Diabetes is a condition that impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose, otherwise known as
blood sugar. Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or the cells of the body
not responding properly to the insulin produced.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger.
Several other signs and symptoms can mark the onset of diabetes although they are not specific to the
disease. In addition to the known ones above, they include blurred vision, headache, fatigue, slow
healing of cuts, and itchy skin.
Types of diabetes
Type I diabetes: Also known as juvenile diabetes, this type occurs when the body fails to produce insulin.
People with type I diabetes are insulin-dependent, which means they must take artificial insulin daily to
Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin. While the body still makes
insulin, unlike in type I, the cells in the body do not respond to it as effectively as they once did. This is
the most common type of diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases, and it has strong links with obesity.
A person has genes or an environment that make it more likely that they are unable to make enough
insulin to cover how much glucose they eat.
The body tries to make extra insulin to process the excess blood glucose.
The pancreas cannot keep up with the increased demands, and the excess blood sugar starts to
circulate in the blood, causing damage.
Over time, insulin becomes less effective at introducing glucose to cells, and blood sugar levels continue
Causes of type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and
destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Studies such as TrialNet are working to pinpoint causes of type 1 diabetes and possible ways to prevent or slow the disease.
Causes of type 2 diabetes
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or
obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes.
The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2
diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease.
There is no known preventive measure for type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes – which accounts for
85–90% of all cases – can often be prevented or delayed by maintaining a normal body weight, engaging
in physical activity, and consuming a healthy diet. Higher levels of physical activity (more than 90
minutes per day) reduce the risk of diabetes by 28%.Dietary changes known to be effective in helping to
prevent diabetes include maintaining a diet rich in whole grains and fiber, and choosing good fats, such
as the polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, vegetable oils, and fish.Limiting sugary beverages and eating
less red meat and other sources of saturated fat can also help prevent diabetes.Tobacco smoking is also
associated with an increased risk of diabetes and its complications, so smoking cessation can be an
important preventive measure as well.
The relationship between type 2 diabetes and the main modifiable risk factors (excess weight, unhealthy
diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use) is similar in all regions of the world. There is growing evidence
that the underlying determinants of diabetes are a reflection of the major forces driving social, economic
and cultural change: globalization, urbanization, population aging, and the general health policy
People with type I diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes may need to inject or inhale insulin to
keep their blood sugar levels from becoming too high.
Various types of insulin are available, and most are grouped by how long their effect lasts. There are
rapid, regular, intermediate, and long-acting insulins.
Some people will use a long-acting insulin injection to maintain consistently low blood sugar levels.
Some people may use short-acting insulin or a combination of insulin types. Whatever the type, a person
will usually check their blood glucose levels using a fingerstick.
This method of checking blood sugar levels involves using a special, portable machine called a
glucometer. A person with type I diabetes will then use the reading of their blood sugar level to determine
how much insulin they need.
Self-monitoring is the only way a person can find out their blood sugar levels. Assuming the level from
any physical symptoms that occur may be dangerous unless a person suspects extremely low glucose
and thinks they need a rapid dose of glucose.
Diet for diabetes
Eat fresh natural diet, Choose fiber rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains as much as
possible. Choose sugar substitutes,calorie-free liquids such as unsweetened tea, coffee or water.
Healthy carbohydrates. During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex
carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on the healthiest carbohydrates, such as fruits,
vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and low-fat dairy products.
Fiber-rich foods. Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb.
Fiber moderates how your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include
vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole-wheat flour and wheat bran. Choose
Foods to avoid
Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and
hardened arteries. Foods containing the following can work against your goal of a heart-healthy diet.
Saturated fats. High-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon
contain saturated fats.
Trans fats. These types of fats are found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening and stick
margarines. Avoid these items.
Cholesterol. Sources of cholesterol include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg
yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
Sodium. Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. However, if you also have hypertension, you
should aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.
Note :Exercise and yoga, positive attitude, breathing techniques and walks in nature, stress
management can help you to fight diabetes at any stage.
Thanks for reading