This World Diabetes Day we’re managing our sugar levels to keep our body happy and healthy!
What is diabetes?
Diabetes Mellitus is a medical condition which results in a high amount of sugar in the blood called hyperglycaemia. This is caused by insufficient or ineffective insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells in the pancreas which facilitates the transportation of glucose (a type of sugar) out of the blood and into cells where it is used as a source of energy or stored for later use.
There are three main types of diabetes including:
- Type 1: where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
- Type 2: which typically involves the body producing enough insulin at first but the cells do not respond properly to the insulin.
- Gestational: occurring during pregnancy.
What symptoms can you experience?
The main symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue and unintentional weight loss.
Long term high blood sugar levels can lead to:
- Nerve and blood vessel damage
- Vision disturbances including blindness
- Heart attack
- Lower limb amputation
- Kidney failure
- Frequent infections
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis
So how can we manage our sugar levels?
The diagnosis of diabetes is often accompanied by the prescription of insulin or other diabetic medications, however, there are lifestyle modifications which you can implement to assist in reducing your sugar levels and preventing the development of type 2 diabetes. These include:
- Reducing the amount of added sugars in your diet
- Monitor your carbohydrate intake – as the body converts this into glucose
- Avoid drinking lots of sugary drinks such as soft drink or juice
- Stay hydrated – this helps your kidneys excrete excess sugar
- Regular physical activity to use our energy stores
- Healthy weight maintenance
- Avoiding tobacco and alcohol
Also, reducing your sugar intake helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy by preventing decay!
Find more of our health tips here.
Book a naturopathic, chiropractic or massage therapy appointment with us here or call us on 9651 5559.
Better Health Channel. Sugar. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/sugar
World Health Organisation. 2023. Diabetes. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes
World Health Organisation. 2023. World Diabetes Day. https://www.un.org/en/observances/diabetes-day