We need to respect and love our body and take proper care of it so that we can stay away from diseases like diabetes.
With 347 million diabetics across the globe, diabetes is almost like an epidemic today and India is called the Diabetes capital. According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030. This World Diabetes Day, November 14, we need to promise ourselves that we will take care of our diet and will control and maintain our body weight in an attempt to keep diabetes away from our life.
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes which is basically insulin dependent and Type 2 Diabetes which depends on our weight management.
Type 2 Diabetes is defined by elevated fasting sugar or post prandial sugar levels which could lead to complications on other organs such as heart, kidney, foot and eyes.
The stress of any kind of illness in a diabetes patient only increases his sugar level. Hyperglycaemia or high sugar level can cause dehydration, affect electrolyte levels in the blood, produce drowsiness and make the patient more ill.
A case of hyperglycaemia will worsen if the patient stalls medication or becomes dehydrated.
At times even the medication for diabetes can cause problems such as hypoglycaemia or low sugar level. Patients need to understand that this is a part of the medication and need to be careful. When not able to eat, patients should take enough fluids that comprise carbohydrates (sugar).
To prevent hypoglycaemia, diabetics should eat at regular intervals.
A diabetic needs to be careful regarding certain kinds of food to be able to lead a healthy life. Instead of taking carbohydrates such as rice, white bread, white pasta and refined flour, he should switch to oats, bajra, jowar, ragi and wheat as these would keep sugar level consistent.
He should eat either one portion of protein such as skim milk products, chicken, fish, egg whites and a portion of fibre which is vegetables, fruits, salads or Omega 3 fats such as fish, flaxseeds, walnuts in each meal to aid in better metabolism and control the sugar level.
During festivals and holidays, it's not that diabetics cannot enjoy sweets and other special foods. They should relish these items with a little moderation to be able to remain healthy even after the fun.
An active life is a must for a diabetic. Daily routine should include walks or exercises in some form to check weight gain as this is a sure shot method to manage diabetes.
Regular checks through glucometer should be done to be aware of the requirement and deficiencies of the body.
Many diabetics were affected severely due to recent chikungunya epidemic in the Caribbean. Due to severe pain and fever, people were unable to eat properly and at proper times. This compounded the problem, thus forcing many persons with diabetes to land in hospitals or emergency rooms with either high or low blood sugar levels.
People should maintain a proper body weight, be physically active and eat a healthy diet to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Ms Juliana Lim, 45, a management information systems executive in Singapore, was diagnosed with diabetes when she was only 18. For 13 years, she did not reveal to the world about her condition.
She said, "I was very unhappy. I had to make changes to my lifestyle and diet, which I was not prepared for." Today, she is a team leader in a diabetes support group. Through her talks and story she is trying to be an inspiration for others so that they accept diabetes as a reality and do all the needful to remain healthy and happy.