Diabetes 101: Know The Signs

First and foremost, there are two types of Diabetes, and they are very different from one another.

Wikipedia’s definition of type 1 diabetes (formerly insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes) is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.  The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose. The classical symptoms are polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), polyphagia (increased hunger), and weight loss.

We are going to discuss type 2 diabetes because it is most affected by many of the health issues that we discuss here at Paula’s Healthy Living.  If your fasting  blood sugar is higher than 125, you have diabetes.  For people who have type 2 diabetes, they have insulin, but it isn’t as effective as it should be.  It is resistant, so the body needs to produce more.  For many, their pancreas just can’t  keep up with the work!

Excessive body weight is the most obvious, and prevalent symptom of type 2 diabetes.  One of the reasons it creates this issue in the body is that excessive calories that you eat turn into fat that needs to be stored.  Eventually after your present fat cells get filled, the body looks for new locations that may end up being the liver, muscle or the pancreas.  To make matters worse, excessive fat can lead to chronic inflammation which exacerbates the issue.

The reality is that type 2 diabetes is avoidable.  People with a healthy weight and lifestyle  have a 90% lower risk, according to JoAnn Manson, professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School For Public Health.  You should aim for a low sugar diet, low fat diet, avoiding processed meats, red meats and bacon.  Include fresh fruits, seasonal vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy.

It’s important to eat small meals 4-5 times per day to help regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day.  Cooking healthy food and packing lunch or enjoying dinners at home versus fast food or oversized restaurant portions will allow you to control the amount of sugar, salt and fats in your meals.  Portion sizes can be controlled by utilizing tools such as digital scales and pre-organized portion guides.  Use smaller plates and don’t bring extra food to the eating table.  Box and refrigerate them  straight after setting up the plates.

Use a private food diary, and mark down the food honestly.  this can really help you recognize what your trigger foods, and times of day that you’re eating habits are the most vulnerable to bad-choice foods or binging.  You can find diaries available in apps and paper types.

Exercise regularly 4-5 days per week, for at least 30 minutes per day.  Try weight training, yoga and cardio for a well-rounded fitness  routine.

The best way to lose weight is by developing a support group and combining lifestyle changes to your food and activity levels.  Ask your family and friends for their assistance, and avoid situations that trigger unhealthy behaviors for you.

Diabetes is a serious personal and national health issue in the United States.  Know the facts and what the warning signs are.  For more information go to http://www.diabetes.org/.

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