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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some Issues To Be Aware Of In A Diabetic Diet

by Brooke Hayles

Diabetes can be controlled effectively by taking exercise regularly and eating a healthy diet. The two main issues that need to be considered by anyone on a diabetic diet are sugar and fat intake. Constant weight monitoring is essential to prevent excessive weight gain as this can contribute to a number of problems.

Medication, Exercise and a Diabetic Diet

There is medical evidence that regular exercise can actually help prevent a person contracting diabetes as well as controlling it. The muscles in the body use up glucose during exercise, which leads to a reduction in the overall levels of sugar in the blood. The minimum recommended amount of exercise for it to be effective is 20 minutes taken three times a week. It is important to consult your medical practitioner before you take up a new form of exercise, especially if you have existing health problems apart from diabetes.

Exercise, on its own, is not sufficient to help control diabetes, which means that a diabetic diet should also be followed. Much of the advice that a dietician will give regarding a healthy diet applies to both diabetics and non-diabetics alike. The key is moderation in all things. However, a diabetic diet does have an emphasis on reducing the amount of sugary foods, especially cakes and cookies, and increasing the complex carbohydrate intake by eating more brown rice and whole-grain foods.

Medication is often not necessary to control diabetes as regular exercise and a diabetic diet is sufficiently effective. There are some diabetics for whom this is not enough and medication is needed. The majority of diabetic medications are taken orally. A diabetic may be prescribed one medication or a combination of different medications to properly control their diabetes.

The five main classifications of diabetic medication that may be prescribed are:

* Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors * Biguanides * Meglitinides * Sulfonylureas * Thiazolidinediones

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

This group of diabetic medications slow down the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the digestive tract. However, it is rarely prescribed on its own as it has potentially serious side effects, including stomach and bowel problems.

Biguanides

Overweight diabetics are most likely to be prescribed this form of diabetic medication as it can help with controlling their weight as well as their diabetes. They cause the insulin to be used more effectively by the body than normal. Side effects are normally minor but can include nausea and diarrhoea. Biguanides can be prescribed on its own or combined with other medication.

Meglitinides

This types of diabetic medication is particularly effective for maintaining low blood sugar levels after eating, especially if a diabetic diet is being followed. The tablets are taken with food and have few, if any, side effects.

Sulfonylureas

By far the most frequently prescribed type of diabetes medication, this helps with insulin production in the body. Although there are few side effects for most people they cannot be taken by anyone with a sulpha medication allergy.

Thiazolidinediones

Perhaps the least used type of diabetic medication, this increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin. There are few or no known side effects with this form of medication.

The majority of diabetes can be controlled by taking one or more of the above oral medications. However, there may be cases where diabetics need to inject insulin. This is especially the case if the pancreas has ceased producing insulin completely as in Type 2 diabetes.

Effective diabetes management can usually be achieved by adhering to a sensible diabetic diet and exercise on a regular basis. In fact, this is often sufficient for most diabetics. It is important to consult with your medical practitioner on a regular basis and monitor your blood sugar levels. He can prescribe some of the many diabetic medications, if necessary. If you are in any doubt whatsoever regarding meal plans for a good diabetic diet or anything else related to your diabetes, you should always seek medical advice. However, the internet has a wealth of articles that you can read to keep yourself well informed about your condition.

Summary:

Exercise, on its own, is not sufficient to help control diabetes, which means that a diabetic diet should also be followed. Much of the advice that a dietician will give regarding a healthy diet applies to both diabetics and non-diabetics alike. The key is moderation in all things.

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