Although a very persistent problem, affecting 34.2 million Americans, diabetes is still growing with all its force. These cases are expected to double by the end of the decade. Even though it’s not something that travels like viruses, more and more people are still getting affected by their sedentary lifestyle.
How Is Diabetes Caused?
Most people associate diabetes with obesity but, as a matter of fact, many seemingly fit people also get affected by this disease. It happens when your pancreas is incapable of producing sufficient insulin or the insulin is not appropriately utilized by your body.
Who Is Susceptible to Diabetes?
Whether it’s type 1 diabetes or type 2, if you have the following around, you will increase your chances of getting it:
A lot of people get type 1 diabetes because of the environmental factors that occur around them. A weak immune system and constant exposure to viral infections can cause your body to resist insulin. It is pretty standard in children who get really sick in their early years.
If your parents, even grandparents, have diabetes, it automatically increases your chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Many people with family histories have passed it on to generations. Even if you have a sibling with type 1 diabetes, it automatically makes you a candidate.
For those who struggle with obesity, type 2 diabetes is really a challenge. The fatter your tissues are, the more resistant they become to insulin. When you lose weight, the risk automatically decreases, and your blood sugar comes to an average level. However, you need to understand the fact that returning back to old habits even after losing weight will cause weight gain.
While unhealthy habits don’t affect you as much when you are young, but they can really come to bite you as you grow older. A lot of people get type 2 diabetes after the age of 40. The number decreases if you are obese.
When was the last time you exercised? Your body does not know how to use that glucose if you do not exercise as much. Regular workout sessions will help your body use that excess glucose, make you more active, healthy, and less susceptible to diabetes.
Women suffering from PCOS have more significant chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Obesity, excessive hair growth makes you a vulnerable target for diabetes. You must consult your OBGYN and also make proper lifestyle changes.
When to Test for Diabetes?
If you are suffering from the following symptoms, it may be an indicator that it’s time to pay a visit to your physician:
- Excessive urination even though water intake is the same as before.
- Tingling in hands and feet, especially after you eat something. (this may also be an indicator that you need treatment for neuropathy)
- Formation of dark patches around your neck.
- Excessive thirst
- Constant tiredness
- Blurry vision
- Dry skin
- Constant hunger
- Injuries that take longer to heal
Testing for Diabetes
Here are a few methods of testing your blood sugar for diabetes:
- Random blood sugar test in which you have to give your blood sample with or without fasting. Anyone who has a sugar level of 11.1 mmol/L is diabetic.
- A fasting blood sugar test is taken with an empty stomach. A fasting sugar level above 7mmol/L means the person is diabetic.
- An oral glucose test is conducted in periodic intervals. A blood sugar above 11.1 mmol/L is considered diabetic. You can test it from home as well.
Treatment for Diabetes
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for diabetes. This is why doctors recommend that you control your symptoms before they worsen. Most people have prescribed regular insulin shots and medication along with regular testing before and after every meal.
Others are only recommended medication. It entirely depends on your overall health condition. If the nervous system is prone to frequent damage, your doctor may ask you to opt for diabetic neuropathy treatment.
Lifestyle Changes with Diabetes
When battling with diabetes, the only thing that can reverse it is proper lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips for living a healthy life with diabetes:
You must understand that if you have diabetes, what you eat affects your blood sugar levels. There are no foods that are strictly forbidden. Concentrate on eating just what the body needs. Consume a variety of vegetables, fruits, and unprocessed grains: select low-fat dairy and lean meats. Sugary and fatty foods should be avoided. Keep in mind that carbohydrates are converted into sugar, so limit your carbohydrate consumption. Try to keep it consistent from meal to meal. This is especially critical if you use insulin or other blood sugar-controlling medications.
If you are not currently involved in activity and exercise, now is the time to begin. You really don’t have to go around looking for the best gym and trainer or a CrossFit plan. Just go for a regular brisk walk in your nearest park, ride a bike around the block or simply exercise using your smart TV. 30 minutes of activity that induces sweat every day will regulate your blood sugar quickly. When you shed some extra pounds, it will ease the stress of diabetes and maintain your overall lifestyle. A perfect blend of cardiovascular exercises with some sessions of resistance (strength training) will do wonders for your body by bringing noticeable changes to your physical health and diabetes within days. People who exercise have more strength, endurance, and body-to-mind coordination.
You have diabetes because your blood sugar is inconsistent. Diabetes increases your risk of getting heart disease. Make sure to visit every appointment with your doctor and take extra precautions when it comes to managing your sugar. Your doctor will check your eyesight regularly, check for injuries, blood pressure, cholesterol, and of course, analyze the changes in your glucose. Diabetic patients should immediately visit a car accident clinic even in case of a minor accident. Shock can also trigger your glucose levels, so it’s essential to be aware of your symptoms and take extra care.
When you are under pressure, your sugar levels increase. People who struggle with chronic anxiety may have a hard time dealing with diabetes. Many people who have symptoms of anxiety and depression along with diabetes are recommended to seek professional help. By talking to a therapist, you will be able to manage your health better and eat right. anxiety can also result in strong feelings for food. By deep breathing, yoga, and other simple activities, you can easily manage your stress and cravings for unhealthy food.
Diabetes increases the risk of developing heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, blood vessel abnormalities, nerve injury, and foot disorders. If you smoke, the chances of developing these issues are much more significant. Smoking will also make it more difficult to work out and has a damaging effect on your lungs. Consult the psychiatrist for quitting methods. Addicts who cannot leave smoking all at once are required to reduce their intake gradually. For instance, if you smoke 6 a day, it would be a much easier approach to leaving one cigarette every week. People who smoke more can use a similar method but instead of one, try reducing two every day.
To compensate for declining blood sugar levels, your liver usually releases accumulated sugar. However, if your liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, your blood sugar may not receive the necessary boost from it. Alcohol will cause low blood sugar levels immediately after consumption and for up to 24 hours afterward. Before you drink, consult your doctor about what is enough and how much alcohol is safe to consume. Drinks like wine coolers are high in carbs and can be replaced with low-carb variants of liquor such as gin or tequila. Always remember to eat before you consume any form of alcohol. Check your sugar level before and after a drink to see if there are any notable fluctuations.
There are a lot of health complications associated with diabetes. If you are struggling to manage your sugar level, it is time to make some valuable changes to your diet. People suffer from diabetes due to health conditions and even environmental factors. If you want to improve your chances of a healthy lifestyle, consult your doctor regularly and see what you eat. Simple changes like diet and exercise will regulate your sugar and even reverse diabetes. There is no cure for diabetes yet, so it is important that you live a healthy lifestyle.