Diabetes is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. There are many forms of diabetes and type 2 is the most common one. Diabetes is characterized by the condition when the blood glucose level is very high. Diabetes is caused when the pancreas produces reduced insulin or no insulin. Most of the diabetic forms are chronic and can be managed through medications and insulin injections. With little changes in lifestyle and attitude, a person can lead a normal and happy life just like anybody else.
What Is the Role of Glucose?
Glucose is the main source of energy. Glucose (sugar) is present in food and drinks rich in carbohydrates. Blood carries glucose to every cell in the body where it is used as energy. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas, which helps glucose to reach its destination. When there is reduced production of insulin by the pancreas or if the body does not utilize the insulin properly, there will be a build-up of glucose in the bloodstream which results in increased blood sugar levels called hyperglycemia. If there is a constant increase in the blood sugar level this may lead to other conditions such as heart disease, nerve damage, and eye problems.
What Are the Dietary Changes to Be Done to Manage Diabetes?
Being diagnosed with diabetes can cause a lot of confusion and create many questions in the head. Make these simple lifestyle changes and experience the difference in the fight against diabetes.
Start eating a complex carbohydrate, low-fat, high-fiber diet which includes plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid grapes, bananas, and sapodilla (chikoo). Fibers help in reducing sugar surges.
Avoid saturated fats and simple sugars (table sugar).
Get protein intake from plant sources like legumes and grains. However, fish and low-fat dairy products are also acceptable sources of dietary proteins.
How Does Exercise Help to Manage Diabetes?
Exercise is an important way to maintain proper blood sugar levels. When a person does any physical activity the muscles utilize the glucose for energy. Regular exercise helps the body to make use of insulin more effectively. The more strenuous the workout done, the longer the effect. But even light activities such as household activities, gardening, or being on the feet for a long time can improve the level of blood sugar.
A consultation with the doctor regarding exercising should be done,
A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise on most days should be done. The proper time to do exercise should be discussed with the doctor, which can differ from the diet and medication taken.
The blood sugar level should be monitored before, during, and after exercise if the person is under medication or insulin injection.
Exercise can reduce the blood sugar level up to a day later if the exercise is very intense.
The person should stay hydrated throughout the time of exercise as dehydration can affect blood sugar levels.
How Does Medication Help Manage Diabetes?
Medications are recommended when just diet and exercise alone cannot manage the blood sugar level. The effectiveness of these medications depends on the time of intake and dosage. Medication that is taken for conditions other than diabetes can also affect the level of blood sugar level.
Insulin injections should be stored properly, when expired insulin will not be effective.
If the medications recommended cause any issues such as if the blood sugar level drops or there is constant high blood sugar level, then the medication and the time of intake should be altered.
If the person is recommended with some other medication for any other condition like high cholesterol or high blood pressure, then it should be checked whether the counter medication will affect the blood sugar level.
How Does Illness Affect Diabetes?
When a person is sick the body releases stress-related hormones to fight the illness, but these hormones tend to increase the blood sugar level. Alteration in the appetite and usual activity can interfere with the management of diabetes.
A sick person can manage diabetes by,
Instruction on what medication can be taken and how frequently to measure blood sugar level should be discussed with the doctor.
There should be an intake of a lot of water and other drinks which do not add any calories such as tea, which makes sure to stay hydrated.
How Does Alcohol Affect Diabetes?
The liver is the one which stores sugar and releases the stored sugar when there is a drop in the blood sugar level. But when the liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, the blood sugar may not get enough boost from the liver. Intake of alcohol may result in reduced blood sugar levels. Occasional drinking of alcohol is fine, but alcohol can result in other complications of diabetes such as nerve damage, eye problem, etc.
How Does Stress Influence Diabetes?
If the person is under stress and depression, the hormones produced by the body cause increased blood sugar levels. It is hard for a person to maintain a diabetes management routine along with the extra pressure. So, the stress and depression experienced by the person should be taken care of and controlled.
The more a person is aware of the factors that interfere with the blood sugar level the more alteration in the blood sugar can be managed. If there is trouble in managing the blood sugar level, consultation with the doctor is a must. High blood sugar levels can be managed through medication, insulin injections, and regular exercise. Diabetes is a chronic condition, proper lifestyle changes and management can help to lead a healthy life.
Frequently Asked Questions