How to manage diabetes. We can eat sweets from morning to night and never have diabetes and can lead to a very healthy life and nevertheless visit us.
Scientists have not yet been able to decipher all the secrets of this disease affecting more than 300 million people worldwide, nor to delete it from the list of chronic diseases, as the cure for it has not yet been found.
However, the advancement of science is constantly bringing new therapies that offer patients many and good years of life and give new hope to its treatment.
What happens to diabetes
It is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to use food properly to manage diabetes.
Normally, glucose (a form of sugar produced when digesting food) is the body’s main fuel source.
It is burned by the cells to produce energy and it is important that it is always available.
Converting food into energy is called metabolism. To metabolize food, our body needs insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas.
Glucose can pass through the blood to muscle cells and adipocytes and be used as fuel only if insulin is present.
A normal body strictly controls the amount of glucose in the blood.
The problem for people with diabetes is that they either don’t produce insulin at all or they produce little, so the extra sugar stays in the blood and gets a chance to begin its destructive work in the body. So if one thinks that our blood sugar levels go up every time we eat, it’s easy to see how useful insulin is.
An illness … two-person
There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes) and type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent or adult diabetes).
How to manage diabetes types
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can usually occur from infancy to just before the age of 35. In this type, the pancreas does not produce any insulin and therefore should be administered externally in the form of subcutaneous injections.
What’s wrong; The reasons for his appearance are not completely clear. Scientists believe that some people have a genetic or genetic predisposition and so at some point in their lives, due to some psychological or physical stress, they will present it.
This stress will activate the mechanism of autoimmunity, disrupting the immune system, which attacks and destroys the insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells.
Even a simple cure can stress the body. It has been observed that the disease is triggered at some time, usually in youth, after a seasonal cure, so diagnoses of type 1 diabetes are almost twice as high in the winter months. Type 1 diabetes is not inherited.
How will I understand him? The symptoms (frequentness, excessive thirst, sudden weight loss and at the same time increased appetite, weakness, exhaustion, blurred vision, nausea, unpleasant breathing) are severe and usually appear suddenly.
Medications: Type 1 diabetes is treated with injectable insulin therapy, which is administered either by injection (with a special discretionary pen) or by a special device (pump) that is fitted to the body and adjusted to supply the patient with appropriate amounts of insulin.
As for insulins, much has changed since the 1960s when animal insulins were used. Human beings followed in the 1980s, and in recent years things have changed even more, as insulin analogs are now circulating.
These are new lab-produced insulins and have many benefits, such as having less hypoglycemia and so no need to wait after the injection to eat.
How will I prevent it? Unfortunately, our love for sweets or our way of life is not responsible for this type of diabetes. So there is nothing we can do to prevent it.
If genetic information is available, it will at some point be triggered. But what we need to do is go to the doctor right away with the first symptoms so that if it is diabetes, we can fix it as soon as possible.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes usually develops after the age of 40, but in recent years age indicators are starting to come down, mainly because its appearance is related to lifestyle. It accounts for 80-90% of diabetes cases.
In this form of diabetes, the pancreas still produces insulin, but it is not enough and the body cannot use it effectively. Specifically, people with type 2 diabetes develop insulin resistance, a condition that forces the body to produce more and more insulin to overcome this resistance.
However, this results in some years (5 to 25, as the case may be) of the pancreas being depleted and producing no more. So at some point type, 2 diabetics also get insulin therapy.
Of course, we have to point out that the more properly we manage our condition, that is, we are careful about our diet, we do not spend our insulin unnecessarily, we exercise, we keep our weight at a normal level and we regulate our blood sugar with anti-diabetic tablets, the more we will be slow to get into insulin therapy.
What’s wrong; Usually a combination of factors such as obesity (experts also talk about “diabetic obesity”, since the accumulated fat, mainly in the abdominal area – abdominal obesity -, creates insulin resistance), lack of exercise (lack of exercise) are nearly five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who exercise systematically), malnutrition, heredity.
How will I understand him? The symptoms here appear gradually. We may, therefore, notice frequent urinary tract infections, slow healing of skin wounds, gum infections, numbness in the hands or feet, itching on the skin, severe fatigue. In many cases, of course, there are no symptoms at all and diabetes is discovered by a random blood test.
Its Medicines: Although diabetes is not completely cured, as we already know, it is still well managed with modern and effective medicines, which have less and less side effects. The first drug of choice is metformin, which reduces insulin resistance.
But the new categories of drugs added to the doctors’ arms work with a completely different mechanism, newer, more modern. They enhance the phenomenon of incretin, which is weakened by the onset of diabetes.
Incretins are hormones that are secreted in the intestine after food intake and then increase the secretion of insulin from the pancreas. This class of medicines includes GLP-1 injectable analogs and DPP-4 enzyme inhibitors which are tablets.
These new medicines, in addition to the good sugar they offer, are also characterized by a very low risk of developing hypoglycemia (a major side effect of most antidiabetic drugs).
In addition, DPP-4 inhibitors (vildagliptin, sitagliptin, saxagliptin) and GLP-1 analogs (exenatide, liraglutide) do not increase body weight, and in some cases may gradually decrease it.
How will I prevent it? Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, a Mediterranean diet, maintaining normal body weight, regular blood tests.
Diet for diabetics
Gone are the days when diagnosis meant condemning a life devoid of tastes. Experts now know that people with diabetes need to eat healthy, following the Mediterranean diet, as well as healthy ones, but be careful about eating certain foods as well as sweets.
1/2 of the plate should contain vegetables of different types and rich in fiber, which delay the absorption of blood sugar, resulting in low post-glucose levels in the diabetic.
1/4 of the plate should include carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, bread), preferably from whole grains, because they increase blood sugar less after eating them.
The remaining 1/4 of the dish should contain protein (fish, chicken or turkey with no skin, red lean meat, legumes). Proteins delay digestion by increasing blood sugar levels.
The map of the complications
People with a little “pinched” sugar were formerly considered sweet blood, but today experts say they are on the verge of cardiovascular disease and beyond. The areas of the body that diabetes strikes when it is not well regulated are:
- The large vessels (heart, brain, abdominal aorta). The arteries lose their elasticity, resulting in atherosclerotic plaques.
- Eyes (diabetic retinopathy).
- The kidneys (kidney failure).
- Nerves (neuropathies – slowly losing sensitivity, mainly in the legs).
- Feet (“diabetic foot”).
- Teeth (after a dental treatment the wounds do not heal).
- The penis (disorders in the erection due to poor blood supply, but also as a side effect of certain medications taken by diabetics).