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The Bitter Sweet Disease - Diabetes

07 Jul 2015
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DIABETES:- is indeed called the "sweet disease" as it reduces the ability of the body to absorb sugar from the blood. Diabetes is a defect in the body's ability to convert glucose (sugar) to energy. When one has diabetes, the body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. This is why many people refer to diabetes as "sugar."


There are 2 types of Diabetes:

TYPE 1 DIABETES 
TYPE 2 DIABETES

TYPE 1 DIABETES:

  • Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults.
  • Only 5-7% of people with diabetes have type-1 diabetes.


TYPE 2 DIABETES:

  • Type 2 Diabetes is conventionally traced in adults only and it is a very common form of diabetes. 
  • This type of diabetes is not necessarily insulin dependent.
  • A person suffering from type 2 diabetes faces constraints in utilizing insulin properly, which is termed as insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time the body is not able to keep up and cannot make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
  • Majority of patients can suppress the diabetes symptoms with proper weight loss and by adhering to the nutritional needs for diabetes, this disease can be tamed.

 

ACCEPTABLE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS IN DIABETES:

TYPE OF TEST

NORMAL BLOOD

GLUCOSE LEVEL

ACCEPTABLE 

BLOOD GLUCOSE

 LEVEL

Before Meal 80-100 mg/dl Till 120 mg/dl
Two hours after the meal Less than 140 mg/dl Less than 140 mg/dl
At Bedtime Around 100 mg/dl Around 150 mg/dl
HB1AC 5- 5.9 Normal
6- 6.5 Pre-Diabetes
6.5- Above Indicates diabetes

 

WARNING SIGNS OF DIABETES:

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination is a basic symptom of Diabetes.

If blood glucose levels become too high, the body will try to manage the situation by removing glucose from the blood through the kidneys. In this process, the kidneys will also filter out more water and you will need to urinate more than usual as a result.

Excessive Thirst

This is another common symptom of Diabetes. 

If one feels thirsty all the time or their thirst is stronger than usual and continues even after they drink, it can be a sign of this symptom.

Diabetes and Sudden Weight Loss:

In a diabetic patient, the body burns fat and muscle for energy, thus, alleviating overall body weight. Sudden weight loss is often noticed in diabetic patients prior to a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes but this sign of diabetes can be witnessed in type 2 diabetes also.

Increased Fatigue:

If insulin is not acting properly in a body or is completely absent, then, glucose will be unable to enter cells and induce energy. This burdens the body with tiredness and listlessness.

Blurred Vision:

High levels of blood sugar resulting from diabetes can affect your ability to see by causing the lens inside the eye to swell, which can result in temporary blurring of eyesight.

If the blood sugar levels are fluctuating over time, one may notice that the vision improves and worsens for periods of time.

 

COMPLICATIONS OF DIABETES:

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing a number of serious health problems.

Cardiovascular Disease: It is most common  & affects the heart and blood vessels and may cause complications such as heart attack and stroke.

Kidney Disease: It is caused by damage to small blood vessels in the kidneys leading to the kidneys becoming less efficient or to fail altogether.

Nerve Disease: Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves throughout the body when blood glucose and blood pressure is too high. This can lead to problems with digestion, erectile dysfunction, and many other functions.

Eye Disease: Most people with diabetes will develop some form of eye disease (retinopathy) causing reduced vision or blindness. Consistently high levels of blood glucose, together with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are the main causes of retinopathy.

Pregnancy Complications: Women with any type of diabetes during pregnancy risk a number of complications if they do not carefully monitor and manage their condition.

 

NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

Carbohydrate & Dietary Fiber:

Carbohydrate restriction impairs insulin sensitivity and it is reversed by high carbohydrate diet.

There should be about 55% of the total energy intake of which about 20% should be simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates should fulfil the remaining carbohydrates requirement.

Foods containing carbohydrate from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk should be included in a healthy diet.

Dietary Fiber may be enhanced to intake of 25-30gm per day.

1)Dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates benefit type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Such diets lower insulin requirement.

2) Increases peripheral tissue insulin sensitivity.

3)Decreases serum cholesterol and triglyceride values 

4)Aids in weight control

5)Lowers B.P.

Diet high in carbohydrates and fibers improve glucose metabolism without increasing insulin secretion. High Fiber diets promote weight loss.

 

Protein:

A diet high in protein is good for the health of diabetics because protein does not raise blood sugar during absorption, like carbohydrates and it does contain many calories as fats.

One gram of protein per kilogram body weight is adequate but more may be given and the number of fats and carbohydrates proportionately reduced.

Protein also promotes satiety and helps both types of diabetic patients to adhere to the carbohydrate allowance

Fat:

The low-fat diet increases insulin binding and also reduces the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and reduces the incidence of Heart Disorders which is more common in diabetics.

Fat content in the diet should be 15-25% of total calories and higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Glycemic Index:

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

 

DIABETICS SHOULD PREFER LOW GLYCEMIC FOODS, HERE IS A LIST OF FEW COMMONLY USED FOODS:

FOOD
GROUPS
HIGH GI
(70-100)
MEDIUM
GI (55-70)
HIGH GI
(70-100)
Cereals Bulgar Wheat Rolled Oats White Rice
- Semolina Brown Rice White Bread
- Sweet Potato Couscous Mashed Potato
Pulses Chana Dal Urad (black beans) -
- Lentils (red, green) Whole Moong -
Dairy Foods Milk & Milk Products Ice Cream -
- Soy Milk - -
- Yogurt (unsweetened) - -
Fruits Apple Pineapple Watermelon
- Pear Papaya Fruit Juice (concentrated)
- Cherries Banana -
- Cherries Banana -
Vegetables Cabbage Green Peas Pumpkin
- Bell Peppers Frozen Beans Beetroot
- Onion Yam Carrot
Nuts & Dried Fruits Walnuts Raisins Dates
- Dried Apricots - -
- Peanut - -
Sugars Fructose Honey Maltose
- - Sucrose Glucose

 

DIETARY AND LIFESTYLE GUIDELINES FOR DIABETES:

  • Eat Carbohydrates such as those present in wheat, jowar, bajra, ragi etc. instead of sugars like sucrose, glucose and fructose present in table sugar, honey fruit juice, etc.
  • Use whole pulses like chana, rajma, soybean instead of split pulses or their dals.
  • Green leafy vegetables and all types of raw vegetables such as cucumber, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, onion and tomato can be eaten in plenty to fill the stomach.
  • Use such cooking methods which require minimum amounts of fat. So one should eat boiled, steamed and grilled food instead of fried food. Using a non-stick pan reduces the fat consumption.
  • Stress promotes disease status in the body. You can control stress by using relaxation techniques like meditation, pranayama, yoga and by listening to music or taking a short holiday.
  • If you have diabetes, practice caution when consuming alcohol. Do not drink on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose is low. If you choose to drink, follow the guidelines above and have it with food.

 

TABLE SUGAR VS ARTIFICIAL SUGAR:

TABLE SUGAR ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER
Sugar is a source of carbohydrate and energy. All artificial sweeteners are chemically processed.
It provides 4 calories per gram or 16  calories in a level teaspoon (4g). Sweeteners affect the body's ability to gauge how many calories are being consumed.
Sugars in moderation can be a part of a healthy balanced diet. 1 tsp per day is an ideal amount for a diabetic. Diabetics must count these starch-based sweeteners as part of their carbohydrate limits since insulin is required for their metabolism.

 

Hence, the key to keeping your blood glucose levels on target is to substitute small portions of sugar and sweeteners for other carb-containing foods in your meals and snacks. Moderation is the key to sugar substitutes. Get informed and look beyond the hype.

Sugar/Honey/Jaggery/Brown sugar which 1 is better?

Sugar, honey, jaggery and brown sugar all are similar where the calorie content is concerned.

Jaggery does have a little iron and minerals making it a healthier alternative.

However honey & jaggery both might be synthetic. Hence it's better to stick to normal sugar.

Hence to end on a funny note,

"EAT LESS SUGAR YOU ARE SWEET ALREADY"


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