Diabetes is a disease where your body cannot control its blood sugar levels properly – either because your body doesn’t make enough (or any) insulin, or because your cells have become resistant to insulin. Insulin is produced in the pancreas, it is important because it helps your body process sugars.
Diabetes can affect the body in many other ways, including eye disease, foot ulceration, kidney failure, amputation and a higher risk of heart disease.
Keeping your blood sugar at a safe level means you’re less likely to experience other health problems. If diabetes is diagnosed and managed effectively, you can still live a long and happy life as long as you stay in control. There are also many people in Fiji living with diabetes who may not even know it because they don’t have the symptoms, it is important to get your blood sugar tested regularly to avoid Diabetes related complications further down the track. The 2002 STEPS survey identified that out of the 16% diabetics, 50% of them were previously unrecognised which is an alarmingly high number.
Given the fact that 30% of Fijians have Diabetes, you have a 1 in 3 chance of having or developing diabetes.
Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes. The best way to check if you have diabetes or are at risk is to visit your local health centre. This chart shows the different levels of blood glucose, what are safe levels and what are dangerous levels depending on when you last ate. Even if you have no symptoms at all, it is important to get tested as you may still have diabetes.
You can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes through adopting a healthy lifestyle.
By changing your diet, increasing your level of physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight, you can stay healthier, live longer and reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your cells have become insulin resistant or your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep you healthy. Blood glucose levels are affected differently depending on whether you eat foods containing carbohydrates, proteins, fats, or a combination of these three.
To find out how many grams of carbohydrates you are eating each day, it is important to be familiar with the food groups, serving sizes, and Nutrition Facts labels.
Another way to find out how many grams of carbohydrates are in a particular amount of food is to read the Nutrition Facts label on the back of a product.
For comparison, one slice of bread (one serving from the Starchy and Starchy Vegetables Group) has about 15 grams of carbohydrate. It is also important to eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal or snack to keep your blood glucose levels within target range, or to have your medication match your carbohydrate intake. It was once thought that people with diabetes needed to eat snacks to keep their blood glucose even throughout the day. Ask your dietitian or health care team if you should eat snacks or how many snacks you should eat each day. If your snack has mostly carbohydrate, and you want to add some protein, think about adding string cheese, cottage cheese, peanut butter, or milk to the snack. Fiber is a substance found in plant-based food like fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and whole-grain breads and cereals.
The American Heart Association and USDA recommend that American adults consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories that they consume daily. Although it was once thought that people with diabetes needed to avoid all sugars and sweets, we now know that sugar and sweets do not raise blood glucose more than other foods that are mostly carbohydrate.
If you do eat sweets and have diabetes, it is important to count the total grams of carbohydrate in a sweet food as part of your total carbohydrate allowance for the day and the meal. Working sweets into your meal plan may at first seem difficult because of the large amount of carbohydrates that sweet foods contain. Consistently a€?usinga€? your daily recommended carbohydrate on sweets instead of nutrient-dense food may not affect your blood glucose levels, but it may cause nutrient deficiencies.
Artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners are sweeteners that do not provide any carbohydrate or calories per serving.
Acesulfame potassium a€“ Sold as Sweet OneA®, Sunett, or Swiss SweetA®, it has less of an aftertaste than saccharin and it is more stable when heated than aspartame. Aspartame a€“ Sold as NutraSweet (blue packet) and Equal, has little aftertaste but becomes unstable at high temperatures so it is not appropriate for baking or cooking. Luo han guo extract a€“ Some extracts may also contain sugar, but pure extract is from this fruit, which is also called monk fruit.
Neotame a€“ Although it has been approved for use by the FDA in 2002, it is not available for individual use. Saccharin - Sold as Sweet n LowA®, Sweet Twin, or Necta Sweet (pink packet) or as Sugar TwinA® (a brown sugar substitute), this sweetener is very stable for baking, but it does have a noticeable aftertaste when used in large quantities. Stevia a€“ Truviaa„?, Sweetleaf, and PureViaa„? are brand name table-top zero calorie sweeteners that are also used as an ingredient in some beverages.
Sucralose a€“ With the trade name of SplendaA® (yellow packet), it is an artificial sweetener that is made from sugar with certain chemical changes. Many people would like to use artificial sweeteners, but avoid them because they fear that they may be unsafe. The exception is for those very rare people who are born with a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU). However, if you have a concern, check the ingredient list of any low calorie or diet food before you purchase it. Yes, it is possible to cook and bake with artificial sweeteners, but different sweeteners have different qualities.
When it is, replacing sugar entirely with artificial sweeteners may produce a product that is tough, flat, and dry, as well as gray in color. Manufacturer does not recommend replacing more than ½ cup sugar with saccharin sweetener in baked recipes. The name sugar alcohols is a little misleading because these substances are not sugar and not alcohol.
Remember, the lower the glycemic load for a food, the lower the rise in blood glucose after it is eaten. To learn more about Type I diabetes, and Type II diabetes, visit our Health articles and Pharmacy news section today!
Knowing what normal A1C levels for diabetics is a very important way to determine if you should be worry about your blood sugar test result.
For those of you who are familiar with diabetes and the other factors related to diabetes, A1C level is the measurement of how good your body process blood sugar, or glucose, in your system, using its own insulin.


As explained above, normal A1C levels for a diabetics differ from country to country, and also differ from people to people.
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Early retinopathy shows no signs or symptoms, so the diabetics need to be screened timely and regularly before they develop signs and symptom, as it is more difficult to treat once the symptoms develop.
Visual acuity test, fundoscopy, retinal photography, fluorescein angiography are the commonly used screening modalities in screening of retinopathy. Also one should know the factors that increase the risk of retinopathy so that after screening a timely control of these factors reduces the risk for retinopathy. All these risk factors are associated and influence each other, with blood glucose control and blood pressure control being the focus of prevention and treatment. For regulation of blood glucose, along with drugs (both oral and insulin as needed) and a regular visit to doctor, the diabetic should also develop a habit of systemic monitoring of blood glucose, self regulation. So diet (under the supervision of a dietician if possible) and a regular physical activity like a brisk walk of 15 minutes .
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels supplying the retina of eye thus making it susceptible to retinopathy. Smoking constricts the vessels supplying blood to the eye so smoking should be discouraged in diabetics.
A corrective treatment includes laser treatment and vitreous surgery but has its own limitations and cannot totally correct vision. Stem cell offers a ray of hope in future to those with diabetic retinopathy, but the research is still in its nascent stage. Given below is a table comparing the guidelines from ADA and ACE for cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose. To understand how you can have good control over your blood glucose levels, it is necessary to know the levels of blood glucose at different times of the day.
Currently almost 1 in every 3 Fijians is being diagnosed with diabetes, that’s 30% of the population. You can always visit your nearest diabetes hub to get your sugar checked ad learn how to stay in control of your diabetes. They can check your blood glucose (sugar) levels there and assess any symptoms you may have. The foods that contain the most carbohydrate include those from the Fruit Group, the Starch and Starchy Vegetable Group, and the Milk and Yogurt Group. Eating more food, or bigger portions, will cause your blood glucose levels to rise more than eating smaller portions. Therefore, eating one serving from any of these three groups will impact your blood glucose level in about the same way.
This is a picture of the Nutrition Facts label found on almost all foods sold in this country.
Eating three meals and possibly one or two snacks at the same time every day will help keep your blood glucose levels more consistent. Below is a graph of blood glucose levels from a person without diabetes who has eaten 3 meals and two snacks in one day.
Since people with diabetes have difficulty regulating their blood glucose levels, they should eat the amount of carbohydrate recommended by their doctor, and space this carbohydrate evenly throughout the day.
It is now known that snacks are not needed to regulate blood glucose levels and actually may cause weight gain or increased blood glucose levels when excessive. To find out how many grams of fiber you are eating each day, check the Nutrition Facts label of products you consume. In fact, if people with diabetes had to avoid all sugars in order to be healthy, they would not be able to eat fruits or drink milk, because fruits and milk contain carbohydrates (sugar). For instance, if your doctor advises you to eat about 90 grams of carbohydrate at each meal, you would not want to replace half of those 90A  with three servings of nutrient-dense foods that contain carbohydrate like whole wheat bread, milk, or fruit with a piece of cake that contains 45 grams of total carbohydrate. It is sold as Nectresse [with R in circle symbol], which also contains a sugar alcohol, erythritol, sucrose (sugar) and molasses.
Truviaa„? can be found in some Coca-Cola products and PureViaa„? can be found in some PepsiCo.
Saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose underwent years of testing before manufacturers were permitted to add them to foods.
These people cannot metabolize foods that contain large amounts of phenylalanine, one of the ingredients in aspartame. They are carbohydrates that have a chemical structure similar to sugar and similar to alcohol a€“ but are neither.
Identify your HbA1c test score, mean blood and glucose level to know if your blood glucose is in the optimum level.
If you want to know the number for normal A1C levels for diabetics, you have come to the right place.
This glycated hemoglobin will exist for around 120 days, that is why usually A1C test is good for 3 months. Retinopathy is a common complication in diabetics and it is estimated that almost all people with diabetes in their life time develop some grade of retinopathy. These factors are poor control of blood sugar level, high blood pressure, increased blood lipids, kidney disease. Again both the above said factors depend on the triad of drugs, diet and regular physical activity. However one should keep in mind that the control should be gradually improved as a rapid decrease in blood glucose levels can actually worsen the situation.
Aggressive treatment of blood pressure with drugs is of particular importance in delaying and controlling the same.
So lipid lowering drugs along with diet management and exercise are helpful tools for prevention. So, to sum up early detection and a proper management can prevent loss in vision in a diabetic due to retinopathy. For example, the ADA (American Diabetes Association) numbers are different from that of the ACE (American College of Endocrinology). Blood glucose level ought to be checked upon awakening, two hours post-meals and just before you retire for the night. Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1, it is also more easily avoided if the correct healthy lifestyle is adopted. However, some people with Type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed so it is always best to get your blood sugar levels tested by a medical professional.
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Foods with only carbohydrate may raise blood glucose more quickly than those that also contain fats and protein. Liquids that contain carbohydrates (like milk and juice) will cause blood glucose to rise faster than solids that contain carbohydrates (like bread). Since carbohydrates affect blood glucose levels the most, the amount of carbohydrate that you eat each day is very important in controlling your blood glucose levels.
Since people sometimes snack for other reasons besides hunger (like boredom), the snack calories are extra calories that can lead to weight gain. Studies have shown that eating 20 or more grams of fiber per 1,000 calories each day may help lower blood glucose and also may reduce your risk for heart disease (see the section titled a€?Eating for Cardiovascular Healtha€?). If the product contains three grams of fiber per serving, or more, it is a good source of fiber. However, people with diabetes, just like others without diabetes, should avoid substituting foods such as sweets for healthy foods. First, remember that cake is not an a€?everyday food.a€? Second, lower the calories in your cake, or other dessert as much as possible by making or buying products sweetened with artificial sweeteners. Each packet must have less than 5 calories to be able to claim a€?no caloriesa€? on the lable. They have each been determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be safe for use by almost all people. Familiar home recipes for desserts may contain large amounts of sugar and it may be tempting to replace this sugar entirely with artificial sweeteners. Recipes that usually do well with sugar substitutes include beverages, frozen desserts, pie fillings, sauces, gelatins, and puddings. The sugar alcohols are lactitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol - sometimes called polyols.
Consuming a large amount of polyols (greater than 50 grams of sorbitol per day or greater than 20 grams of mannitol per day) may cause diarrhea.
If there is a lack of insulin, or your body does not react well to insulin in such a way that its effectiveness in lowering the blood sugar is compromised, then your blood sugar level will remain high.
So we have to take all these information with a grain of salt simply because these numbers are only indication. However, whatever your A1C level is, you must know how it works in order for you to understand what you need to do to handle it properly. After that your body will start to regenerate the red blood cells and the new blood cells will have a different A1C measurement since it will have a different level of glycated hemoglobin in it.
Diabetic retinopathy can lead to loss of vision and a study reveals that nearly 60% of people with diabetes were not worried about losing their sight.
Foods that are high in carbohydrate eaten with a meal that also contains fats and protein will have a slower impact on blood glucose than those eaten alone.
Because of the impact that they have on blood glucose levels, carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient for people with diabetes to monitor.
Talk to your health care provider or dietitian about how many grams of carbohydrates you should eat each day.
For some very high fiber foods that have 5 or more grams of fiber per serving, net carbohydrates may be used instead of total carbohydrates.
As you can see, this person’s blood glucose level rose and fell in about the same way after every meal or snack. If you have diabetes, choose a snack that has 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate, unless your meal plan includes more. For these reasons, eating a high fiber diet may be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes. For products that do not have a Nutrition Facts label, like fruits and vegetables it is often hard to know how many grams of fiber they contain. Added calories can lead to weight gain, which makes it more difficult to control blood glucose levels. This way you can eat sweets that do not have as many carbohydrates or as many calories as those products made with sugar.
For this reason, products made with SplendaA® will have fewer calories than if made with sugar, but will still have some added sweetener calories.
Certain other people may report headaches or other symptoms after eating foods containing artificial sweeteners. Cakes, cookies, and meringues depend on large amounts of sugar for more of their finished properties.
Sugar alcohols can replace sugar, usually on a one-to-one basis and contain fewer calories than sugar, but remember they are not calorie-free. It has to be reviewed together with your lifestyle and habits and consulted with your doctor and dietician. So for instance if you have a 6.0 A1C test result, this test result will be good for about 3 months. In someone who does not have diabetes, insulin secretion will automatically adjust to match the amount of carbohydrate that they eat. These people should also avoid the artificial sweeteners since they are not a required part of the diet. You should not replace more than two cups of sugar with an artificial sweetener in these types of products.
Sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol are naturally found in some plant products such as fruits and berries, but they can also be made in a laboratory. The reason is because some people who also have problems with their cholesterol and blood pressure, will be at risk for other problems when their A1C test shows a high number.
That is why it is quite common for doctors to suggest A1C test to be done at least twice a year, and more frequently if deemed necessary. Net carbohydrates are used when considering very high fiber foods, because the body cannot digest carbohydrates from fiber and therefore they do not raise blood glucose levels.
This will cause blood glucose levels to raise less and more gradually than they would if a dessert is eaten by itself.
By eating a small piece of cake with only 15 grams of carbohydrate per serving (instead of 45 grams of carbohydrate per serving) you will still have 30 grams of your meal carbohydrate allowance left to a€?spenda€? on nutrient dense foods. The chart below can give you some further guidelines regarding cooking and baking with artificial sweeteners.




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Comments

  1. 19.08.2014 at 19:22:15


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    Author: EMOS3
  2. 19.08.2014 at 10:20:40


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    Author: Stella