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Top 5 Lifestyle Habits that can Manage your Diabetes

Top 5 Lifestyle Habits that can Manage your Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when the body’s cells are not able to use it for the production of energy. It results in a sugar build-up in the bloodstream. Diabetes Mellitus, or Diabetes, is one of the most affecting diseases in the world. It is a metabolic disorder resulting from increased blood sugar levels. It affects the normal functioning of various organs in the body. Diabetes also leads to many complications affecting the eyes, heart, liver, feet, and kidneys. 

Normal range of blood sugar levels

In general, normal blood glucose levels are:

Before meals: it is between 80 and 130 mg/dL.

Post-prandial or a measure is taken two hours after a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.

What is considered high blood glucose levels?

A blood glucose level of more than 126 mg/dL while in the fasting state and a level higher than 180 mg/dL one hour after eating.

Types of Diabetes

1. Type-1 diabetes

Type-1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s cells attack themselves. In this case, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed because of autoimmunity. It is a rare type, and about 10% of people might have type 1 diabetes. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and is termed Juvenile Diabetes. People suffering from Type 1 diabetes need to take external insulin every day. Hence it is also called insulin-dependent Diabetes.

2. Type 2 diabetes

In this type, the body either does not produce sufficient insulin, or the cells might not usually respond to the insulin. It is a common type of diabetes. It affects middle-aged and older people and is also called adult-onset diabetes or insulin-resistant diabetes. 

3. Prediabetes

It is like a precursor for Type 2 diabetes. The levels are higher than normal though not high enough to be called Type 2 diabetes.

4. Gestational diabetes

It develops in some women during their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes disappears after pregnancy, but it may increase the risk of getting diabetes later in life.

Also Read Diabetic Gastroparesis: Symptoms, Complication, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

What are the causes of diabetes?

The major cause of diabetes is the presence of high levels of glucose circulating in the blood. However, the reason differs depending on the type of diabetes.

1. Causes of Type 1 diabetes

It is an autoimmune disorder. Genetics and viral attacks may also play a role in some people. 

2. Cause of Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes

The body’s cells become resistant to insulin in this type. 

3. Gestational diabetes

The pregnancy hormones produced by the placenta during pregnancy make the body’s cells more resistant to insulin. 

Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes 

  • A family history of Type 1 diabetes.
  • Injury or inflammation of the pancreas
  • Presence of autoantibodies 
  • Physical stress 
  • Exposure to viral infections

Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes 

  • Family history of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Obesity 
  • High blood pressure
  • Having low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels
  • Being physically inactive
  • Being 45 or older.
  • Women with the polycystic ovarian disorder.
  • History of heart disease or stroke
  • Smoking and alcoholism

Risk factors for gestational diabetes

  • Family history of Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity before pregnancy
  • Being over 25 years of age

Symptoms of diabetes 

  • Increased thirst
  • Weak, tired feeling
  • Blurred vision
  • Urinating often
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Presence of ketones in the urine.
  • Blurred vision
  • Developing ulcers and slow-healing wounds
  • Infections of gums, teeth and vaginal infections
  • Nausea with dryness of mouth
  • Increase in thirst and hunger
  • Numbness/tingling in the hands or feet
  • Dry and itchy skin 
  • Frequent fungal infections of the urogenital tract in women
  • Decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle strain

Also Read An Overview: Diabetes and its Cure with Homeopathy

Complications

Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer diabetes, the higher the risk of complications. The difficulties may be disabling or even life-threatening. Some of them are: 

  • Cardiovascular diseases such as angina, coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, etc. 
  • Diabetic neuropathy is where the nerves in the leg and foot are damaged. It causes tingling/numbness, burning and pain that starts at the tips of the toes or fingers. It gradually spreads upward.
  • Kidney damage can further lead to kidney failure and a need for dialysis or a transplant.
  • Eye damage can lead to blindness, cataracts, and glaucoma.
  • Poor healing of wounds due to decreased flow of blood.
  • Frequent skin infections.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Depression.
  • Dementia.
  • Dental problems.
  • Preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • Diabetes leads to many skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.

How is diabetes diagnosed?

Diabetes is diagnosed by checking the glucose level through a blood test. The basic tests to measure the blood glucose level are:

  • Fasting plasma glucose test: It is done in the morning after an eight-hour fast on an empty stomach.
  • Random plasma glucose test: It is done randomly at any time of the day.
  • A1c test: Or HbA1C test gives the average of the blood glucose level of the past two to three months. It measures the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin. 
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: First, the blood glucose level is measured on an empty stomach. Then an amount of glucose is given orally, after which the levels are checked on an hourly basis. 
  • Gestational diabetes tests: A glucose challenge test and an oral glucose tolerance test.
  • Type 1 diabetes: For this, the blood and urine samples are collected and tested for autoantibodies and ketone bodies, respectively. 

Also Read 7 Daily Diabetes Facts: Everyday Health

Diabetes and its treatment

Once affected, there is no complete cure for Diabetes. The treatment depends on the type of diabetes and might be lifelong, but it can be managed with a proper diet and exercise plan. 

  • Type 1 diabetes: For this, insulin must be taken daily as the pancreas does not produce insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes: It can be managed by medications and healthy lifestyle changes such as losing weight, healthy food choices, etc.
  • Prediabetes: For this condition, the treatment is to prevent diabetes by reducing the risk factors. 
  • Gestational Diabetes: Proper diet and regular exercise along with the medication suggested by the gynaecologist.

Diabetes lifestyle:  Some of the lifestyle habits that can manage your diabetes 

Diabetes can be managed by proper preventive measures and good awareness about the disease itself. For that, a better understanding of the factors that increase and decrease blood glucose levels—maintaining the optimum level and learning how to control such risk factors. But it is not an easy task. Regular monitoring of sugar levels and following a healthy lifestyle with a regulated meal plan can help to manage the condition to some level. It requires a lot of self-control and can be very challenging as many things can influence blood sugar levels unexpectedly. Type-1 diabetes cannot be prevented but managed by insulin injections. However, Type 2 diabetes can be managed by following healthy steps:

  • Choosing foods lower in fat and calories, and higher in fiber, taking lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try different recipes to keep away from boredom and new tastes. You can try the DASH diet. Plan your meal properly in a scheduled way.
  • Get more physical activity, at least a brisk walk for about 30 minutes every day. Lose excess weight and try to maintain a healthy weight. If overweight, losing a few kilos of body weight can also lower the risk of diabetes. 
  • Plan on a long-term routine of eating and exercising habits to keep the weight in check. Walk, swim, cycle or find some activity that is both enjoyable and beneficial to you.
  • But healthy lifestyle choices are essential. If you have prediabetes, check your blood sugar at least once a year to ensure you haven’t developed type 2 diabetes.
  • Keep the blood glucose levels within the normal range possible by following a healthy diet plan, following a regular physical activity along with given medication. 
  • Keep the blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control.
  • Monitor the blood glucose and blood pressure levels regularly.
  • Make regular appointments with your doctor and have tests done as advised by your doctor.
  • Quit smoking and alcohol.
  • Regular check-ups will help your doctor to monitor your glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. 

Homeopathy Medicines for diabetes

The homeopathic approach to any disease is a lengthy, deeper evaluation of the physical and psychological symptoms in selecting a suitable medicine. Homeopathy believes that an illness occurs when there is an interruption in the harmony of the life force or life energy. 

It can be taken as a complementary medicine along with conventional therapy, as homeopathic medicines cannot reduce blood sugar levels instantly. However, if the problem was identified sooner or in prediabetic stages, homeopathic medicines can help better control diabetes. In addition, when taken along with conventional medicines, it helps prevent further complications. 

Many medicines are available for treating the symptoms of diabetes, but there is no substitute for insulin in homeopathy. But it can help manage the symptoms of all types of diabetes. Some of the well-indicated homeopathic medicine for diabetes are:

Abroma augusta: It is suited to patients who feel extreme weakness due to loss of muscle mass, thirst with dryness in the mouth, frequent urination, and an increased appetite along with sleeplessness. 

Syzygium jambolanum: It is one of the best homeopathic medicines that helps reduce blood sugar levels. It helps to treat symptoms like increased thirst, weakness, and excessive urination. It helps to treat old ulcers of the skin. 

Uranium nitricum: It is one of the chief diuretic remedies in homeopathy. It helps to treat symptoms such as incontinence of urine, bedwetting, and burning in the urethra. It is also used in treating fatty liver disease. 

Conium maculatum: It is useful in treating numbness of feet and hands, nerve damage, and muscular weakness. In addition, it strengthens the neuromuscular system, improves sleep, and helps in relieving the pain due to diabetic neuropathy.

Acidum phosphoricum: Phosphoric acid is one of the best medicines to treat diabetes in its early stages. It helps to treat nerve damage and frequent urination of milky urine. 

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is a polychrest used to treat various diseases such as pancreatic diseases and tuberculosis. The symptoms are dry mouth, restlessness, and dry and watery stools.

Argentum metallicum: Argentum metallicum is indicated for people who suffer from frequent and profuse urination. The urine passes unconsciously due to loss of control. 

Cephalandra indica: Cephalandra Indica is indicated to reduce blood urea and maintain blood sugar levels. It acts as a detoxifier and also relieves kidney disorders. 

Some of the best homeopathic products available for treating the symptoms of diabetes are Schwabe India’s Abroma Augusta MT, Syzygium jambolanum MT, Uranium nitricum LATT, Conium maculatum CH, Phosphoric Acid CH, Phosphorus CH, Argentum Metallicum CH, Cephalandra Indica MT, etc.

Takeaway

Practising healthy lifestyle and food habits from early life can help manage the risk for heart disease and other lifestyle disorders such as Diabetes, hypertension, etc. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight, a proper diet, and a regular exercise routine can help for better health and a happy, stress-free life.

No two patients may have the same symptoms, and also there are different types of diabetes. Hence the treatment and diet plan may also differ accordingly. Therefore, it is essential to discuss with your healthcare provider to devise a plan that suits you. 

Follow the advice and instructions regularly as per the instructions of your healthcare provider to maintain a healthy weight. Along with the prescribed medications, that can further help to reduce the risk of diabetes and its complications, such as heart problems, strokes, and other health conditions.

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