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National Diabetes Awareness Month

national diabetes awareness month

national diabetes awareness month

In case you weren’t aware, November is National Diabetes Awareness month. Why am I dedicating an entire post to that? My youngest son, Calvin, is a Type 1 Diabetic.
I want to share more about diabetes because 1.) people have asked me for updates and 2.) T1D is sneaky and knowing the symptoms can save someone’s life. So, even if you don’t give a hoot about diabetes, just read the symptoms and store that away in the recesses of your brain. Not to be dramatic, but it really might save the life of someone you know. I am convinced that Calvin was diagnosed early, before he was in real trouble, because my mom knew the symptoms.
First of all a few details about T1D. Most people are familiar with type 2 diabetes, since most people with diabetes have type 2. Less than 10% of diabetics have type 1 and only 15% of those with T1D are children. Almost all of the “diabetic-friendly” foods, recipe books, magazines, and general information is geared towards type 2, so there is a lot of misunderstanding about type 1.
Type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or develops a resistance to it. It sometimes needs to be treated with insulin injections, but can also be treated with oral medications and controlled diet. Type 2 can, in most cases, be reversed with a change in diet and activity, along with weight loss.
T1D cannot be prevented and it cannot be reversed. It is an auto-immune disease. The body attacks and kills off the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin, until the pancreas no longer has enough beta cells to produce insulin. It’s a gradu Continue reading

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Type 2 diabetes: Symptoms, early signs, and complications

Type 2 diabetes: Symptoms, early signs, and complications

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age, although it is more common in middle-aged and older adults. But what are the early signs and symptoms of this condition?
Type 2 diabetes results in high blood sugar levels and is believed to affect 29.1 million Americans. It accounts for up to 95 percent of all diabetes cases, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In this article, we explore the early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes. We also look at the associated risk factors and potential complications of the condition.
What is type 2 diabetes?
People with type 2 diabetes do not make or use insulin correctly. Insulin is a hormone that regulates movement of blood glucose (sugar) into cells. Blood glucose is the body’s source of energy and comes from food.
When sugar cannot enter cells, it builds up and the body is unable to rely on it for energy. If the body is unable to get glucose, the result is symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
A doctor may suspect diabetes if a person’s blood sugar levels are above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes
There are a number of symptoms of type 2 diabetes that people should be aware of. Awareness of these may help them get advice and a possible diagnosis. The sooner someone with type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner they can begin treatment to manage the condition.
Symptoms include the following:
Frequent urination and increased thirst: When excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, fluid is pulled from the body’s t Continue reading

Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes prevention is proven, possible, and powerful. Taking small steps, such as eating less and moving more to lose weight, can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and related health problems. The information below is based on the NIH-sponsored Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) research study, which showed that people could prevent or delay type 2 diabetes even if they were at high risk for the disease.
Follow these steps to get started on your game plan.
If you are overweight, set a weight-loss goal that you can reach. Try to lose at least 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, a 10-percent weight-loss goal means that you will try to lose 20 pounds.
Research shows that you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing weight by following a reduced-calorie eating plan and being more active each day.
Find ways to be active every day. Start slowly and add more activity until you get to at least 30 minutes of physical activity, like a brisk walk, 5 days a week.
Keep track of your progress to help you reach your goals. Use your phone, a printed log, online tracker, app, or other device to record your weight, what you eat and drink, and how long you are active.
Ask your health care team about steps you can take to prevent type 2 diabetes. Learn about other ways to help reach your goal, such as taking the medicine metformin. Also, ask if your health insurance covers services for weight loss or physical activity.
It’s not easy to make and stick to lifelong changes in what you eat and how often you are active. Get your frien Continue reading

5 Best Foods for Diabetes

5 Best Foods for Diabetes

Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S., and doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke.1 However, type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease - our food choices can either prevent or promote insulin resistance and resultant diabetes.
Many conventional diabetes diets rely on meat or grains as the major calorie source. However, these strategies have serious drawbacks. High-nutrient, low glycemic load (GL) foods are the optimal foods for diabetics, and these foods also help to prevent diabetes in the first place:
Green vegetables: Nutrient-dense green vegetables – leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and other green vegetables – are the most important foods to focus on for diabetes prevention and reversal. Higher green vegetable consumption is associated with lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and among diabetics, higher green vegetable intake is associated with lower HbA1c levels.2,3A recent meta-analysis found that greater leafy green intake was associated with a 14 percent decrease in risk of type 2 diabetes.4 One study reported that each daily serving of leafy greens produces a 9 percent decrease in risk.5
Non-starchy vegetables: Non-green, non-starchy vegetables like mushrooms, onions, garlic, eggplant, peppers, etc. are essential components of a diabetes prevention (or diabetes reversal) diet. These foods have almost nonexistent effects on blood glucose and are packed with fiber and phytochemicals.
Beans: Beans, lentils, and other legumes are the ideal carbohydrate source. Beans are low in GL due to their moderate protein and abundant fiber and re Continue reading

Risk factors for diabetes: Type 1, type 2, and gestational

Risk factors for diabetes: Type 1, type 2, and gestational

This article is about risk factors for diabetes mellitus. Usually just called diabetes, this is a disease that occurs when the body does not make or use insulin in the way it should.
Diabetes results in a person having too much of a type of sugar, called glucose, in their blood and not enough in their cells. At least 1 in 4 people with diabetes does not know that they have the disease.
Knowing risk factors for diabetes is very important for preventing the damage it can cause. If a person knows what these factors are, they can see a doctor early to find out if they have, or are at risk of, diabetes.
There are three main kinds of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Each of these is briefly described below, along with their important risk factors.
Type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the body makes no or very little insulin. It affects around 5 percent of those with diabetes. It is treated with either insulin injections or an insulin pump, along with diet.
The main risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:
Family history. Having a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes increases the chances of a person having the same type. If both parents have type 1, the risk is even higher.
Age. Type 1 diabetes usually affects younger people. Ages 4 to 7 and ages 10 to 14 are the most common. Type 1 diabetes may occur at other ages, although it does so less often.
Genetics. Having certain genes may increase the risk of type 1 diabetes. Your doctor can check for these genes.
Where a person lives. Studies have found more type 1 diabetes the further away from the equator a perso Continue reading

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