Diabetes is a condition in the human body whereby a person has higher than the normal glucose level in his or her blood. The major reason of diabetes is that either our body is not able to produce enough insulin or the insulin so produced is not effectively utilized by the body cells to produce energy. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes and type 2 diabetes also known as adult onset diabetes.
The signs of diabetes include increased thirst, hunger, blurred vision, delay in healing of wounds, sudden loss of weight, etc.
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What is the Percentage of Diabetes Worldwide?
According to a report published by the World Health Organization, diabetes is a condition that affected roughly about 422 million people worldwide. Check statics, Out of these, a whopping 90-95% are said to have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes while the remaining 5% comprise of type 1 diabetic patients. The worldwide spread of the disease among adults stands somewhere at 8.5% as per the same report.
How Can I Control My Diabetes?
As known by now, it is our lifestyle that leads to diabetes. Hence, bringing small changes in our lifestyle can help in controlling the disease. A few ways in which you can control diabetes include:
What are the Steps to Control Diabetes?
Following are the four steps that you need to know so that you can control diabetes:
Step 1: Acquaint yourself and learn about diabetes
Step 2: Know all the important facts about the condition
Step 3: learn how to live along with the disease
Step 4: go for regular checkups to stay healthy
How to Control Diabetes with Diet?
One of the most effective ways of managing diabetes is controlling diabetes through diet.
Keep the following things in mind while you decide on a diet chart for diabetes:
- Whole-grain carbohydrates and take the dosage on insulin accordingly.
- Colorful foods as they are often very high in essential nutrients
- Mediterranean foods and diet plan which shall include vegetables, a few fruits, plant based fats such as olive oil and nuts, meat and dairy products to be consumed only occasionally.
- Foods which are low in glycemic index.
- Eat fiber rich food as fiber helps to make you feel full for a longer time, thereby helping to keep your weight under control.
List of Recommended Food Items:
Following are a few food items that a diabetic patient should include in the diet:
- Proteins such as seeds, soy foods, yogurts, etc.
- Fiber-rich food such as flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Fishes, nuts, broccoli, and other vegetables.
- Different types of tea such a black tea, green tea, etc. as each of them have their own advantages.
- Fruits such as apples, grapefruit, blueberries, bananas, etc.
- Cinnamon is also considered one of the essential superfoods which help in the management of diabetes and its related conditions as it helps to lower down the amount of glucose in the blood.
- Oatmeal is another recommended food item due to its high fiber content which helps in lowering high blood pressure and bad
Which are the Food Items That Should be Avoided?
You should completely avoid the following food items in diabetes:
- All Types of soda.
- Avoid eating fruits which have been dried up.
- Avoid anything which has “Hydrogenated” written on it
- White bread, white buns, and pasta
- Refined as well as processed sugar
- Chips and cookies
Some Tips To be Kept in Mind While You Are Trying to Manage Diabetes Through Diet:
- Eat the recommended food items at recommended timings.
- Moderation is the key in diabetes. You need to look into the balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and other important essentials when you go for a diet plan.
- Try to choose fish over meat as fish contain a lot more nutrients that help to regulate and manage diabetes.
- Try to bake your food instead of frying, limit the intake of sodium, avoid canned food, use virgin olive oil to the greatest possible extent.
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times.
What is the Role of Weight Loss in Diabetes?
According to American Diabetes Association, diabetes and obesity are interlinked to one another. Hence, losing weight is another way in which you can manage your diabetes. Due to the following reasons, obesity leads to increase in blood glucose levels:
- When you are obese, the body metabolism is weak. Losing some weight helps to improve metabolism, thereby preventing high blood sugar levels.
- When you are overweight, your self-confidence is adversely affected. Stress give rise to the level of cortisol, which, in turn, leads to increasing blood glucose levels.
For people who are overweight, losing some weight not only improves their fitness levels but also leads to a reduction of HbA1c levels while also reducing the risk of several cardiovascular diseases.
What are the Exercise Tricks to Avoid Diabetes?
Having seen the above role of weight loss in diabetes management, let us understand a few exercise tricks that can help a diabetic to lose weight as well as manage this chronic condition:
- Do not aim for too high at the very beginning. It is the small goals which shall make the difference. Go for those goals which you think are achievable. Hence, it is advisable that you need to set small targets for yourself.
- According to Doctor Margaret Savoca, it is important to first understand where at present do you stand.
- Keeping a record of the physical activity that you have been performing is a must. For example, you can keep a pedometer which will help you know how many steps have you taken today. This way you can think of increasing your physical activity.
- Besides, do not just stick to one physical activity. Do a combination of gym, swimming, cycling, dancing, amongst other activities as that will keep you motivated.
Which Medications are Available to Control Diabetes?
Another recommended way for management of diabetes include the medications or drugs. Following are a few examples:
Medication for Type 1 Diabetes:
Aspirin is often the first type of medication that is recommended for type 1 diabetes.
One of the problems of type 1 diabetes could be the sudden increase in the blood glucose levels just after a meal. The objective of this injection is to prevent the same from happening.
Other Medication and Drugs:
Another important drug that is given to type 1 diabetes patients is medicines which can keep the cholesterol levels under control.Doctors also give medicines to keep the heart rate under control. Finally, the doctors prescribe medicines to keep the blood glucose levels under control.
Medication for Type 2 Diabetes:
This drug helps in improving the sensitivity of the body cells to insulin.
The inhibitors help to maintain low levels of blood sugar, while also helping the body to maintain balanced body weight.
This medicine helps in increasing the production of insulin by the pancreas.
They help in the treatment of type 2 diabetes by helping the pancreas secrete more insulin. However, you need to be a little careful while taking this drug as it might cause weight gain.
What is the Role of Insulin in Controlling Diabetes?
Let us understand the role of insulin in diabetes management:
Insulin in Type 1 Diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is a condition which takes place when the pancreas of our body does not produce enough insulin. As such, a person who is affected by it needs to take insulin throughout his or her life.
Insulin is administered in the body in two ways:
- The best way to administer insulin is through injections.
- Another way of doing the same is an artificial device called insulin pump.
Insulin in Type 2 Diabetes:
Unlike in type 1 diabetes, taking insulin is not a necessity because the problem has to do with the cells ability to utilize insulin efficiently. However, in the later stages of type 2 diabetes, the taking of insulin from various external sources becomes a must.
Blood Sugar Monitoring and Diabetes
It is a known fact that with diabetes, there is an increase in the blood glucose of the patient as well. Hence, monitoring of the blood sugar becomes of prime importance.
The following is the blood sugar chart which will help explain the relationship better:
Blood Sugar Chart for a Normal Person:
- For a person who does not have diabetes, the fasting blood sugar is under 100mg/dl.
- Just before a meal, the blood sugar should be 70-99mg/dl while the level two hours after the meal should be 140mg/dl.
Blood Sugar Chart for a Diabetic:
- For a diabetic patient, the fasting blood sugar is under 126mg/dl or even higher.
- As per the American Diabetes Association, the normal blood sugar for a diabetic should be around 80-130mg/dl before the meals and around 200mg/dl a couple of hours after meals.
Now, how to control blood sugar of a diabetic patient? Apart from the diet, you need to take the following steps:
- Regularly check the blood sugar level just before and after the exercise.
- Regular consultation with the doctor is a must to ensure that the blood sugar levels are kept under control.
- If you are taking insulin on a regular basis, you need to check the blood glucose levels more than once in a day.
How to Prevent Diabetes?
As per the Diabetes Prevention Program, although diabetes prevention is not possible completely, losing some weight can reduce the risk and delay the possibility of contracting type 2 diabetes.For this, apart from the diet, 30 minutes of regular physical activity 4 to 5 days a week is a must.
What are the Available New Treatments for Diabetes?
- As we know by now, it is the pancreas of our body which is responsible for the production of insulin. Hence, one of the other medical ways of getting diabetes treated is the administration of artificial pancreas in the body.
- Afrezza is another approved insulin inhaler which has recently been developed and can help in the better management of diabetes.
- Another drug, Jardiance is invented for improving A1c levels of type 2 diabetes.
Apart from this, there are several other medicines and drugs that have recently been invented which can help prevent diabetes.
We hope that the above post gives answers to the various questions you might have with respect to diabetes: “How to control diabetes?” and “How can you prevent diabetes from affecting you?