Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book

March 27, 2015 at 11:24 am

Diabetes book coverDiabetes rates continue to rise, particularly diagnoses of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Our genes haven’t changed dramatically, but we eat on the run, choosing foods high in fat and calories and low in vegetables and fruits. We’ve become less physically active, resulting in many of us becoming overweight or obese. In response to this national epidemic, Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book offers cutting-edge information for all types of diabetes.

About 79 million Americans – almost 1 in 3 U.S. adults – have prediabetes which increases their risk for developing this group of diseases. As your age and weight increase, so does your risk for type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form. Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States each year, contributing to more than 230,000 deaths annually. In response to this major medical problem, we need to protect our health more than ever.

Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book explains the different types of diabetes, signs and symptoms, understanding risks, tests to detect the disease, how to monitor your blood sugar, dangers of the disease, medical emergencies, treatments, and long-term complications.

For prevention, the book proactively teaches you how to develop a healthy-eating plan, how to achieve a healthy weight, become more active, and stay healthy. The experts also provide information regarding pregnancy and diabetes, as well as how to care for your child with diabetes.

Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood glucose, commonly known as blood sugar. Glucose is the main source of fuel for your body. If you have any type of diabetes, you have too much glucose in your blood which can lead to serious problems. The reasons for this condition may differ.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the most common forms. Type 1 diabetes develops when your pancreas produces little if any insulin. Without insulin, glucose can’t get into your cells and it remains in your blood. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease which means your own immune system creates the problem. Type 2 diabetes is when the pancreas makes insulin, but the cells become resistant to it. Then the insulin can no longer help move glucose into the cells. It stays in the bloodstream and accumulates. Excess weight and fatty tissue seem to be important factors as to why the cells become resistant to insulin.

The warning signs and symptoms are excessive thirst and increased urination. Other indicators are constant hunger, unexplained weight loss, flu-like symptoms, including weakness and fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing cuts and bruises, tingling or loss of feeling in hands and feet, recurring infections of gums or skin, and recurring bladder and vaginal infections.

To better meet this health challenge, the experts in Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book offer practical, sustainable advice. Develop a healthy-eating plan which encourages filling half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and a quarter with whole grains, starches, or beans and legumes. Add a serving of milk or yogurt. Include small portions of added fats, and flavor with spices and seasonings instead of salt.

Recipes for good health are included such as baked chicken with pears, teriyaki glazed asparagus, beef stew, soft tacos with southwestern vegetables, and strawberry shortcake. Don’t be surprised if your tastes change as you develop healthier eating habits. You may find some food seems too sweet and healthy substitutes become more delicious.

Physical exercise remains an important factor in the management of diabetes. It helps lower blood sugar and improves your body’s ability to use insulin. Being healthy and fit doesn’t mean hours of exercise. Find simple way to move more each day, building in more activity. Walk 30 minutes a day at least five days a week, but this doesn’t have to be 30 consecutive minutes. Your exercise plan could include several 10-minute bouts of activity throughout your day.

Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book experts remind us to focus on the importance of how our small, daily decisions can help us control this disease and protect our health.

Debbie L. Fuehrer, L.P.C.C.

Complementary & Integrative Medicine Program

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