Manage Diabetes The Natural Way
Currently, about 20.8 million Americans suffer from some form of diabetes. That's a whopping 7% of the population. Of those 20.8 million people, it's estimated that nearly one-third of them (or 6.2 million) don't even know they have it.
There are two main types of diabetes that most of us should be concerned about: type 1 and type 2. Type one diabetes is generally diagnosed in childhood, and may also be referred to as juvenile diabetes. This form of the disease is due to the body's failure to produce adequate insulin, the hormone that allows glucose to enter our cells and fuel them. About 5 to 10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have this form of the disease.
Type 2 is much more common. Type 2 diabetes generally results from insulin resistance (where the body fails to utilize insulin properly), combined with relative insulin deficiency. 90 to 95% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2.
Since type 2 diabetes is usually brought about by diet and lifestyle, this is the form of the disease we'll talk most about. Our bodies need insulin to be able to use sugar. Sugar (or glucose) is the basic fuel for our cells, and is carried throughout the body by insulin. In people with diabetes, insulin levels are insufficient, causing glucose to build up in the blood instead of going into cells. This can cause two problems: one, your cells may be starved for energy, and two, over time high blood glucose levels may damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves, or heart.
Now, don't get me wrong: finding out you have type 2 diabetes can be scary and is no laughing matter. However, there is no need to panic. Diabetes is serious, but victims of the disease can live long, healthy, happy lives.
There is new research every day that helps shed some light on how to live with and control diabetes. Especially with type 2, there is a lot you can do to help keep the disease in check. Oral medications can be extremely helpful and offer a good level of convenience. But probably the most important things you can do to keep your diabetes from taking over your life is to watch your diet very carefully, and exercise.
It's a known scientific fact that physical activity can help lower blood sugar, reducing the body's need for insulin. The more exercise you get, the less medication you're likely to need. And the more you can control your diabetes without taking extra medication, the better. If you have diabetes (or even if you don't!), make sure you're exercising regularly. It doesn't have to be ultra-strenuous--a walk will do--but it does have to be consistent.
The other vital factor in controlling your diabetes naturally is with your diet. Diabetics need to keep a close eye on their carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins. If you can maintain a proper balance and keep your blood sugar from spiking, you'll have a much easier time keeping your diabetes in check. Pay close attention to food labels. The meal planning exchange lists available from the American Diabetes Association could prove to be your best friend and will help simplify the whole process.
And of course, getting regular exercise and watching your diet could have a fantastic side effect, and it's something else that will help you control your diabetes: weight loss. Losing just 10% of your body weight could have a major positive impact on your health, so if you have some weight to lose, shoot for 10% for starters.
If you don't have type 2 diabetes, you can do much to prevent it. Try to maintain a healthy weight with proper diet, exercise, and plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. And above all, see your doctor if you have any concerns.
About the Author: Copyright Troy Francis. Troy is founder of http://Exercise-Diet.com. You can see more great articles on Weight Loss, Diet, Exercise, Health and much more by going to: http://www.Exercise-Diet.com/