Many of us grew up hearing it and believing it too. We were all scared of taking sweet things, especially real sugar in our drinks and some foods like custard, pap, oats etc. There was always this silent fear or even guilt when you are eating anything that is very sweet because in subconsciously you believe that you are deliberately causing some unknown problems to yourself.
Certainly intake of excessive sugar is not healthy just like excessive intake of any other foods, but its consumption is not the cause of diabetes.
I know that some of us would be surprised by this assertion. Yes. “Eating too much sugar” does not cause diabetes. I can almost hear you asking:
What Then Is The cause?
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. When there is not enough insulin to do this job, the sugar level in your body gets too high because they are not used up, and begins to cause serious problems which we shall discuss below.
Types Of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
When your pancreases does not produce insulin at all, the condition is called Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. This type accounts for approximately 10% of cases. When the insulin produced by your pancreases is not enough, it is called Type 2 Diabetes mellitus. About 90% of cases worldwide belong here.
People who have type 1 that is, those who do not produce insulin at all, will have to be taking insulin injection for the rest of their life and also follow a prescribed diet pattern and regular checking of their glucose level too. All these measures are to avoid serious health complications which can easily be developed when diabetes is neglected.
People with type 2 will have to change their lifestyle as part of the control measures. They will have to lose weight, do plenty of exercise, change the way they eat and what they eat monitor what and how they eat), check their blood sugar levels too.
Gestational diabetes is the type that occurs when a woman is pregnant.it is caused by the hormones produced by the woman’s placenta. The hormones make the woman’s cells resistant to insulin thereby causing accumulation of glucose in her blood. Usually happens around the 24th week.
A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn’t mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth. The diabetes usually goes away after delivery especially if it has been controlled with meal plan and exercise during pregnancy. However, you need to be checking your glucose levels for several days after to ensure that it’s no longer there.
Obese and overweight people have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who have normal body weight. People who have a lot of visceral fat, which is also known as central obesity, pot belly or belly fat stand a higher risk. Being overweight or obese causes the body to release some chemicals which can destabilize the cardiovascular and metabolic systems. This effect is especially risky as its complications are usually debilitating.
How Do I know If I Have Diabetes?
I’m sure this now is your next question.
However note that some other problems, which may or may not be too serious can cause some of the symptoms I’m enumerating below. The best thing to do always as I said initially is to see your doctor and confirm. However, if you experience the first three Ps, in the symptoms below then there’s likelihood of Dm. they are the cardinal signs.
+Excessive thirst (polydypsia)
+Excessive hunger (polyphagia)
+Frequent urination (polyuria)
+Unexplained weight loss
+There will be Ketones in the urine
+Blurred vision (this sometimes can come also as a late complication when +its untreated and begins to distort the tiny vessels in the eyes)
+Frequent infections such as the skin and vagina. The gums are also involved.
+Slow healing of wounds or minor sores.
Treatment depends on the type of diabetes one has. It is usually drugs, insulin and oral medications with increased physical activity.
Maintaining a healthy weight is very important and is usually linked with the person’s diet and eating habit with activities.
Insulin and drugs needed will be prescribed by your doctor and we encourage you to stick to the prescription faithfully.
How and what to eat
Most times e are worried about what to eat in order to be safe from troubles, not just to avoid overweight, manage Dm but, also to make sure that we stay healthy. This is the rule; and this rule is not only for diabetics but for an entire family or anyone who wants to live healthy.
You’ll need to center your diet on more fruits, vegetables and whole grains — foods that are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fat and calories — and cut down on animal products, refined carbohydrates and sweets. In fact, it’s the best eating plan for the entire family. Sugary foods are OK once in a while, as long as they’re counted as part of your meal plan.
How to exercise
Everyone needs regular aerobic exercise, and people who have diabetes are no exception. Exercise lowers your blood sugar level by moving sugar into your cells, where it’s used for energy. Exercise also increases your sensitivity to insulin, which means your body needs less insulin to transport sugar to your cells.
As I always advice, please make sure you tell your doctor before commencing any serious exercise program.
This is especially true for elderly people or if you already have some underlying disease condition. Then choose activities you enjoy, such as walking, swimming or riding a bicycle. What’s most important is making physical activity part of your daily routine.
Aim for at least 30 minutes or more of aerobic exercise most days of the week. If you haven’t been active for a while, start slowly and build up gradually.
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