Diabetes — a disease related to metabolism that generates a hike in blood sugar level — is viewed as a chronic illness by the WHO (World Health Organization). This physiological disease is not only a threat to the heart but can also affect blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nervous system.
In 2019, India had approximately 72.96 million diabetic patients, putting it in the top 10 countries to have massive diabetic rates worldwide. Out of which, 10.9% — 14.2% of people were from urban areas. About 3.0-7.8% of patients aged 20 years and above and a much higher percentage of people were diabetic aged over 50 years. (Source INDIAB Study).
According to WHO, 422 million people worldwide suffer from the disease, out of which a higher percentage of the population lives in low-and middle-income nations. Also, around 1.6 million annual deaths are caused by diabetes.
The reason for this life-threatening disease is still unknown in many cases, but it affects each individual differently. Just like the different causes and symptoms, there are different types of diabetes too.
Types of diabetes:
The most common types of diabetes are — type 1 and 2 diabetes. But in this article, we will also know about the other equally significant types of this illness.
- Type-1 diabetes is a situation in which the human body’s immune system attacks and damages the pancreas. Medical practitioners can still not understand the cause of this attack. But as we know, the pancreas produces insulin; this attack affects the body—almost 10% of the cases suffering from diabetes fall in this category.
- Unlike the former one, Type-2 diabetes happens when the body grows immune to insulin. It results in the building up of sugar in the body. In the past 30 years, the cases of type-2 diabetes have increased immensely around the world.
- There is one more condition that is slightly less chronic than Type 2 diabetes — Prediabetes. Even in this scenario, the blood sugar level escalates but not to like type 2 diabetic people’s bodies.
- The increase in the blood sugar level in a pregnant woman’s body is known as Gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, if the placenta generates the insulin-blocking hormones, then Gestational diabetes is caused. There can be severe outcomes if diabetes in a pregnant woman is not treated correctly. It might result in high blood sugar levels in the baby since birth; the baby might grow extra-large. In this situation, it becomes very uncomfortable for the mother and leads to some severe complications during delivery. One more issue that might arise is C-Section (Cesarean Section). As simple as it sounds, it is not an ideal way of delivery. The after-effects of the C-sec create problems for the mother as she takes longer to recover from childbirth.
But the good news is, Gestational diabetes usually disappears after giving birth.
Every problem in our body comes with a set of symptoms by which we can know there is something wrong inside. However, there will be a long list of symptoms mentioned by different people. But we have prepared a list of the most common symptoms attached to this chronic disease.
– Feeling thirsty constantly and needing to urinate frequently.
– Feeling hungry constantly
– Issues in eyesight
– Sensations or numbness in hands or feet
– Sudden weight loss
Some people notice these symptoms and start with their treatment at a very initial stage. It is usually in type-1 diabetic patients. Unfortunately, people suffering from type 2 diseases do not feel symptoms quickly or do not observe any changes until the problem becomes adverse.
Having different bodily functions, men and women observe distinct symptoms too.
Apart from the general symptoms of diabetes, the sex drive in men is also affected. Some men also face Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and weak muscles.
There is a threat in women to catch different infections such as urinary or yeast infections.
Diabetes is known to be a genetic problem too. The disease is likely to be caused if you are from the following racial/ethnic sections:
- African Americans
- Alaska Natives
- American Indians
- Asian Americans
- Native Hawaiians
- Pacific Islanders
There is a high risk of developing type-2 diabetes if a person gains weight and becomes obese.
Since type-1 diabetes can be easily and quickly identified, type-2 diabetes is a big concern. Let us understand how type-2 diabetes develops in the human body and how we can prevent it.
Type-2 diabetes comes with a combination of both genes and a person’s lifestyle. You cannot do anything about the genes, but what you can control is your lifestyle.
To protect you from getting the disease, one needs to keep a check on weight and obesity. Also, people of 45 and above age are very much prone to the disease.
If you have a high BP situation and high cholesterol, you need to be very careful. To curb the possibility of having type-2 diabetes, a person needs to maintain an exercise routine, especially the females with PCOS. Having a fitness regime does not mean you have to hit the gym daily and come back drenched in sweat. You can maintain your body’s blood sugar level just by a morning walk or a small dance routine.
Lastly, eating healthy and maintaining a proper diet is very crucial for people who have diabetes. We will discuss the diet later in the article in detail.
Why diabetes insulin?
People who have type-1 diabetes or rare cases of type-2 diabetes need to take insulin to balance blood sugar levels in their bodies. The kinds of insulin differ based on their longing effects.
There is rapid, regular, intermediate, and long-acting insulin. In every case, people need to examine their blood glucose levels via a finger-stick — glucometer. Prick your fingertip and apply the drop of blood to a test strip. This way, you will be able to get the sugar level in your body. Self-monitoring is an ideal way to keep a regular check on your health in this condition.
Limitations attached to insulin:
Insulin aids a person with diabetes in living an energetic lifestyle. Nevertheless, it may even invite critical side effects, primarily if a person administers too much. Uncontrolled insulin intake can lead to hypoglycemia (a condition in which your blood sugar (glucose) level is lower than usual). It can lead to nausea, sweating, and shivering. The state of high blood glucose is known as hyperglycemia.
The ideal blood glucose level:
If you are a person who has chronic diabetes, you must manage your glucose level very carefully. The ideal level needed in your body is:
Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
About 2 hours after a meal starts: less than 180 mg/dL
Eating habits and diet:
Being diabetic doesn’t restrict you from enjoying savories; you need to keep a check on the proper diet and replace a few items in your daily meals. If you are a diabetic patient, you must include non-starchy vegetables in your diet. They help you control the calorie count of your meals and have very few carbs. So the next time you visit the market, buy broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green beans, eggplants, asparagus, arugula, carrots, kale, etc.
The dieticians suggest diabetic patients not have more than one fruit in one meal. Fruits have more sugar; they might imbalance your blood sugar level.
If you are a non-vegetarian, fatty fish is the best option to eat for your heart, and salmon or sardines can also be an excellent addition to your meal. Apart from fish, you can have chicken and turkey breast. What you don’t need on your plate is red meat.
Having different lentils, eating peanuts, or consuming peas can be perfect for your health too. Do not forget to consume yogurt, especially Greek yogurt which is higher in protein and has less carb content.
Besides, try to have many cottage kinds of cheese, seeds, and nuts like flax and almonds.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped. Tight schedules and working hours might not be accommodating in achieving the ideal breakfast nutrients.
Therefore, you can rely on the cereals for that. Just remember to buy the packaging stating: “whole grain,” “whole wheat,” and “high fiber.”
The causes of diabetes are yet to be checked and treated to date. Medical personnel worldwide have decided to put an end to ton ever-rising increase of diabetes and obesity by 2025. It is then advised to all the people to keep a check on their weight, eat healthily, and indulge in regular physical activities.
If you are a diabetic person, keep a consistent check on your blood sugar levels and consult your physician every few weeks.