diabetes

Its Symptoms And Solutions

Approximately 70 million people suffer from Diabetes in India. As our doctors say, diabetes is not just a
condition but a lifestyle.Learn about diabetes, its symptoms and how best to manage your lifestyle
when you have diabetes.

 

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is an endocrine disorder that elevates your blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time. It is caused by the malfunctioning of the pancreatic cells, which produce insufficient or no Insulin. It is a chronic disorder which can be managed with right medication and healthy lifestyle.

 

Deeper Dive

Managing diabetes can feel overwhelming at times. However, understanding the deeper aspects can
burst many myths and shows diabetes can be managed easily. Let’s venture out different diabetes
issues and better ways to deal them.

 

Managing Diabetes

Lifestyle changes include adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan which plays a direct role in
controlling the blood glucose levels of a person living with diabetes. It is important to deal with the stress
and emotional turmoil that comes with this diagnosis and so getting the right support and
making lifestyle changes to successfully manage this condition is imperative.

 

Diabetes And Your Personality

A research conducted on 3500 patients by a school in Westminster, USA concluded that there are two major personality characteristics in the management of diabetes are the Interactive and the
Independent personality.

 

Happy Living

A healthy diabetes diet aids in treating and controlling blood sugar level. Though everyone requires a
balanced diet to stay healthy, diabetics need to watch out the food they eat to keep an eye on spiked
blood sugar levels. Here are some healthy eating strategies which can curb diabetes.

 

Diabetes Friendly Recipes

An assortment of some yummy diabetic-friendly recipes are not bring down blood sugar levels, but are
a delight to eat. Here we bring you easy and quick recipe tricks and tips, which are easy and quick to cook.

 

Related Videos On TV

 

Diabetes Support Groups

These inspiring stories of those who have overcome Diabetes will keep you motivated

 

Diabetes-Friendly Grocery Shopping Items by Famhealth

Diabetes Friendly Grocery Shopping Items

Going for grocery shopping for yourself or your loved one? Take a look at the nutritive items you must bring home and stock up your Frigidaire. Besides nutrient content, the glycemic index (GI) of a food may also help you make healthy choices. The GI measures how quickly a food will raise blood sugar. Low GI foods have a score of 55 or less, while high GI foods have a score of 70 or more. In general, lower GI foods are a better choice for people with diabetes. Foods that are both nutritious and have a low GI are helpful in managing health and blood glucose levels.

Keeping the Indian supermarket in mind we bring together some easily available items extremely beneficial for you health.

Here’s your guide:

Starchy foods:

Starchy foods are always referred Carbohydrate rich foods. This category stands very important as it provides energy to the body to perform vital actions. Whenever you are going to the supermarket next for grocery shopping make sure, a good portion of your cart contains items from this category. So, we bring you some healthy options which can help you to shop quickly. Of course the options given below are not the only options you may choose, but incorporating some or all into your diabetes meal plan may help you and partner improve the overall health. 

  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Millet
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole-Grain Bread/ Flour

Non-Starchy

This category of veggies goes a long way in satisfying your hunger and boosting your intake of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytochemicals. They are the lowest in calories and carbohydrates. Non starchy vegetables are highly recommended by dieticians around the globe for weight loss and diabetes management.

Here are some non-starchy veggies you may wish to bring home today.

  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Brinjal
  • Red peppers
  • Capsicum
  • Lettuce

Fruits

You may choose to add non starchy low glycaemic index fruits in all your meals and snacks. They contain natural fructose which may act as a dessert after meals to satisfy your taste buds.  According American Diabetes Association guidelines, at least 4-5 servings of fruits needs to be consumed daily by people living with diabetes. They nourish the body with plenty of vitamins and fibres.

These are some options you may choose to shop today.

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Indian Gooseberry
  • Guava
  • Star fruit
  • Papaya

Dairy products

ADA recommends, we should include dairy products as a part of our healthy diet, as they are high in both protein and calcium.  Evidence till date suggests, that milk product consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes. So, we are sharing a list of milk products you may wish to add in your cart. But it’s advisable to check on fats while consuming milk products.

Here are some healthy options.

  • Low fat Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Butter milk
  • Unsweetened lassi
  • Cheese
  • Paneer (cottage cheese)
  • Protein containing products

You may choose to include a variety of protein-rich foods in your diabetes meal plan.  Proteins are derived from both animals and plant origin, which are very essential for the repair and growth of human body. As you already know protein also provides energy and is an excellent source of macro nutrient known as the “building blocks of life”.

Here are some healthy choices; you may wish to take home today.

  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Nuts

Nuts and Seeds

Research conducted in Louisiana State University found, that people who regularly consumed nuts have lower risks for Type 2 diabetes. So, next time, you crave for foods high in sugar and fat, you have healthier options and can choose to munch on some assorted nuts. It can be an excellent snack option as well, such as pumpkin seeds known to deliver taste and crunch, or peanuts and other seeds which are rich in protein, fibre, and good fats. They’re also a source of magnesium, a mineral that’s key to blood-sugar control because it helps cells use insulin. So, on the basis of their great benefits, we are recommending you these

  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Flaxseeds
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Musk melon seeds

Oils and Fats

As you may already know, oils and fats are also a very essential part of our diet, as it provides nourishment and a major chunk of cooking is done with them. Oils and fats are a good source of vitamin E, which is important for maintaining healthy skin.

It is true that all fats are high in calories, so it is important to watch portion sizes you are consuming. But a smarter way can be adopted by opting for unsaturated healthy fats than saturated and Trans fats, while substituting the healthy fats in their place. 

Here’s a small list of Cooking oil and fats.

  • Mustard oil
  • Soya bean oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Low fat butter
  • Margarine
  • Peanut butter
  • Ricotta cheese.

Herbs and Spices

The herbs and spices from our Indian sub-continent seem to be the most explored and active component in maintaining blood glucose levels.  A number of research and studies are being conducted to support this theory.

Let us find the essential spices and herbs one must have in their kitchen

  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • And other salt free spices
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

Beverages

As you may already know, if you are having diabetes, doctors recommend that you have to be aware of everything you eat or drink specially canned or packaged drinks which contain hidden sugars. So to prevent spiking in the blood sugar levels, American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends choosing zero-calorie or low-calorie drinks.

Here are some options which may benefit you while consuming beverages.

  • Water (unflavoured or flavoured sparkling water)
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Unsweetened coffee
  • Sugar-free fruit juice
  • Low-fat milk

Snacks

Who doesn’t love snacks?  Everyone loves to much on snacks in between meals; there are lots of healthy choices that can be used as snack foods.  As you may already know, while taking medications you are advised to snack in between meals to avoid low blood sugar levels.

So we bring together some quick readymade snacks you can directly pick from the super market.

  • Popcorn
  • Cookies
  • Green tea
  • Nuts
  • Fruits (as mentioned above)

Remember this list is not exhaustive you may pick and choose other food items as well, according to their Glycaemic Index. This list is quick shopping guide keeping the Indian market in mind.

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

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Just Detected

Just Detected with Diabetes

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be an overwhelming experience In fact, it can be a major life stress for many people. This is especially true as most chronic conditions and progressive diseases can prove to be quite challenging to manage emotionally.

If you or your family are feeling anxious and disheartened, you should know that it is natural to feel that way. You should also know that you are not alone, and that 70 million other people in India are living with Diabetes. This is a condition that needs to be “managed”.

In brief, Diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce enough insulin, and at times no insulin is produced at all. Insulin is required to remove sugars and toxins from our system, and when they do not get flushed out, they tend to accumulate, resulting in high blood glucose levels.

You will be happy to know there are countless cases of people who have reversed their condition simply by making changes in their daily lives, especially when it comes to food, exercise and stress management. With some precautions and care, we are confident that you too can be a winner.

Remember, with a clear plan, appropriate guidance, right (and on time) medications, timely tests and appropriate modifications to your lifestyle you can not only overcome your condition but stay on top of it. To know more, please refer to our Let’s Understand section

Remember, we are here to help you in your endeavour to stay focussed and on target!

Some quick tips that the American Diabetes Association and other bodies recommend that you should follow:

  • Find a good doctor
    • We recommend seeking the advice of a specialist, in this case an ‘endocrinologist’ or ‘diabetologist’ who can help and direct you with a constructive plan of action. Check with your doctor if you have to repeat your tests.
  • Acquire as much information as you can
    • An informed person can make better decisions. Therefore, it is essential for you to get to know more about food and other lifestyle changes that will help you manage better. Newly-diagnosed people are frequently advised to control blood sugar levels by following a healthy nutrition plan along with a regular exercise regime. To know more, read recommended diets and exercise plans for people living with diabetes.
  • Seek help and support from your family
    • Research suggests that with family support one can manage diabetes much more effectively than running self-managed programmes. Your partner, family, and friends play a huge role in motivating you and helping you adhere to your diabetes management programme.
  • Make your own plan:
    • As you may already know, food plays a very important role in diabetes management. An ideal diabetes meal plan consists of low carbs, low sugar, lean proteins and high fibre diet. You may choose from a wide variety of Diabetes meal plans available to you. Before you start following one, you are advised to check with your doctor or dietician regarding the amount of calories you need to take in a day/week, according to your BMI and physical activity rate.
      You may also seek a dietician’s advice to put together a plan that works best for you
  • Check on Alcohol and tobacco consumption
    • Research suggests smoking may aggravate complications from Diabetes, such as heart diseases and may lead to nerve and kidney damage. It is, therefore, highly advisable to significantly limit or give up smoking. 
      Alcohol consumption can have a strong impact on your blood sugar levels, not to mention liver-related disorders. It is a good idea to take your doctor’s advice on whether you can consume alcohol, and how much. In any case, please remember to always eat a meal while consuming alcohol to prevent fluctuations or spiking of blood glucose levels.
  • Medicines – on time, every time!
    • One of the most crucial aspects of Diabetes management is to take your medication regularly and avoiding skipping meals. The medical explanation is that medicines and food have a direct role in keeping “good control” of blood glucose levels.
      If your doctor has advised you to take Insulin then please DO NOT skip your shots. Many people fear pain or scarring resulting from the Insulin shots, and the good news is that one can learn the right, less painful ways of taking Insulin. Refer to our “Insulin section” for more details.
      In fact, in order to keep your blood glucose levels in control, you should eat small meals more frequently and consult a dietician to plan the best possible meal plan for you.
  • Indulge yourself. Take extra care of your teeth to keep gum diseases at bay
    • While it is true that you have to follow a strict plan, talk to your doctor about rewarding yourself once in a while. 
      However, do keep in mind the fact that you have to keep up with your basic health and hygiene requirements. Do brush your teeth at least twice a day, as people living with Diabetes tend to have frequently-returning gum infections. You should also floss your teeth once a week and see a dentist at least twice a year. Inform your dentist if your gums bleed or get swollen to have the concerns addressed at the earliest.
  • Be careful about Wounds
    • Take your wounds seriously, do go and see a doctor immediately if you feel your wounds are healing slowly, or not healing at all as high blood sugar can reduce blood flow, damage nerves and delay healing. It is essential to take care of your foot as minor cuts and blisters can lead to serious infections. Infact people living with Diabetes should also monitor for tingling or loss of sensation in the hands and feet.
  • Last but not the least
    • With a strong determination and sincere effort, one can easily control Diabetes and enjoy living life like never before. 
      Join the support community for family and friends of people living with Diabetes, a unique platform to share, help and bring a change in the lives of families and people living with Diabetes.

What can I do as a family/friend of a newly diagnosed loved one ?

As a partner or caregiver, it is understandable that your feel anxious and concerned on hearing the diagnosis of Diabetes.

Please be assured that there is no cause for concern as this is a condition that can be managed with a little care and diligence. You may need to play a pivotal role in the management of the condition for your partner or a loved one and therefore, you would need to be supporting and considerate. Research points to high success rates for diabetics that have had the support of a spouse or family member.

  • No need to panic
    • While Diabetes is considered a lifelong “chronic” condition, there is no need to panic as it can be managed with lifestyle and diet changes. Please be caring and supportive as your partner/family member may have to depend on you to make the required changes and live a long and healthy life
  • Participate
    • It is a good idea to actively participate in your partner’s plans and health goals. By working as a team your support is implicit. Set reminders to take medication on time, learn how to inject insulin, figure out what food items work and what don’t. Set realistic goals, and learn the fine art of encouraging without nagging.
  • De-stress yourself
    • Diabetes can impact the whole family and not just the person living with the condition. In order to avoid the caregiver fatigue syndrome, it is a good idea to spend some time for you. Take timeout to pursue your own goals and keep up with your friends and associates outside of the Diabetic circle.

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

Diabetes

I Need Insulin

I need insulin by Famhealth

My doctor is insisting on Insulin, what do I need to know ?

Insulin is produced in our body naturally by the pancreatic cells and helps the body in converting sugar into energy. When our body produces insufficient or no insulin then doctors recommend taking Insulin additionally, to ensure body metabolises carbohydrates into sugar, and sugar does not accumulate for a prolonged period of time in the form of blood glucose.

There are myths associated with taking Insulin, read below to find out the most frequently asked questions by people living with diabetes.

I have been asked by my doctor to take Insulin, is my Diabetes getting worse ?

Taking Insulin does not necessarily mean that your Diabetes is getting worse. To control your high blood glucose levels your doctor may prescribe Insulin therapy. By not taking the Insulin therapy you may further develop Diabetes-related complications such as Glaucoma in the eyes and malfunctioning of the kidneys or the liver, neuropathy, foot problems, nerve related issues etc. People with Type 2 Diabetes often use combined therapy of medicine and Insulin to keep their sugar levels in control.

Will injecting Insulin be painful ?

Injecting Insulin is not as painful as you may think. Your doctor will direct you how to inject Insulin in the right way and painlessly. Insulin should be given in the areas where one has more flab and less muscle. There are many new types of syringes which are thinner and painless to use, so this should not be a cause for worry.

Once I begin Insulin, will I have to take it for the rest of my life ?

The answer to this question is different for different types of Diabetes. For people living with Type 1 Diabetes this is true; however, for people with Type 2 Diabetes, studies have shown that taking medication on time, physical exercises and diet control can lead to reversal of the condition. Some people simply do not want to start Insulin because of the fear of having to take it forever. However studies have revealed that once the blood glucose levels are under control, patients have been able to switch back to oral medication and no longer have to depend on Insulin.

Travelling with Insulin is tedious, can I miss my injections ?

Doctors all round the world strongly recommend that people who are Insulin dependent must not miss any injections. If you miss your regular dose, it will disrupt the ground you have gained in Diabetes management and take you back to square one. Your blood sugar levels will shoot up and create an imbalance of toxins in the body, leading to further complications.

It is a good idea to make your own small back-pack where you could keep your syringes, Insulin, cotton, gauze and astringent handy. Insulin has to be kept in a cool place and, hence, sometimes needs to be refrigerated. If you are travelling, check with your pharmacist for new types of Insulin pens and cartridges, which might not need refrigeration.

What I can do as family/friend of a person living on Insulin ?

If your partner has Insulin-dependent Diabetes, we understand that you would have your own set of stresses that can be mentally and physically exhausting. You would need to be able to support your partner in different ways, such as establishing and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, checking your partner for wounds that may be concerning, learning to give Insulin shots correctly and painlessly, as well as routinely check blood glucose levels.

There are quite a few things that you can do to help yourself and your partner. First and foremost, in order to support your partner in living with this condition, you need to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Establish a health plan for yourself, which will keep you in good shape to deal with the stresses that go along with Diabetes. It is even better if you can exercise together. Taking up meditation and yoga is also a very good way to reduce the impact of stress on your body.

You do not need to give up your life and pleasures in order to support your partner. For example, develop a balanced diet plan that takes care of your partner’s nutritional requirements, but do not forget to add your favourite dish to the equation!

Consult with your doctor to plan an evening out, away from the regular routine. Understand and follow the doctor’s instructions when it comes to dos and don’ts for eating and drinking on your evening out, and you will be fine.

Make sure to have a backup for yourself. As you support your partner in living with Diabetes, you need not give up your interests. Have family/friends provide you with backup whenever you need to step away for some time. This also takes care of the condition known as “compassion fatigue” in caregivers.

It is also good to have support of other people living with this condition just in case you yourself are under the weather for a couple of days.

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

Diabetes

Checklist & Tips for Diabetics by Famhealth

Checklist with Tips

Diabetics

For Patients

Here’s a quick guide for keeping a daily check on diabetes by patients/family and caregivers.
Self-help is the best help and we are with you.

  • Check blood sugar levels as often as recommended by your doctor. By checking your blood glucose level, you can know how food, physical activity and medicine affect your blood glucose.
  • Inspect your feet daily for cuts, injuries, blisters, infection and changes in skin pigmentation.
  • Inspect your mouth, teeth and gums. People living with diabetes often are prone to periodontal gum diseases, doctors’ advice brushing twice daily and flossing once in a week.
  • Check for infection, cuts, blisters, or colour changes all over the body including your underarms, groin area, area between toes, etc.
  • As you may be already aware, people with diabetes must avoid hot water baths as hot baths often lead to wrinkling and blisters in skin.
  • Keep your supplies close: Make an attractive kit bag and keep all the necessary medications and food items within your reach. Replenish the kit daily to keep your energy elevated, and blood glucose levels normal.
  • Last but not the least take your medications on time and at least exercise or walk for a minimum 45 minutes daily to regulate blood glucose levels.

For the Caregiver
 

  • Blood sugar check – Check or gently remind them about the blood sugar check as per doctor’s recommendation
  • Keep a record – keeping a daily record of his/her blood glucose readings, medicine schedule, exercise, meals, and how the person feels helps in managing diabetes.
  • Check the colour of the person’s legs and feet – check for signs such as swelling, warmth, redness, or pain. These may be signs of an infection so see a doctor right away as recommended by Joslin Diabetes Center.
  • Check the temperature – Cleveland clinic recommends you, to check the temperature of the water your patient is going to take a bath. Water should be just warm (not hot). Encourage usage of only mild soap such as glycerine soaps to prevent wrinkling and cutting of skin tissues.
  • Check on hydration – Drinking lots of fluids — like water, juices, caffeine-free and sugar-free drinks are very important to keeping them hydrated. So we recommend you, just try to keep reminding them.
  • Check their diet plan – Encourage them to eat small but frequent meals, If they are not following, try to encourage them to change their diet, we suggest you to eat the same food as them and encourage by following their diet.
  • Check the way they exercise – Offer to exercise with him or her to motivate them. Let them decide what they like most outside or indoor exercises always check with the doctor before starting any regime.
  • Check on their Oral hygiene – As we know, that a person with diabetes is more likely to have mouth related problems. We suggest them to brush with a soft-bristled brush after every meal, and floss at least once a week.

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

Diabetes

I’m a borderline case, what can I expect ?

Have you been diagnosed with borderline high blood sugar levels? In your case the blood sugar levels recorded are higher than normal, but not high enough to be full-fledged Diabetes. This is referred to as the Prediabetes stage which can be reversed by following recommended guidelines.

During this phase, your pancreatic cells are still producing a little amount of insulin to convert carbohydrates into sugar, however, Insulin produced by the pancreas is not sufficient to remove sugars effectively, keeping the blood glucose level high.

It has been observed that people with Prediabetes may not take this condition seriously. However, research suggests that the sooner one begins to take precautions, the better are the chances of reversal of this condition.

 

 

Some quick tips

  • Make small changes and be a winner!
    • Prediabetes can eventually lead to Type 2 Diabetes; however, this development can be easily prevented. It requires small efforts and minor changes in your lifestyle. Research shows that reducing your body weight by just 5 -10 %, to begin with, makes a remarkable difference in the natural Insulin production in the body. Weight loss can also delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes significantly.
  • Watch your portion sizes
    • Dieticians round the globe suggest having 3 main meals and 3 mini meals to have a good control of your glucose levels.
      You may choose to use smaller plates for meals to check on serving portions to begin with. The plate method advocated by ADA is specially designed for people living with Diabetes or Prediabetes. This approach advises that you fill half of your plate with fibrous fruits and vegetables; one quarter with low carbohydrates, such as brown rice or a baked potato; and the last quarter should be lean protein, like grilled fish or chicken.
  • Never skip meals
    • Eat regularly. It is always a good idea to follow a regular meal pattern and not skip meals. People who eat regular meals, beginning with healthy breakfast, are healthier, more energetic and weigh less than those who skip meals.
      Consume mini meals. Eating healthy mini meals and snacks such as fruits, multigrain bars and low-calorie preparations help you to not only control your blood sugar, but also hunger pangs and prevents you from overeating and binging.
  • Limit tobacco and alcohol consumption
    • Research suggests smoking may aggravate complications from Diabetes, such as heart diseases and may lead to nerve and kidney damage. It is, therefore, highly advisable to significantly limit or give up on smoking. 
      Alcohol consumption can have a strong impact on your blood sugar levels; they often spike blood glucose levels leading to poor diabetes management. It is a good idea to take your doctor’s advice on whether you can consume alcohol, and how much. In any case, please remember to always eat a snack or a meal while consuming alcohol to prevent fluctuations or spiking of blood glucose levels.
  • Exercise
    • Exercise is integral to a healthy lifestyle. If you have been diagnosed with Prediabetes, it is even more essential for you to have a fitness routine. 
      It is a good idea to check with your doctor before you starting any exercise program. However, a daily walk of 30 – 45 minutes usually makes a good starting point. You may also choose from a wide variety of exercise regimes such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai chi, Swimming, Dancing and Jogging.
  • Acquire as much information as you can
    • It is believed an informed person can make better decisions. Hence we urge you to make an effort to learn about food and lifestyle changes that will help you manage your condition better.
  • Take help and support from your family
    • Research suggests that it is easier to manage Diabetes more effectively with family support. Your partner, family, and friends can play a huge role in motivating you and helping you adhere to your diabetes management programme. 
      It is a good idea to check with your doctor before you starting any exercise program. However, a daily walk of 30 – 45 minutes usually makes a good starting point. You may also choose from a wide variety of exercise regimes such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai chi, Swimming, Dancing and Jogging.
  • Last but not the least
    • Always maintain a positive approach. Studies suggest that people who consider Prediabetes as a burden or stress are often unsuccessful in managing this condition. Hence, with a positive mind and attitude you can successfully control your blood glucose levels and come on top of your condition.

What I can do as family/friend of a diagnosed Prediabetes?

Studies reveal that a majority of partners and family members may be equally worried upon detection of their partner’s Prediabetes/Borderline condition. But the good news is that you and your family can play a very important role in arresting and reversing the condition. Research suggests, Partners and family members who actively take interest in managing Prediabetes/borderline condition with in their spouses have been very successful in achieving excellent results.

You may already know that Prediabetes is a warning condition, but studies are on our side saying the condition can be reversed by bringing in lifestyle changes and following low carb diets, exercise regimes and incorporating lifestyle changes.

  • Equip yourself first
    • Reading and collecting information on diabetes yourself can be very helpful for you to understand what your partner is going through physically and emotionally. You may also choose to take guidance from a certified diabetic educator or a physician to help your partner in the best possible ways.
  • Support your partner mentally and emotionally
    • Psychologists suggest that people living with Prediabetes/Diabetes undergo tremendous emotional turmoil. Feelings such as anxiety, fear, guilt, anger, frustration and denial are bound to be experienced. As a family member / partner you should try to be supporting and understanding of these emotional ups and downs. You are also advised to consult a certified diabetic educator to help you motivate your partner in dealing with this condition.
  • Participate in arresting Prediabetes/borderline condition
    • It is always easier to approach a challenge as two people rather than one. By working together not only are you motivating yourself but you are also acting as a check for the other person. Planning goals together is very helpful in attaining successful results, it is a good idea to discuss and chalk out plans mutually before starting to follow any regime for management of this condition. Research suggests that partners, who ate the same food, and did combine exercises yielded better results than self-managed programmes. 
      Reminding your partner to adhere to the Prediabetes management programme may help in controlling high glucose levels in people with Borderline conditions. You may also choose to follow “eating by the plate method” advocated by ADA and try various diets. 
      However, it is important to beware that constant nagging, complaining or forcing may backfire in managing this condition. It’s advisable to set realistic goals, and handle situations compassionately.
  • Empower and replenish yourself
    • Research shows family and partners undergo tremendous mental and physical fatigue. Remember to take care of yourself too, because you may also undergo mental and physical stress while looking after your companion. 
      Ensure that you have time for yourself and for pursuing the interests you enjoyed before Diabetes made an appearance in your life. Pamper yourself and remain cheerful. 
      It is important to strike a balance in order to manage your personal and professional life. Set realistic goals and do not give up. Eat a well-balanced healthy diet and learn different ways to cope up with stress. To know more read the below tips to manage compassion.

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

Diabetes

Compliance and Checklist

Compliance and Checklist for Diabetes

Compliance and Checklist for Diabetes by Famhealth

Despite significant modern advances in diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, compliance still remains the most crucial aspect of blood glucose level control. Scientific research in National Institute Health USA, suggests “Poor glycaemic control may be reflected by both the failure of diabetes self-management by patients as well as inadequate intervention strategies by clinicians”. Hence identifying the barriers in compliance and treatment adherence is an equally important aspect for successful diabetes management.

Barriers in compliances may be due to various reasons but as per research the majority of non-compliances in diabetes management could be due to In-adequate information, Cultural differences, Religious beliefs, Family dynamics, Emotional imbalances, and sometimes poor communication skills.

According to the American Diabetes Association, The major compliance regimen for people living with Diabetes includes:

  • On time Medications:
    • Medications on time, helps you to maintain a “good control” of blood glucose levels in your body. People living with diabetes are often prescribed multiple medications for diabetes and other co morbid conditions. 
      To ease your medicinal intake you are advised to check with your doctor on the sequence of medicines to be consumed as per priority for e.g. which medications to consume before/after meals. 
      To manage and ensure medicinal compliance you are encouraged to take the help of friends/family/colleagues who can effectively remind you to take your medications on time every time!
  • Food & Nutrition:
    • According to Dr. Mona registered dietician from USA says, “Good food is good medicine and bad food is bad medicine”. You are advised to have frequent diabetes friendly meals, to reap the maximum benefits of successful diabetes management. To know more refer to our Food section.
  • Exercise regimen:
    • Regimen: Having a daily exercise regime not only helps you to stay fit and healthy, but has also helped so many people in reversing their conditions remarkably! At Famhealth exercising can never get boring! Get to know the new forms and join our community to experience fun “do it with us” exercising modules.
  • Monitoring blood glucose levels:
    • Checking your blood glucose levels timely as recommended by your doctor helps to administer the effect of food, medicines and physical activity in your body. It is almost a reflection of how well you are managing your condition. You are encouraged to take help of your partner/family member/caregivers to learn the right ways of monitoring blood glucose levels to ensure diabetes compliance.

Family/friends/caregivers play a vital role in helping a person living with diabetes to overcome all the barriers and come on top their conditions

  • Check blood sugar levels as often as recommended by your doctor. By checking your blood glucose level, you can know how food, physical activity and medicine affect your blood glucose.
  • Inspect your feet daily for cuts, injuries, blisters, infection and changes in skin pigmentation.
  • Inspect your mouth, teeth and gums. People living with diabetes often are prone to periodontal gum diseases, doctors’ advice brushing twice daily and flossing once in a week.
  • Check for infection, cuts, blisters, or colour changes all over the body including your underarms, groin area, area between toes, etc.
  • As you may be already aware, people with diabetes must avoid hot water baths as hot baths often lead to wrinkling and blisters in skin.
  • Keep your supplies close: Make an attractive kit bag and keep all the necessary medications and food items within your reach. Replenish the kit daily to keep your energy elevated, and blood glucose levels normal.
  • Last but not the least take your medications on time and at least exercise or walk for a minimum 45 minutes daily to regulate blood glucose levels.

Non adherence to the above treatment compliances often leads to frustration in families and also in doctors treating diabetes individuals

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Exercise for Diabetic Patients

Exercise for Diabetic Patients by Famhealth

As you may already know Diabetes is referred to as a “lifestyle disease”. One of the reasons contributing to the condition is sedentary living. Regular exercise and undertaking physical activities of one’s choice can play an important role in Diabetes management.

Research indicates that people living with Diabetes, who undertake some form of regular physical activity or have an exercise routine not only have a better control over their blood sugar levels but are also better able to handle the stress

According to Prof. Sheri Colberg-Ochs, PhD at Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA, physical activity can aid in Insulin secretion and keeping the blood glucose level in control. Working out regularly also keeps a check on obesity and movement coordination, as according to research, people living with Diabetes are prone to dis-balancing and falling. Falling down may further lead to conditions such as fractures and restricted locomotion, which can add to unwanted stress and pain in people living with Diabetes.

The good news is that exercises do not necessarily have to be necessarily boring and monotonous. You can invite friends and family to try out new activities and routines with you.

Exercise Tips

Water Aerobics

Muscle toning exercises in water are one of the best ways to beat the heat in the summers. One can try it in the pool with the entire family. Check out the places where you can try water aerobics in Delhi/NCR in our website and have fun with your family.

Swimming

Swimming stretches and relaxes your muscles and doesn’t put pressure on your joints, which is great for people with diabetes. For those with diabetes or at risk for developing diabetes, studies show it improves cholesterol levels, burns calories and lowers stress levels. To get the most benefit from swimming, we recommend that you swim at least three times a week for at least ten minutes and gradually increase the length of the workout. Make sure to have a snack and monitor blood sugars. Lastly, let the lifeguard know that you have diabetes before you get in the pool.

Tai Chi

It is a Chinese form of exercise, which uses slow & smooth body movements to relax the mind and body. In 2009, researchers at the University of Florida studied 62 Korean women assigned to one of two groups

a) Control group and an exercise group that began a regular practice of Tai Chi.

b) people who practised some other physical activity. Those who completed the tai chi sessions showed significant improvement in blood sugar control. They also reported increased vitality, energy and mental health.

Frog leaps/ Spot jogging

Are you bored and tired of going to the gym but miss the running/cardio and the treadmill? Try spot jogging with music on and then jump with a squat (frog leaps). It is believed to be extremely beneficial in toning and strengthing muscles. You are advised not to do it if you have arthritis, knee and foot problems.

Power Yoga 

A traditional form of exercise mixed with latest strengthening postures, power yoga incorporates fluid movements that build flexibility, strength and balance. It is helpful for people with a variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes. It lowers stress and improves nerve function, which leads to an increased state of mental health and wellness. According to the ADA, power yoga may improve the blood glucose levels due to improved muscle mass.

Zumba

A unique form of strengthening work out which elevates your heart rate and the best part about doing Zumba is it is done along with catchy beats. Zumba burns up to 500 calories but it is not advisable for people with arthritis, knee and foot problems.

Various other dancing forms

Dancing is not only great for your body. Various forms like Salsa, contemporary, hip-hop, freestyle are the unique way to de-stress also. The mental work to remember dance steps and sequences actually boosts brain power and improves memory.  For those with diabetes, it is a fun and exciting way to increase physical activity, promote weight loss, improve flexibility, lower blood sugar and reduce stress. Chair dancing, which incorporates the use of a chair to support people with limited physical abilities, makes dancing an option for many people. In just 30 minutes, a 150-pound adult can burn up to 150 calories. 

Bhangra

A leading endocrinologist Doctor Sanjay Kalra recommends Bhangra a popular dance form which has originated from Northern India but practised worldwide. A 45-minute Bhangra performance regime can burn out up to 600 calories, and also help you lower your blood sugar levels and check on obesity.

Fun Activities With Family

Water Workouts

Water workouts stretch and relaxes your muscles and doesn’t put pressure on your joints, which is great for people with diabetes. For those with diabetes or at risk for developing diabetes, studies show swimming and water exercises such as aqualates, aqua aerobics, aqua yoga improves cholesterol levels, burns calories and lowers stress levels. 

Cycling

Cycling is a recommended sport for people living with diabetes, it can be conducted either at your own pace or at a set distance which challenges your aerobic endurance by helping you burn calories and keep your glucose levels under control. Research suggests that if you cycle for 45-60 mins a day, this will help you achieve your physical activity targets in keeping a check on your blood glucose levels. People with diabetes must check their glucose levels before beginning cycling and must not cycle in rocky and unstable terrain to avoid falls and wounds. 

Adventure

To break the monotony of the fast-paced city life, and lifestyle people with diabetes may choose to opt for something adventurous like adventure theme parks, visit adventure places, or enjoy the thrill of flying a Cessna and paragliding. Trekking and camping can be also a very exciting way to burn calories as well as enjoy a family trip. This list is not exhaustive; you can recommend your way of breaking the monotony and add to our list. However, people living with diabetes are recommended to check few things while opting for adventurous holidays and recreations.

Laughing activity clubs

Scientific studies confirm stress and diabetes have a direct connection; stress often leads to erratic glucose levels. To keep the stress under control one of the easiest ways is joining a laughter club. Laughter helps keep diabetes under control and it is similar to “exercising”. Laughter improves the overall performance of the heart’s muscular function and helps ward off cardiovascular disease and lower blood glucose levels.

Running Clubs

Running can improve your health and help with losing weight in an extremely manageable way for people with diabetes, while providing immense satisfaction and reward in the process.  

Running can be the ideal form of exercise for people with diabetes as it helps the body’s sensitivity to insulin. This can be especially useful for people with type 2 diabetes to help combat insulin resistance. 

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

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Understanding Diabetes

Understanding Diabetes by Famhealth

What is Diabetes? 

Diabetes is an endocrine disorder that elevates your blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time. It is caused by the malfunctioning of the pancreatic cells, which produce insufficient or no Insulin.

Why is Insulin so vital ?

Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for the process that converts carbohydrates into sugar; which is then stored it in the body for future use. Insufficient or no secretion of insulin from our pancreas leads to an imbalance in the body, causing liver cells to convert glycogen to glucose and accumulate in the blood stream.

Indications of Diabetes

Some of the most common symptoms suggesting the onset of diabetes are frequent urination, frequent thirst, frequent hunger (even after full meals), unexplained burning, itching or rash in the body, specially the foot, bruising easily, slow healing of wounds or clotting of blood when the skin is broken/cut, tingling or numbness sensation in the extremities of the feet and hands as also extremely low energy levels. However, often these symptoms could go unnoticed leading to undetected diabetes. Hence, it is always a good idea to get yourself regularly checked by a doctor for preventive healthcare.

Why did I get Diabetes?

Leading Endocrinologist Dr Sanjay Kalra from Bharti Hospital, Karnal shares his perspective on why diabetes is spreading like an epidemic. Nearly 70 million Indians are living with diabetes today. This is not a small number. Our genetic make-up is tuned such as to store fat reserves in the body in order to survive severe weather conditons such as famine. In ancient times, these stored food reserves or lipids were converted into energy in the bodies of our ancestors, so that they could survive the harsh living conditions. Cut to the present generations, lifestyle, stress levels, sedentary life, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diets, all contribute to surplus reserves for the body. As a result, the pancreas gets overworked and starts malfunctioning.

Am I at Risk?

There are several factors which may cause diabetes but medical science is yet to ascertain the main cause responsible for a specific person. However research indicates that the following conditions make people twice more likely to get diabetes than those without these conditions.

It could be genetic, family history has a strong role. Other factors such as obesity, high blood pressure high triglyceride levels, presence of diabetes autoantibodies, substance abuse, or excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

Diabetes Ranges

Age 20 and above 
amounts shown as 
mg/dL
Fasting Less than 100
Before Meal 70-130
After Meal (1–2 hrs) Less than 180
Before Exercise If taking insulin at least, 100
Bed time 100-140
HbA1c Less than or around 7.0 %

SOURCES: American Diabetes Association. “Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2014,” Diabetes Care, January 2014.

Shown above are blood glucose ranges defined by American Diabetes Association. You’re kindly advised to refer to a doctor as the values may differ slightly with different age & gender.

What is Prediabetes?

When the blood glucose levels are borderline or higher than what they should be. But not as high as people with diabetes is known as Prediabetes. This condition is a “whistle blower” and indicates that you may proceed towards diabetes type 2, if you do not make the necessary changes in your lifestyle.

What are the Types of Diabetes?

You may have already undergone tests and your doctor may have already explained if you have Diabetes, and if so, the specific type you are living with. As a general understanding, the following classifications should give a sense of various types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes:
    • Type 1 diabetes is when there is insufficient or no production of insulin in the pancreas. This condition requires external insulin to help your body convert sugars to energy.
  • Type 2 Diabetes:
    • Type 2 diabetes is when the pancreatic cells, become insulin resistant due to a defective response in the receptor cells in the body. This is the most commonly found type worldwide.
  • Gestational Diabetes:
    • Gestational diabetes is when blood sugar levels are raised during the time of pregnancy. This is most likely a temporary condition, in which blood sugar levels are often likely to come back to normal after the delivery.
  • Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults:
    • LADA is when autosomal alterations can lead to defective BETA cell function, resulting in Type 1 diabetes. LADA is often misdiagnosed as Type 2 diabetes in India.

Complications

Diabetes is called as a silent killer because many people remain undetected till such time as the consistently high blood glucose levels start affecting other organs such as the heart, the kidney and the liver – referred to as Macro-vascular complications and the nervous system resulting in foot, gum or vision problems called Micro-vascular complications.

Check for other important co-morbid conditions:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Kidney Disorders
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Chronic Vascular Disease
  • Liver Disorders
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Polycystic Ovarian Disease

What else do I need to know ?

Often many people remain undetected till such time that consistently high blood glucose levels have already started affecting other organs such as your heart, kidney, liver – referred to as Macro-vascular complications, and your nervous system resulting in foot, gum or vision problems called Micro-vascular complications.
If you are “suffering” from any other life style conditions, “co-morbid conditons” consult your endocrinologist/ diabetologist. Your doctor will prescribe specific medications and solutions to manage this or any other complication.

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

Diabetes food

Diabetes excercise

Diabetes Recipe – Tropical Banana Freeze

Diabetes: Tropical banana freeze by Famhealth

Serves: 4, Time taken: 10 minutes plus 1-hour freezing

Nutrition Facts
Makes 4 Servings (Amount per Serving)
Calories (kcal) 189.8
Protein (g) 2.3
Carbohydrates (g) 33.6
Total Sugars (g) 17.4
Dietary Fibre (g) 3.8
Fat (g) 7.2
Saturated Fat (g) 5.2

1 tbsp Grated fresh, frozen or desiccated coconut4 Bananas, peeled

1 tbsp Sesame seeds

100ml/3 fl oz Coconut milk

1 tbsp Honey

1 Lime, juice only

Steps:

  1. Slice the bananas into 2.5cm/1” pieces, lay them on a baking tray and freeze until hard (at least one hour)
  2. Dry fry the coconut and sesame seeds, stirring frequently, until browned
  3. Just before serving, take the bananas from the freezer and place in the blender with the coconut milk, honey and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Serve in small glass bowls, garnished with the toasted coconut and sesame seeds.

Note

The Glycaemic Load (GL) of banana depends on the variety of banana, where it was grown, and most importantly, how ripe it is. Choose slightly underripe bananas and the GL can be low as 11, and even the mean of 10 studies was only 12.

For more related recipes, click the link below.

Diabetes

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