Type 1 diabetes; Insulin-dependent diabetes; Juvenile diabetes
The treatment goals for a diabetes diet are:
Overall Guidelines. There is no single diabetes diet. Patients should meet with a professional dietitian to plan an individualized diet within the general guidelines that takes into consideration their own health needs.
Healthy eating habits, along with good control of blood glucose, are the basic goals, and several good dietary methods are available to meet them. General dietary guidelines for diabetes recommend:
[For more information, see In-Depth Report #42: Diabetes diet.]
Weight gain is a potential side effect of intense diabetic control with insulin. Being overweight can increase the risk for health problems. On the other hand, studies suggest that more than one-third of women with diabetes omit or underuse insulin in order to lose weight. Eating disorders have become a serious problem within the general population and are especially dangerous in patients with diabetes. Some evidence suggests that they contribute to about 20% of cases of recurrent ketoacidosis in young women. Ketoacidosis is a significant complication of insulin depletion and can be life threatening.
Aerobic exercise has significant and particular benefits for people with type 1 diabetes. It increases sensitivity to insulin, lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, and decreases body fat. Because glucose levels swing dramatically during workouts, people with type 1 diabetes need to take certain precautions:
Avoid resistance or high impact exercises. They can strain weakened blood vessels in the eyes of patients with retinopathy. High-impact exercise may also injure blood vessels in the feet. Because patients with diabetes may have silent heart disease, they should always check with their doctors before undertaking vigorous exercise.
Various fraudulent products are often sold on the Internet as â€ścuresâ€ť or treatments for diabetes. These dietary supplements have not been studied or approved. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warn patients with diabetes not to be duped by bogus and unproven remedies.
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