Diabetes

                                                 FAQs On Diabetes

What is Diabetes

Diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus) which is popularly known as SUGAR is a condition in which sugar levels (glucose) in the blood are found high. For our energy needs it is necessary to us to take food. After taking food it is converted in to sugar (glucose) which is to be used as energy by our body for our needs. Blood carries such produced sugar throughout the body which will be in high levels until it is converted in to energy by body. This process needs a hormone called Insulin which is produced by beta cells of our pancreas gland. When sugar levels are more in blood the pancreas releases sufficient insulin which enables the body cells to metabolize or burn the sugar for body’s energy needs causing blood sugar levels to return to normal. When such insulin is not produced or not sufficiently produced in body and even if sufficient insulin is produced but it is not being properly utilized by body then these conditions lead to excess deposits of sugar in blood and this disorder is known as Diabetes. High blood sugar is only a symptom but it is not the cause of the disease. If diabetes is left untreated or uncontrolled it can lead to serious health problems. Unfortunately, it has no cure but it can effectively be controlled.

What is pre-diabetes

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not so high to the level of type-2 diabetes. Pre-diabetic people have more chances of developing type-2 diabetes in later times. Type-2 diabetic persons almost always have pre-diabetes prior to their diagnosis of type-2.

Can diabetes be cured

No. A cure for diabetes is not yet invented. Once you are diagnosed with diabetes you have it for the rest of your life. Yet, no need to worry. It can be effectively managed and controlled.

What are the symptoms of diabetes

Usual symptoms are excess urination, excessive thirst, excessive hunger, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, numbness, tingling, dry mouth, yeast infections, slow healing of sores and wounds (sometimes no healing), impotence (loss of libido), erectile dysfunction (ED), weak sex drive in both sexes, infections/itching in genital organs, frequent urinary tract infections etc.

One necessarily need not experience all these symptoms collectively. If some people experience few types of these symptoms others may experience other few types of these symptoms. But when anyone feels at least any 2 – 3 signs of these symptoms should become alert and has to seek medical advice to get confirmation of Diabetes.

How many types of diabetes are

Generally there are type-1, type-2, type-1.5 (recently established) and gestational diabetes.

What is type-1 diabetes and what are the causes for it

It is also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) and Juvenile Onset Diabetes. This diabetes is generally a genetic condition or due to viral infections or auto immune system disorders which cause the destruction of Beta cells of pancreas. As a result, pancreas stops to produce insulin and consequently glucose (sugar) gets deposited in blood without being converted in to energy. In such conditions body to meet its energy requirements tries to get it by burning fats and muscles of body which causes the patient to become lean and weak. Largely it is found in children and the young people less than 30 years of age.

Viral infections, genetic or auto immune issues are usually found to be the causes for this type of diabetes.

What is type-2 diabetes and what are the causes for it

It is also known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) and Adult Onset/Stable Diabetes. Largely it is a lifestyle disease. 90% diabetics suffer from this kind of diabetes and it is generally found in adults over the age of thirty. In this type, pancreas produces enough insulin but body cells will be unable to process or utilize effectively the produced insulin and as a result blood sugar levels will be raised when food is taken. In this type, sometimes the pancreas also produces very little quantity of insulin which will not be sufficient. When glucose derived out of taken food is not properly converted in to energy the body usually tends to burn fats, muscles to get its energy requirements leaving the patient lean and weak. 

Changed or irregular life style, lack of exercise, sedentary life, excess comforts, wrong food habits, obesity, stress, genetic reasons etc. are attributed to be the common causes for this type of diabetes. 

What is type-1.5 diabetes

In recent studies this new type is established in some cases. This is also called as Double diabetes or Hybrid diabetes or Mixed diabetes. This type has mixed symptoms a few of type-1diabetes and a few of type-2 diabetes. In this type like type-1 cases insulin is not produced and when insulin is administered, like type-2 cases, it is not being properly used by body cells (insulin resistance). Mainly it is found in some young age people. Still studies are going on it.

What is gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a temporary type of diabetes which develops during the gestation (pregnancy) in women and after pregnancy is over it will revert to normal levels. It, in future, increases the risk of type-2 diabetes in some women who experienced the gestational diabetes.

What is insulin resistance (IR)

In type-2 diabetes, even though insulin is sufficiently produced, the body cells become unable to process or utilize the produced insulin by showing resistance to it. This condition is known as insulin resistance.

What are the complications or adverse effects of diabetes

The major complications are –

Fatigue

Eye disorders(diabetic retinopathy) which may develop cataracts, glaucoma causing loss of vision.

Cardiac disorders(diabetic cardiomyopathy) which lead to heart failure or stroke.

Increase in triglycerides which lead to accumulation of cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in blood vessels with a risk of causing heart attacks or strokes.

Kidney disorders (diabetic nephropathy) leading to kidney failure.

Nerve disorders (diabetic neuropathy) leading to numbness or tingling sensation especially in foot which may lead to sores and gangrene also.

Skin infections, yeast infections and slow curing or no curing of wounds, scars.

Sexual implications like erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE), low or no sex drive in males and females.

Gum infections, loss of bladder control etc.

What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and what is the reason for DKA

It is a condition in which building up of acids go on in blood when blood sugar levels are too high for too long time. When insulin shortfalls or when the body is not able to use the produced insulin, then cells cannot utilize the sugar present in blood and as a result it is not used as energy by body. In this situation, for the want of energy, body tends to use fats for its energy needs. In this process of burning fats an acid called ketones is produced which changes the chemical balance of blood. Sometimes, it could be life-threatening.

What is Hypoglycemia and what are its symptoms

The condition of low blood sugar is known as hypoglycemia. Generally low blood sugar is considered when sugar levels are less than 60 mg/dl. It is a signal that body needs some food. It may happen when dose of diabetic medicines exceeds or when adequate food is not taken. At this stage when little sweet items or some food is taken sugar levels come to normal. Different people feel different symptoms which are – weakness, dizziness, hunger, tremble, shaking, sweating, anxiety, pounding of heart, confusion, headache, disturbed mind, lack of coordination, numbness in mouth and tongue etc. 

Does alcohol affect diabetes

Yes, absolutely. A little consumption, now and then, makes no much problem but regular or heavy alcohol intake aggravates the diabetic condition. The calories of alcohol contribute to high sugar levels. Diabetic sufferers should avoid taking alcohol on an empty stomach.

How diabetes is properly controlled  

“Determination, Diet & Exercise” is the first line of diabetes management. Diabetes is not controlled well only with medicines however effective they may be. It can properly be controlled with meal planning i.e. break-up meals (a heavy meal can be taken 2 or 3 times in small divided portions), restrictions on fat and sweet & processed items, balanced and low-glycemic-index foods, active lifestyle with adequate physical exercise, avoidance of alcohol & smoking, stress less life, required medicines every day etc. The rationale behind the break-up meal is that, when you take heavy food at a time it releases high sugar (glucose) at once in to blood and when you take low quantity in parts then it also releases low sugar in parts which do not affect normal sugar levels. 

What is Glycemic index (GI) and why it is important

Glycemic index is a number which indicates that how fast the carbohydrates of an eaten food release sugar (glucose) in to one’s bloodstream. A food having high GI releases sugar quickly into blood which contributes to high sugar levels. Low GI foods release sugar slowly to prevent blood sugar from rapidly rising and falling.

Vegetables, lentils, legumes, beans, peas, whole wheat, brown rice, barley, citric or low-sweet fruits, maize, sorghum, oats, flax seeds, quinoa, finger millet (raagi) etc. have low GI values.

 White rice (polished rice), white bread, refined wheat like maida, sugar, sweets, sweet drinks, honey, cakes, sweet fruits like banana, pasta, potatoes, alcohol, processed food (packed food) etc. have high GI values.

Meat and fats do not have any GI as they don’t contain carbohydrates but they are not advised for diabetics. Meat may be replaced with moderate chicken.

Why exercise is important for diabetics

Exercise is not only important to diabetics but also to all individuals. Physical exercise is a most unavoidable activity to be done by type-2 diabetics daily.Sufficient physical exertion itself reduces excess sugar levels by 30 – 50% which is a big benefit to sufferers. Exercise boosts metabolism which makes body cells to respond better to insulin i.e. it reduces insulin resistance to decrease the sugar levels. Daily a brisk walk of 30 – 60 minutes is one of the most widely accepted physical activities in the world. However, chronic patients suffering from ailments like heavy BP, severe cardiac disorders, spinal surgeries, renal failure etc., need to perform exercises cautiously based on their body conditions under the supervision of experts. Diabetic sufferers are generally advised to keep chocolates, biscuits or any small sweet bits with them during exercise, walking times which will enable them to consume immediately if unexpectedly low sugar condition is felt.

Are children of diabetics at risk

May be, because it is found some people have diabetes as a genetic pass and when multiple members have diabetes in a family the risk is more. Yet, this threat can be delayed or sometimes prevented when children are kept physically active with sports & exercises, fed with nutritious & balanced food and a healthy life-style is followed. Over weight is also one of the causes in children.

Are artificial sweeteners safe for diabetics

Still controversy prevails among experts over the use of artificial sweeteners which are also called as “free foods”. Artificial sweeteners are a type of chemicals designed in labs to make them free of calories. Occasionally, little use of these things may not harm but increased consumption leads to obesity and rise in sugar levels as it disrupts intestinal microflora.

What are the common check-ups to be done by diabetics

There are some routine check-ups which are to be done periodically.

FBS/FBG (Fasting blood sugar/Fasting blood glucose): This is a test to be done at least once in 2 – 3 months. The normal values are 60 – 110 mg/dl. The blood sample has to be given on empty stomach without taking any food except water in the morning.

FUS (Fasting urine sugar): This urine test is also to be done at the time of FBS test without taking any food in the morning. The normal value is NIL.

PLBS/PPBG (Post lunch blood sugar/Post prandial blood glucose): This is a test to be done at least once in 2 – 3 months (on the same day FBS is done). This test is to be done exactly 2 hours after taking a meal, preferably morning breakfast or 1st meal, timed from the start of the meal. The normal values are 110 – 160 mg/dl.

PLUS (Post lunch urine sugar): This urine test is also to be done at the time of PLBS usually at 2 hours after taking meals. The normal value is NIL.

HbA1c (Glycated haemoglobin levels): This is to be done once at least in between 3 – 4 months. It indicates average blood sugar of the last 3 months and measures how well the blood sugar was controlled over the past 3 months. The normal value ranges between 6.0% – 7.0% which indicates good control.

(The values of FBS, PLBS, HbA1c mentioned above are generally followed in India)

 

Lipid profile test: Also known as Lipid panel. This is to be done at least once in between 3 – 4 months and the sample needs to be given in fasting condition. It evaluates abnormalities in lipids such as total cholesterol and triglycerides. Depending on the position of cholesterol levels, coronary (heart) risks are assessed as diabetics are more prone to angina (silent heart attack).

 

Serum creatinine test: To be done at least once in 2 – 3 months. It assesses how well your kidneys are working by evaluating kidneys’ glomerular filtration rate. High serum creatinine levels indicate poor kidney functioning which may lead to kidney failure if proper care is not taken.

Blood urea test: To be done once in 2 – 3 months. It helps know the functioning of kidneys. High protein food like mutton, chicken, eggs needed to be avoided 3 days before to this test. Blood urea-to-creatinine ratio provides more precise information about kidney functioning. High urea levels suggest poor kidney functioning which may lead to kidney failure if proper care is not exercised.

BP: Needs to be checked up once in 1 – 1 ½ month.

 

Eye check-up: Eyes needs to be examined at least once a year to know the eye disorders generally found in diabetics. 

Feet test: Self examination of feet to be done once in a week to find out sensation, any sores, wounds, cuts on feet. If found their curing condition is also to be observed.

Other pathological tests may also be needed as the situation demands which a physician suggests.

Having a blood glucose monitoring apparatus (gluco-meter) is useful

Yes. But the apparatus must be a standard one and you too must operate it in the precise way as per instructions specified there on. A routine check-up (FBS & PLBS) once in 7 – 10 days gives you a rough idea about your blood sugar status. Anyhow, periodical check-ups are needed at pathological labs as discussed above.

Is your product “Diabar” useful to diabetics

Yes, it is quite useful in type-2 conditions.  Ayurveda (Indian herbal medicine system) has shown excellent solutions to diabetes. Our product Diabar is made up of safe and effective medicinal plants under the supervision of experienced herbal physicians. It has 22 kinds of potent herbs like gurmar – methi – jamun – guduchi – karela – tulasi – neem – haridra etc. Many of its ingredients are used in their extracted forms to improve the product’s efficacy considerably. No doubt, allopathic medicines (English medicines) too help in controlling blood sugar but in long run many side-effects are felt in large number of diabetics.

Without any side-effects our product Diabar effectively – 

Helps regenerate lipid mechanism

Helps activate beta cells of pancreas

Helps promote insulin secretion for safe and gentle glycemic control

Helps increase good cholesterol (HDL) decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) to reduce risk of cardiac failures (Diabetic cardiomyopathy)

Helps exert action like that of metformin hydrochloride which is found in many allopathic medicines.

Helps prevent oxidative damage

Helps activate metabolism to boost up the up-taking and utilization of glucose by body cells to lower sugar levels

Helps prevent vascular and nerve damage (Diabetic neuropathy)

Helps promote renal health to minimize kidney disorders (Diabetic nephropathy)

Helps increase hepatic and muscle glycogen content to enhance the peripheral utilization of blood glucose

Generally it is said a few allopathic/chemical medicines being used in Diabetes decreases sexual drive. Is it true

Yes. It is observed that a few allopathic/inorganic medicines used in the treatment of Diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac/cholesterol ailments etc., in long run, are weakening the sexual desires in males and females. In Ayurveda you don’t find such disadvantage and our product Diabar does not interfere with one’s sexual libido. Diabetics can also take our male libido enhancing productViriltone for better sex life

I am already using other allopathic medicines for diabetes. Can I use your herbal product Diabar

Yes. In type-2 diabetes, it will not intervene with other medicines you are taking. You are taking other medicines along with our herbal medicine, it means, you are taking some extra dose. Then some caution is needed. Whenever, you feel any symptom of hypoglycemia (a condition of low blood sugar levels) like sweating, trembling, weakness, faint, dizziness, shaking, rise in heart beat, anxiety etc., immediately consult your doctor who may adjust the doses of you drugs depending on your needs. 

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not intended to be a substitute for any professional medical advice or treatment or any medical diagnosis.