SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES:
Many of the signs of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are similar. In both, there is too much glucose in the blood and not enough in the cells of your body. High glucose levels in Type I are due to a lack of insulin because the insulin producing cells have been destroyed. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin that is being produced. Either way, your cells are not getting the glucose that they need, or your body lets you know by giving you the following signs and symptoms.
Frequent trips to the bathroom:
Are you visiting the bathroom much more lately? Does it seem like you urinate all day long? Urination becomes more frequent when there is too much glucose in the blood. If insulin is nonexistent or ineffective, the kidneys can’t filter glucose back to the blood. They become overwhelmed and try to draw extra water out of the blood to dilute the glucose. This keeps your bladder full and it keeps you running to the bathroom.
If it feels like you can’t get enough water and you’re drinking much more than usual, it could be a sign of diabetes, especially if it seems to go hand in hand with frequent urination. If your body is pulling extra water out of your blood and you’re running to the bathroom more, you will become dehydrated and feel the need to drink more to replace the water that you are losing.
Losing Weight Without Trying:
This symptom is more noticeable with Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1, the pancreas stops making insulin, possibly due to a viral attack on pancreas cells or because an autoimmune response makes the body attack the insulin producing cells. The body desperately looks for an energy source because the cells aren’t getting glucose. It starts to break down muscle tissue and fat for energy. Type 2 happens gradually with increasing insulin resistance so weight loss is not as noticeable.
Weakness and Fatigue:
It’s that bad boy glucose again. Glucose from the food we eat travels into the bloodstream where insulin is supposed to help it transition into the cells of our body. The cells use it to produce the energy we need to live. When the insulin isn’t there or if the cells don’t react to it anymore, then the glucose stays outside the cells in the bloodstream. The cells become energy starved and you feel tired and run down.
Tingling or Numbness in Your Hands, Legs or Feet:
This symptom is called neuropathy. It occurs gradually over time as consistently high glucose in the blood damages the nervous system, particularly in the extremities. Type 2 diabetes is a gradual onset, and people are often not aware that they have it. Therefore, blood sugar might have been high for more than a few years before a diagnosis is made. Nerve damage can creep up without our knowledge. Neuropathy can very often improve when tighter blood glucose control is achieved.
Other Signs and Symptoms That Can Occur:
Blurred vision, skin that is dry or itchy, frequent infections or cuts and bruises that take a long time to heal are also signs that something is amiss. Again, when these signs are associated with diabetes, they are the result of high glucose levels in the body. If you notice any of the above signs, schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she will be able to tell you if you have reason to be concerned about a diagnosis of diabetes.
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DIABETES
Diabetes is a common disease – it’s also a time bomb. About 350 million people worldwide will suffer from this metabolic disorder by the year 2025, according to a forecast published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). The IDF are trying to counteract this trend with a global awareness campaign called "Unite for Diabetes" – which is supported by Bayer HealthCare. One important step is to overcome persistent fallacies, because they can have serious consequences where diabetes is concerned.
You can’t die of diabetes
Unfortunately this is wrong. In fact, somewhere in the world somebody dies of the consequences of this metabolic disorder every ten seconds.
Diabetes is a disease of the affluent
Only at first glance. In fact, in many countries in Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean up to 20 percent of the population suffer from diabetes.
There is enough money available for the global fight against diabetes
Far from it. Over the last few years, most of the global development-aid budget for health-related projects has gone into containing the immunodeficiency AIDS. Only a small fraction was used to combat well-known, non-transferable diseases. Diabetes mellitus is one of these.
Treating diabetes doesn’t cost much.
The opposite is the case. $375 billion is expected be needed worldwide to combat diabetes and its complications in 2007 alone. The IDF estimates that the costs will rise to $411 billion within a single generation. Treatment costs of that order can ruin an entire health system.
Only old people get diabetes
Not at all. All age groups are at risk. Young people also suffer from so-called adult-onset diabetes in the meantime, especially in the industrial countries.
It is mostly men who suffer from diabetes
Wrong. Anyone can get diabetes. In fact, the number of women contracting diabetes mellitus is on the increase.
Diabetes is the price to be paid for an unhealthy lifestyle
This is not really true. Especially in developing countries, poor people and children have little choice when it comes to nutrition. They can hardly be blamed for that.
Diabetes can’t be prevented
On the contrary. If you get plenty of exercise and have a healthy diet, you can prevent diabetes. 80 percent of the most widespread type of diabetes, type 2, can be avoided in this way.
Diabetes prevention is too expensive
Not at all. It pays off in many cases. Programmes to improve living conditions can help avoid the threatening pandemic.
We all have to die – so why not die of diabetes?
"Do you want a slow, painful, and above all early death?” I guess the answer is no!
FOODS TO AVOID
Below is a list of foods to avoid. Some will be obvious, others less so.
• Sugar and artificial sweeteners, including honey. The only allowed sweetener is stevia. (Sugar is a problem as it is addictive. I suggest you cut down gradually until you can do without. This will give you withdrawal symptoms, just like stopping any other addictive drug. But this will wear off within about two weeks.)
• Sweets and chocolates, including so-called sugar-free types.
• Foods which contain significant proportions of things whose ingredients end in -ol or -ose as these are sugars (the only exception is cellulose, which is a form of dietary fibre)
• “Diet" and "sugar-free" foods (except sugar-free jelly)
• Grains and foods made from them: wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, bread, pasta, pastry, cakes, biscuits, pies, tarts, breakfast cereals, et cetera.
• Starchy vegetables: potatoes and parsnips in particular; and go easy with beet, carrots, peas, beans, et cetera and packets of mixed vegetables which might contain them
• Beans with the exception of runner beans
• Milk (except in small quantities)
• Sweetened, fruit and low-fat yogurts
• Cottage cheese (except in small amounts)
• Beware of commercially packaged foods such as TV dinners, "lean" or "light" in particular, and fast foods, snack foods and "health foods".
• Fruit juices, as these are much higher in carbs than fresh fruit. (If you like fruit juices as a drink, dilute about 1 part fruit juice with 2-4 parts water.)
FOODS YOU CAN EAT
• All meat – lamb, beef, pork, bacon, etc
• include the organ meats: liver, kidneys, heart, as these contain the widest range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs (weight for weight, liver has 4 times as much Vitamin C as apples and pears, for example);
• All poultry: chicken (with the skin on), goose, duck, turkey, etc. But be aware that turkey is very low in fat, so fat needs to be added.
• Continental sausage (beware of British sausage which usually has a high cereal content.)
• All animal and meat fats – without restriction – never cut the fat off meat.
• Fish and seafood of all types
• Eggs (no limit, but avoid "omega-3 eggs" as these have been artificially fed which upsets the natural fatty acid profile)
• All cheeses (except cottage cheese as this has a high carb content and very little fat)
• Butter and cream (put butter on cooked veges instead of gravy; use cream in hot drinks in place of milk)
• Plain, natural full-fat yogurt
• Vegetables and fruits as allowed by carb content. (See tables below)
• Condiments: pepper, salt, mustard, herbs and spices
• Soy products are allowed but, as they are toxic, I don’t recommend them.
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