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Diabetes: How It Effects Your Skin?

Dr. HelloDox Care #
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Diabetes is a metabolic disorder, chiefly caused by insulin fluctuation in the body. A study shows that, 1 out of 3 people suffering from diabetes are likely to develop a skin condition sooner or later; and in some cases, these skin problems serve as symptoms of diabetes. Although these skin problems can be cured easily if treated early, proper care must be administered at all times. Here are 7 skin conditions that affect diabetics:

1. Bacterial infection

Although anyone can get a bacterial infection, people suffering from diabetes are likelier to contract them. Usual bacterial skin problems that tend to trouble diabetics are boils, lumps near the eyelids, nail infections and carbuncles. Diabetics are also prone to infections deep in the skin and of the underlying tissues. The affected area is usually warm, red and swollen.

2. Fungal infections

People who have diabetes have an increased risk of contracting the fungal infection, especially the one known as candida Albicans. The fungus tends to create a red, itchy rash, which is surrounded by blisters and scales. These are usually found in warm places of the body like the armpits, or between the fingers of the hand or perhaps even the toes. Common fungal infections in diabetic people include athlete's foot, jock itch and ringworm.

3. Tingling and itching

Among the many causes of itching, diabetes is one. Yeast infection, dry skin and poor circulation are the primary causes of itching among patients of diabetes. Usually, the lower part of the leg tends to itch the most, if poor circulation is to be blamed.

4. Skin problems related to neuropathy

Diabetes can be the cause of nerve damage in some cases; and neuropathy is a common symptom of diabetes. This type of damage can cause a loss of sensation in a part of the body. On event of an injury, one may not be able to feel it. As a result, an open sore or wound, if left unattended, can develop into an infection.

5. Digital sclerosis

Digital sclerosis, a condition marked by tight, waxy, thick skin that develops on the back of the hand, is common among people who have type 1 diabetes. In this condition, the joints of the fingers get stiff and, thus, lose their mobility and elasticity. Skin of the toes, forehead and knees may also get affected.

6) Xerosis

Xerosis is another common skin condition that accompanies diabetes. In this condition, the skin becomes very dry and itchy.

7) Acanthosis nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is the condition where diabetics get darkening of skin leading to skin tags around neck and armpits.

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Diabetes And Heart Disease - Understanding The Connection Between The Two!

Dr. HelloDox Care #
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Our body cells are responsible for the essential breakdown of food into energy, as it is vital for our body functioning. Cells break down food into glucose and then convert glucose into energy through insulin, which is an important hormone in the body. Diabetes is associated with the inappropriate functioning of insulin and can be classified into two types: Type I and Type 2 Diabetes. In type I Diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the cell do not use insulin properly.

Both conditions cause blood glucose levels to rise in the body. Diabetes is more than one disease as it poses serious health risks. People with diabetes are at risk of developing a host of problems such as stroke, hypertension, nerve damage, skin, eyes and kidney problems. High amount of blood sugar level can cause damage to the blood vessels leading to blocked arteries restricting blood flow to the heart. Poor blood glucose control can lead to high blood pressure and other blood lipid abnormalities including high levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides.

The link between cardiovascular disease and diabetes is well established by medical science. It is estimated that 65% of people with diabetes die of heart disease, which makes it a leading cause of all deaths among diabetic patients. Doctors refer to this connection as DHD- Diabetic Heart Disease. The term Diabetic Heart Disease covers coronary heart disease; narrowing of the arteries, heart failure; minimising heart’s capacity to pump enough blood and diabetic cardiomyopathy; alteration in the structure and function of the heart.

A sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity, smoking, stressful life and unhealthy eating habits all contribute to weight gain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes. Thus, weight and lifestyle issues management is the best way to prevent and control such health risks.

Let’s look at some simple but effective ways towards a healthy lifestyle:

1.Physical exercise: Adopt a 30 minute exercise rule to remain healthy and fit. For diabetic patients, a morning and evening walk is highly recommended. You could walk, run, gym, climb stairs, do yoga, aerobics or other physical activity that interests you.

2.Eat healthy: Avoid fried and packaged foods as they are full of fats, salt and sugar. Include seasonal vegetables and fruits in your diet and drink plenty of water. Dieticians recommend eating a heart-healthy diet including superfoods like broccoli, spinach, berries and fibre rich meal.

3.Weight management: Keeping weight under check is an effective way to prevent the risk of heart diseases. Consult a dietician for a customised diet plan as per your medical condition.

4.Be positive: Stress is a silent killer and a major contributor to all lifestyle diseases. Remain calm and manage your negative thoughts to overcome stress.

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Can Diabetic Patients Have Desserts?

Dr. HelloDox Care #
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One of the most common myths about diabetes is that it is caused by consuming too much of sugary foods. Indeed, sweets can affect your body but they do not cause diabetes. Diabetes is a health condition which is caused by high blood sugar levels. It is extremely unhealthy and can adversely impact the overall health.

However, there's also no denying the fact that intake of sugar items in such conditions can increase it significantly. Hence diabetic patients should avoid high sugary foods in order to prevent hyperglycaemia, also known as high blood sugar. If you're suffering from diabetes, then it is of utmost importance to take care of your carbohydrate intake as it can trigger the sugar levels to a great extent.

When it comes to desserts, it is essential for diabetic patients to not go overboard with them. Having diabetes not always means that you totally have to cut yourself from sugar. Instead, you may swap it with some other natural sweets.

According to Expert Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, "Diabetic patients can have desserts until the desserts are providing them with nutritional requirements. They should make sure that the desserts are made with artificial sweeteners and with the help of natural ingredients. You can even have brown rice with milk with some artificial sweeteners and can add some dry fruits to enhance the taste. What matters is that they should be made up of natural ingredients and sugar substitutes must be there".

Desserts like cookies, pastries, cakes and ice creams should not be eaten as they won't be providing you with the sufficient nutritional value.

Instead, you could opt for low-fat sugar-free frozen yogurt, fig bars, or even some unsweetened oat cookies. If you happen to have a sweet tooth and find it difficult to resist on them, then make sure that you buy one bar at a time, instead of buying in bulk and storing it at home. This will save you from unnecessary odd hour munching. Apart from this, it is quite important to give priority to the nutritional value in the anything you consume. So, choose wisely!

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Is Eating Ghee Healthy For Diabetics? Here's What The Expert Has To Say

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Diabetics have to be wary of their dietary choices, considering their diet may impact the blood sugar levels. Take for instance, the 'healthy cooking oils' that generally promise good health are actually doing more harm than good. So, what's the best option?

Ghee! Although ghee contains a good amount of fat, it has made its way to the good-books of many healthy experts. Ghee has long been used as a medicinal ingredient that has essential nutrients that may help keep diabetics healthy. What makes ghee an excellent ingredient for diabetics?

Let's find out.According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Coach Shilpa Arora, "Ghee is medicine for diabetics. The fatty acids in ghee help in metabolising and balancing high blood sugar. Moreover, if ghee is added to rice, it becomes easier for the diabetics to digest the sugar from rice effectively. Make sure you use vedic ghee. Milk should ideally be used from desi gir cows to reap maximum benefits."

Here are a few reasons to add ghee in your daily diet.
1. Desi ghee or clarified butter is a source of healthy fat, which helps in absorbing the nutrients from the food that you are eating. This process helps in regulating blood sugar level, further ensuring diabetes management.

2.Ghee is known to regulate smooth functioning of the digestive system. Including the right amount of ghee in your daily diet will ensure proper management of constipation.

3.It is the presence of linoleic acid in ghee that helps to reduce possibilities of various cardiovascular diseases that are some of the common complications in diabetes.
.The fat deposits accumulated in the body are said to melt down by the right consumption of ghee thereby helping to manage diabetes in an efficient way.

4.Consumption of ghee has been known to improve the functioning of gut hormone.

5.This function helps enable better secretion of the hormone insulin, which in turn helps in managing diabetes.

6.Ghee is also known to be a rich source of vitamin K and other antioxidants that help boost immunity, which is generally weakened in case of diabetics.

7.Using organic ghee can actually help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

8.Adding ghee to high carbohydrate foods with high glycaemic index like rice, white bread, parathas, et al may actually help lower their GI and benefit diabetics.

While ghee is a great ingredient, one should remember that moderation is key. Do not overdose on ghee and make it a key to eating everything unhealthy. Also, ensure that the ghee is homemade and not store-bought. Consult your diabetologist before even consuming a spoonful of the wondrous ghee in order to reap its maximum benefits.

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A Diabetic's Guide To Eating Rice; Here's How You Can Cook Starch-Free Rice

Dr. HelloDox Care #
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Diabetes is one of the most common health conditions prevalent in the country. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the total number of diabetics in the year 2000 stood at 31.7 million, and is expected to rise by more than 100 percent in the year 2030 to account to a whopping 79.4 million. Diabetes is a condition where a person is incapable of producing enough insulin or is not able to utilise the insulin present in the body.

While diabetes was mostly considered a genetic pre-disposition, nowadays, it is mostly caused by the lifestyle we are leading in the modern times. It is characterised by prolonged elevated blood sugar levels, which can, in turn, lead to other health problems like cardiovascular diseases. This condition cannot be treated completely; however, can be regulated and managed with a few lifestyle changes and dietary tweaks.

Most health experts suggest cutting rice from a diabetic's diet, considering it may affect the blood sugar levels. Rice forms an important part of most Indians' diet, especially in south India, north and north-east India. It is generally suggested to cut down on rice because of the following reasons,

1.It is full of starch, which when consumed may lead to a spike in the blood sugar levels.

2.Secondly, it does not contain fibre, which is responsible for delaying the absorption of sugar and help regulate blood sugar levels.

3.It is a high glycaemic index food, which means foods with glycaemic index of 70 and above cause your blood sugar levels to spike.

4.It has carbohydrates that the body breaks down or converts into sugar glucose. Glucose, in turn, is absorbed into the bloodstream and with insulin; it travels into the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. However, diabetics cannot utilise the insulin, which further spikes blood sugar levels.

All these factors make rice quite the culprit for diabetics; but does this mean that one cannot eat rice at all? Here's what our expert has to say. Rice for diabetes; a question that most of us have on our minds. According to Macrobiotic Health Coach, "A bowl of rice at lunch or dinner can be eaten. Ensure that you have dal and ghee with rice to reduce the rapid rise in blood sugar levels. A diabetic can eat both white and brown rice; brown rice is generally recommended, considering it has more fibre content; however, it may sometimes prove to be an irritant in the gut. Traditional Ayurvedic healing diets include white rice and never brown as white rice is easier to digest with nutrients easily available to the body."

According to American Diabetes Association, starchy foods can be a part of a healthy meal plan, but portion size is key. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like yam, potatoes, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks. In addition to these starchy foods, fruits, beans, milk, yogurt, and sweets are also sources of carbohydrates that count in your meal plan.

How To Cook Rice?
Ideally, one should remove starch from the rice and eat it with protein-rich foods. Here's how you can make rice without starch.

1.Wash the rice thoroughly. Now take a pan and boil water, which is three times the quantity of rice.

2.Add rice to the boiling water; cook it on a medium flame for about five to six minutes.

3.Once the rice starts to boil, a foamy and thick creamy substance will start to float on top.

4.This foamy substance is the starch.

5.Allow the rice to cook until the water is reduced in quantity and rice grains start to float on the top.

6.Check if the rice has been cooked; it should feel soft and tender.

7.Remove the pan from the stove and strain the excess white coloured starchy water.

8.Serve hot with protein-rich vegetables, dal or curries and enjoy!

Dr. Avinash Deore
Dr. Avinash Deore
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Infertility Specialist, 15 yrs, Pune
Dr. Maya Golikere
Dr. Maya Golikere
BAMS, Panchakarma General Physician, 2 yrs, Pune
Dr. Jyoti Shinde
Dr. Jyoti Shinde
BHMS, Diabetologist Homeopath, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vipul Jaiswal
Dr. Vipul Jaiswal
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda General Physician, 11 yrs, Pune
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