By Dr. Anshu Jain, General Physician
The term ‘Diabetes refers to increased glucose levels in the blood stream. It is a disorder related to the body’s metabolism. It not only causes the blood sugar levels to go up, but also has an adverse impact on almost all the vital organs of the body including the liver, kidneys, eyes and heart. Those who have been detected with borderline sugar levels should steer towards adopting a healthy lifestyle to avoid further complications.
Medication is vital in controlling and regulating the amount of glucose in the blood. But apart from medicines, diet, exercise, regular body checkups and several other factors are crucial in controlling diabetes. Diabetes is an ailment which has to be controlled and it cannot be eradicated completely unlike many other disorders. This is not a life-threatening disease and by tweaking your regular routine in little ways, you can be fit and healthy, despite this condition.
- In case of diabetes, there are certain food items you should stay away from. These include sugary drinks and desserts, processed grains such as white flour and items made using these grains such as white bread, jams, packaged juices containing added sugars and red meat.
- There are certain items which should be incorporated in your diet to regulate blood sugar levels. These are- fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal and plant based proteins such as soya bean, soya milk and tofu.
- Just because you are diabetic does not mean that you cannot go out and have a good meal with your friends and family. While eating out, stay away from rich culinary temptations and instead go for the healthier alternatives such as salads, fruit based drinks and desserts which are low in sugar.
- Exercising on a daily basis is another simple way of keeping diabetes under control. As a diabetic, you may choose to go for morning and/or evening walks for at least thirty to forty minutes each day. Again, choose climbing the flight of stairs instead of the elevator.
- Get your blood glucose levels checked at least once in a month to keep a tab on it. This will help the doctor revise medications if needed.
Prevention is always better than cure. If you have a strong family history of diabetes (i.e father mother, siblings, grandpa, first uncle)/ you are in prediabetic stage or even recently diagnosed diabetes…don’t worry!
Change your lifestyle – decrease your intake of sugar, fats, salty things in your diet, stop smoking, limit your alcohol intake & increase physical activity in daily life – at least 45 mins. in a day. Once diagnosed as diabetic, go for regular check up which includes blood sugar levels, lipid profile, kidney function tests, eye & foot examination, cardiac check up as per need. Early control of sugar levels will help in leading a normal life, prevention long-term complications.