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Herbal Supplements and Home Remedies

The word diabetes was coined by the 2nd-century A.D. Greek physician, Aretus the Cappadocian, meaning ‘the siphon’ as the condition is characterized by excessive urination.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels. The word mellitus was added to diabetes in 1675 by Thomas Willis. Mel in Latin means honey and refers to the excess of glucose in the urine and blood of people with diabetes.

Types of diabetes

According to WHO, there are three main types of diabetes:

Diabetes Type 1 – The body does not produce insulin at all. Also called early onset or juvenile diabetes, it requires the person to inject insulin throughout his/her life. People suffering from this types of diabetes are also very prone to ketoacidosis. The cause is not certain and could be genetic, viral, or multifactorial.

Diabetes Type 2 – Also called maturity onset, Type 2 diabetes is a result of insulin resistance. The body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or is not able to utilize insulin effectively.

Gestational Diabetes – A form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

Diabetes Types 1 & 2 are chronic, lifelong medical conditions. Gestational diabetes usually disappears after the birth of a child but can later lead to type 2 diabetes.

Juvenile diabetes may be either Type 1 or Type 2, and is seen in children or adolescents.


Common symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Disproportionate thirst
  • Intense hunger
  • Weight gain
  • Unusual weight loss (More common among people with Diabetes Type 1)
  • Increased fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and bruises don’t heal properly or quickly
  • More skin and/or yeast infections
  • Itchy skin
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Numbness or tingling, especially in the feet and hands

Diabetes is typically detected by carrying out a urine test, followed by a blood test

High risk groups of diabetes

Certain people are at higher risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. High risk groups include those who:-

  • Are over 55
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Had diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a big baby (more than 9 pounds)
  • Are Southeast Asian, Asian Indian, Afro-American, Hispanic American or Native American
  • Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Have heart disease

There is only one way to check if you have diabetes: get your blood sugar level tested.

Diabetes related complications

Diabetes is a chronic, life-long condition that requires careful monitoring and management. Left untreated, it can lead to various complications such as kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and blindness in some cases. Diabetes causes about 5% of all deaths globally each year. Diabetes deaths are likely to increase by more than 50% in the next 10 years without urgent action and preventive measures.

Short-term complications:

Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)

Anyone who suffers from diabetes and takes insulin is going to face the problem of blood sugar falling too low at some point. This state is called hypoglycaemia and can be corrected quickly by eating something sweet, like candy or plain sugar. If it is not corrected, hypoglycaemia can lead to the person losing consciousness.

The typical signs of hypoglycemia are:

  • hunger
  • shakiness
  • sweating
  • dizziness or light-headedness
  • confusion
  • weakness

This is a severe condition caused by lack of insulin. It mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. Acidic waste products called ketones are produced when the body breaks down fats. In the absence of insulin, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, causing ketoacidosis.

Lactic acidosis
Lactic acidosis is the build-up of lactic acid in the body. Too much lactic acid in the body makes people feel ill. Otherwise, Lactic acidosis is a rare ailment. It mainly affects people with type 2 diabetes.

Bacterial / fungal infections
Patients are more prone to fungal and bacterial and infections like boils, boils, athlete’s foot, sties, ring worm, and vaginal infections.

Long-term complications:

Eye disease (retinopathy)
As per statistics, about 2% of all people who have had diabetes for 15 years or more become blind, while about 10% develop a severe visual impairment.

Kidney disease (nephropathy)
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease (nephropathy) and failure. About one third of all people with diabetes develop kidney disease and approximately 20% of people with type 1 diabetes develop kidney failure.

Nerve disease (neuropathy)
Diabetic nerve disease, or neuropathy, affects at least half of all people with diabetes. Common complaints are loss of sensation in the feet or in some cases the hands, pain in the foot and problems with the functioning of different parts of the body including the heart, the eye, the stomach, the bladder and the penis. A lack of sensation in the feet and hands can lead to patients to injure themselves without realizing it.

Diseases of the circulatory system
The risk of heart disease is 2-4 times higher in diabetes patients than for those who do not have diabetes. It is the main cause of disability and death for people with type 2 diabetes in industrialized countries.

Diabetics are more likely (20 to 35 times) to require lower-limb amputation.

Prevention & Lifestyle modification

Experts and doctors believe that while there is yet no evidence to suggest that Type 1 diabetes can be prevented, primary prevention of type 2 diabetes is possible.

Weight control, a balanced diet, and increased physical activity are important in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The benefits of reducing body weight and increasing physical activity also play a role in reducing heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.

Secondary prevention involves the early detection and prevention of complications, therefore reducing the need for treatment. Regular annual check-ups go a long way in timely detection of diabetes. Periodic check of blood glucose levels is a must as are the monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Healthy eating, regular exercise, weight control all contribute to good cardiovascular health. Diabetics should also quit smoking.

According to the Mayo Clinic, daily intake of calories should consist of:

  • Carbohydrates 45% to 65%
  • Proteins 15% to 20%
  • Fats 20% to 35%

Patients are advised to adhere to meal plans for portion sizes and eating times. This will keep blood sugar and your weight ideal.


Though there is no known cure for diabetes, all types of diabetes are treatable. The main treatment for a Type 1 diabetic is injected insulin, along with some dietary and exercise adherence.

If you have Type 1 and follow a healthy eating plan, do adequate exercise, and take insulin, you can lead a normal life. Larry King, Halle Berry, and several well known diabetic US baseball and basketball players lead normal lives. Type 2 patients need to eat healthily, be physically active, and test their blood glucose regularly. They may also be prescribed oral medication to control blood glucose levels. Sometimes, Type 2 patients may also require insulin injections.

Eating Healthy When You Have Diabetes

It is always important to eat a healthy diet, but for those who have such medical conditions as diabetes, it is even more important. There are certain foods that are not good for diabetics and certain foods that they should be getting more of in their diets. Obviously, it is important to make sure that the foods that diabetics eat are not high in sugar and fat, and it also helps to eat foods that will help diabetics maintain a healthy weight.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that causes the body to either not produce enough insulin, which is necessary for breaking down the foods we eat, or not using the insulin it does produce properly. If you have been diagnosed as having diabetes, it is more important than ever to make sure that you are eating right. There are three types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes; Type 2 diabetes; and gestational diabetes. When a person has diabetes, it means that they have extremely high sugar counts in their blood and this must be controlled. Depending on which type of diabetes you have, controlling your sugars could be as easy as making some dietary changes-or you may need to take insulin to keep your sugars regulated.

Type 1 Diabetes – People who have Type 1 diabetes do not have enough insulin coming from the pancreas and must rely on insulin shots to make sure that they have enough. At one time, this involved taking needles, sometimes several times daily. Today, there is a device called an insulin pump, which is attached to the stomach and will supply insulin to the body as it needs it. Often, Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune disorder, and the person with this type of diabetes has an immune system that actually destroys the pancreas cells, making the organ unable to produce enough insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes – When the body does not properly use the insulin created by the pancreas, it is known as Type 2 diabetes. Often, this is a condition that is caused, or at least worsened, by being overweight. It is thought that excess body weight will inhibit the body’s ability to absorb and use insulin, and one way to alleviate this is by losing weight. This can be done by eating a healthy weight loss diet that is meant for diabetics. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, affecting between 90 and 95% of all diabetics.

Gestational Diabetes – This is the only type of diabetes that is a temporary one. It usually occurs when a woman is in the latter half of her pregnancy. It is always important to eat healthy when pregnant, but when gestational diabetes comes into play, it is even more important. When a woman has gestational diabetes, her pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin, and she will have to make some dietary changes, as well as monitor her blood sugar levels regularly. Fortunately, this form of diabetes usually goes away once the baby is born, and it is rare that it will cause the baby to be born with diabetes. It is important for women who are pregnant to be tested for gestational diabetes, so they can start making the dietary changes necessary to control the condition and have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

There are many different symptoms of diabetes and although many people experience many of the same symptoms, others may not, depending on the type of diabetes they have. Some of the most common symptoms associated with Type 1 diabetes include:

– Extreme thirst and hunger

– Frequent urination

– Loss of weight

– Blurred vision

– Extreme fatigue

The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are often very similar to those of Type 1 diabetes, but they are not usually as severe and they come on more gradually. Weight is a huge factor and about 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight.

Risk Factors for Developing Diabetes

There are a number of risk factors for diabetes and if you find that you have some of these risk factors, you should have your physician test you for diabetes. The risk factors for diabetes include:

– If you have a family history of diabetes, you may be at risk of developing the disease yourself.

– Being overweight can greatly increase your risk of developing diabetes and the more overweight you are, the greater the risk.

– Certain ethnic groups are at a higher risk for developing diabetes, including Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and Latinos.

Blood Sugar Levels

When a person has diabetes, it is essential that they monitor their blood sugar levels and take the appropriate steps to make sure that the levels are what they should be. Before eating, blood sugar levels should be between 90 and 130 and after eating, less than 180. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you will have to monitor your blood sugar levels several times a day. Your physician will be able to help you figure out just how often you should be doing this. In order to make sure that your blood sugar levels are regulated, you may have to take insulin (Type 1 diabetes), change your eating habits and get plenty of exercise.

A Healthy Diet Is Essential for Diabetics

There are certain things that must be included in a diabetic diet and foods that definitely need to be avoided. It is important for diabetics to know what to eat, how much to eat, and when they should eat. When a person is first diagnosed as being diabetic, the dietary changes may seem colossal, but they are not really that bad, especially if the person is already somewhat used to eating healthy. It is also important to get enough exercise, which will also help in weight loss and overall good health.

Diabetes The Chronic Killer

Diabetes mellitus or DM is a disease affecting multi-organ systems due to the abnormal insulin production, improper insulin usage or even both. It is a very serious health problem throughout the world effecting thousands of people.A survey conducted in United States showed that almost 6.2% of the population suffers from this disease. It is a matter of great issue that almost one -third of the population is unaware of the disease.


Diabetes is actually the fifth leading cause of deaths in the country of United States. And the real incidence is expected to have a steady increase in the coming years. Diabetes has a very important role in leading to heart disease, adult blindness, stroke, non traumatic amputation of lower limb etc. it is found that diabetic people do have a risk of almost two fold to develop coronary artery disease and that too with more than 65% suffering from high blood pressure.

Diabetes – a short review

Diabetes mellitus are of mainly three types, they include type 1 diabetes mellitus, type ii diabetes mellitus, gestational diabetes and also secondary diabetes. Gestational diabetes as its name refers to deals with the diabetic episode during pregnancy or during the gestational period. It will subside once after delivery. Secondary diabetes is another form of diabetes where diabetes will occur secondary to other diseases, for instance chronic hypertension.

Type I diabetes mellitus or juvenile diabetes

It is known as juvenile diabetes since it is more common among the juveniles or young people below 30 years of age. It is insulin dependent diabetes with a peak onset during the age group of 11 to 13. Type I diabetes is caused due to the progressive destruction of pancreatic beta cells that occurs by the auto immune mechanism. Clinical symptoms include increased frequency in urination or polyuria, excessive thirst or polydipsia, increased hunger or polyphagia, weight loss, fatigue etc are seen. Ketoacidosis is a very serious complication seen in children due to diabetes and is often life threatening and may lead to metabolic acidosis.

Type II diabetes mellitus

Over 90% of diabetes mellitus is type ii the pancreas continues to produce insulin,but this amount of insulin is either poorly used up by tissues or is either inadequate for bodily needs. There are mainly three abnormalities or factors leading to type ii diabetes mellitus. One of them is insulin resistance, where insulin receptors are either minimal in number or will remain unresponsive. Another factor is the poor ability of pancreas to produce insulin. The final factor comes with inappropriate glucose production by the liver.

Risks related to diabetes

When we analyze the analyze risk group for developing diabetes mellitus, a condition that requires primary importance is impaired glucose tolerance or IGT. It is a disease condition caused by the mild alteration of beta cell function. Here the blood glucose level is usually high but not to a level to be called as a case of diabetes. But most people with impaired tolerance for glucose have a high risk for developing type ii diabetes within the next 10 years.

Another important risk related to diabetes is insulin resistance syndrome, also known by the name syndrome x,it is in fact a cluster of abnormalities which will act in a synergistic manner so a stop increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is usually charactracterised by increase insulin levels, high amount of triglycerides, hypotension.

Once identified, then complete cure of the disease is not so easy though proper measures can help you to control diabetes in a very effective way. Though there are many environmental as well as genetic factors involved in causing diabetes, exercises. Balanced diet, adequate rest and sleep and a stress less life could help you to keep away from diabetes or to stop diabetes.

There are a lot of management measures for diabetes control. It chiefly includes nutritional therapy, exercise therapy, oral anti-glycemic agents, insulin treatment etc. therefore a collaborative management is usually preferred for treating diabetes mellitus. Nutritional therapy is one of the main management for diabetes mellitus.

Diabetic diet

Diabetic diet management is one of the main components of the collaborative management. Some of the general guidelines for diabetic diet include the following.

  • Fiber rich diet: Always include the fiber rich food in the diet as it could increase the bulk of your stomach and can add on to your satisfaction.
  • Restrict sodium intake up to even 2400mg/dl.
  • Include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet.
  • There is an alternative mode of planning the diabetic diet which is considered as one of the convenient method. This often referred as plate method. The most important advantage of this method is that here the patient itself could visualize the amount of starch, vegetables, and whatever food filled in the nine inch plate.
  • For lunch and the dinner, half of the plate is to be filled with non starchy vegetables, one fourth with starch and another one fourth with any non vegetarian items up to 2-4 oz. A single glass of milk with low fat and a small piece of fresh fruits could complete the meals.
  • When we look on to the breakfast, the plate has to be filled with starch around half and another one forth with optional proteins.
  • This plate method is found to be very useful as it could owe about 1200-1400 cal/day, which adds on to an appropriate balanced diet plan.

Nutritional therapy can do much to control diabetes. But there is a small variation in the diet plans of patient s with type I diabetes and type ii diabetes. When we consider total calories, type I diabetic people needs increased calorie intake because it commonly occur in young people and therefore for the proper maintenance and restoration of tissues, diet with good calorific value is important. While in the case of type ii people, this is often restricted for obese or overweight people.

Effect of diet is very much crucial in type I diabetes as not only food control but also insulin therapy is also a must in type I diabetes. Uniform timing for meals is considered very strict in the case of type I diabetes mellitus because of the multi doses of insulin’s but this is just desirable for type II diabetes mellitus. If needed, intermittent snack can be taken for diabetic patients with type I form, though it is not much recommended for type II diabetes. Usually the frequent snack is not recommended for type diabetic people.