Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus is a cluster of metabolic disease which results in high blood sugar level (high blood glucose). Symptoms of high blood glucose are increased thirst, increased hunger, and frequent urination. Healthy diet and physical exercise, maintaining a normal body weight, avoiding any kind of tobacco and alcohol intake is of utmost importance whether a person is suffering from diabetes or not. If went unnoticed, diabetes can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, fatigue, slow healing of cuts, blurry vision, permanent brain damage, changes in behavioural pattern, cardiovascular disease, foot ulcers, stroke, chronic kidney diseases, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, damage the eyes or even death. The death toll caused by diabetes mellitus is 1.5 – 5 million every year.
The causes of diabetes are:
- The pancreas is not producing enough insulin, leading to Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.
- The body cells are not responding to the insulin produced, leading to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, also named juvenile diabetes, childhood-onset diabetes, and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).
- Other factors contributing to diabetes are fast paced life, globalisation, increasing stress levels, etc.
Gestational Diabetes is another form of diabetes which is caused during pregnancy. It usually concludes after the birth of the baby.
If a person is suffering from diabetes, he or she should control blood pressure and maintain proper foot care. Type 1 DM is treated by giving insulin injections and Type 2 DM is treated by medications with or without insulin.
Those suffering from diabetes should consume less red meat, limiting the intake of sugary drinks, consuming good fat like polyunsaturated fat found in nuts, oils, fish and vegetables.
Insulin resistance is a resistance to the insulin produced in the body, which is the causal factor of Type 2 DM, prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Insulin resistance leads to build up and increased storage of glucose in the bloodstream leading to high blood sugar levels, and also causes increased storage of fat in liver and pancreas. Causes of insulin resistance are:
- Overweight body
- Doing less physical activities
- High intake of sugary foods
- Increased stress levels
- PCOS can also lead to insulin resistance
- Taking steroids
The factors causing insulin resistance can be reduced but can’t be treated completely.
Following are the dietary recommendations you can follow as mastering diabetes – reverse insulin resistance. Always remember to eat foods high in fibre, and eat something every three hours to keep the glucose level normal.
- Eggs, fish (salmon, sardine, sable), nut butters, soy protein shakes,dry fruits and nuts
- Vegetables, legumes, chickpeas, fruits
- Low-glycemic foods like broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach
- Berries including plums, peaches, cherries, apples, pears.
- Green tea, garlic, citrus fruits, help in detoxifying
- Dark chocolate
- Only extra virgin olive oil should be used in cooking.
Following foods should be avoided:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Starchy foods including potato, bread, corn flakes, cereals, pasta, cakes, chips, candies
- Processed fruit juices and canned vegetables
- Dairy products and predator fishes, alcohol
30 minutes of daily exercise is must and walking after dinner can immensely help in maintaining blood sugar level. 60 minutes of aerobic exercises also helps in controlling diabetes. And don’t forget to keep a check on your stress levels. Try to stay calm and balanced.
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