In 1552 BC, an Egyptian physician discovered that a group of ants attracted to the urine of people affected by a peculiar disease.
A Greek physician later described this as a disease that melted flesh and limbs into urine. The Chinese called it wasting thirst, while the ancient Indians called it honey urine.
Today, we know this as one of the most common chronic diseases across the globe- Diabetes.
Although diabetes dates back to the papyrus, the first dose of insulin- a liquid to manage diabetes- was only discovered in the nineties. People before that, unfortunately, did not survive the curse.
The dangers diabetes opposes are identical to that of cancer today.
Even though diabetes is a spreading chronic disease, how much about it do we know today?
Let us start from the basics.
Table of Contents
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where the sugar levels or glucose in the body are too high.
Most of the food we eat is converted into glucose in our bodies. The pancreas is responsible for creating a hormone called insulin that helps glucose get into the cells and produce energy.
Sometimes, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin or, it fails to make use of the insulin as well as it should.
When insulin is not working properly, the glucose levels in your blood increase significantly causing diabetes.
Your kidneys try to eliminate the excess glucose in the blood by removing it from the body. This shows a high concentration of sugar in your urine. Thus, occurred the first symptom of diabetes, and it’s first Indian name, honey urine.
Is the consumption of sugar the problem?
A lot of glucose in your blood means that not enough glucose is getting into your cells to produce energy. Which should be your first red flag.
A lot of sugar in your blood vessels can destroy your blood vessels and make you prone to heart attacks and strokes.
No research proves that eating a sugar-filled diet can cause diabetes but a sugar-packed diet can cause insulin resistance in the body causing type 2 diabetes.
Also, obesity is a primary factor that leads to diabetes. And sugar places an important role in causing obesity.
If you consume more sugar than your body needs, the sugar is not converted into glucose but is stored in your body as fat, especially around your organs. This causes inflammation. Again, inflammation leads to insulin resistance making the inflammation riskier than before.
Therefore, sugar does not directly contribute to diabetes but it has a damaging effect on your health.
How do you know you have diabetes?
Symptoms of diabetes can often be very subtle at first and easy to overlook. The symptoms of diabetes can be described as feeling unusually thirsty or hungry, feelings of extreme tiredness, needing to urinate more frequently than usual, muscle pain or weakness, confusion, and vision problems. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor to get a proper diagnosis.
This disease can be caused by a genetic predisposition, poor eating habits, and obesity too.
What are the types of diabetes?
When the body does not produce enough insulin, it can lead to type 1 diabetes, which accounts for 9% of diabetes cases. This type of diabetes mainly affects children and young adults, which is why it is so important for them to take regular doses of insulin to manage their condition.
When the body produces too much insulin and becomes resistant to it, it leads to type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases. This mainly affects older individuals or those who are overweight. However, type 2 diabetes can sometimes be managed through lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
How can we manage diabetes?
Diabetes is a rather tricky disease. Its symptoms are often hard to recognize and if you do not catch it quickly, it can be deadly. Treating diabetes is a bit difficult as well. It can be hard to know whether or not you should treat it.
Being aware of not just what you eat, but also how much you eat, what combination of foods you consume, and what time you eat, can help you manage your diabetes. Eating healthy and following a controlled diet can help you manage your diabetes and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Regular exercise is a very important element in controlling your diabetes. Exercise allows your body to generate energy by using glucose effectively, which in turn reduces the need for insulin and helps to keep sugar levels in the body under control.
Whenever we experience stress, our blood sugar levels tend to rise. This not only makes it difficult to manage diabetes, but it can also take a toll on our mental health.
Alcohol consumption causes dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in the body. This lowers your blood pressure. The liver is responsible for metabolizing alcohol. While working on alcohol, the liver fails to release the stored glucose to counteract falling blood sugar levels. This damages the health and also causes a condition called hypoglycemia.
The fact is that living with diabetes is no different from living without it. The only difference is that you need to be more careful with what you eat and you may have to take a few extra precautions. With treatment, you can live a normal life and there’s no reason to be scared! For instance, if your food is too sweet, you can have it adjusted. When you have diabetes, it can be easy to forget that there’s a happy, healthy life out there, and most of all, you can still do lots of things!
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