In a country like ours, diabetes has become increasingly widespread. Most of us know at least one person in our family who suffers from diabetes, a mix of genetics and the general lack of a healthy lifestyle has made it common fare. However, most people fail to grasp how serious diabetes actually is. Its effects are far more severe if left uncontrolled.

Diabetes negatively affects our body’s ability to produce and use insulin, causing glucose to remain in the blood rather than reaching the cells. It is also a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, and stroke. In 2019, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths worldwide. This makes it all the more important to stay on the lookout for warning signs.

Some of the indicators for early-stage diabetes are:

1. Making constant visits to the loo

Our bodies normally reabsorb glucose as it passes through the kidneys. But when blood sugar levels rise due to diabetes, our kidneys may not be able to reabsorb all of it. Some of this excess glucose from the blood ends up in the urine where it draws more water. The body produces more urine than usual as a result of this, leading to the frequent urge to urinate.

2.Feeling excessively excessively thirsty and hungry

The recurring urination required to eliminate extra sugar from the bloodstream might cause the body to lose more water. This can lead to dehydration, making you feel more thirsty than usual.

The food we eat provides carbohydrates which are broken down by the  digestive system into glucose, which the body uses to generate energy. In diabetics, insulin resistance keeps glucose from entering the cells and providing  energy. Therefore, the muscles and other tissues will be low on energy. As a result, people with diabetes often feel hungry, even after eating.

3.Unexplained weight loss

Unexplained weight loss means weight loss without deliberate efforts through dieting or exercise. In people with diabetes, insufficient insulin prevents glucose from entering the body cells to generate energy. As a result, the body starts burning fat and muscle for energy, causing a reduction in overall body weight. This leads to weight loss.

4.Slow healing of cuts & wounds

In diabetes, blood circulation slows down and makes nutrient delivery to wounds difficult. It also leads to reduced tissue oxygenation and compromised    white blood cells function which decreases the body’s ability to fight bacteria and close wounds. As a result, even minor cuts and wounds may take weeks or months to heal, which raises the risk of infection. So if your wounds are taking longer than usual to heal, it might be time to consult a doctor.

5. Vision getting blurry

Here’s a lesser-known fact about diabetes- high sugar levels in the blood can harm the blood vessels in the eyes as well, resulting in hazy vision. This blurry vision might affect one or both eyes.

So if you suspect your vision problems might have an underlying cause, get it checked at the earliest.

6. Experiencing fatigue and exhaustion

When there is a lack of glucose in the cells, the body becomes tired. Frequent exhaustion and fatigue are one of the most telling signs of diabetes and should  not be ignored.

Signs of diabetes are often mild or non-existent, especially at the outset. People frequently minimize or rationalize their symptoms, causing them to worsen until they are so severe they cannot be ignored. This is why it is critical that you see your doctor for check-ups and screenings on a regular basis.

What is Mulberry Leaf Extract?

There are several factors which increase your risk to diabetes like family history, being overweight, unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and increasing age.

If you think you are at risk of developing diabetes, and are at a look out for natural ways to manage the risk, look no further.

Mulberry leaves contain numerous bioactive compounds which include flavonoids, phenols, antioxidants etc along with special active components with various health benefits.  The leaves are dried and their extract is obtained using processes such as high-pressure extraction, microwave, supercritical extraction etc. Mulberry Leaf Extract (MLE) is shown to reduce post-meal insulin spike by virtue of its effect on lowering blood sugar spike after meal. It therefore helps manage the risk of diabetes.

Mulberry Leaf Extract – How it works to manage the risk of Diabetes

The main pillars for diabetes prevention and control are keeping a check on your weight and lifestyle change which includes regular physical activity and healthy eating habits (1) When it comes to following a healthy diet, most of the times we hear of foods ‘NOT’ to include in the diet. But there are certain natural foods known to lower blood sugar levels and manage the risk of diabetes. One such natural food is Mulberry.

Mulberry leaf extract (MLE) has the property to lower blood sugar spike post meal. MLE has active plant compounds which contribute to the beneficial health effects of this plant for those battling diabetes or wanting to manage the risk of diabetes.

In our bodies, carbohydrate from the food gets broken down to simple sugars with the help of certain enzymes. These sugars get absorbed into the bloodstream and cause a spike in blood sugar level. MLE contains 1-deoxynojirimycin which is chemically similar to monosaccharides, and competitively inhibits carbohydrate-digesting enzymes such as αglucosidase. This slows down the breakdown of carbohydrate into sugar thereby reducing the post meal blood sugar level.

Health Benefits of Mulberry Leaf Extract

Mulberry is a well- known medicinal plant has nutrients and compounds which are favorable for health. The extract from leaves of this plant is now being made available commercially as functional foods since it has proven to show beneficial effect on blood sugar management, body weight and heart health.

Mulberry Leaf Extract (MLE) helps manage blood sugar levels and thus may help manage the risk of diabetes. Its active compound 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ) slows down the breakdown of carbohydrate from the food we eat, into simple sugars which help reduce post meal blood sugar levels. As a result, MLE also helps to reduce post-meal insulin spike. Lower post meal sugar and lower insulin spike in response to foods is associated with reduced diabetes risk and progression.

Preclinical studies have also shown that MLE has anti- obesity effect. This may help manage weight, one of the major goals for diabetes management.

People having uncontrolled diabetes are at an increased risk for heart disease. Mulberry leaves have shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Additionally, it also helps to reduce triglyceride (fats in blood) levels and manage blood pressure. MLE contains phenolic and flavonoid compounds which make it a great antioxidant. Therefore, it may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and may play a beneficial role in management of complications associated with diabetes.

Including mulberry leaf extract with the daily meals looks promising in keeping diabetes and its complications at bay.

How to Bring the Pre-diabetic Stage Under Control

As a condition, diabetes is often widely discussed. The discourse around it is rich, and people always have new-fangled diet tips and some herbal concoction or two to share when the subject comes up. With all this talk around diabetes, the subject of pre-diabetes tends to get swept under the rug.

If you are interested in learning about pre-diabetes, then this blog is for you. Most people are unaware that pre-diabetes is a condition in itself and it affects millions of people worldwide. But what exactly is pre-diabetes and how does it differ from diabetes?

So what is the pre-diabetic stage really?

Pre-diabetes is characterised by elevated blood sugar levels that are higher than usual but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. As the name suggests, it is a condition that comes before diabetes, if it is not checked in time, pre-diabetes will develop into full-blown diabetes.

What makes it so tricky is that pre-diabetes may go unnoticed for years without causing any symptoms. It’s vital to remember that this condition can be harmful in itself; many people with prediabetes already have reduced beta-cell function by the time they’re diagnosed with diabetes. This signifies that you may not realise you have pre-diabetes until major health concerns arise. Hence a serious wake-up call is needed.

Managing pre-diabetes

The major difference between pre-diabetes and diabetes is that, in contrast to diabetes, pre-diabetes can often be reversed. If you catch this condition early enough, you can reverse it by making significant changes to your everyday lifestyle. These lifestyle adjustments are both cost-effective and safe. They can delay or even prevent the onset of diabetes. Some of which are:

 1. Regular exercise

A sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical exercise are one of the major risk factors for pre-diabetes and diabetes. Exercise is routinely recommended as one of the effective strategies for overall good health and blood sugar management. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity and thus helps pull glucose from the bloodstream into your cells so that glucose can be used for energy. Including exercise in your daily routine will help keep glucose in a healthy target range. But if you’re unable to exercise for some reason, working out isn’t the sole way to combat pre-diabetes; the idea is to get more active and get moving. When it comes to managing pre-diabetes, simply walking for 60 minutes a day can make a big difference.
However, all decisions regarding the initiation of exercise programs for prediabetics or diabetics should be taken in consultation with a physician/diabetologist.

 2. Get more fibre

Dietary fiber is part of a healthy diet and can provide a range of health benefits such as promoting weight loss, lowering insulin requirements and decreasing serum cholesterol and triglyceride values. It can be especially important in preventing or managing diabetes. High fibre foods have a low caloric value and low glycaemic index and therefore diabetics should consume such foods. Including whole grains (unpolished cereals and millets), legumes, fruits, and vegetables in your diet is an effective way to add fibre and manage blood sugar levels.

 3. Following a proper diet

Diet is an important part of a pre-diabetes management plan. The diet can be as close to the normal diet as possible so as to meet the nutritional needs of the individual. Carbohydrates with high-fiber and low glycemic index should be included in the diet. It is recommended that 12–15% of total calories be derived from proteins. Reduced intake of fatty foods is recommended as it may result in obesity which in turn can cause diabetes. Foods to be avoided include simple sugars (glucose, table sugar), candies, and fruits such as banana, mango, grapes, and sweetened fruit juices.

You must be cautious about what you put into your body in order to avoid blood sugar spikes.

As body responds differently to different types of foods and diets, consulting a registered dietician nutritionist to make an eating plan that works for an individual is very important.

4. Getting proper sleep

Sleep is essential for proper health and well-being. Getting good sleep is important for your mind, body, and diabetes management.
Getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night regularly can make your diabetes difficult to manage. Too little sleep can impact appetite, making it harder to lose weight, increase insulin resistance, and make your immune system weak.

As long as you consistently put these lifestyle tips to good use, it will set you on the right path to a healthy and diabetes-free life. #KhabarLive #hydnews