Health Beat: What every student with diabetes needs to know

Yuli Diaz, Reporter

Diabetes, a metabolic chronic disease, is when the body is unable to produce any or enough insulin which causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. There are three main types of diabetes, type 1, 2 and gestational diabetes. It doesn’t matter which type you have, if not taken care of properly all end with the same consequences.
Diabetes is a type of disease that can affect almost every organ system in the body, including the brain, heart, kidneys, eyes, nervous system, skin and soft tissues. If not monitored properly, diabetes can lead to a stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, blindness, chronic pain and amputations. In order to avoid these major consequences (that may lead to death), students with diabetes need to be properly informed about the choices they choose in order to be healthy in and out of school.
Students who have diabetes and attend school should know about the 504 plan. By law students are given 504 Plan. This plan lists a wide range of accommodations that might be needed by a child with diabetes in school. However, each plan is modified to the specific needs, abilities, and medical condition of each student. For example, able to use the bathroom WHENEVER needed, because when a diabetic’s blood sugar level is elevated the body gets rid of the extra amount of glucose by urine. As well as being able to use the bathroom as needed, students are allowed to carry snacks such as water, juice, fruit etc. to treat a low blood sugar.
Diabetes requires daily maintenance that includes monitoring your blood sugar, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and of course staying on top of any complications with your heart, eyes, and other organs. Due to the change in school lunches nationwide, thanks to first lady Michelle Obama, all food considered “junk food” has been banned. Alternatives such as baked chips off less fat but still consider the same amount of carbohydrates.  This change is very beneficial for a diabetic student.

Diabetic students should obviously stay away from sugary foods like soda, sweets, desserts, and other foods that are made primarily of sugar. These foods lack in nutritional value, and will cause a spike in blood sugar levels, they also mainly lead to weight problems. Other alternatives to satisfy the sweet tooth, diabetic students should eat fruits, such as apples, berries, pears, or oranges. These foods contain a lot of fiber that helps slow down the absorption of glucose, so they’re a great way to manage sugar levels. Although eating fruits such as oranges are higher in fiber, it’s not recommended to actually drink fruit juice. Diabetics should avoid all juices, even 100% fruit juice, the problem with juice is they have concentrated amounts of fruit sugar and therefore cause you blood sugar to shoot up like crazy. Juice should only be used in case of a low blood sugar to quickly raise the gluocos3 level. It’s recommended to eat fruits; however “dried fruits” are the worse. Due to the dehydration process of the fruits, over time the dried fruits sugar becomes too concentrated and it gets your blood sugars soaring,

It’s also advised to stay away from starchy foods like white prices, white bread and pasta. These are known as “whites” carbs and are basically act like sugar once your body begins to digest them. They only bring negative effects, such as interfering with your glucose levels. Luckily, there are alternatives to thee foods like brown or wild rice, barley, oatmeal, high-fiber cereals, and whole-grain breads.

You’ll also want to avoid high fat cuts of meat, and whole-milk dairy, because they’re high in saturated fats. Saturated fats will raise cholesterol and promote inflammation throughout the body, and it can put people with diabetes at an even greater risk of heart disease than the average person. Therefore, students should pick lean proteins, such as skinless chicken and turkey, fish and shellfish, pork tenderloin, and lean beef. As a student, mostly tens, they’re natural weakness is French fries, fried chicken, potato chips, which are fried goods that like soak up tons of oil, which equals a lot of calories which is basically setting you up for major weight gain and uncontrolled glucose readings. They also have trans-fat that lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol), which lead to major increase in heart disease. There’s no such thing as a safe intake of trans-fat in one’s diet.

Along with a healthy diet, exercise is also a very important essential. For students with diabetes its highly recommended to become involved in physical activity. Like school sports such as track, soccer, football etc., or simply just walking. Everyone should at least have one hour of cardio exercise. Many diabetics are overweight, therefore losing weight, even though its just 10 to 15 pounds can help improve insulin sensitivity and glycemic control. It will decrease triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and help lower your blood pressure. Therefore, exercise is a key essential to live a longer healthier life with fewer risks down the future. It’s also a good idea to drink lots of water, and get you vitamins and minerals they don’t contain calories and don’t affect blood glucose levels.