To prevent and control diabetes, you first need to understand what actually diabetes is, what it means, what causes it, and what are its complications. So, this article shall hopefully help you in controlling or preventing diabetes altogether.
The Condition which impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose/blood sugars is known as diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces very little or no insulin, or when the body does not respond appropriately to insulin. Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes. However, it can still be controlled and prevented.
According to the World Health Organization, “About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, the majority living in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year.”
Types & Causes
Type 1 diabetes : In this condition the immune cells destroy the beta cells of pancreas that produce insulin.
Cause: We don’t know exactly what causes type 1 diabetes. For some reason, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Type 2 diabetes: In this state, there are sufficient levels of glucose in the body but the cells are unable to utilize them due to insulin resistance.
Cause: Genes, family history, and lifestyle factors are considered to be the main reasons for type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or carrying extra weight (especially in your belly) also contributes heavily towards becoming diabetic.
Prediabetes: It is a condition blood sugar levels are high, but not that high to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. It’s more like a warning signal that you could be having diabetes.
Gestational diabetes: It is more like a temporary diabetes condition that develops during pregnancy. Only a small percentage of pregnant women may develop this gestational diabetes. However, the blood sugar level comes down to normal after the delivery.
“Both genes and environmental factors play a role in triggering diabetes.”
Symptoms vary based on the types of diabetes you have. However, these are the common symptoms.
- Increased hunger
- Increased thirst
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Extreme fatigue
- Sores that are slow to heal or don’t heal
- Additional symptoms in men may include decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and poor muscle strength.
- Additional symptoms in women may include urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and dry, itchy skin.
Complications in Type 1 & 2 Diabetes
- Heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
- Hearing loss.
- Loss of eye sight / other eye problems.
- Skin conditions such as bacterial and fungal infections.
- Kidney failure – High blood blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys.
- Neuropathy – This is a serious and common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It’s a type of nerve damage caused by long-term high blood sugar levels.
- Healing inability – In serious cases, poor wound healing or infection can lead to amputation.
- Dementia – This is a general term for a decline in mental ability that affects your everyday functioning eg: memory loss, difficulty in thinking, difficulty in communicating, difficulty in coordination, and motor functions.
Complications in Gestational diabetes
- Gestational diabetes can steer to problems that affect both the mother and baby. Complications affecting the baby may include:
- Premature birth
- Higher-than-normal weight at birth
- Increased risk for type 2 diabetes later in life
- Low blood sugar
Diabetes can lead to serious medical complications, but you can manage the condition with medications and lifestyle changes.
Prevention & Control
Type 1 diabetes is not preventable because it is caused by a problem with the immune system.
Some causes of type 2 diabetes, such as your genes or age, aren’t under your control either.
However, In order to lead an active, balanced life, we should Make lifestyle changes to support our overall health. This is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes and also to control it.
- Exercise helps your body overall by preventing numerous diseases like heart failure and obesity. Exercise immensely helps in controlling diabetes by regulating sugar levels.
- Make sure that you exercise at least 5 days a week to prevent any ailments and also to control your diabetes.
- Eating a balanced diet also contributes to a healthy life. Cut down on saturated and trans fat ( baked items, fried foods, and dairy products), also cut down on fast food items, and prefer homemade food.
- Drinking lots of fluids will flush out all the impurities from your body, keeping you healthy and your skin glowing. make water your primary beverage, as water intake keeps your diabetes in check.
- Try and lose 7 percent of your body weight if you are fat or obese.
- Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
- Eating a high-fiber diet is beneficial for health and weight management. It helps keep blood sugar and insulin levels low.
- Vitamin D intake also helps in lowering sugar levels.
- Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and cod liver oil. In addition, sun exposure can increase vitamin D levels in the blood.
– Managing or reducing stress.
– Eating small portions more frequently.
– Not skipping meals.
-To keep in check on your sugar levels regularly and consult a physician for a routine health check up.
- Say NO to Sugar–sweetened beverages like sodas and sweet drinks are high in carbs, which increases blood sugar. Drink lots of water instead.
- Avoid Trans fats as they are extremely unhealthy. Trans fats are found in peanut butter, creamers and frozen foods, and baked goods.
- Stop the intake of White bread, rice, and pasta, as these increase blood sugar levels significantly. A study found that high carb foods not only raised blood sugar but also decreased brain function in people with diabetes.
- These processed foods contain little fiber. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
- People with diabetes often think that replacing white sugar with brown sugar or honey or maple syrup may help them, but these sweeteners contain as many carbs as white sugar. In fact, most of them contain even more.
- Also, Dried fruits as raisins become more concentrated in sugar and may contain more than 4 times as many carbs as fresh fruits do.
A few natural remedies to control diabetes
Fenugreek is known to keep diabetes in check while improving glucose tolerance and lowering blood sugar levels.
How to use: Soak 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water overnight and drink it with the seed the next morning on an empty stomach.
Bitter gourd is filled with insulin-polypeptide-P and can help reduce increased sugar levels.
How to use: You can make a curry out of it or make juice and consume.
The bioactive compound in cinnamon can help prevent and fight diabetes.
How to use: Mix half a teaspoon of grounded cinnamon with warm water and consume once every day.
Moringa offers essential medical benefits that can help control blood sugar levels.
How to use: Cut and add few pieces and put it into a jug of water and keep sipping on it .
Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
It’s one of the richest sources of vitamin C, amla can help manage pancreatitis and eventually controls blood sugar levels.
How to use:
Consume it raw or in the form of powder, daily.
Can you live a full life with a diabetic condition?
The diagnosis of diabetes is NOT the end. Worst outcomes, like blindness, amputations, and kidney problems, are preventable. Thanks to modern medicine, people with diabetes today have an excellent chance of living long and healthy lives.
Rice is rich in carbohydrates and can have a high (GI score – is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels). You can still eat rice if you have diabetes, but you should avoid eating it in large portions or too frequently.
Type 2 diabetes is often forbearing than type 1. But it can still cause major health complications.
high blood sugar can cause sudden or unexplained weight loss, and can also cause numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands, legs, and feet.
Eggs are a versatile food and a great source of protein. The American Diabetes Association considers eggs an excellent choice for people with diabetes.
Tingling, pain, or numbness in your hands or feet. Stomach problems like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. A lot of bladder infections or trouble emptying your bladder. Erectile dysfunction.
Exercise has allowed numerous people to successfully reverse their type 2 diabetes. Exercise helps the body to become more sensitive to its insulin. In combination with a healthy diet, exercise can help in reversing diabetes.
Yes. For people who manage their diabetes & diet plan, eating whole wheat chapati is a better alternative for rice.
The Conclusion: We have control over many of the aspects that influence diabetes. Eating Right and adapting to a healthy lifestyle will give you the best chance to avoid and control diabetes.