Diagnosed With Diabetes?

If you are reading Cooking For Diabetics, there’s a good chance that either you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Diabetes.  You may feel scared, shocked, angry or overwhelmed. These are all normal emotions.  Educating yourself about the disease can help reduce these feelings.  Diabetes is a disease that affects the whole family. The good news is that you can live a long and healthy life by keeping your blood glucose levels (the amount of sugar in your blood) in the target range set by your doctor.  Cooking for Diabetics recognizes this and will try to help.

Type 2 Diabetes (sometimes called mature onset diabetes) is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90% of cases diabetes. This disease affects nearly 17 million Americans and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Out of the 17 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, it is estimated that only half are aware they have diabetes. Even more staggering is that it is estimated that over 100 million people around the world have type 2 diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

There are three main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in children and adolescents, occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Approximately 10 per cent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

The remaining 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin that is produced. Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood, although increasing numbers of children in high-risk populations are being diagnosed.

A third type of diabetes, gestational diabetes, is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects approximately 2 to 4 per cent of all pregnancies (in the non-Aboriginal population) and involves an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child.

Is Diabetes Serious?

If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can result in a variety of complications, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Eye disease
  • Problems with erection (impotence)
  • Nerve damage

The first step in preventing or delaying the onset of these complications is recognizing the risk factors, as well as signs and symptoms of diabetes.

What Are The Signs of Diabetes?

Signs and symptoms of diabetes may include the following:

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight change (gain or loss)
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Trouble getting or maintaining an erection

It is important to recognize, however, that many people who have type 2 diabetes may display no symptoms.  If you suspect you may have diabetes, see your doctor as soon as possible.

Can Diabetes Be Treated?

People with diabetes can expect to live active, independent and vital lives if they make a lifelong commitment to careful diabetes management, which includes the following:

  • Education: Diabetes education is an important first step. All people with diabetes need to be informed about their condition.
  • Physical Activity: Regular physical activity helps your body lower blood glucose levels, promotes weight loss, reduces stress and enhances overall fitness.
  • Nutrition: What, when and how much you eat all play an important role in regulating blood glucose levels.  Cooking for diabetics is an essential skill.
  • Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight is especially important in the management of type 2 diabetes.
  • Medication: Type 1 diabetes is always treated with insulin. Type 2 diabetes is managed through physical activity and meal planning and may require medications and/or insulin to assist your body in controlling blood glucose more effectively.
  • Lifestyle Management: Learning to reduce stress levels in day-to-day life can help people with diabetes better manage their disease.
  • Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can lead to eye disease, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, so people with diabetes should try to maintain a blood pressure level at or below 130/80. To do this, you may need to change your eating and physical activity habits and/or take medication.

Cooking For Diabetics has collected information and recipes from `General Public Licensed` & `free to use` collections and websites.  If you’re interested in finding new and interesting recipes, please feel free to browse through this website.