What is diabetes?
Diabetes also called blood sugar or diabetes mellitus is a disease that occurs when your body is incapable of making enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas generates so that the glucose from the body can reach into the cells in the body for optimum energy production. All carbohydrates foods are converted into glucose in the blood. So, more of we can say that insulin helps glucose get into the cells. Not generating insulin efficiently or using it properly may raise glucose levels in the blood. Over time, diabetes can cause damage to the various organs of the body resulting in organ failure.
Types of diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age but occurs mostly in children and adults. When you have type1 diabetes, your body produces too little insulin because of an autoimmune reaction to the cells that produce insulin. As a result, a person with type1 diabetes needs daily insulin injections to maintain blood glucose levels. The exact cause of this is not confirmed yet, but it is mostly because of genetic and environmental conditions.
Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults. When you have type 2 diabetes, it means the body is insulin resistant. Because the body does not fully respond to insulin, the blood glucose levels may rise eventually. This procedure keeps on repeating, and so the pancreas damages resulting in the body producing less insulin, making blood sugar levels go beyond adequate levels. It may occur in young adults due to increasing obesity, a poor diet, and inactivity. Over time, type 2 diabetic patients acquire drugs to keep up with blood glucose levels.
Type 3 Gestational diabetes: It is caused by high glucose levels during pregnancy and unhealthy for both mother and child. GDM usually gets treated after pregnancy, but the baby is at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
How does diabetes affect your health?
Changes in the blood glucose levels may damage the blood vessels within the body and affect the eyes, heart, kidneys, liver, and foot. Prolonged diabetes can result in:
- Heart attacks
- Chronic kidney disease
- Foot problems
Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage the nerves that control your heart. The longer you have diabetes, then likely you will develop heart disease or strokes. People with diabetes need to look after their heart health by making changes in their lifestyles. If you have diabetes and you keep on consuming excess sodium, the body will start retaining fluid and raise blood pressure eventually.
Preventive measures to heart attacks after diabetes
- Avoid fried-foods
- Cook and eat food at home
- Make sure you consume less oil in the food
- Eat a diet recommended by your dietician
- Work on your cholesterol levels
- Avoid liquor
- Do not smoke
Chronic kidney disease
Diabetes is the predominant cause of chronic kidney disease. Within 4 to 5 years of diagnosis of diabetes, a person is at the risk of developing CKD. CKD results in loss of kidney function and obstructs the blood filtration capacity. It may progress to renal failure, which is a fatal condition. So carefully manage CKD due to diabetes with the help of ayurvedic treatment for chronic kidney disease. Other preventive measures you can take along include:
- Avoid phosphorus, protein, and potassium-rich diet
- Avoid canned foods
- Sleep well
- Go for yoga and meditation
- Keep sugar and salt level minimal in your diet
- Avoid alcohol
- Do not smoke
Over time, diabetic neuropathy can cause tingling and pain in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, blisters on your skin may not become apparent, leading to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores become inflamed. The only way to get foot problems prevented is to have frequent checkups, including monitoring your blood glucose level.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Some common signs related to diabetes include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination or painful urination
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Sleepiness and dizziness
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Sores that do not heal well
- Tingling in hands and feet
Seek doctors advise when you see experiences such signs in your body. Diabetes is more common in people who have a family history of diabetes.
How will my doctor check for diabetes?
Usually, to check for blood sugar levels, the healthcare team does gauge blood sugar levels with the help of a blood test.
You can consider your blood sugar levels to be normal if you have:
60 B 126 fasting (8 hours of gap between your last meal and the time when the test is conducted)
60 B 139 non-fasting (Non-fasting includes consuming food within 8 hours before the test)
How can I manage my diabetes?
- Monitoring your blood sugar levels
- Learning about the normal blood sugar range in different situations or conditions
- Following the diabetic care plan as recommended by your doctor
- Working on your stress levels
- Practicing yoga and meditation to help relax your muscles