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All about diabetes and its treatment

Updated on March 23, 2016

Understanding diabetes

Diabetes is termed as diabetes mellitus. It is described as a metabolic disease or metabolism disorder in which a person’s blood glucose is high, or, either the insulin production is low or the body cells do not respond to the insulin. Metabolism tells us about the procedure and the way our body uses the digested food for energy and growth. The word diabetes comes from Greek and it means the siphon. Today diabetes is one of the most common disease around the globe. We can say it is a lifestyle disease, as, we all are addicted to the luxury of machines around us, which keeps us away from doing physical labor. Around 9% of the US population have diabetes. Diabetic patients are most common in India, the highest in the Asian region. Actually, this disease can be controlled with rigorous avoidance of food which promotes the symptoms of diabetes and by following strict healthy routine. Experts says, that losing just 10% of the body weight lowers the risk of diabetes and also helps you lower your cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol also enhances the chances of diabetes.

Understanding the reasons that causes diabetes:

When we eat our food, it is digested in our body. The digested food is then broken down into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar and is the main source of energy for our bodies. The glucose is made to enter in the bloodstream. Our cells uses this glucose for energy and growth. The glucose cannot enter the bloodstream without insulin. Only insulin makes it possible for glucose to enter into the bloodstream. Insulin is actually a hormone which is produced in pancreas automatically, when we eat. Now, this insulin produced in pancreas helps the glucose to get into the bloodstream. In a diabetic condition, either the insulin is not produced completely or the production is too low, or, the cells are not responding to the insulin produced. This, now results in excess accumulation of glucose in the blood. The excess glucose passes out of the body through urine. Therefore, the cells do not get enough glucose for their requirements. This is the reason, we see low energy levels of diabetic patients.

Types of diabetes

There are three types of diabetes:

(a) Type 1- The type 1 diabetes is not much common. Just around 10 percent of cases are type 1 diabetes. In this type 1 diabetes, the body stops producing insulin. It last lifetime and the patients of type 1 diabetes needs to take insulin for the rest of their life. The patients suffering from this type is also called juvenile diabetes, insulin dependent diabetes. It can be seen in the early adulthood or teenage years also, that’s the reason it is called juvenile diabetes. People suffering from type 1 diabetes need to follow strict diet routine and carry out regular checkups to ensure adequate blood glucose levels.

(b) Type 2- This one is the most common diabetes. Around 90% of the diabetes cases are of type 2. In this, the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells do not react to the insulin produced. People suffering from type 2 diabetes are advised to lose weight by exercising, following a strict diet, avoiding the food which are high in cholesterol and fats. Strict diet, exercise and weight control can only help a person in getting rid of type 2 diabetes. Obese and overweight people have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. It is actually, progressive disease which gradually gets worse over a period of time and the patient usually end up in taking the insulin in a tablet form. Astonishingly, even drinking a ‘soda can’ daily raises the risk of suffering of type 2 diabetes by 22%. Moreover, aging also contributes type 2 diabetes. However, it is not scientifically proved yet, but agreed among the medical experts. It is also hereditary. The university of Edinburgh, Scotland, claims that the men with higher testosterone level have higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Pre-diabetes- Patients suffering from type 2 diabetes initially had prediabetes. In this case, the level of blood glucose is higher than normal but not enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that even in this case the damage to the heart and the circulatory system has already been done.

Gestational Diabetes- It is often seen among women during pregnancy. Some women during pregnancy have higher levels of glucose and to transport those higher glucose into their cells requires higher production of insulin which is not done by the pregnant body, resulting in rising levels of glucose or gestational diabetes. It can be controlled by strict diet routine and exercise. It is very important to treat this type of diabetes, otherwise, the baby may be bigger than expected. It can also bring complications during pregnancy. The patient needs to take some glucose controlling medications. Studies have found that the women whose diet during pre-pregnancy is high in cholesterol or animal fats have higher risk of getting gestational disease.

Treatment of diabetes

Diabetes can be treated and cured by strict diet routine and with regular check ups. Not all body fat increases the risk of getting diabetes. The risk of getting diabetes is higher if you have your fats accumulated around your abdomen. It is often called ‘spare tire or apple shape’. The one whose fats accumulation is like ‘pears shape’ is at a lower risk. The pears store most of their fat just below the skin. However, the apple shape store their fats around belly, much deep within the belly surrounding the abdominal organs and liver. Therefore, restricting the production as well as passage of insulin. Studies have shown that a waist size can also predicts the chances of diabetes.

A woman with a waist size of 35 inches have higher risk of getting diabetes.

A man with a waist size of 40 inches have higher risk of getting diabetes.

One should avoid sugary products. The calories obtained from the fructose, which is found in sugary products, adds fat and weight around the abdomen, thus making an apple shape. Therefore, avoiding sugary products can drastically, reduces the risk of getting diabetes. So, it is very necessary to eat right if one is suffering from diabetes. Diet control and physical exercise are the two prominent medications of a diabetic patient. A diabetic patient should have a control on the diet to enjoy the effects of the medicines. The diabetic patient should avoid highly refined carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have a good impact on the level of blood sugar. Therefore, highly refined carbohydrates such as white bread, rice, candy, snack foods should be avoided. One should focus on the high fiber complex carbs which are also called slow release carbs. These are called slow release carbs, as it is digested slowly, thus preventing production of too much of insulin in the body. Below is a table to understand the alternates of high fiber carbohydrates.

One should remember the alternates of food which is to be avoided to compensate the taste and nutritious value. Remember, your diet is the most important part of your treatment of diabetes. The effect of diabetes can be reversed with healthy changes of your daily routine which includes almost everything like your physical labor, diet, rest, avoiding junk food, etc.

Common tips to keep diabetes away:

  • Exercise- Studies shows even if you are unable to control your weight, regular exercise improves the insulin sensitivity of your body. So exercise daily even for 15 minutes is enough. It also controls your weight.
  • Never skip breakfast- Remember not to skip your breakfast at any cost. Just start your day with a good nutritious breakfast. It keep your energy levels high and ensures steady blood sugar level.
  • Small portions of meals- Eat small portions of meals in a day, about 4-5 times a day with small quantity. People tend to eat larger portions only thrice a day. This habit is not good, if you want to be fit.
  • Calorie intake-First regulate the amount of calorie intake on a day to day basis. It definitely has an impact on your blood sugar levels. Secondly, eat according to your requirement. There is a difference of calories requirement of a labor and a person doing a desk job. So, eat according to your requirement.
  • Cooking oil- your cooking oil is also very important if you are concerned with diabetes. Cook with olive oil, rather than butter or vegetable oil.


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