Diabetes – if neglected – can invite health complications. Take your medications as directed and eat healthy meals. Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. Follow the 10 steps below to stay fit.
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Be it Diabetes Type 1 or Type 2 — need to be taken seriously.
What is a Diabetic condition?
Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose). This sugar is then released into our bloodstream. When the blood sugar rises, the pancreas kicks into action and release insulin.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which your immune system destroys insulin-making (beta) cells in your pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar, or glucose, into your body’s tissues. Your cells use it as fuel. With the beta cells destroyed, there is no insulin. Therefore the sugar level in the blood rises. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin, but the person’s body cells don’t use it as well as they should. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, there is a build-up of sugar in the blood.
The risks of complications from this common disease include heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation. These risks increase as time goes by. But the good news is that by setting good sugar goals and using some modern technological tests to monitor wellness, you can ensure that you lead a healthier life.
- Make a Vow to work on your Diabetes: Your physician may be able to explain to you the basics of diabetes care. But it’s up to you to manage your condition. Try to understand all that you can about diabetes. Ensure that your daily routine comprises healthy eating and adequate physical activity. Steer clear of unhealthy weight gain. Do not neglect the daily monitoring of your blood sugar. Do not skip or alter prescribed medicines arbitrarily.
- Quit smoking, if you haven’t: According to the US CDC, no matter what type of diabetes you have, smokers are more likely to have serious health problems and serious complications such as Heart and kidney disease, poor blood flow in the legs and feet that can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputation, Retinopathy (an eye disease that can cause blindness), Peripheral neuropathy (damaged nerves to the arms and legs that causes numbness, pain, weakness, and poor coordination)
- Schedule regular health checks and eye examination: As per the Mayo Clinic, during the physical, your specialist doctors will ask about your nutrition and activity level and look for any diabetes-related complications (such as signs of kidney damage, nerve damage and heart disease, retinal damage, cataracts and glaucoma, etc). Prevention is a good measure and timely detection will stall any further damage.
- Monitor Blood Pressure and Lipid levels: Like diabetes, high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels. High cholesterol – coupled with diabetes – can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening conditions. Your doctor may advise exercises, alteration to diet, and prescribe medicines if necessary.
- Take Care of your feet: A diabetic person’s feet are the most vulnerable part. Often, diabetic neuropathy leads to loss of sensation and one is unable to detect injury until too late. Examine your feet daily during bath time. Protect your feet. Keep them clean, and moisturised by using a good cream after you have dried them well. Also, look between the toes.
- Take care of your dental pearls: Diabetics are most prone to gum infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss them once a day. Do not skip regular dental exams – one after every six months. Gum problems? Consult your doctor.
- Keep your vaccine dates: Skip none of the vaccines that your doctor feels you must-have, especially given the diabetes mellitus condition. According to research, hyperglycemia in diabetes is thought to cause dysfunction of the immune response, which fails to control the spread of invading pathogens in diabetic subjects. Therefore, diabetic subjects are known to be more susceptible to infections. So, it is better to be protected by vaccines.
- Limit your alcohol intake: Let your doctor know if you consume alcohol regularly. Alcohol can cause high or low blood sugar. If you choose to drink, do so only in moderation. Do not drink on an empty stomach. Remember to include the calories from any alcohol you drink in your daily calorie count. Don’t be shocked when you see a spike in the sugar count later.
- Be conscious of what medicines you can take: Ask your doctor if you can take aspirin daily. It is said that a low dose of aspirin every day helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. But do not self-prescribe as that may be risky. Mix no medicines without the doctor’s advice.
- Live stress-free, get your beauty sleep: According to Diabetes.co.uk, sleep can affect your blood sugar levels and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep, which results in trouble sleeping. Take steps to help to promote better sleep. A Cleveland Clinic article warns that stress can make it more difficult to control your diabetes as it may throw off your daily routine and can result in wear and tear on your body. Stress can give high BP, raised heart rate, and can cause blood sugar to rise. Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. Get some exercise. Find activities you enjoy, share laughter and worries with friends.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.