Diabetes is a loss or lack of natural control of blood sugar levels, due to insufficient insulin or factors that counter-act the working of insulin, resulting blood glucose concentration rises, called hyperglycaemia.
Type 1 Diabetes, occurs because of breaking down of B-cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans, causing loss of insulin manufacture ability.
Type 2 Diabetes is when pancreatic islet destruction occurs many years before onset of diabetes. It appears to develop slowly with reduced insulin secretion and progressive loss of glycaemic control, common after middle age (50-70 years old).
Type 1 diabetic sufferers are more likely to experience pernicious anaemia, due to Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Type 2 diabetes can appear during pregnancy, perhaps due to a lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency may also be one early sign of insulin resistance and pre-diabetes.
Frequent consumption of meat and saturated fats increases the risk of diabetes.
Individuals, who are not overweight and over 25 years old, can have latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood (LADA).
Prevention of Type 2 diabetes is possible through a reduction of weight. A body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 is considered ideal to control diabetes. Long-standing diabetes (either Type 1 or Type 2) can cause microvascular problems (kidneys, eyes, nerves), and major arteries may become damaged increasing the risk of strokes and coronary heart disease.
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) can control blood sugar levels and improve glucose intolerance. It’s polypeptide-p is able to work ‘like’ insulin in the body, and is recommended for diabetics and pre-diabetics.
Hypoglycaemia can be caused by a delay in meals, extra exercise, low carbohydrate intake, and may be observed from trembling, headaches, hunger, palpitations, difficulty in concentrating. Night time hypoglycaemia is common between 3am to 6am, usually apparent from restlessness and sweating.
High sugar intake can lead to increases in calcium level and a calcium loss in urine doubling for 100g of sugar ingested by a non-diabetic. Calcium loss rate can be four times more for diabetics, which negatively impacts on joints and skin such as foot problems and foot pain.
‘Hidden’ sugars such as fructose corn syrup in cakes and biscuits must be avoided by diabetics, because they are strongly linked to obesity and metabolic problems.
Exercise is considered a suitable contributor to weight loss and successful management of diabetes will also require dietary changes. Diabetes can reduce good cholesterol (High Density Lipids). Reducing body fat by 10% can improve HDL cholesterol levels. Soluble fibres help manage blood glucose and cholesterol.