Diabetes refers to the condition where your blood sugar levels are significantly high. Unchecked, high blood sugar will lead to further medical complications, such as nerve damage, kidney failure, cardiovascular disorders, and others. Therefore, it is imperative that you adopt the necessary steps to protect yourself from the chronic condition.
Here are a few ways to keep your blood sugar levels under control-
Eat a balanced diet – It is important that you know which kind of food is affecting your blood sugar levels, and how. While planning your meal, determine the quantity of carbohydrates your food contains. Determine how much carbohydrate intake is needed for your health. Ensure that you get a well-balanced mix of starch, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates every day. Avoid eating processed, packaged food, and stop quenching your thirst with sugary beverages. Instead, include healthy proteins and leafy vegetables in your diet. Cut a lean portion of fish or poultry meat, or prepare a bowl of salad.
Work out regularly – Any sort of physical activity helps you to stay fit and healthy. Regular exercise – walking, running, cycling, and swimming – burns the glucose in your blood for energy, and thereby, lowers your blood sugar levels. You can also adopt a few changes in your daily routine on your own if you have a busy schedule. For instance, take the stairs at your workplace instead of using the elevator. Staying physically active automatically helps you lose weight and reduces your chances of developing complications related to chronic diabetes.
Cope with stress – High levels of stress can increase your blood sugar level drastically. Learn to manage stress and cope with anxiety by practising relaxation techniques. Talk to a family member or friend, or seek medical help. Identify the stressors and look for ways to relieve yourself from stress. Good social support will always help you to deal with diabetes.
The more you learn about diabetes, the better you will be able to protect yourself from its ill effects. In most cases, a healthy diet and exercise alone will not help you. You will need to take the right dose of medications at the right time. If you think your diabetes is taking a toll on your health, or if you are unable to cope with the condition, consult your healthcare provider immediately.
Common skin problems, like infections and itching, can happen to anyone. However, people suffering from diabetes are more susceptible to skin ailments, particularly to certain types of infections. Diabetic patients may experience greater loss of body fluids due to high blood glucose levels, which can cause your skin to become dry. Dry and broken skin can cause germs to enter through wounds and cuts, and spread leading to infections.
Common Skin Problems for Diabetic People
Diabetes can lead to a number of specific skin problems/conditions in people. Some of the most common ones are –
Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum – usually affects people with Type 1 diabetes, characterized by yellow or purple patches on the skin
Diabetic Dermopathy – leads to raised, round lesions that may turn into ulcers
Acanthosis Nigricans – causes black and brown lesions under the skin
Taking care of your skin is essentially important to avoid infections. If left unchecked, even minor skin problems can lead to serious diabetes complications, like diabetic foot ulcers and even amputation.
How to Take Care of Your Skin
Skincare for diabetes patients is no different from that needed by people without diabetes. However, some extra skincare tips can ensure and help you maintain healthy skin.
Use a gentle, mild soap to wash your hands and feet or when taking a bath. They do not contain retinoid or alpha-hydroxy acid and hence, are not too harsh on the skin. Moreover, gentle cleansers prevent your skin’s natural oils, thus keeping it hydrated.
An important part of skincare for Type 2 diabetes is to avoid ulcers and cracks in the skin, especially if you have neuropathy. Therefore, moisturize your skin daily, as it helps prevent thickening and itching. Use a moisturizing lotion or cream to keep your skin moist and soft.
Dry or broken skin can be itchy but avoid scratching a wound or cut. It may crack the skin further and increase the risk of infections. Instead, look for ways to soothe the itch by bathing in lukewarm water and moisturizing after.
Areas, where the skin folds and gets moist and warm, like the armpits, the groin, under the breasts, are prime locations for fungal infections. Take necessary steps to keep these sweaty areas dry. Wear loose-fitting cotton garments that allow air to pass through.
Wear specialized shoes and socks if you have neuropathy, and take care of the feet skin.
For diabetic people, maintaining good skincare, particularly of the feet, is of utmost priority. Nevertheless, seek medical assistance if you have persistent dry skin or if your skin problems worsen over time.
Nutrition is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle when you are a diabetic. Following a healthy meal plan helps you stay active and keeps your blood sugar levels in check. What you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat are all important factors for keeping your blood sugar levels within the desired range.
Foods to eat if you have diabetes
If you have diabetes, you should try to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups in certain portions, as recommended by your healthcare professional.
Include these foods in your daily meal –
Vegetables – This should include both starchy and non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and green peas
Fruits – Berries, apples, melon, oranges, grapes and bananas
Grains – Half of your daily portion of grains should be whole grains like rice, oats, wheat, quinoa, and cornmeal
Protein – Lean meat, fish, eggs, tofu, chickpeas, dried beans, nuts and seeds
Dairy – Low-fat or non-fat dairy products like cheese, milk, and yoghurt
These foods are rich in fibre, ‘healthy’ carbohydrates and fats – all that helps lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and insulin levels.
How much to eat?
It is not just about what you eat but also how much of it you are eating. Therefore, when you plan your meal, take into account your portion size. The following diet plan is tailor-made for an individual requiring 1200-1600 calories per day –
Breakfast – 1 medium slice of whole-wheat bread with 2 teaspoons of jelly, half a cup of shredded wheat cereal with a cup of low-fat milk, a fruit, and coffee
Lunch – Roasted chicken/grilled chicken sandwich on brown bread with low-fat cheese/avocado and lettuce, a medium-sized apple
Snacks – A handful of roasted chickpeas or almonds, 50-100gm of yoghurt with berries, and peanut butter with sliced apples
Dinner – Grilled fish in ½ to 1teaspoon of vegetable oil, a small portion of baked potato, half a cup of green beans and carrots, unsweetened skimmed milk/green tea
Incorporating the right kind of foods in the right proportion is the best way to control your blood glucose levels and avoid complications arising from diabetes.
The normal range of blood sugar in healthy individuals is between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L when fasting and less than 7.8 mmol/L two hours after your meal. To manage your blood sugar, balance what you drink and eat, stay physically active and continue taking your medications, if any.
Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a condition that results from high blood sugar. The two common forms of this condition are – Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, more common in children, occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, occurs when your body is not able to use the insulin produced by the pancreas properly. This condition affects adults more than children.
Diabetes is a chronic condition and can potentially lead to other complications, including kidney failure, if left unmanaged.
How Diabetes Affects Your Kidneys
Diabetes may cause injury or damage to the small blood vessels in your kidneys. Due to this, your kidneys may not be able to refine the blood efficiently, and your body retains more salt and water than it should – this often results in ankle swelling and weight gain.
Diabetes may also injure your nerves, causing difficulty in emptying the bladder. The pressure caused due to a full bladder may back up and cause damage to the kidneys. If urine is stored for a prolonged time in the bladder, you may develop an infection from the rapid growth of bacteria in the urine that has a high glucose level.
Nearly 30% of patients with Type 1 diabetes and about 10-40% of people with Type 2 diabetes will eventually suffer kidney disease, according to studies.
Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Diabetes Patients
A diabetes patient may encounter the following signs of kidney disease if the condition worsens –
Protein/albumin in the urine
An elevated blood pressure
Ankle and leg swelling or cramps
An urge to urinate more often, especially at night
High levels of creatinine and BUN in blood
Less need for antidiabetic medications or insulin
Vomiting and nausea
Paleness, weakness, and anaemia
The best way to prevent or slow diabetes-induced kidney disease is to try to control your blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Healthy lifestyle habits combined with prescribed medications can help you meet your goals and improve your overall condition.
Gestational diabetes, as the name suggests, occurs during gestation or pregnancy when the blood sugar levels exceed the normal level. Gestational diabetes, like other form of diabetes, affects how your body cells use glucose or sugar during pregnancy, and usually disappears after you’ve given birth.
Causes and symptoms to look out for!
During gestation, the placenta produces hormones that lead to the accumulation of blood glucose. Under normal condition, the pancreas forms enough insulin to counter the buildup of blood glucose. The level of blood sugar rises when the pancreas fails to produce adequate insulin to manage your blood sugar.
Usually, women with gestational diabetes do not show symptoms. So, the presence of the condition can go unnoticed if they are not diagnosed during routine checkups and screening tests. Nevertheless, if the condition goes out of control, you may feel tired, feel thirsty or hungry, or feel the urge to urinate more often.
What are the risk factors?
About 2-10% of pregnant women are affected by gestational diabetes every year. The following factors are likely to put you at risk of developing gestational diabetes-
What is the treatment for gestational diabetes?
Urine tests are performed to check for ketones. In a non-diabetic person, glucagon, insulin and other hormones avert ketone levels in your blood from soaring up too high. Once you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s important that you consult your doctor for treatment. Uncontrolled blood sugar level can affect you and your baby’s health after birth. This condition can be treated in the following ways-
Post treatment the blood sugar levels usually come down to normal within 4-6 weeks of giving birth.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
The blood sugar level, blood sugar concentration, or blood glucose level is the concentration of glucose present in the blood of humans and other animals. People with diabetes need to check their blood (sugar) glucose levels often to determine if they are too low (hypoglycemia), normal, or too high (hyperglycemia). Here are certain tips to maintain the blood sugar level in the body these are as follows:-
India celebrates Independence Day on 15th August every year on the commemoration of the nation's independence from British Rule.
As India completes it's 73 years of Independence, our we really independent from illness? While many of us fight with health issues on a daily basis. Staying away from diseases with some simple changes in our lifestyle choices can help us to stay healthy.
With such grim statistics, it is clear that a lot needs to be done to make people aware of how to deal with this problem. When you are a diabetic, enjoying a normal life may not be easy. Depending on your blood sugar levels, there are restrictions you have to adhere to.
However, your ultimate goal is to bring your blood sugar down and keep it that way. This is where you can do with a little bit of help.
Here are 5 lifestyle changes that you have to implement to get freedom from diabetes –
Implement these lifestyle changes today and take charge of your health. On this Independence Day, let's take an initiative to change our lifestyle to get freedom from Diabetes.