Diabetes can affect anyone. An estimated 380 million people are affected by diabetes worldwide, 29 million being Americans. It is the leading cause of blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart failure and stroke – claiming the life of 1 American every 3 minutes. If you have diabetes, it is vital to work with a professional who can create a healthy eating program for you. Many people who are searching for a diabetic diet, work with our Medical Director and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at The AIMS Clinic. Additionally, many people who are concerned about becoming diabetic seek the expertise of our integrated medical team.
Prior to seeking diabetes treatment, it is important to understand the various types of diabetes. These include:
Type 1 or insulin dependent, usually develops in children and teenagers, though it can develop in anyone at any age. It is an autoimmune reaction that causes the body to attack its own insulin -producing cells. Thus, there is no insulin produced in Type 1 diabetics and they must depend on insulin injections to control their blood sugars.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and is normally seen in adults; however there is an increasing number of younger people now developing diabetes type 2. Often times, in type 2, there is still some insulin produced, but not enough to pair up with all of the glucose in the blood stream. Other times, there is insulin being produced, however it does not fit properly with the cell causing insulin resistance. Type 2 is predominately seen in those who are overweight and live a sedentary lifestyle, which is why treatment is commonly a healthy eating diet, exercise and weight loss.
Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who do not have a history of diabetes, but who have high glucose during pregnancy. The cause of gestational diabetes is still unknown; however the hypothesized cause is due to hormonal imbalances during pregnancy causing the mother to be insulin resistant. Gestational diabetes, if controlled, does not cause birth defects, but it does tend to cause larger babies.
There are certain signs or symptoms which are associated with some types of diabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be considered a diabetic. There are no signs or symptoms – however, prediabetes is associated with those who are overweight, have high blood pressure, and/or a family history of diabetes. Those who are type 1 or type 2 may have symptoms for a while without noticing, due to the fact that the symptoms are common or hardly noticeable. The most common symptoms for both type 1 and type 2 include; increased thirst, increased appetite, fatigue, blurred vision, increased urination, weight loss and sores that do not heal.
Three different tests that can only be done by a health care provider make the diagnosis of diabetes. The hemoglobin A1C test measures the average blood sugars over the past three months, anything over 6.5% is considered basis for diabetes diagnosis. Fasting plasma glucose test entail the patient to fast for up to 8 hours to read the glucose levels, anything over 126mg/dL is considered diabetes. Lastly, oral glucose tolerance test measures how the body reacts to standard amounts of glucose, a reading of 200mg/dL or higher is considered diabetes.
Are you seeking diabetic treatment? Preventing and managing diabetes are two in the same. To prevent type 2 and gestational diabetes the recommendations are to maintain a healthy weight (BMI 25 or less), consume a healthy eating diet and practice regular physical activity. Although type 1 diabetics need insulin, they still have to follow the same guidelines of managing weight, diet and exercise to control their glucose levels.
Those with diabetes are encouraged to consume a consistent carbohydrate diet, meaning they consume the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal to help stabilize their glucose levels. Additionally, diabetics should avoid refined carbohydrates such as sugar, white breads and pastas, and sweets.
Managing diabetes is important to avoid complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, neuropathy and infections. It is important for diabetics to always take their medicine, check their glucose levels with a monitor and follow up with their health care providers.
For more information on a diabetic diet or to schedule a free consultation, call The AIMS Clinic at 732-254-5553 or go to AIMSClinic.com. Let us customize a healthy eating program for you.