Diabetes Mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, yams, fruits, cereals, pasta, and from the liver which makes glucose.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which helps the glucose to enter the cells where it is used as fuel by the body. Insulin is vital for life. The main symptoms of untreated diabetes are fatigue, increased thirst, frequent urination, slow healing wounds, and blurred vision. Type 1 diabetes develops if the body is unable to produce any insulin. This type of diabetes usually affects children and young adults. It is treated by insulin injections, diet and regular physical activity. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly. This type of diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40. It is treated by diet, physical activity, and possibly medication. The main aim of treatment is to achieve blood glucose and blood pressure levels as near to normal as possible. This, along with a healthy lifestyle, will help to improve wellbeing and protect against long term complications of diabetes.
A very important part of diabetes self management is knowing what types of foods, how much and how often to eat. All persons diagnosed with diabetes deserve the opportunity to learn about meal planning and have a personalized meal plan established that will help then reach their blood sugar goals. Space meals and carbohydrates throughout the day and don't go more than 5 hours without eating.
Identifying Carbohydrates and their Impact on Blood Sugar
Carbohydrate foods - Bread, tortilla, biscuits, rice, crackers, cereal, fruit, juice, milk, yogurt, potatoes, corn, peas, sweets-raise your blood glucose levels the most.
- Keeping the amount of carbohydrate in your meals and snacks consistent can help you reach your blood glucose targets. Check the serving size.
- Include high fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, dried beans and peas, oatmeal, and whole grain breads and cereals, in your diet. Carbohydrates with high fiber content are generally associated with a slower blood sugar rise than low or no fiber carbohydrates.
- Choose foods low in saturated fat. Cutting down on foods that have saturated fat can help you lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Foods high in saturated fat include meats, butter, whole milk, cream, cheese, lard, shortening, many baked goods, and tropical oils such as palm and coconut oil.
- Drink ample water, at least 6-8 right ounce glasses daily. Sometimes thirst is misinterpreted as hunger.
- Lose weight if needed. Try to lose weight by cutting back food portions and increasing your daily activity.
We understand that everyone has different needs. That is why the Care New England Wellness Center's diabetes program uses a personalized approach to help you meet you individual goals and lifestyles. The Care New England Wellness Center offers a variety of patient-teaching programs and dietitian consultations for people living with diabetes including gestational diabetes. This diabetes patient education program was awarded recognition by the American Diabetes Associationin accordance with National Standards for Diabetes Patient Education Programs.
Call 401-732-3066 for more information or to set up an appointment.
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