Suggar Diabetic
Diabetes is a condition where the body does not automatically control its blood sugar level, so it has to be controled "by hand". This is a medical issue, so I'm providing just a short introduction for those who need to understand the basics. Anyone with diabetes or who needs to care for a person with the condition should refer to qualified medical sources (see Links section) and seek the advice of a physician..

Setting
Diets


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Overview

There are two main forms of diabetes (diabetes mellitus)::

  • Type 1:   Faiure of the pancreas to produce any or sufficient insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar level. The cause is often an autoimmune attack commonly during childhood. This form accounts for about 10% of all cases and can be controlled only with externally supplied insulin, generally by injection. Diet and lifestyle are also factors in controlling this form.
  • Type 2:   Also called "adult onset diabetes" this form is the result of the body's loss of sensativity to insulin. Causes are still being studied but are generally related to factors of lifestyle and diet, particularly excess internal abdominal fat. It is generally treated by diet and exercise and by drugs when more severe, but can progress to the point of requiring external insulin sources. It is important it be kept under control because it can result in heart disease, nerve damage, kidney failure, liver failure and blindness.

Diabetic symptoms include:

  • Blood sugar too low (hypoglycemia):   tired, confused, cranky, shaky, sweaty. Generally corrected by consuming fruit juices or some other sugar containing beverage.
  • Blood sugar too high (hyperglycemia):   thirsty, excessive urination, blurred vision. Generally corrected according to instructions from a doctor.

Diet

Coping with diabetes takes serious attention to exercise, weight control, diet and careful monitoring of blood sugar level. Proper diet is a key factor that should be configured under the guidance of a certified dietician, particularly because it's not a one size fits all situation.

A recommended diet is likely to include:

  • Eating frequently but in modest portions.
  • Increased whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables.
  • Selected carbohydrates: 45% to 65% of daily calories.
  • Less protein: 15% to 20% of daily calories.
  • Less fats: 20% to 35% of daily calories.
  • Eating a large variety of foods.
  • Severely limiting sweets.
  • Limiting alcohol (makes control more difficult).
  • Lower salt.
  • Higher fiber.
Parts of the diet will be aimed at lowering the risk of heart disease which can be an increased risk to diabetics.

Links

diab.html 071206
©Andrew Grygus - ajg@aaxnet.com - Linking and non-commercial use permitted