A. THE FACTS
The body changes FOOD into SUGAR and sends it into blood.
INSULIN moves the SUGAR out of the BLOOD and into the CELLS.
The CELLS burn the SUGAR to make ENERGY.
This activity goes on in our bodies all the time.
It’s what keeps us alive.
Before Diabetes, your own INSULIN worked fine. It carried SUGAR to the CELLS, but it also left a little behind in the BLOOD as a back-up supply.
SUGAR left in the BLOOD is called “BLOOD SUGAR”. We can measure the BLOOD SUGAR Level with a blood test.
Before Diabetes, your BLOOD SUGAR level stayed in a “SafeRange” because the INSULIN kept it there.
B. THE PROBLEMS
We do not know why people get Diabetes. Sometimes it runs in families, but sometimes it doesn’t.
There are two TYPES of Diabetes. Both TYPES cause problems with INSULIN and BLOOD SUGAR.
- INSULIN Problems
Before Diabetes… you make plenty of INSULIN
With TYPE I Diabetes… you have stopped making your own INSULIN
Before Diabetes… your INSULIN worked well
With TYPE II Diabetes… your INSULIN doesn’t work like it should
- BLOOD SUGAR Problems
When INSULIN doesn’t work right, too much SUGAR stays in the BLOOD. This gives you HIGH BLOOD SUGAR.
With Diabetes, your BLOOD SUGAR will always want to go HIGH because your INSULIN is not working like it should.
HIGH BLOOD SUGAR means trouble.
Here’s what happens:
The body changes FOOD into SUGAR and sends it into the BLOOD.
But… your body is not making INSULIN anymore.
The CELLS “starve” for sugar to burn. They can’t make energy.
The body changes FOOD into SUGAR and sends it into the BLOOD.
But…your INSULIN isn’t working right.
The CELLS get some SUGAR, but not enough.
Both TYPES of Diabetes make the BLOOD SUGAR go TOO HIGH.
HIGH BLOOD SUGAR can,
Make you TIRED, THIRSTY, HUNGRY all the time.
If BLOOD SUGAR stays HIGH for a L-O-N-G- T-I-M-E, it can cause serious problems to your health.
TYPE I and TYPE II
Numbness in feet & hands & legs
Clogged blood vessels
Wounds that won’t heal
Weight gain ( TYPE II )
C. The Doctor’s Part :
Your doctor will decide what TREATMENT you need.
Both types of Diabetes are treated with FOOD and EXERCISE.
You will learn about :
WHAT to eat
WHEN to eat
HOW MUCH to eat each time
WHAT KIND will be best for you
WHEN to do it
HOW LONG to exercise each time
If you need INSULIN ( or Diabetes pills ) the Doctor will decide
WHAT KIND you should take
WHEN to take it
HOW MUCH to take
And if you need to lose weight, the Doctor will help you set the best GOAL.
The Doctor will also check your progress with tests and check-ups from time to time.
Things that make your BLOOD SUGAR go UP
- BEING SICK
- Also… not taking enough INSULIN ( or Diabetes PILLS )
Some of these things are easier to control than others, like the FOOD you eat.
- FOOD : As your body changes FOOD into SUGAR, the BLOOD SUGAR level goes up. Some foods like sweet, sugary things change very quickly. If the BLOOD SUGAR goes up too HIGH or too FAST, the INSULIN may have trouble getting enough SUGAR to the CELLS in time. Other FOODS like bread, vegetables and fruits change to SUGAR more slowly. It’s better for BLOOD SUGAR to go up GRADUALLY so that INSULIN has time to do its work.
- STRESS : ANGER, WORRY, FEAR, GROWTH SPURTS, RAPID WEIGHT LOSS, TOO LITTLE SLEEP
It takes extra energy to handle STRESS.
To get this extra energy the body makes extra SUGAR.
That’s how STRESS makes the BLOOD SUGAR level go UP.
- BEING SICK : INJURY, NAUSEA & VOMITTING, INFECTION, SICK IN BED, FEVER and CHILLS
Sickness is another kind of STRESS for the body.
It also makes the BLOOD SUGAR go UP.
If you are sick, and you have TYPE I Diabetes you need to check for KETONES regularly.
D. Things that bring it down
2. DIABETES PILLS
4. Also… not eating enough FOOD.
When you have Diabetes, your BLOOD SUGAR always wants to go too HIGH.
These things will help it stay DOWN.
- EXERCISE : When you EXERCISE, the cells burn more SUGAR and the BLOOD SUGAR goes DOWN.
EXERCISE also helps INSULIN work better.
EXERCISE is also helpful when you need to lose weight.
- Diabetes PILLS ( TYPE II only )
Diabetes PILLS are not INSULIN, but they may help your own INSULIN work
If FOOD and EXERCISE alone are not keeping your BLOOD SUGAR down, the
Doctor may order PILLS for you to take.
There are many kinds of Diabetes PILLS.
The Doctor will decide if you need these PILLS, based on your BLOOD SUGAR
The PILLS work along with FOOD and EXERCISE.
- INSULIN : As INSULIN moves sugar from the blood to the cells, the BLOOD
SUGAR level goes DOWN.
If you have TYPE I Diabetes, you will need INSULIN injection every day.
If you have TYPE II Diabetes, you may also need to take INSULIN. The Doctor decides this.
Since it takes a while for INSULIN to start working after injection, you will usually take it BEFORE eating. By the time your BLOOD SUGAR goes UP, AFTER eating, the INSULIN will be ready to do its work.
About LOW BLOOD SUGAR
LOW BLOOD SUGAR can happen anytime, especially at first when the Doctor is working out doses for your INSULIN ( os Diabetes PILLS ).
The PROBLM : BLOOD SUGAR levels can drop very quickly, sometimes without warning.
This can happen if…
- You don’t eat enough – did you skip a meal?, do you need a snack?
- If you took too much INSULIN ( or too high a dose of Diabetes PILLS )
- Or, if you EXERCISED a lot and forgot to eat a snack.
WHAT TO DO : EAT OR DRINK SOMETHING with SUGAR in it right away.
- Your BLOOD SUGAR will go UP again.
- You will start to feel better.
About LOW BLOOD SUGAR
- What it’s like :
Anyone who takes medicine to lower blood sugar gets LOW BLOOD SUGAR sometimes. No one likes it.
Watch for these signs of LOW BLOOD SUGAR :
Sweaty, dizzy, confused, hungry, bad mood, nervous, shaky.
It can get worse very FAST. And if you don’t treat it in time, you could… pass out.
- How to FIX it :
- Eat or drink something SUGARY – fast. You want your BLOOD SUGAR to go UP – fast.
- Wait 15 minutes…
- Check your BLOOD SUGAR. If it is still LOW… Eat a snack – a carbohydrate with a protein.
- Take it easy until you feel better.
- In 30 minutes … check your BLOOD SUGAR again.
BE PREPARED :
- Always carry something SUGARY with you.
- Have a “snack-pack” with you.
About FOOD :
- WHAT to EAT
It’s best if each MEAL and SNACK has a variety of foods.
You need carbohydrates and proteins each time you eat
Stay away from these FOODS
SUGAR – I makes BLOOD SUGAR go too HIGH too FAST
FAT – it clogs your blood vessels
It makes you gain weight
2. WHEN to EAT
Space MEALS evenly – about 4-6 hours apart.
If you go longer between MEALS, at a Snack.
-Common Snack times :
Snack suggestions : Carbohydrates and Proteins
Eat MEALS on time
– CELLS need SUGAR on a regular basis
– Your daily INSULIN doses are timed to “peak” after MEALS.
– Don’t SKIP MEALS – You can’t afford to run out of SUGAR.
3. How MUCH to EAT
Your Doctor or Dietician will help you with how many servings to have at each MEAL. You will eat enough to control your weight and still have a good SUGAR supply for the CELLS.
4. COOKING Tips :
Don’t FRY your food. The extra FAT is not good for you.
Use these cooking methods instead :
Broil – Boil Meats – drain off liquids
Braise – Use a Pan-coating
Add some taste if you like :
Lemon juice, Mustards, All spices and herbs, Garlic, Onions, Vinegar, Hot pepper sauce, Artificial sweeteners
If recipe calls for “Oil” … use Corn Oil
EXERCISE is an important part of your treatment.
What EXERCISE does for you :
-Improves your strength and muscle tone
-Helps INSULIN work better
-Helps keep BLOOD SUGAR levels more stable
-Helps you lose weight along with careful eating
-Gives you more energy
-Helps lower cholesterol
EXERCISE can be the key to successful diabetes treatment.
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