Getting diagnosed with diabetes can be frightening and overwhelming, especially if unfamiliar with the condition.
Besides, a diabetes diagnosis often sparks instant images of a radically altered lifestyle. Such fictitious thoughts may include a bland diet and the possibility of regular insulin injections.
But what most people do not realize is that diabetes can be controlled and even prevented. Effectively doing so often requires with a combination of healthy, yet flavorful food and regular exercise.
Learn what a diabetes diagnosis truly means, how common the condition is, and ways to control and prevent diabetes. Oh, and find a simple (and delicious) solution to manage diabetes!
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is an umbrella term to describe the phenomenon in which the body is unable to utilize glucose from carb sources. This occurs if in the absence or resistance to the hormone insulin.
Insulin is produced from cells in the pancreas. It can be thought of as a key holder to the cells by allowing glucose to exit the bloodstream and enter. Without insulin or the "key," glucose starts to build up in the blood, hence "high blood glucose" or "high blood sugar."
People with diabetes may experience weight changes, increased thirst and urination, blurred vision, and energy loss. Individuals may also notice darkened skin on certain parts of the body, including on the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles.
There are two primary types of diabetes, including types 1 and 2 diabetes:
• Type 1 Diabetes: In type 1 diabetes, the body's own immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin. This ultimately leave insulin absent from the body and starts to build high blood sugars.
Symptoms generally start during childhood and it cannot be prevented. Type 1 diabetes largely requires insulin therapy and needs to be monitored with close attention.
• Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes results to elevated blood sugars mostly related to insulin resistance, a condition in which cells do not respond well to insulin and cannot sufficiently easily take up glucose the blood.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle. This often includes weight loss and maintenance through a nutritious diet and exercise.
Despite the type, diabetes should be managed appropriately. Obtaining a definite diabetes diagnosis can help devise a plan for effective treatment.
What Does a Diabetes Diagnosis Mean?
A true diabetes diagnosis involves blood tests and includes the following laboratory values:
1. Fasting Plasma Glucose Test: With the fasting plasma glucose test, a blood sample measures the amount of free glucose. The individual must be fasted during the test. This means the individual has not eaten for eight or more hours and is generally performed after an overnight fast.
• Normal: Less than 100, or encouraged to be within 70 and 100
• Prediabetes: 100 to 125
• Diabetes: Greater than 126
2. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): The OGTT is used to determine how much sugar the body is able to process. This test is administered in a fasted state, or most commonly after a night of rest. The individual then consumes a sugary, glucose beverage and administered a blood test two hours after.
• Normal: Less than 140
• Prediabetes: 140 to 199
• Diabetes: Greater than 200
3. Hemoglobin A1C: Hemoglobin A1C is also known as glycated hemoglobin, average blood sugar, and HbA1C. This blood test measures average blood sugar up to three months. It also indicates can indicate the extent in which blood sugars were controlled over time.
• Normal: 5.6% or less
• Prediabetes: 5.7 to 6.4%
• Diabetes: 6.5% or greater on two separate occasions
If diagnosed with diabetes, it is imperative to effectively manage the condition to reduce the risk of complications. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to to heart disease, skin conditions, and damage to the nerves, eyes, and kidneys. Diabetes can also be fatal, as it is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
How Common is Diabetes?
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 30.3 million Americans, or almost 10 percent of the U.S. population, had diabetes in 2015. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type among the U.S. population and accounts for 90 percent all diagnosis.
Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults had type 1 diabetes. The ADA further estimates 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes annually.
Based on a new 2017 report, more than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes. The report further confirms that the rate of new diabetes diagnoses remains steady.
Opportunely, though, diabetes can be prevented and controlled.
Diabetes Prevention & Control
Prevention and management of diabetes depends on the type. However, as mentioned, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. Insulin injections are warranted with type 1 diabetes.
Individuals with type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, may not require insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and controlled by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and losing weight.
• Balanced Diet: Consuming a balanced diet can naturally control calories while ensuring adequate nutrients. Incorporate more whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean and plant-based proteins, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fat sources. Consume less convenience products laden in refined flour, sugar, oil, and salt.
• Regular Exercise: Active muscles help utilize sugar for energy, rather than building up in the bloodstream. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly, or at least most days of the week. Also incorporate two to three weight training sessions and target all major muscle groups.
• Weight Loss and Management: Losing weight helps the cells become less resistant to the effects of insulin. Even losing five to 10 percent of body weight can improve blood sugars.
• Additional Factors: Other effective methods to manage diabetes include sleep hygiene and stress management. Moderating alcohol is also advised.
Ultimately, though, working with healthcare professionals is recommended. A doctor, endocrinologist, and dietitian are a few key players for managing diabetes safely.
Also if desiring meal assistance for diabetic management, bistroMD is here to help!
BistroMD Is Here to Help
BistroMD is the nation's leading weight loss meal delivery service, offering nutritious and delicious meals directly to doorsteps. Truly, bistroMD is here to help with easy and convenient diabetic-friendly meals!
The Science of BistroMD
Healthy meal plans are backed by science and research of founding weight loss physician Dr. Caroline Cederquist. Dr. Cederquist works with a team of dietitians to ensure nutrient needs for healthy and long-term weight loss are met.
Each meal plan contains 1,100 to 1,400 calories daily with 40 to 50 percent of total caloric intake from adequate protein, 20 to 25 percent of calories from healthy fats, and 30 to 35 percent from complex carbohydrate.
Both men and women options are available, along with specialty diets such as the diabetic program. The diabetic program was created by Dr. Cederquist as a specific response to a real need that diabetic program members expressed.
With the bistroMD diabetic program, meals supply 25 net grams of carbs or less and snacks provide 15 grams or less. All meals and snacks deliver adequate lean protein to regulate blood sugar and keep hunger at bay.
The entire bistroMD team combines the nutritional requirements of a diabetic diet with the delicious flavors of top-notch cuisine.
A Diabetic Diet Goes Gourmet
So-called "diet" food has always had a bad reputation for being tasteless and undesirable. Not anymore thanks to bistroMD's ongoing effort to make each meal more gourmet than the last. (Even on a diabetic diet plan!)
All bistroMD meals use the freshest of ingredients and flavors to create gourmet, diabetic-friendly meals. What's more, bistroMD features 200 recipes and a customizable menu.
And with menu items including Canadian bacon and swiss omelet, blackened chicken with creamy smoked paprika sauce, sliced ham with mustard maple sauce, grilled teriyaki salmon, lasagna with garden marinara, and broccoli cheddar stuffed chicken breast, there is always to satisfy personal taste buds and meet individualized goals!
Customized and Flexible Plans
All diet plans and menus are customized by dietitians to meet individualized nutritional needs. Members can also edit weekly menus to accommodate meal preferences.
Have an allergy? Dislike a food? Let bistroMD know and they will happily accommodate!
To honor flexibility in personal schedules, members have the option to choose from various plans. Options include a full 7-day plan of meals, a 5-day lunch and dinner only plan, and somewhere in between.
The 7-day option comes with the MyNight feature. MyNight is a weekly opportunity to have a structured break from the program to enjoy favorite foods and indulgences in moderation.
With bistroMD, never go through this journey alone! bistroMD offers ongoing access to ongoing and endless support and resources.
Members have access to one-on-one support from dietitians and an online community filled with others on similar journeys. Also navigate through an extensive Health Library stocked with healthy nutrition and fitness tips. Weekly program information and newsletters also consists of helpful hints and useful information written by Dr. Cederquist and her staff.
Also connect to the entire bistroMD support team. They are there right from the very beginning and more than willing to assist in any and all questions!