Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes can be life threatening
Diabetes is marked by serious or chronic disease and in simple terms it means that your body has accumulated high blood sugar (blood glucose).  You may know that blood do contain some amount of glucose because our body need glucose for energy to keep moving but when the sugar or glucose level is elevated in our blood then it is bad for health. This is where the diabetes come into picture.

How blood glucose is increased?

Glucose that comes from the food can also be responsible for spiking your blood sugar. The organ in your body, which is known as pancreas release a hormone called insulin into the blood and this hormone duty is to move the glucose from the digested food into your body cells to be used as energy.  This complex process is described as glucose metabolism. Now, if insulin fails to carry the glucose properly into your body cells then this causes the glucose to get accumulated into your blood therefore, increasing your sugar level and being more prone to diabetes.

Proper diet and regular exercise is the best way in controlling diabetes.

Types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

This type of diabetes is often associated with the younger people and commonly referred as juvenile diabetes. In medical terms, this means that the beta cell has been destroyed by autoimmune reaction, which literally means that the pancreas inhibits production of insulin because the insulin producing cells are being destroyed by body’s own immune system. Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, which means you need regular insulin in order to maintain your blood glucose target level and to remain alive.

Please consult your doctor, if you are suffering from any one of the following symptoms, do not ignore it. Diabetes can be life threatening.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

Insulin resistance
  • Feeling more thirsty than usual
  • Feeling  lethargic or famished
  • Frequent urination
  • Losing weight quickly without exercise
  • Frequent Skin infections
  • Itchy skin usually during night time
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting  

Type 2 Diabetes

This type of diabetes is referred as non-insulin-dependent diabetes, which is the most common of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the insulin produces by pancreas are not effectively used by fat, muscle or liver or it can be that the pancreas produces inadequate insulin for the body to be used as energy.  Sometimes, insulin is also required in type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes

  • Same as type 1 diabetes symptoms
  • high blood pressure 140/90 mm Hg or higher
  • high cholesterol
  • weight gain, particularly around the waist (apple shape)
  • Mood swings.
  • Slow healing of cuts and bruises

Type 2 Diabetes causes

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Insulin resistance in muscle cells.
  • Genetic Inheritance
  • Unhealthy diet

Diabetes Can Be Diagnosed With The Following Test

    Blood Glucose Test
  • Blood test followed by urinalysis to check presence of glucose and ketone in the urine
  • Fasting blood glucose level
  • Random (non-fasting) blood glucose level  
  • Oral glucose tolerance test  
  • C-peptide tests
  • GAD antibody test
  • Type 2 risk indicator tests

Gestational diabetes
This type of diabetes is developed during the women pregnancy time, owing to some hormonal changes causes the blood glucose to rise up.  Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy. This can result in miscarriage or birth defects.

Risk Factor For Gestational Diabetes

  • Presence of sugar in urine
  • Gaining weight drastically during pregnancy
  • Delivery of a baby over 4.0 kg or 9 pounds
  • Giving birth to previously stillbirth(death of fetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy)

Table for desirable blood glucose level for normal person

Blood Glucose Targets for People without Diabetes
Time of Test
Target levels
Target levels
Before meals
70 to 92 mg/dl
3.9 to 5.0 mmol/L
2 hours after meal
Under 120 mg/dl
under 6.6 mmol/L

Table for desirable blood glucose level for diabetes person

Blood Glucose Targets for Most People with Diabetes
Time of Test
Target levels
Target levels
Before meals
70 to 130 mg/dL
3.9 to 7.0 mmol/L
2 hours after meal
90 to 180 mg/dL
5 to 10 mmol/L

Self-Help to control Diabetes

The diabetes cannot be cure but it can be prevented or controlled by doing regular exercise and taking proper diet.  Type 2 diabetic is characterized by overweight or obesity. So, try to lose about 5-10 kg of weight in a year as this will reduce your risk of diabetes by nearly 60 percent.


Healthy diet for diabetic
 Exercise/yoga with proper diet plan may help you to control Type 2 Diabetes without medication. Exercise will improve your blood circulation and help you in maintaining health weight by burning those unwanted fat and lowering down your cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Exercise/Yoga can help you to reduce blood glucose by lowering down your stress level because a hormone called glucagon that spike your sugar level are secreted more at times of stress.

You can include following regimen

  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Deep breathing
  • Jogging 
  • Walking 
  • Bicycling
  • Dancing
  • Swimming

Balanced nutritional intake

 360 calories, 52.5 grams carbohydrate
 535 calories, 75 grams carbohydrate
635 calories, 65 grams carbohydrate
60 calories or 15 grams carbohydrate

Thing to know about diabetes

  1. Never skip breakfast: You can take High-fiber breakfast cereal
  2. Don’t over eat when feeling famished, instead divide into 6 small meals per day i.e. three meals and three snacks each day. 
  3. Keep a count of intake calories every day and try to maintain the same amount of calories following days.
  4. You can take fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, berries but avoid fruit juices as they are usually high in sugar and completely avoid sugar-sweetened drinks.
  5. Eat more green vegetables, such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cabbage and green beans.
  6. Eat less starchy vegetables: such as potatoes, squash or corn.
  7. For Beverage: Drink Green tea or diet drinks but say strictly no to sugar added soft drink.
  8. Limit white potatoes and refined grain products such as white breads and white pasta to small side dishes.
  9. Eat a healthful type of protein often at meals, such as beans, fish, skinless chicken roast beef, and pork tenderloin.
  10.  Avoid Fried foods: Instead bake it or boil in a pan. Otherwise you can steam vegetables and salt intake should be restricted.
  11. Vitamin D is good for Type 2 Diabetic and cardiovascular risk; optimize your vitamin D levels by adequate exposure to sunshine.
  12. Sleep well and control your emotional stress.
Happy Healthy Life. Please visit your doctor if you have any type of symptoms described above. 



  1. Very compact and comprehensive, belonging to a family where diabetes is affecting my folks the article provides an insight into what it means how it affects our body our lifestyle. It has become a common ailment during recent times and there are many myths associated with it. Very informative and simple explanation of the precautions, tests to be taken and the daily activities to be carried out. Now i have a better concept and understanding about what diabetes is all about and i think it will be highly beneficial for those suffering as well as those unaware of it. Waiting for somemore interesting posts.

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