Diabetes is upping day by day which is clear from simple stats; death of more than 230,000 American per year. Therefore it is very important to understand diabetes and its basics. First is the definition. Diabetes is a group of disorders that affects you blood sugar (glucose) levels which are higher in people with diabetes.
Glucose is very important to the body and acts as a fuel that means it supplies energy to all body parts including brain. But there is optimum level of glucose and if it goes beyond that level it leads to diabetes. And not to mention high blood glucose levels have ill effects on your health.
There are mainly three types of diabetes- Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes (occurs during pregnancy). Pre-diabetes is a condition when your blood glucose levels are high but are not sufficient to define as diabetes. The diabetic blood sugar levels can be given as; 4-7 mmol/L before meal to under 8.5-9 mmol/L with some variations for different types.
Causes of Diabetes:
Rise in blood glucose levels is the main cause but depending on the type of diabetes these causes can be explored. For example, in type 1 diabetes immune system attacks the insulin producing beta cells of pancreas. Thus there is less insulin production which is not sufficient to utilize glucose from the body cells. Environmental and genetic factors can contribute to such immune system response.
Type 2 diabetes, your body cells become resistant to insulin action that leaves blood sugar unutilized. Pancreas also doesn’t help to overcome this insulin resistance and like type 1, genetic and environmental factors are also involved.
During pregnancy when placenta is busier in regulating pregnancy sustaining hormones, it can’t do justice with insulin and that leads to gestational diabetes. Most of the times pancreas do its job in favor of insulin but when it fails diabetes is developed.
What are the risk factors of Diabetes ?
Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors contribute to the development risk. Non-modifiable factors include age, family history, race, and disease history. For example, if any of your blood relative has diabetes, there is great risk of development in you while talking with respect to age, middle-aged individuals or those above age of 45 have high risk of development of diabetes.
Moreover, you can control diabetes with understanding of modifiable risk factors such as overweight or obesity, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and increased red meat consumption. 50% of males and 70% of females who are diagnosed with diabetes are found to be either overweight or obese which indicates how big the impact of this risk factor is!
To avoid the risk of development of diabetes;
- Foods rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber are well-known for their positive effect on reducing diabetes. So, indulging in enough is also beneficial to keep diabetes at bay.
- Daily physical activity or a regular walk for around 10-15 minutes is more than enough to avoid diabetes risk.
- Eating cheese, which is a good source of calcium, cuts the risk of diabetes by twelve percent according to the research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- Tree nuts consumption such as walnuts, pistachios, and almonds are associated with the lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Antioxidant rich foods such as blueberries or green apples will accompany you to lower diabetes risk.
So, this is about causes, risk factors and ways to avoid it with which you can control diabetes to a degree.