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General Health

General Health

Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body can no longer make or properly use insulin. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone which helps the body break down sugar and convert it into energy. There are three major types of diabetes which are Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational. Diabetes currently has no cure, but with proper care and nutrition, a person with the disease can live a long and healthy life.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce insulin. It is diagnosed in children and adults and is a disease that will last their entire lives. People with Type 1 Diabetes need to take insulin daily and they must continually check their blood sugar and keep it within a good range.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. This is a disease most commonly associated with adults. It must be managed with proper nutrition, exercise and prescription medicines if needed. In recent years, this is the form of the disease linked to being overweight and obese.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test during the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy and disappears after delivery. It can be controlled with meal planning, exercise, and sometimes, insulin. Women who develop gestational diabetes are at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

How is Diabetes Managed?

Diabetes can be managed in various ways. However, your medical provider will give you the proper guidance and goals to get you on your way to living a healthy life. Your medical provider can help target you on good glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and even prescribe medicines that will help you reach your goals. The daily care for your diabetes will be up to you. Following good nutritional guidelines and an exercise program will be the key to living a healthy life.

Severity of Diabetes

Although diabetes can be managed and people can live long, healthy lives, it is important to look at the possible dangerous outcomes from not taking care of your diabetes. People who do not care for their diabetes can have potentially life threatening complications such as: blindness, amputations, heart attack or even stroke. It is important to keep your diabetes in check so that you can avoid such complications.

Nutrition

Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition goes a long way. What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that we should become vegetarians and eat vegetables and fruits all day? Not exactly. It does mean that we should eat more fruits and vegetables, but portion our meals accordingly. After all, a good meal plan does include breads and grains, fruits, vegetables, meats and meat substitutes as well as dairy products. Federal guidelines have now changed the way we look at nutrition and exercise. The new guidelines are unique to each individual's needs. Please visit MyPyramid for more information.

Meal Plans

A meal plan consists of the daily intake of various food items. It is designed to meet the needs your body has to make it through your daily activities. It consists of what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. When choosing a meal plan, be cautious of the fat content that these items may contain. Choose items that are relatively low in fat, and pay special attention to items that are low in saturated fat and trans fat. Meal plans also include ways to exchange certain food items for others. The food exchange list provides categories that will help translate meal plans a little more in-depth. On the meal plan, foods are broken down into several different categories. Please visit the American Dietetic Association website for more information about meal plans and the food exchange list.

Exercise

Physical Activity

Exercise is an important part of having a healthy life. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that healthy adults under the age of 65 do either moderately intense cardio exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days of the week, or they may do vigorously intense cardio exercise for 20 minutes a day, three days out of the week. In either case, they must also do eight to ten strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week in addition to the cardio exercise. Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry a conversation. Examples of this type of activity include brisk walking, cycling at moderate speeds, mopping or walking with a purpose. For more information about the new guidelines for exercise, please visit the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Healthy Living

Making good choices will help you live a longer and happier life. Eating the right foods and exercising sufficiently helps manage your weight as well as help you feel better. The more you understand about the importance of eating well and exercise, the more you will want to learn about good choices and living a healthier, happier life.