100 questions & answers about diabetes by Michael Bryer-Ash

By Michael Bryer-Ash

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Cheese, ice cream, fried foods, and processed meats) are common components of diets that lead to weight gain, obesity, and ultimately diabetes. Although sugar itself does not cause diabetes, foods with a high content of refined sugar, such as sodas and candies, are also more likely to be associated with weight gain and diabetes than those with natural sugars. Natural sugars tend to be associated with fiber, which delays and limits their absorption. Thus, portion for portion, more sugar is consumed in foods high in refined sugar.

Nevertheless, attention to diet and exercise can provide benefits in diabetes control and general health in patients with type 1 diabetes and should be included in the comprehensive treatment plan. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the reason that diet and exercise are so effective is because lack of exercise and weight gain are the most significant causes of the disease and reversal of these issues can essentially reverse the problem of development of diabetes. Figure 3 (Question 11) shows the increasing likelihood of developing diabetes with increasing weight and this is discussed in Question 11.

In its more advanced form, it can result in severe visual loss or blindness if untreated, and this can occur suddenly without warning. It is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults in the United States and more than 20,000 people become blind as a result of diabetes each year. QXP 1 0 0 10/1/09 Q U E S T I O N S 9:09 AM & Page 41 A N S W E R S A B O U T D I A B E T E S Although it has clearly been shown that the rate of progression of diabetic retinopathy is related to the control of the blood sugar, there are several other factors involved.

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