What Is Diabetes? Types & Cure

What Is Diabetes? Types & Cure
42 min reading time

Diabetes is an life-long health condition. Diabetes can be reversed if you followed a healthy lifestyle. It is a condition in which the body cannot control blood sugar levels. A problem with the hormone insulin is the major cause of diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy.

Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body is either unable to produce insulin or properly utilize the insulin produced. India till recently was known as the Diabetes capital of the world, it is now second to China. According to a report released by WHO in 2012, diabetes was directly responsible for 1.5 million deaths, making it the 8th leading killer disease. One needs to remember that Diabetes can also indirectly influence certain fatal conditions in the human body, making it difficult for us to get a number on all the deaths caused by Diabetes, the official figure, however, add another 2.2 million deaths where diabetes was an underlying cause.


All about Diabetes: Types, Causes, and Symptoms, Treatment

It is one of the top 5 chronic diseases of India and it is estimated that nearly 5%- 7% of the total Indian population suffers from diabetes, when translated to numbers more than 62 million Indians suffer from Diabetes and nearly 1 million die because of the disease. Future predictions from several health organizations claim that India will see a significant rise in the number of diabetic patients between 2030-2035, with projected numbers ranging between 79.4 million in 2030 to 109 million by 2035.

Despite diabetes being one of the most widespread diseases as well as a leading killer and one of the most talked about disease in India, the larger Indian public remains ignorant of the nature, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of diabetes.

Diabetes: Brief Introduction and History

The metabolism of the human body is the function or process through which, the body absorbs digested food and converts it into energy. Metabolism as a process is aided by several organs, one of those organs is the pancreas tasked with the production and optimum utilization of a hormone called “Insulin” which breaks down and absorb glucose from our bloodstream and converts it to energy. Diabetes Mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases triggered because the body is either unable to produce or sufficiently utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas to absorb glucose and convert it to energy. One of the most obvious symptoms of diabetes is the tendency for frequent urination.

It is this observable urge to frequent urination which led the 2nd century BC a Greek physician called Aretus the Cappadocian named this disease as “diabainien” which literally means the “the siphoning disease”. “Diabetes” became the popular English adoption of this Greek name. In 1675, Thomas Willis added “Mellitus” Diabetes, Mellitus as a word is derived from the Latin word “Mel” which means sweet, thus changing the name of the disease to literally mean “siphoning sweet liquid.”

Incidentally, the ancient Chinese and Indian physicians also observed that some individuals suffered from a disease causing them to pass off sweet urine (it is believed that ancient Chinese physicians, observed that ants were attracted to the urine of some people, because it was sweet); Sushruta, regarded as the Father of Surgery named this disease “madhumeha” which when translated also means “sweet urine”.

Types of Diabetes: Causes, and Symptoms:

The national average age of diabetic patients in India is around 43 years, however, the age of diabetic patients may range anywhere from 10 years- 65 years. Diabetes as a disease can progress in several years with no symptoms or in a few weeks with aggressive symptoms depending on the type of diabetes one has contracted. Despite diabetes showing similar symptoms, modern science has divided diabetes into three major types:

1. Type I Diabetes:

Our immune system works tirelessly to fight off any alien harmful threats to our bodies, however, sometimes, the immune system of a body becomes overactive and considers even normal bodily functions as hostile and attacks them, a disease caused because of the immune system’s interference into regular bodily functions is known as autoimmune diseases. Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system has attacked the pancreatic function to the extent that the organ is unable to produce insulin, leading to a rise in blood sugar.

Type I diabetes generally shows symptoms at an early age, mostly by adolescence, however, there are instances where the disease has been delayed till young adulthood and in some cases even older ages. When Type I diabetes develops at a later stage in life it is also known as latent autoimmune disease.

There are several reasons which can trigger the immune system to work against the body, environmental change is one, other causes of type I diabetes are:

  • Genetic Susceptibility
  • Family History: Type I diabetes in a close blood relative
  • Infections
  • Viruses
  • Diet during infancy and early developmental stages

Symptoms of Type I Diabetes:

Apart from the average ages at which an individual can develop type I and type II diabetes, the symptoms for both are nearly similar. Symptoms of type I diabetes include:

  • Fatigue
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Frequent Urination
  • Extreme Hunger
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Weight Loss
  • Extreme Thirst and Hunger
  • Change in the shape of eye lens causing blurry vision
  • Sores on the soles of feet

2. Type II Diabetes:

Type II diabetes is a slowly progressing disease where the body is unable to optimally utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas which is to say that the body develops insulin resistance, in later stages of the disease, pancreas completely lose the ability to produce insulin. Nearly 90% of diabetic patients suffer from type II diabetes. A few decades ago diabetes was a problem in the developed world, but it has now become extremely widespread in developing nations. This change in demographics is a direct result of the development of cities and change in lifestyles.

  • Obesity
  • Lack of Exercise or degenerative lifestyle
  • Gender: Females are more prone to type II diabetes
  • Race and Geography
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Age and Family History
  • Prediabetes: Prediabetes is a situation where a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be regarded as diabetes. Individuals suffering from prediabetes are at risk of developing diabetes at a later stage in their lives.

Type II diabetes generally takes years to develop and show symptoms. The average age of type II diabetes in India is 42.6 years, and while its symptoms and diagnosis are same as that of type I diabetes, it is caused due to completely different reasons:

Symptoms of Type II Diabetes:

While we have tried to establish that Type I diabetes generally develops rapidly in children and adolescents, while Type II diabetes develops in adults, it should be noted and acknowledged that diabetes is a versatile disease, where adults in their later years can develop type I diabetes which is generally observed in children, and children can develop type II disease. Symptoms of type II diabetes are similar to type I diabetes and include:

  • Weight loss without any efforts
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Slower healing for sores and cuts
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst and hunger
  • Tingling of nerve ends
  • Rapid Heartbeat

3. Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational diabetes is a periodic disease, a pregnant woman with no history of diabetes or high blood sugar may develop it during the later months of her pregnancy, however, gestational diabetes goes away after the birth of the child. If detected and treated on time, gestational diabetes have no consequences to the health of the child, but if gestational diabetes is not detected at all or poorly managed it has severe consequences for the child, although, the child may not be born with the disabilities that children born to the women suffering from diabetes before pregnancy are born with, they, however, face other health issues.

During Pregnancy, the placenta makes hormones to support the growth of the baby, however, these hormones may interfere with the normal bodily functions of the mother’s body, especially, with the function of insulin. This leads to a rise in the mother’s blood sugar, which sends the mother’s pancreas into overdrive and still not be effective enough. While insulin produced by the mother’s body may not enter the baby’s body through the placenta, her blood sugar may, which then increases the blood sugar in the baby’s body, sending its pancreas to overdrive. When the baby’s body and the hormones produced are not able to absorb the blood sugar being pumped into its body easily, the blood sugar is stored in its body as fat. This makes the baby fat, increasing the risk of shoulder damage during a natural childbirth. There is also a chance of obesity in the child, as well as the risk of developing type II diabetes in adulthood.

Gestational Diabetes is the third most prevalent kind of diabetes and can possibly be a cause of development of type II diabetes in women, later in their lives. While the American average of gestational is around 10%, the Indian average is the highest in the world with 26.3%. While gestational diabetes can develop in any pregnant woman, the at-risk groups include obese women, women with prediabetes before pregnancy, have given birth to fat babies, have already suffered with gestational diabetes before, given birth to stillborn babies or babies with certain defects, have a family history of diabetes, have high blood pressure or other chronic illness.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes:

Women with gestational diabetes generally do not show any symptoms, in fact, women generally find they have gestational diabetes during routine check-ups, therefore, screening for gestational diabetes between the 24th month to 28th month of a pregnancy has become a standard practice in some places. While there are no differentiating symptoms as such some women may end up feeling:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent hunger pangs and eating more
  • The need to urinate frequently

However, the symptoms mentioned below can also be written off as normal pregnancy processes as each body reacts to and copes with pregnancy differently.

Diagnosis of Diabetes:

Type I diabetes generally progresses extremely quickly with an immediate show of symptoms. It takes mere weeks for the disease to mature and cause health issues if left untreated or undiagnosed, this can lead to fatal complications for the patient.

Type II diabetes, on the other hand, develops slowly over a period of years, sometimes it doesn’t show any symptoms till it has already reached an advanced stage. Since type I diabetes also known as “juvenile diabetes” is an autoimmune disorder, early detection can only lead to regulation of the disease, allowing the individual to have a long and healthy life. On the other hand, type II diabetes, generally develops symptoms after the middle ages of a person, if detected early even type II diabetes can be managed effectively, but if a person is detected to suffer from prediabetes, small changes in lifestyle can lower the risk of developing type II disease at all. Looking at the degenerative lifestyle of today, a person in their 30s should plan for one of the blood sugar tests at least once a year. Blood sugar or diabetes is generally diagnosed via three simple tests:

1. Fasting Glucose Test:

The fasting glucose test is done in the morning before the person has eaten anything. The fasting glucose aims at reading the blood sugar levels of the patient after they haven’t eaten for approximately 10-12 hours. Patients are advised to fast for 12 hours before the scheduled test, which is generally planned for in the morning, allowing the patient to have dinner 12 hours before the scheduled test. If a patient’s blood sugar is 126 mg/dL or above despite having not eaten for over 12 hours for more than two times then he/she may be suffering from Diabetes

2. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test:

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) is carried out by asking an individual to drink a large amount of glucose in 30-60 minutes, after which regular blood tests are taken for up to 2-3 hours to gauge the blood sugar absorption levels of the patient. Ideally, during this test, a zero hour sample is extracted from the patient before he/she is administered with glucose, then blood tests are taken at regular intervals for two hours. Generally, a reading of the zero hour and at the end of two/three hours test results is enough to indicate the speed at which blood sugar is absorbed by the body. If a patient’s blood sugar reading is equal to or above 200 mg/dL at the end of two hours, that person may be suffering from diabetes.

3. A1c Test:

The A1c Test is time taking but probably the most effective test for predicting blood glucose levels and diagnosing diabetes. The A1c test is the average reading of consecutive blood sugar readings for 3 months or more. If the average reading is above 6.5% then a person can be diagnosed with diabetes. This test is accurate because the tests results are collected over a span of time, which means that a person’s blood sugar levels are high for more than three months, this reading zeroes down the chances of miscalculations or wrong readings.

Ideally, the Fasting Glucose Test and OGTT are administered simultaneously, i.e. the fasting glucose test can also be considered as the point zero reading for OGTT. However, these readings could be prone to inaccuracies, for example, a person may have elevated blood sugar levels because he/she is suffering from some illness, which can go back to normal once the person has recovered. If an individual gets glucose tests done during a diseased state, they can be misdiagnosed. This, however, can be avoided if the doctor only suggests lifestyle changes for three months, while he/she waits for the A1c test results.

Since tests for diagnosing diabetes are same for type I, type II and gestational diabetes, it is important for the doctor to also focus on physical health and symptoms of an individual before diagnosing the type of diabetes one is suffering from.

Health Complications Caused by Diabetes:

Most chronic diseases have interlinked effects, meaning that if allowed to go unregulated for a long time, most chronic diseases have similar effects, which is inhibiting the function of and damaging other organs as they progress. Diabetes is the same when it goes unregulated, it has a negative effect on the entire body:

1. Nervous System and Brain Function:

The risk of a patient with diabetes suffering from a brain stroke is 4 times higher than that of a normal person. In some cases where diabetes has gone unchecked or undetected and developed to an advanced state it can cause a person to feel dizzy or confused, and during rare moments even lose consciousness. Brain damage can also lead to memory loss and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes affects the nervous system too, most diabetic patients have a tingling feeling on nerve ends like their toes, and a feeling of sharp pain like sharp needles and knives are being pressed on their skin.

2. Eyes:

Diabetes increases the risks of the development of cataract and glaucoma. Diabetes also changes the shape of a person’s eye lens by introducing too much water in the eyes, leading to blurry vision and in some extreme cases, may even cause blindness.

3. Blood Pressure and Heart:

Patients suffering from diabetes are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. An American study declared that 1 out of 3 diabetic patients also suffers from hypertension. Diabetes coupled with hypertension can severely damage the heart leading to an increased risk of developing chronic heart disease.

4. Veins:

Excess blood sugar leads to the development of blockages in the veins. These blockages ultimately end up damaging the lining of the veins.

5. Kidney:

The urge for frequent urination can cause severe kidney damage in the long run. If a diabetic patient also suffers from hypertension then the vein damage and the excess pressure on the kidney leads to the development of chronic kidney disease, which ultimately ends into the needs for a kidney replacement or death due to kidney failure.

6. Stomach and Digestion Process:

Mismanagement of blood sugar also leads to a delay in the digestion of food present in the digestive system as well as poor absorption. This delay in the digestive process often leads to complaints of bloating, nausea, heartburn, and loss of appetite.

7. Legs:

Legs are one of the most heavily affected organs for a patient with diabetes, the tingling and nerve damage is first exhibited on the toes. Unregulated type I diabetes is also notorious in causing the outbreak of bloody sores on the feet, diabetes also leads to swelling of legs caused by water retention, which in turn is an indicator of kidney damage.

8. Creation of Ketones:

When the body is not able to properly absorb glucose to create energy, it starts burning fat for the same. This burning of fats through other hormones or processes leads to the formation of harmful acids called ketones. The first symptom of the presence of large amounts of ketones in the body is a fruity smell in a patient’s breath. Ketones often lead to the dead in bed syndrome and in some cases may even lead to diabetic coma.

9. Skin:

The body loses a lot of body fluids much faster than it is able to replenish it. This leads to the development of dry, itchy skin which when scratched roughly leads to the development of sores that do not heal easily. Diabetes also has an effect on the immune system, a diabetic patient is more prone to contract fungal, bacterial and viral infections. It takes a diabetic patient longer than usual time to heal from simple cuts and bruises too.

10. Fatigue:

Since the body of a diabetic patient is not able to absorb glucose from the blood to convert to energy, most diabetic patients face suffer from chronic fatigue or tire out easily after little exertion.

Treatment of Diabetes:

It should be understood at the onset that according to allopathy, once diagnosed, diabetes has no cure, steps are taken to control the symptoms and delay the progress of the disease and if a person is diagnosed with prediabetes then steps can be taken to prevent the development of diabetes. However, it should be noted that only type II diabetes can be prevented on early detection, type I diabetes cannot be prevented or cured, its symptoms can only be managed.

Type I diabetes is generally treated and maintained with a regular supply of insulin to the body through injections. Therefore, even if type I diabetes outbreaks at a young age it can be controlled and regulated and entwined into the person’s daily routine from an early age.

Type II diabetes develops over time and thus apart from insulin supplied to the body orally or through a syringe, a person also has to change his/her overall lifestyle. A patient suffering from type II diabetes must also lose weight, to prevent the development of other complications, also change his/her diet to include more blood sugar balancing food.

Medication prescribed to a patient for type II diabetes also depends on the patient’s health as a whole i.e. if a patient also suffers from some other chronic disease as a by-product of or independent of diabetes, his/her medication would be adjusted accordingly.

Treatment of Diabetes Through Alternate Medicine

The modern understanding of the treatment of diabetes as a disease emerged from developed countries and through modern medicine which focuses on managing the symptoms of the disease rather than the disease itself. Until recently, modern medicine or the developed nations refused to give due credit to traditional or alternative medicines claiming that they had no scientific base. However, consistent research and efforts have proved that traditional medicines which focus on healing the whole body actually have a deeper understanding of human anatomy and disease management. India recognized the potential and benefits of alternative medicines much before its western counterparts and therefore, we now have homeopathic practitioners and ayurvedic physicians who have studied diseases and their alternative medicinal healing, and they claim that diabetes can be controlled with ease, even cured if detected at early stages.

1. Homeopathy:

Homeopathy functions on the principle of sameness that is like cancels or balances out like. Thus, instead of putting a patient on insulin to suppress the symptoms of diabetes, a homeopathic practitioner would focus on understanding the history of the patient and then find the root to the development of diabetes. The basic tenet of homeopathy states that sometimes symptoms of a chronic disease are rooted in some other deeper issues, a practitioner must thus understand the root cause of the development of diabetes in a patient and then focus on healing him.

A homeopathic practitioner is also less concerned with suppressing the symptoms of diabetes and more with enabling the pancreas and the body to function properly and produce and absorb the adequate amount of insulin. Keeping the unique history of the diabetic patient in mind, the practitioner would prescribe some medicines customised to his/her needs. As is the norm with homeopathic medicines, a person’s symptoms worsen after being administered homeopathic medicines and then the person gradually starts healing. Homeopathic medicines are also safer and administered in very mild dosages which prevent the development of other severe side effects.

2. Ayurveda:

Much like its homeopathic counterpart Ayurveda focuses on the overall well-being of an individual and thus focuses on the root cause of a disease. Ayurvedic physicians have divided the human anatomy according to the qualities each body part displays and believe a healthy body is a perfect balance between the doshas, dhatus, malas, tattva and so on. Madhumeha or diabetes has been discussed in detail by ayurvedic physicians who divided the disease into over 20 types of which the krisha meha (diabetes among lean people) and sthula meha (diabetes among obese people) are explained on the same lines as that of type I and type II diabetes. Other types have been divided based on the possible reason behind the development of diabetes and the corresponding symptom. Apart from some home remedies, there are also several ayurvedic herbs and medicines which help regulate the insulin and blood sugar levels of the body as well as focus on rejuvenating the pancreas.

Ayurvedic medicines along with the regular practice of certain diabetes easing yoga poses help massage and rejuvenate the pancreas into secreting an adequate amount of insulin in the human body. While no Yoga practitioner has claimed to completely cure diabetes especially type I diabetes, some Ayurvedic practitioners claim that a complete lifestyle change, regular yoga, and prescribed ayurvedic medicines can reverse diabetes to a certain extent, even completely if the disease is detected early.

Related Read:  Yoga Poses for Diabetes

Diet Plan for Type I Diabetes:

There are no specific dietary restrictions for patients with Type I Diabetes, they can eat everything in limited quantities however, patients with type I diabetes need to be very particular about meal timings, since such patients are completely dependent on injection of insulin from external sources, one dose of insulin continues reducing blood sugar levels in the body for 24 hours, which mean if a patient skips meal or delays his/her meals he/she may suffer from low blood sugar. It should also be noted that injection of insulin into the bloodstream must coincide with mealtimes. However, here are a few things patients with type I diabetes should avoid or include in their diet

1. Foods to Include in Diet:

Patients suffering from type I diabetes must include foods in their diets which can maintain a certain level of glucose in the blood so that even when the insulin continues lowering blood sugar levels, it doesn’t lead to low blood sugar.

  • Complex Carbohydrates: Patients can opt for complex carbohydrates like quinoa, brown rice, fruits, vegetables,  steel-cut oatmeals, and beans.
  • Fats: Fats can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and curb carbohydrate craving, especially dairy fats like yogurt prevent the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Plant fats such as avocado and olive oil lower risk of contracting diseases.
  • Proteins: Protein-rich sources like lean meats, lentils, beans, nuts, soy, fish, eggs and dairy products like yogurt.

2. Foods to Avoid:

Since patients suffering from type I diabetes inject a certain of insulin which tends to last for 24 hours, eating too much sugar also increases the blood sugar which the insulin in the body may not be able to balance out. One solution is to take a minor dose of insulin after eating extra sugar, this can be done occasionally, however, a more long-term solution is to avoid that extra sugar.

  • Simple Carbohydrates: Starch rich foods like white rice and potatoes should be avoided along with processed white foods like white sugar, cakes, cookies, pastries, pasta and so on.
  • Red Meat: Red meat is rich in fats, which may not have a direct consequence on diabetes, but increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Processed cheese should also be avoided.

Related Read: 

Diet Plan for Type II Diabetes:

Type II diabetes is a direct outcome of a bad lifestyle which leads to the problem of glucose not being absorbed as well as it should have been. Patients suffering from type II diabetes need to change their lifestyles and move to a more physically active life and opt for foods with a low glycemic index so that it doesn’t contribute to raising the blood sugar levels of the body.

1. Foods to Include in Diet:

As mentioned above patients suffering from type II diabetes must undergo a lifestyle change. Even though some meat is mentioned as food that a diabetic can include in his/her diet, it is highly recommended that a type II diabetic patient adopts a more vegetarian or vegan diet. Fish and eggs can be eaten occasionally.

  • Complex Carbohydrates: Patients can opt for complex carbohydrates like quinoa, brown rice, fruits, vegetables,  steel-cut oatmeals, and beans.
  • Fats: Fats can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and curb carbohydrate craving, especially dairy fats like yogurt prevent the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Plant fats such as avocado and olive oil lower risk of contracting diseases.
  • Proteins: Protein-rich sources like lentils, beans, nuts, soy, fish, eggs and dairy products like yogurt.

Related Read: Why is Diabetes on the Rise?

2. Foods to Avoid:

Diabetic patients suffer from severe food restrictions as they are not allowed to eat any food which can directly or indirectly contribute to the rise in their blood sugar levels.

  • Simple Carbohydrates: Starch rich foods like white rice, corn, and potatoes should be avoided along with processed white foods like white sugar, cakes, cookies, pastries, pasta and so on.
  • Drinks: Packed artificially flavoured fruit juices, carbonated drinks, alcohol and so on.
  • High Glycemic Fruits: Pineapple, Mangoes, Litchi, Watermelon and so on.
  • Red Meat: Red meat is rich in fats, which may not have a direct consequence on diabetes, but increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Processed cheese should also be avoided.

Supplements for Diabetes:

With a consistently rising population of Type II diabetes patients, the market is riddled with the presence of “diabetic supplements” which claim to cure diabetes. However, one must remember that diabetes cannot be completely reversed, yes, some herbal medicines can rejuvenate the pancreas to produce more insulin but diabetic supplements cannot replace your diabetes medication. The supplement known as Diabetasafe is a herbal product which helps lowers the blood glucose level in type II diabetes patients, as well as aids in the secretion of more insulin from the body.

It should, however, be noted, that most diabetic patients also receive counseling from their doctors and dieticians regarding their diets. This counseling on a diet plan depends on the overall health of the patient, therefore, consulting a doctor/ dietician before starting on a diet or supplement is strongly recommended.

Related Read: Are Supplements Required for Diabetes?

Myths About Diabetes:

Diabetes is a household name, however, ignorance about the causes and effects of the disease are prevalent. This chronic disease is riddled with myths here are a few myths that we are busting for you:

Myth: Eating foods rich in sugar causes diabetes.

Explanation: This is as far from the truth as it possibly could be. Diabetes is caused by several factors, primary of which are a family history and bad lifestyle. Yes, sugary foods are listed in the avoid list for diabetic patients, but that is only because sugar-rich foods break down easily to make glucose, which can quickly raise the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients.

Myth: Type II diabetes patients can eat any amount of sugar-free food.

Explanation: Type II diabetes patients face severe food restrictions for a reason. They not only had to avoid sugar, they also have to maintain caution against gaining weight or having a lifestyle which can trigger further complications like high blood pressure, kidney failure or cardiovascular diseases. Thus, type II diabetes patients have to keep a count of the number of calories they are eating apart from keeping a track of the amount of sugar they have ingested in a day.

Myth: Eating organic and natural food will regulate type II diabetes.

Explanation: Organic and natural food also contain foods which are rich in carbohydrates, starch or natural sugar, which can in turn spike a patient’s blood sugar levels in a short span of time. A type II diabetes patient has to be careful of the food he/she is eating even when it is organic and natural.

Myth: No family history of diabetes equals to no chances of ever developing diabetes.

Explanation: It is true that people with a family history of diabetes are more at risk of developing diabetes, however, bad lifestyle, obesity, and several other health factors also play a role in the development of diabetes. Thus, even if there has been no prior history a person can be diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes is hailed as a silent killer, despite the fact that it causes several deaths every year, diabetes is also an underlying cause of several more deaths all over the world. The alarming news is that not many people even realize that they are suffering from type II diabetes till the disease starts showing symptoms of reaching an advanced level. Even when people have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are so many false conceptions regarding diabetes and its treatment that some patients delay or interfere with their own treatment, to protect our readers from harmful information, we have developed a one-stop shop for all your queries. If you have other doubts, please write your queries in a comment and we will get back to you.

News On Diabetes:

Evidence-Based Research Proves That Diabetes Causes Erectile Dysfunction

– 27th Dec 2018

The American Journal of Human Genetics recently published a study conducted by the University of Exeter and University of Oxford provides solid evidence to a growing body of data that diabetes is directly linked to erectile dysfunction. The researchers from both universities analyzed data from over 220,000 participants, all suffering from type II Diabetes. Of these nearly 6,000 participants reported suffering from erectile dysfunction. Further research into these reports indicated that men who have been taking medicines to manage their blood sugar levels have also reported improvement in their experience of erectile dysfunction. The researchers also employed the use of genetic analysis tools and determined that while development of diabetes is also a genetic condition, which means that it can also lead to erectile issues in men. The researchers have urged men to have healthier lifestyles so that they could prevent the development of diabetes and by association erectile dysfunction.

Tea Can Help Manage Symptoms of Diabetes

– 26th Dec 2018

Tea is a beloved drink in the United Kingdom, but it is also a popular drink in India. In fact, tea is a part of everyday Indian life, however, our regular tea or chai is made with creamy milk and a lot of sugar. However, there are a few types of tea that a diabetic can switch to which can help lower their blood sugar levels. Such teas are black tea and green tea, more specifically green tea. In fact, diabetes.co.uk has published research studies alluding to the benefits of tea which include increasing the insulin tolerance of the human body. The tea is said to be very beneficial, as the polyphenols present in tea also increase insulin but can also prevent the development of diabetes in human beings.

Aerobics to Prevent Diabetes Induced Kidney Disease

– 05th Dec 2018

A recent study published by the American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology studied the impact of aerobic exercises on the prevention of kidney diseases in diabetic rats who also suffer from obesity. Kidney disease is a very common by-product of type II diabetes. Generally, such diseases are symptomized with the presence of too much protein in the urine, the inability of the kidneys to filter impurities effectively, which leads to changes in the mineral composition of the body, including the weakening of bones, leading to osteoporosis. However, researchers observed that exposing rats to exercise routines which were based on aerobics led to the reduction of symptoms of kidney diseases like scars in the renal arteries, bad filtering of pollutants from the body, or even the presence of the protein in the human body. Researchers conclude that aerobics routines can help reduce the risk of obesity, and diabetes-induced kidney diseases. However, more research is required in the area.

Too Much of Stress Causes Type 2 Diabetes in Women

– 28th Nov 2018

Initially, the primary factors that cause type 2 diabetes were high blood pressure, obesity, and a foodie like a lifestyle. Currently, a new study proves that severe stress can also play an important role in most women developing type 2 diabetes.  

In 2015, 30.3 million Americans were alone affected by type 2 diabetes and this was done in a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes is a dangerous condition in which the body does not have control over regulating blood sugar. Thereby people with this disease can be prone to other types of health disorders such as cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity.

In this study, researchers state that it is not just other diseases that affect type 2 diabetes but also mental stress. The study also looked at the causal relationship between stress and diabetes and figured out that the stress caused by most women participants were due to anxiety and fear over time. Also, the study proved that women identified with the highest amount of chronic and acute stress had double the risks of developing type 2 diabetes. So, always keep a cool head and regular exercise to avoid diabetes.

Almonds Can Help Manage Diabetes

– 19th Nov 2018

The International Diabetes Federation recently published a research report with over 12000 participants who were suffering from type II diabetes and discovered that nearly ⅔ of all participants also suffered from cardiovascular diseases but either did not know or did not wish to discuss it with their health care providers and family members. The Almond Board of California funded several studies of which one was with 50 Indian Asians. The researchers asserted that Asian Indians have a genetic tendency towards developing type II diabetes. These participants were given a diet which included a specific amount of almonds, the results indicated weight loss, loss of waist circumference, reduction in the levels of bad cholesterol, even reduction in blood sugar levels. A follow-up study with over 30 Chinese Asians, who strictly adhered to a heart-healthy diet, which included around 60 grams of almonds daily revealed that almond reduced fast growing serum glucose levels by 6%.

Another randomized study with 21 Americans who were at risk or suffered from poorly managed diabetes, indicated that nearly 43 grams of almonds taken daily for a period of 12 weeks can reduce C-reactive protein by nearly 30%, effectively managing diabetes, and in some cases even reducing the risk of diabetes development.

New Studies Show That Yoga Can Reduce Diabetes and Cancer

– 27th Nov 2018

In a new study conducted by the USQ, it shows that individuals who engage in muscle strengthening exercises such as yoga or weightlifting have a significantly low chance of developing diabetes and cancer. The study which was recently published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. The study was done using the public server data on exercises available on about 400000 American citizens. The study is set to make people aware of the advantages of exercise and make them stay away from a sedentary lifestyle.

Dr Jason Bennie who was in charge of the study told that more than seventy-five per cent of the people failed to reach the minimum required amount of muscle building physical exercise. Whereas the people who did exercise regularly had a fairly low chance of developing chronic illness in the future. The study also revealed that simple exercises such as push-ups can also help a long way in reducing the chances for chronic illness such as cancer and diabetes.

The study conducted by USQ’s physically active lifestyles research group headed by Dr Jason Bennie hopes that the results from this study will help develop a positive attitude towards exercise in the general population. It’s important that people do regular exercise considering the number of individuals who are obese in the states.

The study also revealed that the people who belonged to the lower section of the socio-economic class had less time to engage in exercise or are usually very tired to have enough energy to continue with the exercise. This is an alarming situation as the poor people in the states are often members of a lifestyle that is not even borderline healthy and they depend a lot on unhealthy fast food for nutrition. The yoga enthusiasts are taking the news in good spirits and hope that more and more people will join forces to make muscle building exercises like yoga into a more mainstream and daily activity.

The Double Threat of Diabetes and Dementia

– 06th Nov 2018

A recently published study reported that diabetes and dementia together can be a deadly combination. The study was conducted with 20,000 participants suffering from dementia and a good mix of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The participants were all above the age of 65 years, and the study was a follow-up study spanning over 5 years. The researchers concluded that people who suffer from dementia and diabetes have a 67% higher chance of dying from critically low blood sugar. This study was presented at the Annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes, which was held at Berlin, Germany. The researchers have also stressed on the fact that healthcare providers should now concentrate their efforts on avoiding low blood pressure, rather than focusing on controlling glucose levels.

Mango Leaves Can Control Diabetes and Blood Pressure

– 30th October 2018

Mango the king of fruits is a well know seasonal fruit that makes us dwell in it so badly that we all wait for summer to come. However, both ran and ripe mango has been used in Indian delicacies and is used in the making of numerous dishes and sides. Mangoes have a lot of health benefits that help the body in the supply of healthy fibre in order to improve digestion, boosting your immunity levels and keeping hydrated.

Mago is a tasty fruit that has a load of health benefits, similarly, mango leaves are highly beneficial than the fruit itself. These leaves have used in many ancient medicines in India and one major benefit of mango leaves is that it has the tendency to regulate blood sugar and stabilise diabetes.

Dark green matured mango leaves have powerful antioxidant properties that can be consumed by both powder and decoction form. Younger mango leaves have anti-microbial properties and are cooked and eaten.

Mango leaves have also been used in Chinese medicines in order to control diabetes. Ancient Chinese used mango leaf extracts that help manage asthma and diabetes. This was because mango leaves were highly rich in nutrients. Mango leaves also produce high levels of insulin and fights cholesterol in the blood.

It contains of Vitamin C and fibres that help diabetic symptoms like frequent urination and blurry visions etc. A simple home-remedy to control diabetes is by boiling 10 to 15 mango leaves in water. Once it is boiled, let it cool down overnight and the next day it can be consumed in the morning.

Type 2 Diabetes- Do Not Avoid this Rash on your Neck

– 26th Oct 2018

If you are type 2 diabetes, you may experience extreme tiredness, loss of weight and passing out of more urine than normal. Apart from this symptom, there is another one that needs to be taken seriously. Beware of a dark patch on your skin in your never region and this could mean that you are sufferring from high blood pressure.

Skin discolouration particularly on your neck or under your armpits could reveal a sign of diabetes and other serious complication. Medically speaking, this type of skin discolouration is called acanthosis nigricans and this could also mean insulin resistance. The patch that appears on your skin may look like a piece of dirt that makes your skin appear darker and thicker. This is most common among people having insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.

Most people do not even know that they have diabetes and this is because the symptoms do not make you feel their intensity in the beginning. As things get worst, you may begin realising that you are sufferring with something very deadly.

Skin discolouration caused due to diabetes usually happens among adults aged 40-years and above, especially among those who are overweight. However, controlling blood sugar for diabetics is very crucial as it can turn out to be life-threatening that may lead to strokes and further heat diseases. So if you notice any sort dark coloured patch on your neck, do not avoid it and immediately consult your doctor.

New Studies Show Intermittent Fasting can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

– 15th Oct 2018

According to news reports, scientific study has revealed that controlled fasting in regular intervals can help in reversing the effects of type 2 diabetes. In a study conducted on 3 adults from an age group ranging from 40 to 67, there were astounding results enabling the patients to discontinue insulin treatments with the help if intermittent fasting.

Diabetes is a growing concern worldwide affecting almost 8.8% of the global world population. Making appropriate changes in lifestyle and diet has always been advised to patients with diabetes. However, none of the lifestyle changes was able to make them be free of insulin supplementation. With this new study, there can be a reduction of insulin supplementation among people with type 2 diabetes.

Two of the test subjects fasted on alternate days for a time period of 24 hours and the third subject fasted three days a week. The fasting revealed a surprising result in one of the patients as he was able to stop his insulin treatment in just a matter of 5 days. The others were able to get themselves off insulin supplementation within a month.

Since this is just an observational study, researchers are planning to conduct the study in a larger sample group to understand how fasting helps reverse diabetes better. All the three members were given a 6-hour nutritional seminar before they started the fasting process. The seminar thought them how nutrition works with different foods and how diet can help in controlling diabetes.

The fasting also helped in reducing the waist and body fat of the patients by a whopping 10-12% within a few weeks. This also resulted in reduced blood glucose levels among the patients. The use of fasting to control diabetes was a previously unheard notion in medicine. However, with the results from this latest study, there can be hope for diabetes patients as the use of insulin can be stopped with fasting under the right conditions.

Is Drinking Coconut Water Good For Diabetes?

– 12th Oct 2018

Coconut water is a healthy drink that is fresh, sterile and without any natural sweeteners or preservatives. One of the most important benefits of drinking coconut water is that it restores electrolytes in the body, especially during and after any physical activity.

So what does a glass of coconut water contain?

A single glass of coconut is loaded with calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper and different types of amino acids. It acts as the best natural medicine for diabetes. In a recent study by the Journal of Medicinal Food, Coconut water was proven as the best natural supplement for diabetics. Though one glass of coconut water is packed with so many benefits, it musnt be consumed too much. This means that there is a level that you need to consume in order to keep your diabetes in check. And stable.

Benefits for Diabetics:

  • Coconut water is loaded with high protein and fibre
  • Once consumed, it takes time to digest and this slowly reduces your blood sugar levels
  • It is the best substitute for a sugary soda drink
  • It contains natural sugar
  • Does not contain any preservatives
  • Provides natural energy to the body
  • Potassium is found in coconut water and this regulates the functioning of your kidneys

Note: If your blood sugar levels constantly fluctuate, then it may not be advised that you consume coconut water. But it is advised for everyone to drink at least one tender coconut a day.

Keto Diets May Increase the Risk of Diabetes:

– 08th Aug 2018

If you are someone who follows all the fad diets supported by celebrities, you must be knowing about Keto Diet. Even if you aren’t someone who follows such diets much, you must have heard about how much celebrities are loving the health benefits of this type of diet. However, according to a study conducted by ETH and University Children’s Hospital Zurich, Keto diets may pose a risk of developing diabetes. This study was published in Journal of Physiology and the researchers had divided lab mice into two groups. One was fed the keto diet and the other, a fat based diet. Metabolic tests along with special tests like internal sugar production and sugar uptake in muscles during insulin reaction were recorded. These records led the researchers into confirming that keto diets pose a risk for diabetes development, however, further research needs to be conducted in this field.

Overworked Women at Risk of Developing Diabetes:

– 7th July 2018

According to a recent study report published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, it has been revealed that women who worked for more than 45 hours a week were at increased risk of developing diabetes. The research however, is not just focusing on the paid work hours of women, it also takes into account the number of hours spent at finishing unpaid household chores.

The study was conducted with over 7000 participants who were divided into 4 groups of weekly work hours. The research reported that women, often times coping with the double burden of work and household, end up working for over 45 hours a week. This leads to severe hormonal imbalance, development of chronic fatigue syndrome, all which lead to insulin resistance. This increase in situations which lead to insulin resistance increases their risk of developing type II diabetes by 70%.

Diabetes can be reversed in certain cases.

FAQ Diabetes

What are the first symptoms of being diabetic?

Common symptoms of diabetes:
1. Urinating often.
2. Feeling very thirsty.
3. Feeling very hungry—even though you are eating.
4. Extreme fatigue.
5. Blurry vision.
6. Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal.
7. Weight loss—even though you are eating more (type 1)
8. Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

What food causes diabetes?

To start eating healthier today, keep an eye out for these four food groups that are known to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. …
Highly Processed Carbohydrates. …
Sugar-Sweetened Drinks. …
Saturated and Trans Fats. …
Red and Processed Meats.

What is the main cause of diabetes?

What causes type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease.

What is Gestational Diabetes ?

Some women develop gestational diabetes during  pregnancy. Most gestational diabetes goes away after birth but who has had gestational diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 later in life.  Most of the cases Gestational diabetes is caused by the hormones of pregnancy.  Shortage of insulin also causes Gestational diabetes. Healthy food while being pregnant and being active will decrease the risk of developing subsequent type 2.  By increasing physical activity level before get pregnant can improve how body uses insulin and help blood glucose levels stay normal.

What is Type of Diabetes 2 ?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in adults. Type 2 is called as non-insulin dependent or Adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 occurs mostly in individuals over 30 years old and the incidence increases with age. Most of these cases are a result of improper eating habits, over body weight, and lack of body exercise.

What is Type of Diabetes 1?

Type 1 diabetes is often treated as insulin-dependent diabetes and also sometimes known as juvenile or early-onset diabetes, Why because It often develops before the age of 40, usually during the teenage.
In type 1 condition, the pancreas (a small gland behind the stomach) does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by the islets of Langerhans that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it causes serious damage to the body’s organs.

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