Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose level. It is caused due to inadequate insulin production, or because the body’s inability to properly utilize insulin, or both.
Diabetes is mainly of 3 types
- Type 1 Diabetes – Is caused when body does not produce insulin. This is also known as insulin dependent, juvenile diabetes and normally develops in early adulthood or teenage.
- Type 2 Diabetes – Occurs when body produces sufficient insulin, but body cells do not respond properly causing insulin resistance. This is most common type of diabetes.
- Gestational Diabetes – This type affects females during pregnancy. Some women produce high level of glucose but are unable to produce enough insulin to transport it to their cells, resulting in rise of glucose level.
Several risk factors are responsible for diabetes
- Genetic susceptibility to Type 2 Diabetes.
- Obesity and lack of physical activity.
- History of gestational diabetes in case of females.
Uncontrolled diabetes is linked with lot of complications like
- Eye complications – glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy.
- Foot complications – neuropathy, ulcers, and worst cases can lead to gangrene resulting in amputation.
- Heart problems and kidney diseases.
- Gum diseases and accumulation of ketone bodies and acidity in the blood.
- Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage which can lead to several different problems.
- Erectile dysfunction leading to male impotency.
- Delay in healing of wound and susceptibility to infections
Following are few ways to cope with your diabetes
- Eating properly is very important to control diabetes. Plan your meals as per the guidance from your doctor or healthcare team. Chose low calories, non fatty and preferably sugar free food. Eat more of fibres such as whole grains, rice and bread. Include tropical fruits, non-starchy vegetables and low-fat milk in your diet.
- Substitute soda drinks with water or natural juices. Chicken and turkey should be preferred without skin, have more of lean proteins. Have three meals and one or two snacks each day, and don’t skip breakfast.
- Exercise helps in controlling diabetes. Take at least 10-20 mins walk a day. If possible 2-3 times a day. Try to increase muscle strength, try yoga for better health.
- While on medication do not skip medicines, even if you feel fine.
- Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters or swelling and take proper dental care to avoid gum diseases.
- Quit smoking.
- Keep track of your blood sugar level and blood pressure.
- Stress can raise your blood sugar, so control your stress level. Enjoy a hobby; spend time in gardening, listening to music or watching your favourite shows.
- Control your anxiety and depression. Speak to support groups, care giver or a family member to discuss your concerns.
A healthy disciplined life is key to control diabetes.