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Handy tips for people living with diabetes

Are you tired of hearing don’t do this? Don’t eat this? Restricting yourself from all the joys of life you previously enjoyed before you were diagnosed with diabetes? Relax! And read on to a few handy tips which can really help you and your partner cope up with diabetes.

Eating Out

Invited for lunch/dinner or party- don’t stop yourself go ahead! But remember not to starve yourself. Starving leads to overeating according to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. Instead it is advisable to eat a small meal to avoid hunger pangs while eating at a party. You may choose from various diet plans and methods by various dieticians worldwide, but the Plate method suggested by American Diabetes Association is quiet easy to follow. Fill half of your plate with non-starchy fibres vegetables like grilled or barbequed mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, beans, cauliflower, capsicum, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, turnips and onions. 1/4th of your plate with lean protein like grilled fish/cottage cheese/shrimps or chicken. And the rest 1/4th with Low carbs and whole grain breads. Ideally desserts should be replaced by fresh fruits, but you may have a tiny portion. You may also consult your doctor and take medications.

Travel

Have you avoided travelling with family and friends lately? With little preparation, Diabetes induced complications like frequent urination, burning foot syndrome, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, headache, numbness in fingers or simple change in diet can be controlled. Discuss with your physician, your doctor may suggest some medicines or ways to overcome these complications in the best possible way. If you are insulin dependent, you no longer need to compulsorily refrigerate the insulin. There are new and convenient ways of carrying insulin pens and cartridges. For complications like frequent urination adult diapers are readily available for men & women in the medical stores incase of unavailability of proper washrooms.

Exercise Routine

People tend to get irritated or angry when they are not able to achieve their goals. Relax! You can always start again. According to American Diabetes Management programme along with diet you need to run a successful 150 minutes physical activity program per week. We know this is not easy and many people tend to give up. We at Famhealth urge you to initiate a physical activity routine as small as 30 minutes per day. Once the benchmark is set then we can increase it from 30 minutes to 60 minutes per day. You may opt from a wide range of physical activities not restricting yourself only to gyming. You may want to choose Power yoga, Aerobics, Martial Arts like (Kick boxing Tai chi), Cycling, Swimming, Badminton, Pilates, and Jogging, walking to your friends place, climbing stairs and breaking the monotony of gyming.

Medicine Management

This is the most important aspect of diabetes management. Medicines cannot be missed or delayed unnecessarily due to work pressure, mood fluctuations or other engagements. Medicine compliance along with blood sugar monitoring is an ideal way to manage diabetes. Blood sugar levels vary time to time and not remain same even throughout the day. It is very important to monitor your blood glucose levels, as sometimes your blood glucose level may drop causing hypoglycaemia or increase causing Hyperglycaemia. You may discuss with your diabetologist incase you are having more than 4-5 medicines as to which can be taken before meals or after meals  based on priority to manage diabetes effectively. You may set an alarm or take the help of your spouse or caregiver in reminding you to take medicines on time.

Stress Management

According to Mariella Meachen Psychotherapist from International diabetes federation, people living with Diabetes may undergo emotional turmoil’s like anxiety, fears, depression, guilt, denial which causes stress. Studies suggest stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol raises the blood glucose level in the body resulting in poor diabetes management. Research suggests Psychological support from spouse and family help coping up with diabetes. American Diabetes Association suggests changing coping styles like accepting a problem, Saying OK, and learning to relax help you cope with stress. You may also choose to join a sports team, Diabetic community, take dance lessons or learn a new craft. There is no harm in talking to a diabetic educator or seeking a medical counsellor.

Grooming

  • According to Cleveland Clinic; People with diabetes are more likely to have problems in their mouths—like gum disease, fungus and dry mouth. That’s why mouth care is so important. They should brush with a soft-bristled brush after every meal and floss at least once a day.
  • As per Joslin Diabetes Center; Ingrown toenails can lead to infection and other problems. Caregivers or family members can help check toe nails once a week for swelling or signs of infection. Toe nails should be trimmed with a nail clipper straight across and then smoothed with an emery board. Don’t round off nail corners.

Bathing

  • Mild soap and warm (not hot) baths or showers are best to prevent dry skin. Skip foot soaking, which can dry skin. Dry between toes. She should use a doctor-approved moisturizer—including on her feet, except between toes.
  • A small thing like a callus or cut on the foot can lead to serious problems for anyone with diabetes. And if she has nerve damage from diabetes, she may not even feel a cut or sore. After a bath, she should do a daily skin check, especially of her feet. Give her a hand-held mirror, or look in the places she can’t see. Look for red spots, blisters, and sores.

Erratic Glucose levels

  • Sometimes erratic glucose levels may happen, you and your caregiver may be very worried and frustrated.
  • Discuss that with your physician and your physician might recommend some changes in your medication, diet and lifestyle.
  • There might be a remote possibility of you becoming insulin resistant. Your physician may change your dosage or add another medication.
  • You may also consider other factors like stress, weather, your physical activity levels, hormonal changes, sleeping patterns for your erratic glucose levels
  • You may consider talking to diabetelogist to know how to control your glucose levels. Make changes in your existing diet to achieve your goal.

Living with Diabetes

  • Right approach and positive attitude is very important in managing diabetes. While you may find it challenging to control your cravings, which may effect your blood sugar levels.
  • Instead find a way to motivate yourself and your partner to stay healthy and achieve your targets.
  • Join a community or surround yourself with encouraging and positive people.
  • You may consider talking to a diabetic educator typically a physician or a dietician who will help you in keeping fit and achieve your targets.
  • Instead of feeling low and lamenting about having diabetes, find out about the ways of managing this disease perhaps you don’t like gyming.
  • You may consider opting for a physical activity ranging from Yoga, Gym, Marshal Arts or Cycling.
  • You need to carefully choose what you are eating that does not mean you cannot eat delicious food. There are many Diabetic friendly recipes available which satisfy your taste buds and also maintain your blood glucose levels.
  • You can go for parties, you can dress well and feel absolutely elated and keep at par with all your day to day activities.
  • You may sometimes also enjoy your alcohol provided, do not exceed and have your medication on time and regular basis.
  •  Medicine adherence is one of the most important aspects of diabetes management.

Not everybody is similar certain blood glucose lowering medication may cause low blood glucose levels hypoglycemia.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

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