Diabetes: Why Does It Happen And How To Prevent It

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Every 6 in 100 people are suffering from diabetes. And about 2 of these 6 don’t even know that they’re suffering from this disease! Just imagine that you’re sitting amidst a group of friends and everyone’s eating your once favourite sweet. And you can’t do anything but look at their faces indulged in enjoying that epic taste. Well, for a foodie like me, this is the worst thing that could ever happen. Yes, you can have those artificial sweeteners at work, but still, they can’t replace the original sugar, can they?

Every food that we eat is composed of three major components – proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Our concern here are the carbohydrates. In our stomach, all that carbohydrate is broken down into simple sugars like glucose and fructose (because basically carbohydrates are just big sequences of these kinds of molecules). Why are they broken down? Because they’re the ultimate sources of energy in our body. So, from the stomach they’re transported to the cells where they could be used to do some real time job.

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Okay, now the sugars have reached the cells. But how would they enter into the cell? Pancreas comes into the picture here. Pancreas makes a hormone called insulin which acts as a key to open the door of the cells to let them enter the simple sugars. In the cells, these sugars are burnt into carbon dioxide and water producing a lot of energy. In a healthy body, this system works fine. The pancreas works fine, insulin works fine and its level in the blood also works pretty fine. More the amount of carbohydrate you intake, more is this sugar in your blood stream, more will be the amount of insulin released and in this way, the blood sugar level remains under the limits.

Now, for a person with diabetes, there happens either of these two complications:

Either the amount of insulin produced is insufficient with respect to the amount of sugar in the blood,

Or, the insulin produced by the pancreas couldn’t make the sugars enter the cell. The cell simply doesn’t recognize the insulin.

In both of the cases, the ultimate result is the accumulation of a large number of simple sugar molecules in the blood stream. Now here is where the problems start. As the sugar can’t enter into the cells, the cells don’t get enough fuel to cope up the needs of the body. The patient starts feeling tired and fatigued all the time, lacking energy. To reduce the concentration of the blood sugar, the body may even start to pull out all that from the cells (osmosis), the cells start to shrink and you start to feel thirsty like hell. There are certain organs in our body which constantly deal with the blood – be it the kidneys, the heart, the nerves, the liver or the eyes. High blood sugar level may cause them to dysfunction. You can even become blind! Heart attack, strokes and kidney failures are other such complications. Yeah buddy, that’s why we call diabetes the root of many diseases.

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Now, let us see the types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesn’t produce insulin at all. About 10% of all the diabetes cases are diagnosed to be type 1. There’s no permanent cure to this type of diabetes. The patient must take insulin injections throughout the life. He should also keep checking the blood sugar level at regular intervals. And yeah, diabetes is not necessarily an illness of elder people. Even kids could get diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells stop responding to the insulin in the body. 90% cases are such cases. Fortunately, many people could control this type of diabetes just by controlling their body-weight by any means – exercises, yoga, diet control etc. If you’re overweight, your chances of contracting diabetes is higher than those of the regular weighted people. The body of overweight people releases some chemicals which reduce the overall metabolic rate of the body.

There goes a famous quote:

“Prevention is better than cure.”

Let us see what precaution measures and preventions we could take to avoid this widely spreading disease:

  • Eat healthy diet. Reduce the amount of high carbohydrate diets at a single go. Limit the high sugar foods like chocolates, cakes, soda, pies and candies. Most of the diseases are caused just by unhealthy food-cycle. You become what you eat. Eat fats and you’ll be fatty. Eat meat and exercise and you’ll be meaty and muscular. A regular diet should include the balanced amounts of macro as well as micronutrients, green vegetables, fruits, milk, eggs etc. Avoid junk and fast foods as much as you can.
  • Exercise. You’re allowed to stuff all those junkies if you commit to do at least an hour or so of physical exercises. Eat what you want and burn them all in the gym. See, it’s a two in one offer. You get health as well as you get a good physique. Physical activities make your cells more receptive to the insulin.
  • Yoga. You can browse through YouTube to get the how-to instructions upon the kapalbhati and anulom-vilom pranayama. Both are very effective against diabetes – tried and tested!

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