Are you diabetic or have a close family member or friend who is? November is National Diabetes Month and brings attention to the group of disorders and their impact on millions of Americans.
Today, 1 in 11 Americans has diabetes, and according to the Center for Disease Control, it is the seventh leading cause of death just behind stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. What you eat daily may impact you greatly when it comes to diabetes.
Of the two types of diabetes, type 2 diabetes is the most common and occurs when your body does not properly use insulin. You may have also heard this referred to as insulin resistance. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and is responsible for removing glucose from your blood to feed your cells.
When glucose does not move from the blood, the results is high blood glucose or high blood sugar. Your cells become starved for energy, which causes you to experience many undesirable symptoms. High blood-glucose can damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and/or heart. About half of all people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage.
The American Diabetes Association lists the following complications associated with type 2 Diabetes:
Skin conditions: People with diabetes experience skin conditions such as bacterial infections, fungal infections and itchy dry skin more frequently than those without diabetes.Eye complications: People with diabetes have a greater chance of experiencing blindness and are also 40 percent more likely to suffer from glaucoma, which is pressure build up in the eye resulting in gradual vision loss. They are also 60 percent more likely to suffer from cataracts, which occur when the eye’s clear lens clouds, blocking light and impairing vision.Nerve damage: Diabetes causes neuropathy, which causes tingling, pain, numbness and weakness in the hands and feet. More serious nerve damage in the GI tract can cause symptoms of indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, bloating, constipation and malabsorption of nutrients.Whole food nutrition can be a tremendous help in managing your blood glucose levels to avoid the serious complications of pre-diabetes and diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease that needs to be managed, and having a discussion with your qualified medical practitioner and dietitian can help create a plan specifically for you.
Fran Sutherlin is a local registered dietitian, health coach, speaker and owner of Sustainable Nutrition in Bayfield. She can be reached at 444-2122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.