Contributed by- Dr. Snehal Singh
The rise in diabetes has become the stark reality of our world. India is infamously known as the diabetes capital of the world, affecting all young and old. The spike in the diabetes incidence rate is a matter a serious concern.
Diabetes can completely alter your life and increase the risk of several health disorders like heart problems, metabolic disorders, thyroid problems etc. Diabetes can be defined as increase in blood sugar levels, if left unattended can lead to serious complications and adversely affect major organs. With a proper management plan diabetes can be controlled. The only way to prevent or manage diabetes is to take charge of your health and make necessary changes.
Diabetes management includes a proper balance between healthy diet and regular workout. Along with medications, an active lifestyle can help fight this major health disorder and take control of your life. Managing diabetes means making gradual changes in daily routine, inculcating healthy food habits, staying physically active and monitoring health and blood sugar regularly.
Let us discuss the health plans and small healthy choices that can bring huge difference and help manage diabetes effectively.
Diet For Diabetes
A healthy eating plan is the simplest way to mange diabetes. Certain foods help lower the blood sugar levels naturally and are really effective in diabetes management like:
- Whole grains
- Fresh green and leafy vegetables
- Proteins sources like pulses, peas, tofu, soy, eggs, poultry and lean meat
- Low fat milk and other milk products
- Drinking plenty of water
- Citrus fruits, berries, melons, berries, apples are a healthy and yummy choice
- Healthy seeds like fenugreek, flaxseeds
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts
- Fatty fish
Try to include the above mentioned foods in your daily life and keep your diabetes in control.
Exercises For Diabetes Management
Exercises or regular physical activity play a key role in maintaining blood sugar level. It improves body’s ability to use energy, which further improves bodily functions like good metabolism, insulin resistance and controlled blood sugar levels, maintaining weight. Follow a regular exercise regime which may include:
- Simple walking in the morning and evening
- Brisk walking and jogging
While regular physical activity improves metabolism and controls blood sugar, it can also improve circulation and oxygenation to all body parts. It can also help prevent diabetic complications and other lifestyle disorders.
One of the most important tips for diabetes control is to manage stress and get good sleep. Although not much known about it stress can greatly affect insulin resistance and the blood sugar levels. Moreover, lack of sleep can cause fatigue and appetite changes. Improper sleep and stress combined together can wreak havoc on your body and cause hormonal fluctuations. The best way to deal with it is to sleep on time and get plenty of rest. Take a short naps instead of sleeping for long hours in the daytime.
Practice stress management, with yoga, meditation or indulge in some hobbies that makes you feel good. Regular exercise also act as a stress buster, so choose the activity of your choice to relieve your stress.
Lifestyle Tips For Diabetes
People with poorly controlled diabetes and persistent insulin resistance for many years are at a greater risk of suffering diabetes complications. In addition to the healthcare tips for diabetes, here are some lifestyle tips to avoid diabetes complications.
- Manage your weight – Being overweight can affect diabetes control and increase the risk of complications, losing those extra pounds will only help.
- Follow healthy lifestyle – Have a healthy diet with balanced meals and drink plenty of water. Avoid skipping meals but make sure not to overeat. Involve in regular exercises and stay active throughout the day. Better sleep, stress management and relaxation are all part of the healthy package.
- Stay alert – Watch out for signs of diabetic complications and seek timely medical help. Do not ignore injuries, shoe bites, skin infections and get them treated in time. Wear proper footwear, stockings and protect yourself from injuries.
- Regular health check-ups – Medicines to control blood glucose must be taken as advised and regular health check-ups are a must. Blood sugar control medicines should be properly taken as per the prescribed dose and with food intake to avoid hypoglycaemia or excessive fall in the blood sugar level. Clinical examination and history can help reveal symptoms of possible diabetes complications. Eye-check, blood pressure monitoring, heart health check, foot examination and screening for neuropathy should be a regular part of diabetes monitoring.
- Right monitoring – Uncontrolled and long standing diabetes is the main cause of complications. So keep a check on your blood glucose levels. Fasting and post prandial blood glucose tests, glycosylated haemoglobin (HBA1c) that gives average blood sugar for 3 months, is advised. Other tests for glucose tolerance may be advised, if needed. Additional tests to detect thyroid problems, lipid profile, risk of heart diseases and stroke may also be needed in some cases. Renal function tests that detect diabetic nephropathy is also suggested sometimes.
These simple tips for diabetes can be of great help, if followed sincerely. Diabetes can be managed and its complications can be prevented – with healthy lifestyle, regular blood tests and medical check-ups.
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