Millions of people around the world are living with diabetes and the statistics only seem to be increasing. Many of these include children under the age of 14, the number of adults diagnosed as insulin resistant are estimated to have reached an astonishing 318 million. Let your knowledge of a better lifestyle and dietary choices help you and your loved ones to manage or prevent this disease successfully this diabetes month.
By Jana du Plessis
Diabetes refers to the pancreas’s inability to produce enough insulin for the body to properly break downingested food. Type 1 diabetes develops at a young age and is caused by a faulty autoimmune response where the body attacks the pancreatic cells producing insulin, creating an insulin shortage. Type 2 diabetes, the most common of the two, appears later in life and can be attributed to obesity, an unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, advancing age, a family history of diabetes and high blood glucose during pregnancy. Here’s what to look out for when possibly being faced with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes:
– Excessive thirst
– Frequent urination
– Persistently dry skin
– Consistent hunger
– Blurred vision
Beat the beast
Diabetes is largely an incurable disease, but both types can be managed so Diabetics can live full, healthy lives. In the case of Type 2 diabetes; prevention is better than cure!
1. Educate yourself to learn more about what diabetes entails in order to make beneficial lifestyle choices.
2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet to manage glucose levels – it’s wise to see a dietician who can work out a meal plan specific to you and your lifestyle.
3. Make exercise a part of your daily routine. By engaging in regular physical activity it will lower blood glucose levels, promote weight-loss and reduce stress.
4. Maintaining a healthy weight is vital to managing Type 2 diabetes.
5. Type 1 diabetes patients manage their disease with insulin shots, while Type 2 should focus on diet and exercise. There are diabetes or insulin tablets available for certain Type 2 diabetes patients, should they need to use it.
6. Ensuring a healthy, stress-free lifestyle can play a big role in managing diabetes. Smoking is also a no-go.
For more information on diabetes and what you can do for yourself or a loved one being diagnosed, head to diabetessa.org.za for more.