Diabetes is a serious disease and without proper control excess blood sugar can cause nerve and organ damage to your body. One of the biggest problems is that the nerve damage is a slow and degenerative process. Many times you don't know damage is occurring until the damage is permanent and painful.
Examples of the damage that can happen when your glucose is out of control are pain, burning, tingling, or loss of feeling in the feet and hands. This is peripheral neuropathy. Abnormal sweating is another example of nerve damage as is light-headedness upon standing. Some people suffer problems swallowing and keeping food down. Other symptoms are bowel problems, problems urinating, and bladder and kidney infections. Many women suffer repeating yeast infections. Diabetes causes erectile dysfunction for some men. Infections in the limbs that cannot be healed and could lead to amputation occur for some diabetics. Damage to the nerves of the eyes is one of the biggest causes of blindness in the United States.
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How can you stop and reverse nerve damage? The best way is to gain tight control of your diabetes. Along with diet and exercise, it is most important to check how the food you eat affects your blood glucose. If you disregard this critical step, you won't have a clue that the lasagna you had for lunch is causing a big spike in your meter reading. The thing about pasta is that some diabetics say it doesn't cause their sugar to rise. That's because they tested 2 hours after their meal. But pasta is usually slow to digest and it might take as long as 5 hours to register on your blood glucose meter. You might not have an increase after dinner, but what about that weird spike at bedtime? It's the pasta checking in...Letting you know it still is there.
Here are the steps to take to gain that tight control; Measure your blood sugar at least 4 - 5 times each day.
- Measure the first thing in the morning, as soon as you get up.
- Measure 2 hours after each meal.
- Measure before turning in for the night.
Keep a log of the rise and fall of your meter readings. You will probably see that grains and sugars are the worst offenders for high glucose numbers. Grains include breads, pastas, rice, oats, barley, rye, and quinoa: you get the idea. Because bread is "Whole Wheat" doesn't actually mean that it is a healthy choice for a diabetic. Let your metering device be your guide. Fruits will also cause your sugar to spike. The best fruits for diabetics to eat are berries. This includes blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but for diabetics, it might also cause a rapid glucose rise, so keep fruits to a minimum.
Many physicians will tell you to check your sugar upon arising and before going to bed. If you choose only these times to test, you will not know which foods actually raise your blood glucose, and which foods do not.
Do some experiments. Test your blood sugar and then eat your favorite food. Test your blood after one hour. Record the reading. Test again after 2 hours. Record the reading. What is your meter telling you? At one hour your sugar number may read close to normal but if it spikes to very high numbers after 2 hours, you know this is a food item to avoid. If your blood count is in the normal range this is a food you can actually eat and enjoy. You may learn that some of your favorite foods cause the highest sugar numbers. If your 2 hour reading is over 140, it's time to reconsider what you are eating. You will have to find a replacement that keeps your blood meter in the safe zone.
Many studies show that post-meal blood numbers of 140 and higher and fasting-blood numbers over 100 cause permanent nerve and organ damage and cause your diabetes to progress.
Nerve damage is frightening, painful and could be life threatening. It's very important to keep your blood counts in check and under control. You have the power to learn how to regulate your blood sugar. It is an achievable goal. The decision to eat the right food, exercise on a regular basis along with constant blood monitoring will allow you to master your diabetes and prevent, stop and reverse nerve damage.
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Vicki Kron, the Diabetic Diva is a Type ll Diabetes specialist. Follow her blog at [http://www.diabeticweightlosssuccess.com]. To get a copy of her free report "Secrets of Managing Type ll Diabetes" go to [http://www.diabeticweightlosssuccess.com].
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