DIABETES: A CHRONIC DISEASE
Diabetes has been a major and chronic disease in our recent time and the most surprising thing about this disease is that it cannot technically be cured but it can go into remission. When you hear remission, it simply means that it is a period of time when an illness is less severe or is not affecting someone. In the case of diabetes, medically, it can’t be cured but one can stay for at least a year without any medications (remission).
Then what is diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. High blood sugar occurs when your body can’t effectively transport sugar from blood into cell. Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced. Insulin is a hormone that serves as sort of a “gate keeper,” allowing glucose to enter cells where it can be transformed into energy and used to support vital cell.
Types of diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:
1) Type 1 diabetes mellitus: results from the pancreas’ failure to produce enough insulin due to loss of beta cells. This form was previously referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes”. The cause is unknown.
2) Type 2 diabetes mellitus: begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. As the disease progresses, a lack of insulin may also develop. This form was previously referred to as “non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes”. The most common cause is a combination of excessive body weight and in sufficient exercise.
3) Gestational diabetes: is the third main form, and occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of diabetes
The classic symptoms of untreated diabetes are
- Unintended weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
- Polyuria (increased urination)
- Polydipsia (increased thirst),
- Polyphagia (increased hunger).
Others include: blurred vision, fatigue (weak, tired feeling), and headache, itchy skin, slow healing of wounds and cut, skin rashes, smell of acetone from breath, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain.
Diabetes and insulin.
Insulin is the principal hormone that regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood into most cells of the body, especially liver, adipose tissue and muscle. Therefore, deficiency of insulin or the insensitivity of its receptors plays a central role in all forms of diabetes mellitus.
If the amount of insulin available is insufficient, or if cells respond poorly to the effects of insulin (insulin insensitivity or insulin resistance), or if the insulin itself is defective, then glucose will not be absorbed properly by the body cells that require it, and it will not be stored appropriately in the liver and muscles. The net effect is persistently high levels of blood glucose (diabetes).
Therefore for most diabetic patient, insulin is being administered to them. Insulin is almost always administered subcutaneously (through the skin). Recently, an inhaled insulin preparation has also become available.
How can this disease are prevented:
- Exercise Regularly. Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity.
- Control Stress Levels.
- Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels.
- Increase Your Fibre Intake.
- Drink Water and Stay Hydrated.
- Implement Portion Control.
- Control Your Carbohydrate Intake
- Choose Foods With a Low Glycemic Index.
Meals that can control diabetes include:
- Melon or Berries.
- Raw, Cooked, or Roasted Vegetables: These add colour, flavour, and texture to a meal.
- Whole-grain, Higher-fibre Foods.
- Greens. Go beyond your regular salad
- A Little Fat.
- Flavorful, Low-calorie Drinks