake in the habit.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

More on Motivational Reading and Exercise for Fitness

On August 10th, I posted about the 25 pounds I had dropped in 9 months just by giving up second helpings, about motivational reading, and about adding some exercises I had found in a Jillian Michaels book. This is just a short update to that post.

I'm still fitting in some motivational reading every day, I've gone through about four motivational books, all great, and now I am also writing down my favorite motivational quotes from each book so I can enjoy them and keep learning from them after I return the books to the library.

Well, back to the fitness part, the first week or so after adding exercises, I added a couple pounds and then dropped back to where I was before I added exercises. I expected the couple extra pounds, as muscles weighs more than fat and small fluctuations are normal anyway. I didn't expect the weight loss to stall though.

Even with no weight change (until today - now I have lost 27.4 pounds - Yeah!) I noticed daily changes in my mood, my body and my face as I built muscle and fat started to melt away faster. Don't get me wrong, I'm still over a healthy weight, but I am grateful for the daily changes, whether the scale shows the difference or not, and while I don't like sharing such personal things, I wanted to share in the hope my story might resonate with someone and inspire positive changes in someone else's life.

So anyway, to help me remember to exercise, and it is working beautifully for me, I put my dumbbells beside my computer where I see them constantly, and I use them everyday - my dumbbells are ten pounders, but if my muscles are tired, I do the exercises with no weights at all, just to move a bit - sometimes I do upper body exercises, presses, curls, and triceps extensions, and other times I get up for a break and do squats, lunges, and calf raises. I also walk a couple times per week - and plan to increase that in the next week or so.