It’s national diabetes week!

national diabetes week National Diabetes week runs 9-15 July this year.

It’s estimated 300 Aussies develop Diabetes every day so it’s a great campaign to be aware of.

Fast Facts about Diabetes

  1. Diabetes is a health condition where the body doesn’t process glucose (sugar) properly.
  2. There are two main types of Diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2.
  3. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system destroys the cells in our pancreas that make the hormone, insulin. (we need insulin to process glucose).
  4. Type 2 is where we make insulin but it’s not working as well as it should.

Click here for more detailed info on Diabetes (including video)


How can we prevent Diabetes?

We still don’t know how to prevent Type 1 Diabetes.

However, for Type 2, the prevention and treatment of Diabetes are pretty similar. It’s the old chestnut of having a healthful diet and staying physically active.

On the nutrition side of things, the quantity and type of carbohydrate foods is important as it does affect our blood sugar levels. (carbs are broken down into sugars in our blood). So dietary advice for folks with Diabetes often involves discussion on carbohydrates.

Our risk of developing the complications of Diabetes (like kidney disease, blindness and nerve damage) is lower if we look for the signs and catch it early.

For type 1 Diabetes, the signs are:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Frequent urination

For type 2, the signs are similar to type 1 but also:

  • Constant hunger
  • Skin sores and skin infections that don’t heal
  • Blurry vision


3 simple mindful eating tips for managing Diabetes

So we know traditional management of Diabetes has been to eat healthily and stay active. Whilst this is true, it’s also difficult and sometimes stressful to continually focus on what and how much to eat. To many folks, it feels like a restrictive diet. Can you relate?

Here are 3 innovative mindful eating techniques to help manage Diabetes and there’s not a calorie or carb count in sight! 

So if you have Diabetes or know someone who does, check these out:

  1. Check in with your hunger - Before each meal or snackrate your hunger on a scale of 1-10 (1=super hungry and 10=super full). Now try and notice how you feel at that particular number. You might have pangs in the tummy, feel sick or have a growling tummy. It could be anything really.
  2. Rate your feelings - Many people with Diabetes measure their blood sugar levels regularly and write it in a little book for their medical team. Whilst this is great for everyone involved with your care, to really manage diabetes we need to do something with the numbers. Next time you measure and record your blood sugars, also jot down how you feel at that particular number. It might be tired, thirsty, hungry, headachy, sick, energised, stressed, dizzy, happy, content and more!
  3. Sit back and notice - By checking in with hunger and checking in with how we feel, we naturally become more inquisitive about what’s going on inside of us. Many people find they then naturally adjust their eating because of this. For example, they might eat an amount that is closer to what their body needs simply because they’ve checked in on hunger. They also might notice the little signs their body is giving them when blood sugars are rising or dropping. They can then adjust eating and exercise accordingly.

The great thing about mindful eating is it comes from you (and not from a meal plan from your Dietitian! ha ha)

For more information about diabetes

Diabetes Australia has lot’s more info. You can also chat to your local GP or Dietitian for nutrition tips and strategies. Search for a Dietitian here or contact us and we can help you find someone in your local area.

 

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