Diabetes Diet For Diabetes Symptoms

For quite sometime, diabetes has been-and continues to be-the bane of a good percentage of the population of most countries. It affects about 20 million Americans alone, with another 40 million having prediabetes, an early precursor to Type 2 diabetes. Once food is digested, it is broken down into various nutrients which travel into the bloodstream.  Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin,  and the insulin cannot carry the glucose to the liver to be stored as glycogen, or to the muscles to be used for energy, but rather gets stored as fat.  Other times, insulin receptors are no longer sensitive to insulin, they can become desensitized, which happens after years of eating bad carbs.

There are two general classifications of diabetes, with another specifically afflicting women. Type 1 can affect an individual from childhood, often as young as several months, though many more are diagnosed as adolescents.  Fewer are diagnosed as young adults but it does occur. In this type the body produces no or very little insulin so that daily injections are needed. No amount of diet or exercise can maintain safe normal levels for type 1,  although there are now new ways for insulin delivery; pumps, insulin pens, and even pancreas transplants.  There has been no definitive cause or explanation for Type 1, however, they feel genetics plays a large role.  Type 2 or adult-onset diabetes is by far the most common, 90% vs 10% for type 1,  and is starting to affect younger people. In this type the pancreas produces little insulin to control glucose normally or the organs fail to utilize insulin sufficiently. Many type 2 diabetics do not know they are affected. Then there is gestational diabetes that occurs only in pregnant or lactating women. Though commonly just temporary, it nevertheless makes the individual a higher risk for type 2 diabetes later.

Indicators

Type 1 diabetes manifests in a short time and is mostly diagnosed during an emergency situation, the symptoms normally mistaken for that of other illnesses. They include fatigue, inordinate thirst and urination, vomiting and nausea and decrease in weight despite good eating. Type 2 diabetics may additionally suffer from blurry vision and numbness in the extremities due to poor circulation, a wound not healing within a normal time frame. But Type 2 diabetes is usually not found until some complication has occurred, which means this person has been living with it for some time.  It is much easier to “prevent” complications than it is to “correct” them.  This is why this disease is so devastating.  People should be made aware of signs and symptoms and watch for them in their loved ones, especially the elderly.

What foods are appropriate

Diabetics should consult their doctors and dietitians for the appropriate kinds and amounts of food —protein, fats and carbohydrates— for eating to control glucose in the blood. In general, however, your diet should be low fat and low in carbohydrates, since both contribute much to the production of blood sugar. The Diabetes Food Pyramid lists food groups based on their carbohydrates and protein content.

Grains, vegetables, whole fruits are the best foods for a PWD, particularly those high in fiber. Juices or yogurt that contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup should be avoided, and whole fruits, nonfat or low-fat milk be eaten instead.  Red meat proteins should be limited as they are a larger molecule and can do damage to already affected kidneys, avoid processed cheese and other processed foods, eat natural cheese in moderation.  Establish what amounts of alcohol, stay with the clear liquors, not the sweet rums, brandy and liqueurs.  Be smart, do not mix them with sweet mixers, or sodas or creams, and always check your sugar often, that light headedness or buzz may not be from alcohol, but a hypoglycemic reaction as some liquor does lower glucose due to dehydration.   Always eat before drinking or have some snacks available for emergencies.

Fish and poultry are recommended, though the skin of chicken and turkeys should be removed first. They contain much cholesterol. Trim off all fats from beef, wild game, pork or veal to get the lean meats. Bake, Broil, grill or roast the meat; avoid frying it.

Diabetes can be controlled. What is necessary is merely control over one’s cravings for food and eating the correct diet. After a short time, it will become easier, you will feel better, and soon, you will not be able to over-indulge without either feeling guilty or ill.

4 comments on this post.
  1. Donna Julin:

    Deb this is a great website and very educational for me. I actually do suffer from one of the symptoms I read. I wake up often at night with numb hands. It’s been happening for over a year now and my thought is that it’s a pinched nerve (I have my share of back problems) or I’m sleeping in the wrong position.

  2. dmchugh:

    Donna, thanks for looking into site. I’m not a MD, but numb hands, especially at night can be from numerous reasons, most usually a nerve compressed somewhere. I can’t feel mine in a.m. when I’m trying to turn off alarm clock, feels like I’m wearing boxing gloves, BUT, I do have carpal tunnel and some kind of impingement in the shoulder as well as a crappy neck. Yikes, I need a body cast.

  3. carol:

    Deb,
    MY husband has type II and takes Metformin, but eats candy and cake and cookies all the time…any thoughts on this I believe he may not need the meds as this may be causing him to crave sugar. Any thoughts on this?

  4. dmchugh:

    Carol, not a doc, but first thing I would ask is does he check his BG levels? Candy like chocolate bars, and such, take a while to spike sugar, as it is filled with fat that slows down absorption of glucose, cakes and cookies are filled with all the other nonos, especially carbs which will spike sugar, which will allow for more release of insulin from pancreas which does stimulate hunger. Metformin is one of the meds given to non diabetics to assist in weight loss, so I cannot believe there is a appetite stimulant effect in it.

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