Diabetes Awareness

American Diabetes Alert Day; a day dedicated to spreading awareness about diabetes, what is it, how it affects daily life, and how to prevent it.

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What is it?  Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which elevated blood glucose levels are unable to be regulated.  Insulin is the hormone, produced by the pancreas, responsible for regulating blood glucose levels.  When the pancreas fails to secrete any insulin, we refer to this as type 1 diabetes.  Usually people are born with this and is diagnosed at a very early age.  Type 2 diabetes, which is more commonly known, is when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to support spikes in blood sugar or when body’s cells do not respond to insulin (insulin resistance).

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When insulin is unable to do it’s job, glucose channels in the body cannot work properly.  Glucose (sugar) begins to build up in the blood, rather than being transported into cells for use.  These high blood glucose levels are the cause for diabetes and are associated with other health complications that may occur down the road.

Common Symptoms:*

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  • Thirsty and/or hungry more than usual
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling tired
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Itching + skin infections; particularly around the genitals
  • Blurred Vision
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Weight Loss
  • Mood Swings

Many diabetics are haunted by the question “what can I eat?”.  Having a better understanding of what foods are better choices than others can lift a huge weight off your shoulders.  Learning to balance your meals throughout the day, how to enjoy your nights out, and how to snack right are crucial survival tactics.  Listed below are 10 diabetic super-foods that are packed with nutrients as well as having a low glycemic index (GI) ensuring that these 10 foods can blend perfectly with all of your meals/snacks!*

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Beans, leafy greens, citrus fruit, sweet potato, berries, tomatoes, fish, whole grains, nuts, and fat free yogurt and milk.  All of these foods having a low GI, low carb. count, and fiber and nutrient rich.  All important things to have in your diet, diabetic or not.

Prevention: Maintaining a healthy, low GI, and high fiber diet along with getting plenty of physical activity is the best prevention method!  Eating right and staying active will keep your blood glucose levels within normal ranges and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Living with diabetes can be a challenge, but it does not mean you should feel forced to be deprived of the flavors you love.  Like any balanced diet/lifestyle it’s about making smarter and healthier choices.

 

Sources:

Diabetes.org

Better Health

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