Things to know about diabetes and high blood sugar

Things to know about diabetes and high blood sugar

Our pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that converts glucose into energy. If there is inadequate insulin production or the body cannot use the hormone effectively, glucose cannot be converted into energy and remains in the bloodstream. This increases blood sugar levels, causing diabetes, a chronic condition. Lack of insulin production is type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes is our body’s inability to use insulin. Read on to know about diabetes and high blood sugar.

Causes of diabetes
Diabetes can affect children, men, and women of all ages. The cause of diabetes varies from case to case, as different people have different risk factors. The major causes of diabetes are as follows:

  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy food
  • Alcohol
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Symptoms of diabetes
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes develop quickly, whereas the symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually over many years. You may not notice that you have the condition unless you notice the changes. Many find out they have diabetes when they do routine blood examinations for other conditions. The common symptoms that you can notice if you pay attention to changes in your body are:

  • Increased appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Persistent thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Low libido
  • Yeast infections
  • Itchy and dry skin

Treatment of diabetes
Daily doses of insulin injection or oral prescriptions are the most important treatment for type 1 diabetes. Doctors treat type 2 diabetes with remedies, insulin, and lifestyle changes. The main components of diabetes treatment are:

  • Blood sugar level monitoring
    Up to four times a day or fewer based on the frequency of your insulin intake.
  • Oral prescriptions
    Doctors may also prescribe remedies that can stimulate insulin production.
  • Insulin
    People with type 1, type 2, and women with gestational diabetes may need supplemental insulin to control their blood sugar. You can take insulin as an injection. Many devices make the process painless, quick, and easy to administer. It is vital to use only the dosage the doctor has prescribed. Do not take less or more than the prescribed amounts of insulin. Too much insulin can cause a drop in blood sugar levels and lead to possible health complications.

Bariatric surgery
Bariatric surgery is a collection of surgeries like gastric bypass and other procedures that help one lose excess weight. Doctors use this option for people with type 2 diabetes who are obese and have high blood sugar levels. It helps reduce weight rapidly and is recommended for those who are above the required BMI and for those who are at high risk of diabetes.

Though not very mainstream, transplanting the pancreas can help reduce dependency on insulin and other remedies. The prescriptions used during transplantation can also lead to side effects, and hence doctors resort to this treatment method only in very limited and specific cases.

An ideal meal plan for diabetes
What you eat and the quantity you eat are important factors that can control your blood sugar and give you nutrition and energy. Choose healthy foods from multiple food groups and include them in the right amounts as per your dietician’s guidance.

What to eat

  • Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes
  • Fruits like oranges, melon, apples, berries, bananas, and grapes
  • Proteins in the form of lean meat, skinless poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and tofu
  • Non-fat dairy such as slim-milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Non-fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel

What to limit

  • Red meat and processed meat
  • Fried food
  • Food high in sodium like pickles
  • Sugar rich desserts
  • Alcohol
  • Sodas, carbonated beverages
  • Food items with added sugars
  • Junk food
  • Processed food

Tips for a healthy lifestyle and meal plan for diabetics

  • Eat at the same time every day.
  • Instead of 3 heavy meals, have smaller meals five to six times
  • Have a late-night snack to control the rise of blood sugar at the night
  • Control portion sizes
  • Replace processed snacks with fresh fruit and salads
  • Count your carbohydrate intake to control it
  • Involve yourself in strenuous physical activity for half an hour every day
  • Monitor blood sugar as per the doctor’s advice
  • Do not take insulin at random

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