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Women tend to develop high levels of blood sugar during their pregnancy (especially within the 24th and 28th weeks), irrespective of whether they already had suffered from diabetes prior to their pregnancy. However, gestational diabetes, if not taken proper care of, might escalate the risks of developing diabetes in the near future for both the mother and the child, accompanied by complications in pregnancy or labor. Gestational diabetes is usually characterized by mild symptoms such as excessive urge to urinate, excessive thirst, blurred vision and fatigue.
Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, allows for the utilization of the glucose for energy. The food consumed is broken down by the digestive tract of the body, converting carbohydrates into glucose before releasing it into the bloodstream. The glucose is then absorbed by the cells to be used as an energy source. Now, at the time of pregnancy, the placenta (organ nourishing the fetus) connecting the baby to the blood supply also produces various other hormones in high levels, for instance, estrogen and human placental lactogen. Most of these hinder the normal functioning of insulin in the cells, hence raising the blood sugar count. With subsequent growth of the baby, the placenta keeps on producing more amounts of such insulin resistant hormones to an extent that they are capable of meddling with the development of the baby.
1. Monitoring the blood sugar count at least four to five times a day and keeping it under control might help to ease the complication.
2. A healthy diet consisting of whole grains, vegetables and fruits in the right proportion and limiting sugar or other highly refined carbs meets the nutrition and fiber requirement of the body. Guard against additional weight gain during pregnancy as that hampers the entire process.
3. Exercise or regular physical activities help to normalize blood sugar level by boosting glucose absorption in the cells. Furthermore, exercises also enhance the sensitivity of the cells towards insulin. This means that only a little amount of insulin production by your body would be enough for the transportation of sugar.
4. Medication, If exercise and diet fall inadequate, insulin injections are often administered to control blood sugar count.
5. Keeping the baby under close observation with the help of repeated ultrasound and other tests to record its growth and development is an essential part of the treatment plan. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
According to most experts, Depression and Diabetes have been intricately connected in a vicious cycle. While the prolonged and sustaining nature of diabetes directly makes one vulnerable to the bouts of depression, doctors tend to locate traces of depression in the family history of an individual in order to diagnose the roots of diabetes. It won't be too far-fetched to state that both causes as well as affects the other.
If you have diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, you have an increased risk of developing depression. And if you're depressed, you may have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that diabetes and depression can be treated together. And effectively managing one can have a positive effect on the other.
How Diabetes and Depression Correlated?
There are myriad ways in which diabetes affects depression and vice versa.
Firstly, tackling such a long drawn disease and its various pitfalls might cause a lot of anxiety to one and lead to depression. Whereas on the other hand, depression reduces the zeal to live and thus results in poor lifestyle choices which in turn causes weight gain, unhealthy food habits, physical inactivity. As we are well aware, all these have the potential to wreak havoc for any patient of diabetes.
Similarly, diabetes ushers in various other health complications, adversely impacting one's productivity. This may cause depression in a lot of people.
On the flipside, depression impedes one's ability and enthusiasm to work or communicate, this in turn intervenes with one's monitoring of diabetes. Since these two extremely malevolent diseases have such close connections, medical science recommends ways to grapple with both. The rigors of managing diabetes can be stressful and lead to symptoms of depression.
Diabetes can cause complications and health problems that may worsen symptoms of depression.
Depression affects your ability to perform tasks, communicate and think clearly. This can interfere with your ability to successfully manage diabetes.
Treatment: Depression is just like any other illness, it can be treated. Treatment can lift the depression and improve diabetes control.
Looking after your diabetes will help decrease the risk of getting depression. If you already have depression, good diabetes management will help lessen the negative impacts it can have. Depression is no different to any of the other complication of diabetes. It is a genuine illness for which you need to seek help and support from health professionals.
The treatment for depression and diabetes involves a coordinated approach that monitors both diabetes control and the symptoms of depression. It is about finding the treatment that works best for each person. For example, people with diabetes and mild depression may find that regular physical activity improves depressed moods and also helps control blood glucose levels.
If you suspect you might have depression, take control of your health by:
- Going to a doctor or other health professional
- Getting involved in social activities
- Engaging in regular moderate physical activity
- Learning about depression and diabetes
- Very particular about medicines prescribed for Diabetes
- Eating healthily and including a wide variety of nutritious foods
- Achieving and maintaining healthy weight
- Limiting your alcohol intake
- Getting help, support and encouragement from family and friends
- Asking your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
What should be avoided or eaten in case of hypothyroidism? Can it be cured completely? I am 56 years old and taking 50 mg dose daily for the last 3 months. Initially the dose was 25 mg.
Diabetes is growing to be the epidemic of modern days. The challenge here is it is not just about managing your sugar levels, but the whole lot of symptoms that diabetes brings with it. From bones to teeth to kidneys to wounds, diabetes affects all body systems. It is therefore very essential to watch out for symptoms of diabetes and curb it in its early stages. This will help control diabetes significantly along with its effects on the whole body.
Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer you have diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening. Possible complications include:
- Cardiovascular disease. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis). If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
- Nerve damage. Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in your legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain. Left untreated, you could lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs.
- Kidney damage. The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters (glomeruli) that filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
- Eye damage. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), potentially leading to blindness.
- Foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. These infections may ultimately require toe, foot or leg amputation.
- Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
- Hearing impairment. Hearing problems are more common in people with diabetes.
- Alzheimer's disease. Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
You can also take the package for Living with Diabetes.
The following are some of the basic must do's if you have diabetes. These can go a long way in preventing adverse diabetic side effects.
- Diet: Whether diabetic or not, it is always important to watch your diet. You are what you eat. Eat what your body needs, reduce refined foods, processed foods and increase the amount of whole grains and fruits and vegetables. Eating small frequent meals goes a long way in managing sugar levels than binging at one meal and starving the rest of the day. Reduce intake of saturated fats; include more lean meats. Choose grilling and steaming over frying and roasting. Diet is very important in diabetes. Recommended foods - Healthy carbohydrates, Fiber-rich foods, Heart-healthy fish and Good fats. Foods to avoid - Saturated fats, Trans fats, Cholesterol and Sodium
- Exercise: Every week, make sure about 2 hours is dedicated to physical activity. This could include any exercise of your choice, brisk walking, swimming, cycling, aerobics, hiking, jogging, skipping, gymnastics, or playing games like football or basketball. While in most cases, the person can do these on their own, in some people, supervision may be required.
- Watch your weight: For a diabetic person, controlling weight to a desirable level of BMI of 18 and 23 is very important. Obesity is one of the predisposing factors for diabetes, and reducing weight controls the onset of diabetes and helps the progression of symptoms in diabetics.
- Smoking: Another risk factor for diabetes onset, quitting is the best option. If not feasible, reducing smoking and gradually quitting should be aimed at. Not just diabetes, the effects on overall health will be evident almost immediately after quitting.
- Stress management: One of the main risk factors for diabetes, there is no getting away from stress. Everybody has their stresses but the trick is to manage it well. Whether it is music or meditation or medication or counselling, make sure stress levels are managed. This also helps prevent diabetic complications like heart disease and stroke and promotes well-being.
- Constant Checkups: Periodic check-up of blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, eye exam, dental checkup, foot checkup to test for nerve damage are all extremely important. Take your medications regularly without fail.
Diabetes requires a change in lifestyle, which may seem tedious initially. But after a while, it will become the norm and then diabetic control does not feel like something additional that is to be done. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a specilized endocrinologist and ask a free question.