DO'S AND DON'T OF A DIABETIC
09-Nov-2020 - 4 min read
DO'S AND DON'T OF A DIABETIC
To be diabetic means your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy that comes from the food you eat.
Diabetes is a chronic non-communicable disease, in which a person has high level of blood glucose, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced in an effective manner.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. A diabetic pancreas either produces too little insulin or none at all.
There are three types of diabetes:
Type-1 diabetes, which is situation where one's body is unable to produce insulin. It majorly develops in childhood; however, it may occur at any age.
The second condition is type-2 diabetes in which the cells in our body fail to respond to the insulin produced.
There is a third kind called gestational diabetes that affects females during pregnancy.
Everything we do impacts diabetes. These do’s and don’ts will get you on the path to better diabetic health.
What a diabetic should do
Eat Regularly: You are what you eat. When you eat is as important as how much you eat. When you have diabetes, your body isn't able to adjust the amount of insulin that goes into your bloodstream in response to what you eat. Eating right will help you keep your blood sugar in a good range and prevent heart and blood vessel disease.
Control your diet: Diabetes is a serious medical condition and controlling sugar levels with a proper diet is an important part of managing it. Always follow your physician or registered dietitian's dietary recommendations and consult with them if you are unsure about what's good or bad for you.
A recent study found that a low-carb, low-calorie eating plan of about 1,400 calories per day helped control blood sugar better than a low-fat diet with the same number of calories. Consume more fibre rich foods that help control blood sugar level effectively.
Keep records: You can use an app or pen and paper, whichever you prefer to track everything you eat and drink for at least a week. This will help keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Exercise regularly: The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity that increases the heart rate five days per week. Exercise benefits people with diabetes as it help improves insulin sensitivity, which means your body’s insulin works better.
Also, exercise helps to reduce body fat, helps to build and time muscles, lowers your risk for heart disease, improves circulation, preserves bone mass and reduces stress and helps to lower blood sugar. Walking, biking, dancing, swimming etc are good ways to do it.
Take your medications regularly: Taking your medications regularly helps lower your risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney damage by managing blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your body.
For instance, If type 2 diabetes goes untreated, the high blood sugar can affect various cells and organs in the body. Complications include kidney damage, often leading to dialysis, eye damage, which could result in blindness, or an increased risk for heart disease or stroke.
Test your blood sugar regularly: It is essential that you keep close watch over your blood sugar levels (and keeping them at a goal set by your doctor) with a combination of medications, exercise, and diet. By checking your own blood sugar levels, you can track your body's changing needs for insulin and work with your doctor to figure out the best insulin dosage.
Pay attention to your teeth: Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums. High blood sugar may also cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse. Make sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush and clean between your teeth daily. See your dentist for regular checkups.
Take care of your feet: Diabetics need to take extra care to protect their feet from infection. High sugar levels can damage the nerves in the feet causing a condition called peripheral neuropathy. They should wash their feet daily, checking for blisters, cuts and other wounds. Each foot should be dried thoroughly with special attention to the spaces between the toes to prevent infection. It is estimated that 85 percent of the amputations resulting from diabetes could have been prevented with proper, daily foot care.
Stay hydrated: Enough water intakes supports kidneys to flush out toxins through urine. Taking enough water is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Manage Stress: When you're stressed, you may not manage your diabetes well. You may forget to exercise, eat right, or take your medicines. To manage your stress, set limits and learn relaxation techniques.
Get enough sleep: Patients who don’t get enough sleep are also more likely to make unhealthy food choices and go for fast food options that are likely not on their diabetic diet. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to less sleep because of frequent awakenings to urinate.
What a diabetic should not do
Don't take sugary beverages: A whole lot of these sugary beverages tend to cause your blood sugar levels to spike. These beverages can have more than 40 grams of sugar in each serving.
Avoid smoking: Being diabetic comes with an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke, and smoking increases your risk even more. Smoking can also make it harder to exercise.
Don't skip meals: Don't assume that skipped meals can be made up by consuming extra food at the next meal. Doing this may result in blood glucose fluctuations.
Avoid fruit juices: The National Institute of Diabetic and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends that people with diabetes should avoid fruit juices or canned fruits with added sugar.
Watch your Alcohol Consumption Rate: If you must drink alcohol, do so responsibly. Alcohol increases blood pressure and heavy drinking weakens the heart. The American Diabetes Association advises that women who drink alcohol should have no more than one drink a day and men should have no more than two. Alcohol can make your blood sugar go too high or too low. Check your blood sugar before you drink, and take steps to avoid low blood sugars.
Above all, if you're willing to do your part, diabetes won't stand in the way of an active, healthy life.
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