Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, meaning your body attacks itself and destroys the cells that make insulin. When that happens, a person has to take insulin in order to keep the body functioning.
Type 2 diabetes happens when, slowly over time, the production of insulin decreases and the body doesn’t use insulin as well.
Type 1 can develop a number of ways, but often some sort of “trauma” to the body can trigger it to take action.
For example, a child might break their arm and shortly after that they develop Type 1. An adult might get some sort of virus or has a surgery, then Type 1 diabetes develops.
Now obviously there’s no relation between these events and diabetes. That’s because Type 1 is not a “cause and effect” disease. Essentially, the gene that causes Type 1 is present in the body but doesn’t become activated until a something turns that gene “on.”
Type 2 can develop in many ways. Typically as a person starts to exceed their ideal body weight by eating larger portions than they need and not exercising as much, the pancreas is asked by the body to start making more insulin. As the cells grow bigger from storing excess food energy, they become resistant to the insulin the body makes.
Insulin resistance tends to be the beginning of Type 2 diabetes.
One in 3 American adults has prediabetes, and 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
Yes, it can be, but sometimes it’s possible to defy nature—or at least delay what’s in our genes.
When you have high blood sugar and don’t know it, you’ll often feel tired, sluggish, and low on energy. Dry skin, peeing a lot, frequent infections, and weight change are a few other indicators.
If diabetes goes untreated it can cause a lot of damage inside the body. Many of the complications go unnoticed for a long time, because you don’t “feel” them as they happen—or until it’s too late.
The biggest complication of untreated diabetes is a heart attack and stroke.
Other issues are nerve damage that causes intense pain in the feet, eyesight issues, problems with the kidneys, sexual health, and so on. Diabetes can impact every area of the body.
Yes, like most diseases, diabetes can be fatal. Unfortunately, it is often a long, painful process. The good news is, diabetes can be managed; it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, and there is a lot that you can do to prevent some of these complications.
Not yet, but we keep hoping!
Yes! Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, or at the very least delayed. The sooner you get started with healthy habits, the less of a chance diabetes has.
Don’t tell diabetes I said this, but it’s pretty easy to outsmart. Diabetes makes you feel tired and sluggish so you don’t feel like moving. It makes you feel those sugar cravings and act on them immediately. Diabetes is counting on you to not remember your medicine, and it definitely doesn’t want you checking your blood sugar.
Outsmarting diabetes starts with tiny changes.
- The first thing you can do is to stop eating after dinner and give your body the whole night to recover from the day.
Good rest is important. And while you may think you sleep better on a full stomach, that actually is not the case—AND it can cause your blood sugar to be higher in the morning.
By not eating after dinner or through the night, it gives the body enough of a fast to start the next day off on the “right foot.”
- After meals, you tend to get a little sluggish and your blood sugar may go up. If you can start moving for a few minutes, it will help the sugar get out of your blood and into your cells where you can use it!
No need to put on gym shoes, or even sweat… Just move—because diabetes really just wants you to sit on the couch and sleep.
- There is nothing that diabetes loves more than when you go to the grocery store and shop in the aisles. Diabetes feeds off of processed sugar and carbohydrates.
In order to outsmart diabetes, keep your food simple. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins are some examples. (Think foods that require a lot of chewing and take more time to eat.)
- Try drinking water only. You will see amazing things happen.
Caffeine creates insulin resistance in the body, so if you are drinking a pot of coffee each morning to stay awake cause diabetes has you feeling sleepy (from peeing all night), you may want to cut back a bit.
I know it’s HARD. I wouldn’t ask you to do this forever, but maybe you could find a black tea—unsweetened yet flavored with fruit or cinnamon, etc—to “spice up” your beverages.
Disclaimer: The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to provide general education and information. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional nutrition advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of a nutrition professional or your physician with any questions or concerns.
Even though diabetes is present in your life, there is hope. Hope that harmony between you and diabetes can be attained.
Angela Manderfeld, RD
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"I gained a healthier perspective — for the lifetime!"
I have been working with Angela for 6 months and I can definitely say that she has helped me to change for the better. I won’t say it was easy, but she stuck with me every step. She helped to enhance my already healthy habits and working compassionately and patiently with me to learn new copings skills that were effective with me. I’ve learned so much about nutrition, about my body and mind, and how all those things come together to provide me with a healthier perspective. I wholeheartedly believe that I have made positive changes for the long term and I’m so grateful for all the time and energy Angela put in me not only as a teacher but also as a cheerleader.