Thursday , 29 February 2024
Thursday , 29 February 2024

What is Diabetes: How to Control, Causes, and Treatment

  • 18 Aug, 2023

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that has made India the 'Diabetes capital of the world.'

The Indian Council of Medical Research did a recent study that indicates that the nation has 101 million individuals affected by diabetes. Furthermore, the study shows how an additional 136 million individuals are classified as pre-diabetic, emphasizing the urgent need for preventive measures. 

Well, in all this, it is essential to know what diabetes is. 

Understanding Diabetes

The food we eat gets broken into sugar. It is this sugar that the cells need to give us energy. But for someone suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes, the sugar-handling system of the human body goes for a toss. 

The body struggles to regulate the sugar (glucose) levels in the bloodstream. It can happen due to insufficient insulin production or the body's cells becoming resistant to insulin's effects.

So, diabetes is like a hiccup in your body's sugar processing, making it a bit harder for your cells to get the energy they need. 

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is of two types:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: it is an autoimmune condition. It is a condition where the immune system, by mistake, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Once these beta cells are destroyed, the body doesn't produce enough insulin. Thus individuals with type 1 diabetes need insulin injections to manage their blood sugar levels.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: In this type of diabetes, the body produces insulin, but the body's cells don't respond effectively to insulin. How certain individuals' bodies become insulin resistant and others remain fine is being studied. Though the increase in Type 2 diabetes is due to poor lifestyle choices, it is a condition one can prevent to a certain extent.

Symptoms To Check For Diabetes & Pre-Diabetes

Diabetes and pre-diabetes affect how your body regulates blood sugar (glucose). The symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes can vary, and some people may not experience any noticeable symptoms. It's important to note that these conditions can often be asymptomatic, especially in the early stages. Here are some common symptoms associated with diabetes and pre-diabetes:

Common Symptoms of Diabetes:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night 
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Constant hunger
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Unusually tired and lack energy
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slow Healing of Wounds
  • Frequent Infections

Symptoms of Pre-Diabetes:

It doesn't cause noticeable symptoms, but some people might experience the same symptoms as diabetes.

  • Increased Thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry Vision

These symptoms may go unnoticed but try to keep a watch on them if they disrupt your daily routine and lifestyle.

How to Control Diabetes

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are manageable and controllable to some extent with advancements in medical science, but they require different approaches as the factors causing them differ.

Here's a brief on how you can control each type of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes: The primary reason for Type 1 Diabetes is a genetic predisposition. People with type 1 diabetes do require lifelong insulin therapy. It becomes a mandatory way to manage their blood sugar levels. 

Here's how to control type 1 diabetes:

Insulin Therapy: Regular insulin injections or pumps are necessary to replace the missing insulin. The dosages are made in consultation with the doctor after they assess each individual's needs.

Blood Sugar Monitoring: You must regularly check your blood sugar levels using a glucose meter. Checking before meals and at bedtime will help you make necessary adjustments to your insulin doses and daily activities. Though whatever changes you bring, do them after consultation with your doctor.

Healthy Eating: It is time to focus on whole foods, lean proteins, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Please note you have to stay away from junk and bad carbohydrates. Counting carbohydrates can help you match your insulin doses with your meals.

Physical Activity: Brisk walking is a regular exercise that may help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels. Here's what you can do to gain the most out of it: 

Brisk Walking

  • Duration: at least 30 minutes of brisk walking on most days of the week. 
  • Intensity: at a pace that makes your heart rate slightly increase. 
  • Warm-Up: begin with slow walking to warm up your muscles.
  • Form: keep a good posture, swing your arms gently, and take comfortable strides.
  • Cool Down: After your brisk walk, gradually slow down and finish with a few minutes of slower walking to cool down
  • Monitoring: Check your blood sugar levels before and after exercise.

If you plan to start any new exercise which is more strenuous, talk to your doctor beforehand. 

Stress Management: Stress levels spike blood sugar levels. Practice stress-relief techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

Type 2 Diabetes: it is mostly considered a lifestyle disease. Thus it requires changes in what you eat, how much you exercise, work-life balance, weight issues, and how well you manage stress. Focus on the following to keep away not only Type 2 diabetes but various other lifestyle diseases.

  • You are what you eat. Thus be careful about the quality and quantity of the food you put on your plate. 
  • Lose excess weight as it significantly improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Lose weight with diet and 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
  • Manage stress to improve blood sugar control.
  • Visits your healthcare provider regularly to monitor blood sugar levels.

Both types of diabetes require ongoing medical supervision, guidance, and individual efforts. Unless it is Type 1 diabetes, it is a matter of your lifestyle choices that reflects on your health.

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