Sugar intake must be limited. Natural sweetness from milk, fruits or honey is beneficial for your health. However, you should cut down on added or refined sugar, as well as artificial sweeteners in your diet.

What health issues are associated with consuming excess sugar

Excess sugar intake causes inflammation in the body. Inflammation is associated with everything from acne, wrinkles, arthritis, heart diseases to diabetes.

What is diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes—is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).

It is a silent killer because its symptoms can often be too mild to be taken seriously.

Broadly speaking, there are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes: (Also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or IDDM for short.)

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. No insulin is produced due to damaged pancreatic cells usually diagnosed in children or young adults, although it can occur at any age. Insulin is needed for treatment. About 5% of people with diabetes have this form of disease.

Type 2 diabetes: (Formerly referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or NIDDM for short.)

Insulin produced is not enough or not effective resulting to insulin resistance. This form of disease occurs more frequently in people over 40 years old, particularly those who are overweight and physically inactive. Although, younger adults and children are already developing Type 2 Diabetes depending on the food they intake. It can be controlled with proper diet and exercise but most diabetics already need oral medication.

Gestational diabetes:

Occurs in about 2-5% of all pregnancies. Women who have not been diagnosed with diabetes previously show high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after delivery.

What Is Insulin and What Does It Do?

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the beta cells, which are cells that are scattered throughout the pancreas. The insulin produced is released into the blood stream and travels throughout the body. Insulin is an important hormone that performs many actions within the body. Most of the actions of insulin are directed at metabolism (control) of carbohydrates (sugars and starches), lipids (fats), and proteins. Insulin is also important in regulating the cells of the body, including their growth.

Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin, that is, the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have its effects. When control of insulin levels fail, it will result in diabetes mellitus.

Type 1 diabetes: produces no insulin. Therefore depend on external insulin (daily injections of insulin). Type 2 diabetes: the pancreas does not always produce enough insulin or is insulin-resistant. Who are at risk? If you have some or all of the following, you should consult your doctor for advice:
  • A family member with Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • BMI*> 25
  • WHR**>0.80 for women and >0.95 for men
  • Physical inactivity
  • Over 40 years of age
  • A previous pregnancy with diabetes or large babies
  • *BMI (Body Mass Index)= weight (kg): Height² (m²)
  • ** WHR (waist Hip Radio)= Waist circumference (cm): Hip circumference (cm)
The common symptoms of diabetes are:

Frequent thirst despite drinking lots of water, constant hunger, constant tiredness, itchy skin especially around the genital area, passing excessive urine during day and night, weight loss despite good appetite, poor healing of cuts and wounds.

Long-term complications of diabetes include:

Coronary heart disease such as angina, heart attacks, stroke eye disease, kidney failure, foot diseases such as numbness, ulcers, gangrene, nerve disease which can lead to problems such as impotence and diarrhea.

You should see a doctor immediately and have a simple blood sugar test to confirm if you have Type 2 diabetes. Your doctor would then be able to provide you with the care and advice you need. Prevention

Up until now there is no cure for diabetes Type 2. However, there have been great advances made in understanding diabetes andits possible cure and treatment. The best way is having an awareness of the diseases, with monitoring food intake, proper exercise, and living a healthy lifestyle.

  Have a proper diet

Besides insulin and medicines, eating a healthy diet helps you keep your blood glucose under control. It also helps to maintain your weight at a healthy level.

Engage in regular physical activity

It helps to prevent the onset of complications. Exercise also helps to control your weight and keep your heart healthy. Consult your family doctor before starting on any exercise program.

Do not smoke

Smoking worsens the narrowing of blood vessels already caused by diabetes. It reduces blood flow to many organs and leads to many serious complications.

Limit your alcohol intake

Alcohol interferes with your meal plan and blood glucose control, especially if you are taking insulin or medicines for your diabetes.