Do you get tired easily, are you losing weight without trying to, do you often feel thirsty, have blurred vision, frequent urine or leakages, or your wounds and sores take a lot of time to heal? You may be suffering from diabetes.
Worried? Don’t be. Because It can be cured with a change in lifestyle and food habits. Let’s get cracking now and take care of our diabetes before it is too late.
What is Diabetes actually, and how does one develop it?
Diabetes also called Diabetes Mellitus is a host of diseases caused when the sugar level increases in the body. The food we eat gets converted into sugar or glucose and which later converts into energy. Our pancreas releases the hormone called insulin, which converts the sugar into energy. When pancreas stop producing enough insulin, or our body cannot use insulin properly, we get diabetes.
Diabetes can destroy kidneys, eyes, nerves and other organs as well.
Depending on the cause and the severity of it, we can categorize diabetes as type 1, type 2, gestational or pre-diabetes. Diabetes may also be inherited.
Diabetes cannot be cured but it can go into remission with treatment and lifestyle changes. Type 1 diabetes takes place when our immune system destroys the pancreas’ insulin-making capability.
The autoimmune system attacks the pancreas and destroys beta-cells that produce insulin. The exact cause is not known but it could be inherited genetically or a virus could be responsible for the destruction of the pancreas’ ability to make insulin.
Type 2 is the condition when the pancreas stops producing insulin altogether. Genetics and a combination of poor lifestyle trigger type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight and have a fat concentration on their bellies may prevent the pancreas from producing enough insulin.
Gestational diabetes is common in pregnant women as placenta produces insulin blocking hormones during this time.
Pre-diabetes is a condition when the blood sugar is high but cannot be categorised as type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes may make a man impotent and weaken his muscle strength while women may get UTI, yeast infection and dry, itchy skin. People may also experience mood changes.
If type 1 and 2 are not treated in time, they can grow into a condition called Diabetes Nephropathy which infects the kidneys and destroys their ability to clean fluids and ultimately leads to kidney failure.
The Risk Factor:
Type 1 is common in children and teenagers and it may pass down even genetically.
Type 2 is common in:
Men and women over 45 years.
Lazy and overweight.
Certain mix races instituting the African, American, Hispanic, Asian, Latino, Alaska and Pacific natives, and they are more prone to get it genetically.
Those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides can easily get it.
Gestational Diabetes is common during pregnancy in older mothers (25 years and above), if they had diabetes during last pregnancy, family history of type 2 diabetes, PCOS, having given birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or above or having pre-diabetes.
If you experience any of the above symptoms of it, take periodical check-ups, either by visiting a doctor or through a glucometer machine at home.
There are many brands of glucose monitor machine available in the market. Choose a good machine and check-up strips. Insert one strip each time into the machine and prick your finger with the machine and wait for the result. The machine will give a reading of your sugar level.
2-hour Plasma Glucose Result (mg/dl) and Diagnosis:
So, you checked your sugar level, now find out how severe is your diabetes:
If your reading is 139 and below, you are normal
And if it is 140-199, you have pre-diabetes.
Lastly, 200 and above, diabetes and this is when you have to worry about.
Diabetes can be Controlled:
It can be controlled with changes in lifestyle, medication and food habits. Physical exercise can help counteract the ill-effects of it in a big way. It is advised to indulge in about 140 minutes of workouts in a week.
Choose from an array of options like swimming, walking, jogging, hiking, aerobics, yoga, Zumba, Bollywood, classical dancing, pilates, hip-hop and other popular forms and control diabetes in a holistic way.
In fact, there is nothing more effective than work-outs to treat it naturally. My friend Rehana had high blood sugar level. Since she started to practise regularly for marathons, running 10 km every day, her sugar level has come down to 78 from 135.
She is more energetic and active and has also gotten rid of other complications like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And she intends to continue the regimen all throughout her life to manage it.
Food can help you maintain your blood sugar level. Some foods, great in treating diabetes are Fatty fish, green leafy vegetables, yoghurt, nuts, turmeric, cinnamon, chia seed, olive oil, broccoli, flax-seed, strawberry, apple cider vinegar and garlic besides many more.
Sugar and fat aggravate the condition by upping the sugar level. Some foodstuff that should be avoided are Sugar, sweets, potatoes, white rice, colas, sherbets, wine, soda, white flour, sauce, mango, grape, papaya, bacon, fried food, apricot, watermelon, banana, pineapple, Chinese food, pastry, pancake, energy bars, soft or redefined cereals food, french fry, milk, dry fruits.
Scientists are testing various different supplements to define if they help lower blood sugar. Such supplements could help people with prediabetes or diabetes — particularly type 2.
Over time, taking a supplement together with diabetes medication may enable your doctor to decrease your medication dose — though supplements likely can’t replace medication entirely.
Probiotics can help improve your body control of carbohydrates. Probiotic supplements — specifically those containing more than one species of beneficial bacteria — may help lower fasting blood sugar and A1C.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with type 2 diabetes. Augmenting with vitamin D may improve overall blood sugar control, as reflected by A1C. Be aware that vitamin D may interact with certain medications.
Many supplements — including cinnamon, ginseng, other herbs, vitamin D, magnesium, probiotics and plant compounds like berberine — may help lower blood sugar.
Injections for Type 2 Diabetes:
Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists treat type 2 diabetes and similar to insulin, they are injected under the skin.
Lifestyle changes and food habits can help us maintain it early, so let’s begin by swapping our old habits with some new ones:
Prefer fruits over fruit juices
Steamed food over fried stuff
Go for sugar-free food
Skimmed milk over cream milk
Sugar-free snack bars
Diet colas and sodas over regular offers
Set up your kitchen and fridge with nutritional food/oil and cut down on fatty products
Remember, early detection can save you from serious troubles in the future. Let us take the first step now.
Keep in mind that you may experience different results than what studies have found, based on factors such as duration, supplement quality and your individual diabetes status.
Discuss supplements with your doctor, especially if you’re taking medicine or insulin for your sugar, as some of the above supplements may interact with medications and raise the risk of blood sugar dropping too low.
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