Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes: Managing and Reducing Risks
There are three types of diabetes, type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes, must take insulin injections as their bodies do not make it. Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood sugar/glucose with lifestyle changes. Others need to take medication and sometimes insulin injections. Gestational diabetes happens in some pregnant women. Diabetes is a manageable disease, however, one needs good education and training to stay healthy.
|Fasting glucose||Random glucose||Glucose Tolerance Test|
|>/= 126 (2 times)||>/= 200 (with symptoms)||2 hr >/= 200|
|Pre-Diabetes||100-126||2 hr = 140-200|
|Normal||< 100||2 hr < 140|
If blood sugar/glucose is not managed well problems like: Heart disease, Kidney damage, Blindness, Loss of limbs, Infections and Neuropathy (nerve damage) arise. A person with diabetes can greatly reduce the chance of these problems happening if they balance the amount of carbohydrate with protein and fat in their diet, manage stress, include physical activity and self test their blood sugar/glucose.
Pre-Diabetes is where the body’s cells are not as sensitive to insulin and blood sugar/glucose levels rise, but not to the level that is diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are at greater risk for developing diabetes. The good news is that by making dietary changes and including physical activity, one can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58%.
There is no ‘Diabetic Diet’ or formula to follow. Often people will try to avoid carbohydrates all together, this is not healthy, as our bodies, and most importantly our brain, need carbohydrates for energy and health. The key is to individualize overall intake and balance carbohydrate, protein and heart healthy fats. The amount of carbohydrate and timing are more important than the type. So there is room for some treats, they just need to be accounted for.
Because of the nutrition complexity in managing diabetes, it is best to work with an expert, such as a Registered Dietitian (RD), to learn what, when and how much to eat, as well as other ways to better manage diabetes and overall health. California Senate Bill 64 requires insurance companies to pay for Medical Nutrition Therapy, medications, education, glucometers (to measure blood sugar) and test strips for individuals to manage their diabetes.
If you have any questions and/or concerns please contact Bay Area Nutrition for an individual consultation with a Registered Dietitian (RD) or to take our Nutrition Workshop and Cooking Demo.