Diabetes is a long-term disease associated with persistent high blood sugar levels in blood.
When you have low production of insulin, lack insulin or when your body is unable to properly use insulin; diabetes becomes.Insulin is a chemical substance produced in the body that lowers blood glucose. There are three common types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes- is caused by the absence or low production of insulin and is common among children.
- Type 2 diabetes- is caused by the inability of the body to use insulin properly and is common among adults.
- Gestational diabetes- is diabetes in pregnant women, who were previously non-diabetic.
Who is likely to have diabetes?
Anyone who falls within one or more of the following categories has risk factors that disposes him or her to diabetes. Keep track of your blood sugar level: eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Are you constantly stressed?
- People with a family history- do your parents, uncle, aunty, and grandparents have diabetes?
- Are you overweight or obese?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Do you have elevated levels of (bad cholesterol) triglycerides and low levels of “good” cholesterol?
- Do you have an inactive lifestyle?
- Old age.
- Are you pregnant?
- Do you smoke tobacco or drink alcohol?
What are the early signs of diabetes?
The only way you can know whether you are prediabetic or have diabetes is by taking a test in a clinic (or hospital) that can show a high blood sugar level, usually, >7.1 mmol/L.
There are some symptoms that you should note that can betray risks of high blood sugar, prediabetes or diabetes.
- Increased frequent urination that leads to dehydration.
- The dehydration also causes increased thirst and water consumption.
- There is an increase in appetite.
- Weight loss occurs despite an increase in appetite.
- Fatigue and tiredness.
- Frequent infections (such as infections of the bladder, skin, and vaginal areas).
- Vision problems caused by fluctuations in blood sugar levels
If you have any of the above signs and falls under a risk group that likely to have diabetes, please consult our doctor! If diabetes is left untreated, it may lead to a coma or death.
How Can You Prevent diabetes?
As stated earlier, the three key changes can help many people with prediabetes type 2 delay or prevent it from becoming diabetes.
In a large research study called the Diabetes Prevention Program, these changes cut the odds of getting diabetes:
- Weight control.If you’re overweight, your prediabetes is more likely to turn into diabetes. Losing even as little as 5% to 10% of your body weight makes a difference.
- Get moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, such as cycling, swimming, or brisk walking.
It helps prevent and manage diabetes, studies show. Aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart rate up, is ideal. If you’re not active now, check with your doctor first.
- Go for meals that mix plant-based protein, vegetables, and whole grains. You also need to understand the amount and composition of calories, that you can eat.
The required food portion depends on your weight, height, age and even level of physical activity. Also try and favour fibre-rich foods, for example plantain which helps you feel full and not eat too much.
The frequency of food consumption is also critical because lack of food for prolonged periods causes high fluctuations in blood sugar yet one of the major aims of nutritional management of diabetes is to maintain blood sugar levels at steady ranges.