What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic, not contagious disease where sugar accumulates in the blood. For our bodies to work properly, we need to convert sugar or glucose into energy for the body to perform the vital biological functions as movement work reproduction and digesting food ... Etc.
In one type of diabetes, the hormone called insulin, needed to convert glucose or sugar into energy, is not produced in sufficient quantities by a gland called the pancreas. In another type, the insulin does not work very well as a result of the inability of the body's cells to respond to the hormone. People with diabetes may suffer from problems in the heart, kidneys, eyes and other related complications. One of the most important secrets of successful treatment of diabetes is to educate the patients about many of the important aspects of this disease. The concept of self-treatment, being one of the most important concepts patients should care about, requires familiarity with some information related to diabetes, and therefore we suggest this page as a source of information to certain aspects of diabetes.

What is the difference between type I and II diabetes?

The first type affects children and adolescents usually and is characterized by that the body does not produce any insulin. The second type usually afflicts adults. In this case the body produces insulin, but not enough to meet the needs of the body.

How do you get diabetes?

You cannot prevent the first type from occurrence. As for the second type; it is caused by the poor eating habits, overweight and physical inactivity.

How do you treat diabetes?

The first type can be treated with insulin. The second type however, can be treated through the use of insulin and medicine, commitment to a healthy weight through sport and healthy nutrition. Other useful things include eating nutritious foods and low fat and sugar meals, and exercising constantly. If you think you are at risk of developing diabetes, you should talk to your doctor about the best ways to avoid the disease.

What is Insulin?

Insulin is a chemical made in the pancreas and helps to control the level of sugar in the blood.

What are some of the effects of diabetes on the long term?

Diabetes can lead to health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputation, nerve inflammation and kidney disease.

What are diabetes risk factors?

Still, the causes of type I diabetes is unknown. Of the most important risk factors of type II diabetes are overweight, aging, lack of exercise and family history of the disease.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Visiting your doctor is something important for people who believe they are suffering from diabetes, because there may be subtle and simple symptoms or there may be no symptoms entirely, if at all the main symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Urinate continuously.
  • Constantly feeling thirsty.
  • Loss of weight with no clear justification with the constant feeling of hunger.
  • Sudden disruption in sight and vision.
  • Sensation of tingling and numbness in hands and feet.
  • Feeling tired and fatigue most of the day.
  • Dry skin.
  • Slow wound healing.
  • Repeated infection.
  • Increased vaginal risk.
  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is similar to type II diabetes, but it appears during pregnancy and then disappears after birth, and if not handled it might cause several complications to the pregnant women, as well as to the fetus. Blood sugar shows elevated level at mid-pregnancy as a result of the hormonal changes of the mother. The proportion of mothers who suffer from gestational diabetes is estimated at about 2% to 5%, but most of these cases return back to their normal levels after giving birth. The most important factors that increase the risk of gestational diabetes are as follows:

  • Mothers above the age of 30.
  • Family history of type II diabetes.
  • Over weight.

To know if you are suffering from gestational diabetes, please consult your doctor.

What is healthy diet for women with gestational diabetes?

  • Eat different varieties of food.
  • Eat regular meals and snacks with moderate size evenly distributed throughout the day.
  • Make the food that contains carbohydrates in each of regular meals and snacks.

Examples of foods that contain carbohydrates:

  • Brown Bread
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Fruits

Avoid foods and beverages that contain high amounts of sugar, such as soft drinks and chocolate.
Use cooking methods that require low fat, choose low-fat products.
Drink plenty of water.

The healthy diet will help you and your child. You are advised to speak with a nutrition specialist. Ask your doctor to arrange this for you.

How gestational diabetes can affect the fetus?

If you are not controlling gestational diabetes during pregnancy, it is likely to cause an increase in the size of the fetus which may lead to difficulty in labor (birth). Also, the baby's blood sugar may drop suddenly after a short time of labor (birth), but in any case the medical staff can deal with these problems well if the labor is taking place in a hospital.

Does gestational diabetes lead to giving birth to a diabetic baby?

Of course not, the newly born will not be diabetic, but it is known that diabetes has a genetic origin that is not well understood, and therefore this child may develop diabetes after puberty.

What happens to sugar pregnancy after childbirth (birth)?

After the labor (birth) probably diabetes disappears, but it is better to conduct a blood sugar analysis after 6 weeks from labor (birth) to make sure that things are perfectly normal.

What are the procedures, the women who suffered gestational diabetes, has to undertake in order to avoid diabetes later?

Here she should adhere to the following:

  • Continue to follow a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Reduce and maintain an ideal weight.
  • Exercise appropriate sporting activities.
  • Measuring blood sugar levels once a year at least.
  • Consult your doctor.

What are the symptoms of diabetes in children?

Diabetes can appear at any time, even in the first year of the child's age. It is not easy for parents to immediately see some signs or symptoms of the disease on their infant child because they may not be very clear, until the symptoms become more serious, which calls for taking the child to the doctor or hospital.

If you suspect that your child may be suffering from diabetes better check with your doctor, especially if you notice any of the following warning signs or symptoms:

  • Extreme thirst child, more than usual, and drinking plenty of water or juice more frequently.
  • Urinating more than usual, including waking up several times during the night. (As an example, child, trained to use the toilet, begins wetting the bed at night or baby diapers requiring change more frequently than normal).
  • The child suffers from insomnia or show signs of weight loss despite increased appetite.
  • Always hungry or eating continuously, and sometimes younger children might lose their appetite.
  • Despite drinking plenty of fluids, your child might show symptoms of dehydration, such as dry skin, dry mouth, or fatigue and tiredness.
  • If your child is injured wound does not heal quickly.
  • In some cases, if the blood sugar level is too high, the child may suffer from continuous vomiting, especially if it is accompanied by weakness or drowsiness.
  • Some children develop pain in the stomach, headaches or bad mood.

How exercise can help diabetics?

  • Exercise helps make insulin work better and thus improves the level of sugar in the blood.
  • Can help in weight control.
  • Can help patients to alleviate high blood pressure.
  • Can reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Can reduce stress.

What kind of exercise can be performed by diabetic patients?

Walking, swimming, training on a home exercise bike or treadmill.
Increasing your physical activity in general will also help you e.g. using the stairs instead of the elevator, domestic work ... Etc.

How much exercise do I need to do?

Ideally 30 minutes a day. If it is not possible, you can divide it into 3 sessions for 10 minutes each.
Try to be moderate in your exercises. This means that you can still talk through the exercise without interruption yourself. Important Note: Before you begin any kind of exercise you are advised to visit a doctor for a full medical examination. This is especially important if you suffer from diabetes complications.

Start a workout gradually. Start with five to ten minutes a day then increase it till its 30 minutes or more a day if appropriate.

General tips for all diabetics who wish to exercise:

Drink more water, before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration. The amount of fluids you should drink should be around a quarter liter every quarter of an hour or one liter per hour.
Take care of your feet, wear comfortable shoes and examine them before and after exercise. Take into consideration that jogging increases the pressure on the feet which may be dangerous in people with diabetes especially those who have blisters in their feet. These patients should avoid jogging, and try walking exercise.
Eat more carbohydrates, before and after sports to avoid hypoglycemia. Also, it is preferred to measure the level of blood sugar before, during and after exercise to see if more feeding is required. It is better to discuss the quantity and quality of food during your sport with a dietitian.

There is no specific diet for diabetics, but there is a healthy diet:

Why is a healthy diet important?

The most important thing you can do for the diabetic patient is to maintain the safety of his health by controlling the blood sugar level and keeping it close to normal as possible. This can be achieved by following a healthy diet, regular exercise and taking the medication regularly.

Many of the people who are overweight, who developed diabetes at an intermediate stage of life can control their blood sugar level by decreasing their weight.

Eastern traditional diet is considered to be appropriate for people with diabetes because it depends on a lot of vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits, nuts and small amounts of meat and meat products. By eating eastern traditional meals, the intake of canned and junk food becomes limited. Therefore maintaining the eating habits of eastern traditional meals can help control diabetes.

As for western diet, it is characterized by frequently eating meat, meat products, canned food and snacks with high percentage of fat and sugar, instead of fruits, vegetables and grains. This type of diet might cause some health problems, and it is best for people with diabetes to eat eastern traditional food so that they can control diabetes.

What is a good diet for people with diabetes?

  • Food rich in carbohydrates and fiber, such as bread made from whole grains, brown bread and breakfast cereals made from whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
  • Foods low in fat.
  • Foods that provide the necessary amount of protein to ensure the safety of the body.


Bread, potatoes, pasta, cereal for breakfast, flour, rice, beans, lentils, fruits, milk and derivatives (such as yogurt / yogurt).
Upon eating any of this food, part of it is broken down into glucose (sugar), which is the best food for the body because it provides what your body needs of energy, in addition to vitamins and minerals regularly.
It is known that the body needs regular amounts of carbohydrate at equivalent intervals during the day in order to control the level of sugar in the blood.
Different types of sugar (carbohydrates) can be found in fruits, milk, table sugar (sucrose), jam, honey, cakes, biscuits, refreshments (or drinks) carbonated and concentrated juice, nuts and chocolate.
Diabetics can eat small amounts of sugar containing food, such as breakfast cereal and plain biscuits, small bits of honey or jam on bread. It is best to avoid food that contains a high percentage of sugar e.g. refreshments or soft drinks, concentrated juice, nuts or those containing fats, such as chocolate, pastries and cream cakes.


Fiber is another type of food that contains carbohydrates and is essential as it helps in preventing constipation, and reducing the feeling of hunger, and in some cases it can help in controlling the level of sugar in the blood and it slows the absorption of sugar.

Which type of food is rich in fiber?

Whole flour and bread made from whole flour (brown) or whole grains made for breakfast, brown rice, legumes (such as beans and lentils) and fruits (not juice) and vegetables.


Provide more energy than fat provided by any other foods, so it is necessary to use only small amounts of them. Examples of fatty food:

Fat can be found in oil (olive oil and vegetable oil), butter, margarine, cream, meat and meat products, dairy products, nuts, seeds, olives and avocados. Also, many of the snack food (Snacks) and fast food (Take Away) contain a high percentage of fat.

Despite the fact that all types of fat can cause weight gain if taken frequently, some of these fats are better for the heart than others.

What are the types of fats?

Saturated fat (also called animal fats) and unsaturated fats, both mono-and multi-(also called vegetable fat). Eating saturated fats such as butter, margarine, fatty meats may raise blood lipid levels (cholesterol), so you should try to limit the intake of these fats.

On the other hand, vegetable fats, such as olive oil and corn oil does not affect the level of fat in the blood (cholesterol), but you have to remember to use only small amounts of them, with a note that vegetable oils are not all multi-unsaturated. That is why you should make sure of the type of fat used and it is advised to follow a healthy low-fat diet to control weight and to reduce the risk of exposure to heart diseases.

There are many methods to reduce the proportion of fat in the meal, what is it? Use less amount of oil when preparing and cooking food: Instead of frying, try to follow the cooking methods that do not need oil grilling or on the barbecue and the use of non-stick frying pan.

Use a smaller amount of oil or fat to cook foods cooked by slow boiling (such as casserole), in preparing salads, appetizers and side dishes such as tabbouleh, thyme, tahini, hummus and Pope ghanoush and vegetable dishes with sauce.

Before cooking, you must remove apparent fats from the meat, things like lamb, peel off the skin from chicken. Reduce the amount of meat and chicken and eat fish more frequently (but not fried fist). Use minced fat-free meat to prepare kippah and meatballs and try to use the least amount of oil when frying food like falafel and vegetables.


Protein intake on a daily basis is essential for the body, but in small quantities because eating excess quantities will be changed in the body into fats. Fat-free meat, fish, chicken (after peeling off its skin), eggs, milk, low-fat cheese, beans, lentils and soybeans are all good source of proteins.