How to control diabetes?

Let’s hear the story of Vibhor who fought against Diabetes with his self-determination and a complete change of lifestyle.

Vibhor was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, at an early age of 30. Before diagnosis, he lived alone, away from his parents for his higher studies. Under the influence of some youngsters, he cultivated bad habits of smoking and drinking, along with an unhealthy diet, and a sedentary lifestyle. 

Eventually, he began to notice certain negative changes in his body like obesity, excessive thirst and frequent urination.

Troubled with these worsening symptoms, he went to see the doctor, where it was confirmed that he had Type-2 Diabetes.

The fasting plasma glucose test of Vibhor gave the following result:

His blood sugar level (fasting) was more than 170 mg/dl, much higher than the normal blood sugar level(less than 100mg/dL). Vibhor was unaware of the normal and diabetic blood sugar level. 

Blood sugar levels target for a diabetic person

A fasting blood sugar target for a diabetic person should be 80-130 mg/dl.

Blood sugar target (1 to 2 hours after meals) for a diabetic person should be less than 180 mg/dl.

So, Vibhor started aiming for these blood sugar levels for himself.

But, Vibhor relied only on medications. He ignored the fact that a person with diabetes should:

  • Follow a diabetes-friendly diet
  • Acquire an active lifestyle
  • Maintain his weight.

As a result, Vibhor had to undergo frequent insulin therapy and his weight continued to increase. Finally, a stage reached when the medication could no longer control his blood sugar.

Seeing the seriousness of the situation, Vibhor decided to take the matter in his own hands. He planned to change his whole lifestyle. He was given the following instructions from Diabetes Reversal experts.

Diet to follow/ natural remedies

Healthy food selection. Shopping bag full of fresh vegetables and fruits. Flat lay food on table
  1. Practise portion control- A method to regulate the calorie intake by monitoring and controlling the number of calories in each food serving. Try the following tips to implement portion control:
  • Use smaller dinnerware.
  • Eat slowly
  • Maintain a food diary
  • Check your serving sizes.
  1. Stay hydrated (Drink enough water) – High blood sugar levels can cause dehydration. Drinking water helps to flush out excess glucose through urine and lower the risk of high blood glucose levels. 

Water is the most preferred beverage as it re-hydrates the blood and reduces diabetes risk.

  1. Low-carb diet – A standard remedy which helps to stabilize blood sugar in the long run. Carbs raise blood glucose more than any other food. Therefore, higher consumption of carbs should be avoided by people with diabetes.

Exercise

Exercise

If you perform the following exercises regularly, you may reach your fitness goals:

  1. Brisk walking – 30-minute walk helps in weight loss and reduces the blood sugar levels of people with diabetes.
  2. Swimming – Aquatic activities like swimming reduces pressure on the joints, improves cholesterol levels, burn calories, and lowers stress.
  3. Cycling – An aerobic activity that activates the muscles of the lower limbs and reduces the pressure in the feet.
  4. Weightlifting – It reduces the probability of the advancement of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. It is also beneficial to guard against other complications of diabetes like cardiovascular diseases.
  5. Calisthenics – The strength training exercises which use your own body weight (for example push-ups, crunches, sit-ups, etc). It helps our body use insulin more efficiently and even leads to weight loss.
  6. Pilates – Exercises associated with low-impact flexibility, postural alignment, and muscular strength. It helps to improve mental health, reduce body fat, and modulate glycemia (level of glucose in the blood).

Every exercise bring a positive change in a diabetic person in some or the other way. It helps to improve the overall fitness of your body. Not only this, it targets the excess fat deposited in your body and result in weight loss. 

How to Control Stress?

It’s very common for young people like Vibhor to feel stressed or depressed. Stress itself is a serious health concern. Think about the dire state when one has to deal with both stress and diabetes. How will Vibhor and people like him tackle this problem?

Here are 4 helpful tips to control and reduce stress:

  1. Reduce your Caffeine intake – High doses of caffeine (found in coffee, tea) can increase anxiety and stress.
  2. Laugh out loud – Laughing helps to relieve stress by relaxing your muscles. It even improves mental well-being.
  3. Yoga – Yoga like Hatha yoga is a good option for stress management. It reduces stress, enhances your mood, and reduces risk factors for chronic diseases.
  4. Meditation – It acts as a stress reliever by triggering the body’s relaxation response. Meditation even helps to clear the negative thoughts from your mind.

Monitor blood sugar levels

To check that your blood sugar level is in the healthy range, you need to monitor blood glucose. However, you should first consult the doctor regarding this rather than relying only on online sites. 

How to correctly monitor blood glucose?

Blood sugar can be measured by using a blood glucose meter (glucometer) or a continuous glucose monitor (CGMs). Follow these steps to self-test your blood sugar using a blood glucose meter:

  • At first wash your hands and then, insert a test strip into your meter.
  • Press the lancet device against the side of your finger to get a drop of blood.
  • Touch and hold the end of the test strip to the drop of blood.
  • Wait for the result to appear on the screen. This is your blood glucose level.

When to monitor blood glucose levels?

The frequency of testing blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you are diagnosed with. Adhere to the recommendation of the doctor.

Type 1 diabetes

Your doctor might advise you to monitor your blood sugar 4 to 10 times a day if you have type 1 diabetes. Testing can be done before meals, at bedtime as well as before physical activity.

Type 2 diabetes

If you use insulin therapy, the doctor may prescribe you to test the blood sugar several times a day. However, it depends on the amount of insulin you use.

Testing is usually performed before meals and at bedtime. If you control diabetes only through medications or a healthy diet and exercise, you don’t require to monitor your blood sugar on a daily basis. 

Here are certain unimaginable factors which are linked to diabetes:

Importance of sleep for controlling diabetes

The problem of sleep and diabetes goes side by side. Lack of sleep might lead to pre-diabetes. Sleep deprivation can give rise to high blood sugar and insulin resistance (a condition when the body cells don’t respond to insulin normally).

Sleeping problems also lead the way to obesity as too little sleep increases your appetite. This factor is often overlooked, but you must know that good sleep plays a major role in fighting against diabetes.

On average, seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis is necessary. Deep sleep even helps to maintain insulin sensitivity.

Effects of intoxicating oneself and why we should avoid them

  1. Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can exacerbate symptoms of diabetes and lead to the following results:
  • Lower the body’s sensitivity to insulin and the production of glucose.
  • Heavy drinking can cause chronic pancreatitis, ketoacidosis, and hypertriglyceridemia.
  • Drinking can lead to obesity.

These factors increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes. Therefore,                                                                                                                                                 try to moderate if not avoid alcohol otherwise you might have to face dangerous consequences.

            Smoking – Smokers are more likely to develop Diabetes as compared to non- smokers. Not only this, if a person with diabetes is a smoker, then he has higher risks of health problems like:

  • Cardiovascular and kidney disease.
  • Retinopathy (an eye disease) and peripheral neuropathy.
  • Poor blood flow in the legs and feet (leading to infections, ulcers).

           Quitting smoking is the best option if you wish to control diabetes.

In a nutshell

Vibhor applied all the above-mentioned formulas in his own life. He prioritized his health over smoking and unhealthy eating habits. And finally, his commitment & resolution won and diabetes lost. He noticed a drastic change in his blood sugar level.

Don’t you wish to have such a perfect ending of the Diabetes chapter? If yes, then gear up and give it a shot. If Vibhor can do it, so can you.

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