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Diabetes and Diet

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Types of Diabetes - Diabetes and Diet

There are two basic types of diabetes - type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes. It exists when the body fails to produce insulin, the hormone required for controlling blood sugar levels. Sufferers of Type 1 diabetes require insulin injections to correct this. There is no known dietary cause of Type 1 diabetes.

For patients who suffer from Type 1 diabetes, diet is an important element of their clinical care. All patients with Type 1 diabetes should have access to a qualified dietitian.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents. Type 2 diabetes reduces your body\'s ability to control your blood sugar. Overweight people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as people who are not overweight. You can reduce your risk of developing this type of diabetes by losing weight and by increasing your physical activity. If you use medicine to control your blood sugar, weight loss and physical activity may make it possible for your doctor to decrease the amount of medication you need.

  • Type 2 diabetes often presents later in life, and is usually associated with being overweight. In this case, too much insulin is produced by the body, but still has little or no effect on blood sugar.

  • Type 2 can often be treated with diet alone. In the later stages of the disease insulin production may decline and some people will need tablets or insulin injections.

  • The risk of Type 2 diabetes rises as body fat increases. If you are an obese man, your risk of developing diabetes is 40 times higher than if you are a healthy weight. This risk more than doubles in obese women.

  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is the only treatment known to improve the life expectancy of people with Type 2 diabetes without using tablets or insulin injections.

Management of Diabetes - Diabetes and Diet

Your doctor will advise you exactly how to manage your diabetes. In addition to personal medical precautions, effective diabetic-management requires a healthy regular lifestyle which should include a regular balanced diet, regular exercise and sensible weight control.

It\'s worth noting that despite diabetes being a condition of sugar regulation, specific restriction of sugars is not necessary, except as part of ensuring a balanced diet overall.

How to Reduce Complications of Diabetes - Diabetes and Diet

Glucose Control - Diabetes and Diet

Research studies in the United States and abroad have found that improved glycemic control benefits people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In general, for every 1 percent reduction in results of A1C blood tests, the risk of developing microvascular diabetic complications (eye, kidney, and nerve disease) is reduced by 40 percent. Choosing a healthy diet with the right mixture of low and high glycemic index foods, and exercising regularly, is a good way to maintain glucose control.

Blood Pressure Control - Diabetes and Diet

Blood pressure control can reduce cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) by approximately 33 to 50 percent and can reduce microvascular disease (eye, kidney, and nerve disease) by approximately 33 percent. In general, for every 10 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) reduction in systolic blood pressure, the risk for any complication related to diabetes is reduced by 12 percent. It\'s worth remembering that raised blood pressure is closely associated with overweight and obesity. Another reason to follow a healthy weight loss program, with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Control of Blood Fats/Lipids - Low Cholesterol Diet

Improved control of cholesterol and lipids (for example, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) can reduce cardiovascular complications by 20 to 50 percent. Choosing a lower fat, low-cholesterol diet, combined with regular exercise makes fat control more effective.

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