Diabetes mellitus is also referred to as simply Diabetes or Sugar disease/ Sugar. It is a chronic disorder of both hormonal origin as well as metabolic imbalance. It is basically inability of the body to utilize the energy from glucose. The pancreas is supposed to produce Insulin hormone that leads to glucose uptake and metabolism on cellular level. In addition, insufficient Insulin action thus resulting in a façade of symptomatic. Conditions that are collectively referred to as Diabetes.
- Patients suffering from Diabetes are called as Diabetics.
- There are two main types of Diabetes I-e. Type I which is basically insufficient Insulin production by the Pancreatic beta cells. Type II also called adult-onset diabetes is associated with development of Insulin resistance by the receptors on the cellular walls.
- Diabetes is a chronic irreversible disease. Moreover, it can only be managed with proper diet and medication. However, there are other type of diabetes that can eventually be reversed called as Gestational diabetes that occurs during Pregnancy.
- The disease manifests itself in different ways and can be fatal if not properly treated.
What are the Symptoms of diabetes?
All types of Diabetes have some characteristic common symptoms. The prevailing health conditions however may vary for different types. Commonly occurring symptoms are as follows:
- Increased urination frequency and Volume
- Unexplained substantial weight loss
- Increased thirst
- Wounds taking too long to heal
- Increased Hunger
- Irritability and short temperament
What are the Causes of diabetes?
The causes of diabetes vary depending upon type of disease. in Type I, the autoimmune response could kill the beta cells of pancreas. It could also be due to lifestyle or genetic factors. Both of which are a major contributor to the occurrence of disease.
Type II is mainly due to bad lifestyle and dietary habits for a long period of time. Moreover, this causes damage to insulin effectiveness in the body.
What are the effects of Lifestyle and dietary habits on diabetes?
In any type of diabetes, this is usually more or less main cause. Consumption of excessive junk and fatty food, high carb rich diet and insufficient exercises are the bad lifestyle choices that can cause Diabetes.
What are the Treatment options for diabetes?
Treatment of the disease mainly comprises of drugs that can help maintain glucose concentration in check in the body. Although there is no cure for the disease as per se, but a proper blend of right medication and lifestyle modifications can help with keeping the disease in check.
Type I diabetics have close to none insulin production in the body, therefore, they require external supplementation of the hormone via injections.
Type II requires other therapies such as drugs to slow down glucose production (Metformin) or to excrete more amount of glucose from the body etc.
What Foods and Diet are best antidiabetics?
Throughout the years, many food therapies have evolved in treating diabetes. Therefore, they have even shown promising outcomes under serious research work too. To understand the effects of food on blood sugar, the health professionals use the term Glycemic Index (GI). This is used to assess whether a certain type of food upon digestion will release more glucose or less. High Glycemic Index means more glucose will be released. Conversely, Low Glycemic index indicates lower glucose load on the body after digestion and absorption of food.
|Low Glycemic Index||Moderate Glycemic Index||High glycemic Index|
|Less than 50||50-70||70 – 100.|
Some of the food-based treatments includes the following options:
Legumes and Beans:
These are rich source of dietary fibers. The fiber extract from beans and cereals in classified as Soluble Fibers. This means that upon digestion, these fibers form a soluble gel like mass in the body. This in turn improves the bowel movements and subsequently excretion of unhealthy toxins and glucose from the body, the outcomes of beans and cereal rich diet are splendid in a diabetic patient. They extensively lower glucose concentration from the body. This food group is categorized in Low GI range and therefore beneficial for diabetics. Some of the beans included are as follows:
- Kidney beans
- Chick peas
- Black eyed beans
- Snow peas
- Black beans
Cereals and Grains:
These are another important group of foods that are ranked among Low GI. They are easy on the stomach as they make insoluble fiber during digestion. The bolus of insoluble fiber helps speed up excretion of carbohydrate by products. These foods include whole wheat flour, oats, bran, pasta made of whole wheat etc.
Research has shown that high fiber cereals such as whole wheat flour have few of the most profound anti diabetic benefits such as:
- Reduction in fasting glucose values
- Lower value of glycosylated hemoglobin (Hba1ac)
- Feeling of satiety and fullness helps reduce appetite
- Overall controlled blood sugar esp. in type II diabetic
The antidiabetic nature of extra virgin olive oil shows following outcomes:
- Reduction in fasting glucose values
- Lowering of the body concentration of HDL and LDLs, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases esp. among diabetics
- Studies show that taking 15-20ml of extra virgin live oil once a day helps in lowering Glycemic index values of different foods.
Lychee fruit has been in research for a past few years for its strong antidiabetic effects. Consumption of lychee has shown to reduce blood glucose concentration even in healthy individuals. Research published in Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Diabetes have shown the following antidiabetic uses of Lychee:
- Reduces insulin resistance in the body cells by many folds
- Reduction in oxidative stress due to consistent hyperglycemia
- Betterment of diabetic neuropathy and vascular constrictions.
Tangerines and Grapefruit
Both of these fruits help maintain healthy lifestyle in diabetics. Although they have high concentration of fruits sugars, they still fall under the category of low Glycemic Index.
Following are the beneficial effects of these fruits:
- Antioxidant properties help with maintaining low fat and lipid. This helps in preventing hyperlipidemia and CVS diseases that are more prevalent in diabetics.
- Tangerines help in preventing weight gain esp. in Type II diabetics
- Grape fruit minimize body’s insulin resistance and improve cellular glucose uptake
T & G
- Hand Juicer
- 6 Tangerines
- 3 Grapefruits
- Rinse all fruit thoroughly
- Cut all fruits in havles
- Squeeze the juice from tangerines and grapefruits
- Optional: Add ice
- Drink right away or freeze it in an air tight containers.
However, the food-drug interactions of grape fruit juice with antihyperlipidemic such as Statins may impose some complications in obese diabetics.
These are the seeds of the fenugreek plant that is commonly eaten in different countries particularly Asian countries. Owing to their low Glycemic index and high fiber content these seeds provide a wide array of beneficial effects. Clinical trials on the intake of fenugreek powder in diabetics have shown the following beneficial outcomes:
- Improves glucose uptake and tolerance in the cells
- Substantially reduces fasting blood sugar
- Lowers the overall BMI value in diabetics that in turn helps to lower the insulin requirements in type I diabetics
Omega-3 and Omega-6 rich foods:
The human body utilized omega-3 and omega-6 in different cellular functions as a source of energy as well as an essential component of cellular membranes. Diabetics must have omega rich diets to help against diabetic ketoacidosis and to improve glucose tolerance. Uncontrolled glucose concentration in Type I diabetics results in excessive protein break down. Patient must consume omega- 3 and 6 rich diets to aid in rebuilding of protein structures.
Some of the omega-3 and 6 rich foods are as follows:
- Salmon fish
- Mackerel fish
- Nuts such as walnuts, almonds