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Diabetes is a disease which results from an absolute or relative deficiency of a hormone called INSULIN in body, which regulates blood sugar levels and also has many other positive effects in body. Insulin also plays key role in energy regulation, protein metabolism and body weight maintenance. As a result not only there is high level of circulating sugar in blood but also the person becomes prone to develop a number of complications related to diabetes.
There are studies which have shown that excess consumption of carbohydrates is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes. Whatever we eat as food is directly or indirectly converted into glucose in the body, which is the utilized by the body cells for producing energy under the effect of Insulin. In normal state, whatever sweets are eaten, they are converted into glucose and thereby utilized for energy production with the help of insulin. So the blood glucose levels do not rise. However, excessive consumption of calories, in excess to that can be handled by body metabolic processes, leads to development of insulin resistance and increased demand for insulin. This coupled with decreased insulin production leads to insulin deficiency and as a result glucose load can not be utilized and circulates in blood causing high blood sugar levels.
There are three cornerstones of diabetes management – lifestyle modifications which include diet regulation and regular exercise, anti-diabetic medications and regular monitoring of blood glucose levels. Lifestyle modifications are very useful and smoking cessation, losing extra weight in obese individuals, cutting alcohol intake and stress management are very helpful in long-term control of diabetes and prevention of complications.
Yes. There is a definitely higher risk of having high blood pressure and heart attack in diabetics and these patients have 2 to 3 times higher risk of having these problems as compared to normal population. Also, these patients have higher risk of having silent heart attacks, more severe heart attacks, more number of blocks in their coronary arteries and higher risk of death as compared to their non diabetic counterparts.
Diabetes is not curable, but it is definitely controllable. And if a patient is well controlled , not only he can lead a near normal life but also one can prevent and postpone the occurrence of associated disease conditions and complications of diabetes.
Reversal to diabetes technically means reversal from a stage of “high blood glucose levels(diabetes)” to “normal blood glucose levels”. Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with intensive life style interventions if initiated early in the course of disease. Studies have shown that if intensive lifestyle interventions in patients with diabetes duration less than five to six years can result in “reversal of diabetes” especially in overweight and obese type 2 diabetes patients. However, this may revert to diabetes with weight gain, or even without weight gain in due course of time. However, diabetes reversal must be attempted in all type 2 diabetes patients with early diabetes as it can help improving glucose control as well as reducing the risk of complications.
Yes. However, rice contains high amounts of refined carbohydrates and high glycemic index, so it can raise the blood glucose rapidly. Preferably, rice should be taken in boiled form after draining out starch, and along with vegetables (rich sources of fiber). Now low GI(glycemic index) rice is also available and be preferred over regular rice.
Lifestyle interventions including diet regulation and exercise, anti diabetic medicines and regular blood glucose monitoring are three cornerstones of diabetes management and are equally important. It’s a tripod like situation – you can’t balance it with any two legs.
Exercise plays a crucial role in the management of diabetes.
Regular exercise helps in managing diabetes in the following ways:
*Helps in normalising blood glucose levels
*Helps to improve blood lipids levels by lowering bad cholesterols( triglycerides, LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL). In fact exercise is an important measure for increasing HDL levels.
*Helps to reduce blood pressure
*Helps to reduce stress, improve physical fitness and psychological well being
*Helps to reduce weight
*Reduces the risk of coronary heart disease
Always follow an exercise plan made in consultation with your doctor.
Exercise is the most important and possibly least stressed component of management for all diabetics . A regular brisk walk for 45 – 60 mins / 4 - 5 kms on daily basis, or at least on 5 days every week usually suffices for all diabetic patients. Any exercise plan involving more strenuous exercise should be taken up only in consultation with the treating diabetes specialist and only after necessary investigations.