Get The Better Of Diabetes
This increasingly common condition occurs when the body produces too little of the hormone insulin to enable us utilize the sugar (glucose) in the blood. There are two types: Type 1 and Type 2. Whichever type you have, careful attention to balancing diet and activity plays a key role in your long-term health.
Eat To Beat It
The number of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – the kind that tends to develop later in life – is soaring: in the UK the figure has doubled since 1996. For the best chance of avoiding Type 2 diabetes – and to help manage if it you already have the disease – try these simple strategies:
– Eat Breakfast
Starting the day on an empty stomach increases your risk of obesity and insulin resistance. What’s more breakfast eaters are better at saying ‘no’ to fatty and high-calorie foods later in the day.
– Go For Whole Grains
Eating more fiber can improve your blood glucose control. As a bonus, it will also lower your risk of heart disease and help you lose weight by making you feel full. High – fiber foods include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
– Manage Your Carbs
Carbohydrates foods – bread, pasta, potatoes, noodles, rice and cereals – also help you control blood glucose levels, so include some in each meal. Go for foods that are more slowly absorbed (have a lower glycaemic index). Whole – grain varieties are best. Balance your carbohydrate intake at each meal with foods of other types, such as dairy products, fruit, vegetables, and meat or fish.
– Trim The Fat
Reduce the fat in your diet by choosing lean meat, eating less butter, cheese, and cream, and by grilling boiling and steaming instead of frying and roasting.
Some diabetes fear that exercise may upset their blood glucose control. In fact, physical activity combined with a healthy diet and medication will help you to manage your condition and prevent long-term complications, whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. But be sure to get advice before adopting a new exercise regime, especially if you:
– Are on medication
– Are prone to attacks of hypoglycemia
– Have any complications of diabetes ( such as foot or eye problems)
– Have another condition that might affect your capacity for exercise, such as heart or lung disease.
Your family doctor or diabetes specialist will advise you on a sensible approach.
Drink Two Glasses Water
Have around 500 ml (about a pint) of water before you start exercising if you have diabetes. And take water or a glucose drink with you.
Be Safe Alone
If you’re undertaking strenuous activity on you own – jogging alone in open country, say – take a high-carbohydrate snack, your mobile phone and wear a medical tag or bracelet.
Carry On Testing
If you’re on insulin, test yourself before, during and after exercise to find out how activity affects your blood glucose and to make sure it stays within your target rang. And check your blood glucose at intervals for several hours after exercise, especially, if you have Type 1 diabetes. Exercise requires an adjustment in the balance of insulin and carbohydrate intake (less insulin or more carbohydrate, or a combination of these adjustments), both on the day of exercise and for about a day afterwards. You will need to monitor your blood glucose levels carefully in order to make adjustments that work for you.
Eat To Protect Your Baby Form Diabetes
There is plenty of reason for eating healthily while you’re pregnant, but you may not know that a nutritious diet can reduce the risk of your child developing Type 2 diabetes as an adult. Scientists think that poor diet can cause the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas to develop abnormally. Poor nutrition may cause the cells to age prematurely, resulting in increased susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes.
Are You At Risk?
Did you know that there’s a quick and reliable way of developing Type 2 diabetes without visiting your doctor? You can take the Diabetes UK test at diabetes.org.uk/riskscore. You could also take the risk test of the American Diabetes Association at diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetes-risk/.
Here are some of the key factors to take into account. You are most at risk if you:
~Have a close relative (parent, brother or sister) with diabetes
~Are over 35 years old
~Are Asian, African or Caribbean
~Are overweight particularly if you have a large waist
~Had diabetes during pregnancy
~Do little physical activity
~Have high blood pressure or have suffered a heart attack or stroke
~Have polycystic ovary syndrome
If the test results show you to be at risk, you can then assess how important it is to make lifestyle changes to reduce your chances of developing diabetes. You should also consult your doctor for further advice on reducing your risk of this disorder.
Enlist Your Smartphone
Modern technology is on your side. If you have diabetes, there are now a number of smartphone apps that can help you to manage your condition. Among those on the market is the Diabetes UK Track app, which allows you to record blood glucose test results, weight and calorie intake, and to make notes of how you feel and any other factors that affect your blood glucose levels. You can then refer to the stored data at your next medical consultation or even send the information directly to the health professionals in your diabetes care team.
Keep You Feet Happy
People with diabetes are ore likely to get sores or ulcers on their feet. Here’s hot to cut the risk:
~ Trim your toenails straight across, to avoid ingrowing nails.
~ Wash your feet daily in warm water with mild soap, and dry and examine them carefully for sores and broken skin.
~ Moistures after washing to keep the skin supple, especially on the heads.
~ Don’t break blisters, cut corns or calluses or wear corn plasters.
~ Keep the blood flowing to your feet by rotating your ankles clockwise and anticlockwise and wriggling your toes. Repeat at intervals during the day.
~ Wear well-flitting shoes, preferably with socks or tights. If you run or practice a sport, wear appropriate footwear.
~ Don’t go barefoot, especially if you have poor sensation in your feet. On holiday, bear in mind that sound in pavements may be hot. Wear plastic sandals on the beach and in the sea.
~ Ask a relative or close friend to so the ‘Touch the toes test’ on you to assess the sensitivity in your feet. You can find it at www.diabetes.org.uk.
~ Have an annual check-up with a chiropodist or podiatrist.
Beware Of Drug Triggers
Some medication can occasionally interact and create unexpected problems. US scientists trawling through patient databases have found that two common drugs – a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant (paroxetine) and a statin cholesterol-lowering medication (pravastatin) – raise blood glucose levels when taken together, thus increasing the risk of developing diabetes. Neither drug has this effect when given alone. If you are taking both types of drug, ask your doctor whether your medication should to be reconsidered in the light of the information. Do not stop drug treatment have been prescribed, except on medical advice.
You may be surprised to learn that a dose of flu can make your blood glucose more difficult to control. So if you have diabetes, do your best to avoid the illness by having a flu vaccination before the onset pf winter.
Use Your Tape Measure
You are at increased risk of developing diabetes, if your waist circumference is more than 94cm (37in) for men and more than 80cm (31½in) for women. The risk is higher still if your waist size is more than 102cm (40in) for men and more than 88cm (34½in) for women. Measure your waist in this way:
~Find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips, and breathe out naturally.
~Put a tape measure around your waist midway between these points, and then read the measurement shown.
Remote Glucose Checking
Pricking your finger each morning to get a blood glucose reading could become a thing of the past. Technology is currently being developed that will allow people with Type 1 diabetes to check their blood glucose daily at home and then send the results wirelessly to a remote monitoring team, which will spot anything that look amiss. In time, this technology may become more sophisticated. Eventually you may simply wear in an implanted device that can be read with a swipe of a smart phone, and the results transmitted to a base of monitoring.