If you’re carrying extra weight, or if you’re highly stressed, or smoke, or don’t exercise, you could have diabetes and not know it. Diabetes and losing weight go hand in hand. Read on and see if your in danger.
I always believed that diabetes is inherited, or if you got through childhood without it, you’re OK, So I was startled to learn recently that the vast majority of diabetics are diagnosed in adulthood and that 50 to 80% of sufferers don’t even know they have it until it seriously affected their health.
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So what is it?
Diabetes occurs when the body is either unable to make enough insulin or is unable to make proper use of the insulin it does produce, insulin is needed to move glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells, where it’s converted into energy.
How do I know if I have it?
You may feel tired all the time, a need to wee a lot, your vision may become blurred, you may lose weight, suffer extreme thirst, feel faint, suffer itchiness and skin infections.
Who gets Diabetes?
Children and young adults may get Type 1 diabetes, but they account for less than 10% of sufferers. By far the largest group is that suffering from Type 2 or late onset diabetes.
Quoting from a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM. 2001), Carol Browne, dietitian and nutrition manager at the SA Sugar Association, says excess weight or obesity was shown to be the single most important predictor of diabetes, stress, smoking and lack of exercise are also risk factors. Therefore diabetes and losing weight go hand in hand.
Can I ignore it?
No. This is a chronic and progressive illness which can lead to circulatory problems (and amputation), heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and even death.
How is it treated?
Type 1 diabetes is treated with a combination of insulin injections and diet, and is not preventable However, many cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Latest research from the British Heart Foundation shows that people who eat healthily, exercise regularly, and keep their weight stable, often have blood sugars in the normal range, even if diabetes runs in the family. Type 2 diabetes may require insulin injections or tablets but not it can be controlled with diet and lifestyle adjustments.
Can I avoid getting Diabetes?
Yes. The NEJM study showed that the majority of cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle “
Dietitians suggest avoiding all energy-dense foods to reduce obesity. Even an excess of low-fat foods can lead to obesity (and therefore place you at high risk of diabetes) if you’re not exercising enough. Diabetes and losing weight is very important. A healthy diet is one where carbohydrate is supplied from a variety of sources, starchy goods should form the basis of most meals, and these should be minimally processed.
One should eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, and introduce legumes and soya into your diet Sugar can be used in moderation, This will ensure a diet that has many foods that are absorbed slowly, and limit those that are absorbed quickly.
Most importantly, get some exercise, research shows that even moderate exercise such as a 30-minute walk five days a week, could halve the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Practice relaxation techniques when you’re under pressure – yoga and meditation are excellent – and stop smoking.Apparently the nicotine and other chemicals in smoke cause insulin resistance and stimulate stress hormones.
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