Diabetes…… A condition that you surely don’t want!!
“ Are you diabetic?”.
This perhaps, is normally the opening gambit or question asked when one is checking into a medical facility. A “YES” to that harmless sounding question, somehow re -defines the rules of engagement and the resultant medical protocol that gets prescribed.
One does not have to fret. But one has to be concerned as this is condition has “Top-to-Toe” implications.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes simply refers to the amount of sugar levels in the blood and are ordinarily defined as blood glucose levels. Food sits at heart of this problem. It is what you eat. The body creates blood sugar from the ingested food to create energy. What gets absorbed helps. What does not, creates the problem.
As is commonly known, food gets broken down into carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and other nutrients.
Carbohydrates get singled out for exceptional mention,as post digestion, they convert into blood sugar. Higher consumption of carbohydrates will progressively release higher levels of sugar.
Types of Diabetes
Before this gets listed out, it is important to understand the co-ordinated relevance of insulin and pancreas.
Insulin regulates the blood sugar levels and pancreas produce these for normal flow.
Diabetes manifests in following forms:
Type 1.. Where the body does not generate insulin , necessitating insulin injections, and making their dependence a daily routine.
Type 2.. Where the body does produce insulin, but is either inadequate or used improperly.
Pre-diabetes..A situation where the cells are unable to use the insulin well.
Gestational Diabetes..A condition afflicting women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy.
Hypoglycaemia.. This is the flip side, characterized by low blood sugar levels where the body flashes signals by releasing hormones and adrenaline.
Is Sugar Important ?
Yes.. While all this while, sugar is being rundown, here is why it is important. Insulin permits sugar to be released from blood into the cells, who in turn, use it for energy and body tissues need glucose to operate, especially the brain!!
Diabetes signals its presence with increase in thirst levels, dry mouth, frequent urination, blurred vision, weight loss, or a general feeling of fatigue.
Hypoglycaemia tags with it ,symptoms of palpitation, hunger pangs, feeling sweaty or sudden flushes.
Top-to Toe Damage
Diabetes damages the eye vessels, can cause heart attack or a stroke adversely impacts nerves, kidneys, legs leading up to gangrene and in certain cases has been known to mess up cognitive abilities.
Untreated hypoglycemia can cause permanent brain damage.
What to do?
Monitor it like a hawk and manage it like a good house keeper. For this regular tests such as fasting sugar, random and notably the HbA1c test, which calibrates average glucose levels for 2-3 months find recommendation.
Eat well and while on carbohydrates, consume fiber or fast acting carbohydrates as these then do not convert into sugar. Modest eating at one time or portion restraint is suggested. Exercise a lot as it promotes cells to absorb sugar from blood. Remain hydrated as water provides succour in most conditions. Hot water baths have been known to be useful. Obesity and family history have a way of aggravating the situation. So weight loss is a no brainer and sound advice from elders with a history are also the way forward.
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