Diabetes, Complications and Prevention

About diabetes
Diabetes is a disease characterized by higher than normal blood sugar levels circulating in the body. The circulating blood sugars are needed by the cells of the body to use as fuel. But in people with diabetes, the blood sugars cannot get into the cells due to an impaired system of the body that normally assists in the absorption of the sugars by the cells. The result of that failure is the circulating higher than normal blood sugar levels.

Diabetes is a serious disease, if it is not treated and brought under control, the elevated blood sugars can, in time, damage the circulation system, the veins and arteries and other organs of the body. Because of this, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness, and lower limb amputations due to severe circulation problems.

There is no cure
There is no cure for diabetes but it can be managed and the affects minimized. Anyone with diabetes, or suffering health complications caused by diabetes, must be under the care of a physician who will monitor and treat the condition. Treatment most often involves dietary modification to eliminate foods that contribute to the higher than normal blood sugars that mark the disease and the addition of some form of physical activity is usually recommended. Sometimes medications are prescribed to bring the elevated blood sugar levels down to a safe range. The objective is the prevention of the serious complications of diabetes.

Diabetes prevention
Diabetes cannot be cured — but it can be prevented. It can be prevented by making lifestyle changes, changes that require the same dietary modifications and the addition of exercise and physical activity as the person who does actually have the disease. The huge benefits of prevention cannot be overestimated. For persons who develop diabetes, the quality of life is diminished forever – and in many cases it leads to serious life-threatening health complications mentioned above. Diabetes shortens life.

Eat the right foods, avoid the wrong foods
A suitable eating plan to prevent diabetes does not require the elimination of most foods, few food items are off-limits, but as much as possible the sweet sugary foods, high in simple carbohydrates and calories should be restricted, foods such as cakes and pastries, candies and sugary soft drinks and colas. Also to cut down on are the high fat foods, especially the saturated fats and transfats. The body needs fats but some fats are better than others. There is plenty of dietary information available to guide in selecting the right foods that meet an individual’s personal tastes and preferences.

Eat the right amounts of the right foods
Consume only enough food calories each day to provide the energy requirements of the new lifestyle, the amount of calories expended in the activities of the day, whether for work or play.

The usually recommendation is a 30 minute stint of moderate exercise, preferably daily but as often as possible – perhaps a brisk walk, not a casual stroll, or a bicycle ride or a swim. It is not difficult to find more specific suggestions and guidelines in the matter of exercise, a major factor in preventing diabetes and other health problems.

Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
A useful chart used by many physicians for determining a healthy body weight, is the Body Mass Index. From that chart, based mainly on height, a body weight of 25 is considered healthy. The Body Mass Index and its instructions can be found at BMI Chart (site now defunct).

Pay a visit to the doctor
The foregoing provides a brief summary of the complications of diabetes and points out the benefits in the prevention of the disease. The prime candidate for becoming diabetic is any person who is overweight, leading a sedentary life lacking in physical activity – and who is 30 years of age and older. A doctor can arrange a simple blood test that will determine blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and the levels of other important blood components. Don’t become diabetic, it’s a terrible disease.

More about other diabetes subjects can be found by selecting from the List of Topics at this site.

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