The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Diabetes Medication

diabetes drugs

Fear, cost, busy schedules—many factors can get in the way of taking your diabetes drugs. Tap into our insider tips to conquer the obstacles and control your health.

Anxiety about taking diabetes medication is understandable. You might worry about side effects, the strain on your pocketbook, or the hassle it adds to daily life. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to dodge the need for medications for a while, but eventually they may become necessary. If you have type 1 diabetes, you realize pretty quickly that taking insulin is essential to your survival. Medications and insulin are tools to improve your blood glucose— and they work. “Taking your medications regularly can greatly reduce your risk of developing unwanted diabetes complications,” says David Pope, Pharm.D., CDE, editor in chief at creativepharmacist.com. Sometimes remembering to take pills or injections and keeping up with refills is a challenge of its own. “The average person with diabetes is on six medicines, so it can feel like juggling,” says Jan Berger, M.D., M.J., chief executive offi cer of Health Intelligence Partners in Chicago. We’ve got tips for staying on top of your regimen and information that may ease concerns keeping you from your healthiest self.

1. Understand your medication

diabetes meds

If you feel reluctant about taking your diabetes medication, the solution may be as simple as grasping how they work.
“If we don’t understand why we’ve been prescribed a medication, our inner 3-year-olds come out and we say no,” Berger says. So ask questions.

For example, metformin improves fasting blood glucose readings by decreasing your liver’s production of glucose at night and increasing your muscles’ uptake of glucose. Insulin injections lower blood glucose by helping to move glucose from your blood into your body’s cells, where it’s used for energy. Sulfonylureas (such as glipizide and glyburide) increase the amount of insulin the pancreas releases.

Keep new prescription handouts in a safe place (or snap a photo) to review and ask your pharmacist questions as they come up. Now, perhaps you take your diabetes meds but not regularly. “Sometimes people are resistant to taking medicine because they just don’t feel they need it,” says Patrick Devereux, Pharm.D., of Family Medical Services Pharmacy in Bessemer, Alabama. Some patients skip pills when their blood glucose is in check—though missing just 24 hours of your sulfonylurea dosage, for example, could affect your blood glucose for up to five days. Similarly, although metformin generally improves blood glucose control in one to two weeks, it may take two to three months to exert its full benefit.

“Diabetes is progressive, so it generally gets worse over time as the pancreas wears out,” Devereux says. “People typically need to add medication, and sometimes insulin, to their eating and exercise plans at some point to stay healthy.” Some people with diabetes avoid their medicine because they feel shame about being on diabetes pills or insulin. For support, reach out to other people with similar cultural and health beliefs who have diabetes. Your health care provider may be able to help you make connections, or you can seek support through diabetes education programs, places of worship, or community centers.

2. Sidestep adverse effects

Sidestep adverse effects

Some people with diabetes fear the side effects of their medications. Here are ways to reduce some common symptoms:
Nausea from metformin. “This can be minimized if the provider has the patient start with a very small dose of metformin, then slowly increases it,” says Susan Alexander, D.N.P., ANP-BC, ADMBC, a clinical associate professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Plus, studies show the stomach upset associated with it is markedly better within 30 days. Additionally, there is an extended-release version of metformin that minimizes these side effects.
Hypoglycemia. Insulin and sulfonylureas (glyburide, glipizide, and glimepiride) are the main diabetes medications that can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Alexander says. Keeping a blood glucose meter and glucose tablets on hand can help ease your mind. Weight and appetite issues. “Although insulin and sulfonylureas may increase fluid retention or appetite, other drugs used to treat diabetes, such as metformin and GLP-1 receptor agonists (such as exenatide and liraglutide), are weight-neutral or even have been associated with weight loss,” Alexander says. “If you’re taking a diabetes medication that could affect your weight, eating sensibly and being physically active are especially important.”

3. Simplify your regimen

Simplify your regimen

When you take several medications at different times, it can be difficult to keep them straight and work them into your routine. “Ask your pharmacist about medication packaging or calendar packs, in which one dose of all your medications for a certain time of day are together, such as in a blister pack,” Pope says. You also can use a smartphone app, such as Medisafe or Dosecast, for reminders. If you’d rather keep things low-tech, the standard pillbox is always an option. Pope and Devereux also encourage patients to ask pharmacies about synchronizing medications (sometimes called “medication sync”) so all drug refills can be picked up at one time each month.

COST SAVING HACKS FOR MEDS

COST�SAVING HACKS FOR MEDS

Talk turkey. “Ask what medications cost,” says Dr. Jan Berger. “Your pharmacist can check with your doctor about using less-expensive medication when possible.”

Don’t fear generics. “The FDA has approved generics. They’re just as safe and effective as brand-name drugs,” Berger says.

Shop around. Use websites and apps such as medfisher.com, goodrx.com, and werx.org to find the lowest prices for medications. Check prices at your local independent pharmacy.

Check with drug manufacturers. “Look for links on drug company websites that say ‘medication assistance’ or ‘patient assistance program,’ which provide medication for free or a reduced cost to those who qualify,” says Sandra Garcia, program coordinator for the Medical Assistance Program at Texas A&M Health Science Center in Corpus Christi. Find contact information for diabetes drug companies at diabetes.org or search for drug assistance programs through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888/477-2669 or pparx.org), rxassist.org, and rxoutreach.org.

Consider insulin pens. “Although generic insulin isn’t available, insulin pens hold a little more insulin than vials—1,500 units per box versus 1,000 units, respectively—but often cost the same copay,” pharmacist Patrick Devereux says. Ask your pharmacist about your options.

Research mail-order pharmacies. These may save you money by selling three months’ worth of pills at a time. Talk with your pharmacist to see if the option is right for you.

Use coupons. “Legitimate coupons are ones sponsored by the drug manufacturer,” Devereux says. Free pharmacy discount cards may land you on marketing lists, so steer clear.

Call your local health department. Ask about income-based medication-assistance programs.

Random Blood Sugar Levels Chart In India

Random Blood Sugar Levels Chart In India

India, the country where the prevalence of diabetes is at its peak. According to recently made studies, more youngsters in India are prone to diabetes than in western countries and that too at a very early age.

Is it important to know about random blood sugar levels? Why not, nearly 70 million people in India are currently fighting diabetes and this proportion is estimated to grow up to 100 million by 2030. Indians are developing an enormous exposure towards this disease which is blooming at an alarming rate in the Indian subcontinent when compared to other parts across the world.

There are some peculiar reasons for widespread diabetes on such a massive scale among men, women, kids, and teenagers.

1. Genetic predisposition –

Genetic factors are greatly affecting the rise of diabetes in Indian society. If the parents are diabetic, then the child is also likely to develop the same disease in later stages of life.

2. Insulin resistance –

this might sound surprising to you but however, is a real proven fact. Researches reveal that Indians have inculcated higher magnitudes of insulin resistance in their body. The low birth weight of babies corresponds to this.

Furthermore, when a child with low birth weight grows up to be obese, the risk of acquiring diabetes accelerates during adolescent stage.

3. Malnutrition –

Yet another threat paved on the society is malnutrition which takes away many lives of many children every year, particularly in rural areas.

A great degree of children under the age of five in India is stunted, wasted and malnourished. Many fall prone to diarrhea or anemia and due at tender ages. Prolonged malnutrition is linked with the arrival of diabetes if the child somehow survives.

4. Dietary influences-

Apart from genetics, traditional reasons are also to be blamed equally. The diet that people of India primarily follow involves a higher intake of carbohydrates, refined cereals, and saturated fatty acids. People here are very much fond of sweets but most of them decline the rightful amount of proteins in their meals.

5. Modern lifestyle –

With the advent of urbanization, our lifestyle is turning sedentary. People are heavily dependent on machines which inhibits physical growth. This devastating affects overall health. Physical inactivity and lack of exercise are twin causes of diabetes.

6. Lack of awareness –

This is undoubtedly the reason that turns the situation worse. People, especially those living in rural areas, slums and suburbs are still not aware of the causes and symptoms of diabetes. They fail to acknowledge the disease within the right time. Don’t you think it’s high time and being a resident of India, you need to be cautious enough regarding your blood sugar levels.

Wishing to gain more insights about random blood sugar levels and its readings chart for people of different age groups in India? Congrats then, you are in the right place. Although, there are many effective tests for diabetes speculation this article mainly emphasizes the significance of random blood glucose tests. To understand the same, we need to have a closer look at the random blood sugar levels chart in India.

What Are Random Blood Sugar Levels


The word ‘random’ here exemplifies that these are blood glucose levels which can be measured at any time of the day. Some specific tests are performed to check these levels and interpret the results.

There is no need for fasting overnight or waiting for two hours after meals. However, other common tests require either of the two conditions to be fulfilled. Moreover, you don’t need to wear the strip whole day as in case of continuous glucose monitoring meters.

This method offers flexibility in timing to people who wish to get their blood sugar tested. Do you remember reading about the HbA1C test in the previous article?

It is also a kind of blood glucose test that doesn’t require fasting. You can arrive at your doctor’s clinic at any time of the day without any preparation and get yourself diagnosed accurately.

Procedure For Random Blood Sugar Test

The procedure of this test is quite simple and brief. The medical practitioner collects a small sample of blood from your fingertips. This is done using a small sharp needle that is pricked at the top of your forefinger, generally.

This sample is further subjected to technical evaluation and results are obtained.  Accordingly, your doctor will advise you on the medications based on your reports.

The readings are classified as;

80-140 mg/dL : normal

140-200 mg/dL : pre-diabetes

more than 200 mg/dL : diabetes

Pre-diabetes signifies high blood sugar levels than optimal range but provides a fair scope of reverting them back to normal, and is therefore not categorized as diabetes. Prediabetic patients are on the verge of developing type 2 diabetes if they continue to be careless regarding diet and appropriate medications.

Random Blood Sugar Testing At Home

The only way to deal with undesired health problems related to diabetes is to check your blood glucose levels at regular intervals. Home glucose monitoring kits make this task easier for us. To begin with, clean your finger gently with spirit-soaked cotton, rubbing it all over.

Then, prick your finger at the tip with the lancet that comes along with the kit. Put a drop of blood on the strip provided and insert this strip into the meter to get the final readings. You can purchase different meters based on size, features, speed, and cost. These blood glucose monitoring meters are easily available at local pharmacy stores or online platforms.

Random Blood Sugar Levels Chart

Schedule         Normal      Diabetes
Morning hours   <100mg/dL   70-130mg/dL

Before meals     <110mg/dL   70-130mg/dL

2 hrs after meal  <140mg/dL  180mg/dL

Bedtime             <120mg/dL  90-150mg/dL

HbA1C                  <6%               >7%

These are standard readings for all adult people in India belonging to the age group between 18 years to 40 years. The exception being in the case of gestational diabetes which has its own diagnosis and treatments.

However, results can deviate from the above readings in case a person is suffering from anemia or other such diseases. For the people living in hilly regions, fluctuations in readings can arise as well. Otherwise, a reading of 200 mg/dL and above indicates the onset of diabetes and immediate treatment needs to be done to bring the blood sugar levels under control. Generally, one more test is recommended to confirm diabetes when the readings are doubtful.

What Else To Know: The Other Way Results

In addition to this, random blood sugar readings that come out be exceedingly low indicates low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. This is the other side of this problem. You need to be equally concerned with the extremely low blood sugar levels as with the increased ones. When the readings are below 70 mg/dL, chances for low blood sugar comes in.

Moreover, if the readings are close to 40 mg/dL, this signifies severe hypoglycemia and you have to hastily turn onto proper medicine and diet which ensures appropriate carbohydrate intake by the body. Hypoglycemia too imposes crucial health threats upon your body. A few ones to mention are – numbness, loss of thinking power, heart-related ailments, excessive sweating, and sleeping disorders.

What Causes High Blood Sugar

There are numerous factors contributing to elevated levels of glucose in the bloodstream. The most apparent ones are listed below;

  1. Lack of healthy habits like exercise, yoga, and meditation in your daily routine.
  1. Not drinking enough amount of water daily. Dehydration makes the situation terrific.
  1. Skipping breakfast is also one of the prominent causes leading to diabetes. This is commonly for the people who get up late in the morning and rush on towards the office or college.
  1. Too much consumption of processed snacks, junk food, packaged drinks and a greater intake of foods with a high glycemic index.
  1. Sometimes, hyperactivity of thyroid gland or pancreatic cancer become the stringent reasons for diabetes.
  1. Avoiding regular health checkups.

When To Become Alert For Checking Blood Sugar Levels

Honestly, if you are really serious at managing diabetes, then, please don’t wait for the right time as there is no definite prediction of this. The tables can turn up anytime. It’s better to make persistent efforts from your side by visiting and consulting a good doctor near your home.

If you are diagnosed at an early stage, you can successfully revive yourselves by adopting rightful measures within time. Or else, if you are already diabetic, still regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is obviously the key to a safe and secure life.

You come to know about how well you are doing at maintaining your sugar ranges and can avoid any severe complications beforehand. This, in turn, saves your time and money as well as keep you away from unnecessary hassles.

But, there are some symptoms and conditions under which you must not take your health lightly at any cost. A closer check at blood glucose levels become more important during the following circumstances;

Pregnancy:

The risk of developing diabetes increases four folds during pregnancy. This situation is very common among Indian women as 8 out of every 10 women are reported to suffer from gestational diabetes every year.

Encountering dominant symptoms:

If you ever experience some most common symptoms like frequent urination, excessive thirst combined with tiredness. Then you ought to visit a doctor as soon as possible. The symptoms also include unexplained weight loss, headache, nausea, blurred vision and slow healing of sounds.

Obesity:

If you are obese, then chances are higher for your blood sugar levels to get hiked up. Instantly, makeup and follow a diet plan for quick weight loss. Don’t forget to consult a doctor for insured healthy well being.

Case of high blood pressure:

High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes often go hand in hand with close proximity. This is because the hormones released during high blood pressure also causes the release of glycogen (stored glucose) from the liver and other body cells into the circulating blood. When you are going for your blood pressure test, it also takes time to know your readings for blood glucose levels as well.

Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy

Pregnancy demands extra care and nourishment for the body as this is the time when certain hormonal changes are intensely going around in the body along with several physiological changes. In India, statistics of gestational diabetes are increasing every year seeming parallel with the increased of diabetes.

The majorly contributing states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Tamil Nadu with more than 20% of the women being affected with the problem. There is also a method for testing gestational diabetes that doesn’t require fasting.

All you need to do is drink a specifically prepared glucose water on arriving at the clinic. Blood will be drawn as a small sample one hour later to test it for any discrepancies. If the readings are higher than 120 mg/dL, you are required to come up with rigid precautions.

Tips for effective blood sugar testing

  • You should know that your blood sugar levels are affected by each and every activity you perform throughout the day.

The food you eat, sleeping durations, medicines, traveling, exercise routine, and all other things alternate the pattern of blood sugar.

  • Regular checking of blood glucose levels brings many advantages.

Once you know how particular food or activity is affecting your levels, you can talk with your doctor more productively.

Avoid taking the wrong food from next time onwards and continue with the ones which appear to favor your health.

  • Stay in your target range. Make sure your calorie consumption does not exceed beyond the permitted range. You should be aware of your target range in advance.

For instance, your levels must not rise more than 180 mg/dL from 2 hours after meals and at any other time, they must be in the range of 120-150 mg/dL.

  • While checking for blood glucose levels at home, don’t forget to wash your hands with warm water and medicated soap before testing to avoid any errors in the readings.
  • Always prefer to prick the needle at the tip of your finger.

The fingertips receive a large number of capillaries so getting a blood drop becomes easy.

  • Keep changing your lancet after sufficient time intervals.
  • In case you find any anomalies in your readings without no clear reason, call a doctor to discuss and gain clarity over the issue.

Concluding words

So, here you are done with all the relevant knowledge about random blood sugar levels in India, their tests and measures. People need that they must keep visiting their trusted doctors for regular monitoring of their blood glucose levels to avoid crucial complications that arrive upon delaying the diagnosis.

Of course, timely treatment can avoid big troubles. Every diabetic person is strictly recommended to include light exercises in his/her everyday life schedule. This not only keeps your blood sugar levels stable but also reduces the risk of developing any other deadly diseases.

There is only one master key to conquer diabetes and that is the continued analysis of blood sugar levels. You can decide and make your own check-up plan. This will be based on your working hours, your daily activities and whatever else you manage.

Choose one particular interval after which you will be checking your blood sugar levels either at home or at the clinic. This could be once a month, once a week or even once in a day. It all pertains to your convenience. Don’t skip checkups until and unless it’s a really hectic day for you. After embracing all such rightful measures, you will be doing pretty good in terms of efficient diabetes management.

Top 10 Anti-Diabetic Medicinal Plants

Top 10 Anti-Diabetic Medicinal Plants

Introduction

Diabetes is termed medically as Diabetes Mellitus, the metabolic disorder which is prevalent in 2.8% of the world population. (https://www.diabetes.org.uk/resources-s3/2017-11/diabetes_in_the_uk_2010.pdf). Glucose is very essential for healthy functioning of brain & muscle tissues. In simple words it’s a condition in which person has higher glucose level in their body.

The main causative factors are inadequate insulin production, improper response of body cells to insulin or both. It is forecasted that by 2025, it becomes 5.4%. There arises a need to take necessary interventions from the grass root level. From ancient period we have lot of traditional medicinal literature available.

Some are indigenous origin & not revealed to others. Owing to this, a lot of valuable medicines are left unidentified. Now, with the help of sophistication & technological advancement the medical benefits of anti-diabetic medicinal plants are brought into light.

Most of these anti-diabetic medicinal plants are vegetables & forms a part of our daily food. But lack of awareness & indulgence on chemical remedies reduces the popularity. From now, prioritize them in your menu so that you could prevent the progression of diabetes or onset of diabetes in future. Let us discuss some practical ways in which you can include these amazing herbs in your diet. It is simple yet significant.

Relevance

Anti-diabetic medicinal plants are safer & adavantageous over chemical formulations because of no side effects & they are cost effective too. The best advantage is that they can be consumed as a preventive measure even before the disease manifests. It can be easily included in our daily diet.

Some of the plant families are well known for anti diabetic activity

  • Moraceae
  • Rosaceae
  • Leguminosae
  • Lamiaceae
  • Liliaceae
  • Cucurbitaceae

Lot of anti-diabetic medicinal plants are reported to have anti diabetic activity. But in this context, for better understanding the best known anti-diabetic medicinal plants are introduced & discussed in detail. These anti-diabetic medicinal plants have other medical significances apart from diabetic control. But the core action is to alleviate Diabetes. Major researches are undergoing to identify the specific pharmacological actions. These herbs are used as single or in combination with other medicines. These can be also consumed as diet.

Anti-Diabetic Medicinal Plants & Their Action

Bitter gourd –

Commonly named Bitter melon. Botanically named as Momordica charantia, (M.charantia) belonging to Cucurbitaceae family is very popular among the indigenous populations of South America, East Africa, Carribean & India. This particular plant’s fruit is bitter in taste & its profound when ripe. This amazing plant is a climber, perennial, produces a knobble fruit which grows about 5m.

It is regarded as one of the effective remedy for diabetes. The fruit is commonly consumed as a vegetable. There so many delicious recipes made with the fruit. The anti-oxidant property in the plant is highly contributing to its medicinal value. It contains flavonoids, phenols etc that gives a bitter taste to the fruit.

Next question is why is it anti diabetic?

The active components like Charantin & polypeptide-p are identified to have very strong hypoglycemic properties (decrease blood glucose levels). Studies prove that Charantin alone can even replace diabetic treatments. Polypeptide-p is considered as a insulin of plant origin, as it mimics the human insulin in its functions. It is found very effective in Type 1 diabetes. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027280/)

Fenugreek –

Trigonella foenum-graecum belonging to Fabaceae family. This anti-diabetic medicinal plants is native to Europe & Western Asia. The seeds are said to have anti diabetic properties. The leaves can be consumed as a vegetable or as a cooked salad.

Anti diabetic action- The seeds lowers the sugar absorption in the body. The studies reveal that seeds consumption can lower the sugar levels. And it in turn increases the amount of insulin production. There are some risk related to its consumption.

High consumption can cause allergies too. Studies suggest that maintain a time gap in taking fenugreek, if you are consuming some other medications, because it interrupts the action of the medication. So needless to say that it’s a potent drug.

It’s a major ingredient in tempering along with mustard & curry leaves curries in parts of Asia especially South India. So it’s always wise to consume such recipes, rather than eating in raw form. (https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/fenugreek-blood-sugar#traditional-diabetes-treatment)

Garlic –

Allium sativum, Family – Alliaceae. If you are not a garlic lover, then you are not doing justice to your body. It’s a powerhouse of essential nutrients. Geographical distribution – Central Asia, Iran. It’s commonly a main ingredient of folk medicine. It has cardio protective properties with anti-diabetic properties which make garlic an essential ingredient in herbal formulations.

It arrests the progression of diabetes by anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant& anti glycative properties. Recent researches shows that the garlic extracts are a powerful source for reducing insulin resistance

The raw garlic has good blood sugar decreasing properties & also to prevent future secondary complications in diabetes affected individuals. In normal individuals it has a significant effect on maintain blood glucose levels. In diabetic patients, its reported to lower the secondary complications rather than anti diabetic action. It’s a substitute for antidiabetic chemical drugs as it contains Allicin, which promotes insulin production in beta cells. It is ideal to consume atleast 1 cloveof garlic in type 2 diabetes.

Gymnema –

Commonly known as cow plant, botanically it is named as Gymnema sylvestre, belongs to Asclepiadaceae family. The anti-diabetic medicinal plants is a shrub & is native to Africa, Srilanka & India. It’s a climber – Commonly used part is leaves. The Gymnemic acid is the active component responsible in controlling diabetes.

There are reports of growing evidences of its quick action. It has a unique property to eliminate the ability to recognize sugar taste.  It serves as a receptor to reduce the glucose absorption by intestines, there by regulating the blood glucose levels in the body. It is also called as ‘sugar destroyer’

CAUTION

Some of the reported side effects include that chewing the leaves makes tongue loses the ability to recognize sweet taste. It is contra indicated during pregnancy & lactation. When combined with other medicines, it produces best results.

Green Chireta –

is the common name; Latin name is Andrographis paniculata belongs to Acanthaceae family. It is herbaceous morphologically. Because of the strong bitterness, the plant is named as “Bitter king”. It is a well known herb in Chinese & Ayurveda medicine. Normally the whole plant is used for medicinal use. In addition to Diterpenes, It also comprises of flavones & lactones. Geographical distribution – India & Srilanka.

It has reported to have side effects like vomiting, rashes and headache if not taken under proper care. It has active constituents’ diterpenes. The glucose tolerance test showed drastic lowering of blood glucose levels by limiting the intestinal absorption of glucose.

Ginger –

Zingiber officinale, belonging to Zingiberaceae family is another well-known anti-diabetic herb. Gingerol, Zingiberol are the active constituents. Universally, ginger is accepted as the healthiest option among foods. Rhizome is the part used.

It reduces the fasting blood sugar & regulates the serum insulin level. It has reports of side effects like heartburn. It is consumed in different forms like fresh ginger, dry ginger powder, ginger oil. Ginger is an inevitable ingredient in non-vegetarian cooking, soups, cakes, candies in different parts of the world.

High precaution should be maintained when it is taken with other anti-diabetic medications, as it can lower the blood sugar drastically. Ginger water with lime is the commonest beverage used in Diabetes.

Aloe Vera –

Latin name is Aloe barbadensis, belonging to Liliaceae family. It is a perennial. The plant is commonly a native of Africa.  It is a anti-diabetic medicinal plants of wonders with miraculous medicinal properties& greatly specified in Greek & Egyptian classics. From the ancient period almost 7000years ago, the plants medicinal properties have been of great significance. It’s action is diverse.

It has anti- hyper glycemic effect when given in combination with other anti-diabetic medicines. The additive effect of the herb is greatly being used in the treatment of chronic diabetic patients.  The oral intake should be done under expert medical supervision. Common medicinal preparations include Aloe Vera juice, gel & paste. Adulterants are available in the market like black catechu, stones etc.

Olive –

Olea europea L. belongs to Oleaceae family.  It is said that extra virgin olive oil keeps the Diabetes away. The tall evergreen tree is widely used as a traditional medicine in Mediterranean& European countries. Leaves & the oil are mainly used. Extracts, powder or in the form of tea, it’s indicated orally.

Olive oil has reported to lower the blood glucose level in type 2 diabetic patients. It’s a fantastic ingredient in pizza recipes, salads with tuna also. Olive oil is used commonly as salad dressing too.  Polyphenols like oleuropein are responsible for these medicinal properties. (https://dmsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13098-017-0254-9)

 Ivy gourd –

Coccinia indica, belonging to Cucurbitaceae family commonly known as ivy gourd is yet another herbal remedy. It grows as a wild climber in India. The small elongated fruit is very popular vegetable in India. It’s very commonly cultivated in the vegetable garden. There are lots of studies going on regarding the action of Ivy gourd in controlling the Post-Prandial blood sugar. It is edible in the raw form also. It is an amazing blood purifier. So if we could include it in our daily intake, it can contribute so much to your health. The unripe fruit is stir fried, or used in curries. The leaves are used medicinally.   It has the property to mimic the function of insulin. It is consumed by diabetic patients as raw fruit & also as boiled salads.

Okra –

The magical herb is a great remedy for diabetes & other debilitating illnesses like cancer also. It is commonly called by the name lady’s finger. Botanically it is named as Abelmoschus esculentus belonging to Malvacea family. It’s a tall growing vegetable common in India, Caribbean& the Americas. It stabilizes the blood glucose level by lowering the intestinal absorption.

The superior insoluble fiber is the responsible component for this effect. The immature pods are consumed as a vegetable & recommended in making stews & fries. The okra seeds in grounded form are used as a coffee substitute. Studies shows that okra water is very effective in controlling gestational Diabetes in pregnant rats. From the reports it’s evident that consumption of the raw vegetable chopping in water & drinking the water next day has proven anti diabetic effects. In turkey, it’s a part of traditional medicine & consumed as okra roast.

What can you do?

Answer is very simple. Make a small vegetable garden with at least some of them. They are all easy to grow & maintain. Pick some fresh whenever you do your delicious cooking

 

Anti- Diabetic Salad

As we all know, “Prevention is better than cure”. Hope you got a better understanding of anti diabetic plants around you. Next is to make the best use of it. Let’s discuss some convenient ways to incorporate these wonder herbs in your diet.

This is a practical way to prevent Diabetes or arrest the progression of disease in future. Choose some of these plants, for example take some chopped Okra, Fenugreek leaves & Ivy gourd boil slightly to soften. Then season with ginger & garlic by stir frying in Olive oil. Cut pieces of olives can also be added to enhance the flavor. Eat this salad at least once in a week. This is a dietary medicine.

Drink for diabetes prevention

Chopped ginger (1 teaspoon) added with 4-5 fenugreek seeds in 2 cups of water, boil for 15 minutes. Cool it well & drink. This is a medicated tea.

Concluding session

We have discussed top 10 anti – diabetic plants here with description of their medical indications. Most of these are vegetables & can be easily accessible. Some interesting practical methods are also explained to utilize the medicinal value as salads or drinks. Apart from all these life style improvements are to be made if you are health conscious. Good exercise, balanced diet & Sound sleep are inevitable.

Make these amazing herbs universal by sharing this little piece of knowledge. Let’s have some of them planted in our home.

Refrences

  1. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/resources-s3/2017-11/diabetes_in_the_uk_2010.pdf

(Accessed on 07/12/2109)

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027280/

(Accessed on 07/12/2019)

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/fenugreek-blood-sugar#traditional-diabetes-treatment

(Accessed on 06/12/2019)

  1. https://dmsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13098-017-0254-9

(Accessed on 06/12/2019)

Can Diabetes be Cured by Ayurveda?

Can Diabetes be Cured by Ayurveda

Introduction

Diabetes mellitus, commonly called Diabetes, in Ayurveda, (the science of life) explains Diabetes as Madhumeha”. The prediabetic stage is termed Prameha. In simple words, Ayurveda insists on lifestyle modifications along with herbal medicines & exercises for a diabetic person.

The topic is a common dilemma. Let us see, Diabetes is a condition that manifests in multiple systems of the body. Hence the prognosis is not very easy. We can regulate the blood glucose levels in the body by various supportive measures as per Ayurveda.

Well, Ayurveda is always a safe option for Diabetes. It is a way of living rather than a treatment system. It is a natural way of bringing back our body to normal by various natural therapies. Diabetes requires long term intervention.

It goes well with other treatments without any counter-reaction, if safely administered. Taking herbal medicines & following herbal-based routine for extended periods does not damage the body.

Total cure? What do you think?

Diabetes cannot be cured completely. It is not a single disease; it’s a group of systemic disorders which manifests slowly. This complexity makes the cure a time-consuming task.  But in Ayurveda, it can be controlled or managed greatly. The degree of cure always depends upon many factors like chronicity, age of the patient etc.

Specifically, in Ayurveda, there are different types of diabetes depending upon the symptoms & history of onset of diseases. Treatment is given subsequently in various stages. There are a lot of dietary & lifestyle modifications described. For example, dietary preparations like porridge made with anti-diabetic drugs are of great demand & welcoming among the public.

For Diabetes, depending upon the type of patient, treatment is undertaken, if the person is obese, then measures to reduce fat that includes low – carb diet, physical activity are followed. If the patient is lean, milder & nourishing treatments are adopted, considering the strength of the patient. Here in both cases, anti-diabetic medicines are selected accordingly.

Key benefits of following ayurveda

Diabetes has profound effects on multiple systems in our body. The high blood glucose levels hamper the vital systemic activities like delayed wound healing lowered sexual response, mood swings (The person loses tempers easily).

The Ayurvedic approach generally emphasizes on treating the root cause of disease. It can control the disease to a great extend by arresting the further progression of the disease. The lifestyle modifications like regular exercise, managing weight, consuming a diet containing anti-diabetic properties.

Treatment of diabetes- Ayurvedic perspectives

Ayurveda treatments are primarily based on tridosha theory.  Vata, pitta, Kapha are the 3 doshas & considered as the balancing forces. Vata controls all movements in the body, pitta controls all metabolic functions, Kapha regulates the structure & nourishment in the body. That means doshas are considered as the balancing entities of health.

What happens in diabetes

Any derangement in the balance of doshas results in diseases. So in Diabetes, an imbalance of Vata & Kapha dosas occurs.  By excessive consumption of sweet, fatty food especially dairy, carbohydrate-rich foods, genetic factors, other underlying primary diseases the doshas attains imbalance.

Likewise, diabetes caused by an imbalance of Kapha dosha, the treatment protocol is alleviating Kapha dosha by diet or medicines possessing opposite qualities of Kapha- pungent, bitter as well as astringent. Kapha dosa gets aggravated by the use of oily, fatty foods. So the intake of less fatty foods is advisable as part of treatment. At different stages of the disease, different doshas are predominant. So prophylactic measures to alleviate the predominant doshas are undertaken. Mainly in general, Vata- Kapha alleviation is followed. (

Some of the treatment procedures seem outdated in the Modern era, but we can use our rationale to modify the treatment methods to fit our current needs. Here application of physicians’ logic assumes great significance. A thorough evaluation of the patient is done before starting any treatment procedures.

Specifically, apart from food causes, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes of diabetes.

Our lifestyle – a contributing hazard

Nowadays, this assumes great relevance, because people are inclined towards fast food & reduced physical activity. This when continued for a long time, manifests as obesity & thereby diabetes. In today’s life, none is different; every person lives an unhealthy life.

Knowingly or unknowingly, they follow the same routine, this, in turn, makes them susceptible to many lifestyle disorders including diabetes in the future.  The Ayurveda classics advises walking exercise along with other physical activities.

Herbs for life

There are potent herbs that are single remedies in diabetes treatment.  Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger, Fenugreek, Bitter gourd are well known anti-diabetic herbs. But invariably the application differs from patient to patient& also depending upon the chronicity of the disease. For example, Ayurveda classics mention the use of turmeric & gooseberry as a perfect remedy for the disease.

Also, there is kashaya – medicated decoctions prepared from herbs, that are very effective. Then as mentioned earlier there are tablets, medicated powders for internal as well as external applications. Most of these have the property to rejuvenate the body & reduce the damage caused to organs.

Prevention in ayurveda

Ayurveda more stresses on prevention than cure. It is said that if we follow the balanced routine for food & lifestyle according to seasons or the changing climate, you would be freed from all kinds of diseases. It also emphasizes on having a stress free or peaceful mind. Diseases like diabetes have a great impact on our mental health too.

Another fact about Diabetes is that they are classified under diseases with a bad prognosis. But there is nothing to worry about. There are measures to be implemented at each stage & arrest even a minute progression of the disease. It is advisable to follow a strict pattern of conjoining medications & lifestyle changes.

The root cause for diabetes has to be avoided under all circumstances, like eating sweet foods, following a sedentary lifestyle etc.

Ayurvedic detoxification

Many people approach the Ayurveda system with the same question. But once they are told & explained about the treatment, most of them prefer to be treated soon. When the treatment starts, they feel the real change in the body which is beyond any explanation.

Each day is a better day for them. Simultaneously it depends upon the cooperation from the patient’s side also. How well they adapt to treatment procedures.

Internal as well as external treatments like drinking kashaya, doing panchakarma therapies like oil massage or powder massage, fomentation therapy,  nourishing therapies to regain the health of eyes.

Vasti therapies (mostly applying for medicines through anal route) are also advocated based on the chronicity of the disease, the degree of body damage, age of the patient, the body constitution, the inherent strength possessed by the patient. These purificatory therapies eliminate the toxicity in the body & regenerate the body.

With all the ongoing therapies, prescribed diet & regimen are followed.  By all these interventions body gains health so as the mind. After the above said procedures, monitoring of all vitals, necessary laboratory tests are performed in order to understand the systemic response to treatment procedures timely.

Yoga & meditation for diabetes

Along with medical treatments, Yoga & meditation are also incorporated. Suryanamaskara is very effective. This involves various bodily exercises including yogic postures.  Pranayama or the breathing exercises oxygenate body cells & promote the normal wellbeing of the body.

Tackling sexual problems & improper sleep

Various meditation techniques are employed to regain the mental strength & consciousness. This soothes the mind & gives clarity to senses, thus improves sleep. The diabetic patient usually encounters sleep disturbances leading to insomnia.

Emotional imbalance also leads to sexual disturbances owing to relationship problems. Mental stress, emotional disturbances can also be tackled by following the same. Yogasanas like Dhanurasana & Sarvangasana are proven to be clinically effective & recommended widely.

The patient feels a sense of satisfaction & relief. They strictly follow the required routine rules for the rest of their life. Owing to the arrest in disease progression, medicines are reduced with dietary improvements. Antidiabetic diet preparations like drinks, salads, natural juices form part of the diet.

Prioritize our body & observe any changes occurring. This is the only way to understand a forthcoming onset of a disease.  Especially diabetes does not manifest all of a sudden. It takes time to completely take the form of a disease. If we are conscious about the bodily changes, take quick action without any delay. If this methodology is followed, a lot of diseases can be prevented to a great deal.

The real life scenarios

In this modern world, relying on chemical formulations has greatly increased. Because no one is ready to take preventive measures against the disease. And when the disease onsets, they suddenly start the symptomatic treatment measures which are a temporary solution. It is double damage to the body.

Symptomatic treatment is not bad, but no one ever thinks about the leading factors behind the diseases before choosing treatments. People are less aware or least bothered about the cause of the disease.

In Diabetes, patients are advised to take insulin at a required dosage, at the same time most of them never skip their favorite sweet foods. They claim that they are on insulin or tablets, so there is no point in stopping sweet consumption. This slowly takes the patient to a bad prognostic stage, where the treatment is complex. Such cases are more shifting to Ayurveda treatment because their body can no longer withstand the chemical therapies.

Ayurveda mostly receives cases that are mostly in complicated stages, normally people present with an unhealed ulcer, or urinary problems or even cardiac (mistaken as abdominal gas problems). In such cases rather than giving symptomatic relief, doctors look for underlying diseases, the common suspect is always diabetes. Then treatment for diabetes gets started, gradually the symptoms are seen to get subsided.

Are plant remedies safe

Plant remedies are regarded as safe among the public. But they have active chemicals responsible for their pharmacological effect. Without proper supervision, improper consumption may lead to the severity of the condition. Like in Diabetes, there are locally known plants for a cure. But improper administration can even cause severe hypoglycemia which is fatal.

There are patients following an integrated approach in diabetes, by the following Ayurveda along with other chemical remedies.  This further requires expert monitoring. The results are positive if followed properly. Ayurveda can also make the rest of the life of a diabetic patient happier &better.

Integrated treatment approach- a positive thinking

Unanimously, modern researches & Ayurveda agree on diabetogenic or diabetic causing foods. Scientifically it is proved that consumption of less fat foods, legumes, light fruits like cranberry, pear, and apricots is necessary.

Avoiding dairy products can bring drastic changes in the body, dairy products are fat-containing, and hence it should be avoided. The beans & pulses contain high fiber & regulate the glucose in the body by lowering its release. These findings are already mentioned in Ayurveda classics.

Ayurveda is the extract of ancient medical knowledge from Atharva Veda. Current studies also complement the ancient medical literature. There exists a lot of medical literature that explains diabetes. Different aspects are highlighted in each of the classics. The treatment protocol is adopted by summarizing all these classical information.

short massage

  • It is not a life threatening disease. If managed properly. Stop worrying, start action!
  • Choose your treatment wisely.
  • Practice yoga & meditation, it’s a valuable health tonic
  • Reduce stress & inactivity
  • Plan a diet chart fitting your daily intake requirements by including anti diabetic salads or drinks
  • Get your body tests done timely. This is very necessary to assess the progress.

Conclusion

Ayurvedic perspective in explaining Diabetes causes, symptoms & treatments are discussed in detail. Possible treatment methods are explained to make better choices for the people. Yoga therapies coupled with meditation energizes the body & the mind. Above all, if you are healthy, adopt preventive measures. If you are diabetic, choose your treatment wisely. This is necessary to live a happy life.

References

  1. A Mind-Body Approach to Diabetes
  2. AYUSH – Ayurveda and Diabetes
  3. Diabetes Mellitus (madhumeha) And Ayurvedic Management: An Evidence-Based Approach

Best Ayurveda Medicine For Diabetes

Best Ayurveda Medicine For Diabetes

Introduction

Ayurveda has been one of the most sought out medical choice nowadays. Due to lack of harmful side effects, better availability & improved accessibility to medicinal preparations. In olden days, there was limited accessibility due to traditional method of dispensing medicines.  But after the advent of technology, the medicines are available in more palatable form.

Capsules containing medicinal herbs, herbal tonics & liniments for external application are some examples. This improved the acceptance of Ayurvedic medicine among the public & made more people to adopt this treatment system.

Medicines in ayurveda – ancient & modern

In olden days, Ayurvedic physicians followed traditional method of medicine manufacture. So when a patient consults them, they grab the garden fresh herbs & squeeze the juice or make into a paste or make a decoction, based on the requirement of the disease condition.

Diabetes is a common life style disorder these days. To be more precise, the changing dietary habits & inactive lifestyles, consumption of high calorie fast foods like pizzas, burgers, all contributes to the early onset of this disease condition.

As per the studies, there is never a decrease in the incidence of diabetes in near future. The forecast figures are alarming.  This is very distressing & needs quick action.

Ayurveda stresses on systematic way of tackling diabetes. With due consideration of nature of the disease, chronicity of the disease, age of the patient & the seasonal variation.

The medicines are also selected based on the above factors with accordance with the strength of the patient, the constitution of the patient’s body, the digestive capacity of the patient. All these gives a structured or in detail knowledge of the treatment to be adopted.

There isn’t a single medicine for diabetes, there are medicines given in combination found to be effective in subsequent stages of the disease manifestation.

There are lots of potential anti diabetic herbs found very effective both as preventive & in curative aspect. Most people intake such herbs in the form of diet or drinks if they have chances of disease incidence, either hereditary or through their excessive sweet consumption.

Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, fenugreek , gooseberry, Some of the best medicines are kashaya or decoctions made from medicinal plants or minerals. These kashayas contain not only medicinal plants, purified metals & minerals. The kashayas are prescribed under strict supervision depending upon the type of the patient, disease chronicity, seasonal variation, etc.

There are lot of rules & regulation to be followed when administering such medicines. It also varies from patient to patient. It is known as pathya- apathya. Some of the foods will be contradictory to the treatment or some may interrupt the action of the medicine. So such diet or activities are to be avoided for better relief. An expert physician is very inevitable in choosing & advising patients regarding the entire treatment procedure.

Common kashayas & other medicines

The best medicine for diabetes in Ayurveda is said to be turmeric & Indian gooseberry. This is mentioned in the Astanga Hridaya text book in the context of introducing best medicines for diseases (agryoushadhas) Decoction can be prepared with these2 herbs or medicated water can be prepared. The choice of treatment greatly depends upon the condition of the disease & the patient’s constitution.

Some of the effective kashayas are Nisha katakadhi kashaya(sahasra yogam). As the name suggests, the main ingredient being turmeric, clearing nut,Gymnema, veteveria etc. These herbs are boiled, reduced & filtered.  These are well known for regulating the blood glucose levels & blood purifier. This medicine is practically very effective in prediabetic, chronic diabetic cases, diabetic complications like neuritis. This medicine is also available in tablet forms in the market.

Kataka khadiradi kashaya

This kashaya is also very effective remedy for diabetes & obesity reduction. It contains mainly clearing nut, Acacia catechu,turmeric etc. The powdered herbs are boiled, reduced & filtered. It is highly recommended in complications of diabetes too.

Vidangarajanyadi kashaya –

The medicine is highly recommended in chronic diabetes; it is anti – helminthic in action. If used in excess, it can cause gastric irritation. Depending upon the dosha predominance in subsequent stages of diabetes, the medicine also varies. Choornas or medicated powders found to be effective are Thriphala-lohadi  for internal use & considered very effective in Diabetes (chakradutta)

Nyagrodhadhi choornam

Internal use for all types of Diabetes. It is also indicated for nephrological disorders ( kidney related) There are also ghee preparations like dhanwanthara ghritham its indicated internally for Diabetic ulcers & highly recommended for Diabetes.

Tablet- tryushanadi guggulu, this is very effective in diabetes, but has to be carefully administer ed under strict supervision. For diabetic ulcers. Some treatments are also mentioned like preparing medicated oil with eladi ganam. This is very effective for ulcer healing. This is anti microbial, blood purifier.

Then for internal use Aragwadhadhi kashaya is recommended. This very effective in itching & ulcers too. It removes toxins from the blood

The diet should be given with pippalyadi gana. This is stomachic & digestive. Corrects the metabolic disturbances & aids in proper digestion & absorption. Contraindicated foods are very well explained. These are to be avoided by a diabetic patient. The sweets, jaggery, the oily foods, dairy products. These counteract with the medicines & affect the potency of medicines.

Apart from kashayas, there are medicated powders known as choornas for internal as well as external applications. Externally mostly for washing & cleaning unhealed diabetic ulcers. Internally anti diabetic herbal powders are administered along with warm water.

When to take medicines?

Diabetic treatment differs in different stages.  In primary stages, slight modification in food & lifestyle can bring drastic changes to the body. But if the primary stage is ignored or not taken care of, then it leads to more complications & the treatment becomes complicated or time consuming.

Normally, people are not ready to take treatment in the beginning stages; they keep on neglecting the body symptoms or signs. There are people who are not willing to take  blood tests to assess their blood glucose level. They may reconsider this when they have a fainting episode or something which does not permit them to do their daily activities.

Best medicines are available when you make wise choices. We are the ultimate decision makers. Decision making is very important in Diabetes treatment. From the physician’s point of view, the most apt action decides the cure of the disease. Simultaneously, the patient should also be capable enough to seek the medical advice without delay. All these together constitute a better management for diabetes.

Adequate physical activity is mentioned in Ayurveda along with the medical therapies. Different forms of exercise, such as brisk walking & vigorous physical activities. The lean patients’ are not advised to do rigorous exercises as they lose their strength & it may aggravate disease.

Medicines along with prescribed diet are mandatory. Complete abstinence from eating sweet or high calorie food is extremely recommended.

Some of the anti diabetic drinks include Ginger water, gooseberry water. These are advised to drink intermittently.

Eating raw fruits is more recommended than drinking juices, because fruits contain more fibre content which is beneficial in diabetic condition.

In Ayurveda, treatment of diabetes is a big topic elaborating many medicinal  preparations & diet regulations. Some of them are not practically used, because of scarcity of the herbs & complexity of the process involved.

 

Market of ayurveda medicine – bringing uniqueness in medicines

Nowadays, many herbal manufacturing companies are manufacturing their own medicines by choosing from the literature. They also name it. These are more popular among the public. Because of the better marketing & public are made aware of their products through leaflets, or through web.

There is also a market competition existing among different companies that manufacture diabetic medicines. They come up with new products to capture the market.

They also supply free sample medicines during medical camps which are organized by government or other organizations in order to gain public attention. On the positive side they are serving the patients by bringing unique preparations very different from the traditional ones.

Avoid inactivity, oily foods, weight control, sleeping during day can cause metabolic disturbances especially overweight, excessive sleep can aggravate diabetes.

Mental & sexual health in diabetes

So far we have discussed the management of physical derangements in a diabetic patient. The mental attributes also attain profound changes. Sleep & emotional disturbances are predominantly seen, this may also lead to sexual relationship problems.

This is very common complaint among the diabetic patients. Stress adds on top of it, the person becomes short tempered & slowly experiences isolation. But the patient never realizes the underlying diabetes responsible for this mental derangement. If left untreated it can lead to mental disorders of varying degree.

Now let’s discuss some best methods to tackle mental issues in Diabetic patients. There are therapies to be done externally with medicated herbs. Some of them in practice are shirodhara- pouring & application of medicated oil in the forehead. The oil is retained in the head for some time. Later it’s removed. This can be done along with the ongoing diabetic internal therapies. This is very critical for sleeplessness, reducing stress & improving our senses.

Complications of diabetes & medicine

  Diabetic retinopathy

In severe diabetic cases of more than 5 years, Periodical examination of eye has to be done to prevent or to detect Diabetic retinopathy. If neglected, complete loss of vision occurs. It is termed as Diabetic retinopathy. Washing with thriphala water is commonly done.

Thriphala is a circulatory tonic & have healing effects.  The vision of a diabetic patient deteriorates gradually. By following these eye therapies it can be greatly controlled. Most commonly netra dhara is performed. It nourishes the retinal blood vessels & improves vision.

Anjana is the procedure of applying ointment in eyes. Aschyothana is instilling drops in eye. Either of these are selecting according to the disease & the patient. (https://www.astangayurveda.com/diabetic-retinopathy-ayurvedic-treatment/)

Medicine for diabetic nephropathy

In 40% of the diabetic patients, Nephropathy or kidney related complications are found. If not treated properly, kidney failure occurs. Usually, high albumin in urine is seen in patients. In this case, punarnavadi kashaya is found to be effective. It is diuretic & nephrotonic by eliminating the deposited waste in the blood. Tablets like Chandraprabha vati are also administered.

Medicine – diabetic nephropathy

As the time progresses, the diabetic patients develops neuropathy which involves impaired sensation, pain, tingling or burning in arms, legs. Erectile dysfunction, dry vaginas are associated with this. If the diabetic person is over 40 years, he is very prone to develop diabetic neuropathy.

Some of the common remedies are castor oil- Its best for local external application in feet or in affected areas. Ginger drink is an amazing option, it relieves indigestion & it’s a neural tonic. Fennel seeds can also be taken by boiling in water; it improves metabolism & it is nervine.

Ashwagandha is advised to relieve neurological disorders & improves the overall wellbeing of the body. (https://nirogam.com/causes-neuropathy-diabetes-patients/)

Experts opine that the complications of diabetes are more severe than the disease itself. In long term it causes multi system damage.

An integrated approach is sometimes employed by incorporating western medical systems with Ayurveda. This methodology yields good results.

Role of yoga & meditation as a medicine

Yoga also forms an integral part of treatment. Pranayama is very effective in neuropathies & retinopathies. It improves the blood flow to nerves & the retinal blood vessels. Various forward bending yogic postures like Paschimottaanasana have remarkable effects. Practicing yoga on a daily basis rejuvenates the cells. It has impact on body & mind.

Meditation of any kind is also equally important to practice.  Mental instability can be corrected by bringing equilibrium. It’s also a one stop solution for stress, behavioral disturbances associated with diabetes.

Conclusion

Practical applications of the potential diabetic medicines are described in detail. Followed by the management of diabetes complications. Here in diabetes, complications are to be dealt with much caution than the disease itself.

Reference

  1. https://nirogam.com/causes-neuropathy-diabetes-patients/

Accessed on 12/Dec/2019

  1. https://www.astangayurveda.com/diabetic-retinopathy-ayurvedic-treatment/

Accessed on 13/Dec/2019

Is cucumber good for diabetes?

Is cucumber good for diabetes?

Diabetes is the condition where the blood sugar in the body is accumulated, here the hormone insulin fails to absorb the blood sugar in the bloodstream resulting in high concentration of blood sugar in the body. Glucose acts as a fuel in the human body for the normal functioning of it.

Diabetes can be a result of various factors:

Based on reasons of occurrence, diabetes can be classified into:

Type1:

In this, one’s own immune starts destroying the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. This could be either due to influence of virus or other genetic factors. Type1 diabetes comes under the list of autoimmune diseases. Type1 diabetes is usually not under one’s own control .i.e. it cant be prevented

Type2:

In this either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to absorb the blood sugar present in the bloodstream or fails to utilise the available insulin thoroughly and effectively or in other words the body becomes insulin resistant. Type2 diabetes can be a result of lifestyle factors or genetic factors and obesity. Type2 diabetes can be prevented if opted for a healthy living.

Prediabetes is a condition where the level of blood sugar in the body is high but not sufficiently high enough to be diagnosed as type2 diabetes. Diabetes can hit anyone at any stage of life, but on a positive note it can be controlled by following a healthy diet routine, and exercises.

A healthy diet routine mainly focuses on a meal rich in proteins, fibers and with a low carb content. Planning the proper intake of carb is the key to control spikes in blood sugar levels and to prevent risk factors associated with diabetes such as heart diseases and stroke.

The minimum carb intake recommended for a diabetic patient is 45g to 65g for a meal and nearly 15g to 30g for snacks. A diet involving 20 to 50 g of carb intake can, not only help to achieve low blood sugar levels but also reduce the risks of heart diseases.

Carbohydrates can mainly be of two types:

1. Simple carb and

2. Complex Carb

Simple carbs are broken down quickly and digested easily by the body, this could spike up blood sugar levels in the body immediately, while on the other hand, Complex carbs take more time to be digested by the body when compared to simple carb, although both simple and complex carb are converted to glucose to be used as fuel for the functioning of the body.

Thus, complex carbs are advisable for a diabetic patient as this does not spike up blood glucose as much as in case of simple carbs. Also complex carbs keeps the body energised for a longer period, this makes the person to feel full for a longer time.  Vegetables are known for their nutritional benefits. One among them is cucumber.

 

 Cucumber for a diabetic patient??

Cucumber Seeds are known to be rich in a wide range of phytonutrients, that includes both carotenoids and flavonoids.

  • Benefits of carotenoids to human health:

They protect the body from diseases and enhances the immune system.

  • Benefits of flavonoids to human health:

Flavonoids reduce many of the risk factors associated with diabetes such as heart diseases, stroke etc. Cucumbers also help to reduce the problems related to regulation of high blood sugar levels. Prolonged high blood sugar levels in the body can lead to excessive production of reactive oxygen species(ROS) and reactive carbonyl species(RCS)

  • An increase in the production of reactive oxygen species can damage the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid ) and

RNA( ribonucleic acid) or result in cell death.

  • An increase in the production of reactive carbonyl species results in pathological disorder or accelerates aging.

Consumption of cucumber controls the overproduction of both ROS and RCS. Cucumber is rich in water content and contains nearly 95% of water.

Staying hydrated is one of the most important step in diabetes to prevent accumulation of glucose in the body .i.e. water drains out the excess blood sugar from the body, high level of blood sugar can increase the risk of dehydration to a diabetic patient.

Prolonged Dehydration in a diabetic patient can lead to kidney damage or can cause nerve damage. Also hydration can result in weight loss, which in turn again reduces the chance of acquiring diabetes due to obesity

Cucumber is nutritionally beneficial as it contains nutrients like potassium and magnesium that keeps the body hydrated. For a diabetic too much of starch intake can spike up the blood sugar level instantly  therefore opting for food with no starch or less starch content is advisable

Cucumber is a non starchy vegetable thus, consumption of it in any quantity does not spike up the blood sugar level in the body.  Foods with high glycaemic index is not recommended for a diabetic patient as it spikes the blood sugar levels.

A food with low glycaemic index is recommended for a diabetic patient. Any food with glycaemic index less than 55 is considered as low . Foods with low glycaemic index are slowly digested and absorbed thus not causing spikes in blood sugar level.

The glycaemic index of cucumber is 15, therefore intake of cucumber is beneficial to a diabetic patient as it does not spike up the blood sugar level.

  • Cucumber is low in carb content, one glass of freshly chopped cucumber contains nearly 4g of carbohydrate therefore, consumption of cucumber is highly advisable.

Cucumber contains a profitable amount of  fiber nearly 2 to 3%. It Contains profitable amount of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows down the absorption of blood sugar thus, improvises the blood sugar levels, while The insoluble fiber reduces the risk of developing type2 diabetes, this can be a boon for people with Prediabetes.

Cucumber is diabetic friendly.

Salads are a great snack to munch on for a diabetic patient. Especially a salad that contains vegetables such as cucumber, broccoli, and tomatoes. To maximize the benefits of cucumber, it should be consumed unpeeled.

Cucumber peel and seeds are the most nutritional part of a cucumber. A peeled cucumber loses some of its nutritional value. Cucumber peel is in rich in dietary fibres, which again, improvises the blood sugar levels in the body.

As far as the cucumber is organic .i.e. free of pesticides. It is highly advisable to consume unpeeled cucumbers. Peeling a cucumber peels of its nutritional value as well.

Therefore cucumber turns out to be a boon to people with diabetes . Cucumber can be consumed without any fear of spikes in blood sugar levels, rather cucumber reverses the risks associated with diabetes.

Thus, intake of cucumber in daily basis improvises the regulation of blood glucose and also reduces the risks related to diabetes. The nutritional value of cucumber is beneficial and is recommended to all types of diabetic patients.

What are the dangers of using aspartame as an artificial sweetener for diabetes patients?

What are the dangers of using aspartame as an artificial sweetener for diabetes patients?

For a diabetic it is very important to keep a check on the carbohydrate intake. Having diabetes can deprive you from consuming sweets or sugary foods. Sugary foods can induce the blood sugar levels in the body. There are various substitutes of sugar available In the market most popularly one among them is aspartame. It is known to be one among the most popularly used food additives in most countries. It acts the same way on the taste buds on tongue as sugar.

It is sometimes also used as a tabletop sweetener. Before knowing if aspartame is safe for consumption for a diabetic let’s have a look into what is aspartame. Basically, aspartame is an artificial sweetener that’s much more sweeter than sucrose. A product that is labelled as sugar free usually contains artificial sweeteners as a substitute of sugar.

Examples of aspartame products available in the market are:

  • Sugar free ice creams
  • Diet coke
  • Sugarless candies etc.

It basically contains amino acids mainly L- aspartic acid and L- phenylalanine. During digestion the digestive enzymes break aspartame into the following compounds:

  1. Phenylalanine
  2. Aspartic acid
  3. Methanol

Any side effects faced by the consumers on consumption of aspartame is due to the action of these compounds when absorbed into the blood. Phenylalanine is an important amino acid that we must get from the diet. Aspartame contains very little amount of phenylalanine when compared to other sources or foods.

Phenylalanine is used by the body to make certain hormones and brain chemicals. Foods with high amount of phenylalanine can be highly toxic to people with genetic disorders such as phenylketonuria and is not recommended.

Aspartic acid is a naturally occurring amino acid i.e. it can be produced by our own body. Aspartame contains very little amount of aspartic acid when compared to other foods. Aspartic acid is used by the body mainly for the normal functioning of nervous system.

Methanol is a toxic compound related to ethanol that is found in alcoholic beverages. Aspartame contains nearly four calories per gram similar to that of sugar. Although it is highly used as a substitute of sugar it has faced many allegations in the recent years.

Below are some of the dangers on using aspartame as an artificial sweetener:

1. Cancer:

The main concern over the use of aspartame is cancer. Many experiments have been conducted on animals such as rat and the experiments indicated that high intake or consumption of aspartame increase the risks of lymphomas ( it is a type of cancer that starts in the infection fighting cells of the immune system called the lymphocytes) and leukemia ( blood cancer).

But people still remain suspicious if aspartame is safe for use.

2. Poisoning through methanol:

On intake, aspartame is broken down Into various compounds by the body one among them is methanol. As per 2014, researchers indicate that aspartame was found to be the greatest source of methanol. Increased intake of aspartame increases the risk of poisoning by increasing the level of methanol in the body.

Although the absorption of methanol from the body is similar to the absorption in case of natural foods and fruit juices. Due to lack of scientific evidences people still remain unconvinced with the use of aspartame as a safe artificial sweetener.

3. Damage to vision:

Although there is no strong  scientific evidence with the use of aspartame. One of the strongest allegations on aspartame is its damage caused to vision. Increased intake of aspartame can lead to various problems such eye pain, night blindness, or in the worst case it could lead to total blindness.

Again there are no such proven cases with respect to damage to vision .

4. Premature birth:

Higher consumption of aspartame can lead to premature birth. It is scientifically proven that for women facing with the genetic effect named phenylketonuria, may experience an earlier delivery leading to premature birth of the baby or can also lead to fetal damage.

5. Headaches:

Intake of aspartame on higher levels can lead to or trigger headaches in individuals with migraine. Formaldehyde – a byproduct of aspartame. Migraine can be the result of an allergic response  with formaldehyde, In individuals suffering from migraine.

This theory was put forward by Jacob and Stechshulte in 2008 after a patch test that was conducted on five patients. Three out of five patients reported migraine recurrence that was estimated after 8 to 12 weeks later.

This could be a reason of the allergic response or due to overconsumption of aspartame over a longer time.

6. Metabolism:

A 2016 study says that increased intake of aspartame may alter the balance and  diversity  of the bacteria within the gut. This way of disruption or alteration in the balance of the gut microbes can increase the risk of glucose intolerance which can turn out to be curse for people with type 2 diabetes and obesity .

People with a healthy weight are not much into the risk factors of aspartame.

7. Tardive dyskinesia:

Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder that is caused by long term intake of psychiatric drugs. It is usually a side effect of drugs  (antipsychotics) that are used to treat schizophrenia or other mental disorders. Tardive dyskinesia can cause stiffness or jerky movements in face and body that are not under one’s own control.

Intake of aspartame for people suffering with tardive dyskinesia can trigger the joint movements .

8. Phenylketonuria:

Phenylketonuria is an inborn error of metabolism. In this the metabolism of amino acid called phenylalanine is decreased this results in the accumulation of phenylalanine in the body.

People with phenylketonuria can not process phenylalanine properly and completely, this can be highly toxic. Therefore for people with phenylketonuria aspartame is highly toxic and not recommended.

9. Weight gain:

Researchers say that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners  result in weight gain, it makes the dieters or people consuming them hungrier eventually leading them to overeat. As we know overeating alone is not a great deed, overeating further results In weight gain and an unhealthy gain in weight brings along with it a lot of risk factors .i.e. Unhealthy weight gain is accompanied by a lot of risk factors.

Obesity or overweight is also one of the major risk factor linked with diabetes. Therefore this type of gain can further to lead to various complications. However there is no strong evidence against the dangers of aspartame but these allegations and controversies makes aspartame a suspicious sweetener.

These allegations and lack of strong medical evidences  have lead many people remain unconvinced that aspartame could be completely safe for use without any harmful side effects. Therefore before opting for artificial sweeteners it’s better to cut down on them and stay natural.

Diabetes can still consume variety of foods that can not only stir their taste bites but also can keep them healthy and safe with natural foods.

What Foods Lower Blood Sugar Immediately?

What Foods Lower Blood Sugar Immediately?

People diagnosed with diabetes often panic with the selection of the right kind of foods that truly favors their health without any risk. If you are the one among them, you know your struggles better. You avoid eating sweet dishes at the parties fearing that your blood sugar levels might rise drastically leading to emergencies.

Whenever you visit your relatives, you prefer sugar-free tea or tea with low sugar content. You have a lot of related concerns while thriving to achieve good control over diabetes. Today, you are here to know about the foods which can lower your blood sugar levels instantly.

Although, it’s always recommended to approach and consult your doctor in case of emergency sometimes the circumstances are not favorable. You might not be in the condition of reaching the hospital at that moment.

To be prepared for such uncertainties, a great way is to know about some foods you must have in your homes to counteract untimely spikes in blood sugar levels.

What Kind Of Foods Can Immediately Lower Blood Sugar Levels

To get a “diabetes-friendly” label, any food must have some speculations which makes it an ideal choice for diabetics. The following criteria are mandatory to be met by the foods to be rightfully eligible for lowering the levels of blood sugar.

1. Low Glycemic Index

We have already informed you in previous articles about the glycemic index and it’s importance while choosing the right foods for diabetes management. If we recall it again, the glycemic index of a food is a measure of how fast it’s carbohydrates can be digested and sugars are released in the bloodstream.

If food is digested rapidly, this means all its sugars will immediately enter the blood and cause heightening in sugar levels. This is something you not at all wish to happen. Therefore, play wisely and limit your diet only to low glycemic foods during the time of increased blood sugar.

Foods with low glycemic index release sugar into the bloodstream at a gradual pace, keeping your sugar range within safe boundaries.

2. High Fiber Content

High Fiber Content

Always look for foods high in fiber. Some wonderful fruits are included in this category which will quickly bring down your blood sugar levels. The reason being that fibers are not digested in the upper part of the stomach and their digestion takes place at a slower rate. This, in turn, confers good stability to levels of glucose present in the blood.

3. High Protein Diet

When you notice a sudden rise in your blood sugar levels, bring protein-rich food to your plate. It will be better if you consume more proteins and a minimal amount of carbohydrates.

4. A Little Fat

Adding a small amount of healthy fats in your diet will fetch you big results. Big in terms of good health. You will be healthier than before. Some very excellent sources include olive oil, fatty fishes and avocados. Here, it is important to select the right kind of fats as there are also many unhealthy fats available which simply deteriorate your health.

Vegetables That Lower Blood Sugar Levels Immediately

Here are some widely available vegetables which can help you in times of high blood sugar.

1. Spinach

A great choice for diabetics and health-conscious people who want to get hold of their sugar levels. Spinach comes with high magnitudes of essential amino acids and proteins. The potent minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium present in it naturally lower blood sugar levels to normal.

What’s more charming is that spinach is easy to incorporate in daily meals in varied forms. You can add them to salads, drink them as smoothies or cook it as dal (pulses).

2. Broccoli

 This vegetable enfolded with a substantial amount of fibers that potentially retard increased blood sugar levels. In addition to this, fibers keep you active and energetic which is required for a person suffering from diabetes.

And yes, not the forget the most remarkable mineral present in it – chromium. If you are not aware, then today we tell you, chromium is one of the key minerals that enhances the efficacy of cells to use insulin.

When your cells become more sensitive to insulin, you have lesser chances of getting into the situation of hyperglycemia.  Indeed, a much-needed nutrient for someone with diabetes!

3. Beans

Beans are the most commonly consumed legumes. They come in vast varieties from soybean to peas. They are affordable as well as easily available throughout the year. Each cup of chickpeas, the prevalent variety of beans, contains 71% of folates.

Folates are highly recommended nutrients for lowering blood sugar as they increase insulin sensitivity of the body. Kidney beans and peas have proteins that reduce insulin resistance and contain fiber for smoother blood sugar levels.

Good control of body weight in parallel with reduced risk for cancer and heart-related disorders are the extended advantages you receive.

4. Garlic

 This vegetable is known for lowering fasting blood glucose levels. In addition to this, it can also assist the people who experience morning sickness.

There is a reason why our ancestors used “lehsun ka tadka” in traditional pulses recipe.

5. Lentils

 Lentils are more commonly known as pulses in the Indian subcontinent. These are cooked like a regular afternoon meal along with chapati and rice.

Pulses are available in vibrant colors and varieties. The most commonly cooked are ;

Yellow lentil – arhar dal

Green gram – moong dal

Brown lentil – sabut masoor dal

Black lentil – urad dal

Red lentil – masoor dal

It’s a bonus that this traditional meal has got a property to decline raised blood sugar levels. You must cook a meal that involves pulses in your plates, they are quite easy to cook and delicious to eat. The tastiest and healthy way to monitor the elevated range of your blood glucose.

Fruits That Lower Blood Sugar Levels Immediately

We already gained an insight into the vegetables which can help to a highly appreciable extent in bringing down the increased blood sugar levels.

The effect can be felt within a few hours after consuming them. Now, it’s time to have a look at the fruits which are enormously beneficial in times of hyperglycemia. You can eat two to three servings daily of the fruits listed below. These are considered a healthy choice for diabetics by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

1. Avocados

Avocados are low in terms of carbohydrates but somewhat higher in fats. This nutritional composition makes them the most preferable food to be eaten when blood sugar is extremely at its peak. Moreover, a substantial amount of fiber in them will naturally stabilize your sugar status.

2. Unripe Bananas

People with diabetes are allowed to eat two to three bananas. But here we are talking about massively increased levels of blood sugar and not just normal diabetic conditions. Since banana also contains natural sugar and has a glycemic score of 51, it is better to go with unripe bananas rather than ripened ones.

Unripe bananas are much more beneficial for hyperglycemia in comparison to ripened bananas. Not only they have reduced sugar content, but they also enclose a greater amount of fibers. These are also cooked and eaten as a vegetable in many Indian households.

3. Kiwifruit

This wonderful fruit is enveloped with everything you need to diminish your raised blood glucose levels. It serves as an excellent reservoir of vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorus. The overall influence created by the consumption of kiwifruit on blood sugar is very cherishing.

4. Papaya

Another best fruit that holds the top position in the array of ideal fruits for diabetics. It is loaded with properties that improve insulin activity and is rigidly recommended for people with type 2 diabetes. The vitamins and powerful antioxidants like lycopene and zeaxanthin will compel your heightened sugar levels to go down.

5. Cherries

There is a connection between a diet rich in anthocyanins and magnified insulin sensitivity. The focus line is that cherries are enveloped with ample anthocyanins. For the same reason, your body will be able to lessen the impact of high sugar in the bloodstream more quickly.

6. Grapefruits

Several studies find that grapefruit function inside the body is the same way as metformin. Metformin, a drug that is used to treat people with type 2 diabetes by lowering the amount of sugar present in the blood. The above statement clarifies the significance of eating grapefruits during hyperglycemic conditions.

Diabetes-Friendly Teas

Not only fruits and vegetables, but there are also even some herbal teas which price to be immensely beneficial to win the battle against high blood sugar levels. India is a land of tea-lovers. Here, morning remains incomplete without sipping a cup of tea.

Hyperglycemia puts a restriction on you for drinking milk tea and other drinks which includes the use of table sugar. But still, you have a lot of other options to adopt.

Are you anxious to know the alternatives to fill up the vacant space for tea in the daily routine? Alright, let’s check them out then.

1. Bilberry Tea

This tea highly favors the health of diabetic folks. There is present a compound called ‘glucoquinone’ which significantly reduces the blood sugar levels to normal. Apart from this, it can also help people who suffer from diabetic neuropathy.

2. Guava Leaf Tea

The tea made with guava leaf extracts offers numerous health perks for diabetics. There are some strong flavonoids and compound name quercetin which boosts up insulin activity. You should start your day with this marvelous tea to acquire a well-maintained blood sugar levels.

3. Green Tea

Green Tea is offer suggested for weight loss. However, it also does multiple favors for hyperglycemic people. Researches from Japan and Taiwan reveal that people with regular consumption of green tea developed a lesser risk for diabetes. Continuous intake of green tea is also linked with keeping blood sugar levels in an optimal range.

4. Black Tea

Both black and green tea are the products of the same plants – Camellia sinensus. The difference is that green tea is only partially oxidized during the manufacturing process while black tea is completely oxidized.

The complete oxidation results in the formation of complex flavonoids that show anti-hyperglycemic and anti-inflammatory effects.

5. Lemon Tea

This tea has low glycemic value and a rejuvenating effect on blood glucose levels. It is widely available in markets with a toss of ginger and other spices which makes it even more admiring.

Leaves And Herbs That Lower Blood Sugar Levels Immediately

Moving further, we shall now throw light upon some remarkable natural herbs and leaves that nature has gifted us to compensate for our blood sugar levels.

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon, a spice that is extracted out from a bark of a tree. It improves insulin sensitivity and helps to gain quick control over dangerously risen blood sugar levels.

2. Fenugreek

The seed of fenugreek has a chemical makeup to bring down lifted degrees of blood sugar. For the prediabetic people, eating fenugreek in powdered form can keep them away from developing diabetes further.

3. Gurmar

Gymnema sylvestra, a herb most widely grown in southern parts of India and Sri Lanka is a natural sugar destroyer. After consuming it, you will experience decreased blood sugar levels. The improved insulin levels are also witnesses side by side.

4. Cloves

A spice found in every Kitchen of India. It is also used to garnish several dishes like pulao. Cloves are used as homemade remedies to recover from common cold and cough.

The characteristics of dwelling in it promote better insulin activity and boost up the sensitivity of cells to utilize insulin as well. Both the factors combined lead to well-controlled blood sugar levels.

Juices And Drinks That Lower Blood Sugar Levels Immediately

As a diabetic, you are advised not to think about packaged and bottled juices. But you can try some homemade healthy juices to counterbalance your high blood sugar degrees.

1. Bitter Gourd Juice

When it comes to ideal juice for diabetes, bitter gourd juice always tops the list. After all, it is the most sought-after drink to tackle diabetes and highly preferable by doctors worldwide.

The presence of an insulin-like compound called p-insulin infers it the property to control blood sugar naturally and with great effectivity. As long as you are hooked up with bitter gourd, there can be no place for high blood sugars in your body.

2. Amla Juice

Two teaspoons of amla juice daily can do wonders for your health. Further, by adding a pinch of turmeric, it becomes an unparalleled remedy for treating hyperglycemia.

3. Plain Greek Yoghurt

Being a milk product, it has a substantial amount of proteins as well as a low glycemic score. Yogurt can be consumed as such or can be easily added to the number of smoothies. Make sure you are not adding any extra sugar while eating it. It can help you to manage blood sugar levels for long durations.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

The acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar is the main player in controlling heightened blood sugar levels. This acid slows down the action of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism. As a result, sugars are released in the bloodstream gradually causing no hike in its levels.

5. Chia Seeds

These seeds are native to Mexico and not much grown in India. Rare quantities of them can be seen growing in the fields of Mysuru. Indian people call it as “sabja ke beej”.  With a low glycemic score of 1 and good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, these have remarkable ability to diminish undesired levels of blood sugars.

Chia seeds can be eaten by mixing them in yogurt, adding to smoothies, puddings and with certain drinks. You can get more knowledge about chia seeds recipes through YouTube and search engines.

6. Water

Not to take this as a joke, water is no less than an elixir in times of high blood sugar. Keeping the body hydrated is the utmost necessity of every diabetic patient. If you are drinking plenty of water daily, you can maintain blood sugar levels in a secured range.

It is also recommended to drink a lot of water when blood sugar levels go up suddenly. This exercise will help you a lot to control things at that time.

Final words

There are innumerable foods which can help one to instantly curb intensified blood sugar levels. All you need to do is to keep a stock of all such foods in your kitchens so that you are prepared to deal with emergencies. You can take small amounts of some fruits and spices in your handbags when you go out.

Consume it when you feel that your sugar levels are rising beyond safe thresholds. Furthermore, some reliable drugs should also be kept close. Few ones to mention are Bromocriptine, acarbose, alogliptin and many more.

You must be clear beforehand regarding the use of these drugs. Consult your doctor in advance to see if you are not getting any side effects or falling allergic to them as many people do. If everything goes fine, keep small doses of them always with you. Carry them along wherever you go. And that’s all for today. It’s a wrap.

I hope you are now confident enough with the selection of appropriate foods during inflated blood sugar levels. The right food coupled with the right habits will fetch you glorious outcomes during your healing process from increased blood sugars to optimal.

Normal Blood Sugar Levels in India and Common Tests

Normal Blood Sugar Levels in India and Common Tests

Diabetes is becoming the third most common disease driving people to death both in India and abroad. With more than 1 million cases recorded every year, it has become the burning issue of the time to get a hold over this disease which can prove to be fatal if not checked within the right time.

India is a land of festivals and here no festival is marked complete without the preparation of sweets. People love to exchange sweets with relatives and acquaintances during each and every occasion. But they often ignore the health risks these sweets bring with them which never spares anyone irrespective of emotions and celebrations.

It’s high time now and people need to realize that they ought to put the limit on their carbohydrate and calorie intake. Everyone should be aware of the symptoms that attribute to pre-diabetes and instantly reach out to physicians or endocrinologists in no time to get the rightly diagnosed without having any second thought as delaying will only worsen your problem.

The more you delay, the more you openly invite many deadly diseases besides diabetes. Diabetes is creating a room at such a rapid rate that no one is free from its grudges whether kids, teenagers or adults. Anyone can fall victim when deprived of the adoption of the right measures. A regular blood sugar checkup along with a balanced intake of carbohydrates is a must eliminate the circumstances for diabetes to arrive.

What are normal blood sugar levels in India

What are normal blood sugar levels in India

Your blood sugar levels are in favor of good health if they tend to be less than 100mg/dL after going without eating for 8 hours (referred to as fasting in medical terminology ). Also, blood sugar levels do not exceed beyond 140mg/dL from two hours after eating to be on the safe side. The blood sugar levels are lowest before meals during day time being in the range of 60 – 90mg/dL and less than 180mg/dL after meals. The preferably secure range during bedtime is 100-140mg/dL and approximately 100mg/dL is considered ideal before exercise.

However, normal blood sugar levels may vary from person to person largely depending upon the lifestyle they follow, age group to which they belong and the kind of diet they take.

The above-mentioned figures are the most standard readings for adult people in accordance with the general medical guidelines.

Here’s a sneak peek into the optimally safe blood sugar levels categorized on the basis of different age groups of people.

Normal Blood Sugar level Chart for Children

Readings after fasting – 80 to 180mg/dL

  • Readings before meals – 90 to 180mg/dL

  • Readings before exercise – approximately 150mg/dL

  • Readings during bedtime – 100-180mg/dL

  • HbA1c readings – 8%

 Normal Blood Sugar levels for Teenagers and Young People

  • Readings after fasting – 70 to 150mg/dL

  • Readings before meals – 90 to 130mg/dL

  • Readings before exercise – approximately 150mg/dL

  • Readings during bedtime – 90 to 150mg/dL

  • HbA1c readings – up to 7.5%

  

Normal Blood Sugar Levels for Pregnant Women

  • Readings after fasting – less than 95%

  • Readings before exercise – less than 95%

  • Readings 2 hours after meals – less than 120mg/dL

  • HbA1c readings – less than 6%

When to approach a Specialist for diagnosis and medication

Under normal circumstances, our body synthesizes and secrets insulin hormone which stimulates cells to absorb the excess of glucose lessening its amount in the bloodstream. But this phenomenon fails during elevated blood sugars and insulin no more transports excessive glucose from the blood to cells and blood sugar levels exceed to a dangerous extent.

The blood sugar levels in the range of 180 to 250mg/dL call for instant checkups and diagnosis. Increased blood sugar is often accompanied by certain symptoms that you should be aware of and seek immediate medical attention as soon as you experience any of the following outcomes.

  1. Feeling more thirsty than usual – whenever a person is diabetic, the body cannot utilize sugar from food. As a result, the person is likely to feel thirsty and tired more often.
  2. Frequent urination – This is the most common symptom that follows pre-diabetes. Kidneys fail to cope up with the excess glucose that builds up in the blood and the osmotic balance of the body gets disturbed. Consequently, excessive glucose is excreted out through urine along with other body fluids.
  3. Weightloss carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our bodies. These are broken down into simpler sugars which fuel up our body providing energy to carry out all living functions. Diabetes hinders insulin in its activity to promote uptake of sugars by the cells. Eventually, cells are deprived of their energy requirements so the body starts burning fats stored in the liver and muscles to meet its energy demands leading to an overall decrease in a person’s body weight.
  4. Bloating most pre-diabetic, as well as diabetic patients, complain of bloating and troubling stomach aches which arise due to delaying in the digestion process. Food remains in the stomach for a longer time reasonably causing building up of gases and even ulcers.

Common tests for diabetes

1. Glycosylated hemoglobin test

Also known as glycated hemoglobin test or HbA1c test. Our blood cells appear red dominantly because of the presence of the iron-protein complex called hemoglobin. When sugar sticks to these proteins of hemoglobin, it is called as glycosylated sugar.

This is one of the most common tests for diabetes and is the first choice of physicians. The reason is that the measurement of HbA1c gives the idea of how much sugar is present in the blood for the recent three months which in turn gives the basic idea of how the body is managing the sugar. Small amounts of blood samples are taken and blood sugar levels are estimated for a period of 2 to 3 months. It gives fairly accurate measurements and the outline of the results is summarised as –

5.7% – non-diabetic

5.7 to 6.4% – pre-diabetic stage

6.5% – high risk for diabetes

The fluctuations in results may occur in the case of pregnant women or people with special hemoglobin. The doctors in such cases will recommend another diabetes test for confirmation.

2. Fasting Blood Sugar Test

Just to wipe off any confusion from your mind, “fasting” here simply means without eating anything for 8 to 12 hours. This is an essential thing to do before going for a diabetes test. HbA1c test doesn’t require to go for fasting before the test but this is extremely necessary to get precise results during other several tests.

Nevertheless, in Fasting Blood Sugar Test, a small sample of blood is drawn after an overnight fast and taken for testing. Readings less than 100mg/dL indicate normal blood sugar but the range of 100 – 120mg/dL marks pre-diabetes and over 126mg/dL is directly an alarming rate for diabetes.

3. Lipid Profile Test

Increased cholesterol levels too pave the threat for diabetes and many more health anomalies. Accordingly, people who have rigorously high cholesterol are much likely to have high blood sugar as well. Blood test for lipids which thoroughly checks for cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides is necessary as a part of the clinical diabetic diagnosis.

4. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

This test is to be performed in the morning after fasting for 8 to 10 hours during night time. Fasting blood sample is collected and then a person is further administered with a dose of specifically prepared glucose drink made by dissolving 75 grams of glucose in 300ml of water as strictly recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). After two hours of consuming this drink, one more blood sample is collected.

The results which attribute to diabetes are outlined as –

Fasting blood sample value – >126mg/dL

Value recorded two hours after the consumption of glucose drink – >200mg/dL

The readings which assure no risk for diabetes are concluded as –

Fasting blood sample value – <110mg/dL

Value recorded 2 hours after consumption of glucose drink – <140mg/dL 

5. Gestational diabetes test

This test is particularly done to check the diabetic risk in pregnant women. The person has to drink the same liquid as in the case of OGTT. The first blood sample is taken before administering the drink and then some more samples are taken after 2 hours and 3 hours from the drinking of glucose liquid. Any dilation in blood glucose levels above the reference safe limits either during fasting or other samples points towards positive gestational diabetes and becomes a matter of concern.

 Gestational diabetes test for Blood Sugar Levels

6. Random Plasma Glucose Test

This test doesn’t require the need for fasting and can be done at any time during the daylight hours, hence, titled as “random”. The readings above 200mg/dL most probably represent the onset of diabetes but usually, another blood sugar test needs to be performed for an accurate and assured assertion.

Blood sugar testing at home

You will totally comply with the fact that technology has made our lives easy to just another level. Every now and then, we get the benefits of some unsurpassed services offered by digital devices of the 21st century. Similarly, one such device is glucose monitor kits and glucose meters which can be regulated at the comforts of our homes to assist us better in diabetes management.

Traditional home glucose monitoring

This involves few simple steps commencing with pricking a finger with sharp needle “lancet” after carefully cleaning the fingertip with spirit or rubbing alcohol for the purpose of sterilization. Next is putting the blood drop on the test strip and placing that strip into a meter that simultaneously displays your blood sugar levels. You must keep track of all your readings perfectly organized. Note down the time, exact readings and last food intake before the testing with thorough care in your logbook so that this log can be shared with your doctor in case of any emergency or issues and each can be sorted at its best.

You can easily find blood glucose meters and strips at your local medical stores and not to forget you are absolutely liberal to order them online at greatest convenience.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring kits

For CGM, a person is supposed to wear a monitor for 24 hours a day to record blood glucose levels on a regular ongoing basis. This generates an accurate picture of glucose levels and fluctuations generated in blood sugar levels throughout the day. These kits may be not affordable for all due to high prices. Some of the really good companies to manufacture these kits are Accucheck, Dexcom, Apollo Sugar, Medlife diabetes health kit and many others.

Moreover, it’s worth mentioning some Android apps which can be synced with glucose monitors to make the process more handy. One such app is the Mysugr app which can be synced across all glucometers in no time and you can send all the data directly to your doctor to have regular control without the need of going anywhere. BG monitor diabetes is another such app that automatically generates your insulin amounts that suits you in accordance with the target numbers fed by you.

Glucose Buddy app feasibly connects with your Dexcom monitors and lets you easily keep a manual track of all your exercises diet.

Concluding words

To lead a diabetes-free life, you need to be agile and aware enough of the conditions and must be extremely careful regarding all the necessary diagnosis and medication linked with it. Looking at the present statics of the disease, it is considered beneficial to advise to go for blood sugar checkups at regular intervals to avoid problems before they grow up to disastrous heights. Be extra cautious to observe any diabetes-related symptoms in you and the people around you.

Proceed and book your appointment for the test with the trusted doctor as early as possible. Nowadays, most diseases and especially diabetes is completely curable if detected during the early stages. Your laziness may impel you to pay a hearty price later on. So, better to eradicate the problem in its initial nurturing phase only. That’s only a possible and practical way to tackle diabetes presently.

How can I help if my Diabetic husband won’t take care of himself?

How can I help if my Diabetic husband won't take care of himself?

This is a very difficult question and is one that can be extended beyond diabetes to many aspects of a Diabetic husband ‘s life where their behavior is apparently either endangering themselves or likely to lead to short- or long-term negative consequences.

Sometimes it can be immensely frustrating for a caring parent/partner/friend or relative to experience lack of commitment to good healthcare practices on the part of someone they care about. Moreover, the knowledge that much of the burden of the consequences may fall on others can lead to anger and resentment.

There is no easy answer that can be applied universally, as everyone is different and their circumstances are unique. It is important to remember that, except in the case of a minor child, you must yield the control of the problem to the person who has it. For example, your spouse/partner owns his or her diabetes and must be empowered (except in very special circumstances) to make his or her own decisions on how to manage it.

He or she is more likely to take advice if it is sought out than if it is given uninvited. They are likely to believe that they are giving as much attention to their diabetes as possible, whether or not it seems obvious to others that this is not the case.

Frequent pressure to do more may engender a sense of failure and actually lead to doing less. Motivation through fear is generally not successful unless the object to be feared is immediately present.

People with diabetes generally do not see or feel the consequences of the neglect of their diabetes on a day-to-day basis. When they finally do, it is too late to reverse them. For example, if you get too near the log fire in your living room, soon you realize that you do not want to get closer but should move away. There is no such warning before touching a hot iron or a burner on the stove. Thus, household cooktop and iron burns are much more common than burns from touching the blazing logs in the fireplace!

Perhaps the best that one can do is to help to ensure that our loved ones have access to high-quality education about diabetes and its consequences, ensure that they are given the tools to do what is needed to take care of it, and to support them in that effort to the extent that they are willing to participate.

After that, their autonomy must be respected, even though it may have some negative consequences for others. It is important to remember that you are not obliged to join your loved one in dangerous or destructive behaviors nor must you unquestioningly accept the consequences.

Whether you choose to do so will depend on several factors, including your personal belief system.

What should a wife know in order to provide support for her Diabetic husband who won’t take care of himself?

Diabetic husband

The more informed a spouse or caregiver is about diabetes, the better source of support he or she can be to the affected person in their lives. Thus, the answer can be very open-ended. To be practical, let us focus on a few key issues that are especially important.

If you are the main food preparer for the loved one in question, knowledge of diabetic diets and nutrition is very helpful. The appropriate type of diet for a person with diabetes is generally not complex, time-consuming, or expensive.

Attending diabetes education with your loved one’s dietitian is probably the most useful and important thing you can do. Getting to know as much as you can about diabetic meal preparation is very important, especially when there may be special requirements relating to kidney complications or high blood pressure.

Knowing how to treat a low blood sugar reaction, whether moderate or severe, is very valuable. The mental alertness and coordination of the person with diabetes can be impaired with moderately severe low blood sugar reactions and he or she may not have insight into what is going on or how to treat it. In the case of severe low blood sugar, reactions, the affected loved one may be drowsy or unconscious and prompt action on your part is very important.

Knowing how to check the blood sugar with their machine and how to treat a moderate low blood sugar, or how to use a glucagon kit to treat a severe low blood sugar, is very helpful indeed. Finally, knowledge of how to manage sick days is very helpful. The body’s response to illness can be somewhat unpredictable.

blood sugar with their machine - diabetic husband

In the case of an infection such as gastroenteritis or influenza, blood sugars may be high or low, depending on whether the body’s stress reaction pushes the blood sugar higher or the failure to eat pushes it lower. Either way, during anything other than a minor illness, it is important to monitor the blood sugar frequently, and treat low or high sugars (the latter with insulin if necessary) and to ensure that your loved one is well hydrated, as dehydration will rapidly make the situation worse.

Most important is to know when you are unable to keep pace, meaning that the blood sugar is rising in spite of your best efforts and your loved one is unable to take in fluids or is becoming drowsy. In this case, ensuring that he or she gets prompt medical attention is the most valuable thing you can do.

There are, of course, many other ways in which you can help with your knowledge of diabetes, but these are three of the most important.

How do I know when my loved one with diabetes is having a low blood sugar reaction? What should I do to help?

Diabetic husband

The signs of a low blood sugar reaction can range from fairly obvious to quite subtle and hard to detect.

The very young and the elderly are less likely to spontaneously complain of symptoms, but more often just slip into hypoglycemia.

Those who have had diabetes for a long time, generally more than 10 years, may lose their ability to perceive hypoglycemia and fail to make complaints or take action to prevent seriously low blood sugar from occurring. This is much more common in longstanding type 1 diabetes than it is in type 2 diabetes.

Those who are aware that something is wrong and who are able to voice their concerns will complain of a combination of hunger, headache, shakiness, sweating, palpitations (a sensation of fluttering in the chest), blurred vision, and inability to think straight or coordinate their actions, especially fine motor actions such as writing, typing, or dialing phone numbers.

The very young, the elderly, or those with unawareness of low blood sugar will often exhibit confusion or bizarre behavior, shakiness, sweating, drowsiness, or restlessness in the earlier stages. Bizarre behavior can take many forms, from inappropriate laughing or crying, aggression, staring blankly, to making repetitive movements or inappropriate verbal responses to questions.

Most people with diabetes will have their own individual pattern of behavior that tends to repeat itself each time their blood sugar is low. Therefore, familiarity is very helpful for recognition of low blood sugar in loved ones or colleagues.

Warning Signs of Hypoglycemia

The signs of hypoglycemia can vary from person to person, so you should become familiar with your usual symptoms. You might have one or more of the following signs or symptoms of hypoglycemia, which can occur suddenly:

•  Hunger
•  Trembling
•  Perspiration
•  Feeling drunk
•  Rapid heartbeat
•  Dizziness or light-headedness
•  Feeling sleepy
•  Confusion
•  Difficulty speaking
•  Anxiety
•  Weakness

If the low blood sugar is severe, loss of consciousness and seizures will occur. This is of course very worrisome to the observer and necessitates prompt action.

Preventing hypoglycemia in your loved ones

You can reduce your chances of having hypoglycemia by carefully planning when they eat and coordinating mealtimes and snacks with their glucose-lowering medication and exercise. The following steps can help you avoid hypoglycemia:

• Follow the meal plan provided by the doctor, diabetes educator, or dietitian.
• Space their meals evenly throughout the day and eat between-meal snacks.
• Make sure that they eat their meals no more than 5 hours apart.
• Wait for half an hour to an hour after eating before exercising.
• Double-check the dose of their glucose-lowering medication before they take it to make sure that they aren’t taking too much.
• Tell them to carry a quick-fix food such as hard candy with you at all times. Keep a sugar-carbohydrate-protein food (such as an energy bar) in the car in case their blood sugar gets too low while you are driving.
• Check their blood sugar level regularly throughout the day.
• Make sure you are familiar with taking glucagon injection if they become unconscious.

A Quick Fix for Hypoglycemia

If you have a feeling that your loved ones’ blood sugar level is too low, quickly check it with the blood glucose meter. If the blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or lower, let them consume one of the following foods right away to raise it:

• 1 cup of fruit juice
• 1/2 cup of a sugary soft drink (not diet or sugar-free)
• 1 cup of milk
• 5 or 6 pieces of hard candy
• 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar or honey
• 2 or 3 glucose tablets

After 15 minutes, check the blood sugar level again to make sure it is still not too low. If it’s still low, have another serving of something sweet. Repeat these steps until the blood glucose rises above 70 mg/dL.

Loss of consciousness can result from both very high and very low blood sugar. It comes on much more rapidly with low blood sugar than with high blood sugar and is usually more rapidly reversible if treated promptly and effectively. However, unless the circumstances unmistakably indicate high blood sugar or a fingerstick glucose reading is available, the safest treatment is to administer sugar or glucose or use a glucagon injection kit.

Additional glucose is unlikely to worsen in the short term the already serious situation of a coma due to high blood sugar but could be lifesaving to a person with coma due to very low blood sugar. Therefore, when in doubt, glucose or household sugar administration is the best route to take.

Fortunately, the body has powerful mechanisms to prevent the blood sugar from becoming fatally low and these are generally intact in those with diabetes. For this reason, severely low blood sugar, while it is an emergency, is seldom fatal, considering how often it occurs.