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Type 2 Diabetes - Symptoms and Diet

Mar 18, 2008
As a disease Type 2 diabetes is getting more and more common in Western society, mainly due to diet and the down turn in many peoples lives of the amount of time that they spend exercising.

It is a disease that you can prevent, and prevention is easier than a cure. Eat sensibly and exercise and you should be able to prevent it. It is a very serious disease but it can be treated easily, the earlier you catch it the easier the effects will be to manage in the long term. Listed below are a few of the most common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. If you have any of these symptoms please don't ignore them, go to a doctor. You could be saving your own life.

Raging thirst
If you find yourself regularly with a raging thirst then it might be time to consult your doctor.

Increased urination
It's normal to pass two litres a day, but diabetics pass at least twice that, this helped Egyptian and Greek physicians to first identify the disease. One described it as a melting down of the flesh and limbs into urine.

Extreme tiredness
If the body can't convert glucose to energy properly, this is the result. It may seem like an overreaction but visit your GP for a check-up if symptoms persist.

Weight loss
An unexpected loss of three to four kilo's may indicate diabetes. If the body cannot convert energy from glucose it will start to break down stores of fat instead.

Genital itching and thrush
Raised sugar in the urine causes irritation and allows fungal infections to thrive - and these mildly troubling ailments (common in non-diabetics too) are easily overlooked. It they're occurring often, ask your GP for a blood sugar test,

Blurred vision
As blood-glucose levels rise and a person becomes dehydrated, the eyes dry out; as levels return to normal, eyes are flooded with tears and vision blurs.
A diabetic can help themselves greatly by watching what they eat. Here are a few basic rules for a diabetic diet;

Confusingly diabetics need carbohydrates with every meal, even though they raise blood-sugar levels. Without carbohydrates, the body can't produce energy. The best are those with a low glycaemic index (GI), such as sweet potato, long-grain rice, wholegrain or rye bread, which all produce a nice slow release of energy to keep blood sugars down.

Rolled porridge oats are ideal, because they also lower cholesterol. High-GI carbohydrates such as white bread and mashed potatoes are best avoided, though some nutrition consultants do not put a total ban on them for diabetics.

If you eat white bread with baked beans, which are a low-GI food source it shifts the GI. Beans and lentils should be eaten often. As well as providing carbohydrates they're high in fibre and health-giving plant sterols.

Fruits should be low-GI; apples, oranges or a few grapes are better than dates and watermelon (which are high-GI). Try to eat no more than a handful at a time and spread them throughout the day. Watch out for fruit juice, which can send blood sugars soaring. Fruit, with all its fibre and bulk, is more filling than juice so much better for weight loss.

With diabetes, it's a low-sugar diet not a no-sugar diet. Small amounts of sucrose are okay.
Sometimes, diabetics need sugar to bring their blood sugars up after a hypo (hypoglycaemia is low blood sugar). Fructose [fruit sugar] is also fine if you're having a whole fruit; it works in a slower way than sucrose. Lactose [milk sugar] is low-GI, so it's fine for people to have milk or low-fat yoghurt,

Diabetics need to limit eggs to three a week because they contain cholesterol and saturated fats. Omega-3 oil-enriched fish is recommended - but men should eat no more than four portions a week, women two, Lean meats are best, ideally with skin removed to minimise fat.

Saturated fat is the one to avoid. Monosaturated fat, found in olive oil and spreads, brings down bad LDL cholesterol without touching the good HDL cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fat, in foods like sunflower and com oil, lowers both. You can't cut out saturated fat entirely because you even get it in lean meat, but try cutting your cheese intake in half or eat a reduced-fat version. So as you can see it's not all doom and gloom where a diabetic diet is concerned but rather than getting to the stage where you have diabetes and stick to the above diet wouldn't it be better to make changes to your lifestyle and diet before to damage has been done?
About the Author
Diabetic Recipes

You may not always agree with my writings but I hope to inform.

Harwood E Woodpecker
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