Tips to Manage Diabetes

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To mark diabetes awareness month and World Diabetes Day on November 14, Dr Yasmeen Ajaz from Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres is urging the public to learn more about the warning signs of diabetes.

Diabetes occurs when a person is unable to make enough insulin (type 1) or to use the insulin the pancreas produces (type 2), leading to high levels of blood sugar. Risk factors for diabetes include being overweight and physically inactive or having a family history of the disease. If left unmanaged, diabetes can result in serious complications including kidney failure, stroke, lower limb amputations, and blindness.

There are two main factors in the development of type 1 diabetes: genetics and environmental triggers. The genetic traits that predispose someone to type 1 diabetes can pass down from parents to children. However, environmental factors sometimes play a role by triggering the onset of the disease. As for type 2 diabetes, genetics and lifestyle factors play a big role. Having excess body weight is a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Eating an unhealthy diet and being physically inactive also increase the risk.

Diabetes can cause several signs and symptoms, most of which are the same for types 1 and 2 diabetes. A few common symptoms of diabetes include consistent thirst, excessive urinating, blurry vision, numb or tingling hands and feet, very dry skin, being constantly tired and losing weight without trying.

There are ways to manage and even reverse prediabetes. Dr Yasmeen Ajaz, Specialist Endocrinologist at Medcare Hospital Al Safa shares five steps for managing blood sugar and also avoiding an eventual diagnosis.

Eat healthy foods. Plan meals that limit (not eliminate) foods that contain carbohydrates, which raise your blood sugar. Carbohydrates include starches, fruits, milk, yogurt, starchy vegetables (corn, peas, potatoes) and sweets.

Exercise. Blood sugar is the body’s basic energy source. When you exercise, you are lowering your blood sugar.

Lose weight. A small decrease in your weight can drastically decrease your risk of developing diabetes in the future.

Get more rest. Studies link sleep issues to an increased risk of insulin resistance. It can also make it harder to lose weight. Thus, people that don’t get adequate sleep are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

See your doctor regularly. Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider at least once a year so you can track your health together.

To book your appointment with Dr. Yasmeen Ajaz or any of the other expert Endocrinologists at Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres, visit medcare.ae

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