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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.