Web Analytics

Tag-Archive for » healthy diet «

Candida and Diet: Splitting Fact from Fiction

Candida is a fungus that can grow in the human body.

A condition called Candida Overgrowth Syndrome is said to occur if levels in the gut become too high.

But is it actually a real condition, and does diet play a role? This article explores the current research.

What is Candida?

What is CandidaThe Candida genus includes more than 20 species of yeast that are able to cause infections in humans (1).

It’s commonly present in the digestive tract and mucous membranes of the nose, throat and reproductive organs.

The most common species is Candida albicans (C. albicans), which is estimated to be present in the mouth or throat of up to 40% of healthy adults (2).

About 70% of healthy adults also have yeasts, mainly Candida species, in their guts (large intestine or bowel) (3).

Summary: Yeasts of the Candida genus are common in the digestive tract and mucous membranes of healthy adults. Some species of Candida can cause infections.

What is Candida Overgrowth Syndrome?

Candida does not cause problems most of the time.

However, sometimes yeasts can multiply rapidly and greatly increase in numbers. This is called yeast overgrowth and can lead to infection.

Yeast overgrowth in the gut can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. This has been termed Candida overgrowth syndrome.

candida-albicans-overgrowthCandida albicans on human small intestine mucosa ( 3000-fold magnification) (3).

It’s also referred to as:

  • Chronic candidiasis
  • Candida hypersensitivity
  • Candidiasis sensitivity.

While numerous books and diet plans claim to cure the condition, the very existence of Candida overgrowth syndrome is controversial.

It first gained attention in 1984 after the publication of a book by William Crook titled The Yeast Connection: A Medical Breakthrough.

According to Crook, use of antibiotics causes yeast overgrowth (4).

As he explained it, antibiotics kill good bacteria in the gut that usually keep C.albicans in check. With the good bacteria no longer around, Candida is able to multiply and weaken the immune system.

Infections can develop more easily with a weakened immune system. Of course, an infection is typically treated with antibiotics, fueling this cycle.

This theory of Crook’s has never been proven mind you.

Summary: Candida overgrowth syndrome is a controversial condition that some suggest is caused by overgrowth of Candida yeast in the gut.

Other Types of Candida Infection

Other Types of Candida InfectionSome types of Candida infection are well known and described in the medical literature.

Candida infection in the mouth or throat is called thrush. Candida infection of the vagina is commonly referred to as a yeast infection.

More serious infections can occur when Candida enters the bloodstream. This is known as invasive candidiasis. However, most cases occur in hospital or nursing home patients who have weakened immune systems.

There is no scientific evidence that these infections are caused by Candida overgrowth in the gut.

Summary: Infections of the mouth, throat, vagina and bloodstream can be caused by Candida. However, there is no evidence linking these infections with Candida overgrowth in the gut.

Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

Symptoms of Candida OvergrowthThe following symptoms have been attributed to Candida overgrowth syndrome (4, 5):

  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory problems
  • Hyperactivity
  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Persistent nasal congestion
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Menstrual irregularities

One issue here is that many illnesses or infections could cause these wide-ranging symptoms. They are not specific to Candida overgrowth.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, these symptoms are essentially universal. That is, most sick patients probably complain of at least some of them.

Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence to date showing that Candida overgrowth is capable of causing these symptoms.

Summary: Symptoms attributed to Candida overgrowth are not specific and could be caused by a variety of conditions.

Are There Tests to Diagnose It?

Are There Tests to Diagnose ItSince Candida yeast is present in the majority of people, simply testing for its presence is not useful.

Only one published study has tried to find out whether a set of symptoms or tests could be used to diagnose Candida overgrowth. The researchers could not find any physical or laboratory difference between patients who believed they had Candida overgrowth and those who didn’t (6).

This is in line with what Crook says.

In his book, he suggested yeast may be identified as the cause only when no other conditions are discovered. In other words, yeast would be diagnosed as the cause by ruling out other potential culprits.

Additionally, according to Crook, diagnosis of Candida overgrowth could only be made if the patient responded to a suggested treatment (4).

That is, if symptoms go away following treatment, then Candida must have been the problem.

Summary: There are no laboratory tests or other tests to diagnose Candida overgrowth syndrome.

Is There a Candida Diet?

Is There a Candida DietMany diet books claim to treat or cure Candida overgrowth, including Crook’s.

Some claim they will provide “seemingly miraculous results” and can help you “recover from Candida in 60 days.”

Perhaps the most-well known is the ‘Candida Diet’. Here are the typical recommendations:

  • Diet should be nutritionally adequate with fresh foods from a variety of sources.
  • Avoid all refined carbohydrates, including sugar, corn syrup, dextrose and fructose.
  • Avoid refined, processed and fabricated foods.
  • Avoid fruits and milk initially. Later, try to rotate fruits back into the diet if they are tolerated.
  • Avoid all yeast and mold-containing foods initially. Ultimately, some of these may prove to be tolerated since a yeast-containing food does not make C. albicans organisms grow.
  • Eat sugar-free yogurt.
  • Take nutritional supplements, including vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that following a so-called ‘Candida diet’ is helpful in treating a candida overgrowth.

Anyone that swaps refined carbohydrates, added sugars and processed foods for whole foods will feel better and experience better health.

It’s no surprise then that patients may feel better following such a diet.

Summary: There is no evidence that a specific candida diet will alleviate symptoms of Candida overgrowth.

Supplements for Candida Overgrowth

Supplements for Candida OvergrowthThe benefit of dietary change is unproven.

But what about the recommendations to take a nutrition supplement?

Keep in mind that Candida is a normal resident of the gut in the majority of healthy adults. Unless a patient has invasive candidiasis, there is no reason to try to reduce Candida.

In fact, according to one group of scientists, eliminating intestinal yeasts is not generally advised (3).

In saying that, many nutrition supplements claim to kill Candida in the gut and/or alleviate symptoms of Candida overgrowth.

However, only probiotics and coconut oil have some (weak) scientific evidence to back up their claims.

One study found that premature babies given Lactobacillus rhamnosus (a bacterial probiotic) for 12 months were significantly less likely to have Candida in their guts (7). Twenty-three percent of babies given the probiotic had Candida, compared to 48% of those given a placebo.

No published studies have looked at probiotics and Candida overgrowth in adults though.

Then there is coconut oil, which has been shown in lab studies to have antifungal activity (8).

Additionally, one study in mice found those fed a diet extremely rich in coconut oil (50% of total calories) had lower levels of C. albicans in their guts than those fed other types of fat and oil (9).

The authors suggested that coconut oil could potentially be used in humans to reduce C. albicans in the gut, but it remains to be tested.

Summary: Emerging research shows that certain probiotics and coconut oil may be effective in reducing Candida in the gut. However, whether that is beneficial for most peopl is not known.

Antifungal Medicines for Candida Overgrowth

Antifungal Medicines for Candida OvergrowthAntifungal medicines have also been suggested as a potential treatment.

One high-quality study looked at the use of Nystatin, an antifungal medicine, in women complaining of Candida overgrowth symptoms. Nystatin was no better than placebo at reducing symptoms (5).

In fact, there’s no published evidence showing that Nystatin or any other antifungal medicines alleviate Candida overgrowth in the gut.

Furthermore, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology states that the long-term use of antifungal medicines is potentially dangerous because it could produce resistant species of C. albicans or other disease-causing fungi (4).

Summary: Antifungal medicines have not been shown to reduce symptoms of Candida overgrowth. In fact, long-term use of these medicines could be dangerous.

Does Candida Cause Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Does-Candida-Cause-Leaky-Gut-SyndromeScientists have shown that C. albicans in the gut can move through the lining of the intestine and into the bloodstream (10).

This is the case in invasive candidiasis.

Because of this, some believe that Candida overgrowth is the cause of increased intestinal permeability, better known as leaky gut syndrome.

However, this is currently an untested theory and we cannot make strong assumptions.

What’s more, leaky gut syndrome presents as a symptom in numerous conditions unrelated to Candida overgrowth.

Summary: There is no evidence that Candida overgrowth causes leaky gut syndrome.

Does Candida Cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Does Candida Cause Chronic Fatigue SyndromeSymptoms associated with Candida overgrowth are similar to those of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia.

A small study of 20 patients found C. albicans was present in the stool of 60% of CFS patients suffering from severe symptoms (acute phase) compared to only 30% of CFS patients without symptoms (remission) (11).

However, C. albicans was also present in the stool of 53% of healthy control subjects (without CFS) in that study — similar to the acute CFS patients. So it’s unlikely that C. albicans caused CFS in those patients.

Additionally, a controlled trial looking at whether yeast-containing foods affect CFS symptoms found no effect. Patients on a low-sugar, low-yeast diet had no improvements in fatigue or quality of life compared to those on a regular healthy diet (12).

Combined, this evidence suggests it does not cause CFS.

Summary: There is no clear evidence that Candida causes chronic fatigue syndrome. A low-yeast diet also did not improve symptoms in patients with CFS.

Candida and Diet: There Is No Evidence

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the concept of Candida overgrowth syndrome should be regarded as “speculative and unproven” unless supported by competent research.

And from the current evidence, there is no proof that – if it is a real condition – it is directly responsible for other health issues or disease.

It makes sense then that no specific candida diet or antifungal medicine can help treat it.  In fact, no treatment has been shown to consistently eliminate symptoms, which makes me even more skeptical.

If you’ve experienced long-term symptoms associated with Candida overgrowth, talk to your doctor first. There are many potential causes of such symptoms, and more serious issues must be ruled out.

This post originally appeared on Diet vs Disease as Candida and Diet: Splitting Fact from Fiction

Custom Search

Scientists May Have Figured Out Why Olive Oil Is So Healthy

(Reuters Health) – A traditional Mediterranean diet with added olive oil may be tied to a lower risk of heart disease at least in part because it helps maintain healthy blood flow and clear debris from arteries, a Spanish study suggests.

“A Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil improves the function of high-density lipoproteins, HDL, popularly known as `good’ cholesterol,” said lead study author Dr. Alvaro Hernáez of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Barcelona.

This type of diet typically includes lots of fruits and legumes that are rich in antioxidants as well as plenty of vegetables, whole grains and olive oil. It also tends to favor lean sources of protein like chicken or fish over red meat, which contains more saturated fat.

“Our hypothesis is that these dietary antioxidants may bind to HDL particles and protect them against different kinds of attacks,” Hernáez said by email. “As HDLs are more protected, they can perform their biological functions more efficiently and, therefore, they are able to remove cholesterol from arteries or contribute to the relaxation of blood vessels for longer.”

High levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol and fats known as triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart and blood vessel diseases. HDL, or “good,” cholesterol is associated with a lower risk because it helps remove excess LDL from the bloodstream.

For the current study, Hernáez and colleagues examined data on 296 older adults at risk for cardiovascular disease who were randomly assigned to one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with one liter per week (about 34 fluid ounces) of extra virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with 30 grams (1 oz) of nuts a day, or a low-fat diet.

Participants were 66 years old on average, and they were asked to follow their assigned diet for one year.

Only the low-fat diet was associated with reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels, researchers report in a paper scheduled for publication in the journal Circulation.

None of the diets increased HDL levels significantly.

But blood tests and lab work showed better HDL functioning in the group assigned to the Mediterranean diet with extra olive oil.

While some previous research has linked a Mediterranean diet to weight loss and a reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers, scientists haven’t conclusively proven that the diet itself is responsible, instead of other lifestyle choices made by people who eat this way.

Limitations of the current study include the fact that all three diets were relatively healthy, making it difficult to detect meaningful differences in outcomes, the authors note.

Still, the findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that HDL function may influence cardiovascular disease risk, Dr. Daniel Rader of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia writes in an accompanying editorial.

“We know the Mediterranean diet reduces risk of heart disease but still don’t know exactly why,” Rader said by email. “There is probably more than one reason, and this study suggests that one mechanism might be that the Mediterranean diet improves the function of HDL.”

Even without clear evidence explaining why the Mediterranean diet may help the heart, eating this way can still make sense, Rader added.

“For people who are interested in reducing their risk of heart disease, the Mediterranean diet is probably the best proven diet to reduce risk,” Rader said. “I think the majority of people who don’t have other major dietary concerns should look toward the Mediterranean diet as a heart healthy diet.”

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2kqo3WZ and http://bit.ly/2kqeUO5 Circulation, released February 13, 2017.

Custom Search

6 Ways to Eat Healthy On a Budget

You want to eat better, but you’re worried about what it’ll do to your wallet.

So just how expensive is a healthy diet, anyway?

Good news: The answer may be “not that much.” Eating more healthfully costs about $1.50 more per day per person compared with less nutritious food habits, according to a 2013 Harvard study. As background, the scientists compared a diet based on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish against one based on processed foods, processed meats, and refined grains.

That said, while $1.50 per day is not much if you have a little extra cash in your pocket, the difference over the course of a year adds up to $550 per person, which can be a burden to many people—especially if you multiply that cost by a few family members.

Lindsey Kane, M.S., R.D.N., is a San Francisco-based dietitian who logged some time as a healthy eating specialist at Whole Foods Market—one of the priciest stores around. Her guidance will help you eat well and save money at any supermarket.

Custom Search

Healthy Diet Cuts Women’s Risk of New-Onset RA

Another reason has emerged for following a healthy diet over the long term: a lower risk of being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), particularly the seropositive form, before your mid-50s.

According to a new analysis published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases and based on two Nurses’ Health Study cohorts, women ages 55 or younger in the highest quartile of diet quality had two-thirds the risk of those in the lowest-quality quartile (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.51-0.88, P for trend = 0.002).

Overall, women in the highest quartile of the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI-2010) had a 15% reduced risk compared with those in the lowest quartile (HR 0.85, 95% CI 0.70-1.02, P for trend = 0.08).

With stratification by serostatus, the inverse association in women 55 and younger was strongest for seropositive RA, with a hazard ratio of 0.60 for quartile 4 versus quartile 1 (95% CI 0.42-0.86, P for trend = 0.003).

No significant association was found, however, for women older than 55, which may suggest differing risk factors for early- and late-onset RA, the researchers said.

Moderate alcohol consumption and lower intake of red meat were the dietary components most strongly associated with decreased early-onset RA risk, while other associations failed to reach statistical significance. “These results indicate that an overall healthy diet quality may be more beneficial for RA risk reduction than individual foods and nutrients, particularly for early-onset seropositive RA,” wrote Bing Lu, DrPH, MD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues.

They followed 76,597 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, launched in 1976, and 93,392 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II, launched in 1989, whose baseline ages were 30-55 and 25-42, respectively. The two-cohort study period spanned the years 1984 to 2010, and the mean follow-up was 21.6 years. Participants had no RA or other connective tissue disease at entry, and their information was updated every 4 years. The primary outcome measure was RA with two subtypes, seropositive and seronegative.

Diets were assessed using the AHEI-2010, a dietary quality score based on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and composed of 11 foods and nutrients consistently associated with lower or higher chronic disease risk.

Among the index items, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, long-chain omega-3 fat, polyunsaturated fat, and moderate alcohol consumption were deemed healthy dietary components, while sugar-sweetened beverages (including fruit juice), red and processed meat, trans fat, and sodium were deemed unhealthy items.

“Owing to the rich contents of dietary antioxidants, fruits and vegetables have long been suggested as healthy foods that may be effective for RA prevention,” Lu and colleagues wrote.

A total of 1,007 RA cases were identified — 624 seropositive and 383 seronegative. Baseline scores on the AHEI-2010 in the two cohorts ranged from 15.6 to 100.1 and 13.7 to 95.8, respectively. A higher baseline AHEI-2010 score was positively associated with desirable lifestyle and socioeconomic status, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and multivitamin use. A higher score was also associated with a lower body mass index and total energy intake and a lower likelihood of being parous or a current smoker.

The team noted that previous studies have strongly linked higher scores on the AHEI-2010 with a reduced risk for chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, but this is the first to investigate the association between overall dietary quality and risk of autoimmune diseases such as RA.

The study results parallel Lu et al’s earlier finding that the positive association between obesity and RA is also restricted to women diagnosed at a younger age, suggesting that there are different age-related risk factors, the team said. “It is proposed that later-onset RA may be different from earlier-onset RA in terms of genetic predisposition and immune dysfunction, and hormonal changes with menopause can be a source of RA activation in older female patients.”

Asked for his opinion of the study, James O’Dell, MD, chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, said, “This is no great surprise. We know you can have a very modest effect on existing RA by consuming low-inflammatory foods.”

The downside to data like these, he added, is that some people think they can treat existing RA with diet alone: “A patient with RA came to see me a few years ago and decided to treat her disease with diet and supplements like fish oil and turmeric. She came back after a year, and she was in terrible shape.”

Still, the results offer promise for early primary intervention in susceptible people. “We now have the ability to identify patients at high risk for RA, based largely on anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide [ACCP] antibodies,” O’Dell told MedPage Today. “We’ve done this in some cases based on ACCP testing of first-degree relatives, and we’d love to be able to say, ‘These antibodies show you have a 50% risk of getting RA in 2 years, and here are a few things you can do to decrease that risk.’ We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it.'”

Dietary modification might well be a part of the prevention plan. “It’s a big maybe, but results like these are encouraging,” O’Dell said. First-degree relative testing has identified subsets with high-risk antibodies and genes that portend the development of RA. “We’re following them to see what predicts onset, and one of the things being looked at in that cohort is diet.” But how dramatic the effect of dietary modification would be remains unclear — “will it decrease the incidence by 2% or by 50%?”

Among the study’s limitations noted by Lu and colleagues were the possibility of residual confounding from unmeasured dietary factors and the possibility that a better diet may be a marker of a generally healthy lifestyle. In addition, the findings from the study’s largely white, well-educated healthcare professionals may not applicable to other populations.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

Lu and co-authors reported no conflicts of interest.

  • Reviewed by
    F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE Assistant Professor, Section of Nephrology, Yale School of Medicine and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

Maintain a healthy diet to restrict psoriasis flare-ups

Dear Doctor: I’ve had psoriasis for close to seven years, and lately it has been flaring up more often. Is there anything I can do with my diet to control this, or even prevent it from happening?

Dear Reader: That’s a good question. Thanks to the growing body of research detailing the link between inflammation and chronic disease, there are some equally intriguing answers.

To explore it further, let’s start with what psoriasis is.

When you have psoriasis, your immune system has gone a bit haywire. It’s sending faulty danger signals that cause skin cells to grow at 10 times their normal rate. That’s much faster than your body can process and shed them, and the result is raised and itchy patches of red skin, often covered with silvery scales. Typically, these appear on the knees, elbows and scalp, but may also be present on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and along the torso.

Although there is a complex genetic component to psoriasis, environmental factors are also at play. Stress, infection, certain medications, smoking and alcohol use have all been shown to be potential triggers for flare-ups. The results of that research we mentioned make it increasingly clear that inflammation is a factor in many chronic and degenerative diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and many cancers. Since inflammation plays a significant role in psoriasis, a lot of attention is now being paid to your question of whether diet may affect the disease.

Because of the way psoriasis behaves, drawing conclusions can be difficult. Flare-ups are followed by periods of dormancy, which give way again to subsequent flare-ups. Since the nature of the disease is to fluctuate, connecting the dots between a specific dietary or behavioral change, and the absence or presence of flare-ups, is a challenge.

Still, scientists are beginning to find answers. In studies of psoriasis patients whose diets included fish oil supplements to add omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, a measurable number of participants reported fewer and less severe flare-ups. When they stopped following the diet, the benefits also waned.

Gluten sensitivity may also play a role. In a study of individuals with antibodies to gliadin, one of the proteins that are present in wheat, following a gluten-free diet lessened psoriasis symptoms. When gluten was reintroduced to the diet, flare-ups became more frequent.

If you’re interested in modifying your own diet, the National Psoriasis Foundation offers some guidelines. Foods to add to your diet include leafy green vegetables and colorful fruits such as spinach, kale, broccoli, squash and blueberries. Foods that are a natural source of omega-3 fatty oils are also on the list. They include cold-water fish, olive oil, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

The foundation recommends that people with psoriasis avoid processed foods, refined sugar and fatty red meat. Research shows that maintaining a healthy weight is important, as well.

The idea is that when you have an inflammatory disease, steering clear of foods with inflammatory effects can help. Whatever the outcome, the result is a more healthful diet.

Dr. Eve Glazier is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Dr. Elizabeth Ko is an internist and primary care physician at UCLA Health. Send your questions to [email protected], or write: Ask the Doctors, c/o Media Relations, UCLA Health, 924 Westwood Blvd., Suite 350, Los Angeles, CA, 90095.

Exercise and a healthy diet help prevent Type 2 diabetes | Mountain …

Buncombe County, like much of the nation, has a diabetes problem. The disease was ranked as the 10th-leading cause of death in the county in the 2015 Community Health Assessment, an annual gathering of data from residents to determine local wellness in relation to state and national averages. While there are numerous reasons why this has become an epidemic, the assessment found that 23.5 percent of Buncombe adults are obese, and that just over 30 percent of students in K-5 public schools are overweight or obese, factors that increase the incidence of diabetes.

The good news: Asheville-area health professionals say there are affordable and accessible ways to address this growing risk for generations young and old. A wealth of information, diet trends and practices has emerged to address weight loss and the prevention of diabetes.

Christin Banman, a registered dietitian with Mountain Kidney and Hypertension Associates, is accustomed to dealing with the factors that lead to diabetes, Type 2 in particular. “You immediately have to get into the home life situation with these issues,” she says. “Who does the cooking? Who’s in the house?” The majority of her patients have fought weight gain, high blood pressure and long-standing medical issues their entire lives. Their multiple problems create the onset of Type 2 diabetes, she says, which in turn causes kidney malfunction due to higher levels of blood sugar.

Banman’s advice for someone who has contracted the disease and is seeking reversal of the diagnosis is similar to that she’d offer anyone who is prediabetic. She recommends affordable and simple dietary solutions that include buying frozen vegetables for cost and longevity, avoiding most beverages in favor of purchasing foods, buying grains in bulk, and shopping at Aldi and other affordable markets in their area.

Watching your weight is key to help preventing Type 2 diabetes, Banman says. “I really feel like if someone can jump start or hit the restart button with the sugar busters or Atkins diet just to get an initial amount of weight off, I’m a supporter of that. I think the long-term benefits of just getting a little bit of weight off exceed the consequences of that diet.

“I think what we’re dealing with is what’s referred to as a toxic food environment, where we have heavily marketed, very inexpensive, unhealthy foods on every corner — in hospitals, airports and even in our school systems,” she continues. “This food environment surrounds us. So it’s hard for me to argue with someone who says, ‘The croissant sandwiches were two-for-one on the way in.’ With someone that has limited food money, that speaks. So that’s part of the food environment we’re dealing with.”

Diabetes and lifestyle

Type 2 diabetes affects 29.1 million people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common causes for the onset of this illness are obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, age, family history, high blood pressure and a high alcohol intake, according to WebMD.

Diabetes causes blood glucose levels to rise above normal. When people eat, their bodies turn food into glucose, or sugars, for their body to use as energy. The pancreas creates the hormone insulin, which allows those sugars to get into the cells of the body. But with Type 2 diabetes, the body is no longer able to use its own insulin as well as it should, causing sugar to build up in the blood.