Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in first-world countries. It is also the top ten lifestyle-related diseases in the fast-growing economies. A lot of medical research has been done on this diseases since it was discovered. Today we know that diabetes cannot be managed alone with the help of medicines. It also requires a change in the lifestyle along with the medication to stay healthy and live longer.
Diabetes, as we all know, is of two types. They are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM). Type 2 diabetes is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM). And both require a lifestyle change along with medication. But, let us first understand both types of diabetes. Once you understand these two types, it will be easy for you to understand and follow the tips.
Type 1 or Insulin-Dependent Diabetic Mellitus.
As the name suggests the patient has to take external insulin to manage this disease. The body either doesn’t produce insulin or it produces in a very small quantity. Therefore, blood sugar levels cannot be controlled naturally. The patient has to use injections or insulin patches to supply the body with adequate insulin and control the blood sugar level.
Type 2 or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetic Mellitus.
This type of diabetes occurs due to a bad lifestyle. When you regularly eat carbs and sugar many times a day, your body has to release insulin to control the blood sugar. Body cells are exposed to insulin multiple times and over a period of time, these cells start developing resistance towards insulin. This is called insulin resistance. The more resistance your body has towards the insulin the more severe the condition is. As the resistance increases the normal insulin level is not sufficient to control the sugar levels in the blood. Thus, the blood sugar levels keep rising. In such a condition, the patient is prescribed medicines that help the body to secrete more insulin.
Anyhow, this further triggers a vicious cycle where the patient has to take stronger medicines to increase the quantity of insulin secretion.
Here are some important and useful tips that any diabetic patient can use or follow and make themselves healthy.
Obesity and Weight Gain.
Being overweight is not a crime but it can lead to many other complications and diseases. It can worsen the condition of diabetes. Let us understand the relationship between obesity and diabetes in simple terms.
Insulin is a fat hormone. People suffering from Type 1 diabetes might have experienced fat deposition on various locations on their bodies from where the insulin is injected. Insulin promotes fat deposition. Therefore, every time you eat high-calorie food, insulin is released into your body. Thus, you are pushing your body to deposit more fat.
Further, over a period of time, your body starts developing resistance towards insulin. Therefore, the body has to produce more insulin to convert glucose into energy. The vicious cycle of excessive insulin and fat deposition is thus triggered.
In short, you should plan your diet properly. Because is the core of the problem. If you can address it properly you will win half the battle.
Watch your food
As mentioned above, weight is a major factor that needs to be controlled if you are a diabetic. And, as it indicates, food is the only source by which you gain weight. Food comprises macronutrients and micronutrients.
Carbohydrates, fat, and proteins are the macronutrients. Out of these three, carbohydrates do not add any nutrition value to your food. It is basically energy. It gets converted to sugar quickly and therefore, most of the carb-rich food comes under the category of high glycemic foods. Avoid carbs as much as possible. Start with reducing the intake of carbs.
Diabetes leads to nerve damage. Your organs and the entire body are under pressure to sustain. Therefore, you need to eat a balanced diet that is also rich in other nutrients and minerals. This will help your body to heal faster.
If you can plan your diet and follow the diet plan with discipline you will never get overweight, nor your blood sugar will shoot up beyond manageable limits. With some oral medicines, any Type 2 diabetic can manage sugar levels if the diet is balanced and nutritious. For type 1 diabetics a proper and timely diet plan is even more important.
With a diet plan comes exercise. If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle and also a diabetic then it can be dangerous. You are pushing your body to extreme levels to a point where it is not possible to recover.
Exercise not only save your body from damage by improving the blood and oxygen flow, but it also helps to tone your muscles and consume more calories. When you exercise your muscles use the stored glycogen. Thus, your muscle will consume glucose in your bloodstream to store for future needs as glycogen. At the same time toned muscles keep consuming calories even when you are not exercising. Therefore, give some time to exercise daily.
Further, you must involve in both types of exercises. Aerobic and anaerobic exercises have their own different sets of benefits. By doing both you will help your body in many ways. Aerobic exercise helps to burn more calories and improves your heart and lungs. Walking, jogging, dancing, etc are all aerobic exercises. Whereas dumbbell exercises, floor exercises, etc comes under anaerobic exercises. They improve your muscle tone and strength and thus help to burn more calories even at rest. They also deplete the body with glycogen, which is stored sugar, and thus helps reducing blood sugar levels in long run.
Sleep helps your body to heal. Your cells recover from all the wear and tear while you sleep. It also gives your mind to reorganize and reduce your stress levels. Therefore sleep is equally important as diet and exercise. If you are on a good diet plan and you do regular exercise but do not take enough sleep, you will lose the battle with diabetes. Sleep is essential for your vital organs that are already under stress due to diabetes.
Once you are detected with diabetes, your doctor will prescribe some medicines. You should follow each and every instruction given by your doctor. You should take the medicines on time to ensure your blood sugar levels remain under control.
Patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes have to follow a strict regimen in insulin administration. They have to take a certain quantity of insulin before each meal. This may include taking insulin before breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even sometimes during evening snacks.
Patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes who take oral drugs too need to follow a strict timetable. Each tablet or medicine that they take has a certain active period in the body. The effect of drugs subsides after that period. Your blood sugar might rise after that. Therefore, a timely food and medicine intake regimen should be followed. This will not only keep control of your glucose level but at the same time prevent your organs from damage.
Alcohol is bad as sugar for a diabetic patient. Alcohol is pure calories without any nutritional value. When you drink alcohol it is processed in the liver. Fat thus generated is predominantly stored in the liver. Therefore, most alcohol addicts have fatty liver.
In diabetes patients, it motivates the liver to store less glycogen as the liver is busy processing fat. Thus the blood sugar that was supposed to be stored as glycogen in liver remains in the blood. Blood sugar levels stay elevated in people who are diabetic and alcohol addict.