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Is diabetes a lifestyle disease?

Diabetes is a disease that is lifestyle related because one of the main reasons of diabetes is lack of physical exercise coupled with uncontrolled or improper eating habits. A fast-paced and competitive attitude leads to mental tension which can also lead to diabetes.

Causes of Diabetes

Diabetes is caused because of an increase in the level of glucose in the blood and later there could also be glucose in the urine. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. The pancreas has a cluster of cells which are called islets. Inside the islets there are beta cells. It is these beta cells that make the insulin and release it into the blood. However, if production of insulin in the body reduces or if there is reduced function of the insulin hormone then diabetes can occur. Diabetes is also called a metabolic disease as it is related to the digestive system. The digestive system breaks down food into glucose which enters the blood. The hormone insulin helps the cells in the body to absorb the glucose for energy. If the body does not make enough insulin or if it is unable to absorb the insulin effectively then diabetes develops.

Types of Diabetes

There are two types of diabetes namely Type I and Type II. Type I diabetes is mainly noticeable in children and youngsters. Type I diabetes is caused because of lack of insulin which occurs when beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed. People with type I diabetes require insulin treatment or else they can go into a coma. This condition is called ketoacidosis. Type II is related to lifestyle and lowered levels of insulin in the body or inability of the insulin hormone to absorb the glucose from the body. Type II diabetes is also age related and so older people are susceptible to it. Out of the number of people suffering from diabetes almost 90 to 95 per cent have type II diabetes. The most common cause of Type II diabetes is obesity which accounts for 50% of cases. Type II diabetes is caused by excessive sugar in the digestive system. This happens because though glucose is produced in the digestive system the body fails to utilise it and it becomes excessive. Type II diabetes can be managed, controlled and treated. Sometimes women display signs of diabetes when they are pregnant and this is called pregnancy related diabetes or gestational diabetes. In this kind of diabetes the symptoms disappear post pregnancy. However, within 5 to 10 years 40% to 60% of such women could develop type II diabetes.

Symptoms in all types of diabetes

  • Increase in hunger and thirst
  • Obesity
  • Weight loss despite proper food intake
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Delayed healing of cuts and wounds
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Extreme fatigue and lethargy
  • Tingling sensation in the limbs
  • Ants will be attracted to the urine

However diabetes can also be present without these symptoms. If both parents are diabetic then the chances of children developing diabetes is 95%. Therefore, an early diagnosis of diabetes is important so that preventive action can be taken to control damage to other body organs and prevent conditions like diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy and diabetic nephropathy.

Cure of Diabetes

Controlling weight and doing regular physical activity helps in controlling diabetes. The Indian Ayurveda medicine system controls diabetes naturally. Some natural cure is possible with bitter gourd, Indian gooseberry or amla, cinnamon, Indian blackberry or jamun, fenugreek or methi, barley or jwar. You can consult a qualified Ayurveda doctor for exact usage. Also there are a number of yoga asanas that can help to prevent diabetes.