Diabetes is a silent killer. It is a chronic condition which affects the way in which body metabolizes sugar. In type 2 diabetes, the body either resists the insulin effects or does not produce enough insulin to regulate the movement of sugar into the cells.
Diabetes can often creep up with symptoms many people unwittingly ignore. According to the American diabetic association (1), about 8 million of total 29 million cases of diabetes in the country remain undiagnosed!
Diabetes Symptoms (Type 2)
Early stage type 2 diabetes symptoms include dry mouth, an increase in the frequency of urination, fatigue, blurry vision, and increased thirst. (2)
It is extremely important to treat and manage this disease as it has been shown to increase the risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and infection (2).
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
It is very important to know about the risk factors (2) to prevent the damage it can cause. While several of these factors are preventable, some are not.
This is the first and the most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes. An increase of fat in the body increases the resistance of the cells to insulin. Being overweight does mean that you are diabetic but it does increase your risk for developing it (2).
2) Family history
If your parents or sibling suffer from diabetes, the chances of you getting the disease increase (2). While genetics are surely important, in recent years, some health experts are suggesting that this might be more because of inherited habits, family habits, and our built environment (4). After all, we can’t change our genes.
3) Fat distribution
If your body has a tendency to store fat in and around the abdomen more than your hips and thighs, you are more at risk of getting type 2 diabetes (2). Learn more about 4 drinks that can help tackle belly fat.
4) Sedentary lifestyle
Being physically active is very important to maintain a normal weight. It also increases glucose intake for energy and makes the cells sensitive to insulin. A person with a sedentary lifestyle and no physical activity is at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (2). Read these tips on how to stay active in spite of having a desk job.
Though the matter remains unclear, people of certain races including African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics, are at a higher genetic risk of developing type 2 diabetes (2).
As you age, the chances of developing type 2 diabetes also increase (2). The reason can be decreased physical activity, weight gain, and loss of muscle mass.
7) Gestational diabetes
Getting diabetes during pregnancy increases a persons chance of suffering from the disease. If you give birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, you are at an increased risk (2).
8) Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
If a female is suffering from PCOS, there are good chances of her suffering from diabetes. Check out this guide to losing weight in spite of PCOS.
This is a condition in which the blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough for you to be classified as a diabetic. Untreated pre-diabetes can often lead to diabetes type2 (2).
These risk factors can help people identify the problem and manage it before it leads to further health issues.
Treating Diabetes Type 2
There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. However, type 2 diabetes can be reversed and put to a remission stage where the blood glucose levels are normal. Early diagnosis and treatments play a crucial role.
The normal blood sugar level can be achieved by different methods, which range from lifestyle adjustments to medication and injections. The doctors always recommend a change in lifestyle for every patient suffering from diabetes.
First, lifestyle adjustment comes with an implementation in the diet. To achieve weight loss, adopting a lower calorie diet is useful. Most of us are in a habit of consuming easily available high-energy food such as bread, rice, pasta, and other potato-based foods. To aim for a healthy weight, you should concentrate on eating a balanced diet which will help keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Being physically active is important to keep blood sugar levels in their normal range (2). After exercise, the body starts utilizing its stores of glucose by taking up the glucose present in the blood. Along with keeping the sugar levels normal exercises also help keep us in shape.
Keeping blood sugar levels under control naturally
Although diet and being physically active play a crucial role in keeping the sugar levels normal, there are other few natural ways to achieve a normal blood sugar target.
Drinking a good amount of water helps your kidneys in flushing out the extra glucose in your blood. This helps in keeping the sugar level under normal range. Drinking water also contributes to keeping you in good shape.
Control stress levels
Stress leads to a rise in glucagon and cortisol hormones, which increases the blood sugar level. Learn more stress-fighting tactics here.
Improper sleeping habits affect the blood sugar level. It also increases appetite and leads to weight gain. Find out how much sleep you should be getting here.
Herbs and Spices
Certain herbs and spices, such as berberine and cinnamon extract have been used to bring down the sugar levels (3). Apple cider vinegar also helps in lowering the sugar levels. Fenugreek seeds are a great source of soluble fiber and also a good source to reduce the fasting blood sugar (5).
Therapies such as homeopathy and Ayurveda also offer treatment for high blood sugar levels but should be taken under the supervision of the specialists.
The normal blood sugar level can be achieved with a few lifestyle changes and herbal supplements, but never discontinue your medication without consulting a doctor. An uncontrolled blood sugar level can lead to many health issues and emergencies.
- American Diabetes Association. ( 2018, March 22). Statistics About Diabetes. Retrieved 2018, from http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). (2016, November 01). What is Diabetes? Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes
- Semeco, A. (2016, May 3). 15 Easy Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally. Retrieved 2018, from https://www.healthline.com: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-ways-to-lower-blood-sugar#section13
- Ershow, A. G. (2009, July). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769972/
- Bordia, A., Verma, S. K., & Srivastava, K. C. (1997, May). Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9175175
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