Diabetes is a chronic medical situation in which sugar, or glucose, levels build up in your bloodstream. The hormone insulin helps move the sugar from your blood into your cells, which are where the sugar is needed for energy.
In type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells are not able to respond to insulin as well as they should. In later stages of the disease your body may also not produce enough insulin.
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Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can result in chronically high blood sugar levels, causing several symptoms and potentially leading to serious complications.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes
In type 2 diabetes your body is not able to effectively use insulin to bring glucose into your cells. This makes your body to rely on alternative energy sources in your tissues, muscles, and organs.
This is a chain reaction that can create a variety of symptoms. Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly. The symptoms may be mild and easy to dismiss at first.
The early symptoms are inclusive of:
- constant hunger
- a lack of energy
- weight loss
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination
- dry mouth
- itchy skin
- blurry vision
As the disease progresses, the signs become more severe and potentially dangerous.
If your blood sugar levels have been high for a long time, the symptoms can include:
- yeast infections
- slow-healing cuts or sores
- dark patches on your skin
- foot pain
- feelings of numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy
If you have two or more of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor. Without treatment, diabetes can get life-threatening.
Diabetes has a powerful effect on your heart. Women with diabetes are twice as likely to have another heart attack after the first one. They’re at quadruple the risk of heart failure when compared to women without diabetes. Diabetes can also result in complications during pregnancy.
Diet for type 2 diabetes
Diet is a vital tool to keep your heart healthy and blood sugar levels within a safe and healthy range. It doesn’t have to be complicated or unpleasant. The diet recommended for people with type 2 diabetes is the same diet just about everyone should follow. It boils down to a few key actions:
- Eat meals and snacks on schedule.
- Choose a variety of foods that are high in nutrition and low in empty calories.
- Be careful not to overeat.
- Read food labels closely.
Foods to choose
Healthy carbohydrates can give you fiber. The options include:
- legumes, such as beans
- whole grains
Foods with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids include:
You can get healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from a number of foods, inclusive of:
- olive oil
- canola oil
- peanut oil
Although these options for fat are good for you, they’re high in calories. Moderation is the watch word. When choosing dairy products, choose low-fat options.
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Foods to avoid
There are certain foods that you should limit or avoid completely. These include:
- foods heavy in saturated fats
- foods heavy in trans fats
- processed meats
- organ meats, such as beef or liver
- stick margarine
- baked goods
- processed snacks
- sugary drinks
- high-fat dairy products
- salty foods
- fried foods
Talk to your doctor about your personal nutrition and calorie goals. Together, you can come up with a diet plan that tastes great and suits your lifestyle needs.