What Is Diabetes and How Does It Work?*

Thursday, 17 November 2016, By James Harris

What is Diabetes?

When we eat food, it travels through the stomach, food is broken down in three macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins and fats. During digestion carbohydrate is broken down into sugar called glucose. Normal digestion sugar travels through the stomach to the blood stream to your body's muscle and fat cells. However sugar can't enter these cells without the help of insulin produced by the pancreas. Insulin unlocks the cells allowing the sugar to enter the cells then use the sugar as fuel for energy for the body. Allowing the body to regulate blood sugar levels. In a person with diabetes one of two things happens; either the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin to match the sugar in the blood stream or the body cells don't respond to the insulin produced. In both cases the result is the same, cells close causing the sugar to build in the bloodstream.

  

Exercising with Diabetes!

Regular physical activity helps to improve insulin sensitivity that makes insulin work better and lower blood glucose levels.

Exercising with diabetes has so many other benefits too:

  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Helps to control weight
  • Reduce the risk of developing diabetes complications
  • Stronger bones
  • Improved mood
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced stress and tension

 But always consult with a medical professional before beginning exercise when you have diabetes.

 

Nutrition with Diabetes!

You will need to consider the timing, amount and type of carbohydrate you eat, as well as the timing, amount and type of the insulin you take. Good diabetes management is matching your carbohydrate intake with insulin taking. There are different types of insulin but the key is knowing your body, how insulin affects it and eating/timing carbohydrates accordingly.

If you over eat carbohydrates and that breaks down to sugar in the bloodstream without increasing your activity level or insulin. You can put your body in hyperglycaemia causing high blood sugar levels. There is no 'one size fits all'. The amount of carbohydrate that's right for you depends on your age, body size and how physically active you are.

 

Facts about diabetes

  • 6th highest cause of death in Australia
  • 280 Australian are diagnosed with diabetes daily
  • 6 million Australian have pre-diabetes or diabetes
  • Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when there is too much glucose in your blood because the pancreas is not producing enough insulin to match the sugar in your blood stream or not using insulin to full effect.
  • Type 2 Diabetes is when body cells don't respond to the insulin the body produces
  • Insulin is a hormone that's needed for glucose to enter the cells and be converted to energy
  • Pre-diabetes is a condition when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 Diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes is form diabetes that occurs in pregnancy that affects the mother during the pregnancy period and disappears after the birth.

 

Type 1 Diabetes 

  • Auto immune disease.
  • Immune system has broken down the ability for insulin to be produced.
  • Not caused by sugar in the diet.
  • Not curable.
  • 15% of diabetes is type 1.
  • Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are frequently going to the toilet, consistently thirsty, fatigued, thrush, mood swings, skin infection, abdominal pain, hungry, weakness, irritability.

 

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Chronic condition occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the insulin produced doesn't work effectively to meet the body's needs.
  • 85% of diabetes is type 2.
  • Where 58% cases of diabetes could be avoided.
  • Increasing number of children is diagnosed.
  • Symptoms of type 2 diabetes heart attacks, poor eye sight, skin infection, slow heeling, tingling, numbness in feet, depression and even amputation.

 

Regular exercise and eating a balanced, nutritious diet is the best way of preventing and reversing Type 2 Diabetes. If you are unsure about how to or are lacking in motivation, a great way to get started is by getting a great Vision Personal Trainer to help you.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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