We have compiled some general information for you and your families, as well as some valuable resources you can take advantage to help support your diabetes lifestyle.
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BASICS: Information about Diabetes : What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects over 150 million people in the world today. Currently there are about 23.6 million people in the US who have been diagnosed with diabetes and about 6 million more who have the disease and are unaware of it. That’s about 8% of the US population.
The percentage of people suffering from diabetes is increasing rapidly, to the point where many medical authorities are referring to it as an epidemic. Basically, the combination of poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and a high diet of processed foods is a huge part if not possibly the biggest reason why the rise in diabetes.
So what is diabetes?
Diabetes prevents your body from turning food into energy. Instead, glucose stays in your bloodstream, and left untreated, can result in a range of complications.
If you have recently been diagnosed as diabetic, don’t worry. With proper treatment and care, you will lead a normal and happy life. You may need to make a few changes in your lifestyle – but then, if you are like most of us, you probably had plans to do that anyway and just never got around to it.
Now is the time to get into action. You cannot leave this up to your doctor alone – you to take responsibility for your own treatment, and that starts with an understanding of what you are dealing with.
There are three types of Diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes, (sometimes called Juvenile Diabetes) is usually found in young children and teenagers, but can also occur later in life.
In Type 1 Diabetes, your body is not producing insulin, a hormone needed to convert blood sugar into energy. Normally this hormone is produced by cells in your pancreas, but for some reason this is not happening as it should.
As the glucose in your blood can’t be converted into energy and absorbed by your cells, it builds up causing high blood sugar.
Left untreated, high blood sugar can cause serious long-term health problems.
The normal treatment for people with Type 1 diabetes is daily injections of insulin which keeps the blood sugar level within normal ranges.
Finding out you have diabetes can be upsetting, but it should not prevent you from living a long and happy life.
If you think this condition will prevent you leading an active life, consider Sir Steve Redgrave, one of the World’s greatest Olympic athletes.
Sir Steve battled Type 1 diabetes to win his record-breaking fifth Olympic Gold medal at the Sydney games in the coxless fours rowing event!
Type 2 Diabetes (sometimes called mature onset diabetes) is the most common form of diabetes.
As with Type 1, the problem is related to insulin, the hormone needed to convert sugar into energy.
With Type 2 diabetes your body might be producing too little insulin, or it might not be reacting to the insulin correctly. Either way, the end result is that glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells. Left untreated, high blood sugar can cause serious long-term health problems.
Type 2 diabetes usually appears later in life, often between the ages of 35-45 years. As it often develops slowly, many people may not recognize the symptoms, and may have diabetes without knowing it. If you have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you are one of the lucky ones. Many people have diabetes without knowing it, and are at much greater risk of long term medical complications. Finding out you have diabetes can be upsetting, but it should not prevent you from living a long and happy life. You may need to make a few changes in your lifestyle, but these changes are also good advice for non-diabetics, so probably a good idea anyway.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is only suffered by pregnant women.
In Gestational diabetes, a woman’s blood sugar is higher than normal because of the other hormones produced during pregnancy interfering with the insulin that is produced naturally.
Gestational diabetes usually becomes apparent during the 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy, and, in most cases, disappears of its own accord once the baby is born.
Women with Gestational diabetes usually do NOT have an increased risk of having a baby with birth defects.
Generally, sufferers of Gestational diabetes have normal blood sugar levels during the critical first stages of the pregnancy. Complications caused by Gestational diabetes can usually be managed by careful attention to nutrition and blood sugar levels.
Approximately 3 to 5 percent of all pregnant women in the developed world suffer from Gestational diabetes.
Proper diabetes management is critical in preventing serious long-term complications arising from high blood sugar. Unmanaged (or poorly managed) diabetes can lead to medical complications as serious as blindness, emergency amputations, or permanent damage to internal organs. Obviously, diabetes management is something every diabetic must take very seriously.
The cornerstone of diabetes management is keeping your blood sugar as normal, and within healthy levels, as possible. All of the other effects of diabetes stem from the effects of high blood sugar. Luckily, today’s diabetic has a wide variety of home equipment available for regularly monitoring blood sugar levels. By keeping close track of your blood sugar throughout the day, you can learn your ‘normal’ responses to medications, different foods and eating schedules. You can track the effects of a regular exercise program, and discuss these patterns with your doctor to adapt the management of your diabetes even more effectively.
The basis of blood sugar management is usually a combination of medication, diet and exercise.
For medication information, you need to contact your doctor for what is right for you and your specific condition.
To manage diabetes by diet is just as important as the medication you take. We sometimes think of diets as bland, non exciting dishes prepared with things that you never heard of. We would like to give you this free special collection of 18 delicious, diabetes-friendly recipes. Diets do not have to be boring! CLICK HERE for your FREE downloadable copy and start enjoying today!
If you want to get more great recipes for FREE (no gimmicks, just good FREE information), just CLICK HERE to sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you great ideas for fun recipes to help control your diabetes through nutritious foods! Our newsletter not only contains great recipes, but other helpful information and special topics of interest such as:
- Diabetes Management
- Children and Teen Diabetes
- Adult and Diabetes
- Seniors and Diabetes
- Diabetes and Depression
- Traveling with Diabetes
- Diabetes and Alcohol
- Self-Care Tips
- Fun ideas
- And much, much more!
Diabetes and exercise go hand in hand. Whether you’re scaling mountains, working out with a trainer at the gym, or taking long walks around your neighborhood, making exercise a part of your daily routine can help you enjoy a healthier life. To keep your diabetes and exercise regimens at their fittest, our newsletter will provide you resources to help you start a new exercise plan or to mix up your old workout. CLICK HERE to get this FREE information in our FREE Newsletter, dNews. The 2008 American Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Recommendations warn that certain long-term complications may actually require even greater care when exercising, so, as always, be sure to speak with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.