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Understanding Diabetes - an overview
By Emma-lee Strachan
Diabetes is a serious condition that is becoming increasingly common in the Western world. Over 4% of men and 3% of women in England have diagnosed diabetes. However, not all diabetes is diagnosed. A recent survey of people with Type 2 diabetes across Europe revealed that people in the UK have the worst blood glucose control. Diet and lifestyle changes can make an enormous difference to the quality of life of diabetics.
Diabetes is a condition in which the blood has raised levels of glucose (sugar) because of lowered insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which controls glucose levels in the blood by regulating the rate which it enters the cells, where it is used for fuel by the body.ÿ Glucose comes from the digestion of foods high in sugar, as well as starchy foods such as bread, rice, and potatoes. Overtime, the increased levels of glucose damage blood vessels which may cause eye, heart or kidney diseases and nerve damage.ÿÿ
There are two mainÿ types of Diabetes. Insulin-dependant diabetes mellitus, IDDM, or otherwise known as Type 1 and non-insulin dependant diabetes mellitus, NIDDM, or Type 2.ÿ Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 ? 15 % of people suffering from diabetes and usually starts at an early age.ÿ It is an auto-immune disease whereby the body?s immune system attacks and destroys insulin producing cells within the pancreas.ÿ This prevents the body from producing any insulin, so it needs to be taken via injections.ÿ Initial symptoms include excessive thirst, increased production of urine, fatigue, weight loss and blurred vision.ÿ In type 2 diabetes the pancreas can produce small amounts of insulin, but it is not enough. It can also occur if the cells become resistant to the effects of insulin.ÿ Typically it starts later in life, however recently it is becoming more common in young people.ÿ Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include weight, diet, race, age, lack of exercise and heredity. Gestational diabetes is a form of the condition that develops during pregnancy and affects approximately 4% of pregnant women.ÿ This is due to hormonal changes during pregnancy which can affect the body?s resistance to insulin. Typically this condition will disappear after delivery.ÿ
People with type 2 diabetes are subject to fluctuations in blood glucose levels.ÿ Hyperglycaemia, or too much glucose in the blood, can be bought on by eating sugary or starchy foods and may give symptoms of excessive thirst, fatigue, and a constant need to urinate.ÿ Hypoglycaemia, too little glucose in the blood, can occur from missing meals, too much exercise or from too much insulin and can strike suddenly giving symptoms of faintness, dizziness, palpations and numbness or tingling in the lips. It is important for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes to regulate these variations in blood glucose levels.ÿ
This can be done by regulating dietary intake, supporting insulin production, weight loss if appropriate and increasing physical activity.ÿ Recent research has discovered many herbs and nutrients that are beneficial in diabetes.
?ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Eating well balanced meals more often throughout the day can help control fluctuation in blood sugar levels.
?ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Avoid foods high in simple sugars, such as: cakes, chocolates, fizzy drinks, sweets, white bread and pasta. These can raise blood sugar levels very quickly, but also cause it to drop rapidly shortly after.ÿ
?ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Swap white bread for wholemeal, rye or seed breads. Replace white rice with brown rice or quinoa. Try various grains as alternatives to pasta and potatoes.
?ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Snack on high protein foods such as nuts and seeds
?ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Supporting general nutritional levels allows your body to have the nutrients necessary to adequately make insulin.ÿ More specifically, nutrients such as Chromium, Selenium, and Copper are indicated in diabetes, and can be found in the Total Multi Rejuvenation Complex.ÿ Eat a varied diet including a range of fruits and vegetables.
?ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ People with diabetes have more free radicals in their bodies, which are believed to contribute to cataracts, vascular problems, neuropathy, and to advance the aging process. Antioxidants prevent rancidity and cellular deterioration and are thought to inhibit the effects of free radicals. Therefore antioxidant supplementation such as the Antioxidant Tincture & Antioxidant Tonic are recommended