People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing some forms of cancer. Researchers at the American Chemical Society report a possible explanation for this double whammy. They found that DNA sustains more damage and gets fixed less often when blood sugar levels are high compared to when blood sugar is at a normal, healthy level. This increases the risk of cancer.
According to them, it’s been known for a long time that people with diabetes have as much as a 2.5-fold increased risk for certain cancers. These cancers include ovarian, breast, kidney and others.
With increasing incidence of diabetes, cancer rate will also continue to rise.
Scientists have suspected that the elevated cancer risk for diabetics arises from hormonal dysregulation. Researchers say that in people with type 2 diabetes, insulin does not carry glucose to the cells. So, the pancreas produced more and more insulin. This causes hyperinsulinemia. Insulin not only controls blood glucose levels, but also stimulates cell growth. This may lead to cancer.
HIGHER LEVELS OF ADIPOKINES MAY CAUSE CANCER: EXPERTS
People with type 2 diabetes are also usually overweight. Their excess fat tissue produces higher levels of adipokines. These hormones promote chronic inflammation, which is linked to cancer. The elevated blood glucose levels in diabetes could also harm your DNA. This makes the genome unstable. This could be another cause of cancer. Researchers found a DNA adduct, called N2- (1-carboxyethyl)-2′-deoxyguanosine, or CEdG, that occurred more frequently in the diabetic models than in normal cells or mice.
High glucose levels interfered with the cells’ process for fixing it. Exposure to high glucose levels caused both DNA adducts and the suppression of their repair. This could cause genome instability and cancer, researchers say. They also identified two proteins that appear to be involved: The transcription factor HIF1α and the signalling protein mTORC1. Both these proteins show less activity in diabetes. HIF1α activates several genes involved in the repair process. The study team found that if they stabilised HIF1α in a high-glucose environment, they were able to increase DNA repair and reduce DNA damage.
OTHER HEALTH RISKS OF DIABETES
Diabetes affects your body’s ability to produce insulin. It is a serious condition and can lead to many health complications. It can damage your kidneys and affect their ability to filter waste products from your blood. This is called diabetic nephropathy. It can also affect your circulation and increase your risk of hypertension. This can lead to heart diseases. High blood glucose levels can cause fatty deposits in blood vessel walls, which can restrict blood flow and increase the risk of atherosclerosis.
In fact, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that diabetes doubles your risk of heart disease and stroke. It can affect your nerves and cause diabetic neuropathy, a painful condition that can increase your risk of injury. Other than this, it can also cause vision problems, skin conditions, hearing impairment and also Alzheimer’s disease.
What you can do: Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly. Adopt good eating habits and make exercise a way of life. This will reduce the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. It will, in turn, reduce your risk of heart diseases and cardiovascular problems. Avoid smoking and limit your intake of alcoholic beverages.
CONTROL DIABETES NATURALLY
Diabetes is a serious condition and we have already seen how it can affect our bodies. Hence, it is very important to keep blood sugar levels under control. You can do this naturally by adding a few foods to your diet. Lets see what they are.
Cinnamon can help you prevent diabetes. But take it in moderation as too much can cause breathing problems and increase the heart rate. Mix one-half to one teaspoon of cinnamon in a cup of warm water and drink it daily. You can also add cinnamon to tea, sprinkle it on fruits and add it to baked desserts.
Fenugreek improves glucose tolerance and lowers blood sugar levels. It is rich in fibre and regular intake slows down digestion and allows blood sugar to be absorbed properly. It also stimulates the secretion of insulin. Just soak two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water overnight and drink the water along with the seeds the next morning on an empty stomach.
The bitter leaf of neem plant enhances insulin receptor sensitivity in Beta cells, lowers blood glucose levels and reduces dependence on hypoglycaemic drugs. It reduces the need for insulin by the body by up to 60 per cent.
Basil (tulsi) leaves
The leaves of basil have rich concentration of antioxidants. This increases sensitivity to insulin. It is good for the pancreatic beta cells responsible for storing and releasing insulin. It also fight against oxidative stress. Basil boosts insulin production and lowers fasting glucose levels by 7 per cent. Two to three tulsi leaves on an empty stomach to lower the blood sugar levels.
Aloe vera gel contains phytosterols that have anti-hyperglycemic effects for type 2 diabetes. The combination of aloe vera gel, bay leaves and turmeric can effectively control blood sugar. This juice decreases blood fat and swelling, a common side-effect of diabetes.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
Indian gooseberry is rich in vitamin C. It is rich in antioxidants that help you fight diabetes. Amla juice stimulates the pancreas and this leads to production of insulin. This will lower blood sugar levels. Have the juice of two to three amla fruits in the morning along with one cup of water on an empty stomach. This will reduce insulin resistance.