From having sweets for celebratory occasions to a no-sugar life, diabetes can change your life. In fact, diabetes is one of the largest global health challenges. In India alone, 69.2 million people have diabetes and another 36.5 million are pre-diabetics. Alarming isn’t it? Many people are bound to be blown away by these figures. More so, when they find self or any of their family members’ blood-sugar test pointing towards a higher value.
Among the two significant types of diabetes, Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent than Type 1. The blatant truth about this disease be it Type-1 & or Type-2 form is that it can happen to anybody. Of course, there are some factors like heredity, improper lifestyle habits and more that can trigger the onset of this condition. Pregnancy is also one such factor which can cause the onset of diabetes in expectant mothers.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy in women who don’t have a previous history of the same. In this type of diabetes, maintenance of the right glucose levels within the body does not happen. This situation needs special care and attention as with higher levels of glucose levels, the probability of health risk for mother and child increases manifold.
However, there is a silver lining to this situation as diabetes is one ailment that can be controlled by a few lifestyle modifications that every caregiver must know and implement. I recently attended an informative session on diabetes management which was hosted by Blogchatter. In the session diabetes expert, the speakers shared the important 3 Ms’ for diabetes management.
In this article, I am sharing important takeaways from the same.
List of Contents
Diabetes is a growing challenge in India with an estimated 8.7% diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years. 1 As much as it is worrying to hear about this, one cannot deny the negligence in getting yearly or bi-yearly health check-ups by most of us. Keeping a tab on glucose levels with health check-ups is the key to avoiding diabetes.
Regular monitoring of glucose levels becomes even more important for pre-diabetic people and of course people with diabetes. However, for living fully with diabetes or for that matter women who have gestational diabetes or for diabetes management in senior citizens one needs to have continuous glucose monitoring. Earlier with conventional glucose monitoring devices, it was difficult to keep a track of glucose levels before and after every meal owing to the need for finger pricks. But with technological advancements, today there are Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices like FreeStyle Libre which can help in seamless monitoring of glucose levels without the need of pricking again and again.
Today as a part of diabetes management, a concept that now doctors more commonly use is ‘Time in Range’. In common language, it is the percentage amount of time that a diabetic person spends in the normal range. Ideally, doctors aim to keep the patients 70% of their time in the normal range. But doctors also keep a tab on the time percentage when the diabetic person goes on higher glucose range and lower glucose range. For this kind of monitoring using CGM devices is very helpful. You can read more about the utility and usage details of Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices here.
Meals – Food to eat in Diabetes and what not to avoid
India with its rapid urbanization has become a food rich country from being a food-deprived one. So meals play a huge role in both preventing the onset of diabetes and also its management after detection. For living fully with diabetes one should have foods low in glycaemic index, and more fresh fruits, legumes, vegetables and pulses. While one should avoid high in sugar food & drinks. Processed junk foods that are high on calories and food with higher glycaemic index (G.I. value) also should be avoided as these varieties of food causes weight gain amounting to obesity.
Fruits too have low and high G.I. value so for better diabetes management one can choose to eat fruits like berries, apples etc. In fact, some dry fruits like almond and walnut can also be made a part of the diet. Eating food rich in fibre not only helps in better digestion but also brings down the GI value of a meal thus aiding in managing glucose level post meals.
Making a Move
Increased physical activity is one significant change all people with diabetes should make for an active life. As a matter of fact, the prevalence of Diabetes nowadays can be amounted to lowered physical activity. Exercise aids in weight management & also helps in stress management. Apart from this making simple activities like walking, yoga, swimming & dancing/aerobics a part of your daily life can really help in preventing the onset of diabetes and diabetes management too.
However, for all kinds of diabetes, the exercises should be started after proper consultation with a doctor. Precautions in terms of timings etc. need to be strictly adhered to. Here also the benefit of continuous glucose monitoring is very high as the person living with diabetes can track which exercise helped him or her for effectively bringing down glucose levels.
Being a caregiver myself and having seen a family member living with diabetes, I feel it is my duty to spread awareness about more precise ways of diabetes management. If you found this post helpful then do let me know in the comment section or share the post with your near and dear ones. You can check and buy FreeStyle Libre Continuous Glucose Monitor in India here.
Know more about FreeStyle Libre and Continuous Glucose Monitor in India here.