What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder of the metabolism causing excessive thirst and the production of large amounts of urine. It is a condition where your body cannot produce insulin, does not produce enough insulin, or where the insulin does not work properly. It can also mean that you do not have the right amount of insulin and as a result you could become very ill.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use the glucose in your blood to give you energy. The insulin is made by your pancreas which lies just behind the stomach. It acts as the ‘key’ that ‘unlocks’ the body cells to let glucose in which is then converted to energy.
Glucose enters the bloodstream when we digest carbohydrates from various kinds of food and drinks that we eat. Top on the list are starchy foods like rice, eba, bread, fruits, some dairy products, sugar and other sweet foods. Your liver also produces glucose. In people without Diabetes, insulin carefully controls the amount of glucose in the blood.
Myths About Diabetes.
Eating lots of sugar causes Diabetes.
Eating lots of sugar has no direct effect on your risk of diabetes. Sugary foods however are high in calories which can mean taking in more calories (energy) than your body needs, this will lead to weight gain and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes
It is not safe to drive if you have diabetes
If people with diabetes are responsible and have good control of their blood glucose levels, they are safe on the road as everyone else
People with diabetes cannot have sugar
Having diabetes doesn’t mean having to have a sugar free diet. People with diabetes should follow a healthy balanced diet, low in fat, salt and sugar but they should still be able to enjoy a wide variety of foods including some with sugar.
People with diabetes can’t play sport.
People with diabetes are encouraged to exercise as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Keeping active can help reduce the risk of complications such as a heart disease. There are a lot of sportsmen with great achievements who have lived with the condition including Olympic medalists like Steve Redgrave.
People with diabetes should eat ‘diabetic’ foods.
Diabetic labeling tend to be used on sweets, chocolates, biscuits, and similar foods that are generally high-calorie and often have lots of fat. These foods still affect blood glucose levels and as a result are not recommended by health bodies around the world, as they are expensive, and can cause diarrhoea.
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