Diabetes – An Introduction
Do you know, there are around 415 million people globally suffering from diabetes, including both Type-1 and Type-2, while 46% are still undiagnosed with the same. And this is an alarming alert.
Yes, diabetes is finding its place among the common diseases. It is one of the chronic health issues which till date comes with no cure. All you can do is simply manage or control it through a proper diet, medication, insulin, and exercises. It is widely observed spreading among adults, especially the youths. What adds to it? There are only 24% of the total diabetic patients who actually manage or keep proper control over diabetes.
So, lets today take a look at every essential detail regarding Diabetes and the different ways of controlling it.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a health condition in which the body isn’t able to process blood glucose or say blood sugar. For the body, the blood sugar is the prime source of energy which is obtained from the food. The pancreas produces a hormone named insulin which helps in transferring the glucose obtained from the food to the cells of the body which is further used in the form of energy. When the body fails to make the required insulin or doesn’t make insulin at all, the glucose remains deposited in the blood and fails to reach the cells. When too much glucose gets deposited in the blood it leads to diabetes.
Often while talking about diabetes, people usually use terms like borderline or sugar touch, which means the patient doesn’t actually have diabetes or the case is not too serious. However, apart from this, every case of diabetes whether minor or major should be considered serious. There are people who ignore the issue and hence, are at high risk of facing various health complications like heart disease and stroke. No doubt, there is no proper cure for the health issue, the management or controlling of the same would depend on the diabetes type. Again, not everyone suffers from diabetes because of being overweight, underweight, or with an inactive lifestyle. Some might have the issue from childhood too.
Some Common Myths Regarding Diabetes
Myth 1 : People having diabetes shouldn’t take sugar.
Fact: This among the most prevailing myth regarding diabetes. People having diabetes should have a diet that is well-balanced and comes with moderate sugar. Hence, you can have sugar in diabetes but in moderate quantity.
Myth 2: Diabetes Type-2 is quite mild.
Fact: Be it Type-1 or Type-2, Diabetes in any form is never mild. However, if you are poor in managing diabetes Type-2, chances are you might face some serious complications which can be life-threatening. Having good control over Type-2 diabetes would reduce the chances of having any such complications but it still can not be neglected.
Myth 3: Only the people who are fat or overweight suffer from Diabetes Type-2.
Fact: No doubt, Type-2 diabetes is widely connected with obesity or overweight, the fact is that nearly 20% of the people suffering from it are either having normal weight or are underweight.
Myth 4: People suffering from Diabetes should have a diabetic diet.
Fact: The food with a label “Diabetic Food” is nothing but the food made from sugar-free sweeteners, sugar alcohols, etc. which can be dangerous to the blood glucose levels. Again, they have various other side effects and are expensive too. There are many doctors who recommend staying away from diabetic food.
Myth 5: Diabetic people should avoid playing sports.
Fact: There are many people suffering from diabetes and yet are happily enjoying sports. When people having diabetes exercise, it helps them in maintaining a proper and healthy lifestyle. However, there are certain factors that need to be considered before starting with any sports for precautionary steps.
What are the different types of Diabetes?
People are basically aware of two types of Diabetes, but the fact is there are three different types of diabetes. This includes Type-1 diabetes, Type-2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
1. Type-1 Diabetes
When the body completely fails to produce insulin, the individual suffers from Diabetes Type-1. The immune system of the body destroys the pancreas cells that are helpful in making insulin. This kind of diabetes is widely observed among young adults and children; however, it can be diagnosed at any age. The people suffering from Diabetes Type-1 need to go through the insulin therapy along with other essential treatments which help in the management of the condition and live a long life.
2. Type-2 Diabetes
When the body fails to make insulin or use it properly, the individual is said to be suffering from Diabetes Type-2. This type of diabetes can be diagnosed at any stage, even in childhood. But it is widely diagnosed at the middle age or even in older age people. This among the most common diabetes types. This kind of diabetes can be controlled through a healthy diet as well as regular exercise. There are patients who also take the help of insulin or medication for managing it.
3. Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes faced by women during pregnancy. In most cases, diabetes usually goes away once she delivers the baby. But there are some women who are at high risk of developing diabetes type-2 after delivery in their lifetime. Also, in some cases, diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type-2 diabetes.
Apart from all these, other diabetes type includes cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and monogenic diabetes. Monogenic diabetes is a type of inherited diabetes.
What are the causes of diabetes?
Out of the total people suffering from Diabetes, around 95% are suffering from Type-2 diabetes while those having Type-1 diabetes is 5%. Type-1 comes with a genetic component, still, there is a virus that might trigger the type of diabetes. Diabetes Type-2 is widely observed developing in the people after middle age or say 45. But as the number of people suffering from obesity is increasing, even the people who are at a young age are getting diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. Apart from this, even having a family history of diabetes type-2 can be one of the causes of getting diabetes other than obesity, overweight, improper lifestyle, high blood pressure, inactivity, etc.
One common cause of having diabetes both type-1 and type-2 is high blood sugar or blood glucose levels.
What are the other health problems associated with Diabetes?
Any type of diabetes comes with other health issues hand in hand. When the blood glucose levels are high in the body, it can lead to other health issues like stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, dental disease, eye problems, foot problems, nerve damages, and much more. The only way to avoid any of these serious issues is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage the blood sugar levels properly.
What are the symptoms of Diabetes?
The list of symptoms for Diabetes Type-1 include sores with long healing time, feeling thirsty and hungry very often, increase urinating, fatigue, sudden weight loss, blurred vision, etc. For type-2 diabetes, the symptoms take quite long to develop. Type-2 is diagnosed only when the individual faces any severe health condition like heart issues and blurred vision.
How to control or manage Diabetes?
Diabetes as said above cannot be completely cured, but can be managed and controlled properly. This can be carried out through a healthy diet, exercises, and a healthy routine. Let’s check on all these ways in depth.
1. A healthy Diet
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is much essential when it comes to controlling and managing diabetes, both type-1, and type-2. The diabetic patient should have a diet that is rich in fiber and quite low in the Glycemic index level. The diabetic people should look for ingredients like cream and fat-free milk, green tea, buttermilk, oats, whole grains, millets, atta, channa, legumes, pulses, veggies like broccoli, beans, peas, fish, flax seeds, nuts, canola oil, papaya, apple, pear, oranges, guava, Jamun, etc. Milk provides the body with proteins and carbohydrates that are essential in controlling the blood glucose levels. Sprouts are also another way to gain fiber and proteins. There are various ingredients that help with Omega-3 which helps in the management of diabetes. Some ingredients the diabetic should avoid or have in moderate quantity includes grapes, bananas, mangoes, etc. as they are high in sugar.
Exercises are much helpful in controlling sugar levels. It boosts the energy levels of emotional well-being as well as improves the condition of the heart. For patients suffering from diabetes, they need to exercise on a daily basis. The different types of exercises they can work on include brisk walking, aerobics, swimming, stretching, jobbing, and yoga. If not working on any other exercise, it is mandatory for diabetic patients to have a walk of nearly 45 minutes to 60 minutes every day. Again, they should also make sure they don’t avoid exercise for nearly more than two days continuously. For the older people suffering from diabetes, yoga comes as a moderate and flexible exercise which can be carried out easily at home. There are various asanas or postures the diabetics should carry out which are good for controlling and managing the blood pressure levels as it comes with an impact on the blood sugar levels too.
3. A healthy routine
Along with a healthy diet and proper exercise, the individual suffering from diabetes also needs to maintain a proper healthy routine. For this, focus on your sleeping pattern. Sleep early and wake up early. Avoid the intake of alcohol, especially on empty stomach. Along with alcohol, make sure you avoid smoking too. Take your medicines on time and don’t miss them. Visit your doctor for regular checkups on time. Make sure you take proper care of your feet. Clean them regularly, don’t let them dry, and moisturize them regularly. Check them daily for any kind of injury. If you have gone through any injury, see your doctor instantly to avoid any infections.
Yes, many people having diabetes, both type-1 and type-2 are prescribed with insulins for dealing with the blood sugar levels on a daily basis. Insulin can be regular, rapid, long-acting as well as intermediate according to the condition of the patient. The patients are also asked to go for self-monitoring of their sugar levels on their own at home with the help of a glucometer. This helps the patient in learning the dosage of insulin they would need to take for maintaining or controlling the blood sugar levels. So, if you are prescribed with insulins on a regular basis, make sure you take them without fail.
Hence, these are some of the essential ways of monitoring blood sugar levels and controlling them in an effective way.
Precautions to be Taken by Diabetic Patient
Are you also suffering from diabetes? Here are some precautions for you –
- Before taking the sample of your blood, make sure you clean the area properly using soap and warm water so that any food residue doesn’t enter the device and disturb the reading.
- Make sure you select a thin or small lancet for getting maximum comfort.
- The lancet should have deep settings which are capable of controlling the prick deeply.
- There are meters that need merely a teardrop of blood for a sample.
- Make a prick on the finger side for blood sample as this would reduce the pain of pricking. Go for the ring finger, little finger, and the middle finger as it would be comfortable.
- There are some meters that test the sites like upper arms, fingertips, thighs, outer palms, etc. for accurate results.
- Make sure you dispose of the lances properly with local regulations for avoiding sharp objects.
Diabetes is surely a condition that can change the life of the patient in a fraction of time. It requires proper management of blood sugar levels along with a healthy lifestyle. If proper care is not taken the patient might suffer from severe conditions like stroke, failure of kidney, heart disease, dental diseases, gum problems, foot problems, numbness, ulcers, eyesight problems, nerve damage, and much more which makes the management of diabetes mandatory. So, if you are suffering from diabetes, see your doctor and initiate a healthy lifestyle.
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