All you need to know about Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes-Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus is a type of condition when your blood glucose spikes up. Glucose is the main source of energy. However, when it exceeds the limit, it may lead to diabetes.

India is known as the ‘Diabetes Capital’ of the world. About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, the majority living in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year, according to the reports published by World Health Organization (WHO).

Some of the common types of Diabetes are:

Type 1 diabetes (common in children and adolescents)

This type is an autoimmune disorder, which means your body attacks itself. When this happens, the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed. WHO states that approximately 10% of diabetics have type 1 diabetes. It’s usually diagnosed in children and young adults (but can develop at any age). Type 1 diabetics must take insulin every day. This is why they are also known as insulin-dependent diabetics.

Type 2 diabetes (common in people above 40 years)

When you have this type of diabetes, either your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or your cells don’t respond normally to it. This is the most common type of diabetes. The majority of people with diabetes have Type 2. It usually occurs in middle-aged and older people. Other common names for Type 2 diabetes include adult-onset diabetes and insulin-resistant diabetes.

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Gestational diabetes

May appear in pregnant women, however gestational diabetes usually goes away on its own and soon after delivery blood sugar levels return to normal.

How is Diabetes caused

The pancreas is an organ that produces insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood glucose levels. The body uses insulin to convert carbohydrates into energy. It transports glucose from the blood to the cells and hence, it is glucose that gives the cells their energy.

Cells cannot take up glucose from the blood if there is not enough insulin in the body. However, glucose levels increase in the body which results in Diabetes.

People with Diabetes may experience their blood sugar levels fluctuating (high or low) at regular intervals. It depends on what they eat, how much they exercise or whether they take insulin or diabetes medication properly.

Common symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus

Symptoms of diabetes may vary with your blood sugar level. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes tend to show certain signs and symptoms. They are:

  • Extreme hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections

The Wellness Section!

Just like the proverb “Prevention is better than cure”, it is always advisable to maintain a good health and take necessary precautions before it ends up worse.

However, did you know that you can control diabetes with simple and easy to follow lifestyle changes? Check out the following steps for the various ways in which you can prevent diabetes:

  1. Exercise regularly – Brisk walking, powerful exercises, swimming are some of the common exercises suitable for diabetics
  2. Start your morning with diabetic friendly drink – eg: fenugreek seed warm water, apple cider vinegar with warm water
  3. Follow a healthy low carbohydrate eating method
  4. Drink water and stay hydrated
  5. Adapt a healthy eating routine
  6. Manage stress levels – Do regular meditation
  7. Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels
  8. Get enough quality sleep

Best food for Diabetes control

Along with the above lifestyle changes, you should make sure to follow a healthy diet plan as food plays a major role in keeping your blood glucose levels in control.
Below are the recommended foods to eat if you are a diabetic:

  • Count on complex carbohydrate alternatives – like rice to millets, atta chapathi to ragi or multigrain flour chapathi.
  • Eat foods that are rich in chromium and magnesium – eg meat, whole grain products, nuts, fish, avocados and squash (indian variants are apple gourd, bottle gourd, chow chow, etc)
  • Focus on whole foods instead of highly processed foods as much as possible
  • Focus on macro nutrients in your plate – low carbohydrate, high proteins and moderate good fats.
  • Increase your fiber intake – Make your plate colourful with vegetables , fruits, legumes and whole grains.
  • Choose foods with low glycemic index – eg: beans, lentils, barley, non-starchy vegetables and more.

Planning a complete diet plan might be complicated as it depends on your health needs. You can consult your doctor for a proper meal schedule that would best suit your everyday routine.

Controlling stress and its effects on diabetes control

Stress is a major barrier to effective glucose control. Stress hormones in your body directly affects glucose levels as in “fight and flight” responses your body may not be able to process glucose. If glucose is not converted into energy it accumulates in bloodstream and thus raises the blood sugar levels.

How to reduce stress

  1. Mental stress – Meditate at least for 30 minutes a day, Recite positive mantras “today is going to be a great new day”
  2. Emotional stress – Deep breathing – Feel yourself mindfully removing yourself from the situation and focus on your breathing by your hands on the chest and stomach feeling it rise and fall.
  3. Physical stress – Yoga – Start practicing yoga at least 10 minutes a day, take 10 to 15 minutes brisk walks in fresh air
  4. Diabetes related stress – Join online and in-person support groups, try taking required therapy.

Acupressure points for Diabetes

Acupressure is an ancient technique treatment method that uses stimulation of certain pressure points in the body to cure ailments. Researchers have proved that acupressure is one of the most effective ways that may help to cure diabetes.

However, consult your physician to know more about acupressure treatment.

Diabetes Safe Insurance Policy at Star Health

Diabetes Safe Insurance Policy covers regular hospitalisation due to diabetic and non-diabetic complications. This plan is specially crafted for people having a history of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Coverage

The plan provides coverage on both individual and family floater basis that require 24 hours of hospitalisation. Below are the various coverage features offered by the Diabetes Safe Insurance plan:

  • Section 1 – Hospitalisation expenses under the following heads as a result of complications of Diabetes
Diabetes complication Plan – A (Policy issued with Pre-insurance Screening) Plan – B (Policy issued without Pre-insurance Screening)
Cardio Vascular Diseases Immediate After 12 months Waiting Period
Chronic Kidney Diseases
Diabetic Retinopathy
Foot ulcer
  • Section 2 – Hospitalisation expenses under the following heads as a result of non-complications of Diabetes, 100% Automatic Restoration of Sum insured is applicable.
  • Section 3 – Outpatient Expenses for Plan A and Plan B as per the schedule of benefits
  • Section 4 – Coverage for Modern Treatments as per the schedule of benefits
  • Section 5 – Personal Accident for Plan A and Plan B : Worldwide cover

To know more about the Diabetes Safe Insurance policy, visit www.starhealth.in and check out the detailed policy document.

Summing up

Even though diabetes is a common health disorder among humans, the disease can strain and prevent you from doing the things you love. If left untreated, it may lead to future complications such as heart stroke, loss of eye vision, kidney damage and much more.

In order to avoid all such complications getting the right treatment with constant follow up is important. With a health insurance plan for diabetes, you can lead a stress-free life while availing the best treatment without any hassle.

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