Diabetes: prevention and care

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Diabetes: prevention and care

 

If you have diabetes or your blood sugar is too high, here’s what experts recommend: 

 

According to the World Health Organization, half of the people with diabetes don’t know it. The good news is that this disease can be prevented and controlled. 

 

How does diabetes originate?

When we eat, glucose from food enters the bloodstream. Insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) is responsible for helping it enter our cells and thus obtain the energy we need. When glucose can’t get into the cells, the blood sugar level gets too high. And when this happens to a person and they don’t follow a treatment, they get sick. 

What types of diabetes are there?

 

There are two types of diabetes:

 

Type 1 diabetes.  It happens when the pancreas does not produce insulin. So the glucose we get from food can’t get into the cells, which need it to function. Glucose remains in the blood and this causes the concentration of sugar in the blood to increase a lot. This type of diabetes cannot be prevented and can be hereditary. It presents in childhood or adolescence, and to control it, patients need insulin injections throughout their lives.

 

Type 2 diabetes.   It occurs when insulin does not work as it should. Therefore, glucose is less able to enter cells and fulfill its function of supplying energy… This type of diabetes is the most common, usually appears in adult life, and can be prevented. 

When glucose can’t get into cells, for this reason, doctors call it insulin resistance. And, even if our body has produced a lot of insulin since it does not work normally, the pancreas will continue to detect a high concentration of glucose in the blood. And this will cause the pancreas to make more.

 

Who can have diabetes?

Those who have first and second-degree relatives with this disease are at increased risk of suffering from it. Other risk factors are a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

 

According to the World Health Organization, diabetes is a silent disease and half of the people who suffer from it do not know it. The good news is that it is preventable and, thanks to the discovery of insulin, it went from being a fatal disease to a controllable disease. 

We already know that prevention is always better, so every year we should have a check-up to find out how our body is working.

If you have diabetes or your blood sugar is too high, here’s what experts recommend: 

 

– Stay at your weight. Being overweight will make it more difficult for you to keep your blood sugar level under control.

 

– Eat well. It is not about dieting but about learning to eat correctly. Include nutritious and healthy foods in your daily menu: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and other sources of protein.

 

– Consume whole grains and fibers. Both maintain blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. 

 

– Avoid white bread and refined cereals. During refining grains lose fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, when we eat them they produce a sharp rise in blood glucose levels and, as if that were not enough, we digest them more easily, so a few hours after eating them we feel hungry again.

 

– Always choose the integral. Brown rice is healthier than white because it releases glucose more gradually. As for pasta, white pasta is made from refined flour and whole wheat is made from whole wheat, which has fewer calories and higher nutritional value.

 

– Choose foods with a medium-low glycemic index. The GI is a measure that helps us classify foods based on how they affect blood glucose levels after consumption. On the Internet, you will find a lot of information, very interesting, about this.

 

– Drink plenty of water. Sometimes we confuse thirst with hunger and this causes us to eat. Water, in addition to hydrating you and making you feel good, helps you maintain a state of satiety.

 

– Restrict the consumption of fast, processed foods and soft drinks with sugar. Canned and packaged food contains preservatives, added sugar, and saturated fat, which increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

– Check the labels. Many “light” products have a significant load of preservatives and trans fats that harm your health. Find out before consuming them.

 

– Consume healthy fats: olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds… There are many options, all delicious.

 

– If you’re going to eat fruit, avoid juices. The fiber and vitamins in the skin and pulp of fruits are reduced when you blend them. Also, fruit juice has more sugar than whole fruit.

 

– Try to cook yourself. Thus, you will control the quantities of food and you will know exactly what you are going to consume. Experimenting you will realize that there are many foods that you can replace with healthier ones, without changing the recipe too much. 

 

– Consume vitamin C. Various studies claim that vitamin C helps reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

 

– Exercise. Staying active helps you maintain your ideal weight and proper blood sugar levels. Choose an activity that you enjoy. If you don’t like routine, instead of going to the gym you can go for a walk or ride a bike, for example.

 

– Seek professional help. If you lose a lot of weight for no apparent reason or, on the contrary, have a hard time losing weight when you diet, you probably have a problem related to diabetes. Also, if you have any of these symptoms: excessive thirst, hunger at all times, weakness, drowsiness, blurred vision, nausea, and/or vomiting. The best thing is that you go to a health professional to check you and guide you.

Take care of your health and the health of those you love the most!

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