Importance Of Diet In Diabetes
Much of the food you eat is broken down into sugar , which gets released into the bloodstream. When blood sugar increases, the pancreas, an organ responsible for digestion and blood sugar regulation, releases the hormone insulin. Insulin then helps cells absorb the sugar to be used for energy or stored.
In diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin to enable the cells to absorb enough sugar from the blood. Or the body might have enough insulin, but the cells do not respond to it. In both cases, this leads to there being too much sugar in the blood, which, over time can lead to serious health issues, such as vision loss, heart disease, and kidney disease.
Reducing sugar and other simple carbohydrates in your diet plays an important role in keeping blood sugar levels down, which can slow the progression of the disease and stave off such complications.
When To See A Doctor
According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more.
See your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of this include:
- increased thirst
- high levels of sugar in urine
Ask your doctor how often to check your blood sugar and about your ideal blood sugar levels.
If you dont currently see a doctor who specializes in diabetes, known as an endocrinologist, you can find one by searching the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.
You can find a certified diabetes educator by visiting the American Diabetes Associations website and searching by zip code.
Talk to your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar readings or symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia.
Checking your blood sugar and then treating hyperglycemia early will help prevent any complications.
Health problems can arise when someone has high blood sugar regularly and without treatment.
Examples of complications include:
- nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, that may affect sensations in the feet and hands
- diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the eyes that affects vision
- increased risks for kidney problems
- increased risks for heart problems
Taking steps to keep your blood sugar at target levels can help to minimize the likelihood that these complications will occur.
The Role Of Insulin In Diabetes
To understand why insulin is important in diabetes, it helps to know more about how the body uses food for energy. Your body is made up of millions of cells. To make energy, these cells need food in a very simple form. When you eat or drink, much of your food is broken down into a simple sugar called “glucose.” Then, glucose is transported through the bloodstream to the cells of your body where it can be used to provide some of the energy your body needs for daily activities.
The amount of glucose in your bloodstream is tightly regulated by the hormone insulin. Insulin is always being released in small amounts by the pancreas. When the amount of glucose in your blood rises to a certain level, the pancreas will release more insulin to push more glucose into the cells. This causes the glucose levels in your blood to drop.
To keep your blood glucose levels from getting too low , your body signals you to eat and releases some glucose from storage kept in the liver.
People with diabetes either don’t make insulin or their body’s cells are resistant to insulin, leading to high levels of sugar circulating in the blood, called simply high blood sugar. By definition, diabetes is having a blood glucose level of 126 milligrams per deciliter or more after an overnight fast .
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What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High
Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very tired.
- Having blurry vision.
- Needing to urinate more often.
If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
If you havent been diagnosed with diabetes, you should see your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of diabetes. If you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should contact your provider if your blood glucose levels are outside of your target range, if current symptoms worsen or if you develop any new symptoms.
Can Diabetes Be Prevented
Type 1 diabetes cant be prevented.
You may be able to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by managing your weight, staying active, and following a healthy diet. However, genetics and other risk factors may increase your risk despite your best efforts.
If you have any risk factors for diabetes, its important to get regular checkups with your doctor or healthcare professional. This will help prevent diabetes from progressing and causing other serious health complications.
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Diabetes In Older People
Diabetes is a serious disease, and it affects many older adults. People get diabetes when their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. The good news is that you can take steps to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease to develop in older adults. If you already have diabetes, there are steps you can take to manage the condition and prevent diabetes-related health problems.
Diabetes: 10 Foods And Drinks To Help Manage Blood Sugar
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Diabetes friendly food options are as close as your kitchen.
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5 MIN. READ
When you have prediabetes or diabetes, a healthy diabetes meal plan is key to managing your blood sugar. Sometimes it can be tricky to know which foods and drinks are good choices, but these 10 picks can help keep your numbers in check.
Whether they’re lentils, kidney, pinto, black or garbanzo, beans are a low-glycemic index food. That means their carbohydrates are gradually released so they’re less likely to cause blood sugar spikes. They’re so beneficial that one study found that eating a daily cup of beans for three months as part of a low-glycemic index diet lowered HbA1c by half a percentage point.
Try it! Swap in beans for half the meat in tacos or your favorite chili recipe.
You might think that there’s no room in a diabetic meal plan for fruit, but apples are also low glycemic. Aiming for foods like apples that are low or medium on the glycemic index is one way to manage blood sugar levels. And eating an apple a day has its benefits they are high in fiber, vitamin C as well as fat-free! Not to mention a portable and easy snack option.
Try it!Toss an apple in your lunch bag or grab one between meals. Bake them and add cinnamon for warm treat.
Try it! For healthy snacking on-the-go, pack one-ounce portions of almonds into single-serve containers.
5. Chia Seeds
6. Glucerna® Shakes and Bars
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Blood Sugar Level Rises Every Time You Eat
Your blood sugar level rises immediately after eating a meal or snack . In a healthy person, insulin then starts working, and the blood sugar level returns to the pre-meal level 2 hours after eating. In untreated diabetes patients, the blood sugar level does not return to the pre-meal level of its own accord. Some people’s blood sugar level remains high two hours after eating, even though on an empty stomach it would be at a normal level. As a result, the risk of developing diabetes increases as insulin is not properly secreted, or does not work properly in the body. In order to make sure insulin works properly, it is important not to overeat and to avoid becoming obese. Knowing which foods will not cause a sudden and extreme spike in blood sugar level and using this knowledge in your daily life will help you to prevent obesity and diabetes, and maintain good health.
Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Many people with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise alone. Others may need diabetes pills or insulin injections, along with medicines to manage other conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Over time, a person with diabetes may need both lifestyle changes and medication.
Once youve been told you have diabetes, a health care team will work with you to create a diabetes management plan. Your plan will be based on your lifestyle, preferences, health goals, and other health conditions you have.
As part of your plan, your doctor may prescribe one or more medications. Other health care professionals may also be involved. For example, a diabetes educator may help you understand diabetes and provide support as you make lifestyle changes to manage your diabetes. A dietitian may help with meal planning. An exercise coach may help you become more physically active.
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Overweight Obesity And Physical Inactivity
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index charts.
Can Diabetes Cause Headaches Or Dizziness
Yes, its possible to develop headaches or dizziness if your blood glucose level is too low usually below 70 mg/dL. This condition is called hypoglycemia. You can read about the other symptoms hypoglycemia causes in this article.Hypoglycemia is common in people with Type 1 diabetes and can happen in some people with Type 2 diabetes who take insulin or medications such as sulfonylureas.
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Who Gets Diabetes What Are The Risk Factors
Factors that increase your risk differ depending on the type of diabetes you ultimately develop.
Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include:
- Having a family history of Type 1 diabetes.
- Injury to the pancreas .
- Presence of autoantibodies .
- Physical stress .
- Exposure to illnesses caused by viruses.
Risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American race or Pacific Islander.
- Being overweight.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian-American.
- Being overweight before your pregnancy.
- Being over 25 years of age.
Favorite Resource For Diet Advice
Giving up some of the foods you once loved is arguably the biggest bummer about receiving a diabetes diagnosis. But with this Harvard-affiliated organizations expert diet guidance, you dont have to.
For more on “bad” foods you can eat in a diabetes diet, check out our article “5 ‘Bad’ Diabetes Foods You Can Enjoy in Moderation.”
Want to get involved? The IDF, which reaches 168 countries, makes it easy with their advocacy network page. Youll find different organizations that you can work with to help propel diabetes research, legislation, and awareness.
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Sugar And Diabetes And Your Diet
We all enjoy eating sugary foods occasionally, and theres no problem including them as a treat occasionally as part of a healthy, balanced diet. And, for some people with diabetes, sugary drinks or glucose tablets are essential to treat a hypo, when your blood glucose levels get too low.
However, we are eating too much free sugar and harming our health as a result. Being overweight can make it difficult to manage your diabetes and increase your risk of getting serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke in the future. Too much sugar is bad for your teeth too.
The maximum recommended daily amount of sugar is 30g for adults which works out at just seven teaspoons a day. Given that a tablespoon of ketchup contains around one teaspoon of sugar, a chocolate biscuit has up to two, and a small serving of baked beans almost three, you can see how quickly the teaspoons tot up.
Which Is Right For You
Finding the best glucose monitoring system that is right for you is about finding the choice that best suits your needs. By considering the benefits and limitations between the different systems that are available in Canada, you can find a system that meets your individual requirements while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your diabetes care routine.
Our glucose monitoring comparison chart provides a summary of CGM, Flash glucose monitoring devices and test strips and meters.
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Signs That May Indicate You Are At Risk For Diabetes
**This article is a repost of an earlier written article. We are reposting because we believe the information is valuable and pertinent to many.**
There are some serious complications that can come with having high blood sugar such as heart failure and stroke. However, diabetes can be managed with prescription medication, diet, and exercise to help you live a normal, healthy life.
Insulin Resistance And Insufficient Insulin Production
Insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes means the signal insulin gives to a cell is weakened. This results in less glucose uptake by muscle and fat cells and a reduction in insulin mediated activities inside cells. Compounding this problem of resistance, there is additional defect in insulin production and secretion by the insulin producing cells, the beta cells in the pancreas.
As a group, everyone with with type 2 diabetes has both insulin resistance and an inability to overcome the resistance by secreting more insulin. But any given individual with type 2 may have more resistance than insulin insufficiency or the opposite, more insulin insufficiency than resistance. And the problems may be mild or severe. It is believed that the wide range of clinical presentation is because there are many, many genetic causes and combinations of genetic causes of type 2 diabetes. At present there is no single genetic test for type 2 diabetes. The diagnosis is made on the basis of the individual having clinical features consistent with type 2 diabetes, and by excluding other forms of diabetes.
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What Are The Risks Of Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia can be a sign that your body isnt getting enough insulin. It is normal for patients with T1D to get hyperglycemia, and most of the time this is simply treated with insulin. If the body does not have insulin for approximately 8 hours, you could develop a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
In DKA, your body breaks down fat for energy because it doesnt have enough insulin to use the sugar in your blood. This produces chemicals called ketones, which make your blood more acidic.
DKA is dangerous. Too much acid in your blood can make you pass out or even cause death.
What Are The Effects Of Consuming Sugars On The Risk Of Developing Diabetes
Numerous clinical trials, cohort studies, and meta-analyses have been performed to describe the impact of consumption of sugars on weight gain, as well as risk for and development of diabetes . Te Morenga et al. recently performed a systematic review and meta-analysis for the WHO and estimated that adults who reduced intake of dietary sugars decreased 0.80 kg body weight among randomized controlled trials . The same systematic review and meta-analysis, however, did not show a body weight decrease in the randomized controlled trials of children. Conversely, an increase intake of sugars was associated with an increase of 0.75 kg of body weight in both adults and children. A reduced intake of free sugars was associated with weight loss and increased intake of sugars was associated with weight gain in European adults in the EPIC-InterAct cohort study . Other researchers have performed systematic reviews and meta-analyses and calculated pooled estimates showing a statistically significant positive relationship between increased consumption of calories in the form of sugars and weight gain. In the absence of weight gain seen in calorie matched trial comparisons, the relationship between weight gain and consumption of sugars appear to be mediated through an increase in calorie consumption .
Moderate amounts of sugars can safely be consumed by people with diabetes and those at risk.
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