Any time we hear the word “Diabetes” come from your healthcare giver, your heart races at the fear of what they could possibly say next. High blood sugar comes to mind and that is all anyone can talk about.
But what of the long term effects?
It’s more than just managing your sugar intake. The long term effects on your body is drastic. You’re in a high risk for a stroke, heart disease, infections and have extreme nerve damage. There are so many factors to take in, to understand and know how to prevent one of the most harmful diseases and America’s seventh most common cause of death. It’s a chronic health condition that is long lasting, and hard to mange at most times. If you’re a person who loves bread and pasta, you’ll be saying goodbye to it because it is off the table if you are diagnosed.
If you are one of the unlucky ones, your body most likely can’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin as well as it should. The filtering of the sugar in your blood by the insulin stops? It can cause some serious health problems such as kidney disease, vision loss, pancreas malfunction and once again, heart disease. Another serious issue is you’re at a high risk for Ketoacidosis, and no, this isn’t the Keto diet. This is something entirely more toxic and dangerous. To make up for the lack of insulin, your body uses other hormones to turn fat into energy. When this happens, it causes high levels of toxic acids in your blood, called Ketones which can be life threatening. The most common cause of ketoacidosis is a deficiency of insulin in type 1 diabetes or late-stage type 2 diabetes. This is called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and is characterised by hyperglycaemia, dehydration and metabolic acidosis.
DKA happens when the signal from insulin in the body is so low that:
- Glucose (blood sugar) can’t go into cells to be used as a fuel source.
- The liver makes a huge amount of blood sugar.
- Fat is broken down too rapidly for the body to process.
The fat is broken down by the liver into a fuel called ketones. Ketones are normally produced by the liver when the body breaks down fat after it has been a long time since your last meal. These ketones are normally used by the muscles and the heart. When ketones are produced too quickly and build up in the blood, they can be toxic by making the blood acidic. This condition is known as ketoacidosis. DKA is sometimes the first sign of type 1 diabetes in people who have not yet been diagnosed. It can also occur in someone who has already been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Infection, injury, a serious illness, missing doses of insulin shots, or the stress of surgery can lead to DKA in people with type 1 diabetes. It is usually triggered by prolonged uncontrolled blood sugar, missing doses of medicines, or a severe illness or infection.
Health problems that may result from DKA include any of the following:
In other words, try and control your sugar intake.
With prolonged Diabetes, over time here’s a list of issues that may occur.
- Risk of stroke
- Risk of heart disease
- Pancreas malfunction
- Excessive urination
- Damaged Blood vessels
- Nerve Damage
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Extreme Thirst (Sometimes on of the first noticeable symptom of Diabetes)
- Sweet Smelling breath. (Breath that hold a sweet scent may have an indication go high levels of Ketones)
- Visual disturbances such as loss of vision
- Cataracts and Glaucoma
- Risk of infections
- Gastroparesis (poor blood sugar management can cause delayment of emptying food from stomach which causes bloating, heartburn and nausea.)
- Protein in urine (May mean you have kidney damage)
- Dry, cracked Skin
- Foot issues (Infections, ulcers may occure from decreased circulation in feet)
1 in 3 people don’t even know they’re prediabetic. A lot of them have no symptoms at all! Treating and preventing diabetes is all about controlling your blood sugar and that easily done with healthy amount of Exercise and a well balanced diet.
As for excising Diabetic or not, it’s very important for your overall health to keep moving. With regular exercise and meal planning, you can help prevent becoming a diabetic. it lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol, burns calories to help lose and maintain weight, relieves stress, strengthens your heart and improves blood circulation, improves balance and reduces symptoms of depression and improves quality of life. The recommended time of excising should be 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days, such as swimming, hiking, strength training, dancing or Tennis. Jumping roping with children and playing games can also be accounted for.
Now on to the good part! Food, one of the most enjoyable if not the number enjoyable thing on the planet!
Any time you eat, your blood sugar rises, then subsides. The ideal route is for a. small and steady rise. Then a slow return to normal blood sugar levels. A good prevention of blood sugar rising is eating lean proteins such as
- Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils and fresh peas) Lentils are the most powerful legume when it comes to nutrients.
A good chart to go by is to eat no more than 30% in Carbs, (Mostly unrefined high fibre choices. Try and avoid all white flour and other refined starches like potatoes and sugar)
At least 30% in protein but try and avoid red meat. (Both Process and unprocessed red meat is linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Two tablespoons of AVC (Apple Cider Vinegar) before or with a high carb, high sugar meal will help reduce blood sugar!)
40% in healthy fats! like Nuts such as Walnuts and Almonds. Try to eat less bacon and take in more olive oil.
Two servings of fruit a day is recommended by no more than that, as they are loaded in sugar. Vegetables at least 2-3 servings a day. To help protect your heart aim for one serving of each a few times a week with either, Broccoli, Pomegranate seeds, cocoa powder or tomatoes.
To help protect your nerves, aim for one serving of each a few times a week with either, Salmon, soy, hemp, and nut milks, fortified yogurt, or mackerel for a good source of vitamin D. Which helps prevent and fight Diabetes.
A fun fact is, Green tea can also help fight Gum disease! A common complication in Diabetics and, heart diseases.
Four Vitamins and Minerals found in four that help prevent Diabetes are,
Magnesium (required for the proper function of your insulin receptors) High Magnesium intake can help lower risk of Diabetes by 47%
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Dark leafy greens
Chromium (helps balance blood sugar, prevents sugar cravings)
- Sweet Potato
- Egg Yolk
Chlorophyll (cleansing effect on the blood and promotes healthy immune system)
Fiber (Slows down sugar absorption and carbohydrates breakdown)
As you can clearly see, Broccoli should be your best friend. The power green veggie is a loaded gun of many nutritional benefits. If you’re not a fan, try it out in this delicious recipe not just for kids! Who doesn’t love a good veggie nugget that’s vegetarian friendly?
Coffee is another all time favourite, not only does it curb one’s appetite. It’s rich in proactive flavonoids and antioxidants which slashed diabetes risk. Not just Caffeinated Coffee, but Decaf as well.
When you gain weight, especially a build up of fat around your middle, Your body becomes less sensitive to insulin. So your pancreas, needs to pump out more insulin to control your blood sugar. This leads to Prediabetes and eventually diabetes. A good way to help your body from becoming insulin sensitive you can Steep a teaspoon of cloves in your favourite tea, to help stimulate insulin receptors. Or you can eat more blueberries. They’re rich in anthocyanin which improves insensitivity by improving gut microbiome.
Some of the fruit with the most sugar are
- 1 Mango, which have 45g of sugar
- A handful of cherries have 18g of Sugar
- One medium wedge of Watermelon has 17g of Sugar
- One medium Banana has 14g of Sugar
- One medium Pear has 17g of Sugar
- Handful of Grapes have 23g of Sugar
A better option in fruit can be
- A handful of Strawberries, 7g of sugar
- One Avocado has 0.5g of Sugar
- One Guava has 5g of Sugar
- A handful of raspberries have 5g of Sugar
- One medium wedge of cantaloupe have 5g of Sugar
- One half of a small Papaya has 6g of Sugar
For more information on Diabetes, call and ask your healthcare provider about your risks and the following links below have some great information! Stay tune for the next article on Stress relief!