Diabetes mellitus, often referred to simply as diabetes, is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin.
Types of Diabetes:
*Type I Diabetes: It is a condition where patients do not produce their own Insulin, which is required for uptake and processing of sugar by body cells. Here the patient has no option but to take Insulin shots daily.
*Type II Diabetes: Also known as Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus(NIDDM).Here the cells in the body become resistant to action of Insulin, also Pancreas produces too little Insulin. This type of Diabetes usually occurs in adults at age 40 or older.
Signs of Diabetes:
*You are often thirsty
*You pass urine frequently
*You suddenly start losing weight
*You do not have enough energy.
*You cannot see well.
*You are more prone to infections
*Your cuts and bruises heal slowly
*You feel tingling or numbness in your hands of feet
Long term complications of Diabetes:
*Heart Disease: The arteries become blocked and narrow. This can lead to High Blood Pressure, strokes, heart attacks and poor blood circulation.
*Retinopathy :It is damage to retina of eye.
*Neuropathy: It is the damage to nerves producing weakness, numbness and burning particularly in feet and hands.
*Nephropathy: It is damage to Kidney.
*Type I Diabetes can cause a potentially fatal condition called as Diabetic Ketoacidosis which can lead to “Diabetic coma”.
Tests for Diabetes: A fasting Blood sugar in excess of 126 mg per cent or post prandial (after meal) sugar of more than 200 mg per cent indicates presence of Diabetes. A person suffering from Diabetes must also carry out these tests to rule out other complications:HbA1c(Glucose memory test),Lipid Profile, Cardiac Risk Markers, Liver Profile, Renal profile.
Managing Diabetes: *Eat more of complex carbohydrates like cereals(wheat, jowar, bajra),high fibre (vegetables) and avoid refined sugars and fat.
*Exercise, like simple walking daily is a must.
*Take your medicines regularly.
*Tobacco, in any form and alcohol must be avoided.
*Skin and foot care is very important.
*Regular checking of Blood Sugar level is must.
*Visit your family doctor regularly to avoid long term complications.
*Carry an identity card that you are Diabetic every time.
Food for Diabetics:
*Totally avoid sugar, glucose, jaggery, honey, all sweets, ice creams, chocolates, alcohol,soft drinks.
*Restrict use of rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mangoes, fried food, biscuits, puris, parathas, ghee, mayonnaise, butter and other milk products.
*Consume more of whole grains and cereals like wheat, jowar, bajra, oats and also dals, sprouted legumes and curd.
*Also consume a lot of vegetables like cabbage, green peas, carrot, lady’s finger, cucumber, radish, bitter gourd, lemon, tomatoes and other green leafy vegetables and fruits like jamun(rose apple) apple, watermelon, figs and pomegranate, besides clear soups, buttermilk, salads, lime water without sugar and salt.
*Cook your meals by methods like boiling, grilling, baking rather than frying.
*Non vegetarians should consume low fat foods like egg white and lean portions of chicken and fish over egg yolk and red meat. Avoid gravies cooked with coconut and groundnut.
*Have 4-5 small meals in a day, giving lot of importance to a very healthy breakfast. Diabetes and exercise: *Exercise helps in stabilizing and controlling blood sugar level.
*Exercise also strengthens your heart and helps in lowering blood pressure, triglyceride level and increases HDL(good cholesterol).
*Remember that you should only stick to low impact exercises like walking, cycling, swimming, Yoga, etc. Start your exercise program only after consultation with Doctor.
Medicines used in treatment of Diabetes:
*Modern Medicines: For type II Diabetes, Sulphonyl urea like Glibenclamide,Glimepiride,Gliclazide,Chlorpropramide,Glipizide,etc,Biguanide like Metformin, Phenformin, Thiazolidinedione like Pioglitazone, Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitor like Acarbose. When Monotherapy fails, combination of Sulphonyl Urea and Biguanide, Biguanide and Thiazolidinedione, Sulphonyl Urea and Thiazolidinedione may be used.
For Type I Diabetes daily Insulin Injection has to be taken.
*Ayurveda: Ayurvedic Medicines for Diabetes are Vasant Kusumakar Ras, Chandraprabha vati, Arogyavardhini, Shilajit Vati, Gokhshuradi Guggul, Asanad tablets, Trivanga Bhasma,etc.
*Homeopathy: Medicines like Uranium Nitrate, Bryonia, Baryta Carbonica, Plumbum, etc are used.
*Herbal Therapy: Herbs like Salacia oblonga,Gudmar, Turmeric, Neem leaves, Tulsi(Holy Basil) leaves, Amla(Indian Gooseberry),Guggul, Arjuna, Fenugreek seeds, Bilva, Bitter Gourd, Triphala, Gokshura, Vidanga, Asan, Jamun(Rose Apple) and its seeds, Cinnamon, Wheatgrass powder, etc are used.
*Yoga:Yogasanas like Sarvangasana and Pachimothasana, Halasana, Shirsasana, etc have proved beneficial.
*Pranayama(Yogic Breathing Techniques):Kapalbhati Pranayam and Anulom-Vinolom Pranayama has proved to be beneficial in controlling Blood Sugar.
*Other Alternative Therapies: Accupuncture, Magneto-Therapy has also shown some promise in controlling Blood Sugar. Research is going on in use of Stem Cells for treating Diabetes. If it succeeds then there will be a permanent cure for this dreadful disease. Vitamins, Minerals And Other Supplements for Diabetics:
*Methylcobalamin, Alpha lipoic acid, Inositol, Benfotiamine, Pyridoxine have shown to retard progression of Diabetes related complications.
*Homocysteine lowering Vitamins like B Vitamins, Folic acid, Antioxidants like Vitamin A, C, E, Selenium, Carotenoids, Flavanoids also help.
*Chromium Picolinate, an essential trace metal micronutrient must be taken regularly.
CAUTION: These medicines and supplements must only be taken only under supervision of qualified physician.