Preventing and Managing Diabetes

Posted Tuesday June 26, 2018 by colornine



What is Diabetes?

When diagnosed with diabetes, there is a lot of new information to process. You can’t dive into treating your diabetes without having a real understanding of what it is. So, to put it as simply as possible, diabetes means that your body is not properly turning the food you eat into energy. When you consume food, most of it gets turned into sugar, or glucose, for our bodies to use as energy. To turn these sugars into energy your body makes a hormone called insulin to help the sugar get into the cells of our body. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or it can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. 1

Black Prevalence of Diabetes

Diabetes is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and blacks are 1.7 times more likely to develop diabetes as whites, making the death rate for blacks from diabetes 27% higher than for whites. The prevalence of diabetes among blacks has skyrocketed over the past 30 years, about 2.3 million blacks over the age of 20 have diabetes. 1

How do I treat my diabetes?

There is no magic pill or single solution to treating your diabetes. It varies depending on the type of diabetes you have, lifestyle choices, personal obstacles, and personal motivation. It also takes a team of people and support to make the necessary changes. Taking to your doctor, a Registered Dietitian, or Certified Diabetes Educator would be great places to get the support and information you are looking for.

Although there is no ‘simple fix’ to curing your diabetes, and treatment varies depending on the type of diabetes, there are still a few tips to start considering.

  • Glucose Control: watching your glucose levels by testing them before and after meals and throughout the day can be a good tracking tool. 2
  • Regulating Mealtimes: consuming your food at the same time each day will help regulate blood sugar over time. 2
  • Exercise: frequent exercise will improve overall health. 2
  • Medications: talk to your doctor about what medications are right for you. 2
  • Food Choices: space meals and spread carbohydrate intake throughout the day, avoid skipping meals, remain consistent carbohydrate intake.2
  • Support System: instead of turning to food during times of stress or when you’re feeling down, surround yourself with people who will keep you on track to meeting your goals. 2

What is Carbohydrate Counting?

Carbohydrate counting can be a great tool in managing your diabetes, it is also referred to as “Carb Counting” and is a tool used to help plan your meals throughout the say. By counting the grams, or servings, of carbohydrates you consume throughout the day you can better understand what makes your blood sugars rise and fall. Paying attention to the nutrition label is important as well as the serving size, servings per container, and amount of carbohydrate per serving on the package. One serving of carbohydrate is equivalent to 15 g of carbohydrate, however determining how many carbohydrates you have at each meal varies based on your weight, height, blood glucose control, daily schedule, and physical activity. Talking to a registered dietitian will be helpful for determining your carbohydrate intake and learning how to properly carb count. 3

More Information?

If you would like to learn more about Diabetes and what you can do to better manage your blood sugar, please go to:

  1. https://www.diabeteseducator.org/living-with-diabetes
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/ndep/index.html

Reference Links

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/media/presskits/aahd/diabetes.pdf
  2. College of Allied Health Science Nutrition Department Diabetes Powerpoint: John Pantel, RD
  3. College of Allied Health Science, Nutrition Department Carbohydrate Powerpoint: Lindsey Mayes, RD

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