"h QUESTION 1: WHAT IS THE DISEASE?
There are two types of diabetes:
"h Type 1 - insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)
"h Type 2 - non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM)
Diabetes mellitus results from the production of insufficient amounts of insulin by the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone. The role of insulin is to convert the food we eat into various useful substances, discarding everything that is wasteful. Without insulin the body cannot utilize glucose, thus creating a high level of glucose in the blood and a low level of glucose absorption by the tissues.
Diabetes mellitus is generally divided into two categories:
type I called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes and
type II in which the onset of the diabetes occurs over time, during adulthood.
"h QUESTION 2: WHAT CAUSES THE DISEASE?
The cause of diabetes type 1 is a mystery.
Type 2 diabetes or as it is commonly called, Maturity-onset diabetes, is a disease that develops over time.
People who have a family history of diabetes are more likely to develop it and it is more common in women than in men.
It is thought to be related to lifestyle
The three main reasons for the development of the disease are: *Obesity
*Low fibre diet
As it is considered a lifestyle disease people who develop diabetes are asked to limit alcohol intake, stop smoking and reduce weight in order to control it. Physical activity improves both circulation and oxygen supply.
"h QUESTION 3: WHAT FOODS NEED TO BE AVOIDED OR INCLUDED?
It is important for diabetics to avoid high sugar foods
e.g. Sweets, toffee, mints, chocolate.
The majority of high sugar foods have suitable replacements for diabetics such as artificial sweeteners.
Fruit needs to be eaten in only small amounts as it contains sugar.