the historic news a little over a year ago … FDA’s
approval of an artificial pancreas for people with type 1
diabetes. These folks must needle-poke their fingers several
times a day to determine if their blood sugar is too high or
too low and then give themselves multiple daily shots of
insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels.
technology combines an easier way to check bloods sugars
throughout the day (continuous glucose monitor) with software
that automatically delivers the right amount of insulin at the
right time through an insulin pump. Very cool.
of our progress, however, we still have a lot to do … and
learn. Here are some things to know:
miss the warning signs. An estimated 7 million people have
diabetes and don’t know it…yet. Symptoms include frequent
urination and thirst, extreme fatigue and hunger, blurry
vision and cuts that are slow to heal. When detected early,
the better chance we have to avoid the scary complications of
this disease, says the American Diabetes Association.
diabetes can often be prevented…if it’s caught before it
becomes full-blown diabetes. That’s what the National
Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is all about. Check out the
Preventing Diabetes class offered through Montage Health at
from Britain recently studied the diets of more than 1500
adults and performed blood tests that measure the body’s
risk for inflammation. (Type 2 diabetes is an inflammatory
condition.) They found a particular pattern of eating — a
high intake of vegetables and fruit with limited sugar, white
bread and French fries — was associated with a lower
prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Are we surprised?
your carbs. Two words describe carbs in our food — sugar and
starch. Natural sugars in fruit and milk are carbs. So are
sugar-sweetened goodies and beverages. And while carbohydrates
provide clean and efficient fuel to our brains and muscles,
too many carbs at one time can put pressure on our insulin
producing cells. For example, one cup of cooked rice can
affect blood sugars as much as 3 slices of bread. Watch those
to non-starchy vegetables. From artichokes to zucchini, most
vegetables are high in dietary fiber — carbohydrates that
don’t spike blood sugars. And here’s a surprise: beets and
carrots are considered non-starchy vegetables, too.
that are good for the heart are good for diabetes. That’s
because sugary-sweet blood is toxic to arteries and can damage
the heart. Besides keeping carbs in check, a diet low in
saturated fat helps avoid inflammation associated with
diabetes as well as heart disease.
are good for diabetes control. Although considered starchy
vegetables, half the carbs in beans are in the form of dietary
fiber which does not convert to blood sugar.
right information. Not everything you hear about diabetes is
true. Find evidence-based resources at these sites: National
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases (niddk.nih.gov),
American Diabetes Association (diabetes.org), Juvenile
Diabetes Research Foundation (jdrf.org).