Diabetes, a chronic condition which is capable to have life-altering effects on individuals suffering from it. It is a condition triggered because of lack of response of body to insulin or due to lesser production of insulin than normal or at times both. Diabetes happens when, blood sugar levels are too high. The person has to work hard to keep his blood sugar in the normal range to lead his usual routine life. The body is thus unable to maintain optimum levels of sugar in his blood leading to fluctuations.
Reports from World Health Organization suggest that globally the spreading rate of diabetes has nearly doubled from the earlier 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014. Sure enough, diabetes is seen today among young people and children as well. It is even predicted by WHO that by 2030, diabetes is likely to become a leading cause of death.
What are the Types of Diabetes if Any?
Following mentioned are the few commonly diagnosed diabetes types:
- Type 1– Poor lifestyle habits and sometimes a history of diabetes causes individuals in their 20s and 30s to contract this type. Although it is a rare type, it is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks healthy cells and this leads to insulin not getting produced at all.
- Type 2- Obesity, unhealthy eating habits is what triggers Type 2 diabetes in individuals. This type occurs in 90% individuals. In this case, body becomes resistant to insulin.
- Pre-diabetes- This stage is sort of a wake-up call. When some person has pre-diabetes, he is said to be on the threshold of diabetes. His sugar is quite high, but not very high to be classified as diabetic.
- Gestational– An unhealthy diet, polycystic ovary syndrome etc. cause pregnant women to contract gestational diabetes. The high sugar condition is extremely dangerous to both mother and child.
What are the Complications Caused by Diabetes?
Complications are higher, if you do not incorporate lifestyle changes in order to curb high sugar levels. A high sugar level is like a vicious circle. It gives rise to a volley of other illnesses which cripple the quality of life. Some of the possible complications triggered by a high blood sugar or diabetes are:
- Retinopathy– Retinopathy occurs when a high blood sugar level causes blood vessels in back of eyes to get destroyed. As a result, retina doesn’t get enough of nutrients it requires for maintaining proper vision. If left untreated can cause the person to get blind. Both Type1 & 2 diabetics are likely to suffer from retinopathy
- Neuropathy– High blood sugar levels cause injury in capillaries mainly in your feet and legs. The patient may experience problems in their heart, urinary tract and digestive system. He also experiences tingling sensations emanating from tip of toes spreading upwards gradually. Over time if left untreated or medicated it can lead to loss of sensation in the affected limbs.
- Cardiovascular diseases– People suffering from diabetes are likelier to suffer from diseases of heart as compared to people who do not have diabetes. High levels of blood sugar lead to deposition of lipids on walls of blood vessels. Such deposits lead to clogged blood vessels leading to arterial diseases and heart attack.
- Nephropathy– A small percentage of diabetics are likely to suffer from diabetic nephropathy. It is very important to keep your blood sugar in the normal range. If not maintained, then kidney failure triggered by bursting of minute blood vessels in kidney is inevitable.
- Alzheimer’s- People living with Type-2 diabetes have possibility of contracting Alzheimer’s. Although, studies are yet on to prove the co-relation of both of these diseases, the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia cannot be denied
- Macrosomia– This condition is a complication caused when a woman suffers from gestational diabetes. In it, she delivers a child who is excessively large weighing 8 pounds or above.
- Miscarriage– Gestational diabetes if ignored and left untreated can cause miscarriage in pregnant women or still-born delivery
- Preeclampsia– Gestational diabetes during pregnancy causes blood sugar levels to shoot up also leading to preeclampsia. If left untreated can prove to be life-threatening.
Remedies to Prevent Diabetes-
There is no specific cure for a diabetic condition. However following few natural remedies to supplement medication, blood sugar levels can be controlled effectively. The glucose levels that way would also remain normal and also help you to lead your routine life:
- Bitter gourd juice- Bitter gourd is known to contain phyto-nutrient, polypeptide-P. It is a plant insulin which keeps blood sugar levels in check. Even though it can in no way used to replace insulin, it is still very beneficial for people suffering from Type 1& 2 diabetes. Grinding it to prepare a juice for consumption can help curb glucose levels.
- Amla juice- Amla has rich deposits of vitamin C. Amla promotes proper functioning of pancreas thus preventing pancreatitis. Chromium a mineral in amla is responsible to make the body more receptive to insulin, thus maintaining blood sugar levels in the process. Drinking juice of amla or consuming amla powder mixed in water is advantageous for maintaining steady sugar levels
- Indian Black-berry- Indian Black-berry or jamun as it is known in colloquial terms is a very healthy and natural way to control blood sugar levels. The fruit and its seed contains hypoglycemic and alkaloid properties which are catalysts for controlling blood sugar levels
- Black tea- Black tea is a natural way to keep blood sugar in check. Of course, black tea consumed minus the milk and sugar only is known to reduce blood sugar. The polysaccharides in black tea keep the blood sugar levels low.
- Neem leaves- The neem tree is native to India and found in many parts of the country. The leaves although very bitter are known to enhance insulin reception and keeping blood sugar levels low. These leaves also reduce a diabetic’s dependence on drugs and medicines.
- Cut the carbohydrates: Foods like rice, cereals, bread, legumes, sushi etc. all are high on carbohydrates. Cut down on such food and instead focus on including leafy vegetables, yogurt, tomatoes and citrus fruits. And sit back to see your sugar levels returning to its normal.
To sum up things, diabetes is not the monster it is perceived to be. Maintaining proper blood sugar levels with proper diet and exercises, periodic tests can enable diabetics to lead a life just like other people.
Also, there is no reason to worry too much as there are various pathology labs offering diagnostic tests for diabetic testing. You may get an idea about the test prices which are pocket-friendly and are available in various pathology labs here.
Summary – The reader is given a short idea about what the basics of diabetes and the complications occurring if blood sugar is not controlled. It also talks about remedies and types.