We all know, 14th November – World Diabetes Day is approaching and it’s an important date as it brings awareness about yet another fatal health complication that is mushrooming up all over the world. World Diabetes Day is a primary awareness campaign that is held each year on this day since 1991. Why 14th November? It is because it marks the birthday of the man who discovered insulin, Frederick Banting. Here, we will have a concise understanding of all the essentialities a person should know about diabetes.
Major types of diabetes:
Type 1: Occurs when the body’s immune system destroys insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
Type 2: Occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or when the body becomes resistant to insulin.
Common symptoms of diabetes:
Various indicators of diabetes are as follows. These are the general symptoms that a person tends to develop if he/she has either type of diabetes.
The eye lens swells up and changes shape due to the leakage of fluid in the lens of the eyes. This might be the first warning sign for diabetes.
Diabetes affects the ability of the body to get glucose from the blood into cells to meet the energy requirements. Hence, causing fatigue.
Feeling very thirsty and urinating often
Excessive thirst and having to urinate too often is a sign that your body cannot use sugars from the food properly which causes sugars to collect in the blood.
Feeling very hungry frequently even after eating
The body is unable to convert the food you eat into energy because glucose from the blood cannot enter the cells.
Slow healing of cuts/wounds
Because the body is not able to repair itself, the wounds could be as severe as ulcers.
Weight loss even after proper eating habits
Insufficient insulin prevents the body from getting glucose from the blood to use it as energy for the body. The body starts consuming energy from muscles and fat which makes a person lose weight drastically.
Numbness and pain in hands and feet
Poor blood sugar levels that persist over a long time cause nerve damage or neuropathy which is very common with type 2 diabetic people.
Skin infections and irritability
Cause bacterial and fungal infections and create itchy rashes of moist, red areas surrounded by blisters and scales.
Fruity or sweet breath odor
This condition is known as diabetic ketoacidosis, which is caused by the lack of insulin in the body which causes the body to break down fat for energy.
Warning signs of diabetes, particularly in men
- Retrograde ejaculation: In Retrograde ejaculation, the muscle fails to contract and ejaculation ends up in the bladder. This is also known as neuropathy of the bladder.
- Low testosterone and impotence: Testosterone helps the body’s tissues to take up more blood sugar in response to insulin which is disrupted due to disrupted insulin response.
- Erectile dysfunction: Diabetes can damage the blood supply to the penis and other nerves controlling erection and hence causing erectile dysfunction.
- Decreased sex drive: Reduced testosterone levels result in decreased sex drive.
Generally, it is observed that men are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than women. Though risk factors are common, these are:
Long term health complications caused by diabetes
- Heart disease and stroke: Diabetes can damage the nerves and vessels controlling and helping in heart functioning and leading to a risk of heart damage.
- Kidney disease: High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. (Also Read: Carbonated Beverages May Be Hurting Your Kidneys )
- High Blood Pressure and nerve damage: Arteries are damaged and are made targets for hardening which might cause stroke and other cardiac issues.
- Skin infections and yeast infections: Fungal infections, blisters, rashes might occur which takes a long time to heal.
- Blindness: Light sensitive tissues at the back of the eye are damaged which is usually identified as mild vision problem and later total blindness.
- Fasting blood sugar test
- Haemoglobin A1C test
Prevention methods to prevent diabetes
- Lose weight if you’re overweight: A person with excessive weight around the abdomen area is more likely to develop diabetes than a lean person. Excess weight leads to inflammation and insulin resistance. (Read about: 9 Simple Tips and Diet Plan to Lose Weight In Just 30 Days )
- Drink a lot of water: Increased water consumption leads to better insulin response and controlled blood sugar levels.
- Cut sugar and simple carbs from the diet: Very low carb ketogenic diet and sugar cut down reduces fasting blood sugar within healthy levels as your blood sugar level won’t rise much after you eat.
- Regular workout: Burning 2000 calories weekly through workout will lead to improved insulin response in the body.
- Quit smoking: Heavy smokers are more prone to develop type 2 diabetes. Quitting smoking reduces this risk over time.
- High fiber diet: Fibrous diet will help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Consume foods rich in Vitamin D: Taking vitamin D supplements will improve the functioning of insulin-producing cells.
- Avoid sedentary behavior: Sedentary habits may invite diabetes. Start making changes in small habits like stand while talking over the phone, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Minimize processed food intake: Having nutritious whole foods will decrease the risk of getting diabetes. Having processed foods will increase the risk.
You can bring a lot under control if you become persistent and vigilant about preventive measures, especially the first 10 years after diagnosis of diagnosis. This busy lifestyle is doing us more harm than good. Sedentary lifestyle and inactivity is the root cause of many health complications, one of which is diabetes. This awareness campaign should be made productive in its truest sense to make people aware of the causes and symptoms and preventive methods for diabetes.
Life is precious. Wellbeing is real wealth. Let’s not invite health problems by not changing our lifestyles. Because trouble-free life is what we live and strive for.