LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – November is American Diabetes Month so registered dietician, Sarah Smith, from Sparrow Hospital joined 6 news anchors Jorma Duran and Kierra Lake to talk about some healthy habits we can get into, to avoid this condition.

Diabetes is a life-long condition that affects how your body turns the food you eat into energy. When your body does not make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should, diabetes forms. Here’s a breakdown:

  • The body breaks down the food (carbohydrates) we eat into sugar, then releases it into the bloodstream
  • When blood sugar levels go up, the pancreas releases insulin
  • Insulin is the cells’ key for entry to use this sugar for energy
  • Not enough insulin = too much sugar stays in your bloodstream

There are different types of diabetes:

  • Type 1: Auto-immune reaction that stops your body from making insulin
  • Type 2: The body doesn’t use insulin well and cannot keep blood sugar levels normal
  • Gestational Diabetes: Developed during pregnancy
  • Pre-diabetes: 1 in 3 Americans have blood sugars that are higher than normal (leads to Type 2 Diabetes)

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Excessive urination
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased fatigue/tiredness
  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet

There are ways to prevent diabetes from forming, and they include:

  • Know your risk factors
  • Annual physical every year with a physician
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Physical activity
  • Well-balanced diet
  • Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator
  • Oral medication/insulin

Eating balanced meals helps. Examples include:

  • Whole grains = fiber = blood sugar stabilization
  • Consistency!
  • Half of your plate = non-starchy vegetables
  • Lean proteins at each meal and snack
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Fruits