Diabetes is one of the most talked about diseases across the world and is a very serious lifelong health problem. Millions of people all over the world are being told that diabetes is “genetic” and that they have to live with it the rest of their life. The current expenditure on diabetes treatment in India is approximately Rs. 6,000/- person/annum. We have a very casual approach to diabetes and it can cause significant damage by the time it is diagnosed. If diabetes is poorly controlled or left untreated, it may lead to blindness, kidney disease, blood vessel damage, infection, heart disease, nerve damage, high blood pressure, stroke, limb amputation. Diabetes is commonly known as the silent killer and in many cases is diagnosed accidentally.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.
Blood glucose is the main source of energy and comes from the food we eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food to get into our cells to be used for energy. Sometimes our body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach our cells.
The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes – The body does not make insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1, usually diagnosed in children and young adults. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes- The body does not make or use insulin well. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. Type II diabetes is a very complex metabolic disease.
Gestational Diabetes – Affects females during pregnancy.
The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still being researched. Several risk factors have been associated with type 2 diabetes and includes-….. (Graphics). The incidence of diabetes is increasing in urban as well as rural areas. This could be due to increasing mechanization, leading sedentary lives and shift of eating habits.
Obesity in children is on the rise. Is there a way out?
Healthy alternatives to fast food should be opted for. Healthy eating habits should be inculcated right from early childhood.
Biggest challenge to a person with diabetes in India?
Lack of awareness about diabetes and its complications, delayed diagnosis, myths surrounding diabetes management makes diabetes detection and management difficult. Integration of physical, emotional and spiritual elements creates wellness. This holistic approach to medicine along with better education, empowers a patient and makes healing a shared responsibility.
Symptoms of Diabetes- It is possible to have diabetes with only very mild symptoms or without developing any symptoms at all. It is important to see a doctor if there is any suspicion of diabetes The most common symptoms are-
Frequent urination- When there is too much glucose in your blood you will urinate more often.
Disproportionate thirst- If you are urinating more than usual, you will need to replace that lost liquid.
Intense hunger- As the insulin in your blood is not working properly, your body may react by trying to find more energy. You will become hungry.
Unusual weight loss- This is more common among people with Diabetes Type 1.
Increased fatigue- As glucose will not be entering your cells and providing them with energy. This will make you feel tired and listless.
Irritability can be due to your lack of energy.
Blurred vision- This affects your eyes’ ability to focus. With proper treatment this can be treated.
Cuts and bruises don’t heal properly or quickly
More skin infections
Gums are red or swollen
Numbness or tingling, especially in your feet and hands
Natural Remedies to control
If you’re suffering from diabetes, then it’s extremely important to keep a strict watch on your diet. Taking a short walk after meals, can help people with Type 2 diabetes reduce their blood sugar levels. One should adhere to the following to beat the risk of developing diabetes –
- Balanced Diet- Natural uncooked food is the best medicine. Food such as sprouts, fruits, juices, nuts and so on can be taken raw. Eating a diet rich in fibre helps the body to absorb sugars slowly, which in turn keeps blood sugar levels balanced. Whole grain crackers – made of cracked wheat, quinoa, rye, oats are healthy. Egg whites can be safely included in a diabetic patient’s diet plan
- Exercise : has the potential to control the diabetes by nonmedical means. It reduces the severity of the disease and significantly reduces the risk of long-term complications.
- Meditation : Meditation lowers the insulin resistance in our body.
- Basil leaves : contain antioxidants which have power to lower blood sugar levels.
- Drinking Cactus juice, Green Tea, Cinnamon Water, Consuming flax seed, Isabgol lowers blood sugar level.
- Jamun seeds are very helpful in controlling sugar and help to ease from Diabetic symptoms.
- Karela or Bitter Gourd is useful in reducing blood sugar.
- For diabetic treatment, tender shoot of neem is also used.
Three rules that you should always keep in mind. Firstly, diabetes should be seriously managed throughout the lifetime. Secondly, for prevention the focus should be on a healthy diet and regular exercise. And lastly, early diagnosis is the key to effective management and prevention of complications.