Do you know that Type 2 Diabetes is currently killing many celebrities across Nigeria? Ask your doctor and you will be told how devastating and deadly it is.
The worrisome aspect is that many just hear about the ailment called Diabetes but they know very little about it, not to talk of knowing anything about Type 2 Diabetes, the variant that is prevalent now across Nigeria. What is it all about? What is Diabetes you may also ask? Lets quickly tell you that Diabetes is a medical condition in which sugar, or glucose, levels build up in your bloodstream. And there’s not enough Insulin to move the sugar into your cells, which is where the sugar is used for energy. This causes your body to rely on alternative energy sources in your tissues, muscles, and organs.
This is a chain reaction that can cause a variety of symptoms. Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly. Doctors say the symptoms may be mild and easy to dismiss at first.
The early symptoms may include: • constant hunger • a lack of energy • fatigue • weight loss • excessive thirst • frequent urination • dry mouth • itchy skin • blurry vision.
As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe and potentially dangerous.
If your blood sugar levels have been high for a long time, the symptoms can include: • yeast infections • slow-healing cuts or sores • dark patches on your skin • foot pain • feelings of numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy.
If you have 2 or more of these symptoms, you should see your doctor. Without treatment, diabetes can become life-threatening.
Diabetes has a powerful effect on your heart. Women with diabetes are twice as likely to have another heart attack after the first one. They’re at quadruple the risk of heart failure when compared to women without diabetes. Diabetes can also lead to complications during pregnancy.
DIET FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES
Diet is an important tool to keep your heart healthy and blood sugar levels within a safe and healthy range. It doesn’t have to be complicated or unpleasant. The diet recommended for people with Type 2 Diabetes is the same diet just about everyone should follow. It boils down to a few key actions: • Eat meals and snacks on schedule • Choose a variety of foods that are high in nutrition and low in empty calories • Be careful not to overeat • Read food labels closely.
FOODS TO CHOOSE
Healthy carbohydrates can provide you with fiber. The options include: • vegetables • fruits • legumes, such as beans • whole grains.
Foods with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids include: • tuna • sardines • salmon • mackerel • halibut • cod.
You can get healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from a number of foods, including: • olive oil • canola oil • peanut oil • almonds • pecans • walnuts • avocados
Although these options for fat are good for you, they’re high in calories. Moderation is key. When choosing dairy products, choose low-fat options.
FOODS TO AVOID
There are certain foods that you should limit or avoid entirely. These include: • foods heavy in saturated fats • foods heavy in trans fats • beef • processed meats • shellfish • organ meats, such as beef or liver • stick margarine • shortening • baked goods • processed snacks • sugary drinks • high-fat dairy products • salty foods • fried foods.
TREATMENT FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES
You can effectively manage Type 2 Diabetes. Your doctor will tell you how often you should check your blood glucose levels. The goal is to stay within a specific range.
Doctors say you can follow these tips to manage Type 2 Diabetes: • Include foods rich in fiber and healthy carbohydrates in your diet. Eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help keep your blood glucose levels steady • Eat at regular intervals • Only eat until you’re full • Control your weight and keep your heart healthy. That means keeping refined carbohydrates, sweets, and animal fats to a minimum • Get about half an hour of aerobic activity daily to help keep your heart healthy. Exercise helps to control blood glucose, too.
Your doctor will explain how to recognize the early symptoms of blood sugar that’s too high or too low and what to do in each situation. Your doctor will also help you learn which foods are healthy and which foods aren’t.
Not everyone with Type 2 Diabetes needs to use insulin. If you do, it’s because your pancreas isn’t making enough insulin on its own. It’s crucial that you take insulin as directed. There are other prescription medications that may help as well.
CAUSES OF TYPE 2 DIABETES
Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone. Your pancreas produces it and releases it when you eat. Insulin helps transport sugar from your bloodstream to cells throughout your body, where it’s used for energy.
If you have Type 2 Diabetes, your body becomes resistant to insulin. Your body is no longer using the hormone efficiently. This forces your pancreas to work harder to make more insulin. Over time, this can damage cells in your pancreas. Eventually, your pancreas may not be able to produce any insulin.
If you don’t produce enough insulin or if your body doesn’t use it efficiently, glucose builds up in your bloodstream. This leaves your body’s cells starved for energy.
Doctors don’t know exactly what triggers this series of events.
It may have to do with cell dysfunction in the pancreas or with cell signaling and regulation. In some people, the liver produces too much glucose. There may be a genetic predisposition to developing type 2 diabetes.
There’s also a genetic predisposition to obesity, which increases the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. There could also be an environmental trigger.
Most likely, it’s a combination of factors that increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Research into the causes of Type 2 Diabetes is ongoing.
HOW TO PREVENT TYPE 2 DIABETES
You can’t always prevent Type 2 Diabetes. There’s nothing you can do about your genetics, ethnicity, or age.
If you have prediabetes or other diabetes risk factors and even if you don’t, a few lifestyle tweaks can help delay or even prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. These changes in diet, exercise, and weight management work together to help keep your blood sugar levels within the ideal range all day long:
Your diet should be high in nutrient-rich carbohydrates and fiber. You also need heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids from certain kinds of fish and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Dairy products should be low in fat. It’s not only what you eat, but also how much you eat that matters. You should be careful about portion sizes and try to eat meals at about the same time every day.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with inactivity. Getting 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day can improve your overall health. Try to add in extra movement throughout the day, too.
You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting daily exercise should help you keep your weight under control. If those changes aren’t working, your doctor can make some recommendations for losing weight safely.
MANAGING TYPE 2 DIABETES
Managing Type 2 Diabetes requires teamwork. You’ll need to work closely with your doctor, but a lot of the results depend on your actions.
Your doctor may want to perform periodic blood tests to determine your blood sugar levels. This will help determine how well you’re managing the disease. If you take medication, these tests will help gauge how well it’s working.
Because diabetes increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, your doctor will also monitor your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. If you have symptoms of heart disease, you may need additional tests. These tests may include an electrocardiogram or a heart stress test.
Follow these tips to help manage your diabetes: • Maintain a diet high in nutrient-rich carbohydrates and fiber but low in unhealthy fats and simple carbohydrates • Exercise daily • Take all your medication as recommended • Use a home monitoring system to test your own blood sugar levels between visits to your doctor. Your doctor will tell you how often you should do that and what your target range should be.
It may also be helpful to bring your family into the loop. Educate them about the warning signs of blood sugar levels that are too high or too low so that they can help in an emergency. If everyone in your home follows a healthy diet and participates in physical activity, you’ll all benefit.