Diabetes, or Sugar, as it is commonly called, is said to be the Silent Killer and a major one at that, and that’s when it has ruined your life and body as you know it, as the effects of Diabetes can lead to limb amputation, blindness, strokes, and even a loss of sexual libido. But all of this is if you are diabetic and your diabetes goes undiagnosed and untreated and is left to run its course of corrosive destruction, ruining your body and your ability to live a full and fulfilling life.
It has been said that a significant proportion of the Jamaican population, is afflicted with diabetes, but many are unaware. This is primarily due to the fact that for many Jamaicans, the Cost of a Doctor’s visit and the cost of the attending prescribed medication can be prohibitive, so many simply stay away from the Doctor and so go undiagnosed.
But the fact that many Jamaicans are diabetic should come as a surprise to no one, as for most Jamaicans, their diet is one of consumption of too much Salt and Sugar From infancy, our diet is one of sweet libations, salty, starchy, foods such as Codfish, salted Mackerel; Cornered Pork, Salted Beef; flour, rice, with healthy alternatives such as vegetables legumes and tubers frowned upon as not being tasty enough.
This diet continues way into adulthood, where it is compounded by a newfound taste for food with added preservatives, alcohol, and more sweet drinks, with a sedentary lifestyle accessorized by the couch-potato syndrome, that many people grow into this life-threatening malady, without noticing. In fact, in a culture where the overweight and grossly obese, are celebrated as some kind of a body ideal, it’s hardly a surprise that the population has a higher than ‘normal’ concentration of diabetes sufferers, who only learn of their status way into adulthood when forced to seek medical attention, that they then learn, that they are indeed diabetic.
Simply put, Diabetes is an abnormally high concentration of sugar in one’s blood and tissues.
This is a condition, that is common to a surprisingly large number of people, but treatment varies as does its effect on the individual
The Body’s natural blood filters – The Kidneys, automatically allow the Sugar dissolved in the bloodstream to be expelled via urination, when the concentration reaches a certain level This overflow effect stops the blood-sugar concentration from rising even faster and higher and helps to negate the immediate dangerous effect of a high blood-sugar level a diabetic coma, at bay. While the kidneys are executing their function, the diabetic will frequently pass urine and will consume large amounts of water, to ease the feeling of being thirsty, caused by frequent urination.
Usually, it will be less obvious symptoms that cause the sufferer, to consult a Doctor. These symptoms include unexplained weight loss; constant feelings of fatigue and or tiredness; skin irritation; infections and boils.
These symptoms occur because of a deficiency in the hormone insulin, which enables the body’s tissues to take up sugar from the bloodstream. Now, insulin is produced in the pancreas and passed into the bloodstream. But in the diabetic, insulin is not produced at all, or not produced in sufficient quantity, to cause the body to function normally.
When this is disturbed it Causes the concentration of the blood’s dissolved energy food – Sugar – to rise as a result, but the body may not use this in its usual form, causing a further spike.
It is best before the body reaches this crisis level, that you consult a Doctor to confirm the diagnosis, so a treatment regimen can be prescribed for you.
Some doctors might suggest a urine test, but urine tests are not necessarily reliable, especially if the Diabetes is mild; so a blood sample, is one of the oldest and more reliable testing methods.
If Diabetes is confirmed, the symptoms and potential complications can be controlled or prevented by the efficient monitoring of the Sugar level, in your blood.
It is important to note that Doctors’ treatment will differ based on the way the diabetes affects the sufferer.
Sufferers under 40, will tend to need insulin to keep their blood-sugar concentration down. They will also need to learn how to diet for their best advantage, as some foods quickly raise their blood sugar level. On the other hand, an exercise program can prove helpful, as exercise causes the body’s tissues to draw upon the Sugar circulating in the blood and thus reduce the level.
It used to be that some Clinicians recommended the traditional diet of Low-Carbohydrate as treatment; that is now being questioned as new studies suggests what is of import, is the kind of Carbohydrates one consumes and not how much. As what counts is the rate at which the body absorbs the carbohydrates it ingests.
Studies have also shown that a Diet of Carbohydrates mixed with fiber, will be absorbed easier and more steadily than refined carbohydrates. And it’s important to note that the Fiber, is best eaten in its original form such as wholewheat bread, rather than sprinkled on food in the form of bran.
Those diagnosed with Diabetes who are elderly or middle-aged, are considered to be less likely to require insulin. Most will be due to being overweight and weightloss can help in managing the process of lowering Blood-sugar level
But for those who might still need insulin, recent advances in medicine can now measure the blood-sugar level more precisely, and this allows for the right amount of insulin to be administered. There are also new medications and dosages, available to help manage diabetes.
We recommend you consult with your Doctor as early as possible to determine if you are indeed a diabetic, so you can take whatever remedial steps, deemed necessary to continue enjoying a full life.