The Dangers of Diabetes
Diabetes is a metabolic disease where the body does not produce enough insulin. The effects of having long term high blood sugar are uncomfortable and can threaten to shorten one's life. Managing diabetes carefully is extremely important. Additionally, those who are prediabetic or have a family history of diabetes may have a higher risk of becoming diabetic. However, researchers believe that there are environmental triggers such as weather, viruses or early diet.
Perhaps one of the most difficult issues that diabetics face is nerve damage referred to as diabetic neuropathy. Many diabetics experience numbness, tingling, burning, weakness, loss of balance or infections of the feet. Many diabetics can reduce or prevent neuropathy by managing their blood sugar. It is extremely important to check often and be consistent. Additionally, feet should be kept clean and dry and checked daily for sores. Good comfortable shoes are a must. Did you know that 60% of those who required lower limb amputations, over the age of 20, were diabetic?
Eye & Ear Problems
Eye and ear problems may also occur. Diabetic eye diseases may include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts or glaucoma. According to Diabetes.org, the rate of hearing loss among diabetics is 30% higher than those with normal blood sugar levels.
Heart Attacks & Stroke
Another risk of not managing one's blood sugar is heart and blood vessel diseases. Neglect can lead to strokes, high blood pressure or even heart attacks. Heart attack rates are 1.8 times higher for those with diabetes. You are 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke.
Unfortunately, diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure. Those who have diabetes must take good care of their blood sugar or they may face dialysis some day.
Test Blood Sugar Often
Diabetes, is, in fact the 7th leading cause of death in America. So how does one care for oneself? Regular doctor visits are key, but daily care is most important. Blood sugar levels must be tested frequently throughout the day depending on the type of diabetes. Type 1 diabetics may check their levels four to eight times a day, while Type 2 diabetics may check their blood two or more times a day. Listen carefully to your doctor about when and how often to check.
Following a diet that helps you manage your blood sugar is ideal. Eat plenty of lean proteins like fish and chicken. Water is an excellent drink that won't add sugar to your diet. Isn't it interesting that most people feel like they have to have a soda with their meals? Water with each meal is so much more refreshing and better for you. Who needs empty calories anyway. Sticking closer to whole foods is better. Consider substitutes. Instead of sweetened yogurts, get plain regular yogurt and add your own berries. Go easy on carbohydrates that cause spikes in blood sugar like potatoes. Brown rice is a great alternative. Eat plenty of vegetables like asparagus and broccoli. Also, eat a little bit and often. Take small meals and plan snacks in between that are not too sweet. Natural snacks are best because they have more vitamins and minerals. For example, carrots are going to make you feel a lot better than donuts.
When diabetics or pre-diabetics choose a snack, it is important to consider the glycemic index of those foods. Natural real foods are better than processed foods. They are packed with nutrients and your body knows exactly what to do with them. Selecting high fiber fruits and vegetables are great options for everyone, not just diabetics.
- Nuts like almonds, pistachios, etc
- Small apple
- Cucumber & tomato salad with feta cheese
- 1 cup plain all natural yogurt with a handful of blueberries
- All natural cheese cubes with celery sticks
- Black bean salsa with tortilla chips
- String cheese
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