Managing Diabetes - Top Five Mantras!
Updated: Sep 1
Do you know that over 134 million Indians are expected to suffer from diabetes by 2045. In 2020, around 700,000 Indians died of diabetes, hyperglycemia, kidney disease, or other complications arising due to diabetes. Yes, these figures are alarming. You can either panic looking at them or work actively with information and resources by your side.
Let's start with what is diabetes? It is a chronic disease that develops when your blood sugar levels are high. There are different types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, gestational and prediabetes. You’re at risk if you’re overweight, are over 45 year, have a family history of diabetes, or already have prediabetes.
Should you be diagnosed with diabetes or have the chance of developing it due to a hereditary or sedentary lifestyle, here are 5 tips that will help you.
A Balanced Diet
Yes, maintaining a healthy diet seems to be the answer to everything these days. When we talk about diabetes, we need to keep your body’s blood sugar levels in check. What you want to do is understand all there is to know about carb counting and portion sizes.
You would want to have a balanced meal and not just a balanced diet. If you’ve already developed diabetes, you would want to coordinate your meal with your medicines. Eating too little food as compared with that required by your insulin medication may result in a drastic reduction in blood sugar levels. This is known as hypoglycemia.
Finally, it goes without saying: Avoid processed fast foods and sugary beverages.
Regular Physical Activities
Notice how we avoided the word workout and exercise? Yes, for many of us, these words are like nails scratching on a chalkboard. However, physical activities are crucial if you want to effectively manage your diabetes or avoid becoming a diabetic altogether.
And by the way, when we say physical activities, we don’t mean your stroll from your sofa to the fridge. We mean that you go for a long walk; better yet, get on a cycle and do some laps. There would be nothing better than actually putting some time in the gym and working out.
Any physical activity for half an hour and at least 4-5 times a week should be enough to keep this disease at bay. After you workout, ensure that you stay hydrated.
A special note for all those who already have diabetes. Please consult with your doctors to ensure that you maintain your sugar levels. Talk to your doctor about an exercise plan.
Keep Away From Vices
We don’t really mean to tell you what to do, but it’s advisable to keep away from alcohol and tobacco. The liver usually releases stored blood sugar to stop their levels from falling as soon as your body hits a low sugar threshold. However, if your liver is battling alcohol, it may not give your blood sugar level the boost your body needs.
Also, it is advised that you don’t consume alcohol when you’re on an empty stomach. If you already have diabetes, please follow your doctor’s advice on this matter.
Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco is bad in general as well. However, if you already have diabetes or you’re at the risk of developing it, you should stay away from tobacco and other such products.
The nicotine in tobacco alters the way your body utilises glucose. If you don’t have diabetes, it can raise your odds of developing type 2 diabetes. While if you have diabetes and are on insulin, nicotine and tobacco can induce hypoglycemia
It is a known fact among healthcare workers that diabetics who smoke need larger doses of insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in check.
Coping With Stress
Easier said than done. We all have stress related to work, personal life, finances, career and so on. Being stressed constantly can affect your performance decisions and lifestyle. However, the point is to be as stress-free as possible.
Prolonged stress is known to make your body release certain hormones that are responsible for increasing your blood sugar levels. One effective way is to meditate whenever you feel you’re in stress. Another method is to prioritise your tasks or delegate them if possible.
If you still feel overwhelmed, you always have the option to get professional help. Don’t forget to consult a psychologist. Remember there is no shame in asking for help. Mental health is important. Here is a list of qualified professionals you can consult.
Monitor Your Health
This you should do in general as well. Doctors recommend that you get at least one full body checkup every 6-9 months. If you regularly keep a track of your health, you will be able to spot the symptoms of diabetes even before its onset. This can help you avoid becoming a diabetic.
However, if you already have diabetes, then it becomes mandatory for you to keep a track of your health and blood sugar levels regularly.
If you are already struggling to manage your diabetes and the financial burden that it brings, you could opt for the Kenko Diabetes Plan for Rs. 999 per month. You get 50% off on your medicines, doctor consultations and diagnostic tests, including insulin and also get hospital benefits. Click here to explore and buy the plan.