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Diabetes, Type 2:

Nearly 15 million Americans are affected by Type II or adult-onset diabetes.  This number is expected to increase as obesity continues to increase.  For many type 2 diabetics, however, the good news is that blood sugar control can be improved 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 change blood sugar into energy or store it for later use.  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 how to deal with it if you have it.  The ADA recommends weight management through a low-fat diet and exercise to improve your response to insulin. They also recommend reducing calories, which can help people with diabetes maintain more stable blood glucose; eating 20% of calories from protein; and eating less than 10% of total calories from saturated fat.

Created: 3/19/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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