Diabetes or diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus or diabetes is a disorder that is manifested by increased levels of blood glucose, hyperglycemia, and it occurs when the pancreas partially or completely stops to produce the hormone insulin or when the insulin is not effective in the body. The lack of insulin prevents the supply of cells with food; sugar builds up in the blood and causes damage to blood vessels, and even the damage of other organs, especially kidneys, nerves and eyes.
Diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2
Diabetes mellitus has two main types:
- Type 1 diabetes which begins in childhood or adolescence, and it occurs when the immune system begins to destroy the cells of pancreas, which causes loss of insulin.
It affects approximately 10% of patients, and it is treated by administration of insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes, which usually develops slowly in adults, occurs when the pancreas still produces insulin, but it ceases to be effective or there is not enough of it compared to the ingested amount of sugar in the body.
It is treated by lifestyle changes, especially diet and exercise, taking medicines and administration of insulin to those suffering from severe forms of this disease. At increased risk of acquiring this disease are persons with increased body weight, especially those with characteristic clusters of fat around the abdomen.
Symptoms of diabetes
Diabetes mellitus has recognizable symptoms in advanced stage, such as excessive thirst, increased urination, fatigue, blurred vision and weight loss. However, it may happen that type 2 diabetes causes symptoms that are not visible for years, so it is necessary to periodically control the sugar and ketones in the urine, and blood sugar in people belonging to risk groups and those older than 45 years.
The disease is diagnosed by measuring blood sugar on an empty stomach and by glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Although there are individual differences, it can be said that the disease is confirmed when the value of blood glucose on an empty stomach is more than 7 mmol / l, more than 11,1mmol / l at any time of the day or OGTT value is higher than 11,1mmol / l two hours from the start of testing.
Controlling diabetes with diet
Diabetes mellitus is primarily treated and controlled with balanced diet, which is recommended for all persons and involves taking all the nutrients in the proper amounts:
- It is necessary to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables and reduce the intake of fat and sugar.
- Sugars, but those complex ones, with high fiber, should comprise about 50% of daily calories intake, and these are bread and pasta made of whole grains, rice, potatoes and legumes.
- According to the new findings, people with diabetes can eat sweets, but only as part of a complete meal, but the share of other carbohydrates should be reduced.
- Proteins should comprise 20% of daily calories intake - meat, eggs, fish, dairy products and legumes.
- Fats should comprise 50% of daily calories intake - unsaturated fatty acids in olive, sunflower or corn oil, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Physical activity is important!
Diabetes mellitus, other than a balanced diet, depends on physical activity, which should be adapted to the possibilities of a patient. Regular, adapted physical activity ensures the maintenance of body weight, and proper spending of food intake, but also the maintenance of other bodily functions. It should be kept in mind that even just 30 minutes of walking a day is very desirable physical activity.
However, an increase in physical activity compared to the usual needs to be planned. For patients who do not have well-regulated sugar or who take insulin, doctor should arrange a time of day, type and intensity of physical activity. The increased physical activity promotes faster drop in blood sugar, which can cause hypoglycemia.
|Although it might seem that the diet of diabetics is complicated and requires a lot of effort and sacrifice, experts` advice is that patients need to learn to measure caloric value of foods and their ratios immediately after diagnosis of the disease. It will enable diabetics to enjoy the food as much as healthy people.
Discipline and cooperation with doctors
Diabetes mellitus is one of the diseases that require very serious discipline and willingness to accept the disease in cooperation with doctors and pharmacists, which contributes to the success of treatment. Each patient needs to learn and strictly adhere to the agreed regime of taking medicines.
Specifically, the amount and type of food that you take in a certain time of the day depends on the amount of sugar in the blood, which should be lowered to the optimum value by medicines. This applies to oral hypoglycaemic agents, especially insulin.
The success of controlling diabetes depends on regular measurement of blood sugar. Meters with diagnostic strips are very precise and easy to handle. Typically, sugar is measured in the morning on an empty stomach and at bedtime, and during the day two hours after a meal. A journal of measurements should be kept, because these data indicate a need to change your diet, physical activity or dosing of medicine.