Diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which your glucose levels build up into your bloodstream. The hormone insulin helps transport glucose from your blood into your cells, where it is then used for energy. When a person has type 2 diabetes, their body doesn’t respond to insulin as it normally would. In later stages, your body may not be able to produce insulin at all which can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels, causing several symptoms and potentially leading to serious complications.
When your body isn’t able to produce insulin to transport glucose from your blood to your cells, it causes it to use alternative energy sources in your tissues, muscles, and organs. Type 2 Diabetes can cause a variety of symptoms, some of which are easy to dismiss at first.
The early symptoms may include:
- constant hunger
- a lack of energy
- 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 two or more of these symptoms, you should definitely see a doctor because diabetes can become life threatening if you don’t treat it. Diabetes can also cause a variety of heart problems. 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 for both the mother and the child.
Your diet is a very important tool to keep your blood sugar levels at a minimum, and prevent getting type 2 diabetes. The diet for type 2 diabetes is pretty much the same diet that almost everyone should follow. It includes:
- 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 You Should Eat
Healthy carbohydrates can provide you with fiber. The options include:
- legumes, such as beans
- whole grains
Foods with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids include:
You can get healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from a number of foods, including:
- olive oil
- canola oil
- peanut oil
Some of these foods are high on fat, so moderation is key. It is recommended that when selecting dairy products, choose low-fat options.
Foods You Should Avoid
There are certain foods that you should limit or avoid entirely. These include:
- foods heavy in saturated fats
- foods heavy in trans fats
- processed meats
- organ meats, such as beef or liver
- stick margarine
- baked goods
- processed snacks
- sugary drinks
- high-fat dairy products
- salty foods
- fried foods
Speak with your doctor so that you can come up with a diet plan that is healthy and suits your lifestyle needs.
Type 2 diabetes is manageable and your doctor will teach you how to check on your blood glucose levels so that you can stay within a specific range.
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.
If you feel like you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes or are just curious to see how high your blood glucose levels are, you should definitely see your doctor and get it checked out. It is also important to come up with a specific diet plan so that you can better manage your glucose levels. Eating right is essential because it can reduce the risk of heart problems and other serious chronic diseases.
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