What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic condition that impairs processing of blood sugar, leading to a highly blood sugar level. There are different types of diabetes including type 1 and type 2, and the reversible types, gestational diabetes which develops during pregnancy and prediabetes, which is simply a high blood sugar level but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

Normally the body is able to break down sugar and carbohydrates in our food, into glucose. The hormone called insulin made by our pancreas, then allows this glucose in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies.

With diabetes, too little insulin is produced (type 1) or the insulin produced doesn’t work as it should (type 2) and therefore, too much sugar is left in the bloodstream. Too much sugar in your blood can lead to serious health problems.

What are the symptoms?

  • Tiredness & fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Itching
  • Sudden unintended weight loss
  • Numbness in the hands and feet
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores

Anyone, anywhere, at any age, can get diabetes however those who are overweight, exposed to viral illnesses and have a family history of diabetes, have an increased risk of developing it.

How can diabetes be treated and managed?

Sadly, diabetes is a chronic condition. This means that while diabetes can be managed, it cannot be treated. Managing diabetes is vital to avoid complications. If left unmanaged, diabetes can lead to serious health problems including heart disease, foot and eye damage, hearing problems, depression, kidney failure and stroke.

Management of diabetes, especially for prediabetics and those with type 2 diabetes, usually involves lifestyle changes. This may involve eating a diet high in fresh, nutritious foods, avoiding high-sugar foods, not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and engaging in at least 30 minutes exercise a day. Your physician may also advise medications and insulin therapy (daily insulin injections) to help control blood sugar levels and prevent complications.


1If I have a history of diabetes in my family, will my child get it as well?
Even if you have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, it does not necessarily mean your child will get the condition. Juvenile diabetes is different from the type of diabetes people are likely to develop due to obesity. Usually, type I juvenile diabetes occurs due to a lack of insulin. It is important to watch for the following signs of diabetes:
  • Frequent urination
  • Lethargy
2Would you recommend the Atkins diet for patients with diabetes?
While there is much controversy surrounding this topic, most medical practitioners tout the Atkins diet as the best diet for diabetes patients. For those unaware, the Atkins diet consists of a high protein and low carbohydrate intake. However, high protein diets contain excessive amounts of fat, which is considered the enemy for people living with diabetes. High amounts of fat increase the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and vascular problems.
3What should I eat if I have been diagnosed with diabetes?
Dietitians recommend avoiding anything out of a packet. Instead, focus on incorporating plenty of vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean cuts of meat and fruit.