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Question:..." …Can you please advise on a diet suitable for my recently diagnosed diabetes..."

Dr. Keti:

Diabetes requires constant attention and daily care to keep blood sugar levels in balance. In order to feel good and stay healthy someone with diabetes, either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, must follow a daily management routine. No wonder that diabetes is often referred as "24-hour disease". (1), Diabetes Source book, Second edition, Health Reference Series, Omnigraphics, Inc. Detroit, MI

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still produce some insulin, though not enough for its needs, or when the insulin that the body produces does not work properly. This type of diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40. It is treated by diet alone, or by a combination of diet and tablets, or by a combination of diet and insulin injections.

Prognosis
The prognosis is much better in the ones who have been successful in keeping normal level of blood glucose and in those who have made a permanent commitment to altering their eating habits and continue to be active physically.

Managing Diabetes - Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
Intensive control of blood sugar levels can help reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes.

1. There are number of people that could help you in sustaining lowering of your blood sugar level:
a. An experienced doctor, endocrinologist
b. A diabetes educator
c. A nutritionist or dietician
d. A mental health professional, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist may be helpful if you need advice on managing diabetes in difficult/stressful situations.

2. Daily Insulin(SBS)
The amount of insulin you need depends on many factors: your height, weight, age, food intake, activity level, illness, stress or unexpected events. Your doctor /consultant will calculate how much insulin you need to take each day.

3. Self Blood Glucose Monitoring (SBGM)
This is the best way to determine if the blood sugar level is too high or too low on a daily basis. It has been shown that diabetes treatment has improved greatly since the testing method became widely available.
Another test, hemoglobin Ac1 tests average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months.

4. Meal Plans
Different foods have different effects on your blood sugar. You should really stick to a routine and be consistent in your food choices and eating times. Timing your meals and coordinating them with your insulin injections is important. For example, because we know that regular insulin has its peak glucose lowering effect approximately 2 hours after the injection and acts for 4-6 hours it is usually given before meals.

A few good points to remember:
    Keep your blood sugar at a healthy level by eating about the same amount of food at about the same time each day.
    Try not to skip snacks and meals.
    Take your diabetes medicine at the same time each day and exercise at about the same time each day.

To start a healthy diet first of all, work with your dietitian, usually it takes two or three 45 to 90 minute sessions to plan how many grams of carbohydrates are needed.
I have found an excellent site where you can get practical insight in planning your daily meals. Click on the links bellow:

I Have Diabetes: What Should I Eat? and
How can I eat Healthy?

5. Exercise
People with Diabetes are encouraged to exercise. Before you exercising though you should check your blood sugar levels as exercising tends to lower blood sugar. If your blood sugar is too high, bring it under control before starting with your exercise. Consult your doctor or trainer to plan your exercises.


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