Diabetes is a common disease caused by both hereditary
and environmental conditions. It is characterized
by high blood sugar levels which cannot be processed
effectively or efficiently by the body. Blood glucose
levels are controlled by a complex interaction of
multiple chemicals and hormones in the body, including
the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas. Diabetes
is the result of high blood glucose levels due to
defects in either insulin secretion or insulin action
in the body.
So in preventing and treating diabetes, it is
important to control the intake of sugar as well
as the production of insulin and its effective
action on the blood glucose.
There are different types of diabetes. The first
type is due to insufficient production of insulin.
The second type is due not to the lack of insulin
but the ineffective chemical interaction where
insulin processes the blood sugar. The second
type also occurs in gestational diabetes or diabetes
Both types of diabetes lead to hyperglycemia that
causes excessive urine producation, resulting
compensatory thirst and increased fluid intake,
blurred vision, weight loss, lethargy and low
There is no cure for diabetes but it can be treated
and managed through insulin. For the first type
of diabetes, insulin is injected to compensate
for poor or insufficient production in the body.
For the second type, management is through a combination
of proper diet, exercise, medications and insulin
supplementation. It is very important to monitor
and regulate one's intake of foods with sugar.
If the disease goes unmonitored and untreated,
it can lead to cardiovascular disease, chronic
renal failure, retinal damage (that can lead to
blindness), nerve and microvascular damage (that
can cause erectile dysfunction and poor wound
WHAT IS GLYCEMIC INDEX?
People need carbohydrates in the body through
food intake. Glycemic index or GI is the measure
of the effects of carbohydrates on blood glucose
levels. Carbohydrates with a high GI are those
that break down rapidly during digestion, releasing
glucose at a fast rate into the bloodstream. The
body has to cope with the high and fast release
of glucose, and produce more insulin. Carbohydrates
with a low GI are those that break down slowly
during digestion, releasing glucose gradually
into the bloodstream. So the body is not taxed
by having to cope with oversupply of glucose.
Thus, for most people, it is healthier to eat
foods that have a low GI and it is equated with
a lower insulin demand.