Have your diabetes? Know the causes, consequences, and remedies.
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, which is the result of a spike in blood sugar in one’s body. The body is a well-mechanized system made by nature. When the said mechanism is disturbed, disease attacks.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, which is the result of a spike in blood sugar in one’s body. The body is a well-mechanized system made by nature. When the said mechanism is disturbed, disease attacks. Diabetes mellitus happens when one’s body can’t produce enough insulin or the body may not utilize & process the blood sugar produced.
What is insulin and how it works?
Insulin is a hormone secreted by beta cells of the pancreas. Its principal role is to trigger the cells to utilize the sugar efficiently to produce energy for the body. Further insulin lowers the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. When the blood sugar level in the blood drops, the pancreas stops insulin production. In the case of diabetes, the beta cells may not function properly leading to a decrease in insulin secretion.
It may also happen that the adipose cells may be insulin resistant, resulting in the decreased capacity of the cells to take up and metabolize the sugar. Hence blood cells have a high concentration of glucose, and the condition is called hyperglycemia. When the body has not had enough sugar to process, the condition is called hypoglycemia. Both the conditions on the part of the diabetic are injurious to health.
What are glucose and its role in body function:
Glucose is the simplest form of sugar(C6H12O6 )and is a source of energy for the cells, from which muscles and tissues formed in the body. Glucose comes from the foods we eat. Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream being assisted by insulin. The liver stores excess glucose in form of glycogen and manufacture the necessary sugar in needs from waste products and amino acids through a process called gluconeogenesis. In case of emergency, the liver breaks down glycogen(C24H42O21) into sugar to keep the blood sugar at a normal level. Glycogen is a chain of glucose molecules stored by the liver for future instant energy needs.
Types of diabetes:
Diabetes is categorized into three types on the basis of its nature and the conditions of the patients.
Type two diabetes:
It is lifestyle related and a chronic condition, where the body could not use insulin as it should. Blood sugar can be controlled by a healthy lifestyle and by medication. It is a more common type of disease that can affect at any age but is more common after 40 years of age.
Type one diabetes:
A chronic condition, where the beta cells of the pancreas produce very little or no insulin to process blood sugar. It is a genetic condition, that can start at any age but often starts during childhood or teenage.
A health condition of a pregnant woman who is affected by high blood sugar. There is a risk of developing type two diabetes later on in the expecting mother if not treated early properly. It is a reversible health condition.
Causes of diabetes:
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease and its causes are many.
- Unhealthy lifestyle.
- Unhealthy and irregular eating habits.
- Mental agony and obesity.
- Lack of physical labor.
- Workload and fear psychosis.
- Drugs intake.
Symptoms depend on the patient’s blood sugar level. Some develop symptoms and some may not develop any symptoms. However, the common symptoms are as such-
- Feeling thirsty more than normal condition.
- Frequent urination.
- Sudden loss of weight without efforts by the fellow.
- Weakness and tiredness.
- Eyesight problem.
- The healing process of a wound is delayed.
- Risk of infections like skin, urine, and mouth.
- Body aches include muscle pain, shoulder pain, back pain, neck pain, and sole pain.
- Presence of sugar in the urine.
Diabetes is a harbinger of many life-threatening diseases. It may affect many body functions; such as;
The liver is one of the very important organs of the body and manages blood sugar in the body. The liver stores excess glucose in form of glycogen and in case of emergency it breaks down glycogen(C24H42O21) into sugar to keep the blood sugar at a normal level. However, due to high blood sugar in the bloodstream, the liver could not function normally leading to a high risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In such conditions, fat concentrates in the liver causing health hazards.
We see the beautiful world with our eyes. But there is every possibility that diabetes can damage eyesight/ vision over the period. If not treated on time may cause complete blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication caused by high blood sugar. In such cases, the retina can be damaged. Further blurry vision may be one of the consequences.
High blood sugar can damage the nerves of the body, causing disruption in sending messages to the different parts of the body. The end result is experiencing pain in the body, legs, arms, joints, and even in the chest. Almost sixty percent of people suffering from diabetes have damaged their nerves. It may lead to sensory diabetic neuropathy, where the diabetic patient can’t feel heat, cold, or pain in their feet due to damage to nerves.
High blood pressure is another companion of high blood sugar. Research says two out of every three types 2 diabetes have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the coronary artery, which supplies blood to the heart causing a heart attack.
The kidney is responsible for filtering the waste products from the blood for the proper functioning of the body. High blood sugar in the bloodstream can damage the blood vessel clusters of the kidney. High blood pressure may damage more the filtering system of the kidney. If not controlled may lead to kidney failure.
Poor blood flow:
Diabetes also affects the blood flow to the body. It is the good blood flow that is one of the factors responsible for the healing of wounds on time. However, in diabetes poor blood flow to the legs and arms caused Peripheral vascular disease. Without good and quality blood flow the tissues die.
On-time remedial measures can save precious life without any further complications. Life is the gift of God and any negligence may damage the bright future and invite diseases. The following remedies may help in leading a normal life.
- Regular health check-ups and medications: “Prevention is better than cure” the saying is very useful advice for diabetics. The advice of doctors should be followed meticulously.
- Balance diet: Diet has a very crucial role in blood sugar management. Take balanced diet and food with a glycemic lower index are advised by physicians. However green vegetables like spinach, okra, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, papaya, plantain, bitter guard, cucumber, beans, and broccoli must be included in the diet. Further legumes, seeds, whole grains, nuts, yogurt, and cinnamon must not be forgotten. The germinated grams and green salad are very useful in balancing blood sugar. Eggs and marine foods are to be included in the diet. Recent studies on onion conducted on three groups of rats in America gave the miraculous result of reducing 50% of blood sugar. The researchers say “The extract of onion bulb, Allium cepa, strongly lowered high blood glucose(sugar) and total cholesterol levels in diabetic rats when given with ant diabetic drug metformin”. However, it is not clear, why in India where onion is one of the staple spices/food diabetic capital.
- ICMR-INDIAB has conducted research on the eating habit of 8000 people and the finding can reverse diabetes. As per research, ICMR advised taking 50-56% carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 30% fat as daily requirements per person. Further one should be particular regarding breakfast at 8 AM, lunch at 2 PM, and dinner at 8-9 PM.
- Morning walk or evening walk: Light physical labor like a walk can help in managing blood sugar including medication.
- Light walk after a meal: A proverb says “after a meal walks a mile” which is meaningful in diabetes. The mild walk stops the spike of blood sugar after a meal, the research says.
- Good sleep: A normal person should enjoy at least 7 hours of sleep. Good sleep can help in managing good health including diabetes.
- The practice of yoga: Yoga is the gift of India to the world. The practice of yoga not only keeps the body and mind calm, but it also helps in attending the spiritual power. Particular yoga asanas are beneficial for diabetics.
- Healthy family life: Healthy family life is key to healthy life and happiness. We search for happiness outside but in fact, happiness lies within self and in the family. Healthy family life is also a foundation stone for success. Diabetes can be defeated by maintaining stress healthy family life.
- Disciplined life: The first chapter of the life book is about discipline. Discipline in food, sleep, and daily activities can make a person disease free. Especially “early to bed and early to rise, makes the man healthy, wealthy and wise” as the saying is perfect in diabetic.
- Food supplements: In type two diabetes intake of food supplements may work for good health.
- Management of weight: Being overweight and obesity must be kept under control.
Diabetes is a harbinger of many life-threatening diseases. Management of diabetes is key to a healthy life. Proper medication, yoga, and a disciplined lifestyle can defeat the lifestyle disease if not reversed. Prevention is better than cure and is key to keeping blood sugar under control.