We often hear people talking or discussing about major diseases such as AIDS or Cancer. But there is one more disease which has been affecting millions of people worldwide. It’s none other than diabetes. As per the report by World Health Organisation, by the year 2030 the number of people suffering from diabetes will be exactly more than double where it afflicts 382 million people worldwide. Diabetes can strike anyone, whereas it’s a lifelong disease. Today the disease has taken much more lives than AIDS and breast cancer combined-which claims the life of 1 American every 3 minutes. It has now become the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke in many people.
Diabetes is a defect in our body’s ability to convert glucose i.e. sugar into energy. Another name of diabetes is diabetes mellitus, which describes it as a group of metabolic diseases and in this the person has high blood glucose i.e. blood sugar. There could be two reasons for this—first is that the insulin production is inadequate and second is that body’s cells are unable to respond properly to insulin. The sufferers with high blood sugar may experience frequent urination or get extremely thirsty and hungry. Diabetes is categorised into 3 types: type1, type2 and gestational. Approximately 90% of the diabetes cases fall in type 2 category.
Factors causing type2 Diabetes
- The risk of getting diabetes increases as you get older is higher. This is because we tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight.
- Our genes too play some role in diabetes. If you have a family history or one of your parents suffers from diabetes, the odds of your suffering from diabetes are high.
- Women having polycystic ovary syndrome are also prone to get diabetes.
- Obesity and sedentary lifestyle are one of the most prominent reasons to develop diabetes. Snacking on junk food leads to more consumption of calories.
- Lack of physical activities makes us lethargic and obese and thereby it also contributes to diabetes type2.
- Eating wrong food in excess can enhance the risk of type2 diabetes. Foods that may increase the chances are: refined foods and beverages and too little raw fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Improper sleeping habit is largely responsible to affect the balance of insulin and blood sugar by increasing the demand on the pancreas which may lead to diabetes type2. Also read: 10 Secret Ways to cut back on Sugar
Diabetes is a disease which is unpredictable and many a times asymptomatic. The disease has no cure as of yet and the patient has to suffer life long. But there are diabetes medicines which can be taken to control diabetes. The medication for diabetes include Metformin which is a biguanide diabetes medicine aims to lower the blood glucose level and also it decreases the amount of sugar released by liver into the bloodstream. It is not that difficult managing diabetes, just a little effort required to make some changes in daily lifestyle. Some other medicines to manage diabetes are: Sulfonylureas, Meglitinides, Thiazolidinediones, DPP-4(dipeptidyl peptidase) inhibitors and SGL T-2 inhibitors. Medicines for diabetes can be taken after being prescribed by doctor, and also one can shop for diabetes medicines online according to his convenience. But remember these medicines for diabetes would not cure but actually controls blood sugar level. Also apart from the medicines for diabetes prescribed, many people require insulin therapy too. Insulin when taken through mouth may interfere with the normal digestion, which is why it is injected. The injected insulin replaces the insulin missing in the body. It is important that one must consult a diabetes specialist who would assist in managing diabetes correctly.
So the best way to keep blood sugar level in control is following a healthy diet which we will discuss below and doing regular exercise.
How to manage diabetes?
Here is the list of foods which one should consume the most in order to fight diabetes.
- Apples- An apple is a nutritious fruit offering several health benefits. They are low in calories, high in fibre content and fights bad cholesterol. They are counted among the top fruits with the most disease fighting antioxidants.
- Avocado- An avocado is a rich, creamy and beneficial food to be consumed. It has monounsaturated fats, helps to slow down digestion whereas keeps blood sugar from spiking after a meal. Consuming a diet rich in good fat can also reverse insulin resistance that may translate to a steadier blood sugar long-term.
- Beans- When thinking about healthy foods, beans should be no where down the list. From chickpeas to kidney beans to edamame, the soluble fibre present in it keeps a check on high blood sugar level.
- Beef- Beef could be a diabetes friendly food, as long as one chooses the leanest cuts and keep portions to one fourth his plate. Consuming foods high in protein makes us stay full and satisfied. Further it helps in maintaining muscle mass when you try to lose weight.
- Berries- Berries offers fibre and are full of antioxidants. The red and blue varieties of berries contain anthocyanins which are a natural plant compound, and many scientists believe that these may help to lower blood sugar by boosting insulin production.
- Eggs- Eggs could be another wise choice in terms of high quality protein. One or two eggs will not raise cholesterol and instead may make us full and satisfied for hours.
- Fish- According to the study by Harvard School of Public Health, those who consume fish can reduce their risk of heart disease by 40% which is the single most deadly complication of diabetes. The fatty acid present in a fish can reduce inflammation in the body which is a contributing factor in coronary disease, insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Flaxseeds- Flaxseeds are quite rich in fibre, protein and good fats. They are a good source of magnesium, a mineral which is very important for blood sugar control as it helps cells to use insulin.
- Nuts- Nuts are found to be slow burning foods which are very much friendly to blood sugar. They contain a lot of fat; healthful monounsaturated kind.
- Yogurt and milk- Milk and yogurt are the food items which are rich in protein and calcium; and that is also help to lose weight as per the study. The diets that offer plenty of dairy are effective in fighting insulin resistance (main problem behind diabetes).
Now when we know there are several food items that are high in protein and even have the tendency to fight diabetes one must start eating them today. With this you may not cure diabetes but can control it well with your minimal efforts. Also an exercise helps to slow down the progression of diabetes. Doing exercise not only help to lose weight or improve health but also has a direct impact on the blood sugar level. As recommended by American Diabetes Association, people suffering from type2 diabetes should make a habit of doing at least 150 minutes exercise each week or 30 minutes a day on five days of the week. Physical exercise like brisk walk, jogging and cycling will largely work.
Avoiding stress is also important to live a healthy life because it is sometimes difficult to control blood sugar level in stress. So in this case you may try yoga, meditation or get a massage, which could help doing away with the stress. Other than this find yourself the most comfortable and healthy environment for sleeping. All these strategies can greatly impact on the blood sugar level and may help you lead a disease free life.
Also Read: Diabetes: Causes and Ways to Deal with it.
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