pathophysiology of diabetes

Diabetes Symptoms—AJC1 (Flickr.com)

What Is Diabetes Pathophysiology?

Pathophysiology” is defined as “the functional changes that accompany a particular syndrome or disease.”  The pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus defines the changes which occur in a person who has been diagnosed with diabetes, given that those changes would be considered abnormal in a healthy body.

Diabetes Mellitus occurs when the human pancreas no longer functions correctly, or when the insulin that it releases is not properly absorbed by the cells of the body.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is by far the most commonly diagnosed type of the disease, accounting for around 90% of all cases of diabetes. It normally does not show up until later in life, often after the sufferer has turned 40 and is moderated by several environmental factors.  In type 2 diabetes, either the pancreas has become damaged from spikes in insulin over the life of the patient, or the body has developed a resistance to insulin from repeated and high levels of exposure over a long period of time.

The obese and the overweight are by far at greatest risk of developing this more common form of diabetes.  There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • First, type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by diet.  Eating lots of sugary foods, or diets extremely high in simple carbohydrates leads to repeated spikes in insulin levels in the blood stream.  Eating too much candy is not worse than eating lots of potatoes – both flood the bloodstream with glucose and also with insulin. So, having a poor diet tends to produce both obesity and diabetes, though for two completely different reasons.
  • Secondly, obesity itself is tied to diabetes. Especially for those with a lot of visceral fat, the kind of fat that builds up around the belly, the body produces hormones as a result of this that interfere with the proper distribution of glucose and can impair pancreas function if the body is subjected to this too frequently or too extremely.

Complications Of Diabetes

Diabetes brings with it a number of complications, which may impact on the quality of life for the patient.  These include the following:

  • Polydipsia: this is the increased thirst that occurs in diabetics as a result of increased glucose levels, which make the blood thicker, telling the body to urinate.
  • Polyuria: excessive urination has two root causes: glucose in the blood needs to be flushed and polydipsia leads to excessive consumption of fluid.
  • Weight loss: frequent urination can lead to weight loss as fluids are urinated away.
  • Polyphagia: the body is consistently dumping the glucose that you are putting into it, so it constantly thinks that it needs to eat again.
  • Heart disease: damage to the blood vessels resulting from constant exposure to glucose can lead to heart problems.
  • Eye damage: otherwise known as “diabetic retinopathy” , the small blood vessels in the eyes are damaged by constant exposure to extreme levels of glucose.

Approaches to the Prevention of Diabetic Complications

There are a number of elements, which should form part of every diabetic’s healthcare plan. Included among these, are the following strategies for keeping the complications of diabetes in check:

  • Check Hb1Ac level every 3 to 6 months.
  • Dilated eye examination, annually.
  • Microalbumin checks, at least once a year.
  • Foot examination by a Podiatrist, every year.
  • Regular blood pressure checks, to ensure that blood pressure is below 130/80 mm Hg. 
  • Statin therapy to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

A non-diabetic body needing energy simply converts food into energy through a simple process. This process is digestion: the food is broken down and the nutrients and energy are absorbed from it. That energy is converted by the body’s metabolic processes into glucose, which is the sugar that we use for energy – it maintains your body temperature, keeps your heart pumping and powers all the systems that keep your body running and growing properly.

Glucose is not the only component to nutrient absorption and energy production. The hormone insulin, created and distributed by the pancreas, floods the bloodstream whenever you eat. This insulin is the primary factor in the absorption of nutrients.  When insulin levels are high, the cells absorb energy and nutrients from the bloodstream.  When they are low, the cells close up, to prevent losing those nutrients.  It’s a finely-tuned system, until something goes wrong.

When a person contracts diabetes, either the pancreas quits and no longer produces insulin, or the body has developed such a tolerance for insulin from repeated and extreme exposure, that it no longer performs its function adequately.  Either way, glucose doesn’t make it into the cells where it needs to go.

Glucose just sits in the blood until the body flushes it out.  This is why one of the early signs of high glucose – how diabetes is diagnosed – is frequent urination.  You may also experience excessive hunger, as the body doesn’t realize that you’re pushing nutrients through it, since they’re all going down the waste tubes.

Pathophysiology of  Diabetes Mellitus

There are actually three types of diabetes, though the third is a relatively special case (and rare, as well).  Each one differs slightly in its pathophysiology.  We have talked a lot, in this article, about the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes.  Allow me, now, to briefly touch on the other types of the disease.

Type 1 diabetes is “early-onset” diabetes.  It occurs relatively early in life, normally showing up while the patient is still a teenager.  This type of diabetes results from problems in the pancreas that have nothing to do with diet – the pancreas simply shuts down or produces so little insulin that the body cannot get enough energy.  Only about ten percent of diabetics suffer from type 1.  If you have this, it’s almost certain you’ll know about it before you’re 40. It has no known cure, though you can most definitely treat it effectively with a few simple steps.

People who have type 1 diabetes can normally expect to have to take insulin shots or insulin tablets for their entire lives. They will also need to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels to ensure that they don’t over- or under-do it with the insulin, as imbalance in this hormone – too much or too little – can both result in very serious complications.

 Gestational diabetes is specific to pregnant women.  It has a very specific cause, not related to diet.  It is a complication of pregnancy and so has nothing to do with pancreas function.

When a woman is pregnant, her body releases counter-insulin hormones, which, if they are released too much, or if she already has problems getting enough insulin around the bloodstream, can lead to the elevated glucose levels and lack of glucose absorption associated with diabetes. This can lead to insulin tolerance by the cells, and so it is important that this issue be taken care of before it leads to worse complications, such as type 2 diabetes from that insulin tolerance crossing the threshold and becoming permanent.

 

 

 

Filed under: Diabetes Mellitus Symptoms

normal blood glucose levels What Are Normal Blood Glucose Levels?

Normal blood glucose levels refer to the amount of glucose present in the bloodstream two hours after eating and at the point of not having anything to eat for eight hours (fasting level). A normal blood sugar level for a person two hours after they eat should be 140 mg/dl. When you first wake up or anytime when you have not had anything to eat or drink for at least eight hours, the normal blood glucose levels should show a range of 70 to 99mg/dl. When you eat, your blood sugar rises and then falls as the body uses the glucose. It shouldn’t fall too low.

Aren’t Normal Glucose Levels Different For Everyone?

While there has been much in the news about changes in how doctors view what is normal when it comes to body mass range, something like normal glucose levels does not vary much from person to person. The process of metabolizing sugar is almost mechanical in nature. Saying that your normal blood glucose levels are just naturally high would be like saying it is perfectly OK that your car consumes more oil than another one of the same make and model. The body, when it comes to this kind of functioning is fairly standardized and predictable.

What Affects The Normal Blood Sugar Level?

A normal blood sugar level isn’t really a good way to describe how the levels of blood glucose are viewed. To say there is a normal blood glucose level implies there is one number you want to see on the test device when it is actually a normal range that you are looking for. How you live, how active you are, genetics, ethnicity, whether you smoke, what you eat and your stress levels have all been shown to influence your blood sugar level.

How Do Doctors Test Normal Blood Glucose Levels?

There are several different ways that your doctor may test you to find out whether you have normal blood glucose levels or if something about the level is too high or too low.

  • The most common test is the fasting test, where you do not eat for a period of time and then blood is drawn and the glucose level tested.
  • The next test is called the A1c test, which is another blood test but not one that requires fasting.
  • There is also the “breakfast test.” This test is more expensive and more commonly associated with testing for suspected hypoglycemia. Your doctor may order it if your fasting tests are inconclusive but there is evidence there is an imbalance occurring. With the breakfast test you fast before arriving in the lab where you are given a bagel and orange juice to eat. Your blood sugar is tested soon after to measure the speed in which your normal blood sugar level returns.
  • A similar test to this is the Ambulatory Glucose Test; this may be done if there is still evidence that you are having problems maintaining a normal blood sugar level but there isn’t conclusive evidence of diabetes or hypoglycemia. This test looks for reactive hypoglycemia, which is when your blood sugar varies from the normal blood sugar levels due to an adrenal disorder throughout the day. You test your blood sugar levels every 45 minutes for 12 hours while going about your daily life and chart the results for your doctor to interpret. If you have reactive hypoglycemia, your blood sugar will chart like it is on a roller coaster ride and eating will speed a rise and fall in levels beyond the normal rebound range of normal blood glucose levels.

How Does Fasting Test For Normal Blood Sugar Levels?

Normal blood sugar levels reflect how much blood sugar is maintained in the body after food has been converted to glucose and used by the body. A normal blood sugar shows a predictable rise and fall in glucose in response to taking in food. By fasting, your doctor is looking for a level above the expected range for normal blood sugar if you have not taken in any food. If you have a high blood glucose level hours after you have eaten, this is a sign that the body is not processing glucose correctly. The goal is to then modify the process through medication, diet or lifestyle changes to return you to normal blood glucose levels. It does take two consecutive high results from fasting tests to diagnose a problem with blood sugar. If this happens you are usually given a diagnosis of prediabetes unless the apparent level is so abnormally high that it is obvious diabetes has already developed.

Can I Test For Normal Blood Sugar At Home?

While you can order strips and sugar monitors online that can provide you with accurate results so you can test for normal blood sugar at home, this is a process that is not recommended if you have not been diagnosed by a doctor. If your normal blood sugar levels are too high, then this can be very dangerous for your health. If you suspect you have high blood sugar, have a doctor do the testing. They may recommend that you continue with at home testing as a means of self-monitoring and managing your normal blood sugar levels but you need a physician overseeing the results to make sure there are no complications.

How Can I Get Back To A Normal Blood Sugar Level?

There are many ways you can help your body return to a normal blood sugar level. While insulin and medication can help manage normal blood glucose levels, you shouldn’t rely on them alone as they do have long term effects. Making a plan with your doctor to change your diet and lifestyle so it includes less sugar, processed foods and starches and more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and exercise can reduce or eliminate the need for medication to manage normal glucose levels. Normal blood glucose levels are something that can be achieved no matter how out of balance your levels may become, it just may take a combination of medication, diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes to prevent high blood glucose from developing into damaging diabetes.

 

 

Filed under: Pre-Diabetes

Diabetes Symptoms in men and women

Diabetes Symptoms—AJC1 (Flickr.com)

The Difference

The hard truth is that diabetes is far harder on women than it is on men. While men, in general, do not live as long as women do – primarily traceable to higher rates of heart disease in men. The finding of diabetic symptoms in men and women might  suggest a reversal of this natural order. Men with diabetes live longer than women with diabetes and virtually every symptom associated with the disease manifests in women in far worse ways than it does for men.

But being on the lookout for diabetes in both sexes is of fundamental importance, as the earlier the problem is identified and treated, the better off the patient will be – whether male or female.

What is This Disease Called Diabetes?

Diabetes happens when the pancreas doesn’t work, or when the insulin it secretes goes unrecognized by the cells it is supposed to interact with. It is diagnosed when the patient exhibits unusually high blood glucose levels, signaling that glucose absorption is attenuated for one of these two reasons.

Typically, a person who has just eaten processes food by digesting it in their stomach and intestines. From there, the bloodstream receives the glucose and other nutrients gleaned from this food. It circulates around the bloodstream until it’s all been distributed. When the cells can’t absorb any more, the rest is flushed out in the urine. This process is facilitated by the pancreas. The pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone that “docks” with receptors in the muscle cells and other kinds of cells. When these cells receive the insulin, it tells them to open up and start absorbing nutrients like crazy. This is where the glucose goes. These cells receive their fill of nutrients and reject the rest. The system is normally highly efficient. But like most highly efficient systems, it takes only one little problem to throw the whole thing out of whack.

In the diabetic, this one little problem is that the pancreas may very well not be producing any insulin, or not enough. This is typically characteristic of type 1 diabetes, which is the rarer but the more serious of the two manifestations of the disease. Type 1 has no cure, and diet and exercise cannot reverse its effects. Instead, type 1 diabetics take an external insulin source and keep a close eye on their blood glucose levels. Eating properly can reduce the need for extra insulin, and prevent worse symptoms from developing, but this type tends to show up full force and then stick around.

Type 2, on the other hand, can show up over a period of years. This is the one where early detection is of paramount importance, as full-blown diabetes can be avoided if the symptoms are caught early enough and some lifestyle changes are implemented. So check out some of these signs and symptoms of diabetes, so that you can catch your diabetes early and decide if it’s time to make some lifestyle changes.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Frequent urination: Since blood glucose levels tend to get high and stay there – the glucose isn’t getting absorbed the way it should – the body tends to flush what it thinks is all that extra glucose through the urine. This is one of the first and most important signs and symptoms of diabetes.

  • Feeling very thirsty: Of course, if you pee all the time, you’re going to get thirsty – your body is having to flush out quite a bit of fluid to get rid of all that so-called extra glucose.

  • Feeling very hungry: If you feel hungry all the time, even though you may even be eating more than usual, this may be a sign that you are not absorbing nutrients the way you should be and that you may have diabetes.

  • Extreme fatigue: This can be caused as the cells consistently don’t absorb nutrients and so have no fuel with which to run their processes. This is normally a sign of full-blown diabetes. Head to a doctor!

  • Blurry vision: This is another sign of full-blown diabetes. This means that high glucose levels may be doing damage to the blood vessels in your eyes, and you should head to the doctor.

  • Cuts and bruises heal slowly

  • Weight loss: This is typically associated with type 1 diabetes, since the body is flushing so many nutrients that it would otherwise be absorbing. This can be caused also by the frequent urination associated with diabetes.

  • Tingling, numbness and pain in the extremities (hands, feet): Blood flow problems result when blood vessels are damaged by constantly handling blood just loaded with glucose. This can in turn result in problems with getting that blood where it’s needed and where it’s hardest to get it – in other words, the hands and feet.

Differences Between the Sexes

We said before that women have a much harder time of it than men do. While the symptoms between the sexes are almost exactly the same, these symptoms can manifest in slightly different ways because of the differences in how this disease affects men and women.

)

Men don’t live as long as women primarily because women don’t suffer quite so much from heart disease as do men. This is, however, completely reversed when diabetes enters the picture. Women with diabetes are actually more likely to contract heart disease of some kind than are men with similar circumstances.

Typically, according to recently released studies, women over 40 and women over 50 will contract diabetes at a lower rate than will men at the same age and with the same BMI. Men, in other words, don’t need to put on quite so much body fat, relative to age, to contract the disease. So watching your weight, if you are a man, especially a man over 40, becomes even more important.

)

Some have hypothesized that these differences are psychological – the same “less worry” attitude that women bring to life in general, that lowers their overall risk of heart disease, tends to work against them when they have diabetes. As such, women, these researchers hypothesize, will be more sensitive to the stresses of the health condition. This hypothesis, however, has to accept that the differences are at least partially biological.

 

 

Filed under: Diabetes Mellitus Symptoms

sugar diabetes symptoms

By Adacik_Nakli_PLoS_Medicine.jpg: Giovanni MakiAtherosclerosis_diagram.gif: NHLBIderivative work: Bobby.OLeary [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sugar Diabetes Symptoms

The most common sugar diabetes symptoms can be difficult to identify as symptoms of sugar diabetes because noticed individually, they don’t cause a person much concern. This is why it is very important to be aware of the symptoms and to notify your doctor if you develop one. Chances are if you have noticed one symptom, you haven’t made the connection to several others that may also be present that you are assigning to another cause.

What are the most common symptoms of sugar diabetes?

The most common symptoms are:

  • Increased thirstiness – For no good reason you are feeling more and thirstier and it seems as if no matter how much you take in, the thirst does not go away.

  • Increased fatigue – This is not related to problems falling or staying asleep but a sense of weakness and fatigue that continues no matter how much sleep you get.

  • Losing weight without trying – While this may be the dream for many, sugar diabetes weight loss can be frightening for the speed at which it occurs. If you are starting to lose weight and you have not changed your diet or exercise routines, see your doctor immediately.

  • Tingling hands, limbs or feet – Often described as pins and needles, this is a sensation similar to what you feel after your hands and feet have “fallen asleep” and blood is returning to the extremity. Diabetes can interfere with circulation which is why this occurs.

  • Blurred vision – if your vision seems blurry then chances are something has gone wrong with your blood sugar levels.

What are the least common symptoms of sugar diabetes?

It is not so much that some of the symptoms of sugar diabetes are less common than others, but that different ones will show up for different people. Not everyone who is thirsty, tired and has tingling hands and feet is showing sugar diabetes symptoms. This is why testing is so very important. Some of the symptoms of sugar diabetes will also only show up in a test. The level of sugar in urine is an indicator of sugar diabetes as well. You can’t tell if you have a high level of sugar in your urine without a test.

How can I tell if I have sugar in my urine?

Your doctor will have to test a urine sample for the presence of glucose in order for you to know if you have sugar in urine at levels that indicates it may be a symptom of sugar diabetes. In a healthy person, there should be no sugar or glucose found when the urine is tested. If glucose is in the urine sample, this means that either the body has too much blood sugar or cannot process glucose anymore. The kidneys then flush the excess sugar in the urine to try and being the blood sugar levels back to a normal range. It is important to know that sweet smelling urine is not an indication of sugar in the urine. Sweet smelling or maple syrup smelling urine can be an indicator of a different but very serious health condition.

Is sugar in urine always one of the symptoms of sugar diabetes?

If your urine does test positive for glucose it doesn’t always mean that it is one of the hidden symptoms of sugar diabetes. Sugar in the urine indicates the body either has too high a level of blood sugar or, cannot process the sugar anymore. This could be a symptom of many other conditions including an adrenal disorder, kidney failure or complications with the kidney and liver filtering system. Your doctor will look for the presence of other sugar diabetes symptoms and do other tests to eliminate conditions before issuing you a diagnosis. The presence of sugar in the urine should always be taken seriously and addressed as soon as possible as it indicates that a major function of the body is not working.

What should I do if I have sugar diabetes symptoms?

If you have noticed that you have any of the sugar diabetes symptoms you need to see your doctor immediately for further tests. Diabetes can cause enormous complications and create serious illness within a person if it is left untreated for too long. One of the hardest things for people to do is to recognize the symptoms of sugar diabetes because we don’t tend to make lists of our symptoms but rather experience them one at a time in level of importance. If we are thirsty we assume we just need to drink more and may not make a connection to tingling in our hands or swollen gums as being a set of sugar diabetes symptoms. This is why it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the major symptoms and as soon as you notice one, notify your doctor. They can ask the right questions and do further testing to make sure that the one symptom you have noticed isn’t the tip of the iceberg for many symptoms you haven’t realized are related.

Does having symptoms of sugar diabetes mean I have to take insulin?

For most people, the symptoms of sugar diabetes do not always mean that you have to have insulin to control your blood sugar. In most cases, pre diabetic and type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and lifestyle changes. Some people may need additional medication, including insulin, to manage their blood sugar levels. If you are showing sugar diabetes symptoms, your doctor may want you to make diet and lifestyle changes while getting into the habit of routinely testing your blood sugar. Testing your blood sugar has gotten to be much easier than ever before and is virtually pain free. There are many quality brand tests and strips that you can purchase at a significant discount online so you know you have reputable supplies. Many insurances will also cover the cost of the meters so make sure to find out what your plan offers. Even if you do need medication or insulin, diet and lifestyle changes can reduce the dosage and frequency need as well.

Filed under: Diabetes Mellitus Symptoms

vitamins for diabetics

© Adisorn Sudtiyanwimon – www.123RF.com

Vitamins For Diabetics

Vitamins for diabetics are something that is effective in helping promote normal blood sugar levels and increase the insulin functioning in the body. There are many supplements for diabetics on the market and most researchers agree that in addition to the usual ingredients in a good multivitamin, diabetics need more vitamin D and Chromium picolinate than those without diabetes. It should also be noted that vitamins for diabetes are recommended for those with pre diabetic conditions and those with transitional diabetes as well.

The Best Supplements For Diabetics

If you are trying to find the best supplements for diabetics you want something with a full multi vitamin with at least the minimum RDA values of the major vitamins plus extra vitamin D and chromium picolinate. One thing you want to be sure to do is to read the inactive ingredients of the supplements for diabetics. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers are doing more than market to an audience and need and they will carelessly include sugar in their supplement pills. It is a good idea to look for vitamins for diabetics that are specifically labeled as “sugar-free” or “for diabetics.”

How Good Is Chromium Picolinate For diabetes?

Chromium is a trace metal that is essential for healthy body function. Chromium picolinate is the supplement form that can be readily absorbed by the body, any other form of chromium cannot be absorbed. Studies have shown that taking chromium picolinate for diabetes can be very helpful to managing blood sugar levels and increasing the effectiveness of insulin. While it has been shown helpful to those with type 2 diabetes, it has been shown to be even more effective in cases of transitional diabetes, medicine related diabetes and pre diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes are recommended to take chromium picolinate for diabetes in small dose as are those who have temporary diabetic conditions induced by medications such as steroids and those who were diagnosed as pre diabetic.

What Are Gymnema And Gymnema Sylvestre?

Gymnema and gymnema sylvestre are from the same herbal plant that has been used in Indian medicine to promote pancreatic health and to decrease the absorption of sugar within the intestinal system. This decrease in sugar absorption is thought to help control blood sugar levels by blocking sugar from being taken in and converted to glucose to raise the blood glucose amount. By stimulating the pancreas it promotes new cell growth and increased insulin production. While some people consider gymnema and gymnema sylvestre to be appropriate for treating diabetes, it should be considered more of a preventative. The insulin enhancing properties of gymnema and gymnema sylvestre can cause blood sugar to go too low if it is not properly managed and can be more disruptive to proper blood sugar management than helpful. As a preventative, taken along with a healthy diet, it can aid the body in avoiding the development of symptoms leading to diabetes.

How Good Is Ganoderma For Diabetes?

Using ganoderma for diabetes is gaining more popularity. This is a traditional herbal remedy derived from the ganoderma mushroom. Studies have shown that it boosts pancreatic function and reduces free radicals which in turn affect blood sugar levels. It is thought that the main agent of its effect on glucose management lies in its ability to control creatine levels in the blood stream. Creatine is what the body uses to fuel cell and muscle repair, too much creatine means that the body cannot use glucose as fuel. It is not understood how exactly ganoderma for diabetes is effective, but it has been shown that it does actively help to maintain normal blood sugar levels. It is considered to be both a preventative and supplementary treatment for diabetes, but is not used as a sole treatment for any type of diabetic condition.

How Effective Is Berberine For Diabetes?

Berberine for diabetes is a new herb that is making waves in the medical and scientific community. This is a traditional plant used in Chinese and Indian medicine to help with bone density and cardiovascular health, but also to promote healthy glucose management. A recent study published in Metabolism Journal reported that for persons newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, berberine was just as effective in managing their blood sugar levels as the common prescription metformin. In fact, the study showed that side by side, berberine and metformin were equally effective in lowering blood glucose levels and A1c levels in the test group. Most exciting for researchers is the promise represented by berberine for diabetes. Whereas traditional glucose medication can only lower sugar and A1c levels, berberine also has positive effects on bone and cardiovascular health. As many people with diabetes also have additional chronic illnesses, this could potentially reduce the amount of conflicting medication needed that causes many side effects.

Are There Herbs For Diabetes?

There are many herbs for diabetes that have been used to treat the condition for centuries. In recent decades, more research has been done on traditional herbal remedies and other popular kinds of natural remedy for diabetes. What most of the research has shown is that herbs do make a powerful difference in managing glucose levels and promoting the effectiveness of insulin in the body. None of this should be surprising as all modern prescription medications began as a synthetic form of a natural remedy. The synthetic forms were sought to provide consistent dosing and quality in the treatment.

Is There A Natural Remedy For Diabetes?

Once diabetes begins, there is no undoing the process. However, diabetes can be effectively controlled and managed so it is almost as if it has been cured. There is no natural remedy for diabetes, just as there is no pharmaceutical one. The best remedy for diabetes is one that supports proper management of the condition and works to control normal blood glucose levels. A natural remedy for diabetes should include supplements, herbal support, diet, and exercise and lifestyle changes. Many of the natural remedies can be used to support medications for diabetes and help the medication be more effective.

In short, there are many opinions on the effectiveness of vitamins for diabetics – but I strongly advise you discussing the subject with your physician or diabetes professional, in order to determine whether or not they are suitable for you.

)

Filed under: Natural Remedies For Diabetes

 

pre-diabetes diet

© Vesna Cvorovic – www.123RF.com

If you have been told that you are pre diabetic, you have also been told that you need to make some life style changes that will include an increased level of exercise and adopting a pre diabetes diet. The good news is that the best pre diabetic diet is easy and affordable to do. In fact, eating a pre diabetic diet will probably save you more on your food bill than you can imagine because the food is fresh, made at home and served in the right portions.

What does being told you are pre diabetic mean?

Being diagnosed as pre diabetic means that your doctors have evidence that your body is starting to have difficulty managing its blood sugar levels. This could mean that your blood sugar levels are going to high, or staying too low. The most common causes for pre diabetic diagnoses are being overweight, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle and hereditary disposition. A pre diabetes diet can put you back in control of your blood sugar and prevent the onset of adult diabetes.

If I am pre diabetic, does that mean I will get diabetes?

If you have been diagnosed as pre diabetic it does not mean that you will develop diabetes. However, it raises your risk almost 70% for developing type 2 diabetes. A pre diabetic diagnosis is the red flag that allows you to make changes to your diet and lifestyle to reverse the condition and avoid developing diabetes. There is no acceptable reason for not immediately adopting a pre diabetic diet once you have been diagnosed.

Will exercise help someone who is pre diabetic?

Making exercise a part of your life is essential if you have been diagnosed as pre diabetic. If you combine this with following a pre diabetes diet you will be shocked at how quickly you will begin to lose weight. Making sure you have a healthy weight is essential to managing your blood sugar levels. The more overweight you are, and the longer you carry that weight, the more likely it is that your pre diabetic condition will develop into full blown type 2 diabetes.

What foods to avoid if you are pre diabetic

While the list is long for what you shouldn’t eat if you are on a pre diabetic diet, the easier way to approach it is by remembering the golden rule of nutrition – if you didn’t make it, don’t eat it. You should definitely avoid foods with a lot of added sugars and excessive carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are turned into sugar very easily by the body and can cause your glucose levels to rise and crash too frequently. Sugary foods should be avoided for the obvious reasons. If you aren’t making the food yourself the problem is that you really don’t know what is in it. Many manufacturers add high amounts of hidden sugars and fillers that can create problems if you are pre diabetic. The labeling requirement for ingredients is not nearly as strict as you think it is.

What about artificial sweeteners and being pre diabetic?

Many people who have been told that they have pre diabetes begin following a pre diabetic diet by switching from sugar to artificial sweeteners. While artificial sweeteners can help you maintain a pre diabetes diet, they come with a hidden problem that you would do best to avoid. Forget all the worries about whether or not they cause cancers or other problems, there is little conclusive information about that. The problem with a pre diabetes diet that includes artificial sweeteners is that these sweeteners are often 300 times sweeter than normal sugar. Use of them destroys your ability to taste what is sweet. What we do know about sugar and sweetness is that given a diet of it, the body will develop a craving for what is sweet. If you are switching to a pre diabetes diet and worried about missing your desserts, your best bet is to switch to fruits, not use artificial sweeteners. Those sweeteners will wind up making you crave sugar more and make keeping to your pre diabetic diet harder.

What foods should be on a pre diabetic diet?

The basics of a pre diabetic diet are as follows:

  • Choose low fat and/or low calories versions of your foods and drinks whenever you can. Pick low-fat cottage cheese over regular, skim over whole milk and diet over regular soda.

  • Add fruits and vegetables. The best way to do this is to learn to eat by color. If you have a colorful plate, you will discover that you have more variety in the fruits and vegetables than before and less of the starchy foods that should be avoided.

  • Choose whole grains rather than processed grains. In other words, if it is white don’t eat it. White rice, white bread and so on have been processed in a manner that removes a part of the natural fiber of the grain that is essential to your health.

  • Add water, skip soda. If you are going to drink soda, do choose diet but work to give up soda altogether.

How do I change to a pre diabetic diet?

If you have been told that you are pre diabetic and need to switch to a pre diabetes diet, making the change doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with changing what you snack on between meals. Get rid of chips and replace them with wheat crackers. Get rid of cookies and sweets and replace them with fruits and low-fat cottage cheese. From there, work to change one meal a day to bring it into order with the requirements for a pre diabetic diet. The first two weeks are the hardest because your body is adjusting to a new level of sugar. Once you have made that adjustment, you will find that trying to eat sugary foods won’t taste as good as you remember it because your taste buds will have come to prefer the more natural and nutritious foods you have been consuming.

Click here for: The Prediabetes Diet Plan: How to Reverse Prediabetes and Prevent Diabetes through Healthy Eating and Exercise

Filed under: Pre-Diabetes