ACTIVE LIFESTYLE

1) 5 FOODS THAT PEOPLE WITH DIABETES NEED TO AVOID

What you eat, or don’t eat forms an important aspect in controlling diabetes. There are several foods and drinks that can raise blood sugar levels shortly after eating or drinking them. Avoiding these foods altogether can therefore directly impact your blood sugar levels by not causing those harmful blood sugar spikes.

Here’s a checklist of 5 foods that people with diabetes would do well to avoid.

SUGAR SWEETENED FRUIT JUICES:

Juices contain all the carbs, but none of the fiber found in whole fruits. They are high in sugar,absorbed very quickly and can cause blood sugar levels to spike and increase your risk of weight gain.1,2

FATTY MEATS:

All of these foods contain a good deal of saturated fat which can increase your risk of heart disease. Daily serving of red meat no larger than a deck of cards increased the risk of adult onset diabetes by 19 %. 3

FULL-FAT DAIRY:

This category includes whole milk, creams, full-fat yogurts and cheese, all of which are high in saturated fats that can increase your blood cholesterol levels. Opt for fat-free versions if you just can’t do without them.4

PROCESSED FOODS: : Chips, burgers, pastries, cookies, etc., are with unhealthy trans fats and should be avoided. These foods tend to increase blood cholesterol, with low nutrient value. Select whole foods - fruits, veggies, nuts and low-fat yogurts –instead. 4,5

White flour, white rice, sugar, carbonated drinks : They are the worst choices.6 Avoid sugary drinks like regular soda, energy drinks, sweet tea, and other sugary drinks. These will raise blood glucose and can provide several hundred calories in just one serving. 6

While cutting out the above foods from your diet may seem difficult at first, don’t give up, look for healthier alternatives (there are plenty out there), adjust your habits and you may well be surprised at the results.

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2) 3 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DIABETES

Healthy eating, physical activity, low-key lifestyle are factors in managing stress. Many things can make managing weight a challenge including stress, low income levels, some medical conditions and medications.

Here are three lesser known facts about this disease that YOU need to be aware of.1

It can be deadly

As the saying goes – prevention is better than a cure – and diabetes is no exception. A disease that stems from higher-than-healthy sugar levels in the blood, diabetes, if left unchecked can lead to some disastrous outcomes – including blindness, kidney disease and heart ailments. So be regular with your check-ups and take control of your lifestyle now.2

It’s not one disease

Simply put there are three kinds of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is a disease where the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells and has an onset earlier in life. Type 2 Diabetes is associated with obesity wherein the extra weight causes the body to produce more insulin, thereby putting pressure on the cells and organs that produce it, which could lead to their failure. The third distinct type of diabetes is Gestational Diabetes – which affects pregnant women but is usually resolved post-delivery. 3

The important takeaway message here is that all of the above are not the same and the most common type is preventable.

Prediabetes doesn’t always lead to full-blown diabetes.

Also known as impaired glucose tolerance, prediabetes simply means that the amount of glucose or sugar in your blood is higher than it should be, but not high enough to qualify as Type 2 Diabetes. As per the American Diabetes Association, making three lifestyle changes—losing weight, watching your diet, and exercising—can increase your chances of preventing or delaying Type 2 Diabetes by up to 58%.4

The safest way to prevent the onset of diabetes is to make a conscious decision to lead a healthy life by making the requisite changes in lifestyle habits, eating right and getting lots of exercise.4

References:

  1. Managing Weight & Diabetes. Available at:https://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/healthy-living-resources/weight-management/managing-weight-diabetes
  2. Henry W. The Complications of Diabetes Mellitus. Journal Of The National Medical Association. 1987;79–6.
  3. Types of Diabetes. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/types
  4. Diagnosing Diabetes and learning about prediabetes. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diagnosis/. Accessed on Sep 23, 2016.
prediabetes

3) 5 REASONS TO FIGHT DIABETES WITH REGULAR EXERCISE

The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Not only does it make you feel better, more energetic, regular exercise can help you in your fight against diabetes (and other diseases) regardless of your age and sex.

Need more convincing to exercise? Check out these five ways how exercise can help in the prevention/treatment of diabetes. 1

Exercise controls weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. If you can't do an actual workout, opt for simpler way like - taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.1

Exercise helps avoid complications

Exercising every day, can help prevent heart attack and stroke in people with diabetes. A daily 30-minute walk can help to manage diabetes and lower your chances of developing problems associated with diabetes.2

Exercise helps control blood sugar

Exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down. 3

Exercise boosts energy

Regular physical exercise helps improve muscle strength and ups endurance levels. A combination of regular exercise and moderate physical activity delivers much-needed oxygen and nutrients to your body tissues which in turn make your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. 1

Exercise helps manage stress levels

Increased stress levels are known to be one of the main causes of a host of ailments including increased blood pressure, heart problems, migraines and diabetes among others. A known stress-buster, exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.3 Regular exercise is a great way to feel better and get healthy, but do remember to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program, more so if you haven’t exercised for a while or have a history of health concerns.3

References:

  1. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389. Accessed on Sep 27 2016.
  2. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/fall12/articles/fall12pg12.html
  3. Asif M. The prevention and control the type2 diabetes by changing lifestyle and dietary pattern. J Educ Health Promot. 2014; 3: 1.
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4) 10 DIY STEPS TO MANAGE DIABETES EFFECTIVELY

Many people avoid the long-term problems of diabetes by taking good care of themselves, while others tend to take things lightly and as a result, fall prey to long-term complications like heart disease, nerve damage, kidney failure and blurred vision.

Here are 10 easy-to-do pointers that diabetics can follow diligently to manage their diabetes effectively and still lead a normal, healthy life.

  1. Eat a balanced meal.1
  2. Eat the right portions of healthy foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat containing foods.1
  3. Eat foods that have less salt and fat content.1
  4. Get at least 30 minutes of activity/exercise on most days of the week.2
  5. Keep an exercise schedule.2
  6. Stop smoking. If you can’t do it on your own, seek help from friends, family and other non-smokers who can help you.3
  7. Take medicines the way your doctor tells you.2Aspirin has been used to prevent the primary and secondary Cardiovascular events in diabetic individuals.4
  8. Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots and swelling. Call your doctor right away about any sores that won’t heal.5
  9. Brush your teeth and floss every day to avoid problems with your mouth, teeth or gums.6
  10. Check your blood glucose the way your doctor tells you to.2

Remember managing diabetes by following the right diet, exercising regularly, taking the prescribed medicines on time and going for periodic check-ups can not only help you lead a normal life, but also save you from a host of potential health complications in the long-term.

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5) SEVEN RULES EVERY PERSON WITH DIABETES NEEDS TO FOLLOW

Worried about your fluctuating levels of blood sugar? Well, don’t be. Here are 7 pointers on how you can gain control over your sugar levels and stay healthy even with a diabetic condition.

Check your blood sugar levels regularly

For a diabetic patient, it is the blood sugar levels which reveal whether he/she has either high amounts of blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) in the blood. Both are extremely dangerous.1

The best way to check your blood sugar levels at regular intervals is to have a glucometer at hand. Get your HbA1c checked twice a year. HbA1c (Haemoglobin A1c) is a simple blood test that measures how well your diabetes is managed over time. It is aimed at measuring your average blood sugar levels, and to see if it has stayed within the required range. It is important to get this test done either twice a year, or once in three months depending on how well your diabetes is controlled.2

Be regular with your medication

Adherence to the prescribed medication at the recommended amount and schedule is important for having a good diabetic control.3

Missing medication can increase your risk of suffering from several diabetes-related health complications.4

Look after your kidneys

One of the most serious consequences of diabetes is renal or kidney failure. Another common complication is chronic kidney disease (CKD).5 The best thing you can do for your kidneys is to eat right and drink plenty of water.6,7

Control your cholesterol levels

Diabetes tends to lower "good" cholesterol levels and raise triglyceride and "bad" cholesterol levels, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. High cholesterol also leads to a common complication of diabetes known as diabetic dyslipidemia which may result in clogged arteries and coronary complications. Ideally stay away from a diet high in saturated and trans fats which raise your LDL cholesterol.8

Eat right & Exercise regularly

Your food choices matter a lot when you've got diabetes. Some are better than others.9 Eat something every 2 1/2 to 3 hours and main meals no longer than 4 - 5 hours apart. Eating meals and snacks at consistent times helps to keep your blood glucose levels within target range.9 Include low GI foods like whole wheat, brown rice, oats, etc, in every meal. Avoid refined cereal products like white bread, noodles, white rice, etc. as they can raise blood sugar levels. 9,10 Getting regular physical exercise is equally important to maintain normal blood sugar levels. But check your blood sugar levels before and after exercise and avoid exercising if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low.11

Shed those extra pounds

Obesity is one of the most crucial mitigating factors of diabetes. Obesity also causes your cholesterol levels to skyrocket, increasing the chances of heart disease.12,13

References

  1. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/checking-your-blood-glucose.html. Accessed on 24 September. 2016.
  2. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/a1c/. Accessed on 24 September. 2016.
  3. Rhee MK, Slocum W, Ziemer DC, et.al. Patient Adherence Improves Glycemic Control. The Diabetes EDUCATOR..2005.31(2):240-250
  4. Currie CJ, Peyrot M, Morgan CLI, et.al. The Impact of Treatment Noncompliance on Mortality in People With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2012 Jun; 35(6): 1279-1284.
  5. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/kidney-disease/kidney-disease-of-diabetes/Pages/facts.aspx
  6. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/nkdep/a-z/eating-right/Pages/eating-right.aspx
  7. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/diabetes-and-kidney-failure
  8. Available from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Diabetes/WhyDiabetesMatters/CholesterolAbnormalitiesDiabetes_UCM_313868_Article.jsp#.VYuICF97IU
  9. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org.nz/living_well_with_diabetes/living_with_type_1_diabetes/food
  10. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetic-food-list-best-worst-foods
  11. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20047963. Accessed on 24 September. 2016.
  12. Eckel RH, Kahn SE, Ferrannini E, et al. Obesity and type 2 diabetes: what can be unified and what needs to be individualized? J ClinEndocrinolMetab. 2011;96(6):1654–1663.
  13. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/behavior.htm
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6) 5 DESK EXERCISES TO KEEP YOUR BLOOD SUGAR IN CHECK

Exercise-1

Breathing

Take a long deep breath in through your nose making a special effort to fill your lungs from the bottom to the top. This, when done correctly, will push out your belly. The process is similar to blowing up a balloon. Pause briefly (1 – 3 seconds). Exhale slowly through your mouth. Make sure the inward and outward breaths take the same length of time. Continue to breathe in this fashion for several minutes. Repeat several times daily.

Exercise-2

While seated, lift your toes while keeping your heels firmly on the ground. Slowly point your toes forward away from your body until you feel a slight tension and hold for 20-30 seconds. While resting your heel on the floor, flex your feet and toes back toward your body and Hold for 20-30 seconds. Slowly rotate your feet clockwise several times and then counterclockwise. Extend your leg out in front of you and hold for about 20 to 30 seconds or sooner if your leg starts to quiver. You can do one leg at a time or hold both up together.

Flex your hips – while sitting in your chair, lift your right foot a few inches off of the floor. Keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and hold the position for as long as you are comfortable. Stand up and march with your feet in place. This will exercise the large muscles in your legs. While standing, rise up on your toes and lower them.

Exercise-3

•Stand up and shadow box by taking a couple of jabs at the air. Pump both of your arms over your head for 30 seconds. Raise your shoulder to your ear, hold and then relax. Repeat, alternating shoulders. Stretch your arm out in front of you with the palm up. With your other hand, grab your fingers and lightly pull them down to stretch your forearm. Lean on a sturdy piece of furniture, or the wall, and slowly push your body off of it; in effect, a standing push up. Tense and relax the muscles in your hands. Make fists, spread your fingers and bend your fingers. Stretch both of your arms out to the side of your body and then back, as far as you can. Bring them forward until they meet in front of you.

Exercise-4

Torso

•Sit up straight in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right and hold. Alternate sides. Rest your back against a wall and move your feet away from the wall. The wall should be supporting the weight of your back and your knees should be bent. Hold the position for as long as possible. Cross your arms over your chest and sit up straight. Tense your abdominal muscles and curl your shoulders towards your hips. Hold for a few seconds. Drop your chin and roll your neck. Raise your chin up and bend your neck to each side.

Exercise-5

Butt Squeezes

This is the easiest exercise that you can do at your desk, on the bus, in your car or even standing up. You can even do them when others might be watching. Simply squeeze and release your buttocks muscles several times. This exercise will help prevent “office chair spread” of your hindquarters.

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7) 5 THINGS ONLY A PERSON WITH DIABETES WOULD UNDERSTAND

Every disease comes with its own share of Do’s and Dont’s and diabetes is no different. But as any good doctor will tell you, precautions have to be taken for every affliction if the healing process is to take effect. Here’s a list of five things that are normally associated with a person suffering from diabetes.

1. Warming devices can be hazardous.

Diabetics are often advised not to use electric blankets or heating pads or take hot baths. The reason being they are especially prone to developing neuropathy, which is pain and numbness in the hands or feet. This in turn makes them unable to gauge how hot a heating pad is on the skin or how hot the water in the bath really is, upping the risk of a serious burn injury 1, 2, 3, 4

2. Lotions are their new best friends.

About one in three diabetics develop a related skin disorder and struggle with very dry skin. If your skin dries out, it might result in an infection that could take a long time to heal, since a diabetic’s blood doesn’t circulate well. Applying a soothing lotion can help decrease the chance of cuts and breaks in the skin.5, 6

3. Annual eye exams become mandatory.

Diabetics are recommended a dilated eye exam ever year. That's because it's easy to spot burst blood vessels in the eyes. And if blood vessels are bursting in the eyes, it can be a sign of underlying complications of the disease. 7, 8

4. Depression is common.

It is usually associated with poor disease control, adverse health outcomes and impaired quality of life. It is important to discuss this with a professional before these feelings worsen.9

5. Feeling low before an exercise routine.

If your blood glucose levels are trending down before a workout, have a pre-exercise snack. Always carry a carbohydrate food or drink (like juice or glucose tabs) that will quickly raise your blood glucose. It may take a while to figure out what works best for you. If your blood glucose level is less than 100 mg/dl before you start your activity, try having a small carbohydrate snack (about 15 grams) to increase your blood glucose and reduce your risk for hypoglycemia.10

References :

  1. FDA/CPSC Public Health Advisory - Hazards Associated With The Use of Electric Heating Pads. Available from: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/PublicHealthNotifications/ucm242866.htm
  2. Things Only A Person With Diabetes Would Understand. Available from: http://www.slurrpy.com/glucerna/sugar-hacks_detail7.html
  3. Why are electric blankets discouraged for people who have diabetes? What's the danger? Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-answers/diabetes/faq-20057786
  4. Are Electric Blankets Safe or Dangerous? Available from: http://www.electricblanketinstitute.com/safety-care.html
  5. A Skin Cream Survey: Keep Informed and Moisturized. Available from: https://www.diabeteshealth.com/a-skin-cream-survey-keep-informed-and-moisturized-2/
  6. Foot Care. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html?referrer=https://www.google.co.in/
  7. Eye Care. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/eye-complications/eye-care.html
  8. Diabetes – Eye complications. Available from: https://www.kaahe.org/health/en/ArabicSampleModules/modules/diabetes/db0101a1/db010103/db010103.pdf
  9. E Andreoulakis, T Hyphantis, D Kandylisetal. Depression in diabetes mellitus: a comprehensive review. Hippokratia. 2012;16(3):205–214.
  10. Exercise and Type 1 Diabetes. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/exercise-and-type-1-diabetes.html
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8) 3 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY TO A PERSON WITH DIABETES

Every person with diabetes has a story of a diabetes-related comment they received that left them hurt and speechless. Unfortunately even the best minds have been unable to come up with a method to keep such people from making hurtful, embarrassing, and woefully misinformed comments to people with diabetes.

Here’s a checklist of 3 things you should never say to a person with diabetes, intentionally or otherwise.

Are you well-controlled?

Apparently it’s not just the doctors who ask this question, but even your friends and acquaintances. To begin well-controlled means different things for different people. Offer positive encouraging support.1

Can you eat that?

If you’re a diabetic it’s generally assumed that good food is off limits for you, which is definitely not true. So the next time your munching happily on a frosted cupcake and get asked this question, make it a point to educate the person that having diabetes does not imply not eating sugar, but controlling its intake in tandem with medicines and regular exercise.2

Atleastits not uncurable like cancer

You know the saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Comparing cancer with diabetes isn’t helpful or funny to anyone. It’s best to offer yourself as a shoulder to lean on than to talk about your friend’s future.3

For all those guilty of having made one or more of the above-mentioned crass comments, know this – all diabetics eagerly wait for new advances in medical care and a glimpse of a real cure, while simultaneously working hard to keep themselves healthy in the interim. If you can’t appreciate the massive hope and efforts involved, don’t insult them with your ill-timed verbal barbs either.3

References:

  1. Things Not to Say to Someone With Diabetes. Available from: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-08-16/7-things-not-to-say-to-someone-with-diabetes
  2. 8 things you should never say to someone with type 1 diabetes. Available from: http://www.health24.com/Medical/Diabetes/Type-1-diabetes/8-things-you-should-never-say-to-someone-with-type-1-diabetes-20160714-2
  3. 7 Things You Should Never Say to Someone with Type 1 Diabetes. Available from: http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/things-you-should-never-say
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