What is Diabetes?
Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder in which the glucose levels in the blood are higher than normal for an extended period.
Diabetes occurs either due to the lack of insulin production by Pancreas or resistance for the available insulin from the body cells.
Technically a person has diabetes;
If the blood sugar levels are greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL after 8-hour fasting
Or, if the blood sugar levels are greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL on a 2-hour glucose tolerance test.
Or, if the HbA1C greater than or equal to 6.5%.
Different Type of Diabetes
Commonly, there are 3 types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, your body is not able to produce insulin because of loss of beta cells.
The primary function of the beta cells is to produce insulin.
One who has Diabetes type 1 has to take insulin daily to keep alive.
Type 1 Diabetes occurs most offer in children.
Type 1 diabetes is a rare type of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, there could be either of the following possibilities.
- No production of insulin
In this case, the body is not able to produce insulin
- Low production of insulin
In this case, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.
- Insulin resistance
In this case, the body resists the effects of insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into the body cells.
Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in people after the age of 45.
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of diabetes.
If a female develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, then this condition is known as Gestational Diabetes. It typically develops between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.
Developing Gestational Diabetes nothing do with you having diabetes before your pregnancy, or you will have it afterwards.
But gestational diabetes increases the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes later in the future.
Role of insulin in Diabetes
Before taking a deeper dive into Type 2 Diabetes, it is essential that you understand the role of insulin in diabetes and how does it work?
Before understanding how insulin work let’s look at how the body uses food for its energy.
There are millions of cells in our body. These cells need food in the simplest form to produce energy.
When we eat or drink, the maximum amount of the food is broken down into a simple sugar “glucose.”
Then through the bloodstream, The transfer of glucose to the cells takes place, this is how the body gets energy.
Insulin and other hormones regulate glucose. Generally Pancreas release Insulin in small amounts.
When there is more glucose in the bloodstream, the pancreas releases more insulin.
Sometimes this becomes the reason for glucose level to come down which we can call as (hypoglycemia or low blood sugar state).
In this case, the body gives you message to eat and also releases some amount of glucose from the liver; it also gives the message to the pancreas to reduce the production of insulin.
People who have diabetes are either not able to produce insulin or not able to use insulin because of resistance from the body cells. In either case, it leads to higher blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
You don’t develop the symptoms of type 2 diabetes quickly. It’s a slow process and many times you don’t get to know that you have diabetes for years if you don’t get the tests done regularly.
Otherwise, you must observe the following to understand if you are closer to diabetes or not,
Causes for Type 2 Diabetes
There could be several causes to get Type 2 Diabetes; however,
What are the risk factors to Type 2 Diabetes
Multiple factors can increase the risk of you getting Type 2 Diabetes. They are as follows:
What is Prediabetes?
In prediabetes, the blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not too high to be considered as diabetes.
If you get gestational diabetes at the time of pregnancy, the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes is higher.
If you are a woman and going through PCOS, the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes is higher.
If you have High BP for a prolonged time, the risk is higher.
Drinking more alcohol can increase the chance of you developing type 2 diabetes.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle, bring you at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes
If you are on a very High-fat and carbohydrate diet, there is a greater chance of you getting type 2 diabetes.
If Your good cholesterol (High-density lipoprotein – HDL) level is low, you are at higher risk. HDL is too low if it is lower than 40 mg/dL.
If Your triglyceride levels are very high. It is too high if the levels are beyond 150 mg/dL.
If you are a Heart Patient, you are at higher risk.
FAQs Answered By The Expert
Here are some of the most common questions on Diabetes answered
by Health Care Advisor Dr. Mitali Bhattacharjee
I have just been recently diagnosed with diabetes, what should I do?
Ans.: At First, I would like to mention that it can happen at any time so don’t panic and get depressed. If it is at the borderline, there are chances of recovering easily with absolutely no medications. The main reason for the increasing frequency is because of the sedentary lifestyle. Hence, a little change in the form of practising regular yogas, diet control and following a healthy lifestyle, we can easily control the blood sugars.
What should diagnostic tests be done to check diabetes? What are the normal values?
Ans.: The commonly known blood tests are glycated haemoglobin test (HbA1c) and simple Blood sugar tests.
HbA1c-normal value is Below 5.7%, a little higher than 5.7, signifies Prediabetics and when it is above 6.5%, then its Diabetic.
Blood Sugar: For Fasting, Normal is <100 mg/dl; After 1-2 hrs of meals, it is <140 mg/dl.
Does eating a lot of sugar cause diabetes?
Ans.: Not necessarily, in ancient days people would consume a lot of sugars in the form of sweets; however they never had any complaints. There are several scientific reasons behind this belief. The first and foremost is the inheritance if any of your parents/grandparents have had diabetes than there are likely chances to inherit the disease. Secondly, the urban lifestyle, is a significant issue, if we visit a village we rarely see people with diabetes as they are highly proactive and keep on working from morning to nights. Thirdly, other parameters like stress and obesity could be potential threats.
Is it okay to be on artificial sweeteners when you have diabetes?
Ans.: It is advisable to avoid as much as possible. Of late, Researches have shown evidence of its involvement in Kidney problems. However, another form of sweetener is coming up in the market, which is considered to be a leaf extract of the Stevia plant. Nothing concrete can be said per se, about their possible dangers.
Is diabetes reversible?
Ans.: Yes indeed, one could easily control diabetes and may not get it again, if proper healthy lifestyles are followed.
Why does being obese put one at risk for developing diabetes?
Ans.: It’s understood that, in obese patients, loads of inactive muscle and fatty tissues are unable to use the insulin hormone to control the blood sugar. Also, the reduced body metabolism increases the chance of diabetes.
What are the different types of treatment for diabetes?
Ans.: Ideally, the common form of treatment is through drugs like metformin and others. However, the Ancient mode of treatment from India have been providing significant results, like, Ayurveda and Yoga.
How do people with diabetes know that their disease is well controlled?
Ans.: Through regular Blood tests.
Can the complications of diabetes be prevented?
Ans.: Yes positively, at first, sugar should be controlled, and following a wellness lifestyle, one can curtail the complications.
Why do people with diabetes need to take special care of their feet?
Ans.: Its understood that a Diabetic becomes more immunocompromised, hence his/her skin is highly prone to infections. Since our foot is mostly exposed to ground/soil, it becomes more susceptible to infections.
Why is it essential for people with diabetes to be physically active?
Ans.: You can quickly burn out the blood sugar present in excess amounts, whereby one can control the disease.
About Dr. Mitali:
Dr. (Mrs.) Mitali Bhattacharjee, is a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences with overvten years of experience and has 10 international peer-reviewed publications.vShe has several achievements, the most significant ones are CSIR NET-LSvcleared and standardized several novel technical protocols which are followed worldwide. She has worked on critical diseases like different forms of arthritis, strokes and cancer. and has founded Vcareu- Centre for Biomedical Sciences with the primary objective of serving the society with good science and healthcare.
Here are some of the complications that type 2 diabetes can have on your body:
Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs due to low blood sugar. The symptoms can include Fatigue, Shakiness, Sweating, Hunger, Anxiety, Irritability etc. It needs immediate attention when blood sugar levels are lower or equal to 70 mg/dL. In this case, either high-sugar foods or drinks are given to bring the blood sugar back to normal.
Hyperglycemia is a condition that occurs due to a rise in blood sugar. The symptoms can include Frequent urination, Blurred vision, Increased thirst
Fatigue, Headache. You need to see your doctor if your blood sugar is greater than or equal to 240 mg/dL even after taking your diabetes medication.
There can be two Emergency complications when it comes to Hyperglycemia:
When you don’t have required insulin in the body, it develops Diabetic ketoacidosis.
In this situation, glucose is not able to enter the cells for energy and the blood sugar level goes higher.
And in fulfilling the needs of energy, the body starts to break down fat for energy. This process produces ketones which gets accumulated in the blood and gradually spill over into the urine.
This situation needs immediate medical attention or else the diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to a diabetic coma and can be life-threatening.
Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar state:
In this condition, you have the required amount of insulin, but the body is not able to use it because of resistance from the cells. In this state, Blood sugar levels go very high because the body is insulin resistant.
Now the body is not able to use glucose or fat for energy. As a result, there is more glucose accumulated in the blood which gradually spills over into the urine, causing increased urination.
This situation needs immediate medical attention as it can lead to life-threatening dehydration and coma.
If you are in the prediabetes stage, there is a high chance that you might get type 2 diabetes but it is not mandatory. If you are willing to make some changes in your lifestyle, there is no way you will get type 2 diabetes.
Just by following a proper diet and exercise you can prevent type 2 diabetes if you had it in the family earlier.
Things that you can do to prevent type 2 diabetes
– Do yoga or exercise daily
– Follow a proper diet
– Get back to your perfect Weight
9 Simple Ways to Keep Diabetes away from YOU!
FAQs Answered By The Expert
Here are some of the most common questions regarding Diet and Diabetes answered
by Dietician Ms. Sujetha Shetty
I am a vegetarian and have type 2 Diabetes, what should I eat to keep it under control?
Ans.: Diet Plays an important role in the prevention and management of Diabetes. A vegetarian diet can be helpful in managing blood sugars with additional benefits like weight reduction, maintaining a low level of serum lipid profile and blood pressure. A vegetarian diet is mostly based on plant foods such as cereals, legumes, fruits, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds. These foods are also high in fibre, antioxidants, folate and phytochemicals which are all good for our general health. Including fibre rich foods such as whole grains, wheat bran, green leafy vegetables, gourd family vegetables in your diet, that gives a good mix of soluble and insoluble fibre which helps in maintaining blood sugar levels.
I am a non-vegetarian and have type 2 diabetes. Do I have to quit non-veg?
Ans.: Epidemiologically studies have found a lower prevalence of Type-2 Diabetes among vegetarians compared to non-vegetarians. You don’t have to quit non-vegetarian food, instead, have it in the right form and right amount. Portion control is the key. Cooking methods also matter when it comes to non-vegetarian foods. Use steamed, baked, roasted, grilled methods for non-vegetarian foods. Lean cuts of meat, skin out chicken, fish can be used in recommended amounts.
I am overweight with type 2 diabetes, what diet shall I follow to keep my diabetes under control?
Ans.: For individuals who are overweight or obese, weight loss is the most effective in controlling diabetes. Weight loss can be achieved with lifestyle modifications which include factors like exercise, behaviour modifications and diet. There is no any specific dietary strategy that exists for an obese patient with Type-2 Diabetes. Including foods with complex carbohydrates, high-quality protein, healthy fats and low glycaemic index foods can help promote weight loss and help in maintaining healthy body weight. The best diet is one that is based on the patient’s dietary preferences, energy needs and health status.
I have hypertension and type 2 diabetes, what diet should I follow to manage my diabetes?
Ans.: Most of the things done for diabetes can help control blood pressure also. Eat healthy food that helps in avoiding sugar spikes in the body. Make sure you exercise for at least 40minutes most of the days in a week. Maintaining healthy weight is another important thing that keeps most of the diabetic related complications at bay. Quit alcohol and smoking, it does no good to our body. Limit the amount of sodium you consume, include a good amount of vegetables in your diet which are an excellent source of fibre helps in maintaining both blood sugars as well as blood pressure.
I am a cardiac patient and have type 2 diabetes, what diet should I follow to manage my diabetes?
Ans.: Poorly controlled blood sugars can lead to another health complication called cardiovascular disease. It could be because of other factors also like high blood pressure, abnormal serum cholesterol, obesity, lack of physical activity and smoking. By managing these risk factors one can delay the development of heart and blood vessel disease. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating healthy. It is important to have regular meal pattern and make healthy food choices such as low glycaemic fruits, whole grains, oily fishes, lean meat, pulses, legumes, low-fat milk and dairy products. Concentrate on the type of fat that is consumed and the amount of salt as well.
About Ms. Sujetha Shetty
Sujetha has a Master’s degree in Dietetics and Applied Nutrition from Manipal University along with 6 years of experience in diet counselling. With a passion for health and wellness, her focus is on making healthy diet an easier choice. She provides her clients with guidelines rather than rules, to ensure food changes are only positive.
She has also been mentioned in publications like Femina, Cosmopolitan, London Glossy, Business Standard, NDTV-Food, Indian TV news Podcast which makes her an ideal guide to a healthy diet that works for you!
Yoga and Type 2 Diabetes
There have been so many researches across the globe which brings the fact out that Yoga and alternative healing therapies can have a positive impact on blood glucose control.
Yoga has been a tested and proven way to reduce stress. And reducing stress is one of the best ways to prevent and treat diabetes because when we are under stress, our glucose levels and blood pressure goes higher, and this increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Yoga practice help participants to relax, rejuvenate and refresh which helps in keeping the stress away from you.
Some more ways in which yoga can help in preventing Type 2 diabetes:
Statistics about diabetes in India
– In India, about 50.9 million people have diabetes
– 80 million people are expected to have diabetes by 2025 which will make India as the ‘Diabetes Capital’ of the world.
India has the highest number of people who have diabetes in the world.
The International Diabetes Federation forecasts that there would be 123 million Indians will have Diabetes by 2040.
Currently, 5% of the Indian population suffers from diabetes.
There were over 7,29,46,400 cases of diabetes in India in 2017
Total adult population : 82,94,91,000
Prevalence of diabetes in adults: 8.8%
Total cases of diabetes in adults: 7,29,46,400
Namma Bengaluru is on the 4th position in diabetes prevalence.
India’s Top 4 city’s diabetes prevalence
– Mumbai – 23.74%
– Kolkata – 22.07 %
– Delhi – 21.86 %
– Bengaluru – 20.74%
You must have found different numbers in different reports and news pieces, but if you see it carefully, there is one common factor in all the information mentioned above.
Every piece of information is only reflecting one single thing that we have the highest number of people who have diabetes and will continue to grow.
It’s truly shocking to see that the Land of Yoga and Ayurveda is the capital of Diabetes.
We (Sireesha and I) started Ashmayu Yoga with a vision to “To transform every individual and family world-over through the preventive and holistic powers of Yoga.”
And till now we have focused on over wellbeing for people who are committed to lead a healthier life and also to help people with their concerns in personalised therapy.
But after noticing the above statistics, we have decided to help as many as people who have diabetes with the transformative power of Yoga and alternative healing.
And to be able to do that, we are starting an exclusive program – Ashmayu Diabetes Management from January 2019 which we will happen in group class setting.
Ashmayu Diabetes Management
Ashmayu Diabetes Management is designed by our team which has Yoga Teachers, Ayurveda Doctors, Yoga Therapist and Dieticians.
We have named it as Ashmayu Diabetes Management program which is specifically for people who either are pre-diabetic or have type 2 diabetes.
The program is a dynamic amalgamation of specific Asanas, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha, Relaxation techniques, Meditation, Yoga Nidra, Alternative healing techniques to help you in reducing blood sugar count, Relaxing the pancreatic beta cells and Reduce stiffness from joints and muscles.
Who can Join?
– One who has type 2 diabetes
– One who no severe physical or mental concerns
– One who has some of the other complications along with type 2 diabetes like stress, regular joint pains, overweight, hypertension, insomnia etc.
– One who is Pre-diabetic and wants to keep it under check
To know more about the program, you can call us at +91 9686002222 or email us at [email protected]