Everything you want to know about diabetics
16 year old girl – she didn’t even imagine that a black mark on her back neck is to give her a lot of problems later. At first, she used some anti-mark creams. Later she went to a beauty parlour. Both didn’t prove worth. Later that mark began to grow wider as a velvet ribbon on her back. When she accompanied her diabetic father to a hospital, seeing the over-weighted girl, doctor asked her to check her blood. Reports were shocking. She was a diabetic patient who had excess cholesterol as well. The mark seen in such over-weighted persons are known as ‘acanthosis nigricans’. In persons having obesity problems such marks are common in folds. As the first stage of treatment, she was given medicines, some food control instructions and asked to do regular exercise. Three conditions prompted that doctor to suspect diabetic conditions in that girl.
- Her overweight
- Her father is a diabetic patient
- Black patches in neck as well as armpit
Those teenagers of age 12 or 13, a few have sight problems, infections and small swellings in their body parts. Such kids may be a victim of diabetic attack. Type – 2 diabetics normally seen in adults is nowadays seen in kids as well.
6-8 years sleeping inside a person
Even after a lot of awareness programs in our country, diabetics can’t be controlled in any way. It mainly lies in the fact that without symptoms, no one is checking if he is diabetic or not. Many patients are there who sadly say, “I got this disease yesterday only”. Actually it’s not the truth. 6-8 years, this disease sleeps inside a person without giving any signal and when it’s detected, it becomes too late. That’s why it’s called a ‘silent killer’ by doctors. Normally it’s detected when the patient seeks doctor’s help for another problem. When his blood test is done, his excess blood sugar level also surfaces along with other reports.
If you become sudden ‘slim’ beware!
Let me tell you a real life incident of an IT professional of 28. Due to his job profile and food habits, he became fat and hearing his friends’ teasing words, he decided to become slim. He joined a gym soon and did heavy exercises. Along with it, he ate good food as well. After 6 months, he began to lose his weight abnormally. When he consulted doctor he checked his blood reports. His obesity gone, but diabetics came!
If our body losses its weight suddenly, only a few persons pay attention to it and consult a doctor. Instead, he will eat some extra calorie food like milk and eggs to compensate, calling diabetics more near.
Every one thinks that diabetic symptoms are only our wounds healing slowly, excess thirst or frequent urination. But truth is that such conditions fall in the second stage of diabetics. To start precautions earlier, we should be able to find its symptoms at its earliest.
When should we check diabetics?
It’s better to check its possibilities at 13 or 14 particularly if you have overweight or you belong to a diabetic family. Symptoms are always detected at the late stage from where we can’t return. So, if it’s able to detect within the first 10 years, more chances are there to completely get rid of it. Also its impact on eyes, legs and skin can be reduced considerably. Fasting blood sugar test (taken in the early morning with empty stomach), oral glucose tolerance test and HBA1C are the common methods used.
Don't loss this golden chance
Pre-diabetics is called ‘golden period’ by doctors as it’s possible to fight against diabetics and bring our health back during this period. Food control and exercises are the main techniques used. You may not be a person interested in exercise. Yet, you have to do at least half hour exercise sparing time, so that you need not take medicines in future. Your single decision may be sufficient to fight against this disease.
Start with 10 minutes walk. Gradually increase it to half hour or one hour daily. Instead of walking you can practise jogging, cycling and swimming as well. But if you are to start exercise as a new habit, seek a doctor’s help. He will give you details of your health, cholesterol and blood pressure levels and heart condition before starting this new program. Even if you notice loss of fat from your body, continue exercising. Otherwise those lost calories will be restored very quickly by our body. Also choose exercises taking the waist length as well.
Giving parties and attending parties
Giving best food is treated as best hostage given to guests. When we are giving them the best, we are giving a lot of bad factors as well. Along with them, we are also eating the same food. Next time when you treat your guests, just remember, what you eat in such a single occasion is double that you can burn through exercises. To control diabetics, no need to stop such treats. Instead keep everything in control. Always be aware of the calories you eat during such functions or parties. While we are taking control against diabetics, we are keeping ourselves from cholesterol, blood pressure, strokes and heart problems as well.
- While having a rice meal, we give more importance to rice than curries. Rice will be easily converted to glucose. So, it’s better to increase the content of side dishes intake than rice.
- Include seasonal fruits and vegetables available in your courtyard in your daily diet. Papaya, spinach, bitter gourd, banana flowers, guava, mango and banana are easily available in our fields or courtyard. Make a kitchen garden at your home avoiding the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Instead use kitchen vegetable wastes, char coal and dried cow dung as manure. Pesticides can resist human insulin. So, it’s better to go for nature vegetables and fruits cultivated in our fields or courtyard.
- Increase fiber content of your food. Brown rice and whole wheat are good in fiber content. Gooseberry, leafy vegetables, fruits etc also contain fiber a lot. To reduce the food intake, drink a cup of vegetable soup before meals. Non-vegetarian food can also give a lot of supplements to body through fish, eggs and meat, but in a controlled way.
- Use steamed fish or curry instead of fry. Same is the case of meat too.
- Certain rules to be kept in the dining table
- When you are treating someone never prompt him to eat more than what he needs. Instead of pleasing him, we are doing harm to him. When you visit someone buy fruits as gifts instead of sweets.
- Keep certain controls in your kids’ food as well. Give them low sugar tea or coffee from childhood. You can even ask them to have sugar free drinks. It’s surely growing to help them in distant future.
In pre-diabetic patients, it’s possible to take 50% of them back to normal conditions bringing some changes in their life styles. Doctors often prescribe medicines such as metformin at this stage. During pre-diabetic stage more chances are there for fat deposits in blood vessels, which in turn give more chances for heart diseases. Even if taken no measures, some people may continue in pre-diabetic stage. But 70% of such patients can be cured completely if taken proper medical help.
65% people have probability of diabetics in future.
According to survey reports of Kerala, 22% people are diabetic patients and those in pre-diabetic stage are double. If not treated properly 65% will be victims of diabetics in distant future. If so, very soon we can see 90% people of Kerala in this list, within 3 years! Though genetic factors give chances to diabetics, food style and lack of body movements bring those kids close to diabetics soon.
How to know if you have diabetics
To detect it in early stage, HBA1C test is mostly accepted one. It examines the normal glucose level of a person over 3 months. But you need to use periodically calibrated instruments for its detection. Then only you get correct result. Otherwise result may vary from 0.5 to 2 %. Though it’s a little bit expensive, it gives accurate result. If the output value is 5.6 % or below, the person is not diabetic. If value lies in the range 5.7-6.4 he is in pre-diabetic stage and if it exceeds 6.4, he is diabetic for sure.
Other factors that can lead to diabetics
Side effects of certain medicinal drugs
Hormone medicines may lead to diabetics in future. Medicines for asthma, certain steroids for skin diseases and certain medicines for infertility may lead to diabetics in future. Those persons with excess body weight and carrying genetic traits should be extra vigilant while taking such medicines.
Deficiency of Vitamin D
New researches have proved that deficiency of this vitamin can lead to diabetics. It happens when it reduces the proper functioning of insulin in blood. According to Melbourne university researches deficiency of vitamin D can reduce the diabetic controlling power of patient as well.
Morning or evening, 20 minutes under sunshine is good for the absorption of vitamin D. But for vitamin deficiency, one needs to take supplements. But if taken in excess it may be stored in the body itself. So, according to doctor’s instructions you need to change its dose.
Tensions and pressures
Now everyone is in tension, from school kid to house wife, from a working person to retired man. Such tensions may produce certain stress hormones inside body which are really harm to those who have obesity problems or genetic traits of diabetics. Counter regulatory hormones function against insulin increasing the glucose level. Anxiety, exam pressure, target pressure, deaths of family members etc can lead to diabetics. Yoga, exercises and counseling can help you in this matter.
Affect sex life
In certain teenage boys, moustache may not develop due to hormone variations. It’s due to low level of testosterones, the male hormones. It’s same in the case of ladies as well.
Fatty level due to non-alcoholic reasons may lead to diabetics, says recent studies of California University. Fat deposits of liver are seen in persons who have obesity problems.
It’s a myth that alcohol can’t cause diabetics. Drinking may lead to swelling of pancreas which destroys the cells producing insulin. So, alcohol is one reason for diabetics in young age.
Sleep gives complete rest to body, free of tensions and pressures. Loss of sleep leads to the increase of hunger hormones and reduces glucose tolerance as well. This leads to diabetics and heart problems. We need to get at least six hours deep sleep to protect our mind and body from many diseases.
Some common mistakes done by people
- Even after having high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity and genetic chances, not consulting a doctor or taking periodic checkups.
- Some persons quit breakfast to loss weight. 30% of such persons get diabetics easily. If food is not supplied to the body in intervals, body saves fat. Certain hormones that increase glucose level convert fat to glucose.
- Not following doctor’s instructions or not taking medicines properly. For example, many people continue cholesterol tablets after some days which results in the increase of bad cholesterol giving more chances to heart diseases and sugar problems.
- Doing laboratory tests and making self assessment. Some medicines can give wrong results. Better consult a doctor.
These 10 mistakes are never to be done
Above I have quoted some simple mistakes. Let me quote some more. According to medical science, non-treatment of diseases and doing the ‘don’t do’ activities can make diabetics more serious. Every hour how many diabetic patients are becoming handicapped! It certain safety measures are taken, many such incidents can be avoided. No short cuts for diabetic treatment. Change your life style and co-operate with your doctor if you want to reduce its after effects. Also hiding your diabetic problems is depriving yourself from deserved treatment at right time. I am giving 10 such common mistakes done by diabetic patients.
Sugar level not decreasing even after taking insulin
Hero of this story is a 10-year diabetic patient. Even after injecting insulin in desired proportion, his sugar level was always above 300. Then he began to drop doctor visits.
What went wrong – He didn’t consult doctor regularly to know his present health condition. He kept his insulin medicines in freezer of refrigerator which reduced its active power.
What could have been done earlier – He could have consulted doctor at regular intervals and fix the amount of medicines to be taken. Insulin is to be kept in refrigerator door, not freezer. It’s not good to store insulin in vehicles also and in places exposed to sun light or high temperature. It’s safe to carry insulin in hand bags or pockets. It’s practical to keep a bag similar to pencil box to keep syringe, cotton and needle.
When pus in plagues of mouth began to cause problems, patient recognized, “Now it’s not in my hands”. When she came to know that she is a diabetic patient, she controlled her food, drank bitter gourd juice everyday and ate some medicinal leaves. Then she consulted a diabetologist, took medicines and insulin injection and brought diabetics under control.
What went wrong – Instead of using medicines and insulin, treated her hearing words of others
What could have been done earlier – Diabetics is a complex and serious issue and never conduct any experiment on our body which has not got any scientific proofs. We are not experiment animals. While following unscientific methods, our muscles, eyes, ears, kidney etc are affected easier.
Changing medicines to reduce expenses
This patient was using diabetic medicines for a long time. But suddenly he felt the need for increasing his doze, when his test report came. When it increased from 20 units to 60, he told this matter to doctor.
What went wrong – When he came to know that a particular company gives the same tablet in half price, he shifted to those tablets. But those tablets were of low quality.
What could have been done earlier – He could have asked his doctor once before changing the prescription. A medicine’s price increases when its side effects are low and benefits are high, also when it’s a product of latest experiments and technology. Please note that same medicine may decrease the cost after 5 or 6 years.
When he reached hospital, his foot was filled with pus. Even after removing 6 stones from his feet, he didn’t feel pain.
What went wrong – This diabetic patient was in diabetic foot situation. It was too late to detect that he was a diabetic patient. Otherwise through his reversed life style, he could have got over it.
What could have been done earlier – He should have covered his feet fully wearing shoes. Socks should also be of correct size that also cotton.
Diabetic patients should clean their feet daily before sleep and examine using a mirror to find if it have any change in colour or wounds. If so, consult a doctor. Also, keep them moisture free. To get better blood circulation, walk half an hour daily.
As sugar was not kept
He was 45 and traveling in a train compartment. When he fell down unconscious everyone crowded around him. His friend, who was a diabetic patient knew the danger and gave a candy that was in his hand. It saved his life too!
What went wrong – Never taken precautions while going on a trip! Also, he did some heavy manual work just before the journey.
What could have been done earlier – If glucose level falls below 70 milligram, this condition is known as hypoglycemia and such persons need to carry sweets in their hands, in case an emergency needed. Also, all diabetic patients should carry everything they need before a journey.
Hot water to reduce pain
This patient was taken to hospital after serious burns in feet. He dipped his legs in hot water at home to reduce pain.
What went wrong – To reduce pain of his feet he used to dip his legs in luke warm water. But as he went through next stages of diabetics, he lost his touching sensation gradually and along with it he began to increase the heat of water. It resulted in burning of his legs one day.
What could have been done earlier – If not taken care, any one may get boils. Instead of self assessing he should ask the help of others (a person who is not diabetic) to know if it’s severe or not. A person who has already lost sensation can’t say if it’s serious or not.
Cutting harmless wounds and nails
This person was admitted in hospital due to wounds in his hand. It was his habit to cut of harmless marks and wounds of his body using scissors.
What went wrong - In this case, two things happened. Such skin formation and fungal infections are common in diabetic patients. They may carry microbial organisms as well. If such parts are cut, it may lead to infections. As he didn’t treat his diabetics, he had some vision problems as well. Such persons should never cut nails. Diabetic retinopathy, diabetic cataract and glaucoma – these three diseases can cause eye problems. Diabetic patients should consult an eye specialist once in a year to check his eye health.
What could have been done earlier – Never cut nails or other body parts even if it seems not a trouble. Consult eye specialist and if needed patient can use spectacles.
Over treatment after delivery
A mother of 1 year old child got diabetic attack. It was her second delivery. Kid was overweighed. Also, she gained 3-4 kilograms within 3 months.
What went wrong – She was a victim of gestation diabetics (pregnancy diabetics). It was well controlled also. But after delivery, she ate high calorie food which brought everything back.
What could have been done earlier – Since she had obesity problems, she should have done food control. It’s common, ladies eat a lot after delivery. When they are given complete rest for first 3 months, it increases her weight a lot.
Taking medicines as you please
He never hears anyone’s words, even wife’s. He never takes medicines at correct time or right prescription. When he was brought to hospital, he had kidney complaint and doctor asked to do dialysis. His drinking made situation only worse. For the same reason, his bad health was noticed at later stages only.
What went wrong – He insisted on taking medicines only instead of insulin injections. Since he had high blood pressure and kidney problems, doctor prescribed 6 medicines. But since he can’t meet expenses of all his medicines due to his bad drinking habits, he reduced each tablet day by day and at last it reached diabetic tablets only. It made his condition worse than expected.
What could have been done earlier – He could have quit drinking. Drinking only worsen the health condition. Also, when doctor’s prescribed medicines were reduced, it became more complex.
Not believing test reports
A lady of 40 years, if appear 60, how will she tolerate? When she saw her friends beautiful and active, she often burst out. When her skin became dry, she used expensive creams. Though such medicines give temporary comforts, it doesn’t last too long. When diabetics began to show its signs, she sought medical help.
What went wrong – She assumed her skin problem to be a beauty problem and bought creams to recover from it, instead of bringing diabetics under control. Diabetics give early signs of aging. More than her age, diabetics’ age caused her real problems. She tested in one lab, but didn’t believe glucometer reading. When consulted in a nearby laboratory, she saw lower glucose levels and assumed that it’s correct glucose level. Colour and behaviour of diabetics can change at any time, particularly in those persons where sugar levels are not controllable. She didn’t care this factor which worsened her condition only a little more.
What could have been done earlier – When she found deviation in test reports, when she took from two labs, she could have consulted a doctor. Reaching a conclusion by herself created the real problems to her.
Through this article I have given detailed information of diabetics and common mistakes done by diabetic patients. It’s one of the worst diseases of present time; we got it through our modern life style. If it’s detected at early stages and treated in the way it is needed, diabetics can come under our control for sure! Leave in a diabetic free world! All the best!
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