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Do you get white spots on your shoes?

If you do, you may be Diabetic, and possibly deficient in Chromium

When someone is diabetic, they excrete sugar in their urine. When men urinate they usually get splashing as the urine hits the toilet bowl, or urinal. And when the urine splashes dry on their shoes the sugar content causes the spots to turn white.

So white spots on your shoes could indicate that you're diabetic. Or maybe you've just emulsioned a ceiling, or stood too close to someone else urinating.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way your body digests food. A healthy body will digest food and convert it into glucose, a chemical that fuels the cells of the body. A hormone called insulin is essential to this process. Insulin is needed in order for the body to have the energy it needs to grow and stay healthy. People with diabetes are unable to produce, or efficiently use, insulin. It is a very serious condition and is life-threatening. However, with early diagnosis and good management, people can live a normal life with diabetes.

What are the causes?

Diabetes can come in two forms: type I diabetes (which is usually diagnosed in children and teenagers like you), and type II diabetes (which is usually diagnosed in adults). The causes of both types of diabetes are still unknown, however, type I is though to have genetic causes while type II is more strongly linked to lifestyle factors such as obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet. In particular, chromium deficiency is usually linked to diabetes type 2.

How common is this condition?

In 2000, 171 MILLION people worldwide suffered from diabetes. This is expected to be 366 MILLION by 2030 - mainly due to a huge rise in the numbers in African and Asian countries.

What are the symptoms?

Frequent urination
Excessive thirst/hunger
Blurry vision
White spots on shoes

What can I do?

Your body breaks down most of the food you eat and uses it to gain energy and nutrients; thus, the food that you eat will eventually be carried to many parts of your body. If you lack certain nutrients in your diet, your body processes will not be able to function properly. Likewise, if you exceed the appropriate sugar levels in your body, the chemical processes will also be altered. An example of two very important nutrients that your body needs are chromium and  Vitamin A.


Diabetes UK advise the following:

Chromium forms a substance in the body known as the glucose tolerance factor. People with a deficiency of chromium can therefore develop problems with glucose tolerance.

Good dietary sources of chromium are Brewers yeast, meat, cheese, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, wine and beer. So if you are taking a balanced diet you are very unlikely to be low in chromium. (However, as we have found, most people don't get a balanced diet and nutritionists advise that most of us are deficient in something) 

At present Diabetes UK suggests that chromium is given as a supplement, where a chromium deficiency has been diagnosed. Otherwise it is recommended that people with diabetes try to follow a healthy, balanced diet to ensure adequate intake of all essential nutrients.

See also Do you crave sugar?

Vitamin A

Our body gets Vitamin A when we eat foods containing this vitamin. Lack of vitamin A causes eye diseases. It was found that vitamin A deficiency is the single greatest preventable cause of childhood blindness. People most at risk are children between six months to six years, pregnant women, and lactating women.

Why is Vitamin A important?

Vitamin A maintains healthy cells in various structures of the eye and is required for converting light into nerve signals in the part of the eye called the retina. When vitamin A is not available to the body, gradual changes begin to affect the eye. The first sign of a problem is when a child or a pregnant or lactating woman finds it difficult to adjust to seeing in the dark. This condition is called night blindness.

What are the symptoms of lack of Vitamin A?

Vitamin A deficiency progresses slowly, causing more and more damage to the eye as the days go by. This condition is called Xerophthalmia, which is a range of disorders that may affect your eyes.

The symptoms are as follows:

Night blindness:
The child cannot see in the dim light or twilight. Nightblindness is also found in pregnant women in some instances, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy when the vitamin A needs are increased.
Bitot Spots:
These are foamy and whitish cheese-like tissue spots that develop around the eye ball, causing severe dryness in the eyes. These spots do not affect eye sight in the day light.
Once the dry eyes set in, the eye becomes very sensitive and begins to scratch and scar. The eyelids become swollen and sticky. This eventually leads to blindness. Once blindness occurs, it cannot be reversed.
Other symptoms of deficiency:
When the body lacks vitamin A, the systems that resist infection and disease do not work very well. That is why children with Vitamin A deficiency fall sick more often, take much longer to recover and are more likely to die. Problems with bones and teeth can also occur frequently.

How common is Vitamin A deficiency?

Vitamin A deficiency causes 350,000 children to go blind each year. About 140 million children in 118 countries are Vitamin A deficient. 1 in 4 child deaths are caused by Vitamin A deficiency. 30% of the world's blindness is due to vitamin A deficiency. 600,000 women die during child birth due to complications from vitamin A deficiency.

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