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HealthDiabetes, the silent killer

Diabetes, the silent killer

Mercy Leghemo

So in Nigeria it’s very likely you have come across someone in your family or friends that has a diabetic condition. By 2015, about 5 million people where living with diabetes, while more than 1.56 million cases of diabetes were recorded. Also, 40,815 deaths in adults due to diabetes were recorded.
Could this be because of our diet here in Nigeria? Or are we collectively predisposed to having it?
Well, studies have shown that diabetes is 60% more common in black Americans than in white Americans. But does this match up with us here in Nigeria?
 
Read on to learn more about diabetes and how to manage it.

 

First, let’s take look at what diabetes is and how it is treated.

 
Glucose is the obligatory source of energy for the adult brain, and physiological control of blood glucose reflects the need to maintain adequate fuel supplies in the face of intermittent food intake and variable metabolic demands. More fuel is made available by feeding than is required immediately, and excess calories are stored as glycogen or fat. During fasting, these energy stores need to be mobilised in a regulated manner. The most important regulatory hormone is insulin, the actions of which are described below. Increased blood glucose stimulates insulin secretion, whereas reduced blood glucose reduces insulin secretion.
Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders characterised by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time. It is caused by a deficiency in the production or use of insulin in the body.
 

There are two major common types of diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

Also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM). This type of diabetes hapens when the immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. There is generally no known cause for this type of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetic patients are usually young (children or adolescents) and not obese when they first develop symptoms
Without insulin treatment, patients with type 1 diabetes are at serious risk of complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which can cause death.

Type 2 diabetes

This type of diabetes is the most common in adults. It occurs when the body is unable to respond properly to the insulin produced. The body cells are resistant to insulin and are unable to use it effectively thereby leading to high blood sugar. The risk factors for type 2 diabetes are majorly lifestyle related i.e. obesity, bad diets, lack of physical activity etc., although genetic factors and increasing age can also contribute to this disease.
 
There are many other less common forms of diabetes mellitus in addition to the two main ones described above.

e.g. Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. It occurs when a pregnant woman without a previous history of diabetes develops high blood sugar concentrations during her pregnancy.

This condition also has long-term effects, some of which are cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves. In extreme conditions diabetes may cause severe internal damage of the limbs and amputations may become necessary.
 
So how do you know if you’ve got this silent killer?
Some of the signs/symptoms of diabetes include increased urination, thirst, hunger, fatigue, blurry vision, slow healing of cuts etc. 
Diabetes is medically diagnosed through certain tests such as: random blood sugar test, fasting blood sugar test,  glycated haemoglobin (A1C) test, oral glucose tolerance test for type 1 and 2. As for gestational diabetes, initial glucose challenge test and follow-up glucose tolerance tests should be conducted.

Can it be gotten rid of?
There is no known cure for type 1 diabetes, hence it can only be treated or managed by keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible, living healthily (exercise and a healthy diet) and the use of oral medications as well as insulin.
Type 2 diabetes however, can also be managed by lifestyle changes which help your body better manage the control of sugar in your blood. Diet is the cornerstone (albeit one with a tendency to crumble), combined with increased exercise.

The use of supplements to aid in blood glucose control has been shown to be helpful in the management of diabetes. We suggest Himalaya Herbal Healthcare Karela tablets as a supplement you should try today. 
 
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- Karela promotes normal sugar levels in blood and urine.
- Karela helps achieve positive sugar regulating effect by suppressing the neural response to sweet taste stimuli. 
- Karela is a good blood purifier.
- Karela promotes health of the pancreas and liver.
- Karela helps in digestion.
- Karela promotes the body’s natural metabolism.
- Karela is considered to be a powerful detoxifier.
- Karela helps maintain a normal level of triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver and blood. 
- Karela helps support normal immune system function.

Check with your physician or pharmacist to know if you are at risk of developing diabetes and read more here on Lifeland.ng to know how you can improve your lifestyle, reduce your risk of developing diabetes and achieve total wellness.
 
Leave a comment in the comment section if you have any experiences with diabetes or ask us questions on how you could improve your lifestyle when living with diabetes.

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