September 18th, 2013 by

There are two types of Diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin producing cells. The absence of insulin in circulation causes glucose levels to rise to a dangerous extent, causing serious damage to the bodily organs. It is far less common than type 2 diabetes. About 10% of all diabetes sufferers have type 1.

Also known as early-onset diabetes type 1 often develops before the age of 40 and can affect people who lead perfectly healthy lives. It is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes.

Managing type 1 diabetes entails regular insulin injections and careful diet and lifestyle choices. Keeping blood glucose levels balanced should not completely depend on injecting insulin. Learning to efficiently control your blood sugar levels through nutrition is important for managing the disease, alongside frequently measuring

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your blood glucose levels and injecting accordingly.

Type 2 Diabetes is strongly associated with obesity and occurs when the body stops producing enough insulin or the body’s cells no longer react to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance and often develops through poor diet and lifestyle choices. Erratic blood glucose activity is conducive to high refined carbohydrate diets, and high sugar and caffeine intake. Diets low in lean proteins, fibre, fresh produce and essential fats predispose an individual toward developing insulin resistance.

If diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, symptoms are often controlled and even improved through diet and lifestyle overhauls.

Some women develop a temporary case of diabetes during pregnancy, known as ‘gestational diabetes.’ It affects around 5% of pregnant women, when levels of blood glucose are so high that the body cannot produce enough insulin to control it. Existing cases of type 1 diabetes are known to be exacerbated during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can have serious consequences for the health of the unborn baby, therefore blood glucose control during pregnancy is of paramount importance. Gestational diabetes is most likely to occur during the second trimester of pregnancy (weeks 14-26) and disappears after giving birth. Women who experience diabetes during pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing type 2 Diabetes later in life. Changes in diet and lifestyle can however reduce this risk.

Dietary measures to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes include balancing all meals and snacks with adequate lean protein sources, such as fish, eggs, meat, pulses and yoghurt. Eat frequent small meals rather, and always eat breakfast. Fibre is important so plenty of fresh vegetables and moderate levels of fresh fruit are advised. Essential fats like those rich in oily fish, avocado and seed oils are important for helping to manage blood sugar levels and support a healthy insulin response. Saturated fats should be eaten in moderation, and all refined carbohydrates and sugars should be largely avoided.

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