Diabetes is a chronic lifestyle disease that can affect any person at any age and at some level we all are aware about it. It is also characterized by the body’s inability to create or process insulin. Though it is a very common disease, there are a number of misconceptions and myths about it. Let’s take a closer look at some of these myths.
Myth1: Diabetics cannot eat sugar in any form
Fact: Diabetics do not necessarily have to live on a sugar-free diet. However, the amount of sugar being consumed needs to be highly regulated. Sugar is avoidable when the person’s blood sugar level is high but if the person has low blood sugar, a little sugar can help raise blood sugar to a normal level. A diabetic needs to have a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber, fruits and vegetables and controlled amounts of carbohydrates, fats and sugar.
Myth2: Diabetes only affects obese people
Fact: The risk of diabetes is higher when it comes to overweight and obese people but this disease can affect thin people as well. A person’s family medical history, genetic makeup, age and ethnicity are other factors that could influence the risk of suffering from diabetes. Additionally, people living a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to suffer from diabetes.
Myth3: Diabetics need lots of rest and should not play sports
Fact: A number of well-known sportsmen are diabetic. Hence, there is no truth in the above statement. Regular exercise is a must for diabetics. This improves diabetes management and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. However, if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle, you cannot jump straight into high-intensity exercises. Let your body gradually get fitter and test your blood sugar half an hour before exercising as well as every half hour when exercising. This helps keep a check on your blood sugar levels. If you start feeling weak, take a break and have a light snack.
Myth4: Diabetics have to use insulin injections
Fact: There are two types of diabetes; type1 and type 2. People suffering from type 1 diabetes usually need insulin injections but people suffering from type 2 diabetes can usually manage the disease with medication. Paying attention to your diet, regular exercise and medication can also help reverse type 2 diabetes.
Myth5: Diabetes is communicable
Fact: Diabetes cannot spread from one person to another. Touching a diabetic or sharing food with them will not make another person diabetic as well. Diabetes can only be passed on genetically from parents to a child. Even in this case, the disease itself is not transferable. The child will only have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Thus, it is not necessary for a child born to diabetic parents to suffer from the disease as well.
You get diabetes when your body does not produce sufficient amount of insulin or because your body becomes immune to it. Diabetes is a killer disease because it makes the individual vulnerable to a host of ailments. One of its most damaging complications is the diabetic foot.
What is diabetic foot?
This ailment develops when blood sugar level remains high for a prolonged period of time, ulcers grow either because of either neuropathy (nerve damage) or peripheral arterial disease (blood supply to the feet is cut off). Ulcers are the characteristic feature of diabetic feet. The skin of the feet ruptures and the underlying layers are exposed. Infection sets in which may reach all the way to the bones. Neuropathic ulcers heal slowly over time, but ischemic ulcers may lead to the affected foot being amputated. The risk of ulcers becoming deadly is proportional to the duration of your diabetes and age. That is why it is vital to seek treatment as soon as possible.
What are the symptoms of diabetic foot ulcer?
Management of diabetic foot starts with identifying the signs of foot ulcer-
How can you treat diabetic foot?
When you sense that you have come down with a diabetic foot or if you are showing the signs of an ulcer, the first thing you can do is to make sure that you don’t stand on your feet for too long. This actually reduces the blood supply to your legs, which can lead to the ulcer becoming infected.
There are a few things you can do at home that can help ease the discomfort of ulcers and prevent them from spreading-
• Regularly disinfects the skin of your diabetic foot
• Foot baths
• Change the dressing every day
• Slather an ointment suggested by your doctor to inhibit the growth of the bacteria colonies.
• Wipe your feet dry after showering and keep them moisturized to prevent the skin from peeling
If none of these tips works, your doctor will advise you to undergo a debridement. It is a minor, non-invasive procedure where the dead skin, tissues, and remains of compression wraps and all other foreign particles are extracted. The wound is cleaned. This speeds up the process of generation of new cells and tissues.
The diabetic foot can easily be managed with some care and dedication.
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that can easily be managed by controlling your diet. Along with being aware of your sugar intake, your diet should help you lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, this does not mean you have to contend yourself to a lifetime of tasteless food.
Here are a few diet tips that can help manage diabetes:
1. Choose high fiber carbs
Carbs are an essential element of the daily diet but have a big impact on blood sugar levels. Hence it is important to pick the right carbs. Your diet should have a limited amount of refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, soda etc and should be focused more on high fiber carbs such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, rolled oats and bran flakes that are digested slowly. This prevents your body from producing excessive insulin.
2. Be sweet smart
The key to indulging your sweet tooth and controlling diabetes is moderation. Abruptly removing sugar from your diet can make you crave for it. Instead, gradually lower your sugar intake. If you can't miss out on the dessert at the end of a meal, reduce the number of carbs in your meal. Adding healthy fats like peanut butter, yoghurt or nuts to your dessert can also slow down the digestive process and thus control blood sugar levels.
3. Keep a food diary
When you are diabetic, it is very important to eat at regular intervals. Eat frequent, small meals is often better than fewer large meals. Try and maintain a food diary to keep track of your calorie intake. This helps identify problem areas of where your body is getting excessive calories from. When you are aware of the calories associated with things you eat, it is easier to cut down on snacks and replace unhealthy snacks with healthier options.
4. Choose fats wisely
It is impossible to completely cut out fats from your diet. While some fats such as liquid vegetable oils and commercial baked goods are unhealthy, others have important health benefits. Unsaturated fats are the healthiest and safest fats. Replacing your vegetable cooking oil for olive oil and biscuits with nuts are easy ways to make smart choices with your fat intake.
5. Go green
Green leafy vegetables are low on carbs and high on nutrients. Thus, make these an integral part of your meals. Vegetables like kale, spinach, lettuce etc can be eaten raw or cooked. Along with being nutritious, they also add textures and colour to your meals, thus making them more visually appealing.
What is Ramadan?
It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the most sacred month for Muslim people. People observe the fast during the month from Sunrise till Sunset. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Why it is important for doctors to know about it?
During this month there is a change in diet pattern, the timing of food intake, changes in the sleep pattern. These changes have different effects in healthy people and those with the disease. It’s very important to guide people with diseases during this month. Nearly 50 to 75% of people with diabetes keep fast during the month of Ramadan. Having proper knowledge will help in the proper management of diabetes in this high-risk group.
What are the health consequences of Ramadan fasting in healthy individuals?
Body weight typically decreases or remain stable during Ramadan.
There are favorable effects on lipid profile.
There is sleep deprivation.
What are the consequences in people with diabetes?
Without proper adjustments, the risk of getting low sugar(Hypoglycemia) increases. The weight remains unchanged. There is an increased risk of getting sugars high especially after Iftar. There is an increased risk of dehydration and thrombosis(blood clot formation).
Can the patient with diabetes do fast?
Yes and No. It depends upon the health of the patient and associated complications.
Depending upon the risk of complications your doctor may ask you to keep fast or not to keep fast.
The International Diabetes Federation & DAR alliance had formulated guidelines for managing diabetes during Ramadan.
According to these guidelines following, people should avoid fast-
Poorly controlled Type 1 DM
Pregnancy with Diabetes
Diabetes Pt. on Dialysis
The Elderly who had Hypoglycemia
Patient with Heart Disease
Those getting low sugar without getting any symptoms (Hypoglycemic unawareness)
Those with recurrent Hypoglycemia
These people have a high risk of complications hence in these people we advise not to observe the fast.
However, if anyone with these risks wants to keep fast they have to be seen before the start of Ramadan.
Following people can keep fast- Type 2 diabetes well controlled on medicines.
However, people with diabetes should consult their doctor prior to starting fast.
Why people with diabetes should consult their doctor before the start of fast?
To know how safe is to keep fast.
To change medicine- dose, duration, timings
To get dietary advice
To know when to break fast and how to monitor sugars.
Is advice of not to keep fast anti-Islamic?
No. According to Islamic teaching people with the illness are exempted from keeping the fast. The guidelines which I have mentioned above have been approved by the religious head of Egypt.
What are the general instructions to the patients?
Eat healthy - Avoid sweets. You can take fruits, vegetables and salad in plenty and dates(in limited quantity). Minimize the oil and deep-fried items.
Don’t do vigorous exercise in the daytime - Tarawih prayers performed are a good exercise for the body.
You may need to modify your medicines - You may have to check blood glucose with Glucometer.
You have to break the fast if blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dL or is more than 300 mg/dL or acute illness develops or you get symptoms of Hypoglycemia.
Checking blood glucose breaks the fast-True or false?
False. Checking blood glucose doesn’t result in breaking of the fast.
With a sedentary lifestyle, refined and processed food habits, obesity and diabetes is the new age epidemic. India, in fact, is being termed as the diabetes capital of the world given the huge rise in the number of cases over the last couple of decades.
There are well-established risk factors for diabetes and if these can be managed, then the chance of delaying onset, controlling progress and containing complications are highly possible. Read on to know how simple things can be effective in preventing and managing diabetes.
Weight control: Obesity is the most important risk factor for developing diabetes. A person with a normal BMI is 20 to 40 times less likely to develop diabetes than an overweight person. Losing about 10% of the excess weight can help prevent diabetes by more than 50%. Check with your doctor what should be the ideal recommended weight for you and draw up a routine (diet, exercise, etc.) that will help you achieve and stay around that weight range.
Exercise: All methods of exercise help in moving the muscles, which is drastically reduced given our sedentary lifestyle. Moving the muscle (as much and as often as possible) ensures they absorb more glucose and reduce the stress on insulin production. Something as simple as brisk walking for 30 minutes is good enough to reduce the chances of developing diabetes by 50%.
Don’t be a couch potato: If watching television is your favourite pastime, it is time to change it. This puts people at risk of developing obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Also, watching television is usually associated with overeating, further adding to the risk of diabetes.
Fibrous foods: Eating fibrous fruits and vegetables as compared to refined and fried foods helps prevent diabetes.
Whole grains vs processed foods: When you have to choose between a pizza and a bowl of brown rice, go for the latter.
Good fats vs bad fats: Polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds and help control diabetes. Trans fats present in margarine and baked foods are best avoided.
Alcohol: Moderate amount helps in the effective functioning of the insulin.
If you have a family history or have risk factors, follow the above to prevent diabetes.
A metabolic disorder resulting from the complete absence of a hormone called " insulin " or low production of this hormone from an endocrinal gland known as " pancreas ". The disease may not or may be autoimmune and may occur both in children and adults and lasts until death
Types Of Diabetes Mellitus-
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus [IDDM]) - Autoimmune and begins from childhood and caused by the complete absence of insulin in the body So the patient has to take exogenous insulin daily. The patient of this type of diabetes usually become thin and slender
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus [NIDDM]) - Begins from adulthood with low production of insulin from pancreas Therefore the patient needs not to take exogenous insulin. The exercise and suitable diet and medication can cover the hazards of the low amount of insulin. The patient of this type normally become obese and prone to coronary heart disease and kidney failure
Causes Of Diabetes Mellitus
- Autoimmune disease
Signs & Symptoms
- Dry skin
Diseases Associated With DM
- High B.P
- Joint pains
Homeopathic Way Of Treatment-
Diabetes is one of the most common problems that are caused by obesity, unhealthy and inactive lifestyle. It is a metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to store and use energy from food. Being physically inactive and eating unhealthy food are primary causes of diabetes. It is a long term condition which causes high or unstable blood sugar levels in the body.
When a patient suffers from low blood sugar it is called Hypoglycemia and if the blood sugar levels are too high, it is called Hyperglycemia. Both are extremely harmful for a patient.
Types of Diabetes include:
In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The condition has no known cure and is usually hereditary in nature. Approximately 10% of those suffering from diabetes have Type 1 diabetes. Patients with Type 1 diabetes have to take regular medication, including insulin injections as well as take care of their diet.
Type 2 diabetes happens when the body does not produce enough insulin for its proper functioning. 90% of all diabetic people suffer from Type 2 diabetes. It is usually caused by poor lifestyle choices, like physical inactivity and unhealthy food habits. The disease lasts for a lifetime and is usually progressive in nature, but can be managed by taking regular medication, choosing an active lifestyle and maintaining proper body weight.
Diabetes during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. This has to be managed by taking medication or in extreme cases insulin shots. If undetected or untreated, gestational diabetes increases complications during childbirth, and causes unusual weight gain in the baby. However, gestational diabetes usually ends after the baby is born and women can go back to their normal lifestyle and eating habits post delivery.
Symptoms of Diabetes-
Who is at greatest risk for developing diabetes?
What is pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is a condition of elevated blood glucose level that has not yet reached a diabetic level. Along with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes causes no symptoms. An individual may be pre-diabetic for years without knowing it. Pre-diabetes increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Weight loss and exercise may halt the onset of diabetes from pre-diabetes by returning blood glucose levels to a normal range.
Diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death by disease. Diabetes leads to the death of many people each year across the globe.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that results in higher levels of blood sugars in the body. It is assuming epidemic proportions, and India has become the new diabetic capital with more than 50 million diabetic people. The main problem with diabetes is it does not completely go away, and there is a whole myriad of issues that it brings along with it. Heart attacks, strokes, eyesight problems, delayed wound healing, nerve damage and impotence. Therefore, diabetes and by that we mainly mean blood sugar levels have to be managed so that there is a delay in onset of the associated conditions and/or reduced in severity.
Ayurveda refers to diabetes as Prameha (excessive urination) and Madhumeha (sugary urine) and has identified close to 20 forms of the disease. According to Ayurvedic belief, each disease is caused due to imbalance in kapha, pitta, and vata doshas and diabetes is caused by all these, predominantly by kapha. With any stream of medicine, management of diabetes involves two tracks - one is lifestyle changes and the second is medications.
Lifestyle changes include the following:
Ayurveda has a whole lot of home remedies proven to be very effective against diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body deals with glucose in the blood and the glucose absorbed from the food you ingest. Diabetes is generally of two basic types - Type 1 and Type 2. Apart from these two types, there are other kinds as well including gestational diabetes that some women suffer from during their pregnancy. Type 2 Diabetes is a condition where the cells of the body do not make proper use of the insulin being produced by the pancreas.
Living with this kind of a condition may seem debilitating at first, but here are a few things you can do to make life easier despite Type 2 Diabetes.
- Weight: Being overweight is one the foremost side effects and sometimes, even cause of Type 2 Diabetes. To make your life easier, you can lose weight so that the complications involved are that much less. Diet and exercise are key for appropriate weight loss. Watch your diet so that you can eliminate high cholesterol as well. This can ensure that unnecessary amount of fat does not stick to your muscles and organs, which in turn will fuel better functioning of the same.
- Health Care: Being fit with Type 2 Diabetes does not merely mean staying within your normal weight range. It also means taking care of your medication and insulin doses so that you can function in a more normal way. Make your family and friends your support system as you go about life so that people can help you and recognise symptoms when something goes wrong. Be in constant touch with your health care providers and the general physician you see so that they are in the loop and you know exactly what to do in case there is an emergency.
- Exercise: Being active is a great way to keep your blood sugar level low even as you ensure that you heart is in good condition. This will further eliminate the risk of heart disease, hypertension and high cholesterol. Sweating it out also helps the insulin work in a better manner within your body.
- Balance: While you may be asked to remove sugar from your diet, there is no need to stay away from proper meals. You can have a fibre rich diet that also has plenty of fruits and vegetables so that you get your due nutrition and maintain a fit body.
Watching your lifestyle is the main thing you need to do if you are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.