© 2007 Clove Garden
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.
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:
Parts of the diet will be aimed at lowering the risk of heart disease
which can be an increased risk to diabetics.
- 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.