Diabetes Mellitus and What You Can Do to Improve Your Health
Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a chronic/ lifelong condition that commonly affects the body’s ability to utilize the energy in food.
The three types of diabetes are:
– Type 1 diabetes
– Type 2 diabetes, and
– Gestational diabetes
Normally, the body breaks down the carbohydrates and sugar consumed into a simple sugar called glucose, which fuels the body cells to give you the energy you need to perform daily activities. However, these cells need a hormone, insulin, in your bloodstream to use the glucose for energy. But if you have diabetes mellitus, your body fails to produce enough insulin or can’t utilize the one it produces, or both. And because the cells use the glucose, it accumulates and builds up in your blood, potentially damaging the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, heart, kidney, or nervous system. This explains why diabetes that is left untreated can lead to heart and kidney disease, stroke, nerve damage, and even blindness.
Prediabetes is a potentially reversible diabetes when blood sugar levels are slightly higher than normal, but not high enough to qualify as diabetes. On the other hand, gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, but normally resolves after delivery.
While the exact cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown, the immune system, which is responsible for fighting harmful disease-causing bacteria and viruses, becomes too defensive and attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells located in the pancreas, leaving you with little or no insulin at all. The result is a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream. This type of diabetes is believed to be caused by genetic and environmental factors.
Prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is whereby the body cells become resistant to insulin’s action, and the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin to overpower this resistance. So, the sugar remains in the bloodstream instead of entering the cells where it is required.
Managing Diabetes to Improve Your Health
While type 2 diabetes is linked to being overweight, not necessarily everyone with the condition is overweight. Depending on the type of diabetes, insulin, blood sugar monitoring and oral medication can be administered to treat the condition. Eating a healthy diet, participating in regular activity and maintain a healthy body weight are all important aspects of managing it.
A critical part of managing diabetes is maintaining a healthy body weight, a healthy diet and following an exercise regime.
While there is a popular belief that there’s a specific diet for diabetes patients, this perception is a mere misconception. But you can never go wrong if you center your diet on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cut down on refined carbohydrates and sweets, as well as animal protein.
Get help from a registered dietitian to help you design a meal plan that best suits your health goals, food choices and lifestyle.
While everyone requires regular aerobic exercise, people with diabetes mellitus need it more. Exercising will lower the blood sugar level in your bloodstream by moving sugar into the cells to be used for energy. Do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily to help increase sensitivity to insulin, whereby your body will need less insulin to carry sugar into the cells.
Diabetes Mellitus is also simply known as diabetes. It is
the disease characterized by a malfunctioning metabolism
and a high blood sugar level.