Diabetes involves an increase in the level of blood glucose or blood sugar in the body. Glucose is the main source of energy that comes from the food we eat. Insulin is a hormone may help the body to utilize glucose from the blood any problem in insulin production or action may lead to diabetes. Diabetes may cause certain health problems such as heart, blood vessels, stroke or kidney disease. Luckily, we can control diabetes by maintaining a healthy life, performing some exercise and taking certain medicines that may reduce the diabetes risk. Diabetes is of two types:
- Type 1 diabetes: It may develop due to the deficiency of insulin which causes the glucose to build up in blood.
- Type 2 diabetes: It may develop cause due to insulin resistance in the body.
Some common risk factors that may increase the development of diabetes include:
- Age over 45 years
- Family history of diabetes
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High blood pressure
- Alcohol addiction
- Using certain medicine such as steroids
Common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Extreme hunger
- Blurred vision
- Unusual weight loss or weight gain
- Slow healing of injuries such as cut or bruises
- Frequent infections
HIV and Diabetes
In HIV patients, there is greater chance of developing diabetes- firstly, due to the disease condition itself, and secondly due to the medications. Certain medicines such as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) and protease inhibitor (PI) which may increase blood glucose level and may result in type 2 diabetes. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test is used to measure the amount of glucose in blood after the person had fasted for 8 hours. This test is one of the diagnostic tests to diagnose diabetes. Some tips that may help HIV patient to reduce the risk of diabetes are as follows:
- Before starting any HIV medication, the patient should check their blood glucose levels.
- Consult the doctors if you have a higher level of glucose than normal.
- Individuals should keep a check on glucose level by blood glucose testing after using HIV medicines. The doctors may prescribe other medicine if testing has shown a change in glucose level. A change in medication may be necessary in some patients.
HIV patients could seek help from the health care provider by asking the link between diabetes and HIV medicines, about the risk of diabetes, and about the best testing option.
Diabetes can be managed by:
- Keeping the blood glucose level as near normal range
- Controlling the blood pressure
- Keeping the blood cholesterol and lipid levels to normal
- Lowering the diabetes-related health problems
Try maintaining a healthy diet by including lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and protein rich food such as lean meat. Try avoiding the food which contains high saturated fat and cholesterol. Try performing regular exercise such as walking, jogging to stay healthy and active. Follow the guidelines instructed by the doctor about when and how to take the medications. Try to monitor the blood glucose level and blood pressure frequently. Book an appointment with health care providers for regular checkups.