Before discussing how to control Diabetes with simple, healthy lifestyle tips, let us first have a look at what is Diabetes and the various types and classifications of diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes refers to a kind of disease where abnormal levels of blood glucose or sugar is present or produced in our body. It is a kind of disorder in the carbohydrate chemical reactions of our body. Normally most of the food we consume is digested by being converted into small pieces of glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar present in our blood. It is the vital energy that keeps all actions of our body fit. Now this glucose requires the presence of a hormone called insulin for its passage through the bloodstream. A patient with diabetes lacks the presence of this hormone of insulin in his body. It can be due to some hereditary and/or environmental factor resulting in insufficient production of insulin or either it may be due to a lesser or no sensitivity at all to the insulin that is required for converting the blood sugar into energy.
So when the insulin is insufficient or absent in our body, the glucose can not pass into our blood cells for transforming into energy. The resulting effect is accumulation of high levels of glucose in our blood. This state of body with high levels of blood sugar is known as diabetes. Thus diabetes refers to a disease in our body where high levels of blood sugar or glucose get accumulated due to absence or shortage of insulin.
Types of Diabetes
Diabetes in normal sense refers to a case where excessive blood sugar is present in the body. But some cases of diabetes do not refer to presence of excessive blood sugar. On the other hand, they refer to other symptoms like excessive urination and thirst, etc. So to differentiate these cases, Diabetes is classified into Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Diabetes Insipidus (DI).
- Diabetes Mellitus refers to cases of normal Diabetes with excessive levels of blood glucose which is a most common type of Diabetes.
- Diabetes Insipidus is another type of metabolism disorder where the patients suffer from excessive and frequent urination symptoms and excessive thirst problemdue to kidney dysfunction, etc. They do not possess excessive blood sugar problem. In this type of diabetes, patients require to take water and fluids with salt very frequently to compensate the loss under medical guidance. Urine output may decrease with low protein and low sodium diets.
Diabetes Mellitus is further classified into 3 types according to its nature or origin.
- Type 1 Diabetes refers to cases of diabetes acquired at early stages of adulthood or during childhood period and is characterized by insulin deficiency caused by absence or loss of insulin producing beta cells in the body. Patients with this defect need to take insulin injections permanently throughout their life.
- Type 2 Diabetes is a case of diabetes mellitus with high levels of blood sugar developed in course of time due to old age, obesity and inactivity, etc. Irregular and bad eating habits without any time schedule also lead to this stage. But type 2 diabetes is easy to control through healthy diet intake, regular exercise and proper medicines.
- Gestational Diabetes is a case normally affecting females during pregnancy periods. This can be easily controlled through proper diet and exercise.
Tips to control Diabetes in a healthy way
Now let us have a look at some very simple facts and tips to control Diabetes.
- Reduce intake of Sugar and glucose products. Patients with diabetes should avoid sugar wholly. Not only sugar but all sweet dishes and fruits yielding sugar like mangoes, apples and sweet or glucose producing products should be completely restricted.
- You may use sugar free tablets and powder in place of sugar, if you can not totally leave sugar. As these products do not contain sugar, you can be safe. But even these things should be used very cautiously in control as they affect your health with other complications.
- Avoid excessive eating at one sitting and adapt yourself to developing a habit of eating in small quantities but more frequently. If you resort to heavy intake of food at a single sitting, it will increase your blood sugar levels abruptly and haphazardly thereby affecting your health. To keep the sugar levels in control, take small quantities of food in one sitting. Thereby, sugar production will be normal and your food also gets digested very easily. Your glucose levels will start coming down only after two hours of eating, by which time you can have another dose of food. Thus you can have small intakes of food at each two hour break to keep your blood glucose levels normal.
- Reduce intake of protein rich and starch foods and oil and ghee etc. as they are very harmful. Starch and protein produce excessive glucose. Oil and Ghee contain fats and cholesterol which are also very harmful. These things grow fat and make you obese and more prone to diabetic problems.
- Intake of fiber rich food and green vegetables is a very good remedy for diabetic management and control. Fiber makes fat and starch very easily cleared out of your body. Further fiber food keeps heavy in your stomach and you do not feel hungry frequently as it takes more time to digest. So consume food made from whole grains or nuts and green vegetables, vegetable leaves and fiber rich fruits which are good for maintaining healthy digestion and well controlled production of glucose or blood sugar levels in your body.
- Milk and dairy products also should be avoided as they contain fat and excessive proteins. You can take some substitutes containing low cream and fat to meet your requirements if you can’t avoid.
- Consuming water is also good for controlling the blood sugar levels. Taking more water relinquishes your body from excessive sugars in the form of urine. Further watertemporarily calms down your hunger for some time.
- Get used to consuming raw vegetables and fruits without removing skins as it will control production of excessive sugars in your body. You can have them either by cooking, boiling or in raw salad form. It helps in maintaining good blood circulation and lowering glucose levels as these dishes have much fiber and low starch and thereby lesser sugar.
- Eating of karela or bitter gourd in raw form reduces your body’s sugar levels. Preparing juice with its leaves or the leaves of Neem tree and consuming the juice in very small quantities for some days can also reduce diabetes to some extent as per ancestral ayurvedic beliefs. Use of some ayurvedic herbs and spices also helps in reducing the cholesterol and acidity and act as antioxidants thereby improving digestion and blood circulation leading to lesser glucose contamination.
- Citrous fruits are better than other fruits to deal with diabetes. Citrous fruits contain less sugar content and also act as antioxidants like lemon, grapes, etc.
- Keep exercising. Regular exercise with a planned time schedule can keep your body fit and remove fat from your body and keep the blood circulation in very good condition. But care should be taken to avoid overdoing anything. Excessive exertion can bring down the glucose levels to a very low stage harming your life. So keep a schedule that fits your age and health. Further, you can keep some juice or snacks ready with you while doing exercise in case of emergencies.
- Last, but not the least, is proper medication. Along with all other good lifestyle habits, medicine intake should also be there to control the diabetes. Regular checkups should be maintained with periodical visits to your Doctor. Prescribed medicines and other instructions should be strictly followed by you and any complications should be immediately reported to the Doctor so that he regulates his medications accordingly.
Whether it is type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes of diabetes mellitus, or may be any kind of diabetes, you can monitor and control the blood sugar levels to a great extent by following all or some of the above mentioned tips in a regular manner.