HEART DISEASES, TYPE 2 DIABETES, HYPERTENSION, OBESITY; ALL OF THESE ARE PART OF A RELATIVELY NEW-FANGLED CATEGORY OF DISEASES – LIFESTYLE DISEASES. AUSTRIAN PSYCHOLOGIST ALFRED ADLER INTRODUCED THE WORD ‘LIFESTYLE’ BACK IN 1929 TO DESCRIBE THE CHANGING SOCIAL-ECONOMIC HABITS OF A RAPIDLY DEVELOPING MODERN BOURGEOISIE. THE ATTRIBUTES OF THIS LIFESTYLE LED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEWER CLASS OF DISEASES THAT WASN’T PREVALENT AMONG OUR ANCESTORS. THESE DISEASES ARE A DIRECT RESULT OF POOR DIETARY AND OTHER LIFESTYLE CHOICES AND HENCE THE NAME.
In a frenetic age that, unfortunately, rewards the “busy” individual who consigns personal health to coffee table conversations, it is no wonder really that such diseases have taken center-stage. “Convenience foods” that people can eat while on the go are packed with appetite suppressing stuff and yet contain negligible amounts of nutrition. Such diets have led to the prevalence of diabetes with close to 9% of the worldwide adult population affected by this disease as of last year. 1
WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a term used to define a group of disorders, characterized by consistently elevated blood sugar levels.
There are two types of chronic diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is usually prevalent in children and teenagers, while type 2 diabetes is the most prevailing diabetes type in adults and is the major class of diabetes affecting 90-95% of diabetics around the world.
Blood sugar levels are maintained by the hormone insulin, secreted by the pancreas. In any type of diabetes, the glucose levels in the blood are high either due to inadequate insulin production or improper functioning of the insulin produced.
WHAT CAUSES DIABETES?
Although the exact causes of diabetes are still poorly understood, certain risk factors that lead up to diabetes have been outlined. While both types of diabetes are attributed to the combined effects of genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and poor lifestyle choices, type 1 diabetes is predominantly due to autoimmune responses leading to inadequate insulin production, while type 2 diabetes is due to the body not responding to the insulin produced. The majority of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
Risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes comprise of negligible physical activity leading to obesity, hypertension, irregular blood cholesterol levels, stress, age, race, family history, PCOS, and an episode of gestational diabetes in women.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES?
Depending on the level of sugar in the blood, any of the below-mentioned symptoms may appear at a time. These are not unique to diabetes, but consist of frequent urination, thirst, increased hunger, blurred vision, weight loss, fatigue, slow healing of wounds and sores, and presence of ketones in the urine.
WHAT ARE FASTING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS?
Fasting blood sugar denotes sugar levels in blood early in the morning after around 8 hours since the last meal. Fasting blood sugar level test is a part of the 2- step traditional blood sugar test. These levels provide important indications of sugar metabolism in our body. Blood sugar levels are the highest after an hour of eating. Insulin, produced by the pancreas, lowers these levels and keeps them in the normal range. In the case of diabetics, sugar levels remain elevated. Fasting blood sugar levels depend on three factors – constituents of a recent meal, the amount of food consumed, and how well the body produces and responds to insulin.
Fasting blood sugar test, known as fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test, is carried out early in the morning, before eating or drinking anything. Ideally, before this test, the patient is advised to finish their dinner 8 hours the day earlier. Blood is drawn and analyzed for sugar levels. This is usually followed by another blood withdrawal two hours after lunch and both the values are compared to assess the sugar level management by the body.
FPG test is the method of choice among doctors as it is convenient, easy, inexpensive, and consume less time than the other options.
Along with these traditional sugar level determination tests, blood sugar monitors have been a household commodity for quite some time now. These come in handy for intermittent sugar level tests and do not require larger volumes of blood to be withdrawn. The kit contents and a drop of blood are all it takes for this test.
Test interpretation: As mentioned before, blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day, depending on the diet and one’s pancreas. Certain ranges of values have been established for interpretation of the blood sugar tests.
Fasting: 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for diabetic people; 70 to 100 mg/dl for non- diabetic people. Postprandial (PP): below 180 mg/dl for diabetic people and below 140 mg/dl for non-diabetic people. The fasting and PP blood tests should also be accompanied by the HbA1c test, done every 3 months to get a clearer picture of diabetes management.
DIABETES DIET: A MANAGEMENT PLAN
Apart from taking medicines, diabetes management involves home remedies, one of which is the change in the diet. Keeping the fasting sugar in check means keeping the overall sugar levels under control.
Before jumping into making diet plans, it is best to consult your physician and a dietician and then chalk out a diet plan. Commonly, a diabetes diet should be rich in fiber, good fats, proteins, whole-grain foods, and non- starchy vegetables, spread over the three meals. Diabetic people should also limit alcohol consumption, smoking, and sodium intake. Eating meals regularly at that specific time is of utmost importance.
Besides diet, Setu’s rescue supplements can also be added to the daily routine. Setu provides two options, one for prediabetic individuals and the second for those who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Setu’s Sugar Shield is the perfect blend of substances derived from natural sources that control and help reduce high blood sugar levels and thus cease the prediabetic condition from progressing. For people with type 2 diabetes, their second product, Sugar Soldier contains active ingredients from natural resources, that support normal insulin response and secretion. Both these products attack the problem at its root and are contributing elements in combating prediabetic and diabetic conditions.
Diabetes, when ignored causes detrimental and at times life-threatening complications that gradually take over the body. Foot, eye, kidney and nerve damage, heart diseases, skin conditions, and even Alzheimer’s disease are a result of diabetes.
Lifestyle changes, diet changes, adequate physical exercise, and the best supplements to boost health and metabolism are sure to keep diabetic conditions at bay. As the age-old saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.