In Singapore, one out of 9 people aged 18 to 69 has diabetes. That’s about 11.3% of our population or more than 400,000 people and there are approximately 300 million diabetics worldwide. It is the third leading cause of death and the major cause of blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, amputations, and digestive disorders. The major causes of diabetes are heredity, immune system dysfunction, and viruses. However, there are contributing causes, including obesity, lack of exercise, and improper nutrition. Improper nutrition is a result of the over-consumption of processed, chemically treated, overcooked, high fat, high glycemic, packaged, and nutrient deficient food.
Diabetes affects all races. Yet, most people are unaware that diabetes and many blood sugar disorders can be prevented, managed and treated.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious chronic condition. It is a condition where the body either doesn’t make, or properly use, insulin. This causes the sugar to build up in your bloodstream instead of going into the cells of the body. This means your body can’t make the energy it needs from the food you eat.
Who is at risk?
Everyone who lives and breathes needs to be concerned about diabetes. Energy is produced from glucose and glucose is produced from our food. If we are not eating properly, we are not producing efficient energy. Then we begin storing fat, and we set the stage for illness and disease. Any time one of our basic needs is out of balance, the body is under stress and cannot function properly.
There are two forms of diabetes:
Type I: insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile). The body produces little or no insulin. This means the sugar cannot enter cells to be used for energy and the blood sugar level remains high. Type I diabetics must take insulin shots to live. About 10% of all diabetics, mainly children and young adults. Symptoms usually appear suddenly and can occur at any age.
• frequent and urgent urination• increased thirst• increased hunger• sudden unexplained weight loss• feeling of weakness or tiredness
Type II: non-insulin dependent diabetes (adult-onset). The body may make insulin, but it either doesn’t make enough or can’t properly use the insulin it makes to control the level of sugar in the blood. As a result, little or no sugar gets into the body cells – this causes the sugar to build up in the blood.
Type II diabetics may have to take diabetic pills (oral hypoglycemic agents) or in uncontrolled circumstances, insulin. Type II accounts for approximately 90% of all diabetics. Often occurs in mostly older diabetics. However, there has been a rise of young children developing Type II diabetes. Symptoms are easily overlooked as they usually develop slowly and tend to build up over a long period of time. Symptoms may not be present at diagnosis.
• feeling tired and/or weak• blurred vision• dry and/or itchy skin• increased thirst, increased hunger• increased urination• tingling and/or loss of feeling in hands or feet
slow healing cuts or sores• frequent or non-healing infections (vaginal
yeast and/or bladder)
• problems with sexual function
Gestational Diabetes: develops in women who are pregnant. Approximately 2 – 3% of all women develop G.D. About 35% may have the possibility of later developing Type II diabetes.
Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT): affects nearly everyone. The body has either too much or too little insulin. Neither state is healthy. Continuous cycles of rollercoaster high and low blood sugar levels can develop into hypoglycemia and diabetes. It can be prevented, managed and controlled. Nearly everyone at some point in their life has experienced low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), they just don’t recognize it.
The main causes of diabetes are: heredity, immune system, and viruses. There are other contributing causes including: obesity, lack of exercises, and most importantly improper nutrition, resulting from the over consumption of processed, chemically treated, overcooked, high fat, high glycemic, packaged, fast food – nutrient deficient food.
It is important to remember that diabetes remains a serious, chronic condition with potential short-term and long-term complications. For those taking insulin, hypoglycemia or low blood sugars is a constant concern. People with undiagnosed, untreated or long-term diabetes are at risk of developing chronic complications including: nerve and blood vessel damage affecting eyes, heart, limbs, kidneys, and stomach. Early detection is critical.
Diabetics can live a normal healthy life with the proper education, management and treatment. Complications can be delayed, halted and even prevented!
Blood Glucose Testing
Blood sugar testing is the most important key in taking control of your diabetes and your life. It is also important for anyone with a blood sugar handling problem (hypoglycemia and impaired glucose tolerance). You cannot rely solely on how you feel – your blood sugar may be higher than normal yet you may feel fine. You must test your blood sugar to know how well your diabetes management program is working.
Record keeping is important for your doctor to see and correct any problems you may be having in controlling your sugar levels. Blood sugars will form a pattern over a period of time. Monitoring is a powerful tool in tracking and controlling your blood sugar levels which will help prevent the development of long-term complications.
Is there any Hope?
It is important to understand that: Diabetes, IGT, and hypoglycemia, can be prevented, managed and controlled! We recommend the following:
|7 Steps to Diabetes Management1. Test Blood Glucose (four times per day)
* before breakfast * before dinner
2. Eat 3 meals and 3 snacks per day
3. Water – Drink eight – 8 oz. glasses daily.
4. Exercise regularly (at least every other day).
5. Medication – take as prescribed.
6. A1C blood test – have taken every 3 months.
7. Health care provider team – consult regularly.
Our bodies were not designed to work so hard to receive the nutrients from our food. Degenerative diseases like diabetes can be halted and the lives of millions can be changed with proper nutrition and education. Ronghua Health Recovery Center and team is committed to prevent, manage and control diabetes.