Diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which the body either fails to produce insulin or is incapable of using the insulin it produces, which may result in the failure of sugar conversion into energy. If untreated diabetes may cause organ damage.
While 69.2 million Indian adult population has Diabetes, making it 7.3% of the total population, a report suggests that 10.3% of the population are at the verge of having diabetes and 47.3% remain undiagnosed.
Despite being one of the most common chronic conditions, people have less awareness about the disease. Hence, here we answer some of the most commonly asked queries on the condition.
Here are your 11 top commonly asked questions about diabetes:
Q1. How do I know I have diabetes?
If you have the following symptoms, you may consider seeing a diabetologist/endocrinologist for check up:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive hunger
- Excessive thirst
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing of wounds
Q2. What are normal sugar levels?
Q3. Insulin or tablets, what should I take?
Your doctor will decide, based on your case study, whether you’d be on tablets or insulin. Either way, with on-time medication and a healthy lifestyle, you can lead a good life. Medication should strictly be taken under a doctor’s guidance.
Q4. I am asked to be on insulin. Is my diabetes that bad?
Diabetes is not good or bad. Insulin helps in managing your sugar levels. If it is not getting produced inside the body, it has to be taken externally. Diabetes can be managed well with healthy and routine lifestyle.
Q5. What type of diet I must follow with Diabetes?
Food plays an important role when it comes to managing blood glucose levels for diabetics. Anything eaten in moderation is not contraindicated with diabetes management. Including fiber content in your diet can help you dealing with high blood glucose levels. Also consumption of green vegetables, especially from the gourd family such as lauki, turai, etc, are good for your sugar levels. You must include fruits in place of juices in your diet and consume balanced quantities of carbohydrates such as wheat, rice, etc.
Q6. Should I stop consuming sugar completely?
Avoiding sugar is not an answer to diabetes. Everything we eat converts into glucose inside our body, hence, it is not the question of eating sweets per say. However, with diabetes excess consumption of sugar or sweets is harmful for your sugar levels and can damage your organs eventually. For your sweet cravings you ca replace sugar with jaggery. Also, in case of hypoglycemia, a person would need sugar to balance the glycemic levels.
Q7. What can be my travel food with Diabetes?
With diabetes, it is important to eat small quantities of food in regular intervals. This helps in avoiding the low sugar episodes, which can be fatal. When you are traveling, make sure you have kept good amount of snacks and food with you. Avoid carrying deep fried or high calorific food items. Instead keep nuts (all types), flavoured yogurt (processed dahi), fruits, khakras, bhel, theplas (sweet-spicy thin parathas), etc.
It is absolutely necessary to ensure you take your medication on time even when you are traveling. You can consult your dietician to know more about the food that can be carried.
Q8. Can I consume alcohol if I have diabetes?
Alcohol can cause your blood glucose level to go high even when consumed in moderation and hence, diabetics are advised against alcohol consumption. Also, if one consumes high quantities, they may lose senses and may experience a hypoglycemic episode, which can turn dangerous.
Q9. What type of exercising routine I must follow?
Diabetics are not advised to go for extreme sports. However, including regular 60-minute brisk walk in your routine is a great way of controlling your blood glucose levels. Yoga and especially, mandukasana has been observed to have a tremendous impact on one’s diabetes management.
Q10. Can my diabetes be reversed?
Diabetes cannot be reversed. It can be managed with a good lifestyle. You may not need the help of medicines if you have a good lifestyle, where through diet and exercise you keep your sugar levels in control. But, that does not mean you are not diabetic anymore – it’s just the proper care that helps you manage it well.
Q11. What are the complications with uncontrolled diabetes?
Uncontrolled and fluctuating sugar levels can be harmful for your body organs. From your eyes to your kidney to your heart, all the organs may have an impact of bad glucose levels. Some of the conditions that one may face due to improper sugar management are fungal infections, urine infections, retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, coma, etc.
November 14 is recognized as the World’s Diabetes Day in order to spread more awareness about the disease.
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