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Diabetes Symptoms and Diet

For quite sometime now, diabetes has been –and continues to be— the bane of a good percentage of the population of most countries. It affects about 20 million Americans alone, with another 40 million having prediabetes, an early affliction of type 2 diabetes. After the digestive organs have absorbed glucose or sugar into the bloodstream, insulin from the pancreas transfers glucose to the fats, muscle and the liver for fuel. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin, the liver, muscles and fat do not use insulin the normal way, or a combination of both.

The disease is classified into two forms with an additional type for women. Type 1 affects the individual from childhood, though most are diagnosed only when they are aged about 20 years old. In this type the body produces no or very little insulin so that daily injections are needed.  The causes are largely unknown although genetics is believed to play a great part.

Type 2 or adult-onset diabetes is by far the most common and is starting to affect younger people. Here the body fails to produce sufficient insulin to regulate blood sugar, so that maintenance medicine is often required. Many type 2 diabetics do not know they are affected. The third is gestational diabetes that affects only pregnant women.  Though commonly just temporary, it nevertheless takes the individual at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes later.


Individuals affected with Type 1 diabetes commonly show the symptoms over a short period, mostly only in an emergency, when the symptoms are mistaken for something else. They include fatigue, inordinate thirst and urination, vomiting and nausea and decrease in weight despite good eating. Type 2 diabetics may additionally suffer from blurry vision and numbness on the body ends like toes. However, this type develops so gradually many diabetics do not feel any symptoms until complications arise, because diabetes damage the blood vessels and nerves as well as the autoimmunity capabilities.

Diet for diabetics

If you are a diabetic, you should collaborate with your doctor and dietitian regarding the amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates you must eat to control your levels of glucose. In general, however, your diet should be low fat and low in carbohydrates, since both contribute much to the production of blood sugar.  The Diabetes Food Pyramid lists food groups based on their carbohydrates and protein content, and diabetics should ingest more of the groups in the bottom part.

Grains, vegetables, whole fruits are the best foods for diabetic persons, particularly those high in fiber. Fruit juices should not contain sugar or syrups, and low-fat or nonfat milk in lieu of yogurt which contains sugar.  No hamburgers, cheese, butter, bacon. Limit alcohol intake and take it with meals after determining with your health care provider the appropriate amounts.

Fish and poultry are recommended, though the skin of chicken and turkeys should be removed first. They contain much cholesterol. Lean cuts of wild game, veal, pork or beef are suggested, all the fatty parts trimmed off. No frying as much as possible; broiling, baking, grilling or roasting instead.

Diabetes can be controlled. All you need are correct diet and lots of determination to avoid the foods you crave.

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