In this article Let’s take a look at:
- What is diabetes?
- Diabetes causes and risk factors.
- Diabetes complications.
- How to control Diabetes.
- Diet for Diabetes.
Did you know that in previous years, there were nearly 50 million new cases of diabetes worldwide? That’s a lot of people struggling with the same disease, even if it feels like it affects only your grandparents.
And yet, still relatively unknown to most people. Let’s take a look at the basics of diabetes, its complications, and how to control it.
1. What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body fails to produce enough insulin, has too little insulin, and/or has insulin resistance. This can be caused by a combination of genes and lifestyle, including diet and exercise. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of being used by the cells of the body, insulin is released to break it down. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 55-70 grams per day for fasting and 56-84 grams per day for those who are not fasting. In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed by the body’s immune system. In type 2 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells can still function normally, but the body does not respond properly to insulin, or there is a problem with how the pancreas reacts to insulin.
2. Diabetes causes and risk factors:
- Obesity: Obesity, excess fat, is a common risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Excess fat causes the body to produce more hormones that stimulate your hunger and increase your weight.
- Genetics: You can inherit a predisposition to type 2 diabetes from your parents or family.
- Age: The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases as you age.
- Race/Ethnicity: People of certain racial and ethnic groups are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Environmental Factors: Certain factors in your environment, such as diet and lack of exercise, can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
3. Diabetes complications:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis: This is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes in which the patient produces abnormal, high levels of ketones in the blood. It can lead to coma and death.
- Neuropathy: This is a condition that damages the nerves in the feet, legs, hands, arms, or face. It usually results from long-term high blood sugar levels.
- Eye problems: Diabetic retinopathy, in which blood vessels in the eye become damaged and leak pigment, and diabetic macular edema are both complications of high blood sugar levels.
- Kidney damage – High blood sugar levels increase the production of urine. This increases the risk of damage to the kidneys.
4. How to control diabetes?
Start taking preventive steps now to control diabetes as soon as you are diagnosed with it. Before you know it, you’ll be able to say “I don’t have diabetes anymore.”
- Examine your blood sugar: Examine your blood sugar level regularly. This is the most important step in controlling your diabetes.
- Lower your blood pressure: High blood pressure is associated with heart disease and stroke.
- Maintain your cholesterol: High cholesterol can cause heart disease.
- Lose weight: Excess body fat increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
- Lower your triglycerides: Raised triglyceride levels are a risk factor for heart disease.
- Take medication as prescribed – Medication plays an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. You should consult a physician before changing your medication or stopping it.
5. Diet for diabetes:
A healthy diet is the keystone of diabetes management. It can prevent complications and help you get better control of your blood sugar levels. It may sound weird, but calories matter most. You need to consume fewer calories than you burn. You should not consume more than your body requires for normal metabolism.
However, it’s not as easy as just cutting down on your food intake. The calories that you do consume need to be the right ones.
Here are some diabetes-friendly food ideas: –
- Protein: Protein is important to control blood sugar levels and prevent muscle breakdown. Select lean proteins like poultry, fish, and eggs from sources that are low in saturated fat.
- Carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates are better for blood sugar control than simple or refined carbohydrates. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are the best sources of carbohydrates.
- Fat: Healthy fats are essential for your diet. They can be found in lean sources such as fish, nuts, plant oils, and vegetable oils.
- Water: Drink lots of water at least six glasses per day. Water can help you stay hydrated. It keeps your body functioning properly, and prevents acidity in the stomach.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to diabetes is to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. You can do this by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.