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Simplifying Diabetes – It’s not just sugar you need to watch

General

A major part of managing diabetes comes straight from understanding what exactly diabetes is and how does it affect the body.

Diabetes contributes to being a concern with nearly 463 million adults suffering from diabetes in the year 2019.

Here’s a basic guide to having a better understanding of diabetes-

Diabetes- what is it exactly?

Before we get to know more about how diabetes can be managed let’s understand what diabetes is?

Diabetes is a condition when the blood glucose or blood sugar levels in the body are too high. The body uses blood sugar with the help of a hormone produced by the pancreas- The insulin. Insulin is required by the body so that glucose can reach the body cells and the body can carry on with the normal activities.

Type 1 Diabetes

A condition that occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin. The body immune cells attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas making the body, insulin-deficient thus blood sugar levels shoots up in the body. The condition occurs mostly in young patients thus also known as juvenile diabetes. In this case, the patient needs to take insulin daily.

Type 2 Diabetes

The most common form of diabetes. In Type 2 diabetes the body is either not producing enough insulin or the insulin being produced is not being used in order to manage the blood sugar levels. This form of diabetes can happen at any age, many risk factors are there that increases the chances of getting type 2 diabetes which involves family history, being overweight, unhealthy lifestyle, alcohol and smoking etc.

Gestational Diabetes

This type of diabetes is usually seen during the time when a woman is pregnant. Its been seen that this kind of diabetes goes away when the baby is born, but it certainly increases the chances of the mother to get type 2 diabetes later in life.

It’s not just sugar you need to watch

Ideally, once anyone gets to know they have diabetes the first thing they do is restrict their sugar intake. Well, that is for sure an important part of managing diabetes, but it’s not just sugar that needs to be taken care of. All food in the body is processed as glucose so that it can be used by the body to convert it into energy. A well-planned diet with controlled portion size is a must. Adding more colours to the plate in terms of salads and fibre helps more in helping the body to manage diabetes well.

Get a hold on your ABC’s

If you are diabetes, keep a close check on the ABC’s

  1. A1c levels– A1c or HbA1c typically known as glycated haemoglobin is the measure of how much sugar gets bound in your blood. The test gives an average overlook of nearly 3 months. This test can be more helpful for physicians to get an ideal picture of how well one is understanding their sugar levels.
  2. Blood Pressure– A high blood pressure means your heart is working forcefully to pump blood to the body. Having diabetes and blood pressure burdens your heart with chances of heart attacks and strokes. Having both also raises the chances of kidney diseases. So diabetes with high blood pressure is a bigger risk to the body.
  3. Cholesterol– Having diabetes constantly remind of lipid management or managing your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels directly increase the risk of heart disease as well as stroke.

While all this is the starter when it comes to managing diabetes but being aware of your numbers can also help you take care of yourself better.

Know when to get checked

  • Fasting and Post Prandial Sugar levels– Regularly, at least once in a month
  • HbA1c/A1c– Twice in a year
  • Cholesterol Levels– Twice in a year
  • Blood Pressure- At every doctor’s visit, if the blood pressure is between 120/80mmHg. For hypertensive patients should follow physicians advise.

While the above parameters are routine examinations done for any patient who has diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes yet following a physician’s advice to check the frequency of getting these test done is ideal.

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