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Iron Levels Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

Study Shows Threefold Increase in Risk in Women With Highest Levels of Iron in Blood

Other Dietary Influences? continued...

Hu tells WebMD that the strongest associations identified so far involve fiber, fats, and carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates and trans fats have been implicated in increasing diabetes risk, and dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fats, like those found in nuts and canola oil, appear protective.

But American Diabetes Association spokesman Nathaniel Clark, MD, says he is concerned that proven interventions for lowering type 2 diabetes risk -- namely losing weight and exercising -- may be obscured if people get the message that it is all about what they eat.

"I would hate to have the public distracted from focusing on these things," he tells WebMD.

He points to findings from a major intervention study, which showed a dramatic reduction in diabetes incidence among high-risk obese people who lost moderate amounts of weight and began an exercise program.

"Encouraging people to eat more complex carbohydrates and watch their intake of saturated fats and trans fats is a good message overall," he says. "But we know that weight loss and exercise play a big part in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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