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What is Blood Sugar: Diabetes Self Management

For someone without Diabetes, a fasting blood sugar should be under 100 mg/dl. and the Postprandial sugars (two hours after meals) should be less than 140 mg/dl.

Diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder affecting the entire body. Diabetes disease significantly affects the quality of life and can drastically reduce life expectancy.


Incidences of diabetes is increasing at a faster pace

In diabetes, the body is unable to maintain healthy levels of blood glucose. Unhealthy levels of blood glucose leads to many complications. Diabetes involves rise of blood sugar levels.


Types of Blood Sugar; diabetes

There are three chief types of diabetes – type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. The cause in all these three types differs.

1. Type 1 Diabetes. The insulin producing cells in the pancreas generate little or no insulin.

2. Type 2 Diabetes. The pancreas fails to produce sufficient amounts of insulin required for proper functioning and/or the body cells fail to react to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is more common as compared to type 1 diabetes.

3. Gestational Diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes which develops, or is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. Elevated levels of certain hormones inhibit the ability of the body in managing blood sugar that is, inadequate quantities of insulin required for proper functioning of the body is produced. Gestational diabetes is a temporary disorder which disappears after the woman gives birth to the child.



Some other causes of diabetes are:

  • Genetics;
  • Lack of physical exercise;
  • Poor diet;
  • Stress;
  • Obesity;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and white rice;
  • Certain medications and
  • Certain medical conditions.


Risk Factors

There are certain persons who are at an increased risk to diabetes. Certain factors which increase the risk to diabetes are:

  • Family history of diabetes.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Obesity.
  • Exposure to certain viruses which may directly infect or trigger the autoimmune destruction of the islet cells; etc.

There is greater risk in females to develop gestational diabetes if they…

  • Are more than 25 years.
  • Have body mass index 30 or more or
  • Have past history of gestational diabetes.



This metabolic disorder is characterized by increased thirst, increased frequency of urination and increased hunger. Few other symptoms that are associated with diabetes are:-

  • Blurring of vision.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Dizziness.
  • Frequent infections of urinary tract, skin or vagina.
  • Darkened areas of skin.
  • Delayed healing of ulcers and sores.



Diabetes can be diagnosed with the help of:

  • Random glucose test;
  • Fasting blood sugar test;
  • Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C) test;
  • Oral glucose tolerance test;
  • Ketone test & Autoantibodies (to confirm the type of diabetes).



Diabetes or High Blood Sugar gives rise to numerous complications if not managed effectively. Prompt diagnosis and proper treatment decreases diabetes-related complications. Diabetes gives rise to short-term and long-term complications. Complications of high blood sugar can be life-threatening and hence, blood sugar should be controlled effectively.

  • Short-term complications of diabetes include diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycaemia.
  • Long-term complications include diabetic nephropathy, stroke, diabetic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, affections of skin and heart.



Some steps to treat diabetes and its complications are through:

  • Lifestyle modifications.
  • Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
  • Weight loss.
  • Bariatric surgery.
  • Medications.
  • Insulin therapy.
  • Pancreas & islet cell transplantation.



Diabetes can be prevented by:

  • Consuming a healthy and a well balanced diet;
  • Reducing fat intake and avoiding sugary foods;
  • Controlling blood sugar levels;
  • Maintaining a normal weight and body mass index;
  • Participating in regular physical activity;
  • Avoiding smoking;
  • Consuming alcohol in moderation;
  • Avoiding certain medications that increase insulin resistance.


Next Article: Prediabetes
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