>Spotlight on Diabetes

>It may be the age of Diabetes, and because so very many people are overweight, prediabetes is a concern.
Can diabetes be prevented if a person begins to take better care of their diet and begins to exercise?
Diabetes is a disorder in which blood sugar (glucose) levels are abnormally high because the body does not produce enough insulin to meet its needs:
What does diabetes do to the body?
Diabetes can damage the nerves, causing problems with sensation
Diabetes can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure
People with diabetes need to follow a low-sugar, low-fat diet, exercise and may need to take medication for their diabetes.There are 2 types:
Type 1 formally called Insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes
Type 2 Formally called non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes

What is prediabetes?
This is a condition in which blood sugar levels are too high to be considered normal but not high enough to be labeled diabetes. People have prediabetes if their fasting blood sugar is between 101-126 mg/dL. or if their blood sugar levels 2 hours after a glucose tolerance test is between 140-200 mg/dL.
Identifying people at risk is important because prediabetes carries a higher risk for future diabetes.
Can you decrease your risk of prediabetes?
Decreasing your body weight by just 5-10%  through diet and exercise can significantly reduce your risk of developing future diabetes.

If you have diabetes:
Monitoring your glucose levels is an essential part of diabetic care. If you have diabetes, you must adjust your diet, exercise and take medications to control blood sugar levels.
Monitoring your blood sugar provides the information needed to make adjustments. Waiting until symptoms of low blood sugar or high blood sugar levels is a recipe for disaster.
What can cause your blood sugar levels to change throughout the day?
The time of day
Blood sugar jumps when we eat food that may be too high in carbohydrates (sugar).
Exercise may cause levels of sugar to drop
Emotional stress, an infection, and many different medications can increase blood sugar levels
Blood sugar levels increase naturally in many people in the early morning hours because of the
normal release of hormones
Most people with diabetes keep a record of their blood sugar levels, and report it to their doctor so that their medication can be adjusted according to their levels.
So Prevention of complications is the key for those who already have diabetes.
And if you are prediabetic, you may be able to change your chances of becoming diabetic by losing a few pounds and beginning an exercise program.
Taken in part from: The Merck Manual: Home Health Handbook.  Whitehouse Station, NJ. Merck Research Laboratories