Are you a victim of the bitter-sweet epidemic? Well, you might be the next victim, provided you are unaware! 7.3 million people are undiagnosed for diabetes, and 34.2 million have diabetes in the United States. Thus, nearly 10.5% of the US population has diabetes which is quite problematic. In addition, prediabetes (risk for getting diabetes)is a condition affecting 88 million people above 18 years. Every year we celebrate 14th November as World Diabetes Day to spread awareness of diabetes. Diabetes is the silent killer, eventually affecting every organ of the human body. Unfortunately, a significant number of people are unaware of diabetes symptoms, their types, and diabetes prevention programs.

 ZeaMed is keen to reduce diabetes globally through awareness programs and cost transparency to seek care with the correct information at the right cost. ZeaMed will educate consumers on the A-Z of diabetes and the importance of diabetes tests. You can prevent diabetes by regularly monitoring your blood sugar level, exercising, and having a healthy diet. You can look up the diabetes test cost here by simply entering the test type and location.

World diabetes day 2021 theme.

Diabetes day comes with different themes every year, with access to Diabetes Care being the 2021 theme. Access to diabetes care is still a challenge among many 3rd world countries. Diabetes patients need regular checkups and monitoring to avoid further complications. Therefore this year, we aim to educate patients to prevent and reduce the severity of the existing disease. 

World Diabetes Day begins with an awareness program for prevention. People should know what can be done individually and collectively to reduce diabetes and watch out for its symptoms. In addition, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of insulin discovery.

Let us understand what diabetes is and its prevention.

What is diabetes?

Our body needs fuel to work, and this comes by breaking down the food we are eating. It is broken down into glucose, and the cells absorb it to produce energy.

When the body can’t absorb glucose and sugar level increases in the bloodstream, this condition is called diabetes. This happens when the pancreas, an organ in the body, does not produce enough insulin or cannot effectively utilize the insulin.

What are the different types of diabetes?

Diabetes consists of two types; Type 1 and Type 2. 

In Type 1 diabetes, the organ pancreas produces very little or no insulin. It is also called Juvenile diabetes and insulin-independent diabetes. 

In Type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar level is higher than your average level. It is also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes. We can treat with oral anti-diabetic drugs.

Among people who have diabetes, 95% are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. 

Gestational diabetes is another variant that affects pregnant mothers. This diabetes has all the symptoms of hyperglycemia, with blood sugar levels above normal but below the diagnostic levels of diabetes. In other words, here, the blood sugar level is lesser than those of diabetic patients. 

Gestational diabetes restores soon after delivery but can pose health risks for the child. Sometimes, gestational diabetes leads to complications in pregnancy. However, pregnant mothers can reduce it by maintaining a healthy diet and minimum physical activity. 

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes symptoms are at times easy to identify. However, most people often fail to notice them, which later become complicated. 

You can have a look at ZeaTool to compare the costs of these tests. Meanwhile, let us look at some common diabetes symptoms-

  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Poor or blurry vision
  • Poorly healing sores
  • Numbness in toes
  • Having more infections

Gestational diabetes usually does not show the common diabetes symptoms. It is only after checking your blood sugar level that the doctor finds out.

Whenever you experience these symptoms, we recommend you consult a doctor immediately.

What is the normal blood sugar level?

We need to know the range of blood sugar. So your doctor will order two tests- Fasting and postprandial (PP) blood sugar levels. 

A fasting blood sugar test is done on an empty stomach, usually in the morning. Whereas post-prandial is generally done 2 hours after a meal. Both the tests are done on the same day for better results.

If you have diabetes, the doctor orders an HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) test or simply an A1c test to monitor your glucose levels and condition. The expected value for HbA1c is below 5.7%, which increases to 6.7% among diabetic patients. 

ResultsHbA1cFastingPost Prandial/Glucose Tolerance testRandom test
Normal>5.7%>99mg/dL or below140mg/dL or belowN/A
Prediabetes 5.7%-6.4%100-125mg/dL140-199mg/dLN/A
Diabetes<6.5%126mg/dL or above200 mg/dL and above200mg and above

What happens after you are diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes?

Change in diet

The most important thing is to follow a diet recommended by a doctor or a dietician. The type of food you eat is going to matter a lot. You must avoid sugar, excess carbohydrates and eat more vegetables. Your dietician will also set a diabetic diet that you must follow to maintain your blood sugar level. You can consume naturally sweet foods after consulting with your physician. However, there are certain fruits that you must avoid if you are diabetic. In addition, limiting alcohol consumption is very important to reduce your blood sugar level.

Exercise

Regular exercise is essential not only for diabetic patients but for everyone. A diabetic patient must exercise regularly to keep blood sugar levels under control. Doing exercise five days a week for at least half an hour would be good or as suggested by your doctor. When you exercise, the activity in muscles will increase and take some sugar out of your bloodstream and reduce the blood sugar levels.

Sleep

Regular sleep for 8 hours is required for the body, and decreased sleep can cause stress and increase sugar levels in the body. Hence, maintain healthy sleep habits.

Regular health checkups for diabetes

However annoying this might seem, you must go for regular checkups. Your doctor tells you how often you should have checkups. You can also get a glucometer for a self-test at home. First, however, you should ask a doctor in detail about the procedures. Your doctor may prescribe medicines to control diabetes depending on the type and stage of your condition. If you are diabetic, you must take your medications regularly without fail. 

How can you prevent diabetes?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were an estimated 1.5 million diabetic deaths in 2019. There are many cases of diabetes that go undetected. As a result, the complications increase, which results in multiple organ failures.

Diabetic management programs can be highly beneficial for patients.

Well, a significant number of people are prone to diabetes genetically. Sometimes you can even fail to realize that you have caught the disease. Therefore, prevention is the key. 

Losing weight

You must keep a healthy body weight by controlling your BMI under 25. For example, a study says that if you lose 7% of your excess body weight, you cut off a 60% chance of getting diabetes. The more you lose weight, the healthier you become. In fact, when you lose weight, you also lower your risk of high blood pressure, which by itself or in combination with diabetes can be very serious.

Physical activity

It is always good to exercise daily for 30 minutes. Unfortunately, the covid pandemic had restricted each one of us at home, allowing most of us to gain weight. We must start exercising now as the lockdowns have been lifted and public parks and gyms have opened.

Rigorous aerobic exercises for 30 minutes daily can reduce weight. Even resistance exercise once or twice a week can bring benefits. Weight lifting, yoga, etc., will keep you healthy and accelerate weight loss. If you are working in front of a computer or studying for long hours, break your inactivity. You can walk or do some light activity after every 30 minutes. This helps control blood sugar levels.

Having a healthy diet

Food is what determines your ultimate health. Therefore, we must try to have organic foods which are fibrous and less sugary. 

  • Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • Whole grains like wheat, bajra, ragi, oats
  • Fibrous fruits and vegetables
  • Leafy vegetables like cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, etc. 

Having a meal consisting of fibrous foods will be more fuller. It will also aid in digestion and management. Fibrous foods will also reduce cholesterol and improve gut health. Therefore, it will improve your digestion. 

A diabetic diet must consist of more fibrous and leafy foods. However, even if you are not diabetic, you should avoid bad carbohydrates. These are foods that are less fibrous, more sugary, and excessive fructose and unhealthy fats. 

Processed food or pre-cooked foods are a big no-no for each one of us. However tempting it is, one must limit their intake. Pastries, pasta, noodles, white bread, carbonated drinks, fruit juice with added sugar, etc., are highly harmful.

Having healthy fats

Eliminating fats from your diet can pose other health risks. Having unsaturated fats like healthy fats can improve your health. Healthy fats are found in nuts like groundnut, almonds, peanuts, etc. Olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, etc., consist of healthy fats. 

Is diabetes increasing in the USA?

Well, yes! At least 34.2 million people in the USA live with diabetes. This is indeed a shocking reality, and we are living with it. 

Are we doing enough to curb diabetes? 

On this World diabetes day, let us collectively take a pledge to prevent diabetes. Unfortunately, diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes is the most common in the USA. 

Let us look at some of the reasons why diabetes is increasing in the USA-

  • Obesity

The USA suffers drastically from obesity. This obesity is the leading cause of several diseases, including diabetes.

  • Carbonated drinks

The modern generation is more prone to carbonated drinks. These drinks are sugary and loaded with bad carbohydrates. People have also started consuming excessive baked products like sugary cakes.

  • Emergence of prediabetes

A new situation has developed known as prediabetes. In this, the blood sugar level is higher than usual but lower than that of a diabetic. Doctors usually recommend exercise and dietary control to reduce sugar levels.

The USA does not solely suffer from a sweet epidemic. India is rising to become the diabetes capital of the world. Many more countries have been added to the list, like Qatar and some other 3rd world countries.

Health complications arising from diabetes

Diabetes disease can lead to several complications in the human body. It is therefore called the silent killer. This year’s diabetes day is all about awareness, and this is where ZeaMed comes in. 

With price transparency as the backbone of our service, we have successfully developed ZeaTool. You can compare the cost of diabetes tests and other blood tests here and book the best for you. In addition, you can find the prices of the diabetes conditions by visiting zeatool.com.

Diabetes with MCC- 637

Diabetes with CC- 638

Diabetes without CC/MCC-639

Let us look at some health complications arising from diabetes-

Kidney damage-

This is by far the most common complication arising from diabetes. Kidney conditions like diabetic nephropathy or microalbuminuria (loss of protein in urine) can develop if diabetes is not controlled well. 

Affects Skin-

Diabetes affects the skin in many ways by making it prone to dryness. Some patients develop bacterial and fungal infections in the moist areas of the skin, especially the toes. 

Affects the central nervous system-

Prolonged and unchecked diabetes can cause neuropathy. It can also lead to swollen and leaky blood vessels in the eyes called diabetic retinopathy. It damages the vision ultimately. If you are diabetic and have issues in seeing correctly, check for diabetic retinopathy. It is recommended to check your eyes regularly with an ophthalmologist (eye doctor)

Damaging reproductive system-

Diabetes can disrupt hormones in your body, causing gestational diabetes. This can cause complications during delivery if the bodyweight of the mother is too high. Sometimes it also causes infection in the vagina or vulva. Diabetes can also lead to erectile dysfunction in men.

On World Diabetes Day, let’s be aware of all such health complications and prevent it.

What is a Diabetes management program?

This year’s diabetes day is about accessible healthcare; thus, a diabetic management program can create wonders. Comprehensive diabetic care or a program can prove beneficial for diabetic patients. This program includes educating people about diabetes and ways to prevent it. 

A good diabetes management program must include accessible healthcare. Easy access to healthcare services is what most countries lack. In the current era of digitalization, everything is at our fingertips, and so should healthcare be.  On World Diabetes Day, it becomes necessary to be aware of such programmes.

ZeaMed’s mission is to bring total transparency to health care, including access, quality, and cost of care. We are making healthcare accessible through education and empowering consumers with transparent information. We honor hospitals with a ZeaStar certificate that provides transparent pricing information and helps their patients understand prices before seeking care. 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/learnmorefeelbetter/programs/diabetes.htm#:~:text=The%20Diabetes%20Self%2DManagement%20Program,your%20diabetes%20day%20to%20day.

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes

https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-diabetes-day/2021

https://worlddiabetesday.org/

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/getting-tested.html

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