Personal

How managing diet and exercise are important for someone with diabetes

Diabetes – growing challenge in India

Diabetes is a global health challenge. In India particularly, Diabetes is a growing challenge with estimated 8.7% diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years.1 Among the top 10 countries in the world, India stands second with 69.2 million people with diabetes and another 36.5 million with prediabetes. 2

A combination of factors such as rapid urbanization, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, tobacco use and increasing life expectancy have led to the rising prevalence of diabetes.

 

Risks for people with Diabetes

Inability to manage diabetes and poor glucose control, puts people at increased risk of health complications and it may even lead to nerve problems, heart diseases, retinopathy and foot ulcers .

Diabetes can be managed by behavioural & lifestyle changes favouring a healthy diet, regular physical activity and proper glucose monitoring.

Since high blood glucose levels do not usually produce any symptoms, monitoring remains a critical component of diabetes management. Successful diabetes management involves various lifestyle changes. Hence, patients, caregivers and doctors need to be equally involved in the decision-making process.

 

My personal experience

I attended an event on Living Fully With Diabetes and how continuous glucose monitoring system help monitor glucose levels effectively. The speaker, Jay Bhanushali, an actor and model and a caregiver to his mom spoke about his first-hand experience.

When Jay shared about his mother’s journey of diabetes, I could relate to it completely as both my parents have diabetes.

As Jay rightly pointed out, last 2 years have been tough for everyone – healthy people as well as people with diabetes. Even simple things like exercise were a challenge as we couldn’t step out of the house. Doing light exercises at home and monitoring glucose levels regularly were even more important then.

Takeaways from the event on Diabetes Management

Being a caregiver to someone with diabetes carries a lot of responsivity. As Jay rightly pointed out – people with diabetes have an emotionally vulnerable side and you have to be cognisant of that and share the load with them.

This is a condition where one needs complete family support. The caregivers need to be involved & engaged in the entire process.

4 things caregivers should keep in mind –

  1. Healthy balanced diet – Healthy eating is the biggest factor in glucose management. Consult with a dietitian on intake of lean protein, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains. An appropriate balance of food is beneficial to manage blood sugar.
  2. Proper monitoring of glucose levels – Regular and proper monitoring of glucose levels is required using a simple yet highly effective continuous glucose monitoring system. For elderly people especially, glucose levels should be checked on a regular basis (before and after meals). It is recommended to share those readings with the doctor for any advice or medication.
  3. Regular exercise helps regulate blood sugar levels Exercise should be incorporated in daily routine as an active lifestyle helps control glucose. Also, indulging in calming activities and relaxation techniques like deep breathing and yoga keep stress at bay.
  4. Prompt action in case of any irregularities in glucose levels It is important to immediately consult a doctor If you observe any changes in your sugar levels or any other symptoms. When you are prone to fluctuating glucose levels, it can be a constant source of concern and stress. In turn, the hormones your body produces in response to prolonged stress may cause a rise in your glucose level. Hence it is important to check for irregularities.

During the event, Jay Bhanushali talked about his choice of glucose monitoring system.

The device Freestyle Libre is comfortable to use because it is prick-free and is a sensor-based glucose monitoring device. A painless 1-second scan gives complete understanding of current glucose levels, trends and patterns.

Freestyle Libre is easy to use even for aging parents which is important as we are not available all the time to help them out. It gives instant glucose readings, trends and real-time insights. This helps make the right choice in terms of diet and exercise plan.

Also, the data accuracy helps immensely with doctor-patient communication. We can share the readings and the report easily  with the doctor. This helps make decisions about the exercise routine, diet plan and to review medication.

Diabetes care and management are very doable when you are constantly monitoring your blood sugar levels, eating nutritious foods and getting adequate exercise. One can aim to live fully with diabetes by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

CTA

Know more about FreeStyle Libre and Continuous Glucose Monitoring. 

You can buy FreeStyle Libre here

References:

  1. https://www.who.int/india/Campaigns/and/events/world-diabetes-day
  2. https://www.nhp.gov.in/overview-of-diabetes-burden_mtl

8 thoughts on “How managing diet and exercise are important for someone with diabetes

  1. The pointers for the care givers are so important. I am a care giver to my mother in law, and we have to ask her to be very particular of her lifestyle and routine to manage diabetes.

  2. Proper diet and exercise are an important part of managing diabetes and with continuous glucose monitoring device it can be so easy to keep an eye on the fluctuating glucose levels. Very informative post!

  3. Diet plays a very important role alogn with staying active for a diabetic. Thank you Prerna for sharing this very insightful information.

  4. Diabetes is surely a growing challenge and it comes with a set of risks. Your tips are very helpful and one must follow them for proper management. It was great to know about the continuous blood glucose monitoring system, I will surely check for my family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *