Diabetes (also known as diabetes mellitus), describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (high blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. People with high blood sugar will typically experience frequent urination, they will become increasingly thirsty and hungry.
Over 300m people, suffer from diabetes globally. Forms of diabetes include :
Type 1 Diabetes (or juvenile diabetes) – the body does not produce insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1. It is very rare and it usually occurs before the person’s 40th year. This kind of diabetes requires the person will be insulin dependent for the rest of their lives.
Type 2 Diabetes – the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type.
Gestational diabetes – associated with pregnancy, occurs usually around the 24th week. It is characterized by high blood sugar in women who have no prior history of diabetes
In this article we are concerned with the Type 2 Diabetes. Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes are : Increased thirst, Increased hunger even after a meal, Dry mouth, Frequent urination,remarkable weight loss, excessive fatigue, blurred vision and headaches.
When diagnosed with diabetes, one of the most important steps to effective management is “diet consciousness”.
You need to know how foods affect your blood sugar levels. It’s not only the type of food you eat but also how much you eat and the combinations of food types you eat. Carbohydrates are the foods that often have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. And for people taking mealtime insulin, it’s crucial to know the amount of carbohydrates in your food, so you get the proper insulin dose. Plan for every meal to have a good mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins, and fats. It’s especially important to pay attention to the types of carbohydrates you choose. Some carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are better for you than are others.
Having diabetes does not involve any particularly difficult dietary demands, and while sugary foods obviously affect blood glucose levels, the diet does not have to be completely sugar-free. Sugar-sweetened beverages — including those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or sucrose — tend to be high in calories and offer little in the way of nutrition. And because they cause blood sugar to rise quickly, it’s best to avoid these types of drinks if you have diabetes. However, there have been scientific notions that “A glass of red wine daily” might help prevent diabetes.
Dietary concerns vary slightly for people with different types of diabetes. For people with type 1 diabetes, diet is about managing fluctuations in blood glucose levels while for people with type 2 diabetes, it is about losing weight and restricting calorie intake.
Physical activity is another important part of your diabetes management plan. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. Regular physical activity also helps your body use insulin more efficiently. These factors work together to lower your blood sugar level. The more strenuous your workout, the longer the effect lasts. But even light activities — such as housework, gardening or being on your feet for extended periods — can improve your blood sugar level. Aerobic exercises are usually considered to be best, in which the heart rate and rate of breathing go up considerably. Lower-intensity exercise such as swimming is as much of an option for keeping healthy as higher-impact exercise such as running, however.
Always, check your blood sugar level before, during and after exercise, especially if you take insulin or medications that lower blood sugar. Exercise can lower your blood sugar levels even a day later, especially if the activity is new to you, or if you’re exercising at a more intensive level. Be aware of warning signs of low blood sugar, such as feeling shaky, weak, tired, hungry, light-headed, irritable, anxious or confused.
Insulin and other diabetes medications are designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise alone aren’t sufficient for managing diabetes. But the effectiveness of these medications depends on the timing and size of the dose. Medications you take for conditions other than diabetes also can affect your blood sugar levels. When you’re sick, your body produces stress-related hormones that help your body fight the illness, but they can also raise your blood sugar level. Changes in your appetite and normal activity may also complicate diabetes management.
Although, there are talks of artificial pancreas options, for diabetic patients but it we finally get them, effective management is key. Please note that with effective management, a healthy diet and good exercise as well as dedication to your medications, you can still lead a long happy life when you have Type 2 diabetes.
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