The world today is facing an upsurge of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) leading to deaths on a huge scale. Diabetes is a persistent disease for which no cure has yet been developed. A large portion of the population in the USA is affected by diabetes and this is one of the major causes of deaths in the country. Similarly, a large population goes unnoticed and untreated. Type-2 diabetes is the major cause of loss of vision amongst the working population in the U.S.A. Patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are at twice the risk for heart disease than non-diabetics.
The cause of diabetes is yet not known. Diabetes manifests itself in two major forms, insulin-dependent (IDDM) or type I and non-insulin-dependent (NIDDM) or type-2. Type II diabetes develops due to inability of the body to produce and absorb insulin thus becoming resistant to it. Due to inadequate production of insulin by the body, the pancreas is forced to produce more insulin. A large number of diabetics with type 2 diabetes show no symptoms and are asymptomatic, and hence it is often discovered late and by chance.
Overweight or obese individuals who are physically inactive are at greater risk of developing type-2 diabetes. In particular, people with accumulated fat around the abdomen are at a greater risk of developing this disease.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are increased frequency of urination especially at night, excessive thirst, exhaustion, blurred vision, and unexplained loss of weight. These symptoms may not be conspicuous initially. Initially the symptoms may only be understated, or at times there may be no symptoms at all.
A healthy diet is essential for people with type 2 diabetes. Type-2 diabetics need to avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates, while concentrating on whole grains, low fat milk, low sugars, fats and carbohydrates high in fibers. Foods such as whole wheat bread and brown rice help slow down the absorption of sugars thus help in managing diabetes.
Diabetics must have their meals daily at the same time and also restrict the portion sizes. For between the meal snacks, carbohydrates should be consumed but be spread throughout the day to prevent rise in blood sugar levels after meals.
Regular physical activity increases the body’s reaction to insulin. People who exercise regularly, at least four to five days in a week and have a healthy diet are less likely to get diabetes. Those affected with the disease and exercising regularly are able to manage their diabetes well and are able to live longer and better.
Smoking, like diabetes, vastly increases the risks of heart disease. Smoking is unhealthy especially for diabetics and hence must be given up.
Alcohol is not a taboo. However, it must be consumed occasionally and in moderation. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
In case change in diet, and other factors affecting lifestyles do not help in reduction of blood glucose; medications may have to be prescribed by doctors to further enhance production of insulin. Even insulin injections may have to be prescribed either for short term or long term usage.
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