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Diabetes awareness week


Diabetes, what is it?  It seems a very common illness, but what are the consequences of being diagnosed with diabetes and how can you take control?

Firstly what’s the difference between Type I and Type II:

Type I diabetes
This is an auto-immune condition, where the body attacks the beta cells in the pancreas and prevents production of insulin.  Anyone which Type I has to inject insulin.  Insulin takes sugar out of the blood stream and into the cells, where it is used for energy or stored energy.  Without insulin the body will not be able to function, resulting in coma and death.  Unexplained weight loss is a major symptoms of Type I diabetes.   Type I diabetics have to inject insulin regularly throughout their day to keep them healthy.

Type II diabetes
This is often called adult onset diabetes. The difference with Type II diabetes is that it is not an auto-immune condition.  What often happens is the insulin receptors around the cell become unresponsive, and this prevents the sugar getting into the cell, raising blood sugar levels and insulin levels, and creating a lack of energy at a cellular level.  A person with Type II diabetes with high blood sugar will pee a lot, this is the body attempting to remove the sugar from the blood, because of this they become very thirsty.  The first signs of Type II diabetes can be thirst, peeing too much and unexplained weight loss, inflammation, but often there are no obvious symptoms.

Type II diabetes can be addressed with dietary and lifestyle changes
Eating a diet rich in nutrient dense vegetables, oily fish and lean healthy poultry and meats along with good fibre and nutrient dense fruits which increases your nutrition and not your calories.  Reducing sugar, fatty foods like fish and chips and burgers, crisps.  Increasing exercise and making these dietary changes can reverse Type II diabetes and prevent the need for medication.

Using your muscles more  helps them be more insulin sensitive and burn more calories.  Start your exercises slowly, walking daily and including some muscle strengthen exercises like lunges, and arm exercises with weights, you can use anything in the house from cans of beans to bottles of milk!  Never stop your medication and consult your doctor before changing your diet and starting an exercise plan, your doctor will need to monitor you to ensure your medication remains at an appropriate dosage.

What happens if Type II diabetes is not managed and dietary changes are not made?
Complications of poorly managed diabetes are very serious and life changing, from kidney disease, blindness and amputation, make a positive change to your diet, here’s a simple smoothie to start your day the healthy way:

Bonus recipe!  Super nutrient breakfast smoothie!2013-11-29 11.09.01

1/2 small cucumber
1 small courgette
Couple of sprigs of mint
Cooked kale or broccoli (from last nights dinner)
Juice of 1 lime
Cup of frozen berries
1 dessert spoon of milled flax seeds
300ml of unsweetened additive free almond milk or 4 soaked almonds and 300ml or water

Providing protein, healthy fats, folate, magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium, omega 3, iron, zinc, copper, fibre, vitamin C, phytonutrients from berries which act as anti-inflammatories within the body.
Blend together until smooth, serve in pretty glasses with a colourful straw and enjoy!!

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