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Dr Subhash Wangnoo is MD, DM (Endocrinology), FRCP (London) Honorary Physician Endocrinologist to the President of India .
Diabetes is a defect in the body’s ability to convert glucose (sugar) to energy. Glucose is the main source of fuel for our body, when food is digested it is changed into fats, proteins, or carbohydrates. Carbohydrates when digested, change to glucose. Glucose is then transferred to the blood and is used by the cells for energy. For glucose to be transferred from the blood into cells, the hormone insulin is needed. Insulin is produced by the beta cells in the pancreas (the organ that produced insulin). In individuals with diabetes, this process is impaired. Diabetes develops when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, which is Type-1 diabetes or the insulin produced is defective and cannot move glucose into the cells, which is Type 2 diabetes. These are two main types of diabetes. 
Other types of diabetes include:
 Symptoms of diabetes
If you have more than one of these symptoms, you may want to ask your doctor to test your blood sugar. Blurred vision, unusual thirst, frequent urination, slow healing wound, unexplained tiredness, rapid weight loss, erectile dysfunction, numbness or tingling in hands or feet. 
 How is diabetes diagnosed
The diagnosis of diabetes is done by a simple blood test known as Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) measuring your blood glucose levels. The hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) test is a blood test that shows what your average blood sugar (glucose) level, was over the past two to three months. 
 Diabetes Management:  
Dietary advice: Having a healthy and balanced meal that is rich in nutrients and low in salt, fats and calories. A diabetes diet is nothing but a healthy and balanced diet that everyone should eat. 
Exercise regularly: Physical activity lowers your blood glucose level, so it is particularly important to exercise regularly at least 45-mins to 1-hour if you have diabetes. 
Blood Glucose Monitoring: Without diabetes, your body tracks glucose levels all day and night to ensure the right amount of insulin is released at the right time. To successfully manage diabetes, a monitoring system is needed to consistently check your glucose levels. The most common glucose monitoring devices are blood glucose meters and continuous glucose monitoring systems. 
Medication: If your blood glucose levels are not controlled, your doctor may start oral medication, from a selection of available drugs according to your individual requirement or insulin. Insulin discovery is one of the most significant medical breakthroughs of the 20th century and has had a profound impact on diabetes treatment and prognosis. Over the past few decades, insulin therapy has made significant advancements and is no longer considered taboo. In terms of both newer insulin formulations and delivery methods, we have made major advancements. 
Foot care in Diabetes:  
Taking care of your feet is extremely important if you have diabetes. Diabetic feet are the involvement of the foot in diabetics, because of impaired blood circulation or reduced sensations or both; and can be present as a non-healing wound and gangrene. 
Self-care is an integral part of daily life of people with diabetes. It means that you take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing with support from the people involved in your care. Complete diabetes awareness is an important step in self-care. For more information about diabetes, you can visit sites like intolife.in or consult your doctor. 
“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later, have to make time for illness.” 
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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