Understanding Diabetes And Ways To Keep Sugar Levels In Check

Understanding Diabetes And Ways To Keep Sugar Levels In Check

What is Diabetes?

In simple terms, diabetes is a metabolic disease that occurs when your blood sugar levels are elevated for a longer period of time and the insulin in your body cannot control it on its own. 
Diabetes if uncontrolled for a long duration can manifest chronic health issues like heart attack, kidney disease, vision loss, dementia, etc


Types of diabetes:

There are majorly three types of diabetes which are

  • Type 1 Diabetes: It is also called juvenile diabetes. Individuals suffering from this cannot produce enough insulin by their pancreas so they need to be on insulin shot each day with the prescribed dosage by the physicians.  
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body's cells cannot utilize the insulin. Type 2 diabetes has become more common due to the increased trend of consuming junk food consisting of refined flour, cheese, and fatty foods. 
  • Gestational diabetes: When a woman has uncontrolled blood sugar levels during her pregnancy it is called gestational diabetes.  

Risk factors for Type-2 diabetes

The actual reason for diabetes is not known till now. However, scientists found some of the risk factors concerned with diabetes. 

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Family history
  • Physical inactivity
  • Fat distribution 
  • Stress 

How do I know if I am diabetic? 

Symptoms of diabetes:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Frequent infections
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred visions
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and around the neck

What is HbA1c test?

If you suffer from the above symptoms but still want to be sure. However, there is a test that informs you, the average amount of your blood sugar from the past 3 months. 

  1. Normal range: >5.7%
  2. Pre-diabetic range: 5.7-6.4%
  3. Diabetic range: <6.4 %

If your HbA1c test result falls in the category of 5.7-6.4%., it means you are pre-diabetic. Chances are you can save yourself from diabetes. 

And if the test result is above 6.4% it means you are diagnosed with diabetes. 

Managing blood sugar levels 

According to research, it is estimated that nearly 77 million Indians are suffering from type 2 diabetes and nearly 25 million people are pre-diabetic. 

It is important to be aware of the fact of how much blood sugar range is normal and aware of how your body is controlling food. 

Checking your blood sugar levels is important to manage your blood sugar levels. 

The normal ranges of blood sugar levels for 

Fasting (without having food/at least 8-10 hours of fasting: 70 mg/dL-110 mg/dL

Post-prandial(which is 2 hours after you start your food): 110 mg/dL-140 mg/dL 

Diet becomes essential to manage blood sugar levels Below is the list: 

Foods to include

  1. Have a high-protein diet: Insulin is a hormone derived from protein. Having a high protein diet and carbohydrate in a lesser quantity compared to protein can keep your blood sugar levels in control.Including pulses, lentils, soya, paneer, and for non-vegetarians eggs, meat, fish, chicken, etc 
  2. Including high fiber: Fiber has numerous health benefits varying from controlling our blood sugar levels, and blood cholesterol to keeping us in a good mood. High-fiber food includes salads, oats, green leafy vegetables, millets, whole grains, etc. Including methi seeds or fenugreek seeds in your diet can help. If you don’t like the bitter taste of it or feel nauseatic after having methi seeds, you can grab BodyFirst Fenugreek Fibre. A health supplement, naturally made from fenugreek seeds with added natural sugar-free orange flavor. 
  3. Consuming less fats: It’s a trend to have fried foods, foods high in fats and we all do love it but it also has a serious consequence on our health. Fats when excess presence in our body gets deposited in our arteries lead to blockage.  As a result, individuals suffer from heart attacks and heart disease. Consuming at least 4 teaspoons of oil in a day is recommended. 
  4. Including good fats: Good fats lower bad fats in our body and promote good health. Foods which contain good fats are nuts like almonds, walnuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.  You can also include BodyFirst Fish Oil to meet the requirements of good fats. 

Foods to avoid

  1. In cereals food items that are high in carbohydrates like sago, refined flour, white bread, biscuits, cakes made of refined flour.
  2. Fruits which have the tendency to shoot up your blood sugar levels/ have high glycemic index like banana, pineapple, watermelon, chikoo, grapes, jackfruit, strawberries, mango.
  3. Vegetables that are starchy in nature like potato, sweet potato.
  4. Fried foods like fritters, cutlets, samosa, vadapav, chips, etc
  5. Juices that contain fresh as well as canned juices, coconut water, sugarcane juice.
  6. Sugar, jaggery, honey which tends to increase blood sugar levels.

Tips to control sugar levels

  • Stress management: A person can experience high levels of blood sugar even when he/she follows a good diet and exercise. When stress levels increases, the production of glucose from the liver rises up, decreasing insulin levels. However, one can get relief from stress and anxiety by consuming BodyFirst KSM 66 Ashwagandha.
  • Have small frequent meals:  Huge meals at once impacts your digestive system in a negative way whereas having small frequent meals can maintain the blood sugar levels and energy levels simultaneously.
  • Exercise: Exercise can improve blood sugar levels by increasing the rate of metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity improving blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol: If you are diabetic and smoking, when nicotine enters the body, it changes the cells and builds insulin resistance as a result increases blood sugar levels. 

While drinking alcohol, you also tend to eat a lot of junk food along with it.

Alcohol has mixed reactions on your sugar levels if you are a diabetic. When you consume it at a moderate level, your blood sugar rises whereas excessive consumption can cause your sugar levels to drop below normal levels. 

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