Many people are being diagnosed with diabetes, and most not aware they have this disease until they’re at a much later stage. The problem with this? It robs them of the chance to get adequate blood sugar control to prevent secondary complications at an early stage. If you are overweight or have parents with diabetes, be sure to check your blood sugar with your doctor soon.
There are two types of diabetes; type 1 and 2. Type 1 is inherited and is usually diagnosed at a young age. The best treatment is achieving blood sugar control via insulin therapy, along with nutrition education. Type 2 diabetes can be caused by many more factors. Contrary to this popular myth about sugar causing diabetes, eating too many sweets and sugar does not cause diabetes regardless of weight. According to studies, overweight and obesity are the main culprits that lead to type 2 diabetes. However, it is possible to gain excess weight by consuming too many calories from added sugar and high calorie sweets.
Treatment of diabetes type 2 usually begins with oral anti-hyperglycemic tablets and then moves on to insulin over time. However, diabetic medications can be reduced and maybe even discontinued if weight loss is reduced in an overweight individual and diet is planned well to control blood sugar. Genetics is another risk factor to diabetes type 2. Children of parents with type 2 diabetes have a one in three chance of inheriting the disease, regardless of weight. Aging, pregnancy, physical inactivity, certain medicines, and any diseases that may affect the condition of the pancreas can also increase the chances of developing diabetes. Healthy weight management can be achieved with the educational advice and guidance of a dietitian.
What happens if diabetes is left untreated? Many complications can develop, such as heart disease, cataracts of the eye, loss of extremities such as toes and fingers, and kidney failure. Can anything be done to prevent diabetes? Certainly! Start sooner than later. Lose excess weight by consulting with a dietitian. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, consult with your physician and dietitian to receive help with controlling your blood sugar. Or register for the Royal Bahrain Hospital’s specialized “Fresh Start” program to gain better blood sugar control today to save your toes and fingers tomorrow. Book your initial free consult with the dietitian and “Fresh Start” Panel to learn more.
Nada Jawahery is the Registered Dietician at Royal Bahrain Hospital and is a member of, and licensed by, the American Dietetics Association. For more information call 17246832 or email: Nada.Jawahery@royalbhrn.com