Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body
can no longer make or properly use insulin. Insulin is a pancreatic
hormone which helps the body break down sugar and convert it into
energy. There are three major types of diabetes which are Type 1,
Type 2 and Gestational. Diabetes currently has no cure, but with
proper care and nutrition, a person with the disease can live a
long and healthy life.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes is a disease in which the body does
not produce insulin. It is diagnosed in children and adults and
is a disease that will last their entire lives. People with Type
1 Diabetes need to take insulin daily and they must continually
check their blood sugar and keep it within a good range.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
This is a disease most commonly associated with adults. It must
be managed with proper nutrition, exercise and prescription medicines
if needed. In recent years, this is the form of the disease linked
to being overweight and obese.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test
during the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy and disappears after delivery.
It can be controlled with meal planning, exercise, and sometimes,
insulin. Women who develop gestational diabetes are at a high risk
of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
How is Diabetes Managed?
Diabetes can be managed in various ways. However,
your medical provider will give you the proper guidance and goals
to get you on your way to living a healthy life. Your medical provider
can help target you on good glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol
and even prescribe medicines that will help you reach your goals.
The daily care for your diabetes will be up to you. Following good
nutritional guidelines and an exercise program will be the key to
living a healthy life.
Severity of Diabetes
Although diabetes can be managed and people can
live long, healthy lives, it is important to look at the possible
dangerous outcomes from not taking care of your diabtes. People
who do not care for
their diabetes can have potentially life threatening complications
such as: blindness, amputations, heart attack or even stroke. It
is important to keep your diabetes in check so that you can avoid
Proper nutrition goes a long way. What exactly does
this mean? Does it mean that we should become vegetarians and eat
vegetables and fruits all day? Not exactly. It does mean that we
should eat more fruits and vegetables, but portion our meals accordingly.
After all, a good meal plan does include breads and grains, fruits,
vegetables, meats and meat substitutes as well as dairy products.
Federal guidelines have now changed the way we look at nutrition
and exercise. The new guidelines are unique to each individual's
needs. Please visit MyPyramid
for more information.
A meal plan consists of the daily intake of various
food items. It is designed to meet the needs your body has to make
it through your daily activities. It consists of what to eat, how
much to eat and when to eat. When choosing a meal plan, be cautious
of the fat content that these items may contain. Choose items that
are relatively low in fat, and pay special attention to items that
are low in saturated fat and trans fat. Meal plans also include
ways to exchange certain food items for others. The food exchange
list provides categories that will help translate meal plans a little
more in-depth. On the meal plan, foods are broken down into several
different categories. Please visit the American
Dietetic Association website for more information about meal
plans and the food exchange list.
Exercise is an important part of having a healthy
life. The American
College of Sports Medicine recommends that healthy adults under
the age of 65 do either moderately intense cardio exercise for 30
minutes a day, five days of the week, or they may do vigorously
intense cardio exercise for 20 minutes a day, three days out of
the week. In either case, they must also do eight to ten strength-training
exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week
in addition to the cardio exercise. Moderate-intensity physical
activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and
break a sweat, yet still being able to carry a conversation. Examples
of this type of activity include brisk walking, cycling at moderate
speeds, mopping or walking with a purpose. For more information
about the new guidelines for exercise, please visit the American
College of Sports Medicine website.
Making good choices will help you live a longer
and happier life. Eating the right foods and exercising sufficiently
helps manage your weight as well as help you feel better. The more
you understand about the importance of eating well and exercise,
the more you will want to learn about good choices and living a
healthier, happier life.