What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease associated with impaired metabolism of sugar, glucose and insulin in the body. As a result of diabetes, the functioning of the entire hormonal system is disrupted, causing serious changes in the human metabolism - especially with regard to the body's reaction to foods rich in carbohydrates and dramatically increasing blood glucose levels.
There are two types of diabetes - the first and second type. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin in the blood (in this case, the body loses its ability to use glucose and the blood sugar level rises), while type 2 diabetes is associated with the physical inability of the body to use insulin (although its production may be quite normal).
Most cases of type 1 diabetes are associated with genetic diseases, while type 2 diabetes is usually triggered by malnutrition. In addition, the disease most often proceeds against the background of insulin resistance - a decrease in the sensitivity of body tissues to the action of the hormone insulin.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is believed to be an autoimmune or genetic disease, while type 2 diabetes is a consequence of malnutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. Type I diabetes accounts for 5-10% of all cases of diabetes, often develops in childhood or adolescence. This type of diabetes is characterized by an extremely rapid manifestation and progression of symptoms.
A key cause of type II diabetes is a diet high in carbohydrates with a high glycemic index - the so-called “fast carbohydrates”. As a result of a chronically elevated glucose level, the body loses its ability to use its energy for metabolic needs - while high blood sugar levels directly harm both the organs of the body and the brain.
What is the danger of diabetes?
High levels of glucose in the blood provoke a sharp loss of water and salts - that is why constant thirst is the key symptom of diabetes. As a result of dehydration, a dangerous deficiency of sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium and other microminerals develops, which negatively affects both the work of skeletal muscles and the muscles of the cardiovascular system.
In addition, when there is too much glucose in the body, it begins to disrupt the functioning of most vital proteins, leading to pathological changes in almost all organs of the body - from increasing fragility and clogging of blood vessels, limiting joint mobility, damage to the retina, ending with a change in the psyche and the development of depression.
Symptoms of the two types of diabetes are largely similar - thirst, dry mouth, increased urination, increased fatigue, dizziness, poor wound healing, and in some cases, a strong smell of acetone from the skin and mouth. However, in the case of type 1 diabetes, a person usually begins to lose weight dramatically, while type 2 diabetes is usually closely associated with being overweight and obese.
Separately, we note that each of the symptoms of diabetes can be caused by completely different causes and diseases. That is why it is impossible to diagnose diabetes on your own and at home. The only accurate way to answer the question of whether you have diabetes is through a full-fledged laboratory blood test at a medical center.
From the point of view of modern science, type I diabetes is an incurable disease - during its diagnosis, a person will need regular injections of insulin and close monitoring of his diet throughout his life. Type II diabetes mellitus, especially in the case of development due to a sedentary lifestyle and malnutrition, can be practically cured.
In the early stages of type 2 diabetes, doctors prescribe mainly a regulatory diet, regular exercise, yoga and meditation as a way to deal with stress (and high cortisol ), while medical methods and the use of hypoglycemic drugs are used only in critical cases.
The nutritional strategy for diabetes largely depends on the specific situation and how exactly the person responds to glucose. The tips below are only a generalization and are not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Remember that diabetes is an extremely serious condition that can lead to death if you do not have the right treatment strategy.
The basic dietary rule for diabetics is to try to maintain a stable blood sugar level - a low-carb diet, avoiding fast carbohydrates, consuming large amounts of fiber in the form of vegetables and cereals, as well as regular meals every few hours, which allows the body to digest and absorb, are recommended. energy gradually, not in large portions.
Can diabetics have honey?
It is important to understand that the final answer to the question of whether a particular food product is acceptable to diabetics or not is exclusively the amount and time of use of this product. For example, a teaspoon of honey after physical training is unlikely to harm - as opposed to honey-dipped pancakes made of white flour, eaten in the evening in front of the TV.
Diet for diabetes should be based on a comprehensive strategy, and not just on the exclusion of “harmful” foods from the diet and the transition to “healthy” ones. The role is also played by the fact that in the vast majority of cases, the development of diabetes is associated with malnutrition habits that have developed over decades - and to cure a person will have to completely reconsider his lifestyle.
Diabetes mellitus is a disease associated with the body’s inability to produce or use insulin to normalize blood glucose levels. In the vast majority of cases, the development of type 2 diabetes is associated with a sedentary lifestyle and excessive consumption of carbohydrates with a high glycemic index - and the treatment consists in correcting these habits.
- Guía de Práctica Clínica sobre Diabetes tipo 2, source
- Fundación Diabetes.org, source
- Diabetes: Información, source