It is estimated that 14 million Americans have diabetes, which is the third leading cause of death in the US. Diabetes can be a scary condition for many, because not only can it lead to other serious health conditions, it can also make existing health conditions more difficult to manage. Some of the effects of diabetes include vision problems that can lead to blindness, and it is one of the leading causes for amputation, especially in the feet and legs. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing such conditions as heart and kidney disease and experiencing strokes.
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Types of Diabetes
There are three types of diabetes:
Juvenile Diabetes (Type I) - This affects 10% of all diabetics, and although usually diagnosed during childhood, it is often found in teenagers and young adults.
Type II Diabetes - The majority of patients with Type II diabetes (as many as 90%) are obese. Once thought to be an adult condition, Type II diabetes is now being seen in many younger patients.
Gestational Pregnancy Diabetes - This often occurs during pregnancy, and usually disappears when the baby is born, although not always. This is more serious than other pregnancy symptoms and can be indicative of other health conditions.
Diabetes Warning Signs
There are many warning signs of diabetes, but there are nine in particular that you should watch for:
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Unusual tiredness
- Unexplained loss of weight
- Sores that won't heal
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Chronic yeast infections
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
Testing For Diabetes
For the majority of people, testing for diabetes should begin around age 45. Of course, if you have certain risk factors, such as a family history of diabetes, you should begin being tested much earlier in life. If you are overweight, you are at higher risk for developing diabetes and should be tested. You should also have tests for diabetes if you have hypertension, high cholesterol, belong to certain ethnic groups or are a woman who has given birth to a baby weighing over nine pounds.
There are a couple of blood tests that can be performed to see if a patient has diabetes, including the A1C test. This test is recommended by the American Diabetes Association, and it measures how well blood sugars have been controlled in the three months prior to testing. It can not only tell if a person is diabetic, but also if they are at a high risk for developing the disease.
Diabetes and Diet
Because being overweight can lead to diabetes and cause complications in patients who already have the disease, it is important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes all three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat. A diet that is recommended by the American Heart Association (as diabetes can lead to heart disease) is the DASH diet: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet plan is rich in vegetables, whole grains, fruits and low-fat dairy products. Sugars and red meats are limited on this diet, as well as sodium.
An important macronutrient, and one that the body needs for survival, is protein, which can come from a number of healthy dietary sources. Patients on calorie-reduced diets may want to incorporate protein supplements. There are a number of protein supplements available on the market today, including powders, liquids, capsules and Profect, by Protica, that diabetics can incorporate into their daily diets to make sure that they are getting the protein that they need, without the added fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol.
Along with providing 25 grams per 100-calorie serving, Profect also offers many other benefits for diabetics related to blood sugar regulation. Protein supplements help to maintain an even level, as well as promote healthy insulin secretion and help insulin to work better in the body. It is the ideal between-meal snack, and can also be used just before eating. This is beneficial for two reasons: less fat storage and stable blood glucose levels. Profect has 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C and 50% of B complex vitamins. It is also fat and carbohydrate-free and comes in a number of delicious flavors, including Blue Rasperry, Fresh Cirtus Berry, Cool Melon Splash and Grapefruit-Mango.
Kevin: A Diabetic Adds Profect to His Diet
Kevin, a single man, age 35, recently found out that he is diabetic and that he is going to have to make some significant changes to his lifestyle, including his diet. His physician recommended the DASH diet plan, as well as adding protein supplements, such as Profect, to his diet. Kevin's physician explained to him the need to have the three macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates and fat, and the amounts of each that he should have in his diet.
Kevin, a confessed junk food junkie, threw away all of the unhealthy, fatty, carbohydrate-loaded foods in his kitchen and went shopping for healthy new foods that he could make into delicious meals. He purchased some protein supplements, and began adding them to the meals he made. He also used protein supplements in the morning as a meal replacement, because he was known to often skip breakfast, which is not healthy for diabetics.
Soon after making the changes to his diet, Kevin found that his blood sugars were becoming more regulated and also that he was feeling more energetic and healthier than ever. He made note of everything that he ate and watched his calorie, carbohydrate and fat intake. After a while, Kevin hardly missed eating his much-loved junk food and was even delighted to learn that he could have the occasional treat, as long as it fell within the proper dietary guidelines.
Kevin continues to use liquid supplements and powdered protein supplements in his daily diet plan and finds that it is helping to control his weight, which in turn is helping to control his diabetes. He says that using protein supplements helped him to learn about healthy eating, and that eating healthy doesn't have to taste as bad as he thought it would.
About Protica Research
Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm specializing in the development of protein-rich, capsulized foods (dense nutrition in compact liquid and food forms). Protica manufactures Profect protein beverage, IsoMetric, Fruitasia and more than 100 other brands in its GMP-certified, 250,000 square foot facility.
You can learn more about Protica at http://www.protica.com.
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