Diabetes is now a lifestyle disease. There are three main types of diabetes namely type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Today, diabetes is age agnostic, i.e. people can develop diabetes at any age. Both women and men can fall victim to Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes.
In Type 1 diabetes, the body no longer makes insulin or enough insulin because the immune system is attacked. The immune system which usually protects us from infections by getting rid of bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances, destroys the cells that make insulin.
Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance—a condition that occurs when fat, liver and muscle cells do not use insulin to carry glucose into the body’s cells to use for energy. As a result, the body needs more insulin to help glucose enter cells.
Symptoms of Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes are:
- being very thirsty
- feeling very hungry
- feeling very tired
- losing weight without trying
- sores that heal slowly
- urinating often
- dry, itchy skin
- feelings of pins and needles in your feet
- losing feeling in your feet
Between the Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes, In type 1 diabetes, the body can no longer make insulin because the body’s immune system has attacked and damaged the cells where insulin is produced. The cause of type 2 diabetes is mostly unknown, but genetics and lifestyle play roles. Type 2 diabetes has been linked to obesity, genetic risk factors, and inactivity. A few racial and ethnic groups are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
Per day calorie intake of a person with diabetes should be between 1,500-1,800 calories with a proportion of 60:20:20 between carbohydrates, fats and proteins, respectively. A diabetes diet should have at least two seasonal fruits and three vegetables in the meal plan. Though dry fruits may seem like a healthy snack, it is not a good option for people with diabetes, as the fructose can spike the sugar level. Whole grains, oats, channa atta, millets and other high fibre foods should be incorporated into the diet. If you feel like pasta or noodles, make sure to accompany it with vegetable/sprouts. Good fats such as Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats (MUFA) should be consumed as they are good for the body. Natural sources for these are canola oil, flaxseed oil, fatty fish and nuts. These are also low in cholesterol and are Trans fat-free.
Studies have shown that lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy and increasing physical activity can radically reduce the progression of type 2 diabetes and are essential to controlling type 1 diabetes. These lifestyle changes can help minimise other risk factors like blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, which can have a tremendous impact on people with diabetes.
Prevention is always better than cure. In many instances in Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes, lifestyle changes must complement a regimen of medications to control high blood pressure, blood glucose levels and cholesterol as well as to prevent heart attack and stroke.