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Diabetes


Diabetes is an extremely frequent, and probably among the most familiar of disorders. It is a metabolic disorder in which there is an increase in the level of blood glucose and/or an excessive excretion of glucose in the urine. It is caused by a decreased or deficient supply of Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas whose main role is to keep tabs on the levels of glucose in the blood.

Diabetes can be of two types: Type I and Type II. Type I diabetes, also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes, is caused by the shortage of insulin. Type II diabetes, also known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes, is caused by the body's inability to process insulin. Juvenile Diabetes is a Type 1 Diabetes which would be present in some persons since birth. The intensity of diabetes is known by measuring the glucose levels in blood and/or urine. Normal glucose levels, when checked before meals (Fasting Blood Sugar – FBS), ranges from 80-110, while for a post-meals check-up (Random Blood Sugar – RBS), the normal level is up to 140. Diabetes is mostly a hereditary disease. It can also be caused or predisposed to obesity, pregnancy (temporary), severe illness, severe infection with a virus (e.g. mumps) and dietary factors.

Symptoms
Diabetes can turn out to be fatal if discovered late, as it affects the entire system and causes damage wherever it affects. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels of the eyes, kidneys, as well as the heart, where it can cause hypertension and heart attack. In arteries, it causes fat deposition which reduces blood supply to distant parts of the body. When an injury happens, it can cause infections which may lead to further complications like gangrene. Therefore, it is always better to look for early symptoms. One easily noticeable symptom is the increase in the frequency of passing urine, especially during the night when a person has to get up 5-6 times to urinate. This also shows up in having increased thirst and a dry mouth. Diabetes can cause weight loss, irritability, and fatigue, blurring of vision, headaches, frequent infections, and non-healing of wounds. It can also cause impotency among men and frequent vaginal infection among women.

Do and Don’ts
Following your doctor’s advice and having regular follow-ups are important to treat diabetes.
You should not take matters into your own hands and stop or alter medication on your own.
A healthy diet is the most important thing when it comes to diabetes. Avoid taking sugar/and things which have an increased sugar content, like chocolates, pastries, jam, sweets and also tea, coffee, and cocoa. It is important to avoid a high-calorie diet, replete with oily or buttered food, and embark on a low calorie, low-fat diet with plenty of salads and juices like Karela (Bitter gourd) juice. It is better to avoid or reduce the intake of vegetables which grow underground, like potatoes and onions. Fruits like Chikoo, mango, and banana should also be avoided and in any case, you should not have a whole fruit at a time but have a single slice in a day. Eating fruits thus is beneficial to the body. It is better to be off with your drinking and smoking habits. Maintaining your optimum weight reduces chances of getting Diabetes. Therefore, one should exercise regularly and walk at least for 45 minutes daily. But also avoid taking appetite suppressants or fish oil to control your weight. They increase blood sugar levels. If you take medicines for diabetes, take a packet of biscuits with you while going out, just in case your blood sugar level drops radically and lead to complications. If you feel giddy then have 1 or 2 biscuits to balance the blood sugar level. Take extra care of your foot. In case of any bruises, cuts, or swelling blisters, see your doctor immediately as these wounds can possibly turn into infections. Cut toenails regularly and do not walk barefooted. Always wear a well-padded footwear to protect your feet.

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