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Guard yourself against diabetes and stroke!

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We know that too much of a good thing can be bad for us. Like sugar, for instance. While it may sweeten up the meals in our life (or possibly our days in general), excessive intake may pose short- and long-term risks to our health.

The main scare when it comes to sugar-binging is diabetes. In conjunction with World Diabetes Day this week, let us start a discourse on the do’s and don’ts involving the infamous d-word.

First of all, what is diabetes?

The human body is a complex machine with specific ‘tasks’ designated for specific external or internal parts.

When we eat, our body absorbs the nutrients and glucose (sugar) from the food to be translated into energy, which the body needs to function regularly. In a healthy system, the pancreas releases a chemical called insulin to help with the process.

However, diabetes happens when your body either does not make insulin: Type 1 diabetes or when your body has problems making insulin: Type 2 diabetes. In both instances, the glucose level in your blood will blow through the roof.

It is one of the most prevalent diseases affecting a large chunk of the world’s population. In a World Health Organisation report in 2016, it was estimated that 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980.

In Cambodia, there were 1,420 diabetes-related deaths last year alone, according to data from World Health Organisation.

While diabetes on its own brings to mind images of insulin shots and rationed meals, it may easily open the floodgates to various other life-implicating diseases, especially stroke.

Wait, so is it diabetes or stroke?

Unfortunately, it can be both.

When there is too much glucose in your blood and the cells are simultaneously deprived of energy, the excessive glucose may accumulate and clot the walls of our blood vessels. This will cut off the supply of oxygen to the brain, resulting in a stroke.

According to American Diabetes Association, if you have diabetes, your chances of having a stroke are 50 per cent higher than in people who don’t have diabetes.

“But you can lower your risk by taking care of your health,” it reassured.

Yes, fret not. Time and time again various experts have pointed out that the key to one’s general wellness is moderation. The best part about this tips is that the ultimate decision is in your hands! You can make the changes for a better tomorrow.

What you can do to keep the diabetes-stroke combo at bay

The most important thing is to control your sugar intake. You can read more about it in our previous article called ‘Sugar, friend or foe?’ (https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50533498/sugar-friend-or-foe/)
Apart from that, it is also vital to maintain the health of your heart and blood vessels. Here’s how:

1) Go for a hearty diet

The National Stroke Association (NSA) suggested a daily intake of 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed.

You may want to monitor your cholesterols to not exceed 300 milligrams a day. Consult a trained dietitian and nutritionist for a proper meal plan.

2) Don’t puff

Smoking is a bad habit that brings absolutely no benefit to the human body. If you ever needed a good motivation to quit, diabetes/stroke prevention could be it. It is reported that smokers have twice the chances to get a stroke.

3) Keep your figure tight

Maintaining a hot bod will not only bode well for you in the romantic department, but it also may ward off stroke. The NSA recommended the women to keep their waist measurements under 88 centimeters and 101 centimeters for the men.

4) Work out

Calm down, no one is trying to sell you a gym membership. The easiest thing anyone can do is incorporate 30 minutes of walking or strolling into your day-to-day agenda. If you can do more than that, don’t let us stop you, champ!

5) Limit alcohol consumption

Recommended dosage, according to the NSA, is no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men. The alcohol content per drink or type of drinks, however, were not explicitly specified. However, the less, the better.

6) Learn more

Sometimes, the glucose level in our blood is high but not high enough to induce diabetes. This condition is called prediabetes. The good news is it is oftentimes reversible! How? By following the above-mentioned steps.

Look out for these signs!

If you experience any of the following symptoms, especially if you have had family history of diabetes, over the age of 45, or overweight, please seek medical help urgently:

  1. Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  2. Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  3. Difficulty to talk
  4. Dizziness, loss of balance, or difficulty to walk
  5. Blurred or double vision
  6. Severe headache
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