Kau Kau Kitchen
by Leilehua Yuen

Health - Diabetes

Table of Contents
Recipe Index
Hawaiian Foods
Local Foods
Special Occasions

In This Section

60 x 60 A Health Journey
  Traditional  Lifestyle
  Heart Disease
  Gout and Arthritis






















What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is what it is called when you have too much glucose (a kind of sugar) in your blood. This happens when insulin is not properly regulated. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. It helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy.

You have to have some glucose in your blood. It is what every cell in your body consumes to survive and function. Without glucose in your blood, you will die. But too much is just as bad as not enough. If your pancreas is not making the right amount of insulin, it's a big problem!

Too much glucose in the blood causes the blood to thicken and get sticky. Then it cannot move into the small capillaries. If your blood sugar is high frequently, or for a long time, your nerves, blood vessels, and organs can become damaged. extremities and organs can literally start to die because they are not getting enough glucose and oxygen.

The pain caused by this process is called diabetic neuropathy. Symptoms can range from numbness to excrucitaing pain.

Many health care professionals say diabetes has no cure, but it can be managed. And, YOU can take steps to manage your diabetes and live a full, active life.

We have the ability to manage our health by making healthy choices. For too often, at funerals we hear, "Be sure to eat plenty of the cakes and cookies! You know, when you get older, you going get the diabetes and won't be able to eat them any more, so eat plenty now!" 

We are NOT doomed to develop these diseases as we age. By taking crontrol of our own lives, we can reduce, and sometimes even heal the damage our modern lifestyle has done to our bodies.

The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.

Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes.

Monogenic diabetes
Monogenic diabetes includes rare forms of diabetes which result from mutations in a single gene. "Mono" means "one." Monogenic forms of diabetes account for about 1 to 5 percent of all cases of diabetes in young people. In most cases of monogenic diabetes, the gene mutation is inherited; in the remaining cases the gene mutation develops spontaneously. 

Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes
Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes is a common complication people with cystic fibrosis (CF) may experience is diabetes — also known as cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD), a unique type of diabetes. Around 40%–50% of adults with CF develop diabetes. CFRD has shares characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Little Things that Add Up

Drink water - Water helps to keep the blood thin, and lubricates body tissues such as muscles and joints. This makes it easier to move and reduces pain.

Walk - Walking massages the insides of your legs, expanding and contracting the muscles, compressing and relaxing the blood vessels, pumping blood around, oxygenating it, and help it to reach all the little capiallaries that diabetes can starve.

Stretch - Just like walking, stretching helps your body pump the blood around. It also improves your range of motion - your ability to move comfortably and smoothly as far as your joints are designed to allow.

Using Apps

I use the Pacer app to keep track and motivate me. It's really quite accurate, and has a number of different exercise routines and challenges to spice things up and keep you motivated.

I also use the iHealth app, which is pretty complicated for me, but fortunately there are some good resources for learning to maximize its usefulness.

AND, I use the NPR 1 app a lot! While I walk, I can listen to local, national, and global news, and my favorite podcasts.

I even use my phone for a phone, and call my Mama and other people I want to stay in touch with!

Resource Links

Diabetes screening test - Check it out!

iHealth app gives you multifunction health tracking

Pacer pedometer app tracks your steps, blood pressure, etc.