What is Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic condition that is associated with abnormally high levels of sugar(glucose) in the blood. The pancreas produces insulin to lowers blood glucose.
In General, Insulin controls the blood sugar level tightly, a hormone(insulin) produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers the blood sugar level in the body. When the blood glucose elevates(after having food), Pancreas released the insulin to normalize the glucose level by promoting the uptake of glucose into body cells.
In a diabetes patient, the body is unable to properly use insulin or due to the absence or insufficient production of insulin, it causes hyperglycemia.
Risk factor for getting diabetes include –
- being obese or overweight
- a family history of diabetes
- leading a sedentary lifestyle
- hypertension(high blood pressure)
- low levels of the “good” cholesterol (HDL) and elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood.
Contact a health care professional if you have prediabetes or diabetes contact in the past.
Symptoms of Diabetes
- Elevated Blood Sugar Levels
- Loss of Glucose in the urine
- Increased urine output(frequent urination) due to the high amount of glucose in the urine and it leads to dehydration
- Dehydration also causes water consumption due to increased thirst.
- Absolute insulin deficiency leads to weight loss and it occurs despite the increase in appetite.
- Diabetes Patients may also have fatigue.
- They can also have nausea and vomiting if left untreated.
- Poorly controlled diabetes may also have the chances of frequent infections such as infection of the bladder, skin, and vaginal areas.
- They can have blurred vision due to fluctuations in blood glucose.
- Extremely elevated glucose levels can cause coma and lethargy.
How do You know if You have diabetes?
In the early stage of diabetes, people are not aware of it because of the absence of symptoms.
You have to go for regular checkups and blood tests to determine blood glucose levels and that will let you know if you have diabetes.
Types of diabetes
Diabetes is of two types named, type 1 and type 2. These are also known as non-insulin-dependent and insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset and adult-onset diabetes.
Type I diabetes: It is also known as Juvenile Diabetes and occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. In type 1 diabetes, patients are insulin-dependent which means they need artificial insulin daily to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes: It is the most common type of diabetes and it affects the way insulin is used by the body. While the body still makes insulin, unlike in type 1, the body cells do not respond to it as effectively as they once did. It has strong links with obesity.
Other Types of Diabetes
This type occurs in women during pregnancy when the body can become less responsive to insulin. It doesn’t occur in all women and usually resolves after giving birth.
It occurs as a consequence of another endocrine disease, medication, or hereditary disease. Secondary diabetes is a very diverted and broad category among diabetes.
It happens when the pancreatic tissue who produces insulin is destroyed by disease, such as chronic pancreatitis(inflammation of pancreas toxins link excessive alcohol), trauma.
It can also result from other hormonal imbalance, such as excessive growth hormone production (acromegaly) and Cushing’s syndrome.
Diabetes Control maybe got worse due to certain medications, or “unmask” latent diabetes. This is seen most commonly in the treatment of HIV infection (AIDS) by the medications used in that, and when steroid medications (like prednisone) are taken.
How insulin problems occur
The exact cause of Type I diabetes is not well understood by the doctors. Type 2 diabetes(insulin resistance) has clearer causes.
Insulin allows glucose from a person’s food to access the cells in the body to supply energy. Insulin resistance results in the following cycle-
- Due to the environment or the family background, a person has genes that are not able to make enough insulin to cover how much glucose a person eats.
- To process extra blood glucose, the body tries to make extra insulin
- The pancreas unable to keep up with the increased demands, and because of this excess blood sugar starts to circulate in the blood.
- After some time, insulin is not able to introduce glucose to cells, and blood sugar levels continue to rise.
In type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance takes place gradually, and this is why doctors advised us to adapt to a healthy lifestyle and doing exercise and yoga to reduce weight and overall health on a daily note to slow or reverse this cycle.
Diet and Exercise Tips
A doctor recommends a healthy diet and lifestyle to all of us but it will become mandatory for type 2 diabetes person to support weight loss and overall health.
A doctor may refer to a person with diabetes to a nutritionist for a proper healthy diet plan that can lead an active, balanced lifestyle and manage the condition.
Important steps that a diabetic patient can take to change the lifestyles are-
- Have a meal full of nutritious foods, which includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fat sources, such as nuts, lean protein, low-fat dairy.
- Avoid foods that contain high sugar that provide empty calories, or calories that are not having nutritional benefits, such as fried foods, and high-sugar desserts, sweetened sodas.
- Don’t intake excess alcohol or keep it less than one drink in a day for women or two drinks in a day for men.
- Do Exercise for at least 30 minutes in a day like yoga, walking, swimming, riding a bike, aerobics.
- Do recognize the signs of low blood sugar like dizziness, weakness, confusion, profuse sweating while exercising.
- You can also take steps to reduce your body mass index(BMI), which can help you to manage your condition without medication.
Try to reduce your weight at a slow pace that will give you long-term benefits.
People with type I and type 2 diabetes may need to inject or inhale insulin to keep the blood sugar level low.
Various types of insulin are available and are grouped according to the timing of their action in the body. There are regular, immediate, long-acting, rapid insulin
Some Diabetic People use a long-acting insulin injection to maintain low blood sugar levels, and some use the combination of insulin types. A person may use fingerstick to check their blood glucose levels.
A special glucometer machine is used for this method of checking blood sugar levels. After this, the type I diabetic person uses the reading of blood sugar level to determine how much insulin they required.
How much Insulin?
People with type I and type 2 diabetes may need to inject or inhale insulin to keep the blood sugar level low.
Hypoglycemia can be caused by excessive insulin that leads to nausea, shaking, and sweating and therefore it is essential to measure insulin carefully and have a consistent diet that balances blood sugar level.
Other Medications are also available to help a person to manage the diabetic condition.
A doctor may prescribe metformin in pill or liquid form to a person having type 2 diabetes.
It contributes to:
- lowering blood sugar
- making insulin more effective
It can also help in reducing weight. To reduce the impact of the disease, have a healthy diet.
Other than diabetes, a person might have other diseases, and for that, a doctor may recommend medications to control these.
Self-monitoring is the only way to find out your blood sugar level. It is important for effective diabetes management and helps to regulate meal schedule, physical activity, and when to take insulin or medication.
The precautions that apply to many of the testing machines of blood sugar level on the market-
- Before touching the test meter, make sure your hands are clean and dry
- Use test strip for one time only and keep them in their original canister so that it can be prevented from external moisture that can change the result.
- Close the canister after testing
- Check Expiry date always
- Old meters might require code before using. Check to see if the current machine in use need this
- Store the test meter in a dry or cool place.
- Consult with your doctor so that he can check the efficiency of the meter.
A person who is self-monitoring diabetes should take the following precautions-
- Before taking the sample, clean the area with the warm water, soapy to avoid food residue entering the device, and distorting the reading.
- Choose a thin, small lancet for maximum comfort which should have depth setting that controls the depth of the prick. For your comfort adjust this.
- Most of the meters require only a teardrop-sized blood sample.
- Take blood from the side of the finger, as this will cause less pain. To take blood, use the middle, ring, and little finger to take blood.
- While some meters allow taking blood from other test sites, such as thighs, upper arms, fingertips, or outer palms to get more accurate results.
- Rather than placing pressure at the lancing site, tease blood to the surface in a “milking” motion.
- To get rid of sharp objects, dispose of lances in line with local regulations
Complications and What Diabetes Cause
There are various health problems that the diabetes people can have such as
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- eye problems
- dental disease
- nerve damage
- foot problems
Home Remedies to tackle high blood sugar level
To control your blood sugar level and to improve your condition, you can take these natural home remedies which will be very helpful for your health and will improve your condition.
1) Fenugreek Seeds
In the early morning before you start your day, drink lukewarm water with a one tbsp fenugreek powder. It is famous for the ability to keep low blood sugar levels. It also improvises the way body uses sugar and slows down the digestion process.
2) Home-Made Powders
Prepare a drink of fenugreek powder, Jamun seed powder, neem powder, and karela powder with water and consume about 1 tbsp of this drink, half an hour before lunch and dinner.
3) Delicious and Therapeutic
In the soak 8-10 paneer Doda flowers in a bowl of water and leave this overnight. In the early morning, filter it and have it. It helps in utilizing the blood glucose effectively.
4. Amla Juice
In the early morning, drink two teaspoons of amla juice with a pinch of turmeric powder. It contains a mineral named chromium which regulates carbohydrate metabolism and makes your body more responsive to insulin.
5) One Glass Karela Juice Daily
Bitter gourd or karela is one of the most trusted foods suggested by doctors to regulate blood sugar levels. Once in a day, drink a glass of juice made with 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 bitter gourd, 2 celery stalk, and 1/2 green apple.
6) Gurmar Leaves
The word Gurmar means sugar destroyer as it helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels in the body. After half an hour of lunch and dinner, drink water with one tbsp powdered gurmar leaves. It is an ayurvedic herb known to regulate the absorption of carbohydrates in the body.
If you find any symptoms within you of diabetes then you should consult your doctor and take all necessary steps and precautions to have a safe and healthy life.