December 4, 2013 by Dr. Sana Keller
A Jeopardy question for you from the category “Health in the US”: Over Eight Million adults in the US are walking around with this disease and aren’t even aware that they have it… BUZZ! What is diabetes?…You, sir/ma’am are correct.
Next Question: Are YOU one of those in the over 8,000,000 group? Possibly…especially if you have some of the classic symptoms: Feeling tired or sluggish after eating, craving certain ‘carbs’ (chocolate, chips, French fries…), having difficulty losing weight, rising blood pressure, or body shape resembling an apple shape with weight gain in the belly area (as opposed to a pear shape). Yet, not everyone experiences these symptoms. Other signs of diabetes include being tired all the time, extreme thirst and/or hunger, numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, frequent urination, and blurry vision.
A simple blood test to measure your blood glucose level provides your health care provider with information about whether you have diabetes, or are in the pre-diabetic stage. Considering the major long-term effects that untreated diabetes can lead to (including increased risk of heart disease, kidney damage, damage to the eye’s retina, blindness, and poor circulation leading to need for amputation of a limb), we can’t afford NOT TO have our blood glucose levels checked regularly, especially if symptoms are present.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recently released new guidelines (long overdue in my opinion!) for diabetics, which changes their long-held teaching that all diabetics need to follow basically the same ‘Diabetic Diet.’ They now point to the fact that we are all unique individuals and that when it comes to nutrition, there is no “One Size Fits All.” It’s refreshing to see larger organizations realizing that we don’t all fit into the same mold…that we all have individual needs…It’s About Time!!
It’s also time to DITCH THE WORD ‘DIET’ since we are all on some type of diet (what we eat) and ‘diet’ tends to carry a negative meaning for many as well as inferring a short-term plan for a long-term situation. How about replacing ‘diet’ with HEALTHY EATING LIFESTYLE? Some of the best healthy eating lifestyles include the Mediterranean, the Low Carbohydrate, the Flexitarian, and the DASH Healthy Eating Lifestyles.
As a Certified Nutritional Consultant, I find the new ADA guidelines vague in several areas and unfounded in others. Vague: ‘Eat lots of vegetables and fruits’ when we know that many types of fruit can increase blood glucose levels more than desired. Vague: ‘Have moderate carbohydrate intake’ when we know that all carbohydrates are NOT the same (1 small piece of cake does not equal 1 small apple). Unfounded: ‘There is no clear evidence of benefit from vitamin or mineral supplements for people with diabetes who do not have underlying vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Nor is there evidence to support the use of cinnamon or other herbs or supplements for the treatment of diabetes’ when there are stacks of clinical studies showing major benefits of such products when used appropriately.
The American Recall Center (http://www.recallcenter.com/), used National Diabetes Month (November) as a platform to help educate everyone about life with diabetes and what they can do to help. With that idea in mind, they reached out to bloggers from all different walks of diabetic-life and asked them for one thing they would like the world to know about this condition. This infographic, “Life With Diabetes” describes what they want the world to know:
The American Recall Center is a great resource for health-related questions you may have. Check out and bookmark their website listed above.
Please contact me with questions and comments–that’s what I’m here for 🙂 Sana Keller, MS, RN, CNC, MH, HHP www.healthunlimited.biz
Photo credits: cenblog.org, healycap.com,