Insulin therapy, meal planning, regular exercises and therapeutic monitoring are the four main support pillars of any diabetic treatment. For proper and effective treatment these have to be complimented with patient education and emotional stability. There are two forms of diabetes: type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes, which usually begins in childhood and type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes which occurs in later life.
At times a diabetic can be affected with problems wherein either his pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or the body does not respond to the insulin that is present. As a result glucose gets stored in the blood and tissues and is excreted through urine thereby causing the body to lose its main source of fuel.
The acute complications of diabetes occur when blood glucose levels rise too high or fall too low. The possible warning symptoms are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, nervousness, hunger, headache, or a feeling similar to intoxication.
In the case of insulin dependent diet management the energy intake is based on needs for normal growth and development, physical activity and maintenance of desirable body weight. Thus, restriction in consumption of calorie is required to achieve desired weight.
Effective diabetic management requires a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet, regular exercise and sensible weight control. A balanced diet and an active lifestyle are a necessity for diabetics, to enable them to maintain a healthy weight. Despite diabetes being a condition of regulation of sugar it may not be restricted except to ensure a balanced diet.
As per the American Diabetes Association even a modest weight loss can decrease the risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. There are many approaches to dieting. People may respond differently to specific diets depending on distribution of their weight on their bodies. Thus, life long changes in dietary habits, physical activity, and outlook towards food and weight are essential for proper management of weight. A qualified dietician or a doctor can help in planning both meals and exercises.
The standard dietary recommendations for reducing weight are:
* Reducing calorific intake by about 500 calories per day. For faster weight loss, the daily calorie restriction could be increased but within specified limits. However, extreme diets have serious health consequences and must be avoided.
* The number of calories depends on gender, age, and activity levels. For determining the daily calorific requirements, weight in pounds of ideal weight can be multiplied by 12 – 15 calories.
* Fat intake should not exceed 30% of the total calories consumed. It is preferable to have fats in the form of monounsaturated fats and completely avoiding saturated fats.
* Control intake of sugar and pay attention to carbohydrates,
* Avoid late meals specially at night,
Weight reduction requires realistic goals besides a regular exercise program and honesty in tracking calorie consumption. Once ideal weight is achieved, maintenance of weight becomes important and is required.
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