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Diabetes, Type 2

Nearly 17 million Americans are affected by Type II or adult-onset diabetes and this condition is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

The bad news is that this number is projected to continue increasing as obesity continues to increase; the good news is that significant improvement in blood sugar control can be made without medication if dietary and exercise recommendations are followed.

Type II diabetes has a different cause than Type I: patients with type 2 diabetes do not respond properly to insulin, the hormone that normally allows the body to convert blood sugar into energy or store it in cells to be used later. Over the long term, high blood sugar can lead to medical complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.

Family history is the number-one risk factor for type 2 diabetes and obesity is a strong second.  Even individuals at high risk can lower their chances of developing it by maintaining a healthy body weight

The American Diabetic Association (ADA) has issued nutrition recommendations which include strategies to prevent Type II diabetes and to how to deal with it once a diagnosis has been made. The ADA recommends that weight management through a low-fat diet and exercise can improves a person's response to insulin. They also recommend reducing calories, which can help people with diabetes maintain more stable blood glucose; restricting fat, which has been shown to lead to longer-term weight loss; consuming no more than 20% of calories from protein; and consuming less than 10 percent of total calories from saturated fat.

Created: 1/17/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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