Are You at Risk for Diabetes?

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Diabetes is a disease where the body cannot properly
produce or use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that turns
the foods you eat into energy. If your body cannot turn
food into energy, not only will your cells be starved for
energy, you will also build up glucose (sugar) in your
blood. This will lead you to have “high blood glucose
levels.” Over years, the high blood glucose level can
damage major organs like your heart, eyes, and kidneys.

Types of Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes is caused by a total lack of insulin that,
in turn, produces high blood glucose levels. Type 1 is
most often is seen in children, but can develop in adults.
If you have Type 1, your health care provider might
recommend scheduled, nutritious meals, exercise,
medication, and frequent blood sugar level tests.

Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body does not
produce enough insulin or cannot properly use insulin.
This is the most common type. The treatment may be
similar to Type 1.

Pre Diabetes or Borderline Diabetes may occur
before a Type 2 diagnosis. Blood glucose levels will
be higher than normal. Good nutrition and exercise
may be recommended by your health care provider as
treatment for pre diabetes. Even a slightly high blood
sugar level is insidious and could affect major organs
over time.

Gestational Diabetes occurs in pregnant women that have
high blood glucose levels. This type of Diabetes can harm
both Mother and baby. If you have Gestational Diabetes,
your health care provider may prescribe meal plans,
exercise, daily testing and medicine.

Risk Factors:

The exact causes of Diabetes are still unknown. However,
heredity, obesity and lack of exercise may play a role.
Here are some general risk factors:

1. Your siblings or parents have diabetes.
2. You are more than 20% overweight.
3. You do not exercise.
4. You have had gestational diabetes or you have had a
baby over 9 lbs.
5. You have high blood pressure.
6. Your cholesterol level is not normal.

How to care for you Diabetes:

According to the American Diabetes Association, people
with Diabetes have the same nutritional needs as everyone
else. In addition to prescribed medications, well-balanced
meals may help you keep your blood glucose level as normal
as possible.

Also, just like everyone else, exercise is an important part
of staying healthy. Exercising with diabetes does require a few
extra safety steps that your health care professional can make
you aware of.

Nutritious meals, an exercise routine, and using your
NutriCounter along with the help of your doctor may aid you
in controlling your Diabetes. Diabetes will never truly go away,
but with proper nutrition, exercise and prescribed medications,
it can be controlled.

For more information on specific exercise and eating advice
for diabetics, see the following web sites:

American Diabetes Association
http://www.diabetes.org

Canadian Diabetes Association
http://www.diabetes.ca/Section_Main/welcome.asp

Online Risk Test
http://www.diabetes.org/main/info/risk/risktest.jsp

Excellent article about Borderline Diabetes
http://www.diabetes.ca/Section_About/borderline.asp

Am I at risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/diabetes/pubs/risk/risk.htm

Safety Tips for Exercising with Diabetes
http://www.diabetes.org/main/health/exercise/safety/25ways.jsp

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!
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