Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a lifelong disease affecting 20.8 million United States adults in the year 2011. In diabetes, the body is unable to convert glucose into energy. Sugar or glucose is the main and important source of fuel for body. After digestion, the food gets changed into fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Foods affecting blood sugars are basically called carbohydrates and when carbs are digested like bread, rice and pasta they change into glucose. Glucose then gets transferred to the blood, where it is used by the cells for energy. The insulin hormone is required for glucose transferral into the cells. Beta cells produce insulin in the pancreas. In the patients suffering from diabetes, the process is impaired and the disease occurs when pancreas do not produce sufficient amount of insulin.
Diabetes can be categorised into two types- diabetes type1 and type2.
- Type1- Type 1 diabetes occurs mostly in children and young adults and accounts for approximately 5-10% of all diabetes cases in America. There is a possibility that it may even occur in any age group.
- Type2- Type 2 diabetes is very common and accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes. This type of diabetes can be seen affecting only adults but recently it is found in children as well.
What causes diabetes?
The exact cause of diabetes type1 is still unknown but there are still some factors that may increase your chances of developing diabetes type1 and type2.
- Genetics- Genes plays a major role in developing diabetes type1 and type2. Having certain genes enhance the risk of getting the disease. If one or both the parents has diabetes, genes gets transferred from biological parents to the child. The risk of developing type2 diabetes is usually 80% higher than those who does not carry gene variant.
- Environmental factors- There are certain environmental factors like food, toxins and viruses that play a major role in development of diabetes type1. Viruses do not cause diabetes but sometimes it can develop after viral infection as well.
- High blood pressure- If you have high blood pressure, the chances of development of type2 diabetes is pretty high.
- Abnormal cholesterol- Having bad cholesterol and low level of high density lipoprotein increases the chance of getting diabetes. Also, people who have increased amount of triglycerides which is a type of fat carried in the blood, are at increased risk of developing the disease.
- Obesity- Lack of physical exercises and increased weight or obesity may lead to development of type2 diabetes. When there is imbalance between calories intake and physical exercises, the weight increase and that cause insulin resistance which is really common in type 2 diabetes patients. Excess abdominal fat is a risk factor for insulin resistance, diabetes and for cardiovascular diseases.
Symptoms of diabetes
The signs and symptoms vary in case of diabetes and sometime there may be no sign experienced by the patient. Common signs and symptoms of diabetes are:
- Frequent urination
- Feeling more thirsty
- Excessive hunger
- Weight loss
- Feeling tired and lethargic
- Having blurred vision
- Vomiting and abdominal pain
- Lack of interest and concentration in work
- Slow healing wounds
- Sensation of tingling and numbness in hands and feet
The development of type1 diabetes is quick and sudden. Sometimes, the symptoms are hard to find in people who have diabetes type2, making the conditions difficult to detect. One must seek medical assistance in case of finding any of the symptoms mentioned above.
The diagnosis of diabetes can be done by using blood test which measures blood glucose level. But diabetes is a condition which cannot be cured; it can only be prevented by following exercise programs, eating proper diet, decreasing intake of sweets and testing blood sugar few times a day. For the best treatment of diabetes, there are some natural remedies one can try.
Natural remedies for diabetes
- Bitter gourd- Bitter gourd has a chemical named Charantin which helps in reducing high blood glucose levels. It is also good in influencing glucose metabolism all over the body and is packed with anti oxidants, fighting off associated complications. The seeds of the karela plant are loaded with plant insulin called polypeptide-P which is effective in lowering blood sugar level.
- Chromium- Chromium is an effective trace mineral that plays its role in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. It also works in making body cells respond to insulin. The study says that there is low level of chromium in diabetic patients. Chromium is found to be an essential component of glucose tolerance factor (GTF), regulating the actions of insulin in the body. Broccoli, barley, oats, green beans and tomatoes are some good foods rich in chromium.
- Apple cider vinegar- People suffering from diabetes should make use of apple cider vinegar in their diet as it helps to lower blood glucose level. It provides relief to heartburns and even digestion problems. Apple cider vinegar has never ending health benefits. It helps to inactivate some of the digestive enzymes which are responsible for breaking down carbohydrates into sugar. It slows down absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and gives more time in removing sugar out of the blood. The whole process helps to lower down blood glucose level in the body.
- Honey- Honey is one food that helps to avoid diabetes. But pure honey could be really beneficial in regulating blood glucose. Pure honey could be the healthiest choice for those suffering from diabetes type2. Honey does not hike blood glucose level compared with sugar. It has comparatively lower glycemic index than sugar. Honey does include sugar and consists largely of two individual sugar units named glucose and fructose which is absorbed by the body. The individual sugar units facilitates glucose intake to the liver and prevents excess of glucose entrance in blood circulation. Nature’s natural honey could be an effective food in controlling diabetes if consumed in daily diet.
- Ginger and lemon- According to 2011 issue of International journal of food science and nutrition, ginger stopes enzymes in the development of diabetes and inflammation. Lemon has also proved to be effective in controlling blood sugar level. Vitamin C rich foods like broccoli, kale, orange and strawberries are good in boosting immune system and lowering cholesterol levels.
Apart from natural remedies, one should regularly exercise and follow a proper diet. Try to brisk walk daily for thirty minutes and take medications for diabetes. Diabetes medications should be taken only after doctor’s recommendations. The medicines for diabetes help in lowering and maintain apt blood glucose levels. There is no real cure for Diabetes, however certain medications can be taken to keep the disease under control. Metformin, Metformin glimipride, Pioglitazone, Nateglinide and Acarbose are some medications for type2 diabetes. These medications depend on individuals need and preferences. One must ask doctor about when to take them and its usage should not be left in the middle because diabetes is a lifelong disease. It has been affecting 9.3 million US adults in 2012 according to CDC report.
Diabetes is a lifelong disease which is not curable but type2 diabetes can be prevented by seeking proper medical assistance. Make sure you visit a doctor on finding symptoms like blurred vision, frequent urination and excessive thirst. Regular exercise and a proper diet are good for improving overall health and for diabetic patients. Natural remedies like ginger, lemon and magnesium should be taken as part of your daily diet for a healthy lifestyle.
Also Read: 10 Secret Ways to cut back on Sugar
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