Living with Diabetes, How Difficult it is? Everything You Need to Know

Diabetes is caused when the body is unable to produce the important hormone insulin or when the hormone so produced is inefficiently utilized by our body.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults while type 1 is basically juvenile diabetes affecting children. Most of the cases of type 2 are recorded between age groups 45 to 64, while people over 65 are also susceptible to getting diabetes. Early age diabetes is mostly of type 1.

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What are the Symptoms of Early Age Diabetes?

Sometimes you may not know that you or your child is suffering from the condition. The symptoms of diabetes only develop gradually over a period of time. Following are some of the early signs and symptoms of the condition:

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • A need to urinate at frequent intervals, particularly at night
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Feeling tired at all times

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Increased thirst and urination.
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Itching caused in the skin
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Numbness caused in the hands and feet

What are the Complications Associated with Diabetes?

Diabetes comes with a lot of complications. The main problem of diabetes is that the patient experiences high blood glucose which, in turn, leads to several other complications. A few of these include:

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is an early warning sign of the possibility of you contracting type 2 diabetes. It refers to a condition where your blood sugar is higher than what is considered as normal. However, the blood glucose or sugar level is not high enough to consider you a diabetes patient. When the blood sugar is measured while fasting, the range of blood glucose in case of prediabetes is somewhere close to 100-125. You are able to reverse prediabetes through diet, change in lifestyle, as well as medication.

Risk Factors of Prediabetes

Some of the risk factors associated with prediabetes are:

  • Family history wherein a family member has suffered from the problem.
  • If you had gestational diabetes while you were pregnant.
  • If you have PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
  • If you are obese
  • Smoking and drinking habit.
  • If you are into eating a lot of junk food, soda, cold drinks, etc.
  • You are already suffering from a heart disease and have had high blood pressure for a while
  • If you lack physical exercise in your daily routine and have a stressful life.

What are the Symptoms of Prediabetes?

The signs and symptoms of prediabetes are similar to the ones as explained above. It starts with a sudden increase in thirst and hunger and then progresses into enhanced symptoms such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Itching caused in the skin
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Numbness caused in the hands and feet

How Difficult is it to Live with Diabetes?

Well, initially staying with diabetes and accepting the very fact that you are affected by this condition could be very overwhelming and difficult. But if you were to learn from the experiences of the diabetic patients around, living a life with diabetes may not be as difficult as it seems to be in the first instance. The only difference is that you need to take a few precautions and adopt a much healthier lifestyle.

You can lead a normal life with diabetes if:

  • You take your medicines on time and get your blood glucose levels checked on a regular basis.
  • You are taking a healthy diet as prescribed by the medical expert and nutritionists.
  • You indulge yourself in regular physical exercise.
  • Limit drinking and completely avoid tobacco or smoking.

Can a Diabetic Live Like a Normal Person Forever?

By following a few simple steps and adopting a few lifestyle changes, even a diabetic person can lead a normal life. Of course, there could be certain restrictions that you might have to follow unlike a normal healthy person like restrictions in the diet and taking medicines and going for regular check-ups on time. Apart from that, a normal live is possible along with diabetes. It is also for this reason that diabetes is called a disease of the lifestyle. Small healthy changes in our lifestyle can help manage the disease efficiently.

Is it Possible to Reverse or Cure Diabetes?

Now the question which arises is that whether by adopting the lifestyle changes as mentioned above, can a diabetic patient get rid of the condition permanently?

  • When you have prediabetes, as explained above, it is possible for you to reverse the condition by taking a few precautionary steps. If you are diagnosed on time, you might prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in such a scenario.
  • In fact, even if you get type 2 diabetes, you will be able to control it and later get rid of it completely. This is not as easy as it may sound and the reversal of the same may depend on factors such as the length of time since when you have had the condition, the severity of the disease, and of course the genes.

Few Steps That Can Help Type 2 Diabetes Condition:

Following are a few steps which when followed can help you get rid of type 2 diabetes.

  • Start by making small changes in your lifestyle. For example, try to shed a few kilos and that can help you maintain better levels of blood sugar in your body. As per a few experts, if you devote around 150 minutes a week for physical activity, you will be in a better position to slow down the progress of this condition.
  • As per doctors, sometimes losing weight and making dietary changes may not bring down your blood glucose levels. In such a situation, do not blame yourself. As per the American Diabetes Association, the sooner you bring changes to your lifestyle, the sooner it is possible for you to reverse the condition.
  • Finally, it is of utmost importance to remember and keep in mind that the overall health is what matters the most.

Thus, as seen above, it is not impossible to reverse type 2 diabetes. One of the studies conducted by experts proved this. Type 2 diabetes patients were asked to exercise 175 minutes a week and were asked to follow a healthy diet. In a time of one year, around 10% of these patients were able to either reverse the condition or brought their blood glucose levels to prediabetes level.

However, there has been no such evidence to prove that type 1 diabetes can be cured!

What are the Herbal Treatment for Diabetes?

Herbal treatment of diabetes includes plant or herb based treatment including the following:

Experts recommend the use of the above plants and herbs as part of the diet in order to be able to manage diabetes effectively.

Diabetes Management: How can you Manage Diabetes?

As we know, the best way of diabetes management is by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Hence, bringing small changes in our lifestyle can help in controlling the disease. A few ways in which you can control and manage the condition include:

Medication for Diabetes Management:

Type 1 Diabetes:

Aspirin, Pramlintide, and a few other drugs have been prescribed to control type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Metformin for improving the sensitivity of the body cells to insulin.
  • DPP-4 Inhibitors which help to maintain low levels of blood sugar, while also helping the body to maintain balanced body weight.
  • Sulfonylureas which helps in increasing the production of insulin by the pancreas.
  • Meglitinides which goes a long way in helping to control 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.

Diet for Diabetes Management

Diet for Diabetes Management

As seen in the above paragraphs, diet plays a huge role in managing diabetes. Following are a few tips:

  • Include 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.
  • The recommended food item for diabetes include:
  1. Fruits such as apples, grapefruit, blueberries, bananas, etc.
  2. Fishes, nuts, broccoli, and other vegetables.
  3. Fiber-rich food such as flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  4. Proteins such as seeds, soy foods, yogurts, etc.
  5. Cinnamon is also considered one of the essential superfoods which help in the management of diabetes.
  6. Oatmeal is another recommended food item due to its high fiber content
  7. Different types of tea such a black tea, green tea, etc.
  • Remember to avoid the following food items:
  1. Anything which has “Hydrogenated” written on it
  2. Processed food
  3. Flavored drinks
  4. Soft drinks and sodas
  5. Chips, cookies, and fried food

Physical Activity:

Physical Activity

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. Obesity is the main reason of high blood glucose in a few patients. When a person is overweight, it becomes extremely difficult to deal with a few complications that diabetes is said to bring in.

Hence, losing some weight not only improves the fitness levels but also leads to a reduction of HbA1c levels while also reducing the risk of several cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, a certain prescribed time should be devoted each day to various types of physical exercises.

Blood sugar Monitoring:

Blood sugar Monitoring

Another important consideration while dealing with diabetes is the need to maintain blood glucose levels within the normal range. Take the following steps apart from eating a healthy diet:

New Available Treatments:

Owing to the complexity of the condition, there are a few latest diabetes treatments which have recently been developed. Examples include:

  • One of the recent developments in getting diabetes treated is the administration of artificial pancreas in the body.
  • Another drug, Jardiance is invented for improving A1c levels of type 2 diabetes.
  • Afrezza is another approved insulin inhaler which is a recent development in treating diabetes.

We hope that the above post has been helpful in educating you as to how is it possible to lead a normal life even if you are diabetic. With a few precautions and tips of lifestyle management, it is possible to live with diabetes effectively!!

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