Diabetes haunts a massive section of the Indian population – it could be you or someone in your family – but it exists close to you. You may have done a voluminous set of tests; you may have been prescribed medical treatment for diabetes and recommended lifestyle adjustments, but are you managing the condition effectively amid this barrage of information?
Managing Diabetes with Diet and Exercise
Given that diabetes is a disorder of metabolism, diet and exercise are almost the tag line for diabetes management. And yet, over time, they often plummet in terms of the importance given to them in the midst of a busy life. But here are a few things that you simply can’t lose sight of:
Diabetes meal plans: You know what’s good for you, particularly foods that are low on glycemic index (it’s a number, the lower the count, the better the food is for you). Post a list of foods that are good for you on your refrigerator and look for it each time you fix yourself a meal. Examples of food with lower glycemic load that you can incorporate into your meal plan: fruits, vegetables high on fibre and without starch, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. When you have your meal in front of you, this is how it should look: one half of it should be fruits and vegetables, one quarter portion of grains, and another quarter portion of lean protein.
Get moving and stay active: Plan your day with at least 30 minutes for exercise. Exercise helps insulin work better in your body. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same exercise every day, you can get creative. Take your pick from walking, running, swimming, cycling, badminton, dancing, yoga, aerobics, and pretty much anything that keeps you on your feet and moving actively. If you have any limiting conditions that keep you from a continuous 30-minute routine, you can break it down into simple activities and space it out throughout the day such as walking your dog, a quick walk around the building during lunch, or a walk to the supermarket in the evening.
Other Remedies to Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Stay hydrated: When you have high levels of blood sugar, your body loses fluid, making it difficult for your blood to keep sugar levels low. This means more trips to the bathroom, dehydrating you even further. Increase your water intake and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Fill up your favourite water bottle and keep sipping throughout the day.
Stay cool: If you have diabetes, you are likely to feel hotter than the people around you. Reeling under this heat doesn’t help your blood sugar levels. To help you better manage the heat, wear loose-fitting, linen or cotton clothes. When temperatures are soaring, stay around the air conditioning.
Snooze: Are you aware that if you don’t get enough sleep, it can raise your blood sugar levels the next day? Now you know.
Keep a check on alcohol intake: Alcohol can cause blood sugar to either rise or fall, depending on your consumption. The recommended limit: for women, stick to a 350 ml measure of beer, or a 150 ml glass of wine, or 45 ml of liquor at best in a day; for men, double measures of the same. Avoid drinking when your blood sugar is low or on an empty stomach.
Medical Treatment for Diabetes
Your treatment plan has to be tracked and monitored by your physician. Altering prescribed doses and self-medication based on an old prescription can lead to health risks you just can’t forsee. Test your blood sugar levels regularly and ensure your medication is on track.