All You Need to Know About Diabetes

Do you love the color blue? If yes, then you’re in for a surprise as blue is the color for November – Diabetes Awareness month. Diabetes awareness is crucial for the UAE because the stats show an alarming scenario.

The Imperial College London Diabetes Centre says that according to the IDF survey in 2017, 17.3 percent of the UAE population between the age group of 20 and 79 have type 2 diabetes.

This dangerous trend may be due to the factors such as rapid economic growth, unhealthy dietary practices, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Types

Understanding the different types of diabetes will help you to make informed decisions.

Type 1 diabetes

This type of diabetes is due to an autoimmune reaction where your immune system attacks the cells that make insulin. Even though type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, it usually develops in children and young adults. If a person does not get a daily dose of insulin, he may die.

Type 2 diabetes

Around 90 percent of diabetes cases suffer from type 2 diabetes. In this type, your body does not make proper use of insulin, which it produces. Though type 2 diabetes can develop at any age, it is more prevalent among middle-aged people and older adults.  Exercise, a healthy diet, and a healthy lifestyle are some of the easy ways to manage diabetes. Besides, you might need medication to control your blood glucose levels.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs in some women during pregnancy. It may cause complications to both the mother and child. Mostly this type of diabetes disappears after the baby is born. If you had gestational diabetes, you might develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Lesser-known types of diabetes

Monogenetic diabetes and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes are some of the lesser-known types of this disease.

Symptoms

The following are the warning signs of diabetes. Have a health check-up if you notice any of these symptoms.

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst or hunger
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Breath odour that is sweet or fruity or even an acetone odour
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Skin infections
  • Darkening of skin under body crevices

Methods to Control Diabetes

Proper medication, coupled with a healthy lifestyle, helps you to manage this disease easily.

Exercise regularly

Exercising increases your insulin sensitivity and helps you to lose weight. Increased insulin sensitivity helps your cells to better utilize the glucose present in your bloodstream.

Some of the best exercises for people with diabetes include walking, cycling, swimming, aerobic dance, team sports, calisthenics, resistant band exercises, weight lifting, hiking, and yoga.

Exercising may also help you to reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack. The  American Diabetes Association advises at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical aerobic activity per week.

Consult your health care professional before you start any exercise program. Start gradually and build up to your personal goal.

International Diabetes Federation recommends the following healthy diet practices.

  • Choose water, tea or coffee instead of sugary or sweetened beverages
  • Eat at least three servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Include green leafy veggies in your diet
  • Limit your intake of alcohol to two standard drinks per day.
  • Choose lean cuts of poultry, white meat, or seafood instead of processed or red meat.
  • Go in for peanut butter instead of jam or chocolate spread.
  • Whole grain bread or brown rice are better options instead of white bread.
  • Use olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, or corn oil instead of ghee, butter, coconut oil, animal fat or palm oil.

Other ways to manage your diabetes are listed as follows.

  • Control your carbohydrate intake
  • Stay hydrated
  • Practice portion control
  • Increase your fiber intake
  • Go in for foods with a low glycemic index
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels
  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Increase foods rich in chromium and magnesium
  • Sleep well
  • Reduce your weight

Regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and lifestyle will help you to prevent or manage diabetes effectively and live life to the fullest.