Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder which affects just about every part of your body. The key to better health in diabetes is to manage your disease properly. There is no cure for diabetes. It is important to maintain your blood glucose levels as close to the normal as possible. This is very much possible if you are meticulous in every aspect of your lifestyle. The most important thing is to follow the instructions of the medical doctor scrupulously.
Dos and don’ts for the diabetics
1. As far as possible, try to consume nearly the same quantity of food every day. This is because one of the factors determining the efficacy of your insulin dosage is the quantity of food consumed.
2. Avoid vigorous exercise. Exercise speeds up glucose utilization in some of the cells and the insulin you have administered becomes an overdose. This will lead to hypoglycemia (decreased blood glucose levels), with disastrous consequences.
3. People tend to fast for various reasons. Avoid fasting and skipping of meals.
4. Certain foods can be tempting. Don’t yield to temptation and indulge in overeating. This will lead to poor blood glucose control, since your insulin dosage does not increase correspondingly.
5. Irregular eating habits will lead to large fluctuations in blood glucose, with rapid increases and rapid falls in blood glucose, both of which are harmful.
6. Regular check up of your vision is necessary. This is because, diabetes, in the long run, can affect your retina.
7. Since wound healing is a serious problem in diabetes, it is important to protect your feet at all times, especially when going out. It is called the diabetic foot because it is the foot which is closest to the ground and therefore, most likely to get injured. Always use proper footwear while going out.
8. Some mild exercise is useful for individuals with poor blood glucose control. Preferably exercise in the morning. Walking is the best way to do it. Don’t overdo it.
9. Diabetics whose disease is poorly controlled are susceptible to developing increased blood cholesterol levels. Therefore increased consumption of fiber is useful in controlling your blood cholesterol levels. Since fiber is not digested, this also helps to regulate your blood glucose levels better. Vegetables are the best sources of the fiber.
10. Monitor your blood pressure regularly. A combination of poor blood glucose control, hypertension and altered blood lipid levels can lead to a condition called metabolic syndrome. This is a very serious condition indeed.
11. Try to maintain your weight within reasonable levels. Increase in weight and subsequent obesity can lead to further complications. Even in normal individuals, increase in body weight can lead to a form of diabetes called “insulin-resistantdiabetes”, due to the decrease in the number of insulin receptors. Obesity can also lead to other complications.
12. When a parent is diabetic, his child has a fifty percent chance of getting diabetes. When both the parents are diabetic, the offspring has a definite chance of getting diabetes. Therefore if you are diabetic, it would be prudent to choose a partner who is not diabetic.
13. One of the greatest dangers posed by diabetes is the onset of hypoglycemia (reduced blood glucose levels). An attack of hypoglycemia can lead to unconsciousness. Hence it is imperative that a diabetic should carry proper ID with him at all times.
14. Try to include vegetables with anti diabetic properties in your diet, on a regular basis. Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) is the classical example.