It used to be that when we hear of diabetes, we associate it with old age and a condition of the not so young. You could be doting grandparent, a gangly teener or a playful child and be afflicted with it. Diabetes is a disease in which a person has high blood sugar because either the body does not produce enough insulin (Type 1); or because cells no longer respond properly to the insulin that the body produces (Type 2)
Both results to less (or sometime, not at all) supply of glucose the cells need and this can manifest into various symptoms like frequent trips to the bathroom, unquenchable thirst, loss of weight, weakness and fatigue, numbness of tingling sensation in your hands, legs or feet, blurred vision, dry or itchy skin, frequent infections, problems with gums and teeth, and can sometimes lead to complications such as bone and joint diseases, impaired wound healing and sometimes heart problems.
How is diabetes acquired?
The causes of diabetes may vary depending on one’s genetic makeup, family history, ethnicity, health and environmental factors. With Type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the cells in the the pancreas that make the insulin. Though not very common, Type 1 diabetes can affect patients of any age. Among the cases of reported diabetes, only around 10% are type 1. Type 1 diabetes patients will need to take insulin injections for the rest of their lives.
Type 2 diabetes, who make up about 60% of those diabetes-afflicted patients, have a variety of risk factors such as family history, bad diet, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, increasing age, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Those at high risk of Type 2 diabetes can reduce their chances of developing it by 60% if they do the following five simple steps:
Step One: Top up your Vitamin D consumption. Scientists say that those with high levels of Vitamin D are less likely to develop diabetes. Not only does Vitamin d strengthen the bones in the body, researches show that Vitamin D helps the body regulate blood glucose in several ways. It had been theorized that vitamin D has a direct effect on how much insulin the body makes because Vitamin D is present in the insulin-producing beta cells, and insulin secretion is calcium dependent. Animal studies have also shown that vitamin D deficiency impairs insulin secretion and that correcting vitamin D status restores the function. How to get moe of Vitamin D? Spend some time out in the sun,eat fortified cereals and oily fish or take supplements.
Step two: Always try to stay calm. Stress hormones can increase the amount of blood sugar in the body. In stressful situations, the body prepares for an attack which can result to a surge of hormones such as adrenaline. The cumulative effect of these hormones is a flood of stored energy (fat and glucose) into the bloodstream, which raises blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Step Three: Try to get seven hours of sleep everyday. Not getting enough sleep can to raise the body’s resistance to insulin, causing glucose to stay in the blood. Interrupted sleep or frequent awakenings prevents the pancreas from producing insulin normally amounts of insulin.
Step Four– Consume more omega-3 which makes insulin more effective. Omega-3 makes cell membranes more fluid, which lets them transport nutrients and export wastes easily, which then improves insulin sensitivity. You will find ample supply in oily fish, nuts or supplements.
Step Five – Go for brown rice. High-fiber food regulates the flow of glucose and stops sugar rushes. A US study found that eating two portions or brown rice a week cuts the risk of diabetes by 11 percent. You get satiated faster, you eat less, so your blood sugar level is lower.
As they always say, prevention is always better than cure.