Diabetes, popularly known as Diabetes Mellitus, is one of the deadliest chronic diseases of all time that has almost become a household name these days. The disease is primarily facilitated by a surge in blood sugar levels, a condition that our body is incapable of handling. One of the driving forces that make diabetes chronic in nature is the fluctuating insulin levels in our body, insulin being a crucial hormone that helps in the control of fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Even though chronic in nature, diabetes can definitely be monitored and taken care of with on-time medication, strict diet, and some crucial lifestyle changes.
There are primarily 3 types of common Diabetes
- Type 1
- Type 2
- Gestational Diabetes
According to the American Diabetic Association, Pre-diabetes, also known as impaired glucose tolerance or borderline diabetes, can be curbed by opting for periodic glucose monitoring tests and taking charge of the condition with a controlled lifestyle.
The number steadily rising, currently, statistics reveal there are more than 380 million diabetes patients in the world right now, and the number is expected to double by 2030 as per WHO records.
Our pancreas is responsible for the production of insulin, a crucial blood glucose monitoring hormone which prevents the blood sugar in our system from getting too high or too low. Improper insulin production or functioning is what leads to the condition known as diabetes.
Let us elaborate in details, how inappropriate insulin functioning affect different diabetes types.
There are some common symptoms that can help you recognize an underlying diabetic condition. We have segregated the symptom with the 3 major diabetes types.
Type of Tests
Diabetes at any time could easily be diagnosed with a simple blood test that measures the blood glucose level in your system and deciphers whether the glucose level is high enough to be considered diabetes. Also, you can determine the type of diabetes you’re suffering from with blood tests.
Some of the common tests include-
• A1c Test
This is a general test that measures the average level of blood sugar for the past 3 months, regardless of your eating habits. A 5.7 or 6.4 percentage may signify towards pre-diabetes. However, conditions like pregnancy, age, or anemia may affect your test results.
A higher percentage would often indicate a higher blood sugar level in you. However, you can eat or drink before this test.
• FPG Test
Also known as Fasting Plasma Glucose Test, the FPG test will measure your current blood glucose which is often facilitated by an 8-hour pre-fasting. This test should ideally be performed in the morning. If you want reliable results, stick strictly to an 8-hour only-water diet before the test.
• RPG Test
The Random Plasma Glucose Test is often taken when you know you have diabetes and want to check your blood glucose level without wanting to wait for your fasting period to be over. You can take this test regardless of overnight fasting or dietary regulations.
• OGTT Test
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is an exclusive test to diagnose gestational diabetes. Initially, the doctor recommends a glucose challenge test where the pregnant mother needs to drink a sweetened drink that includes glucose and then blood is drawn after an hour to test for symptoms of gestational diabetes. If the results show positive, the doctors recommend an in-depth test which is where OGTT comes in. The later test requires an 8-hour fasting and some periodical blood withdrawals to get precision results. Ask your healthcare professional to guide you accordingly.
Precautions & Lifestyle Choices
We cannot emphasize enough on how essential it is for you to never miss a single dose of your diabetes medication. Apart from this, here are a few crucial precautions and lifestyle choices you should adopt to keep diabetes at bay.
· Quit Smoking and alcohol immediately.
· Avoid fatty foods, carbs, and fast foods.
· Watch your waist by controlling meal portions.
· Drink ample water to keep yourself well hydrated.
· Exercise regularly, even if it’s for half an hour every day.
· Drink black coffee or tea. The antioxidants in them prevent diabetes growth.
· Add healing herbs and spices like cumin, turmeric, ginger-garlic to your diet.
· Keep yourself physically active with a hobby, anything from gardening to yoga.