The Problem of Diabetes

In today's blog post, we cover the topic of diabetes. Diabetes,  often referred to as diabetes mellitus, is a metabolic disease in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose (a form of sugar). Glucose is thus accumulated in the bloodstream causing one's blood glucose or blood sugar to rise to unhealthy levels.

In 2013 alone, over 382 million people throughout the world had diabetes which shows the alarming number of people suffering from it. There are two major types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the patient's body completely stops producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that enables the body to use glucose found in foods for energy. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin effectively.

People with diabetes usually experience polyuria (frequent urination), are more thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia) compared to usual. Some people experience blurry vision, irritability, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, wounds that don't heal and skin, bladder and gum infections.

 

Type 1

Type 2

When can it be developed?

Usually developed early in their teenage years or adulthood before the age of 40

Later stages of life, when we are older.

Occurrence

Not so common - 10%

More common - 90%

Treatment

Need to take insulin for the rest of their lives. Have to ensure proper blood-glucose levels by carrying out regular blood tests and following a special diet. Exercise helps to treat this type of diabetes.

Usually treated with tablets, exercise and a special diet. In some cases, insulin injections may be necessary.

 

Diabetes, when not controlled, can cause other problems such as heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, blood vessel disease and nerve damage. Blood flow to the limbs is affected, sometimes to the extent that the flesh turns black and dies. Many diabetes patients are at risk from gangrene, for which there is often no treatment other than amputation of the affected limbs. Therefore, it is vital to maintain a healthy level of blood glucose.

We should all have regular blood tests to check for the onset of diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is critical to follow the advice of your doctor. You will have to change your lifestyle, exercise regularly, and carefully control your carbohydrate intake

Many people think that diabetes control is just about avoiding chocolate and sweets. However, your body converts carbohydrates of all kinds to sugar during digestion, so rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, cereals and dried fruit all have to be reduced. Most of all, you need will power and determination to overcome the urge to snack.

However, reducing your carbohydrate level too much can lead to levels of blood sugar that are too low, which is also dangerous, so you need to find a balance. . A blood glucose measuring system, available in pharmacies for less than a $100, is an easy way  to monitor exactly your sugar levels.

Once your diabetes is controlled, and if you are not on medication, you can also supplement your diet with vitamins that help to regulate the blood glucose level such as Full Spectrum Cinnamon, Cranberry and Gymnema Sylvestre. These help support your body’s natural insulin system. However, always consult your doctor about taking such supplements, and remember you should never stop taking the doctor’s medicine to take herbal or natural remedies instead.