Diabetes: Solutions & tests to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes & insulin resistance
With over 70 million diabetic patients, India ranks second in the list of countries affected by diabetes. This already exceedingly large number is on an exponential rise. With people being primarily affected in the metropolitan cities of the country, this epidemic seems to be gaining momentum with the rise of urbanization.
While the rate of increase in the number of diabetics in the rural area has also increased, Type 2 Diabetes has mainly spread its tentacles in the bustling cities of India. Cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Trivandrum, and Delhi are some of the worst-hit places when it comes to the number of diabetic patients. In fact, Kerala, one of the most developed states in the nation is considered to be the Diabetes capital of India.
What is the reason behind such a high number of patients in metropolitan cities?
Well, urbanization and industrialization are to be blamed here. With an extremely fast-paced lifestyle, people are finding it hard to cook fresh and nutritious meals for themselves and take care of their overall well-being.
With the advent of the century, humans are becoming more sedentary and the rapidly expanding fast food market has made healthy living less achievable than before. Following a healthy lifestyle, eating well-balanced and nutrient-rich diets and working out seem to be Herculean tasks amidst the super-busy life that people are living today.
Akin to other diseases, diabetes is also a result of uncontrollable factors such as genetics. While the above-mentioned points contribute significantly to a person becoming a Type 2 diabetes patient, genes might play an even larger role than that. Environmental factors are easy to notice and take care of, but if someone has a genetic predisposition, the person probably won’t even know that, even after becoming diabetic.
But if Diabetes is so elusive, how do we test it?
Despite it being difficult to predict the possibility of a person contracting diabetes in the future, some pointers could help one in figuring out whether they are likely to suffer from it down the line. Having family members, especially parents and siblings with diabetes could be one of the very first signs that it could bother you in the future as well. Being in the Prediabetic range is also a strong indicator of the future prospect of one suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. The following are some clinical tests that are currently being used to check if a person falls in the diabetic range or not:
This gives the average blood sugar level from the last 2 or 3 months. An A1C below 5.7% is normal, between 5.7 and 6.4% indicates you have prediabetes, and 6.5% or higher indicates that you have diabetes.
Fasting Blood Sugar Test
This is one of the most common methods of analyzing the blood sugar levels of an individual. Post an overnight fast, the blood sugar levels are measured. A fasting blood sugar level of 99 mg/dL or lower is normal, 100 to 125 mg/dL indicates you have prediabetes, and 126 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.
Glucose Tolerance Test
Another very common test, your blood sugar is measured after a night fast, and then after you have consumed a set amount of glucose. Post 2 hours of consumption of the glucose, a blood sugar level of 140 mg/dL or lower is considered normal, 140 to 199 mg/dL indicates you have prediabetes, and 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.
Random Blood Sugar Test
This test is usually carried out by diabetics who need to monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.
|Result||A1C Test||Fasting Blood Sugar Test||Glucose Tolerance Test|
|Normal||Below 5.7%||99 mg/dL or below||140 mg/dL or below|
|Prediabetes||5.7 – 6.4%||100 – 125 mg/dL||140 – 199 mg/dL|
|Diabetes||6.5% or above||126 mg/dL or above||200 mg/dL or above|
For Type 1 Diabetes, a blood test is ordered. If auto-antibodies are present, then the likelihood of Type 1 Diabetes is quite high. A urine test may also be ordered to check for ketones in the urine, which are usually produced as a result of Type 1 diabetes.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone that helps to regulate the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. It is produced by the pancreas and then released into the blood. It allows the sugar in the blood to enter the cells where it is utilised for energy.
What is Insulin Resistance?
In the case of insulin resistance, the cells of the body, that is, adipose cells or fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells stop responding to the insulin being produced in the pancreas. But low levels of insulin resistance are not that bad. As long as the pancreas can produce enough insulin to overcome the effect of insulin resistance, the person will not have the fear of diabetes. However, once that threshold is gone, it becomes very difficult to overcome insulin resistance.
Who is at high risk of developing Insulin Resistance?
A person who has/is:
- overweight or obese
- age 45 or older
- a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
- physically inactive
- health conditions such as high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels
- a history of gestational diabetes
- a history of heart disease or stroke
- polycystic ovary syndrome also called PCOS
- gut microbiota disbalance
- visceral fat
Ways to overcome Insulin Resistance:
- Losing weight is one of the most important steps when it comes to reducing the effect of insulin resistance. A majority of obese and overweight people suffer from either Type 2 Diabetes, Prediabetes or Insulin Resistance. Studies have shown that weight reduction has alleviated the symptoms of diabetes.
- Following a healthy diet is another part of the puzzle which is absolutely necessary in order to get over insulin resistance. Eating foods rich in proteins, nutrients, healthy fats and healthy cholesterol and reducing the intake of foods that have a high glycemic index is also very important in order to control the blood sugar levels.
- Regular exercise has also proven to delay the onset of diabetes in prediabetic patients. Even simple workouts like walking and cycling can be extremely beneficial.a
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Bione Asia’s 1st direct-to-consumer genetic and microbiome testing organization is committed to offering world-class services. Bione was founded by Dr Surendra K Chikara, a world-renowned genomicist & the first person to have brought genomic testing to India.