Misc Archives

Learning To Deal With A Diabetes Diagnosis

You’ve been to the doctor, and you have just been diagnosed with diabetes.  One part of you is relieved that you have finally found the reason behind some of the symptoms you experience.  But another part of you may be scared, upset or even angry.  These feelings are completely normal, and as your doctor will tell you, it won’t take long for you to settle into a routine that can help you live a healthier and even longer life.  Checking your blood glucose, taking medication, and coming to understand the symptoms of hypoglycemia are all ways to control diabetes.  But, like millions of other Americans, your thoughts will quickly turn to ways to improve your lifestyle and health so that you can reduce the need for drugs and even possibly send your condition into remission.

We have all been beaten around the head with studies and research about the benefits of regular physical activity.  When you have diabetes, you will no doubt be given a few lectures on getting fitter and becoming more active in general.  This is because when you use your body more, it lowers your blood glucose levels as well as improves your body’s ability to use insulin over time.  Doing more activity need not be daunting – you don’t necessarily have to join a fitness centre.  Just make a small effort each day to do some form of exercise such as walking up the stairs (instead of taking the elevator), or take a walk around your neighbourhood.  If you have kids, get them off the couch and take them to the park to kick a ball around.  The more enjoyable the activity, the more likely you will do it on a regular basis.  Exercise is a great mood enhancer, and being active has the added advantage that you will start to lose weight and may even start to feel more positive about yourself and your circumstances.

Diabetic Diet PyramidIn terms of your diet, your doctor will probably provide you with a guide on the foods to avoid and the foods to stock up on.  For many people with diabetes they have to follow a regime of eating small meals regularly, and it can be handy to have planned a diabetes diet for each week in advance so you are never caught without something healthy to eat.  Everyone’s dietary requirements are different depending on a number of factors such as age, weight and sex, and if you are having trouble planning meals that will help to control your diabetes then you could consider visiting a nutritionist to develop a diet that suits you.  There are also a number of resources from reputable national diabetes centres on the internet that can help.

It is a great feeling knowing that you can control something in your life, and coming to realise that something like diabetes doesn’t really have to slow you down.  If you make sensible choices and make the recommended changes in your lifestyle, you might find that you come out of the whole experience healthier and happier.  Don’t let diabetes control you!

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Information On A Diabetic Diet

The most recent statistics on type 2 diabetes make for unsettling reading:  the disease affects over 8 per cent of all Americans and over 11 per cent of adults aged 20 and older. It has been estimated that over 7 million Americans may have diabetes but not even know it yet.  Although it is considered a “manageable” disease, a diagnosis of diabetes is not something anyone is going to want to hear.  Having higher-than-normal levels of blood sugar associated with type 2 diabetes can lead to complications such as kidney and eye damage, and it is believed that it may also lead to an increased likelihood of developing osteoporosis and even Alzheimer’s disease.  One statistic that doesn’t get mentioned a lot is the fact that diabetes is currently the 7th leading cause of death in America.

In recent years there has been a distinct shift away from the use of drugs for several diseases such as type 2 diabetes.  This has coincided with a general move away from man-made synthetic medications to a more natural and holistic approach to medicine in general.  While there are many drugs on the market that doctors will be happy to prescribe you if you are diagnosed with diabetes, not everyone agrees that this is the best course of action.  In fact many medical professionals believe that a change in diet and increased exercise may well be the best option for people who develop this condition.

Let’s look at why this is the case.  Recent studies have found that not only are they not very effective against type 2 diabetes, they can actually have serious harmful side-effects, especially on the cardiovascular system.  One study ( the ‘Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes’ study) found that with certain drugs there was an even increase in the risk of heart attack and death!  Because type 2 diabetes is not a fatal disease, it can be thought of as a condition that people can bring under control themselves, without the use of medication.

If you have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or have been told that you are at risk for developing the disease later on in life, the good news is that there are a range of lifestyle factors that you change that will help.  First and foremost you should consider your diet.  Most of the literature on diabetic diet foods suggest that you should stick to a low glycemic diet – foods that cause small blood sugar rises that don’t last for a long time. These type of foods are also sometimes referred to as “low GI”.  Many low glycemic foods are digested slowly, which means they will deliver a steady amount of energy during the day.  It is also true that the more processed a food is, the more glycemic it will be.  It is not surprising, therefore, to find that the best type of foods for a diabetic diet are natural, unprocessed food such as whole grain wheat breads, oatmeal, beans, lean proteins such as turkey and chicken, fruit and healthy oils such as olive oil.  Foods that are considered very starchy, such as pasta and potatoes should be avoided.  This type of healthy eating plan is often referred to as a “Mediterranean-style” diet.  There are many publications that can help you create an effective and stress-free diet plan to manage your diabetes.

Additionally it has been suggested that there are a range of vitamins and minerals that may help in assisting the management of diabetes.  A study led by Esther Krug, MD, from the Sinai Hospital of Baltimore found that more than 90 per cent of the type 2 diabetes patients were found to be deficient in vitamin D.  There is also some evidence that shows that the mineral chromium can help your body break down blood sugar, and may be effective in helping to manage diabetes.  Chromium can be found in several foods such as liver, spinach and eggs, but you can also take it as a supplement.

If you’re looking for more information on the role of vitamins and minerals in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes, the internet has become an invaluable resource (although always make sure that the information is being provided by reputable sources or medical professionals).

Weight gain is one of the main risk factors for developing diabetes.  It is also a double whammy for people who take insulin because weight gain is a common side effect of taking the hormone.  So managing your weight is one of the critical elements to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for diabetics.  Exercising regularly is very beneficial, and most medical professionals will recommend at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.  Exercise helps you to manage your diabetes (or to prevent developing the disease) in many ways including to prevent you from gaining too much excess weight and help your insulin to work more effectively within your body.  Brisk walking and aerobic exercises are particularly good at helping you to stay fit and healthy.

While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes just yet, with a carefully planned healthy eating plan and regular exercise, you will be able to successfully manage the disease without drugs. Often it is a natural that the first port of call for people when they are diagnosed with a condition like diabetes is to a medical professional to get medication.  It is good to know that there may be alternative ways to manage the disease if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of taking drugs.  Obviously if you’ve tried modifying your diet and exercise and finding that it isn’t enough to control your diabetes, you may need to talk to your doctor.

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)