Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
According to a recent publication printed by the Canadian Diabetes Association, diabetes has now become one of the leading causes of death by disease. Did you also know that more than two million people have been diagnosed with either type I or type II diabetes directly caused by a significantly high dietary intake of refined carbohydrates, fats and sugar?
By definition diabetes is classified into two categories. The first one is ‘Type II’ and the second one is ‘Type I’. Type II is not only the most common, but Type II diabetes is also the easiest out of the two to correct quickly. A change in your dietary nutritional lifestyle choices of what you eat will dramatically reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of diabetes with better food choices.
People who have been diagnosed with ‘Type II’ need to recognize that their pancreas is tired and overworked but is still functioning; however, it is not producing as much insulin as is needed to pick up glucose in the blood. Cells in the body may have become desensitized and need extra help in order to perform the job that the pancreas would normally do.
Type I, however, often called ‘Juvenile diabetes’, is a more serious condition and if you have reached this stage, you will already be injecting insulin into your blood to maintain a healthy glucose level. This is why it is important to consider making the necessary changes before it reaches this point because once the pancreas stops producing the hormone insulin, even with a dietary lifestyle change, the pancreas is still unable to produce insulin on its own.
To determine how you rate on the diabetic scale, visit your local doctor’s office and get your fasting blood glucose score.
|Fasting Blood Glucose|
|From 70 to 99 mg/dL (3.9 to 5.5 mmol/L)||Normal glucose tolerance|
|From 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L)||Impaired fasting glucose (pre-diabetes)|
|126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) and above on more than one testing occasion||Diabetes|
If you think that you are diabetic and need help to change your blood sugar levels, there are nutritionists, as well as naturopaths and dieticians that are trained and qualified and available to provide you with a list of foods and supplements to begin eating for a healthier lifestyle.
Diabetes is a serious condition and it should not be taken lightly. The effects of a diet high in sugar over a long period of time is often the underlying reason that produces actual symptoms of a disease that can be avoided. Watching and monitoring to control the amount of sugar ingested in the diet is a must for successful weight management and a key component in everyone’s diet, not just for those who have been diagnosed as ‘a diabetic’.
For example, did you know that elevated blood sugar levels over an extended period of time can produce unusual thirst, frequent urination, weight change, extreme fatigue (lack of energy), blurred vision, frequent or recurring infections, cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, trouble maintaining an erection, kidney disease, eye disease, and nerve damage? How about heart disease, high blood pressure, circulatory problems, heartburn, burned out adrenal function, poor memory, premature aging, and acne?
Never ignore the warning signs or symptoms. Symptoms tell us that something is not right. Something needs correction. It is a natural defence mechanism produced by your body to get your attention before the next stage - when DISEASE begins.
Sugar Alternatives for Diabetics
Most people struggle with a diet without sugar as well as accepting a new lifestyle change. However, it is easier than you think. There are many sugar alternatives to choose from many on the market, however some are not considered healthy and are the topic of much controversy. Here is a summary of what is available on the market.
The following is a list prepared by The Canadian Diabetic Association who suggests these sugars are available for diabetics and are according to their studies deemed safe. These are Sugar Alcohols and polydextrose, including lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and polydextrose. These are found in cough and cold medicines and antacids as well as soft drinks. These products are then labelled ‘sugar free’ or ‘no added sugar’.
Another group of sweeteners that are considered not to increase blood glucose levels are acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet, Sugar Twin, Sweet’N, Low) Cyclamate (Sucaryl), Saccharin (Hermesetas), Sucralose (Splenda).
Most coffee shops, grocery stores carry these in little packages and according to the Canadian Diabetes Association all of these types of sugar substitutes are considered safe in acceptable daily intakes (Cyclamate and Saccharin should not be taken during pregnancy.)
However, many of these sweeteners are synthetic, and although many question the research, numerous adverse reactions to sweeteners such as aspartame and Ace-K have been reported, including neurological effects. Different individuals may exhibit different sensitivities to these products.
It should be noted the following sugars ARE NOT recommended for diabetes as they increase blood sugar levels and should be avoid all together or used in minimal quantities. They include brown sugar, icing sugar, white sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, maltodextrin, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, fruit juice concentrates, honey, molasses, and barley malts.
Stevia and Xylitol
Lastly, there are two types of sweeteners that can be found on the shelf of your local health food for store. They are Stevia and Xylitol. Both are healthy, naturally occurring sugar alternatives and can be part of your diet without any side effects. You will love Xylitol.
Just listen to the benefits this sweetener has. It is the only type of sugar available today that makes the claim that it will help you maintain healthy gums and teeth because it inhibits and reduces the production of acids and tooth decay in the mouth.
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol molecule that comes from corncobs and birch trees. Xylitol has also been shown to help with reducing ear infections and infections of the nose and throat.
Stevia (Rebaudiana), is a sweet-tasting herb found in Paraguay and Brazil from an amazing little small shrub high in stevoisides. It is an excellent choice for those on calorie reduced diets and for diabetes because it does not affect insulin levels. A fraction of a teaspoon per serving is often quite enough to satisfy that taste for sugar. You’ll be glad you tried Stevia and Xylitol.
These are just some basics tips for diabetes prevention and management. Please check with a qualified professional if you are not sure how to get started with lowering your blood sugar and maintaining a stable and healthy insulin level.