Diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension, high blood pressure and the likes; sound familiar and rather common, don’t they? In this time and era we reside, these lethally silent killers have become a topic of common interest, and a menace that inhabits every other household. Despite their inevitable route towards a slow death, these diseases are taken lightly and are hardly ever spoken of in terms of their procurement and management. While they may be common, that in no way makes them any less life-threatening. And negligence towards their management is nothing short of being homicidal.
One such alarmingly prevailing disorder known as Diabetes, has become one of the most leading cause of death worldwide. An estimated 8.8 percent of the adult population worldwide was found to be suffering from this condition in a 2017 report. These numbers are only going to rise, since our present day lifestyles only aggravate the problem and make us more susceptible to this deadly disorder.
Even a layman knows what diabetes is; a condition that messes up the body’s sugar level. But let’s take a trip down the medical lane of diabetes.
So what exactly is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that is associated with malfunctions in the hormone known as insulin; one that is responsible to keep your sugar or blood glucose level in check. Your body either fails to produce sufficient insulin, doesn’t make insulin at all, or the cells in your body fail to respond to insulin as well as they should. Depending on various factors, diabetes is generally of two types;
- Type 1 diabetes: also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, this type usually develops in childhood. It is an autoimmune disease where your body completely fails to produce insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes: also known as insulin-independent diabetes. In this type, your body makes insufficient insulin, or the cells do not respond well enough to it. It is usually observed in adults, and is much more common.
While diabetes is a disease that is practically incurable, management of this disease by making certain lifestyle changes that can help you in diabetes prevention, or manage the disease and its symptoms better.
So now a few questions arise; how to prevent diabetes? How to reduce blood sugar level? Can you prevent diabetes? The answer is simple; diabetes isn’t a disease that can be managed alone with medications. Making certain lifestyle modifications can be life saving, and will save you from the numerous complications that associate with diabetes. So if you don’t want your legs amputated due to gangrene, or die a slow death through the tortures of this condition, stick around to find out what to do to control diabetes:
- Eating healthy:
You are what you eat, and this saying does not reflect more than in a situation where diabetes is involved. While taking medications becomes mandatory in some cases, taking care of your diet is absolutely essential. It is not just about what you eat, but also about how much you eat. Every nutrient must be in moderation to obtain nutrition in a diabetic diet. Carbohydrates are the major source of sugars, hence their moderation is obligatory. Diabetic patients must incorporate starch, fiber, vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains etc in their diet but in optimum proportions. The goal is to adopt a diet which is rich in nutrients and low in fat and sugars.
As much as we try to evade the topic of exercise, it keeps popping up to remind us of its significance. Exercise is the tool that’ll help you moderate your sugar levels and keep your diabetes in check. Exercise not only helps you reduce weight and prevent the development of obesity (which will only aggravate your diabetes more), but also helps reduce stress, stay fresh and active, but also helps fight off the lingering heart diseases that occasionally associate with diabetes. You need not necessarily plan an extensively strenuous workout schedule. Walking briskly, jogging, or even everyday household chores can do the trick. Consult your doctor, who will better assess your condition and prescribe a plan that works best for you and your lifestyle.
- Smoking cessation:
Smoking could be regarded as one of man’s greatest nemesis. Smoking not only paves the path towards development of cancers and eventual deterioration of lungs, but also worsens the condition of diabetic patients. As diabetes is a chronic condition eventually leading to a multitude of other problems such as kidney damage, heart diseases, stroke, hypertension etc, smoking only makes the situation worse. Hence, smoking cessation is one the most important steps for all such diabetic patients.
Stress may be inevitable in certain situations, but just bear in mind that stress only augments and exaggerate your diabetes. When you’re stressed out, your body is designed to produce higher levels of sugar; leading to further decline in your health if you’re diabetic. It is essential to reduce your stress to a minimum. You can practice yoga, or other such relaxing activities to calm your nerves. Stress may also make you withdraw yourself from activities that are otherwise needed to maintain your sugar levels as well. So make sure you keep your worries miles away!
- Alcohol consumption:
Alcohol can disrupt your blood sugar level; either increasing it or decreasing it too much. In either case, it is of prime importance to assess your consumption of alcohol if you’re diabetic. According to the ADA diet, women mustn’t consume more than drink per day, while the limit for men is two drinks per day. Consult your doctor regarding your average consumption of alcohol, and he will advice you regarding your drinking moderation. And just a reminder; absolutely do NOT consume alcohol on an empty stomach. It might reduce your sugar levels to dangerously low levels.
- Timely medications:
First and foremost; manage your medication routine. It is a rather common for chronic diabetic patients to skip their doses and only practice regularity when their condition worsens. This is a dangerously ill practice and must be abandoned. Keep your medication schedule in check, and be sure to take medications timely. Do not skip doses and follow proper prescribing instructions. Beware of hypoglycemia; a condition where your body’s sugar level drops down too much. Always keep your sugar level in check, and don’t practice negligence.
Diabetes may be a common and prevailing disease, but proper diet, timely medications and regular checkups and visits to the doctor can help you manage the disease better. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Because remember; diabetes may be incurable, but it is definitely manageable!