The human body mechanism is very interesting to study. It contains a lot of organs that work to keep the body in good health. Pancreas is one such organ, located near the stomach, which produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps in getting glucose or sugar that are produced out of the food that the body consumes, into the cells of the body.
The mingling of glucose in to the cells is very important because of the production of energy out of the process. The energy requirement of the body is met thus. Diabetes is an ailment in which the secretion of insulin is not enough. In other words the body is not able to use enough insulin to ‘burn’ the sugar. The result is building up of sugar level in the blood.
Types of Diabetes
There are two types of diabetes. One is called type I or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes. This type occurs because of the failure of beta cells in the pancreas to produce any insulin. It happens very rarely in a small percentage of people in childhood and in young age, and can be treated by replacing the insulin with injections or pumps.
The type II diabetes, also called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult onset diabetes is very common in occurrence. About 90% of the diabetic cases account for this type. When the body can not use the insulin it produces or when enough insulin is not produced in the body, this type occurs. Apart from these two types, one more case is the gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women.
The two types of diabetes, viz., type I and type II can be cured by healthy eating and physical exercises. In the case of type I, insulin has to be injected and in the case of type II blood sugar level should be tested periodically. As of now, there is no medicine available for complete cure of this medical condition. The treatment lies in the control of sugar level in the body, or in the blood to be more precise.
In this context, healthy eating acquires more significance because this diabetic diet is very important for controlling the sugar level in the blood. Generally, the diet is misconstrued as a sugar-free diet. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as the diet because a diabetic person requires the same amount of nutrition as any non-diabetic person. But the diabetes diet would require to be managed with certain things like managing the blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of heart disease, maintaining proper weight, and above all, meeting one’s cultural food habits.
The food, which we normally consume is of three types viz., fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. All produce sugar when they are ‘burnt’ by the insulin produced in the body. Nevertheless, the mingling of sugar with the blood takes time depending upon the food. For example, fat-rich items take a longer time (6 to 8 hours) while the protein-rich varieties take lesser time (3 to 4 hours) for releasing the sugar into the blood.
Carbohydrates are very fast (only half an hour to an hour) in releasing the sugar to the blood. So the diet should be planned in such a way that it contains the mixture of all the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in an appropriate measure to give the required calories to the affected person. A dietician first verifies the sugar level of the affected person and then assesses the diet. Accordingly, the affected person’s diet is suggested. It is not necessary that each affected person’s diet should be same or similar.
Overall, the diet should have 10 to 20 percent calories from protein, 30 percent (not more than that) from fats, and the remaining from the carbohydrates. Thus, this diet is more important in order to control the sugar level and thereby it would thereby keep the affected person fit.
American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is a non-profitable organization, founded in the year 1940 in the United States of America. The aim of the organization is to help prevent diabetes, cure it, and improve the standard of living of the people affected by the medical condition. Towards this end, this organization helps conduct research on this medical condition and share the same with other members by providing advice.