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Are You at Risk for Diabetes?

by: Renee Kennedy

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
Canadian Diabetes Association
Online Risk Test
Excellent article about Borderline Diabetes
Safety Tips for Exercising with Diabetes

Come and visit the HealthFitCounter web site for more information on how nutrition influences weight loss, diabetes, pregnancy, heart disease and more! healthfitcounter.com


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