Everything about Diabetes: Causes, Effects, Symptoms, Risks, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Diabetes Causes Effects Symptoms Risks, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Diabetes, termed as Diabetes mellitus in medical terminology is a metabolism related disorder characterized by destabilizing levels of gluocose in bloodstream.

With 42 million people already in its grudges, diabetes has justified it’s position as the most common disease in today’s society, worldwide. This number is yet to inflate more by the end of 2024. The statics could be comprehended somewhat as 4 out of every 5 people will be diabetics.

Even today, at least one member in every family is diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. You can analyze your own case in this context. Are we guessing it right? The impact is in such a way that more and more people are switching towards the use of sugar-free foodstuffs.

The market for calorie-free sweeteners is already on fire and will extend further in the coming years too. The huge count of diabetic individuals in India and abroad laid a necessity to emphasize its causes, symptoms, tests, and treatments in a most accurate manner.

Creating awareness on a large scale to make it noticeable by the people and masses everywhere on the topic of immediate concern.  Because this disease is not confined to any particular age, gender, blood group, country and so on. It can happen to anyone irrespective of other variables.

It further intensifies the need for addressing all the speculations linked with the disease with proper and authentic information.  By doing so, people can up with the rightful measures towards timely prevention and control of this ever increasing disease.

Types of diabetes

Types of diabetes

Diabetes is classified into four gross categories.

Pre-diabetes – as the name clarifies, this is the stage prior to the onset of actual diabetes. This means a person is just on the verge of formulating diabetes. One side takes to large doses of medicines and the other side leads to a healthy diet with some restrictions, good amount of physical exercise. The choice is still there.

The optimistic facet remains that prediabetes is completely curable and person can successful curb the circumstances towards prosperous life with no place for diabetes medicines. Of course, this requires a lot of discipline, fixed diet patterns, appropriate exercise and other prescriptions by the specialists for some duration.

Type 1 diabetes – the less common but still dreadful when occur. The body is deprived of insulin production. Insulin, the key hormone of carbohydrate metabolism is synthesized by the pancreas.

Due to some unknown auto-immune causes, beta cells of the pancreas which are the major arena for producing insulin get destroyed. The supply of insulin in the body is greatly suppressed and this eventually leads to a heightening of blood sugar levels. Such a category of people frequently needs insulin doses to keep up with blood glucose metrics.

Type 2 diabetes – this is the most common class of diabetes in the present day scenario.

The spec which alienates type 2 diabetes from type 1 is that here body continues to produce insulin but unfortunately, not in sufficient amounts. Comparatively less magnitude of insulin is generated than that in the body of a normal healthy individuals.

Often, in this case, the body develops insulin resistance. The further scenario is such that excess glucose persisting in the blood is not taken up by the cells.  The cells are deprived of energy as well as sugar levels of the body are extremely high. This is the most feared dual disadvantage of type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes – diabetes which only marks its onset in pregnant women and not in any other person.  pregnancy arrives with multifarious changes in the physiology of the body functions. The body witness an enormous change in the hormonal count, developmental processes and some morphological changes do occur.
Symptoms

How will you come to know whether you or any of your acquaintances are falling probe to diabetes?  There are some quite apparent commonly felt symptoms to recognize the need for diagnosis and check ups.

Feeling thirsty: because your body is unable to regulate sugars in a proper way.

Frequent urination: because kidneys fail to cope up with excessive blood glucose.

Tiredness and fatigue: because body cells are starved of energy. They are unable to absorb glucose.

Bloating: due to inefficient digestive functions. Food remains in the stomach for longer hours resulting in aches.

Weight loss: natural starvation faced by body cells as all the glucose is either remaining in blood or flushed out without absorption by the kidneys.

Blurred vision: this is a combined consequence of diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy. Gradual healing of wounds: due to poor blood circulation prompted by high blood sugar.

A sudden outburst of sores and blisters: the exact cause is yet to be discovered but diabetes triggers certain integumentary problems.

Exclusive symptoms

diabetes-exclusive-symptoms

There are some gender specific symptoms in both men and women. The general symptoms as discussed above are common to every individual.

Men

Diabetes leads to decreases stamina and sexual reluctance in men. Some cases may involve erection dysfunctions and decrement in muscle strength.

Women

Women highly become vulnerable to urinary tract infections during the dominance of diabetes. Infections in the vagina, ovary, and birth canal can be significant signs for seeking immediate medical attention.

Furthermore, the skin may turn dry along with itchiness. Mood swings too become apparent.

Lesser Known diabetes symptoms

Lesser Known diabetes symptoms

Diabetes does have some lesser know symptoms too. Not every patient or person is aware of such uncertainties. These are;

  • Chest pains
  • Nervous disorders
  • Gum diseases
  • Skin tags
  • Acanthosis nigricans
  • Xanthelasma
  • Bullosis diabetricorum
  • Eruptive xanthomatosis
  • Hearing loss

Get detailed insights about lesser Know signs and warnings for type 2 diabetes

Causes of diabetes 

Causes of diabetes

By now, you are already familiar with different types of diabetes, each one of which is triggered by a different cause. This cause actually forms the basis for the classification of this disease.

Type 1 – due to reasons which are yet to be discovered, this occurs when the immune system attacks beta cells of the pancreas which are major sites of insulin production in the human body. The exact cause of this auto immune disease still lies unclear and is currently under research by the experts of the field.

Type 2 – either body fails to produce enough insulin or lacks sensitivity towards the action of insulin. There are many reasons concluded by researchers for such a widespread prevalence of type 2 diabetes, the accusing fingers prominently point towards genetic and lifestyle factors.

People who find themselves in agreement with the following criteria must be more cautious with the risk for developing type 1 diabetes;

  • Being obese
  • Being above the age of 45
  • Having parents or siblings with type 2 diabetes
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle with less physical activities
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High triglycerides count
  • If diagonosed with prediabetes
  • Have suffered gestational diabetes during pregnancy

Gestational diabetes – The most pragmatic change is the formulation of important tissue placenta which forms a bridge between the body of the mother and growing child. Placenta produces several hormones essential for the healthy grooming of a fetus.  Now, as a fetus grows, the placenta produces more and more hormones. These placental hormones prompt for rising in blood sugar levels. This process continues for months and ultimately comes a stage when the blood sugar range of body surpasses the safe limits. This marks the onset of gestational diabetes.

This could be controlled by taking into consideration some gross measures like proper weight management prior to diabetes and getting more alert if the women are already suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Women are at high risk and must plan a mandatory appointment with the healthcare providers if;

  • You are overweight
  • Your age is more than 25 years
  • You developed gestational diabetes in the previous term too.
  • You have a family history of women suffering from the same disease
  • You are diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome

Complications and risks linked with Diabetes

Complications and risks linked with Diabetes

 Heart-related disorders

The chances for the occurrence of strokes and cardiac arrest increases four folds. Angina is also the threatening factor which readily comes into effect in most of the cases.

Neuropathy

Several nerve bundles of the body, notably those which form a part of the peripheral nervous system get damaged.

Retinopathy

The term is given to the condition when nerve supplies of the eye are affected and injured due to hyperglycemic conditions.

The results can be diminishing of vision, blurred image formation and eyes get swollen too.

Nephropathy

 The word nephro relates to kidneys in every context. Diabetic nephropathy is when kidneys fail to function optimally as a result of high blood sugar. Clinically, this can be tested when urine contains proteins that get leaked by defective kidneys. The most visible symptoms are swelling in the lower part of the legs and loss of appetite.

Skin ailments

Skin infections become common. The situation can be accompanied by sudden outbursts of blisters, round and small or large which don’t heal easily. Though they are painless but worrisome. Thankfully, there are ample lotions and ointments available in the market for the revival of the same.

Depression

Stress can cause diabetes as well as can be the outcome of diabetes. Diabetic patient often feels tired all day long but one should try to be optimistic as much as he/she can. This can be done through proper exercise and meditation which expels out negative vibes out if body and confers soothing effect to the mind.

Foot damage

Diabetic foot diseases are as common as diabetes itself. The thing is that the majority of people fail to realize that these weird symptoms can be an undesired invite for diabetes. It can be anything like pains, corns, calluses, swelling, cracks around heels, open sores, fungus growth and change in skin color.

Dementia

Very much similar to Alzheimer’s disease in terms of symptoms, dementia is a miserable health condition when a person is subjected to memory loss and unable to make judgments. The causes can be many. Diabetes is one of them. Prolonged diabetes is an even more crucial situation as it opens the door for the numbness to walk through.

Dehydration

 Never let your body become depleted of water. During this, kidneys secrete hormones that further concentrate sugars leading to sky-high blood sugar levels. Keep drinking water at regular intervals and carry a water bottle while traveling anywhere.

Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome

 The times when blood sugar levels reach beyond 600mg/dL are massively dangerous. This excessive metric turns blood thicker and into syrupy form. The condition is more likely to develop on people with age of more than 40 years. The symptoms felt are extreme thirst and drying of mouth, drowsiness, and convulsions.

Diabetic ketoacidosis

 When cells run out of energy, the body starts burning stored fats to fulfill the energy demands. This brings another trouble to the view. When fats are broken, they produce acids. These acids are ketones that have disastrous effects on health. Vomiting, fatigue and shortened breath are visible signs of the calamitous condition. DKA is more associated with people with type 1 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes concerns

 When blood sugar gets uncontrollably high during pregnancy, then some exceptional complications arrive which are not seen in the case of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

These hardships can be any among the following;

  • Stillbirths
  • Miscarriage
  • Poor mental development of infant
  • Macrosomia
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Organ disfigurement in babies
  • Respiratory disorders in babies
  • Abnormal delivery of child
  • Preeclampsia
  • Excess birth weight
  • Premature deliveries

Get a more detailed picture of diabetic complications during gestational diabetes.

Underlying effects of diabetes and it’s association with other chronic diseases

The moment people read the word ‘diabetes’, the view created in their subconscious mind is that of high blood sugar levels. But it’s not simply a rise in blood sugar levels. It fetches a number of other ill effects.

Diabetes and high blood pressure 

It becomes extremely important to gain control over your blood pressure levels, especially if you are a short-tempered person. You desperately need to meditate dear!

Every time your blood pressure rises, your risk for damaging your health rises as well. About three-fourth of the people with type 1 diabetes and one-fourth of the people with type 2 diabetes suffer diabetic hypertension.

Are you the one? Get yourself checked today. Diabetes deteriorate blood vessels, narrows and hardens them. This can further result in heart stroke and kidney failure.

Diabetes and high cholesterol

 If you have any one between high blood sugar and high cholesterol, your condition is equally dangerous. Diabetes and high cholesterol favor each other, and the outcome is worsening of health in both cases. High blood sugars intend for the build-up of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body. Triglycerides and other low-density lipids lead to diabetic dyslipidemia.

Diabetes and obesity

 Obesity is the leading cause of the onset of diabetes across the globe. Overeating puts pressure on the endoplasmic reticulum, a subcellular organelle for processing more nutrients. Under this pressure, the ER emits out the signal for shutting off insulin receptors in cells. This directly leads to insulin resistance. And once the body develops resistivity towards insulin, your carbohydrate metabolism is going to be badly affected.

Diabetes and smoking

 Yes, people who smoke always have a greater probability of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Not only cancer, but diabetes is also widely screened ailment in people who smoke. Moreover, smoking makes it hard for you to manage diabetes which otherwise can be done with ease. Like, if you have diabetes and still you smoke, then you are two times more likely to face crucial complications linked with diabetes.

Comon tests and diagonosis of diabetes

Comon tests and diagonosis of diabetes

We should be thankful enough to the technical equipment and methodologies. These innovative techniques substantially present before us an accurate picture of what is happening with our blood sugar levels inside the body.

Whether there is a need to control the calories or not is clearly revealed to us. Some tests for diabetes require fasting for 8 hours before the diagnosis procedure begins whereas some do not. Oral glucose tolerance tests rewuires fasting before the precise results could be interpreted. However, there are some tests that don’t require fasting or going without eating food or drinking any liquid. Such are called random blood glucose tests.

Hemoglobin A1C test which is highly preferable by the physicians as the first step in diabetes diagnosis doesn’t comply with the need for fasting. The lipid profile test is yet another suitable way of figuring out the undesired rise of blood sugar. Gestational diabetes is successfully diagonosed by testing the readings two hours after drinking a specifically prepared glucose drink.

Besides, with the advent of home glucose monitoring kit, people can save time by avioding personal visits to the doctors. They can conveniently keep the track of their readings at the comfort of their houses and consult a doctor in case of any discrepancies. You should be well informed about when to approach a doctor.

Different types of diabetes require different drugs and doses depending upon how much your levels are increased, your age group, and if you are also suffering a disease other than diabetes. Whether you are allergic to a particular substance, everything matters while coming up with a stringent prescription. So never hide anything from your doctor and approach at the earliest possible.

Treatment for diabetes

The treatment depends on the type of diabetes one is suffering through. Each category of diabetes has it’s own causes, and therefore specific treatment therapies are undertaken to manage each type.

Type 1 diabetes

 Insulin Treatment for diabetes

As type 1 diabetes makes a person deprived of insulin which is an extremely important hormone for the metabolic phenomenon of the body. Therefore a person is entitled to receive periodic bouts of insulin through injections and other means. Insulin therapy is the most effective method of replacing the function of natural body hormone.

Based on the patient’s need, anyone among the following four types of insulin is given intravenously.

  1. Rapid-acting insulin – this starts working 15 minutes after the intake and works efficiently for up to 4 hours.
  2. Short-acting insulin – the effect begins after 30 minutes of consumption and lasts for 7 to 8 hours with efficacy.
  3. Intermediate acting insulin – this usually commences the activity 1 hour after injecting. It remains potent for 15 to 18 hours.
  4. Long acting insulin – this gas the longest effectively working duration. It takes a few hours for this insulin to become active after consuming but effectiveness lasts for 24 hours.

 Type 2 diabetes

 Type 2 diabetes

The treatment of type 2 diabetes is mainly sustained by drugs and medicines.  Although a balanced diet with appropriate exercise helps a lot, medications ensure the longevity and prosperity of the health of a diabetic individual.

The following nine categories of drugs are the most sought-after and commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals for diabetes.

  1. Alpha glucosidase inhibitor 

These slow down the catabolism of sugars in the body. Acarbose is an excellent example of this category. 

  1. Glucagon like proteinaceous drugs

These alters the way the body responds to insulin. Dulaglutide and liraglutide are the two most common and effective drugs pertaining to this category. 

  1. Meglitinides

Their mode of action is the stimulation of the pancreas for enhanced insulin production. Some imperative medicines in this category are Nateglinide and Repaglinide. 

  1. Beguanides 

This works by limiting the amount of production by the liver. Metformin, the widely used medicine by the diabetic folks falls under this. 

  1. Thiazolidinedione 

It just aids insulin to work more exigent through improved sensitivity by the body. Resiglitazone and Pioglitazone are the most prodigious examples. 

  1. Dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP 4) inhibitor 

It is known for stabilizing blood sugar levels and that too without diminishing them to extremely lower ranges. Sitagliptin used by patients is also a DPP4 inhibitor. 

  1. Sodium glucose transporter (SGL T2) inhibitor

 This propels the body to release more and more excess glucose along with urine thereby lessening its impact in the bloodstream. Canagliflozin and Dapagliflozin are superior varieties of SGL inhibitors. 

  1. Sulfonylureas 

Their mode of action is the same as that of Meglitinides i.e., by stimulating pancreatic glands to increase the quantity of the hormone. The portentous drugs to illustrate are Glyburide, Glipizide, and Glimepuride.

  1. Bile acid sequestrants 

These mainly work by lowering cholesterol content and are partially effective for controlling all levels of blood sugar. This is usually taken in combination with other drugs. Colesevelam is one such medicine. There are some other treatments given to patients in extreme cases.

Insulin therapy – people with type 2 diabetes may also require insulin injections. There are varied forms and kinds of insulin and each one work in doing different mode. But generally preferred ones are long-acting insulin taken at night time, like Levemir and Lantus.

Bariatric surgery – this is a weight-loss oriented surgery performed on people with type 2 diabetes and body massage index greater than 35. The results of this surgery are much relieving and fruitful. 

Gestational diabetes

 The critical complications can be controlled to a good extent through careful alterations in diet plans and prioritized physical exercises. When you are diagnosed with diabetes, usually during the third trimester, the doctor prescribes you specific medicines based on your own needs.

It will depend on how much amount of calories to be consumed, what to limit and what to shake hands with. The right kind of exercise and meditation therapies are essential for keeping away all the anomalies. There may emerge a requirement to check blood sugar reading 2-3 times a day. This ensures you are distant off from the occurrence of adverse health hardships.

Some expectant mother’s manage with diet and exercise alone but many develops the need to turn on to drugs and injections. For such situations, the two most commonly recommended drugs are metformin and Glibenclamide.

Metformin – increases insulin senstivity of body and reduces the amount of glucose produced by liver in the form of glucagon.

Glibenclamide – lowers blood sugar levels by triggering the release of insulin from pancreas in greater magnitudes.

If situation still remains out of control, then the alternative that has to be operated is the use of injections. Drugs can be consumed along with timely injectables for better hold over the glucose levels. These strategies and medications altogether help in conquering gestational diabetes. Also, if women already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is having gestation period, then also changes in diet, medication and exercises needs to be done. Your gynecologist will help you with this procedure.

Side effects of diabetes drugs

Most of the drugs often impel undesired side effects other than the main action. This is because drugs interact with more than one receptors on body. Just like medications used for HIV causes anemia, the one used for diabetes are no exception.

  1. Hypoglycemia is the broadly witnessed side effect of drugs like sulfonylureas and meglitinides.
  1. Stomach related problems, itchiness, dryness and mild sickness are another array of effects.
  2. Drugs like alpha-glucosidase inhibitors provoke bloating and diarrhea.
  3. Weight gain, anemia, dizziness and liver infections are some commonly observed cases.

The drugs that suits you best will depend upon your individual health traits. Your doctor will provide solutions to overcome all the possible side effects. If you still experience any of them, you must gear up for urgent medical advice.

Diabetes Prevention and Control

Do-exercise-to-control-Diabetes

Since diabetes doesn’t have any permanent cure, it’s better to be alert and adopt preventive strategies beforehand.

 It’s a well-understood caveat that while good food and good exercise synergies the diabetes treatment therapy, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels still remains the master weapon.

The measures which should be adopted by prediabetic and health-conscious people must be ;

  • Involving physical exercises in daily routine
  • Eating less dishes prepared with table sugar
  • Wiping off some carbohydrates from plate and including more proteins
  • Sugar-free natural sweetening agents which neither contains calories not cause any harmful side effects like development of tumors
  • Replacing table sugar with coconut sugar and raw organic honey
  • Limiting fruits with high glycemic index
  • Avoiding packaged juices, snacks, candies, soda, caffeinated drinks and so on

Exclusive tip – if some day you really feel like eating sweets and delicacies, then start your day with drinking bitter gourd juice in the morning.

This juice is so effective in stabilizing blood sugar levels that even if you eat a bit more sweets and calories, you will not be facing much trouble. This tip can benefit you as in India, often the number of traditional desserts is prepared in homes on festivals and ceremonies. Don’t sacrifice those joyous moments but remember you dare not to take any sweet eatables in excessive amounts. Little bit of sweet can be bearable with the effect of juice but situation will slip out of hand if you fail to control your temptations.

Now, coming on to a healthy diet for flourishing diabetes management. The most suitable foods during diabetes are those which are low in carbohydrates and high in fibers. It is clear to every diabetic that blood sugar levels only go high if the intake of carbohydrates in the body is high. If you are daunting enough to cut off sweet from your meals, your chances of getting into hyperglycemic conditions eventually become very low.

The carbohydrates are essential as they are the prime source of energy for the entire functions of the body. Therefore, the foods with la ow glycemic index are the real game players here. Being low in glycemic index means releasing sugar at a lower rate into the bloodstream when they are consumed. Further, protein-rich menu like pulses and beans will be a great choice.

Exercises that can help to maintain blood sugar readings within a safe range involve many forms from swift walking, cycling, running, swimming to short term workouts, yoga, and deep breathing.

Diabetes-friendly fruits 

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Pear
  • Guava

Diabetes-friendly vegetables 

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Bottle gourd
  • Bitter gourd
  • Carrots
  • Beans

Other health-favoring  foods 

  • Lentils
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Greek yogurt
  • Berberine

Know more about healthy food choices for diabetes. Know about the best diabetic diet during pregnancy.

Gaining a natural control over blood sugar levels 

Not only allopathic but also ayurvedic system has bestowed upon us numerous boons through the analysis of naturally available products. These products are endowing the potential to beat diabetes with no side effects and in a cost-effective way. The contribution of nature is really huge in offering a victorious solution to counteract over the atrocious rule of elevated blood sugar.

There is a wide array of herbs, spices, and leaves which naturally stimulate glucose levels of blood towards the normal and safer range. Many of them have inherited surplus quantities of antioxidants, fibers, vitamins and chemical compounds which enormously favor better diabetic health. Such are;

  • Neem
  • Tulsi
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Guava leaf
  • Mango leaf
  • Inulin leaf
  • Cloves
  • Aloe vera
  • Collards
  • Gumar
  • Banaba leaf
  • Ivy gourd
  • Shatterstone

Read more about the miraculous properties of some remarkable leaves and spices.

Concluding words

The increase of diabetes at an alarming rate in present-day society has created the need for educating about it to more and more people. The disease is such a convoluted that many people fail to realize what all is happening with them and diabetes remains undiagnosed in them for years.

Initial symptoms are mild and hard to recognize, but once you notice any of them. Do not take it for granted at all. This can be you first clue indicating that medical attention is needed.  The symptoms are many and you can experience any one or some of them. The causes are also countless. The disease can find it’s way up to you through any route. Our lifestyle had made it even more difficult to keep ourselves in safe zone. The only solution that seems practical is being watchful to blood sugar levels at regular intervals.

Either through visiting the nearby certified specialists or by getting home glucose monitoring kits. Even if things seems very entangled, there is atill always a way out of it. We are here to show you that way.

Knowledge is power. Having a basic knowledge about diabetes behavior within your body gives you the power to beat down this threatening disease.

Which vegetables are good for diabetes?

Which vegetables are good for diabetes?

According to a recent research conducted during 2015 to 2019 nearly 30 million of the population in India have been diagnosed with diabetes. In rural areas it’s about 3% of the total population and about 9% of the total population in urban areas.

India is known to have the highest death rates with respect to diabetes. Diabetes is a leading health issue in India.When it comes to diabetes no single food can help control diabetes or risk factors linked with diabetes. Diabetes can affect any age group and there are various risk factors linked with diabetes such as heart diseases stroke and obesity.

Having diabetes need not stop you from consuming foods of your choice rather the food of your choice should be enriched with fibers, proteins and nitrates that can help you maintain ideal blood sugar level, An ideal meal for a diabetic patient should be low on glycaemic index . The glycaemic index of the food measures the degree of rise in blood sugar level due to the carb content it has In it .

Foods with glycaemic index less than 55 are as low glycaemic index. Such foods are ideal for a diabetic patient as they do not cause any spikes in blood sugar levels. Foods with high glycemic index must be replaced with foods on low glycemic index.

Foods with low glycemic index ensure a slower digestion and absorption of blood sugar which in turn does not lead to any sudden spike in blood sugar levels. The goal of a diabetic should be to achieve stable glucose level in the body. Vegetables holds the highest nutritional value and benefits . This article mainly focuses of vegetables that are best for a diabetic patient .

Here are some of the diabetic friendly veggies:

1. Carrots

Carrot is a non starchy vegetable . Non starchy vegetables have a lesser impact on blood sugar levels in the body. Raw carrots have lesser effect on glucose levels than cooked.

The glycaemic index of raw carrot is lesser than glycaemic index of cooked carrot. The glycaemic index of raw carrot is 16 and that of a cooked carrot is 41. Carrots contain nearly 2.8% of fiber, and rich in vitamin C. The soluble fiber enables slower digestion and absorption which lowers blood sugar levels in the body .

2. Green peas

Green peas are rich in protein and fiber content. The glycaemic index of green peas is 22 and that of frozen green peas is 39. Green peas again have a low calorie content, overweight being a risk factor linked with diabetes, low calorie foods help lose weight which prevent overweight.

For a diabetic overweight can lead to irregular blood sugar levels. Half to one cup of green peas contains nearly 4grams of fiber and 4grams of proteins. Fiber slows down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in the body which in turn enables a stable blood sugar regulation in the body. Also the mineral content of green peas such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium lowers the risk of heart diseases linked with diabetes.

3. Tomatoes

For a diabetic monitoring daily carb intake is the key . Tomatoes are non starchy and have a low carb content.  Adding to its nutritional value, tomatoes are low on glycemic index. The glycaemic index of tomatoes is Nearly 15. One cup of freshly chopped tomatoes contain nearly 1.59grams of protein, and 2.2 grams of fiber.

The fiber content ensures stable blood sugar regulation without any sudden spikes in the glucose level. Also tomatoes have low calorie content which is beneficial for weight loss. A recent research showed that people who consumed tomatoes on regular basis helped them reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases linked with type2 diabetes.

4. Spinach

Spinach again is a non starchy veggie. One cup of spinach contains nearly 4grams of fiber, and 0.9grams of protein. Spinach has a low carbohydrate content, one cup of spinach has nearly 7grams of carbohydrates. Due to its low carb content spinach stabilizes the blood sugar levels in the body.

The fiber content slows down the absorption of glucose In the body preventing  sudden spikes in blood sugar level. Alpha lipid acid- the antioxidant content if spinach is knows to increase insulin sensitivity, this proves to be a boon for people with diabetes.

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is low on glycemic index. The glycaemic index of broccoli is nearly 10. One cup of raw broccoli contains nearly 2.5grams of protein and 2.4grams of fiber. The fiber content ensures slower glucose absorption without sudden spikes in glucose levels in the body and keeps the person feeling full for longer time. The nutritional content of brocolli help lower insulin levels in the body .

6. Cucumber

Cucumber is a low carb veggie. Cucumber is rich in water content. The water content keeps the body hydrated and drains excess glucose  from the body and maintains stable glucose level in the body, without causing any sudden spikes in glucose level.

7. Cauliflower

One cup of cauliflower contains nearly: 2grams of protein and 2.1grams of fiber. Cauliflower is rich in fiber and has a good amount of water content. A diet with high fiber intake reduces risk of heart diseases and obesity linked with diabetes also enhances insulin sensitivity in the body. Cauliflower is low on glycemic index The glycemic index of cauliflower is nearly 10.

8. Cabbage

Cabbage has a good amount of antioxidants which is beneficial for a diabetic. Cabbage is low on glycemic index. The glycaemic index of cabbage is nearly 10. Cabbage is low on calories and is beneficial for weight loss

One cup of freshly chopped cabbage contains nearly 1.1grams of protein and and 2.2grams of fiber. Fiber enables a slower absorption of glucose in the body preventing any sudden spikes in glucose level after consumption. The protein content is necessary to meet the daily needs of the body for its normal functioning.

9. Onions

Yes you read it right!!! Onions are rich in antioxidants. Consuming onions on regular basis help control blood sugar levels in the body. Sulphur and quercetin compounds found in onion have anti diabetic effect on the body. Inflammation contributes to diabetes. The quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties which reduces inflammation.

One cup of chopped onion contains nearly 1.76grams of protein and 2.72grams of fiber. Again, soluble fibers decreases  the rate of absorption of glucose from the bloodstreams preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.

Therefore including theses veggies in diet benefits the diabetic in various ways and helps to maintain stable glucose level in the body .

Can I catch Diabetes from someone else?

Can I catch Diabetes from someone else?

No, you cannot catch diabetes from other people, even by kissing them! 

Diabetes is not like a cold or the flu. There are many causes of diabetes, but no form of diabetes has ever been shown to be infectious or contagious.

Most causes of diabetes develops from an inherited tendency to get it. If you have inherited this gene, you may develop type 1 diabetes when you are exposed to something in the environment. This unknown factor triggers the onset of diabetes.

You may develop type 2 diabetes if (in addition to the gene) you gain weight and don’t exercise regularly.
There are also less common causes of diabetes, such as prolonged, excessive drinking of alcohol or having too much iron in your blood.
So while there are many causes of diabetes, catching it from another person is not one of them.

What causes Diabetes?

What causes Diabetes

Many of the same factors that put you at risk for insulin resistance syndrome also increase your risk of developing diabetes, especially type 2. These risks include inherited factors, such as family history and ethnicity, and lifestyle factors such as obesity, inactivity, a poor diet, and smoking.

But even if you have inherited genes or have family traits that make you susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes, it does not mean that you are destined to develop it. Lifestyle factors have a strong influence on whether you will develop type 2 diabetes. The disorder tends to be triggered by environmental stresses such as being overweight and inactive. Even people with diabetes susceptibility genes can significantly reduce their risk of diabetes by eating a healthy diet, keeping their weight within a normal range, and being physically active.

Obesity

Being overweight is a very important risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The vast majority of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. The more you weigh, the higher your risk for type 2 diabetes. Obesity, which doctors define as being more than 20 percent over your ideal weight, is the fastest-growing health problem in the United States.

The number of Americans who are obese is 75 percent higher than in the early 1990s, and it continues to increase. During the same period, the incidence of type 2 diabetes rose 61 percent. The coinciding increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes is striking evidence of their close relationship.

Age

 

Although the incidence of type 2 diabetes is increasing among obese children and young adults, it is still most common after age 45. For reasons that are unclear, the functioning of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas tends to decrease as people age. There is also a tendency for the cells of older people to be less sensitive to insulin. Without a sufficient supply of insulin in the blood to regulate glucose, the risk of type 2 diabetes increases.

Family History

Your family health history is a key factor to consider when evaluating your risk for type 2 diabetes. If one of your parents or a sibling has type 2 diabetes, your chances of developing the disease are much higher than people in families with no diabetes. Although there is a genetic component in type 2 diabetes, it does not mean that type 2 diabetes is simply an inherited disorder. Doctors think that the interaction of several genes and environmental factors have the most impact on a person’s susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.

For example, Native Americans have the highest incidence of type 2 diabetes in the world. But a hundred years ago, the disease was rare among Native Americans. One group, the Pimas of Arizona, has an incidence of type 2 diabetes that is several times higher than that of whites of European descent, while their genetic cousins, the Pimas living in rural Mexico, have a low incidence of type 2 diabetes. What is it in the lives of Native Americans during the last century that could have produced this stunning reversal? What accounts for the disparity between the diabetes rates of the Pimas of Arizona and the Pimas of Mexico? Because the Pima groups are so similar genetically, the answer must lie with differences in their lifestyle and environment.

The Arizona Pimas switched to the typical American diet that is high in fat, salt, sugar, and calories, and their physical activity declined sharply. As a result, they became obese and their diabetes rate skyrocketed.

Even though the Mexican Pimas have the same genes, their diabetes rates remain very low because they eat a high fiber diet with lots of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables and they engage in strenuous physical activity.

Most Americans don’t exercise enough. These lifestyle factors eating too much and exercising too little-appear to adversely affect, or “switch on,” the genes of people who are susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes.

Regardless of the way the genetic vulnerability works, people with a family history of type 2 diabetes need to be especially conscientious when it comes to eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, and keeping their weight down. If you are not sure if anyone in your family has had type 2 diabetes, ask your parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents if they know of any close family members with the disorder.

Ethnicity

People in some ethnic groups have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes than others. In North America, for example, diabetes is more of a threat to Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Alaskans than it is to people of northern European descent.

In Australia, diabetes affects the native (indigenous) population in greater numbers than it does other groups. The reasons for this discrepancy are still unclear, but researchers see some interesting links between ethnicity and what they think are “thrifty genes.”

Compared with the diet of our ancestors, our diet differs in many ways. Not only does it contain more fat, sugar, salt, preservatives, and other food additives, but much of our food is also processed and refined. During the processing of foods, some of the food’s nutrients may be lost. Another big difference is that food is available and easy to obtain at any time of the day or year.

All we have to do is reach into the cupboard or the refrigerator and, when we run out of something, drive to the grocery store to stock up on more. And if we don’t feel like going to the grocery store, we can order our groceries online and have them delivered to our door.

If we don’t feel like cooking, we can eat at a restaurant and order from a menu of diverse meal choices that are likely to contain deep-fried, high-fat, and other calorie-dense foods in enormous portions. Desserts, snacks, and treats are ever-present. Food advertising floods our senses from TV, radio, billboards, and magazines. Some researchers think that these two major differences-the abundance and easy availability of food and the minimal amount of exercise required today to obtain food-are major factors in the dramatic increase in type 2 diabetes.

Lifestyle Factors

Like most people, you probably feel pulled between the demands of your job and your family. When you are busy, you may be less inclined to eat right and exercise. An unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise can increase your chances of getting type 2 diabetes because they tend to lead to weight gain. Maybe you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol to excess to relieve stress.

Smoking-induced illnesses are the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking increases your risk of serious health problems, including unfavorable cholesterol levels, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Excessive drinking can increase your heart risks by raising blood pressure and the level of potentially harmful triglycerides (fats) in the blood.

An Unhealthy Diet

Our hectic lifestyle has led many of us to shortchange ourselves when it comes to eating a healthy diet. Many Americans are consuming foods containing too many unhealthy saturated and trans fats (see page 50) and too much sugar and salt. One of the biggest reasons for this trend is our affection for fast foods, which are generally high in unhealthy fats, calories, and salt.

Fast Foods

The consumption of fast foods has risen dramatically in the United States in recent decades and is now responsible for more than a third of all restaurant food expenditures. A 4-ounce hamburger with cheese and all the trimmings supplies 700 to 800 calories, 30 grams of fat, plus 1,100 milligrams of sodium (about half the recommended daily sodium allowance). French fries provide an additional 200 to 500 calories (depending on serving size), 40 percent of which come from fat.

Although some fast-food restaurants are now cooking their fries in healthier vegetable oils, many still deep-fry them in potentially harmful partially hydrogenated oils, which are trans fats. Trans fats are especially unhealthy because they increase the level of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol in the blood) more than other types of dietary fat.

Trans fats are present in a wide variety of foods on grocery shelves, including cookies, snack crackers, potato, and tortilla chips, doughnuts, pastries, cakes, and pies. These foods are high in calories and provide a few other nutrients. Trans fats are sometimes contained in foods you would not expect to find them in, such as some breakfast cereals, breads, and broths-so read food labels carefully when shopping.

Watch for the terms “hydrogenated oil,” “partially hydrogenated oil,” and “trans fats” on food labels and ingredient lists on packaged foods and avoid those that contain them.

Saturated Fat

A high intake of saturated fat, present in fatty red meat, the skin of poultry, and cheese and other full-fat dairy products, has long been known to contribute to high levels of cholesterol and other blood fats. Although the precise mechanism is unknown, excess consumption of saturated fat makes the body less sensitive to the effects of the hormone insulin, thereby contributing to insulin resistance (see page 12) and type 2 diabetes.

The availability of lean meats and low-fat and fat- free dairy products makes it easy to switch from foods that are high in saturated fat to those with a lower fat content without having to give up the benefits of taste and nutrition.

Added Sugars

You may have a sweet tooth, but the added sugar in foods hurts not only your teeth but also your waistline. Sweet desserts and snacks are okay for special occasions, but on a regular basis, they serve only to put on pounds while supplying few nutrients. In fact, filling up on sugary foods leaves you less hungry for foods that pack a higher nutritional punch.

Sugary soft drinks have been singled out in recent years as a possible contributor to the steep rise in the incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes among both children and adults. The consumption of sugary soft drinks by adults rose more than 60 percent from the late 1970s to the late 1990s and more than doubled among children and adolescents. In fact, sugary soft drinks now make up about 7 percent of the total food consumption in the United States.

Soft drinks are also a major source of added sugars in our diet. Each 12- ounce can of soda contains 40 to 50 grams of sugar-about 9 teaspoons-and 160 to 200 calories. If you drink one can of soda each day and do not offset it by cutting back on your calorie intake in another way, you will gain 15 pounds in one year. Reducing your consumption of sugary, high-calorie soft drinks might be the single most effective step you can take to lose weight or to keep from becoming overweight.

Lack of Exercise

The human body was not meant to spend most hours of the day in a car, behind a desk, or in front of a television or a computer. But this has become our way of life. While technological advances provide many benefits, they can come at a high cost to our health, primarily by reducing the need for physical activity in our daily lives.

The requirement for physical labor on the job is much less today than it was only a century ago when most people engaged in physical, often backbreaking work. Walking used to be the major mode of transportation, and most household tasks, such as washing clothes and dishes, required physical exertion.

Lack of Exercise - cause diabetes

Today, about one in four American adults lead a sedentary life, which is defined as engaging in less than 30 minutes of physical activity each day. An additional one-third of adults fail to get enough exercise to achieve health benefits. By this definition, more than half of Americans are sedentary.

TV watching is probably the leading sedentary activity in the United States. Adults spend about 30 hours each week in front of the TV, and many families have several TVs in their home, complete with remote controls. Couple this lack of physical activity with the constant exposure to TV ads for unhealthy high-calorie foods and you can understand how the increase in TV watching plays a role in the rise in obesity, the major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

In addition, a lack of physical fitness is directly related to a higher risk of death from all causes, but especially from heart disease. Physical fitness improves cardiovascular fitness, making the heart more efficient at pumping blood throughout the body.

In addition, regular exercise increases the level of beneficial HDL cholesterol in the blood. HDL cholesterol carries excess cholesterol out of the arteries and back to the liver, which removes it from the body. LDL cholesterol is the harmful form of cholesterol because it can build up in the artery walls and eventually cause a heart attack or a stroke.

Smoking

Smoking -cause diabetes

Smoking cigarettes has many adverse effects on health, especially to the heart, blood vessels, and lungs. Smoking can also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes because smoking reduces the body’s ability to use the hormone insulin. When cells cannot respond effectively to insulin, they do not take in glucose from the blood in sufficient amounts and the pancreas makes more and more insulin.

This condition, called insulin resistance (see page 12), contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes. In addition to reducing your body’s ability to use insulin, smoking increases the level of total cholesterol and other fats in the blood, increasing your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Smoking also restricts the amount of oxygen that reaches your cells and tissues and replaces the oxygen with harmful carbon monoxide.

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

Stress

The amount of daily stress you face may also put you at risk for type 2 diabetes. Some research has found that stress-and the way a person handles it- may affect levels of blood sugar and insulin (the hormone that regulates blood sugar). Stress causes the body to release so-called stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Under normal conditions, stress hormones are helpful because they provide the needed energy to overcome a challenge or escape immediate danger.

These hormones temporarily increase the release of sugar from the liver into the bloodstream to provide energy to meet the challenge and then the liver’s release of sugar drops back to normal once the challenge is met.

stress- cause diabetes

But when a person is under constant stress, which can result from a traumatic life event such as the death of a loved one, cortisol stays at an elevated level over time, increasing insulin resistance and the possibility of elevated blood sugar. The high level of cortisol promotes the accumulation of fat around the abdomen, and this accumulation of excess fat in the abdominal area can make the cells even less sensitive to insulin, further increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. For many people, stress management can be an important way to reduce the risk of health problems.

Lack of Sleep

Some medical studies suggest that lack of sleep may also be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Americans have been sleeping fewer and fewer hours over the past century from an average of 9 hours in 1900 to 6 hours or fewer today. Sleep loss seems to affect diabetes risk in two ways: by promoting weight gain and by interfering with the way the body uses glucose.

what cause diabetes -Lack of Sleep

Sleep loss can cause weight gain by reducing the nightly production of growth hormone, a hormone that triggers both the manufacture of protein in muscle and the breakdown of stored fat, which in turn regulates the body’s proportion of muscle to fat. A reduction in growth hormone can lead to an accumulation of fat, reduced muscle mass, and obesity, the most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Lack of sleep also may interfere with the body’s normal use of carbohydrates and glucose. The lack of sleep causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than usual and return to normal more slowly, and it slows the body’s production of insulin.

People without diabetes who sleep fewer than 4 hours a night show signs of developing impaired fasting glucose (elevated blood sugar levels) or prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes. People who routinely fail to get enough sleep also are at risk of developing insulin resistance, which contributes to type 2 diabetes.

Impaired Fasting Glucose and Impaired Glucose Tolerance

Impaired fasting glucose is a condition in which the results of a fasting blood glucose test show a blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dL after a person has fasted overnight (or 12 hours). Doctors diagnose impaired glucose tolerance when a person’s blood glucose levels are between 140 and 190 mg/dL 2 hours after drinking a sugary drink.

These levels are above the normal glucose levels but below the level required for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance are also features of insulin resistance syndrome.

If you have been diagnosed with impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, you are at very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Your doctor will recommend measures you can take to bring your glucose level back down and reverse the progression to type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes during Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that some women develop when they are pregnant and that usually goes away on its own after delivery. However, having causes diabetes during pregnancy greatly increases a woman’s probability of developing it in a future pregnancy and of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

If you have had gestational  causes diabetes during pregnancy, your doctor will recommend steps you can take to lower your chances of causes diabetes developing type 2 diabetes in the future. The children of mothers who develop diabetes during pregnancy are also at increased risk of developing causes diabetes or type 2 diabetes at some time in their life.

Diabetes during Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes poses a more immediate threat to the fetus than to the pregnant woman. If gestational diabetes goes undiagnosed, stillbirth and newborn complications are more common than in pregnancies of women who do not develop causes of diabetes during their pregnancy.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is characterized by higher than normal levels of male hormones (androgens) and by the presence of many small cysts on the ovaries that do not go away on their own, as most ovarian cysts do. Most women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are overweight, although normal-weight women can also have the disorder.

Whether thin or overweight, affected women tend to carry most of their weight in the abdominal area, unlike most women, who tend to carry their weight around their thighs and hips.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

When cells are not responding to insulin in a normal way, the pancreas produces larger amounts of insulin to help get sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells. In women who are at risk for polycystic ovarian syndrome, the higher levels of insulin in the blood stimulate the ovaries to produce an excessive amount of testosterone and other male hormones. The increased levels of male hormones cause the syndrome’s characteristic symptoms, including the accumulation of fat around the abdomen.

Women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome typically have irregular menstrual periods and are often infertile because they don’t ovulate. (Ovulation is the cyclical release of an egg from an ovary.) Polycystic ovarian syndrome is usually diagnosed when a woman seeks treatment for infertility.

Lifestyle factors-including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and losing weight-can significantly reduce a woman’s risk for polycystic ovarian syndrome as well as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If you are diagnosed with the polycystic ovarian syndrome, your doctor will refer you to a dietitian or a nutritionist, who can help you develop a structured diet and exercise plan that you can adapt to your daily routine.

REFERENCES

1. Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes – American Diabetes Association
2. How Obesity Causes Diabetes: Not a Tall Tale – Science Magazine
3. Nonsense mutation in the glucokinase gene causes early-onset non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus – Nature
4. Diabetes Mellitus, Fasting Glucose, and Risk – The New England Journal of Medicine
5. Causes of Diabetes – Diabetes.co.uk