Be Sweet, Not Diabetic!

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Have you ever been cheated on in a relationship?

If not (thankfully), then this blog won’t bring back not-so-sweet memories. But if you unfortunately have…well, beware of another betrayal that could be happening inside your body. The culprit in this case is the hormone insulin. Rings a bell?

You must be familiar with the world’s most beloved carb-loaded foods like bread, rice, pasta, and cakes. When you eat these foods, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose is the simplest form of carbohydrates and is one of the main energy sources for your body. It enters your bloodstream through the small intestine.

Depending on how much glucose ends up in your bloodstream, the pancreas releases insulin to balance your blood glucose levels. When your blood glucose levels become too high, insulin comes to the rescue! It tells the body to store the excess glucose in the liver, muscles, and fat cells. By now, you may firmly believe that you can trust insulin to be there for you forever.

So when does insulin make the switch from buddy to betrayer?

Due to genetic or lifestyle factors, your body may stop effectively responding to insulin. This means that your blood glucose levels remain high as not enough glucose is entering the liver, muscles, and fat cells. Your body may now need higher levels of insulin to move glucose out of the bloodstream. This is called insulin resistance.

To counteract the high blood glucose levels, your pancreas needs to work extra hard to release more insulin. But eventually, the specialized cells of the pancreas that produce insulin wear out, and not enough insulin is released to keep up with the rising blood glucose levels.

This is when your body experiences a betrayal: Type 2 diabetes!

It’s a chronic condition that can lead to serious, debilitating consequences like blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and even amputations. Actually, it’s way more serious than those bitter breakups in a relationship!

The burden of type 2 diabetes is rapidly rising worldwide. It affects about 500 million people globally. More worryingly, 1 in 2 people with diabetes remain undiagnosed. Uncontrolled diabetes can have severe impacts on YOUr quality of life, and it can also be hard on your loved ones.

What did I do wrong? What could I have done better?

These are questions you would normally ask yourself after experiencing a betrayal. Maybe you didn’t pay attention to the needs of your partner. Maybe you ignored the warning signs of your deteriorating relationship. Well…these questions can even be applied to type 2 diabetes.

Although there can be a genetic element, type 2 diabetes is largely lifestyle-related. To lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, you should pay extra attention to your glucose levels by making smart and healthy lifestyle choices. This includes having more fibre-rich foods, reducing your refined sugar intake, and consuming less calories. Regular exercise helps you use glucose as energy and makes your body more sensitive to the effects of insulin.

Good dietary practices and physical activity can help control your weight. Being overweight or obese is a major warning sign for the development of type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that obesity can make you 80–85% more vulnerable to type 2 diabetes.

So, you should start following a healthy lifestyle before insulin stabs you in the back! Remember, the only person who can keep YOU the healthiest is YOU.

Dr. YOU is a one-stop platform to address the health information needs of health consumers. Our goal is to arm people with the information necessary to make meaningful decisions regarding their health and nudge behaviour change.

With our combined experience of two decades in research and healthcare, we built the Dr. YOU platform around the WHO-endorsed “Best Buy” intervention design for preventing and managing chronic diseases.

Follow us on Medium (@drYOUofficial) and Instagram (@dr.YOU_official) for the latest content and updates.

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Dr. YOU

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Empower YOUrself with the gift of health! Powered by @Saathealth, a chronic care digital health platform for positive health outcomes.

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