There are various types of diabetes that result from varying factors. The condition is among the life-threatening diseases. However, there are a lot of ways to live with this condition without having to worry. In this article, we will discuss most of the things you need to know about diabetes.
What is a Diabetic Coma?
This is a condition that is associated with diabetes, and it is life-threatening. An individual suffering from a diabetic coma falls unconscious and does not wake up until they get medication.
Usually, one cannot respond to the surroundings because they suffer from low blood sugar or high blood glucose. If one suffers a diabetic coma, the doctor must attend to them immediately. It is common in people with type 1 diabetes.
How Does Diabetes Affect the Body?
It is easy to manage diabetes in its early stages. However, if left untreated, it leads to complications that include nerve damage, heart disease, kidney damage, and stroke.
In normal circumstances, after eating or drinking, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which is used to pull the sugar from the bloodstream to the body cells.
However, if one has diabetes, it means that the pancreas production of insulin is impaired somehow. It might be the insulin produced is little or none is made.
As a result, glucose in the blood increases, and the cells are deprived of the needed energy. This leads to many other problems that affect almost every part of the body system.
How to Avoid Gestational Diabetes?
This is a temporary type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It means that the blood sugar level during pregnancy is higher than usual. There are various things one can do to avoid gestational diabetes.
The first thing is to ensure that you stay healthy as you go into pregnancy. Moreover, you can do exercises, go for routine care appointments, and eat healthy food during the pregnancy period.
How to Take Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body losing the ability to make or respond to insulin. For the treatment, a change in lifestyle and medication is recommended. Doctors usually add insulin to keep the blood sugar level in check.
You might be wondering how they should take insulin. Well, there are various ways to take insulin, and they include using;
- a needle and syringe
- an insulin pen
- a jet injection
- insulin pumps
- Inhaled insulin
- Injection port
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What is Not Diabetes?
Diabetes is not a disability, neither is it contagious. According to scientists, this disease develops inside the body of individuals with genes for it, but it is certainly not contagious.
Nevertheless, it is a chronic condition with a long-lasting impact on the general health of the body. It affects how the body converts food into energy.
If you are wondering if diabetes is curable, unfortunately, it has no cure, but it is a manageable condition. A general change in the lifestyle is usually recommended. If one is obese, it is important to lose weight because obesity is among its risk factors.
Eating healthy foods and doing physical exercise can also help manage diabetes. Individuals with diabetes are put under medication to manage the condition.
It is therefore essential to ensure that one takes the correct dosage as directed by the physician. All these will help manage the condition and reduce the impacts of this disease in life.
What Are the Causes of Diabetes?
Having diabetes means that the body is not using the glucose you get from the food you consume. There are different types of diabetes, and each has a different cause, but regardless, all still share the same problem: having too much glucose in the blood.
There are also risk factors that make an individual susceptible to diabetes, including family history, stress, obesity, an injury in the pancreas, autoantibodies, and exposure to other diseases caused by viruses.
Can Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, diabetes causes hair loss. This is because individuals with diabetes are susceptible to a condition known as alopecia areata, a condition that attacks the hair follicle immune system.
As a result, one may lose hair in the head and some other parts of the body. Hair loss can also be a side effect of diabetes, especially when living with this chronic disease.
Can Diabetes Cause Headaches
Diabetes does not commonly cause headaches. However, secondary headaches are associated with diabetes. Headaches caused by diabetes can at times be moderate or severe.
They occur frequently and are an indication that the blood glucose is either too low or too high. Having the blood sugar under control can help relieve the headache pain.
Can Stress Cause Diabetes
Stress is a way your body responds to new and challenging situations. Stress can contribute to diabetes and can also be a consequence of diabetes.
This is because stress can affect how hormones work, including the insulin hormone. The function of insulin is to control the blood sugar level, but with stress, whether insulin is enough or not, the blood sugar level will still shoot.
Can Skinny People Get Diabetes?
Yes, people of all weights, shapes, and sizes are at risk of developing diabetes. This is because many factors other than weight cause diabetes, including family history, genetics, lifestyle, and poor eating habits.
There is this myth that only obese individuals can develop diabetes. However, this is not true even though weight is among the risk factors.
Is there a Cure for Diabetes?
Type 1 and 2 diabetes do not have a cure. They are chronic conditions with lifelong negative impacts on one’s health. Although there is no permanent cure for either type, the researchers hope to find a cure and prevent it in the future.
Presently, the condition is only manageable. One may manage type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and doing regular exercises.
Can Diabetic Nuropathy be Reversed?
An increase in blood sugar can result in the damage of nerves throughout the body. Diabetic neuropathy can affect how the body functions. Treatment and reversing this condition means controlling diabetes, controlling blood sugar, maintaining a healthy weight, and lowering triglycerides.
Exercise is also essential because it ensures that blood flows to the body parts, including the nerves. Keep checking your blood sugar levels with the doctor during your visits.
Can Type 1 Diabetes be Cured?
Type 1 diabetes is a condition that arises when the pancreas stops making insulin, a hormone that is responsible for converting sugar in the bloodstream into energy.
The absence of insulin results in a high amount of sugars in the blood, which can destroy the internal body organs such as the eyes, heart, nervous system, and kidneys. Over time, this condition can lead to severe, life-threatening complications.
A poor diet or lifestyle does not cause this condition. It is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the healthy cells in the pancreas and destroys them.
Often when individuals are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, they ask whether there is a permanent cure for the condition. The truth is there is no cure but ways of management. One can manage type 1 diabetes is with diet, insulin, and exercise.
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What You Can do and Not do as a Diabetic?
- Can people with diabetes donate blood and plasma?
It is safe to donate blood if you have type 1 or 2 diabetes. However, it is essential to have the condition under control and ensure that you are healthy. Having the disease under control means maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
However, some factors might hinder a person with diabetes from donating blood, including blood sugar level and insulin source. The blood sugar level must be in the range that your medical provider has set for you.
But, if you are still having issues with the sugars, not in the correct range, it won’t be a good idea to donate blood unless your doctor recommends it.
People with diabetes who have used insulin derived from bovine from the 1980s are not eligible. This is because of the presence of a variant CJD or the mad cow disease.
However, any other diabetic medications cannot hinder one from donating blood. Donation of plasma is also possible as long as the patient feels well and has the condition under control.
Some studies conclude that blood and plasma donation can help diabetic people by improving their glucose tolerance.
Can People with Diabetes Have Tattoos?
It is possible and correct to have tattoos even when you have diabetes, except there is something to consider before getting one. Blood sugar levels must be in the suitable range.
If the blood sugar level is not within range, it will be difficult for the tattoo to heal quickly. This means that you will be risking getting an infection.
Usually, with blood sugar levels within the range, the blood pressure can stop the problem. Moreover, if one is diabetic, you cannot get a tattoo on somebody’s parts because they might have poor circulation.
One should avoid parts such as shins, bum, feet, and ankles because they take longer to heal and might get an infection.
What Fruits to Eat when You are Diabetic?
Many studies show that citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are suitable for people with diabetes. Citrus fruits get one of the needed vitamins and minerals from them without having to eat carbohydrates.
For instance, they contain hesperidin and naringin antioxidants responsible for their antidiabetic effect. Citrus fruits also provide people with diabetes with folate, vitamin C, and potassium.
These also contain antioxidants responsible for preventing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress seems to cause many different health conditions, including some types of cancers and heart disease.
Unfortunately, most diabetics have increased levels of oxidative stress and therefore are vulnerable to diseases linked to it. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries have high levels of antioxidants and fiber.
They also contain other essential minerals and vitamins such as potassium, vitamin K and C, and manganese.
Additionally, fruits like cantaloupe have many vitamins and minerals rich in vitamin C which contains antioxidants that are good for diabetics.
Hence it does not spike the blood sugar. Tomatoes are notable for their low glycemic index which makes them suitable for people with diabetes. There are other advantages that researchers have observed with diabetics who eat tomatoes.
Cherries have a medium glycemic index which makes them not bad at all for diabetics, but of course, one should consume them moderately. Likewise, some have attested that raisins hence are fruits that are not bad for diabetics whenever eaten moderately.
Related article: Are Beets Good For Diabetics: Should You Eat Them?
What Foods and Grains Can a Diabetic Eat?
There are many foods and grain options diabetics can consume and help them stay out of trouble.
Most people think that living with diabetes is being deprived, but if one learns how to balance meals and make healthy food choices, one will still have their favorite foods to enjoy.
Below are some of the recommendable foods and grains for people with diabetes.
Green Leafy Vegetables
These types of vegetables are full of essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. They also have fewer impacts on the level of blood sugar. A person with diabetes can comfortably consume these vegetables without having to worry.
The available antioxidant and starch digesting enzymes can be helpful for people with diabetes. They include; Spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, and bok choy.
These contain a high amount of fiber and nutrients compared to refined white grains. Diets rich in fiber are ideal for diabetics because the fiber slows digestion and ensures that nutrients are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream keeping the blood sugar level stable.
They also have a low glycemic index, and there has little impact on blood sugar. They include;
- Whole grain pasta
- Brown rice
- Whole grain bread
This is another perfect food option for people with diabetes. It is a source of protein and helps satisfy the need to want carbohydrates.
Beans are also low on the glycemic index and therefore suitable for regulating blood sugar. Examples of the types that a diabetic can consume include;
- Kidney beans
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Navy beans
What Meat/Seafood Should a Diabetic Eat?
The dietary approach is a good idea for people with type 2 diabetes because it reduces heart disease or stroke. Below are some of the meat options or seafood a person with diabetes is may eat.
Shrimp is low on calories and contains a high amount of protein. Unlike other seafood, shrimp has a lot of cholesterol, and if someone has diabetes and trying to cut their cholesterol intake, this cannot be a good idea.
This is a white fish with low calories and high protein. This meat has less saturated fats and a good amount of omega-3s.
Bacon plays a significant role in a healthy diet. However, for people with diabetes, this is a poor choice of diet because it is high in fats and salt. As a result, it can cause an increase in blood sugar levels, and if consumed in excess, it can result in life-threatening health problems.
However, according to the research, about 81% of Americans need bacon kick, which means people with diabetes are included. The good news is that there are ways for diabetics to enjoy bacon without impacting their health.
People with diabetes can consume bacon in moderation or increase the fiber content in the meal they take.
Studies have asserted that the red meat diet contributes to life-threatening diseases, diabetics included. Also, not all cuts of meat have the same impact on health; others can be worse than some for diabetics. The term “marbling” refers to the white fat surrounding a cut of meat.
This meat has a lot of saturated fats, and this can increase inflammation and promote insulin resistance. However, if you choose meat cuts with less marbling, this steak perfectly fits into a diabetic diet.
What Drinks are Good for Diabetics?
Drinks with zero or low-calorie content are the best to take when you have diabetes. Alternatively, you can consume low-sugar drinks but in moderation. Whether you are at a restaurant or at home, below are some drinks you can enjoy, and they are diabetes-friendly.
Water is a good choice for hydration and is a good thing for people with diabetes. This is because water does not raise the blood glucose level.
Increased sugars in the blood can cause dehydration, and water helps remedy dehydration. If one takes enough water, this water results in the expulsion of excess sugar in blood through urine.
Researchers recommend that the individual takes about 9 to 13 cups of water a day. If plain water does not work for you, you can add lime, lemon, or orange slices to make it tasty and appealing. Gatorade zero also falls under this category because, like water, it helps in hydrating the body.
Green tea seems to positively impact general health and reduce LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure. However, when you choose tea, never pick the one that has added sugars.
Coffee and Low-fat Milk
A study conducted in 2012 found that taking coffee helps by lowering the risk of suffering type 2 diabetes. Besides, the study recommended that one should take about 2 to 3 cups in a day. So, if you are diabetic and fond of coffee, this is harmless and can help your health.
However, note that you should not add sugar, milk, or cream to your coffee because this will increase the number of calories taken, which affects the levels of blood sugar.
1) Low-fat milk
People with diabetes need to include dairy products in their daily diets because these have minerals and essential vitamins.
However, it is vital to ensure that you choose dairy products that are unsweetened, skimmed, or have low-fat content. Also, limit yourself to taking less than 10-ounce glasses a day.
Soft Drinks and Juices
Generally, soda is a good diet for diabetics because it contains 99% less sugar. Coke is one of them and is a good drink, but it has to be zero sugar.
Cranberry is a common drink, and like most juices, it has high sugar content, which can be of concern for people with diabetes. Pure cranberry juice is made from natural fruits and contains no other ingredients.
A cup of this juice gives 30 grams of sugar that occur naturally and nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C and K. Moreover, this juice contains antioxidants such as proanthocyanidin and anthocyanin, which are good for fighting diseases.
As a result, it is capable of reducing inflammation levels and the risk of suffering chronic illnesses. This makes it perfect for people with diabetes but one should it in moderation.
Extra Food for Diabetic
These are some of the foods that fit perfectly into a diabetic diet.
These are safe to eat because they contain a low glycemic index and load. For diabetics, a diet with mushrooms is good because it protects them against gestational diabetes, which affects many women.
Vitamin B also protects against other diabetes side effects such as a decrease in mental function or dementia.
The correct cereals in a diabetic diet can add minerals, vitamins, and fiber and prevent low blood sugar. However, it is crucial to maintain one serving.
This is also ideal for diabetes but must have only 15 g or fewer carbohydrates in every serving. If one is into yogurt, always ensure that you get yogurt with high protein content and low carbohydrates.
The labels will provide more information on the available sugar content, which can help one choose the right yogurt.
Porridge is made from different flour and therefore means that not all can be ideal for people with diabetes. However, steel-cut oats are suitable for type 2 diabetics since they are not processed. However, avoid porridges with a high glycemic index because they can increase blood sugar levels.
The best cheese to use is the natural ones because they have low-fat content and high protein levels. Processed cheese is not suitable for people with diabetes.
The only way to consume cheese and feel its impact as a person with diabetes is to incorporate it with other foods with high GI foods to bring balance. All in all, ensure that you consume it in moderation.
Cheese helps the body get enough proteins that are suitable for balancing blood sugar levels. Also, they make one full, eliminating the cravings for unhealthy foods. Whether it is cheddar cheese, parmesan, or cottage cheese, you should remember to take it in moderation.
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Diabetes can be frustrating, especially when one knows that there is no permanent cure and all you have to do is take medication and steps to manage it. However, with proper management, people can enjoy their lives and everything they used to have before the condition.
People with diabetes maintain their weight, eat healthily, and do regular exercise. Above all, one should take medications well.