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Beat diabetes before it beats you

According to World Health Organization, almost 422 million people worldwide are suffering from diabetes and it is causing 1.5 million deaths each year. Number of cases and prevalence of the disease is increasing worldwide, particularly in low and middle income countries. Although it is a quite serious health problem but it can be prevented and controlled with some simple lifestyle changes. Or in other words you can beat diabetes before it beats you. But for that one needs to know about its nature and complications.sni

Diabetes is basically a chronic disease which occurs when pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not use the insulin which it produces. Insulin is the hormone which regulates blood sugar and gives us the energy to carry out routine tasks. When insulin does not work a patient has an increased level of sugar.sni

Forms of the diabetes

There are two main forms of the diabetes; type 1 and type 2. People with type 1 diabetes do not make their own insulin and therefore require insulin injections. In type 2, a patient’s body usually produces its own insulin, but not enough or is unable to use it properly. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in obese people who have sedentary life style.sni

Gestational diabetes is another form which happens during pregnancy. Women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of complications during pregnancy and at delivery. They are also at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.sni

Symptoms of diabetes

The symptoms are sometimes not noticeable. But some general signs include frequent urge for urination, thirst, pain in hands and feet, weight loss, fatigue (usually in evening), and sweating.sni

Interestingly, people are diagnosed with diabetes incidentally. When a patient is screened before a job, surgical procedure or he uses a glucometer of a diabetic at home, and comes to know about the problem.sni

Causes of diabetes

Number of factors are responsible for diabetes. One of the main reasons is sedentary lifestyle. People are becoming inactive day by day. Remote-controlled gadgets have changed their lifestyle. They do not go near a TV to change the channel, they just press the button and switch to their favorite one. They do not walk as well.sni

In the past the problem was not widespread. Hardly three to four percent were diabetic a few decades ago. Now the percentage has increased due to modern lifestyle.sni

Previously, the disease was common among people in their 50s or 60s. But now we see patients suffering from the disease in their early 30s and 40s. And type 1 diabetes is also increasing among children as compared to the past.sni

The second reason is excessive consumption of fast food. Three to four decades back, fast food and colas were not as widespread as they are nowadays. A person would get an opportunity to drink a soft drink in months. But nowadays drinking two three cold drinks on daily basis is a normal practice. Same is the case with fast food. Excessive consumption of fast food and cold drinks is causing obesity, which later on leads to diabetes.sni

Complications of the disease

The increased blood sugar level is not an ordinary health problem. Over time, high blood sugar can seriously compromise every major organ systems in the body. sni

If the consequences of diabetes are seen in detail they include heart problems, blood vessels damage, eyes issues and kidney and nerve dysfunctions. According to WHO, 50 percent of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease (primarily heart disease and stroke).sni

Combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and eventual need for limb amputation. Diabetic retinopathy is an important cause of blindness, and occurs as a result of long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina.sni

According to WHO, one percent of global blindness can be attributed to diabetes. And it is among the leading causes of kidney failure too. The agency also warns that the overall risk of death among people because of diabetes is at least double from the risk of their peers without diabetes.sni

Diabetes prevention

Although the nature of diabetes is terrifying but luckily you can beat diabetes before it beats you. Some simple lifestyle measures can be effective in preventing or delaying the disease.sni


To prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications, patients should achieve and maintain healthy body weight and be physically active. At least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity five days a week is helpful in this regard. If a patient wants to control his weight then he requires more intense activity.sni


Besides exercise, food is also important and it should be healthy and balanced. Eat healthy diet consisting of fruit and vegetables. Reduce sugar and saturated fats intake. Make sure that you do not eat at once. Eat about three to five servings a day.sni

Quit smoking

Tobacco use can increase the problem and lead to cardiovascular diseases. So quit it as soon as possible.sni


After prevention comes treatment, which involves lowering blood glucose and the levels of other known risk factors that damage blood vessels. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin; people with type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral medication, but may also require insulin at a later stage. Blood pressure control and foot care are also necessary to control the problem.sni

One must make sure screening and treatment for eye problems, cholesterol levels and screening for early signs of diabetes related kidney disease. These measures should be supported by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use.sni

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