Diabetes is a disease when a person blood sugar levels or blood glucose levels are much higher than normal. This is a condition when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use the insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that allows for the proper metabolism of glucose and ensures that it reaches the cells. A person may suffer from a number of health problems if there is too much glucose in his/her body. There is, however, no permanent treatment for diabetes. It can only be managed.
There are different types of diabetes. A person suffering from Type 1 diabetes has to take insulin everyday as his/her body stops synthesizing the hormone. This is because the nervous system attacks the pancreas and destroys the cells that manufacture insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce the required amount of insulin or it does not use it well. This results in excess blood glucose in the blood.
Managing diabetes involves primarily managing the ABCs of diabetes: A for A1C test, B for blood pressure, C for cholesterol and s for smoking. Insulin, which is essential for treating both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can be taken in the form of shots, jet injector, pump, inhaler and pen. People suffering from Type 2 diabetes are generally recommended metformin pills. When medications and other treatments fail, bariatric surgery may be recommended for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes while an artificial pancreas and pancreatic islet transplantation may be recommended for Type 1 diabetics.
Managing diabetes means managing the blood glucose levels. It also means managing blood pressure and cholesterol to keep various health problems at bay. The different methods that can be used to manage diabetes are managing the diabetes ABCs, regularly monitoring the blood glucose levels, following the diabetes meal plan, exercising regularly, taking regular medications and adopting other healthy means. The A1C test shows a person blood glucose levels over the last 3 months. For many people, the A1C goal is below 7 percent. The blood goal is generally 140/90 mm Hg.Type 1 diabetes occurs when a person’s pancreas does not produce insulin. So, people with Type 1 diabetes have to take insulin regularly to reduce the level of glucose in blood. Thus Type 1 diabetes can be managed by taking insulin in the form of injections or pumps regularly, monitoring the blood glucose levels regularly, exercising and eating healthy. Management of diabetes involve keeping the blood glucose levels as close as possible to the target range of between 4-6 mmol/L.
For people with Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is working but not producing the desired results. Initially Type 2 diabetes can be managed by through lifestyle modifications like eating healthy, exercising and regularly checking blood sugar levels. However, this condition is often a progressive one and may require medications when the pancreas becomes less effective in converting glucose to energy. A person may also need to start taking insulin. Sometimes,a person suffering from diabetes may need to consult with a range of different doctors to manage his/her condition.
The symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst and urination, increased hunger, blurred vision, fatigue, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, unexplained weight loss and sores that do not heal. The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes develop quickly while Type 2 diabetes may develop slowly over the years without manifesting any apparent symptoms. A medical practitioner may take the help of tests like A1C, fasting plasma glucose test and random plasma glucose test to understand whether a person is suffering from diabetes or not. A person who has shown some symptoms and has been diagnosed by a doctor is eligible for treatment.
A person who does not exhibit any symptoms and whose blood glucose levels are normal are not eligible for treatment. A person is not eligible if a doctor does not diagnose him as suffering from diabetes after he/she has undergone relevant tests.
People suffering from Type 2 diabetes are generally given metformin tablets. However, the serious side-effects of this medication include low blood pressure and lactic acidosis. The manifestations of lactic acidosis include tiredness, weakness, trouble in breathing, muscle pain, nausea and stomach pain. Low bllod pressure can cause headache, confusion, weakness, dizziness, drowsiness, irritability and a shaking or jittery feeling. Injection of insulin may result in hunger, weakness, headache, sweating tremors, irritability, fainting, fast breathing, rapid breathing and seizures.
Diabetes is a condition which has no permanent cure. What a person can do at the most is manage the symptoms. A person suffering from Type 1 diabetes has to take insulin throughout his/her life. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition and a person will have to undergo the treatment to keep blood sugar levels in check. So, a person has to lead a healthy lifestyle and undertake regular check-ups throughout his/her life to manage diabetes.
Diabetes cannot be completely treated but it can be managed. However, people can manage their blood sugar levels within a few days by reverting to a healthy lifestyle and also by taking insulin. Rapid acting injectable insulin takes effect within a few minutes and helps to bring down the blood glucose levels. However, this is not a permanent solution. So there is no such recovery time for a person suffering from diabetes. A person needs to create a self-care plan and take care of himself/herself everyday to deal with diabetes and lead a good life.
A person suffering from Type 1 diabetes will have to spend something around Rs 8000 – Rs 10000 per month. 1 box of Minimed Silhouette costs around Rs 3800. These are used by people who are lean or lead an active life. 1 box of Minimed Reservoir costs about Rs 1500. A person will have to pay Rs 1600 for 2 boxes of Accu-check Perfoma test strips which contain 200 strips. 2 10ml vials of Sanofi Apidra Insulin cost around Rs 2000. A patient suffering from diabetes will have to go for regular check-ups. The cost of seeing the doctor varies from one institution to another and also depends on the doctor himself/herself. The cheapest insulin injections are available within a price range of Rs 140 -210 in India.
A healthy lifestyle including a healthy diet, regular exercise and medications help to keep the blood sugar levels in check. However, the results are not permanent. A person suffering from diabetes will have to take medications (including insulin) throughout his/her life. That person will have to lead a healthy and active lifestyle throughout. As otherwise, the blood sugar levels will shoot up and cause a lot of health problems.
Soaking 10-15 tender mango leaves in a glass of water for a night and consuming the water in the morning helps to regulate blood glucose levels. Bitter gourd or bitter melon helps to manage diabetes by influencing glucose metabolism all over the body. Powdered cinnamon also helps to deal with diabetes as it contains bioactive components. Other foods that help to deal with diabetes are fenugreek, Indian gooseberry, black plum, curry leaves and aloe vera.Type diabetes
Rs 140 - Rs 10,000. This is not exhaustive. If a person spends about Rs 10,000 per month, he/she will have to spend Rs 1,20.000 in 1 year.
For a healthy, non-diabetic person, the blood glucose level should be between 70-100 mg/dl (fasting) and not more than 140 mg/dl (postprandial, checked 2 hours after a meal). However certain conditions (especially diabetic patients who are on oral medications or insulin) can result in the blood glucose level to fall abnormally low (well below 70 mg/dl), a condition medically known as Hypoglycemia.
A sudden dip in the blood glucose level can cause weakness, increased heartbeats, palpitations, dizziness, profuse sweating, headache, shakiness, confusions (a person loses the ability of proper thinking and reasoning). The skin may also turn pale. A person finds it difficult to sleep. In extreme and untreated cases, a person may lose consciousness and even slip into a coma. If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, seek assistance immediately.
Risks associated with Hypoglycemia and how to manage it
Diabetic patients should be extra careful with their diets and medications. As already stated, untreated hypoglycemia, especially if the blood glucose level is below 40 mg/dl can cause a serious health scare. A more serious type of hypoglycemia is the one that a person experiences at night, often in their sleep, a condition termed as Nocturnal Hypoglycemia. Many people in their sleep are unable to react promptly, resulting in serious consequences.
Further, there may be
For diabetic patients, the situation at times can prove to be life threatening. To avoid such situations:
Hypoglycemia can be treated and managed if diagnosed at an early stage. Prolonged hypoglycemia (mainly in diabetic patients) can also result in cardiac problems.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Pregnancy brings with it a set of challenges, and for a diabetic woman, these only increase further. Earlier, the risks of dealing with pregnancy and diabetes as a combination were too high. However, over the last few decades, things have changed. The age at which women are choosing to have a baby has gone up. On the other hand, the age of onset of diabetes has come down drastically.
These days, there are many diabetic women who go through pregnancy smoothly without major complications. Of course, there is extra care and precaution required, but it is not something that cannot be planned and managed well between the doctor and the mother-to-be.
The following are some rough guidelines for a pregnant diabetic woman.
If you are planning for a pregnancy, meet with your doctor to review your sugar levels. Chalk out a plan with your doctor, taking into account your diet and nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and medications.
During pregnancy, constant monitoring and vigilance is required to ensure diabetes is under control.
Before you are affected by diabetes, a condition known as pre-diabetes is experienced, which indicates that a person might develop diabetes soon. In case you have pre-diabetes, your blood sugar level will be higher than the usual, but not as much as during diabetes. The condition is called borderline diabetes. During pre-diabetes, the production of insulin hormone gets decreased. You are more likely to get heart diseases and a stroke because of pre-diabetes.
Diagnosis There are three primary blood tests, which are used for the diagnosis of pre-diabetes:
Lifestyle changes required for managing pre-diabetes Lifestyle changes may help people in managing pre-diabetes and for preventing it from developing into diabetes. Here are some changes and habits you need to practice:
If you experience a rise in your blood sugar levels, you must consult a doctor immediately. With early diagnosis, you can take preventive measures and will be able to prevent pre-diabetes from developing into diabetes.
Diabetes is something which has become so common over the past few decades and this is said to be a cause of worry as most people don't understand how to prevent and manage it. This has led to some myths, gaining more than their fair share of popularity. So, wouldn’t it be a good idea to get to know a little more so as to separate the myths from the facts?
If you are reading this, you are amongst the many who are suffering personally or trying to help another overcome the burden of this silent, epidemic killer of modern era.
Statistics given by International Diabetic Federation declares 415 million diabetics today and an estimate of 642 million diabetics by 2040 world-wide. Picking up older records, WHO has published that “the number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014. Diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries”
This clearly indicates that actually, in-spite of all the miracle medicines and dietary restrictions put on Diabetics; the prevalence continues and the numbers are still growing. Where are we going wrong?? What are we doing less to curtail this epidemic??
Ayurveda, the “Science of life” has a different way of looking at the patient. Rather than treat his/her symptoms, the Ayurvedacharys will try to evaluate the triggers of the disorder or disease and correct them, with natural products are used traditionally, sometimes with the help of natural herbs, potentized with different processes making them into medicines.
Let us evaluate the triggers: According to Ayurveda, the trigger and body response determines (early diabetes) Prameha; and if not kept under control, can lead to Madhumeha (Diabetes Melitus). The classifications are based on the variations or mismanagement of Vata, Pitta, or Kapha- the 3 major humors of the body. The mismanagement a result of lifestyle, stress, age, toxicity and poor immunity.
So what happens when a person is declared diabetic?
The body functions on the foods consumed, the nutrition derived and the ease with which it is transformed into the correct form of energy required for the cells, tissues, organs and different metabolic processes of the body. THIS FUEL IS GLUCOSE-SUGAR. So sugar is an essential component in every activity in the body. Insulin (produced by pancreas under mental/brain stimulus) triggers the process of activating cellular function to absorb this glucose fuel to be converted into energy in the presence of pancreas hormone – insulin.
Diabetes condition prevails when the inherent normal process of (sugar) glucose to energy cycle is disrupted either because there is a problem in insulin quality and quantity or the cells resist absorbing insulin. If this conversion system is disturbed or not available for balanced cellular function and maintenance, “catabolism” or breakdown of protein synthesis leads to muscle loss, energy loss, accumulation of internal toxins. Incorrect kind of insulin leads to incorrect kind of cellular fuel. The cellular chemical factory, the “Mitochondria” and ATP (energy molecule) are affected leading to excess toxin build up.
The build-up of these acidic toxins including Ketoacidosis (acids from breakdown of fats as alternate fuel), become the trigger for the various symptoms of diabetes that includes weakness, loss of weight, inflammation, skin reactions/darkening, inability to recover from injury, eventual loss of internal recovery and rejuvenation.
All these are supported or triggered by hormones that greatly depend on the mental stimulus. And mental stimulus is a STRESS response. Stress to mental thoughts, stress to digest proper food, stress to protect from incorrect lifestyle habits, stress to combat self-inflicted (alcohol and tobacco) and external pollution, stress of competition, stress of emotional burdens, stress of forced im-mobility (sedentary life).
Unfortunately, by the time a person is declared diabetic, the derogatory response within the body has set in and cannot be reversed….. but… it can be kept under control and the symptoms can be reversed.
Techniques that will work for controlling Diabetes:
And most important
Ayurveda and Yoga are the best options to achieve all these. These respect balance and harmony, as they follow natural science; uses the natural harmony of Nature to heal and the treatment is based on the personal needs of the patient.
In modern times, based on statistical data from the world, it is not medicines that will make a change, but the manner in which we can deal with the pressures of modern lifestyle, mind patterns and internal immunity that will save us from the vagaries of epidemics like diabetes.
Integrating various healthcare facilities like Aahar (foods we consume: diet and thoughts we think); Viihar (lifestyle: our habits and ideologies); Vichar (mental responses and immunity powers to changes); Vyayama (adequate flexibility and health of physical body) and Aaushadhi (medicines as are required, both in type/quality and quantity).
Consult your Ayurvedic doctor to plan the best combination of treatment for you: both, to prevent diabetes and to help overcome the vagaries of diabetes.