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Diabetes


What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that results from the body's inability to control blood sugar, mainly from the incorrect function of insulin. Sometimes insulin does not function, either because the body is not responding well to it (Type 2 Diabetes) or because the body is not able to produce insulin (Type 1 Diabetes). Type 2 Diabetes occurs mainly in people who are over weight. This is because the excess weight and fat will not allow your body to respond to insulin and therefore sugar can not be removed from the blood. This in turn causes high levels of blood sugar in the blood which eventually leads to all the problems associated with Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes must always be controlled by timed insulin injections and unfortunately it is not reversible because it is mainly due to genetic inability to produce insulin. However, the correct insulin regimen can allow a person to live a healthy and normal life.

Type 2 Diabetes can be reversed in the early stages through modifications in weight and diet. Even in late stages, if one follows the appropriate diet plan, takes the correct medication, and improves their weight, then the quality of life and managing blood sugar can be adequately achieved.

Often Type 2 Diabetes has other disease states present like High blood pressure, high cholesterol and fats in the blood, obesity and heart disease. In that situation, targeting Diabetes alone is not enough and one must consider other disease states when developing a diet plan and treatment for those conditions. So preventing and reversing Type 2 Diabetes is much more beneficial for you if you are at risk, than waiting in late stages to try to fix damages that could have been avoided.

Late stages of Type 2 Diabetes can lead to complications like damaged eyes, heart problems, damaged kidneys and damaged nerves which eventually lead to amputation of feet and fingers. This is because continuous high blood sugar can clog the tiny arteries that supply blood to your body's extremities like toes and fingers, which eventually causes the tissue there to die and create the need to remove it so the rest of your body does not get infected.

Since Type 2 Diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetic cases, it will be the focus of this section on diabetes.


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Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Frequent thirst
  • Muscles wasting away
  • Feeling tired a lot
  • Having frequent infections
  • Vision that is blurred
  • Takes a long time for sores to heal
  • Itchiness around your genitals
  • Recurring Thrush (which is a mouth infection that can cause sores in the mouth)
 

Risk Factors of Diabetes


If you have any of these risk factors, you should ask your physician to test
you for diabetes. If your results are normal, you should retest again in three years.

  • Overweight
  • Waist circumference above 80 cm for women or above 94 cm for men
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Immediate relatives with Diabetes
  • If you gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 4 kg
  • If you had diabetes while you were pregnant
  • If you are a female with polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • If you have high blood pressure (above 140/90)
  • If you have a triglyceride value in your blood above 250 mg/dl
  • If you are 45 years old or older

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