Diabetes is one of the rapidly growing diseases that affect many people in the world. Even at present, the number of diabetic patients is increasing at an exponential rate. Children are also affected by this dangerous disease. According to the report of 2019, 0.2 million youth are diabetic in America, and that is a significantly high number.
Diabetes is a long-lasting health problem that interferes with the energy-producing system of your body. As a result, the body is unable to use glucose for energy production, and the amount of glucose increases in the blood. The food that enters the blood from the digestive tract is in the form of glucose. Pancreas release a hormone named Insulin which enables cells of the body to use that glucose. In diabetic patients, either the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body shows resistance against the insulin-making it unavailable for the metabolic functions of the body.
Although diabetes is considered the major cause of many health issues including cardiovascular disorders, stroke, renal failure, blindness, and infections. It can be managed effectively with proper diet, exercise, and medications. This article gives a brief review of some important lifestyle modifications which can help manage diabetes effectively, avoid its complications, and lead a healthy life.
Make a Commitment to managing your diabetes:
When it comes to the management of diabetes, it’s all about commitments and consistency. Long-term management requires a solid commitment with the goal to keep your diet, lifestyle, and medicine under strict management to avoid the complications of diabetes. It is important to stick with your goals to keep your blood glucose levels within limits. Keep in contact with your medical teams such as your doctor, dietitian, and your diabetes nurse for all the necessary knowledge about the management of diabetes. Monitor your blood glucose regularly at home and make a diet chart with your dietitian to help you keep your daily calories within the recommended limits for diabetes.
Take the support of your family members in managing your diabetes. Your family members can help you a lot in this regard. They can join you in exercise and keep an eye on your dietary intake. They can support you with regular medical checkups and medications.
Dietary intake plays a significant role when it comes to the management of diabetes. The harmony between calorie consumption and energy expenditure decides an individual’s weight. A person gains weight when he consumes more calories than he burns. Therefore, eating more calories along with physical inactivity are the most common causes of obesity and insulin resistance, which are the major cause of type-2 diabetes. Overeating may lead to derangement in the blood glucose levels, especially if the diet constitutes high in fats, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Although diabetes is considered a major risk for several chronic diseases, a healthy diet along with exercise can help reduce the risks of developing chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease.
Smoking is associated with various health hazards for patients with diabetes. Tobacco can damage the arterial walls and boosts the formation of plaques in your blood vessels, which boosts atherosclerosis associated with diabetes. Avoid smoking if you want to avoid the complications of diabetes.
Alcohol may aggravate blood glucose levels and cause severe damage to your liver. So, to keep your diabetes under control, it is recommended to avoid alcohol.
Regular Physical Exercise
Physical exercise is the key to the management of diabetes and the goal of a healthy lifestyle with diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the most common causes of obesity, overweight, and insulin resistance, which altogether aggravates diabetes. An individual with a sedentary lifestyle burns fewer calories than he consumes, so the excess then accumulates in the body in the form of fat, leading to overweight and obesity. Moderate physical exercise daily like walking, running, and swimming for at least half an hour helps maintain a healthy weight, which is helpful in the management of diabetes.
Keep a Healthy Weight
Diabetes can be prevented on a personal level by the following lifestyle modifications such as moderate physical exercise daily like walking, running, swimming for at least half an hour, eating well nutritious foods, and avoiding a high-fat, high-calorie diet. Keep your weight within the recommended limits with the ketogenic diet and interval fasting methods. Interval fasting is a pattern of eating which involves periods of fasting and eating. It further impacts the hormonal states of the body such as growth hormones increase, which has a significant role in fat loss and muscle gain. Similarly. Insulin sensitivity is improved, which is very beneficial, especially for patients with type-2 diabetes.
Monitor your Blood Glucose Levels
It is important to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly at home with a glucometer. This is very important, especially for pregnant women, to avoid complications in pregnancy. About 2-10% of the women get diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Undiagnosed cases may cause severe complications during the delivery so, it is critical to take all the precautionary measures before and during the pregnancy. Regular blood glucose monitoring helps you to evaluate your dietary intake and keep your medical record up to date.
Regular Medical Checkups
Regular visits to your diabetes doctor are essential to evaluate the progression of the disease and its management. It also helps to avoid complications of diabetes with prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Take Proper Medications
These include anti-diabetic medications for type-2 diabetes and insulin for type-1 diabetes. These medications lower the blood glucose levels, either by reducing its absorption or excreting it via urine. Some of them may include:
- DPP-4 Inhibitors
- GLP-1 receptor agonists
Take proper medications according to the recommendations of your diabetes doctor along with dietary control and physical exercise.
Chronic stress may cause several health hazards to the body. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and mental disturbance are the few consequences of stress. Although the exact mechanism of stress-causing diabetes is still in research it is proved that stress may exacerbate hyperglycemic crises. Occasional stress can also cause high blood pressure if you are living an unhealthy life. For effective control of diabetes, you must eliminate the cause of stress and also avoid the stress triggers. You should remain relaxed and busy yourself with activities that make you feel happy.