Diabetes, a chronic medical condition, develops when there is excessive level of glucose in the body because of body’s incapability to absorb glucose into the blood stream. Under normal circumstance, the absorption of glucose into the body’s cells is undertaken with the help of a hormone called insulin, produced by pancreas. However, in the case of diabetes the pancreas are unable to produce any or adequate amount of insulin required to absorb glucose into body’s cell. In some cases the insulin that is produced is not able work properly (known as insulin resistance).
- Glucose is a sugar that is the ultimate source of energy for all human beings. It works as a fuel for energy, allowing us to work, play and live our lives.
- While glucose is produced from carbohydrates in our diet, its absorption into body’s cells is carried out by insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by pancreas.
- In case of diabetes, the glucose in the body is not absorbed into its cells, continues getting built up in the blood itself and is can’t be used as a fuel.
- There are three major types of the disease: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes.
ONE of every THREE people with diabetes is unaware that they have it. Might you or a loved one be one of them? Read on to see if your risk of having diabetes is high.
Who gets Diabetes
Before proceeding to the Diabetes prevention tips, let us discuss about the Risk factors for Diabetes. There are many factors that increase your risk for diabetes. To find out about your risk, note each item on this list that applies to you.
- I am 45 years of age or older.
- My Current Waist size is more than normal. You can measure your waist circumference by placing a tape measure around your body at the top of your hipbone and above your belly button. A measure of more than 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men-is considered above normal.
- I have a parent, siblings with diabetes.
- I have had diabetes while I was pregnant or I gave birth to a baby weighing> 9 pounds
- I have been told that my blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are higher than normal.
- I am fairly inactive. I am physically active less than three times a week.
- I have been told that I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
If you have any of the points above, be sure to talk with your health care team about your risk for diabetes and whether you should be tested. Risk classification wrt different types of Diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes:
Both type 1 and 2 of diabetes have similar initial warning signs. Early symptoms of diabetes come to the fore often in the case when the level of glucose in the blood is higher than normal levels. The diabetes symptoms can be very mild in nature and escape notice for long. This scenario is especially true in the case of Type 2 of diabetes. In certain cases, people learn about their Type 2 diabetes much later when they face problems from long term damage caused by the disease.
How it is diagnosed
Blood Glucose : A blood glucose test’s primary objective is to measure the magnitude of glucose in an individual’s blood. Glucose is a sugar that comes from carbohydrates and works as a main source of energy for the body.There are 3 different types of blood test been done i.e Random Blood Sugar, Fasting blood Sugar and Post Penndel blood Sugar. Random blood sugar may be high at times due to the food intake, hence one high random blood sugar number doesn’t mean your are diabetic. Fasting blood sugar test is advised in such scenarios.
Fasting glucose test: For preparing for this blood test you should not eat anything for 8 hours before taking it. The results can be analysed based on the following guidelines:
- If your blood sugar is less than 100 – Normal
- If your blood sugar is 100-125 – Prediabetes
- If your blood sugar is 126 or higher – Diabetes
Oral glucose tolerance test: This blood test follows the Fasting plasma glucose test. After taking the Fasting plasma glucose test, you would need to drink a sugary solution. Two hours hence, you’ll take the Oral glucose tolerance test. The results can be analysed based on the following guidelines:
- If your blood sugar is less than 140 after the second test – Normal
- If your blood sugar is 140-199 after the second test – Prediabetes
- If your blood sugar is 200 or higher after the second test – Diabetes
Hemoglobin A1C(or average blood sugar) test: This blood test shows your average blood sugar level for the past 3 to 4 months. Doctors can use it to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes or, if you already know you have diabetes, it helps show whether it’s under control. The results can be analysed based on the following guidelines:
Diabetes Prevention & Management –Steps we can take:
Whatever your risks are, there’s a lot you can do for diabetes prevention.
Quit your sedentary lifestyle for Diabetes Prevention: One of the major drivers of growing cases of diabetes is the increasing occurrence of obesity caused by sedentary lifestyle. It is no longer confined to middle-aged and elderly people, but is increasingly common among young people and even children. Therefore, it is imperative that various measures to prevent or delay the development of diabetes are urgently deployed and used.
Get physically active in life: Physical activity needs to be another important component of your diabetes prevention & management plan. Working out makes your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. Regular and consistent exercising also supports your body to use insulin more productively. Also, the more active your workout regime is, the longer the positive effect lasts. But even light activities — such as housework, gardening or being on your feet for extended periods — can improve your blood sugar level. These factors work together to lower your blood sugar level & contributes towards Diabetes Prevention.
Keep your weight within or near a healthy range: Watching out for one’s weight is also quite useful in diabetes prevention, especially for individuals who are overweight or obese. Losing 5-10% of weight can help reduce and bring stability to blood sugar levels. This improvement would probably over time also enable a reduction in the consumption of diabetes medication.
Eat a balanced diet: The right meal plan will help you improve your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers and also help keep your weight on track. There is no one perfect diet for diabetes prevention rather it is essential that different foods are combined to create a nutritious and balanced diet regime. Diet should have a healthy mix of food items that are rich in fibre and have adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and proteins in the form pulses. It is also vital that meal portions are kept moderate. Large meals have the potential to increase sugar levels in the blood and with moderate meals you can keep the sugar levels to normal levels.
No smoking, no alcohol: People with diabetes who smoke have higher blood-sugar levels and less control over their blood-sugar levels than non-smokers with diabetes. Smoking affects circulation by increasing heart rate and blood pressure and by making small blood vessels narrower. Smoking allows dangerous fatty material to get accumulated in blood cells and blood-vessel walls and also makes them sticky and narrow. This can lead to several diseases including cardiovascular ailments, stroke and blood vessel related diseases. Young adult smokers with diabetes are at further risks as they are two to three times more likely to be sick than non-smokers with diabetes. Diabetes should also closely watch out their alcohol consumption.The liver normally releases stored sugar to counteract falling blood sugar levels. But if your liver is busy metabolising alcohol, your blood sugar level may not get the boost it needs from the liver.This is essentially the reason that shortly post alcohol consumption, the body experiences low blood sugar levels as the liver is engaged in removing alcohol from the bloodstream rather than regulate blood sugar levels.
Epidemiological studies show a significant burden of type 2 diabetes in India. This could be attributed to a high genetic risk and other risk factors such as age, obesity, abdominal adiposity and a high percentage of body fat playing a significant role in increasing diabetes in India. For a given BMI, Indians have higher Abdominal Obesity which is an important parameter to determine several metabolic syndrome diseases. A large proportion of urban Indian adults have the metabolic syndrome which increases the risk of both diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.Indians develop diabetes at a lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference compared to western countries.
There are huge regional variances at play in the context of the prevalence of diabetes in India with a low occurrence of the disease witnessed in rural parts and high occurrence in urban subjects.The disease is more prevalent in southern regions as compared to northern and eastern parts of the country.
Important Links –
Diabetes Risk Assessment
Diagnostic Tests and Packages – Introduction to Diabetes Profile
Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy
Living with Diabetes in India
Whats your Risk of Type II Diabetes …
Living with Diabetes in India
Diabetes Prevention & Management –Steps we can take
General Diet Plan
Personalized Diet Plan
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