World diabetes day - 14-Nov-2016

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Hello people, the reason I have written this piece is to introduce you all to my friend named ‘Relatable Sam’. Funny name, isn’t it? For the sake of simplicity, let’s refer to him as R. Sam.

Let’s not focus on the name but more about him." data-share-imageurl="">

diabetes, diabetic, world diabetes day, diet

Hello people, the reason I have written this piece is to introduce you all to my friend named ‘Relatable Sam’. Funny name, isn’t it? For the sake of simplicity, let’s refer to him as R. Sam.

Let’s not focus on the name but more about him. More on why am I even introducing my friend to you?

Well, the answer to that question is that we all have one ‘R. Sam’ in our lives. You might as well be one yourself. You never know! So what makes ‘Relatable Sam’ relatable?!

 A little background on him. R. Sam has a fancy tech job (he is a genius when it comes to coding) and due to his work commitments, spends 8 hours at the office five days a week. Over the weekends he enjoys going out with his friends and most of the times, those are long drives to not-so-popular places. He believes, he is quite an adventurer, goes on trekking once in 6 months. Atleast, he thought, he is one of the fittest among his friends and colleagues until the day his company conducted a health camp for its employees.

Sam has never fretted about his lifestyle, until his blood reports came. He was shocked when the reports told him that his blood sugar levels are very high and that he is type II diabetic. The doctor did what he could do best, gave him pills to control blood sugar levels and asked him to eat small meals throughout the day.

He religiously followed that and did not compromise with his routine. Fast forward 3 years, R. Sam walks around with a paunch and has accepted that diabetes is a part of his life. The fact that his grandfather and aunt are diabetic consoled him to some extent as he thought, ‘Diabetes is genetic’.

Do you relate to R. Sam now? I bet you do. But wait! is diabetes really genetic and isn’t there anything you can do about it? Does having diabetes mean getting fat and taking daily medication? Is there no way out this abyss? Let’s find out!

First and foremost, to find the solution to a problem, we need to know what is the problem?

Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a condition where our body’s glucose metabolism is impaired. The main reason that it is impaired is due to suboptimal function of a hormone called ‘insulin’.

diabetes, sugar patients, diabetic patient, diet for diabetic

There are two types of diabetes, type I and type II. Let us understand both in brief:

Type I: This is also known as ‘Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM)’ where the islets of the pancreas do not produce insulin. A person suffering from IDDM needs external administration of insulin to shuttle the carbohydrates into the tissue.

Type II: This is also known as ‘Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM)’ where the body is producing insulin but the tissue is not responding to insulin. In essence, the tissue has locked itself and does not allow carbohydrates in.

Whenever you eat food, particularly carbs, it gets converted to glucose. Insulin is like a gatekeeper with a key that allows glucose to be stored in the cells. The following picture shows how it typically functions.

Now when you annoy this gatekeeper, similar to the way you annoy your housing security by coming home late and partying out often, he changes the locks. What does this lockout mean? No getting inside! This is what exactly happens and due to this, blood sugar levels rise significantly.

These high blood sugar levels can lead to a variety of problems, most common include fatigue and dehydration. Over time, it can lead to serious complications to vital organs connected to the blood stream like your eyes, kidneys, heart and your nerves. If diabetes is not yet controlled, in the long run it can cause blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

Everybody can tell you the detrimental effects of diabetes but let us look at measures to prevent it. The crucial thing here is to ensure that our blood sugar levels are within the normal ranges and our body’s insulin sensitivity remains positive. Insulin sensitivity is nothing but the ability of your body to produce optimal amount of insulin in response to the food intake. The primary three ways of doing it are as follows:

  1. Diet: Eating lesser carbohydrates, you can regulate the amount of sugar entering the blood stream. This will prevent the body’s insulin supply from becoming overwhelmed. This means limiting the amount of high sugar foods in your daily diet.
  1. Exercise: Physical exercise makes the body’s cells more receptive to insulin (reduces insulin resistance for the geeky ones). A structured workout regime with more emphasis on resistance training can be highly beneficial here.
  1. Medication: Your doctor may prescribe you oral / injectable medication which will either increase the supply of insulin, regulate blood sugar or make the cells more receptive to the insulin your body is producing.

Now that we look at it completely, you will see that diabetes is not something genetic but a hazard caused by our lifestyles. If we start taking care of ourselves, get a bit more active we can easily prevent these issues and also control them to a large extent

After all, Diabetes is just a word and not a sentence (pun intended). Let us not allow it to haunt us and start living better.

Article written by - Pratik Thakkar (Cofounder, GetSetGo Fitness)

References

Share it now!

Hello people, the reason I have written this piece is to introduce you all to my friend named ‘Relatable Sam’. Funny name, isn’t it? For the sake of simplicity, let’s refer to him as R. Sam.

Let’s not focus on the name but more about him." data-share-imageurl="">