We’ve all heard of it; chances are you or someone you know may be affected by it; but how much do you really know about this chronic and debilitating disease?
When people think of diabetes, the general assumption is that it’s hereditary, and therefore inevitable, or ®Ó÷® Âÿɚ÷ Ü ÂÓÓÜ®÷÷ ÿ¿ ÿ äüóė Ģ®¡ÿ÷ ÿ¿® ®Ó§®óóė äó ÿ¿® obese. But nothing could be further from the truth. q¿® ¸ ¡ÿ ä¸ ÿ¿® Ú ÿÿ®ó Â÷ ÿ¿ ÿ Üėäü® ¡ Ü ® Ģ®¡ÿ®§ by diabetes. Diabetes is a national health epidemic. It’s estimated that 11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes, with that number climbing steadily as new cases are diagnosed daily. Diabetes is a serious disease that too often is taken too lightly. If left untreated or not properly controlled, diabetes can have severe and even sometimes fatal consequences. What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease in which the glucose (sugar) levels in the blood are too high. When you eat, your body converts the food into sugar, or glucose, which it uses as an energy source. Insulin, a hormone that is produced by the pancreas, helps to move the glucose to the body’s cells so it can be used as fuel and helps to control the amount of glucose in the blood. Diabetes occurs when the body can’t produce insulin, or it can’t properly use the insulin it does produce, leading to a build-up of sugar levels in the blood. If left untreated these high blood sugar levels can cause damage to organs, blood vessels and nerves. Types of Diabetes There are many kinds of diabetes, and while Type 1 and Type 2 are the most common, there is also gestational (pregnancy) diabetes, as well as a condition called prediabetes, among others.
Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called “juvenile” diabetes because it’s frequently diagnosed in children or teenagers, although it can happen at any age, is the most severe, insulin-injection dependent form of the disease. In Type 2 diabetes, also known as “adult onset” diabetes because it usually occurs in adulthood, although it’s becoming more common in younger children and teens, factors such as age, diet, and lifestyle can play a major role in determining whether or not a person is at risk of developing it. Pre-diabetes on the other hand is a wake-up call; it’s when the blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes and gestational diabetes happens during pregnancy when the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to balance the ®Ģ®¡ÿ ä¸ ¿äóúäü®÷ ®ÂÜº ïóä§ą¡®§ ÂÜ ÿ¿® ïó ¡®üÿ
Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet:
Nutritious meals and snacks are important. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and fibre; and limit your intake of sugar, fat, salt, sugar and alcohol. Eat Regularly:
Eating healthy is crucial when it comes to helping manage diabetes and ensuring blood sugar levels are controlled. You should eat three meals per day at regular times and space meals no more than six hours apart. Maintain a Healthy Weight:
Many people (between 80% and 90%) who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Studies have shown that losing even a little weight— between 5% and 10% of your initial body weight—can improve diabetes control and reduce the risk of heart disease. Get Physical: Incorporate a minimum of 2 ½ hours of aerobic exercise each week, such as walking, biking, jogging or swimming, to help build endurance, strength and flexibility. Keep Your Cholesterol in Check: Get your blood tested and keep your cholesterol and other blood fats within your target ranges. Reduce Stress:
If you start feeling anxious or overwhelmed, try using some simple and effective stress management techniques, such as taking 10 deep calming breaths, listening to your favourite music, or relaxing in a warm bath. By refocusing your mind and energies on more pleasant past-times, you can help reduce the stress that can sometimes come with managing your condition.