Diabetes is a metabolic condition characterized by high blood sugar levels. It can be of several types depending upon various factors. Generally, this is a long term disorder in which your blood glucose level is raised from the normal range leading towards complications.
It is further divided into diabetes type-1 and diabetes type-2.
If you have type 1 diabetes, your immune system which normally fights infection, instead attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. As a result, the pancreas stops making insulin.
Without the necessary insulin for glucose to fuel the cell, the blood glucose rises to deadly levels very quickly, within a few days or weeks. To survive, you must replace this insulin with daily injections of insulin. It is also important to exercise and follow a careful diet to avoid hypoglycemia—when glucose levels drop below normal.
In type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin well (called insulin resistance). This type of diabetes can take a long time, even years, to develop. The symptoms may be mild and may even be ignored until a person develops diabetes-related health problems like blurry vision or heart disease.
Common treatments are medications and lifestyle changes that include healthier diets, weight loss, and exercise. Some individuals with type 2 diabetes also require insulin injections.
If you are obese or overweight and you do not exercise regularly, you are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Simply carrying fat stores on the body causes a low-grade inflammation. The more fat a person stores on the body, the greater the degree of chronic inflammation. This inflammation takes a toll on the body, resulting in various metabolic diseases like diabetes.
If you have diabetes, you should know in which category you fall. Proper medication, lifestyle, and diet modification are required to limit blood glucose levels within a healthy range.
- Eating a diet high in fresh, nutritious foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and healthy fat sources, such as nuts.
- Avoiding high-sugar foods that provide empty calories, or calories that do not have other nutritional benefits, such as sweetened sodas, fried foods, and high-sugar desserts.
- Refraining from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or keeping intake to less than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men.
- Engaging in at least 30 minutes exercise a day on at least 5 days of the week, such as of walking, aerobics, riding a bike, or swimming.
- Recognizing signs of low blood sugar when exercising, including dizziness, confusion, weakness, and profuse sweating.