is a disorder of metabolism
. Normally, the sugar from food is digested and broken down into glucose
. This glucose circulates in the blood to be used as fuel by the cells. Insulin, which is normally produced in the pancreas, releases glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. Those with diabetes are unable to produce enough (or any) insulin
for the proper transport of glucose into cells. This causes the body to build up glucose in the blood, which overflows into the urine and passes out of the body. The body loses its main source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of sugar.
MealMixer is the solution to managing all aspects of day-to-day living with Diabetes.
There are three major types of Diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes usually occurs in childhood, but many are diagnosed at an older age. In Type 1 Diabetes the body's immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, and sugar isn't moved into the cells because insulin is not available.
- Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of Diabetes and usually occurs in adulthood (but many more young people are being diagnosed due to poor diet and excessive weight gain). In this case when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, or the insulin is not used as it should be, glucose (sugar) can't get into the body's cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, the cells are not able to function properly.
- Gestational Diabetes is a condition of high blood glucose during pregnancy, which usually abates after giving birth.
Symptoms of Diabetes
High glucose levels in the blood stream can cause numerous health problems, including:
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Blurred vision
- Excessive thirst
When you are diagnosed with Diabetes, your doctor's immediate concern is to get blood glucose levels stabilized and in a healthy range. Beyond this, the goal becomes a healthy and prolonged life with few if any symptoms, and to prevent common complications of Diabetes such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, or limb amputation. While there is currently no cure for Diabetes, long-term care is a combination of:
- Careful self testing of blood glucose levels
- Meal planning, exercise and weight control
- Medication or insulin injection
- Foot care
What You Should Learn
- How to recognize and treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- What to eat and when (see diabetic diet plan)
- How to take insulin or oral medication
- How to test and record blood glucose
- How to test urine for ketones (Type 1 Diabetes only)
- How to adjust your diet and insulin when you exercise
- How best to purchase and store diabetic supplies
Check Blood Glucose Levels
There are numerous devices available to check your blood glucose levels. These devices will tell you how in balance your diet, medication, and exercise are. This is one of the best preventative steps and should undertaken religiously.
The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood sugar levels in the range of 80 - 120 mg/dL before meals, and 100 - 140 mg/dL right before bed. Your doctor is ultimately the person to determine where your targets should be.
You should work closely with your doctor or dietitian to determine how much carbohydrate, fat, and protein your diet should have. If your dietitian is using MealMixer's Professional Diet Planner
, you will be able to collaborate with him/her on a regular basis through your subscription to MealMixer, and have your dietary goals reviewed and updated directly by them. Using this system will allow you to enjoy a broader variety of foods which will keep you on your diet and within safe dietary ranges.
There are two schools of thought on which is the best diabetic diet plan
. Some medical practitioners promote a low fat diet plan
while others urge a low carbohydrate diet
. Your doctor and your body's reaction to the diet will determine which is best for you. Fortunately both of these diets are supported by MealMixer.
Exercise is Very Important
Regular exercise is very important for diabetics because it helps control blood sugar and will allow you to lose weight
and control your weight, as well as prevent/moderate high blood pressure. Your risk of heart attack or stroke will decline if you regularly exercise.
- Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen
- Check your blood glucose levels before and after you exercise
- Make it enjoyable and suitable for your current level of fitness
- Exercise daily at the same time of day
- Have fast-acting carbohydrates on hand in case you become hypoglycemic
- Drink extra water before, during, and after you exercise
- Carry your diabetes identification card
Diabetes affects more than 20 million Americans. Maintaining an ideal body weight, exercising regularly, and not over-consuming sugar laden foods are the best ways to prevent being among them.