Diabetes is a medical condition in which the blood sugar level rises higher than normal. Under ordinary circumstances, the hormone called insulin produced by the pancreas helps cells convert glucose into energy. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the cells do not use it effectively to break down sugar that builds up in the blood instead (Mayo Clinic 4). Over time, the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas will reduce, leaving the body unable to break the sugar contents. It is the most common form of diabetes given the increasing number of obesity accompanied with less physical exercise, both contributing to insulin resistance.
There are a number of symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes including frequent urination and thirst (Mayo Clinic 15). When there is excess sugar in the blood, it sucks bodily fluids from the tissues leaving one thirsty than usual that prompts continuous drinking of water and urinating. Another symptom of diabetes is increased hunger that is caused by depleted energy in the body given that there is not enough insulin to convert blood sugar into energy. Additionally, with an imbalance of blood sugar and insulin, the body uses up alternative energy stored in the body fat and muscles. The direct effect is weight loss to compensate the inability to metabolize glucose. Other symptoms are blurry vision related to pulled fluid from the eyes due to excess blood sugar that may alter the ability to focus.
Researchers have determined that type 2 diabetes is most common in adults; however, recent analysis has seen even children being diabetic. Some of the risk factors include being overweight or obese. Being overweight translates into having more fatty tissues that are primarily insulin resistant (Mayo Clinic 18). Another risk factor is being physically inactive, that makes it impossible to control body weight. Physical activity helps the body burn up excess fats and makes the body cells more susceptible to insulin. In most cases, a family history of a parent or sibling having diabetes increases the chances of it reoccurring along the family line. The elderly above 45 years are also at risk of having type 2 diabetes due to reduced physical exercises. Research has also deduced that certain races such as Hispanic, Blacks, and Asian Americans are more prone to type 2 diabetes.
In managing diabetes, there are supplementary ways used commonly referred to as nutrition therapy. The goal of balancing food for individuals who have diabetes is to maximize intake of nutritious substances and minimize intake of less healthy ones. Macronutrients are nutrients derived from food substances that provide the body with energy. They are divided into three categories, which are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Each of the three provides varying amounts of calories; fats provide nine calories per gram while proteins and carbohydrates provide four calories per gram. Research shows that consuming 250 grams of carbohydrates a day requires 2000 calories per day. Snacks are an essential component for people using insulin; it helps increase insulin production (Mayo Clinic 20). On the other hand, micronutrients refer to minerals and vitamins such as zinc, sodium, iodine, fluoride, vitamin A, C, D, and E that are vital for the functionality of body systems.
Glycemic Index (GI) is a way of ranking foods rich in carbohydrates according to their effects on blood sugar levels. Some carbohydrates are per the insulin levels, that is, slowly metabolized and cause a slower rise in blood sugar level. Such carbohydrates are ranked at 55 or below in the glycemic index. It is essential for patients with diabetes because it helps choose food with a low GI that lowers blood sugar levels after meals. Carbohydrate counting is a method of tracking the amount of carbohydrates consumed in the food we eat (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 2). It is an important tool for people suffering from diabetes both 1 and 2 in that it helps to keep track of few carbohydrates consumption to reduce the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. The effects of alcohol on people with diabetes vary; for people with level 1 diabetes, it may lead to an excessive drop in blood sugar to levels that are dangerous for the body. In most cases, it increases blood sugar levels especially after consuming beer that has high carbohydrate content. For the case of Sara, the amount of calories recommended per day is dependent on her basal metabolic rate.
BMR= (10 x 84.15 kg) + (6.25 x 5’4’’) – (5 x 50) – 161 which equals 786.25 calories per day. Meal plans act as a guide to assist in balancing meals that add nutrients to the body (My Food Advisor 12). The secret to meal planning is to moderate the amount of macronutrients and micronutrients in food. In summary, it is recommended that people suffering from diabetes 2 keep a healthy balanced meal with constant physical exercises.
Advisor My Food. Recipes for Healthy Living. 2018. 10 05 2018 http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/about-our-meal-plans.html
Clinic Mayo. Type 2 diabetes. 2018. 10 05 2018 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193
Diseases National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney. Carbohydrate Counting & Diabetes. 2018. 10 05 2018 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/diet-eating-physical-activity/carbohydrate-counting