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Top 7 Tips To Treat And Prevent Diabetes
By Raymond Lee
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Diabetes becomes more prevalent with age. About half of all the cases are diagnosed over age 60. Nearly 6.3 million seniors Ė one in every five people over age 60 Ė may have diabetes. And another 6 million seniors who have impaired glucose tolerance are at high risk of developing the disease. There are two types of diabetes that can affect seniors. Type I diabetes occurs when the bodyís immune system, for some yet undiscovered reason, mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for making insulin. However, 90 percent of the time when an older person gets the disease, it is diabetes II. If you have Type II, your pancreas is still doing its job. The catch is that it either isnít producing enough insulin or it is making plenty of insulin but your body has developed what is known as insulin resistance. Although diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure, here are a few suggestions that can help you.
- Pay Attention To Your Feet
Inspect your feet and between your toes every day. Diabetes can damage nerve endings in your feet and toes, making it difficult for you to feel sores, blisters, and other injuries. Look for cuts, breaks in the skin, or swollen, red areas. Keep your feet clean and dry. Bathe your feet with warm water and mild soap every day. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes. Apply a thin coat of moisturizing lotion if the skin on your feet feels unusually dry. Wear clean socks and comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Never go barefoot. You are more likely to get injured if you do.
- Avoid Large Meals
Spread your calories, especially those that come from carbohydrates, throughout the day in order to keep your blood sugar levels at optimal levels. So instead of two large meals, you may want to eat five or six smaller meals like half a sandwich and an orange.
- Step Lively
Regular exercise is a vital part of any diabetes management plan. Just taking a 15-minute walk every day can help lower blood sugar and can help your body use insulin more efficiently. Some activities such as weight-lifting may not be safe for you, particularly if you have high blood pressure or diabetic eye disease.
- Consume Fiber
Food high in water-soluble fiber like beans, oat bran, fruits, and nuts can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates, so your blood sugar level may not rise as quickly. Try eating at least 20 grams of fiber a day. You will be well on your way to reaching your goal.
- Follow The Pyramid
Even if you have a dietary plan specifically designed to control your diabetes, certain basics apply to everyone. It is recommended to take reference to the U.S Department of Agricultureís Food Guide Pyramid for people who are 50-plus as an excellent starting point for any senior who has diabetes. These guidelines give you a general eating program that balances your consumption of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in a way that should provide good nutrition.
- Treat Yourself
In the past, people with diabetes were told that they could not eat certain foods, namely refined carbohydrates like sugar, cookies, or sweets. However, all carbohydrates have similar effects on blood sugar. That means a cookie elevates blood sugar about as much as a slice of bread or piece of fruit. Moderation is the key. Try to keep your simple-sugar intake down to 10 percent of your total calories each day.
- Know Your Enemy
Learn as much as you can about diabetes. The better you understand the disease, the more likely you are to be able to control it. Ninety-nine percent of the care and management of diabetes is in the patientís hands. You have to prepare your meals, and monitor your blood sugars. You have to know what to do and when to do it. And you can do it if you donít have the knowledge and skills.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: October 31, 2007