Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which the person’s blood glucose (blood sugar) level is high. The rise in blood glucose level could be due to two conditions: when insulin production is inadequate or cells of body are not able to respond to insulin. Insulin is a hormone which is produced by pancreas, allowing glucose to enter cells of body. Glucose is either produced by liver or comes from digesting carbohydrates. Patients who are diabetic either suffer from frequent urination or they become more thirsty and hungry. Diabetes can catch any one and it is a lifelong health complication. Worldwide, 382 million people are affected by diabetes. Diabetes has been taking more lives than dangerous diseases like AIDS and breast cancer. It is the most leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and heart diseases. The research says that more than $174 billion is spend by American public on diabetes annually.
- Diabetes type1- In this type, the body cells that release insulin is destroyed by immune system. Without insulin, the cells are unable to absorb sugar or glucose which is needed to produce energy.
- Diabetes type2- This type of diabetes can occur to any age group but is most common in adulthood. The body cannot make use of insulin in right way which is called insulin resistance. When the condition becomes worse, pancreas produce less insulin which is called insulin deficiency.
Cause of developing type1 diabetes is not known but in this type genetics play some role and environmental factors like viruses too. There is not a single factor causing type2 diabetes but many.
What causes type2 diabetes?
- Obesity or overweight- Being obese or an overweight increases your chance of getting type2 diabetes. Four among five people are obese and have diabetes. Fat stimulates a mild, low grade inflammation throughout the body, contributing to diabetes and heart diseases. Having excess of abdominal fat brings a change in the way the body responds to insulin. Due to this condition, the cells cannot use insulin for processing blood sugar out of blood, which results in high blood sugar level in body.
- Eating habits- Poor eating habits may enhance the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study says, those who consume foods rich in calories, refined foods, sodas and fruit juices, may develop diabetes. One must consume more of whole grains, fruits and green vegetables to avoid type2 diabetes.
- Genetics- Genetics is an important factor that determines a person’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who have one or both parent suffering from diabetes may get diabetes at some point of time. Genes cannot be changed, but one can prevent the disease by regular exercise and diet.
- Lack of physical activities- A body fat combined with insulin and other hormones can affect diabetes development. Similarly proper exercise and strength training programmes to increase lean muscle mass plays a major role in protecting body against insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Even the study revealed that aerobic and resistance training exercises can help to reduce insulin resistance.
- Improper sleeping habits– Any disturbance in sleep can affect body’s balance of insulin and blood sugar by enhancing the demand on the pancreas and this leads to diabetes type2. An analysis done from 8992 adults in First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that those who sleep for less than five hours at night and more than nine are at more risk of developing diabetes.
Having learnt about the causes of type2 diabetes, we should also know that this condition is on the rise in United States and worldwide. But one can prevent it by changing their lifestyle habits. A good diet, proper exercise and diabetes medication are all helpful in managing type2 diabetes.
Treating type2 diabetes
- Look on your diet- A proper diet is important to remain healthy and manage diabetes. Make sure your meal contains fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meats and low dairy fats. Eat non-starchy veggies like broccoli, carrots, bean sprouts, spinach, tomato and lettuce which are good for health. Do not eat or limit junk or fast foods like fries, hamburgers and hotdogs which are loaded with carbohydrates, trans fats and sodium. Be careful while consuming foods high in glycemic level affecting glucose levels.
- Weight loss- If you are obese, then try to lose some weight which keeps diabetes under control. Losing 10-15 pounds in diabetes can lower glucose level. Fat distribution in body also affects diabetes risk.
- Exercise- Physical exercises like brisk walk, jogging or cycling, contracts muscles that push glucose out of the blood into cells. People indulging in regular exercises are able to prevent and manage type2 diabetes.
- Avoid stress- It is hard to control blood sugar level when you’re stressed out. One must avoid stress and try yoga, meditation and massage which are good techniques to soothe stress. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods at night. The strategies may have a good impact on blood sugar level, and help in managing diabetes.
Many people who rely on proper diet and regular exercise are able to prevent diabetes. But those who do not get any benefit have to take medications for diabetes. Metformin is a biguanide diabetes medication which helps to lower blood glucose level and decreases the amount of sugar which is released by liver into the bloodstream. Metformin is the first medication for type2 diabetes advised by the doctor when blood glucose level is not controlled by lifestyle changes. Other medicines for diabetes include: Ulfonylureas, Meglitinides, Thiazolidinediones, DPP-4 inhibitors and SGL T-2 inhibitors. These medications for diabetes help the body secrete more insulin and makes the body tissues more sensitive to insulin. Always make sure you consult your doctor before consuming any medication for type2 diabetes. The medicines for diabetes cannot cure but controls the disease.
Apart from diabetes medications, some people too require insulin therapy. Insulin if taken by mouth may interfere with normal digestion, so it is injected and these injections involve usage of fine needle and syringe.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to make use of insulin and blood glucose level is quite high. According to CDC report published in 2012, 9.3% Americans suffer from Diabetes. A healthy diet, proper exercise and sound sleep are really important for diabetic patients. Apart from these, there are a lot of medications prescribed for diabetes which can prove effective in controlling the disease. So make sure you consult your doctor before consuming any medicine and always follow his advice to live a healthy life.
Also Read: 5 Natural Remedies for Preventing Diabetes
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