During the last few decades, an increasing number of Indians have fallen victim to the dangers of diabetes. The disease affects 7.42 crore adults and accounts for 6.48 lakh deaths in the country every year. This high prevalence can be attributed to a combination of genetic, physiological, behavioral, or environmental factors. However, the start of the pandemic resulted in an increase in the number of people who became prone to the disease. This has drawn increased attention to diabetes control.
According to the 2019-21 National Family Health Survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a notable increase in the number of adults suffering from obesity, hyperglycemia, and hypertension was observed. The survey revealed that 15.6 percent of men and 13.5 percent of women surveyed across the country had high blood sugar levels.
What happens when diabetes is not well controlled?
Diabetes can be a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (such as heart attacks and heart failure), the leading cause of premature death in the country. A person with diabetes is also at increased risk of complications affecting the liver, kidneys, eyes, feet, intestines, brain, and
virtually every part of the body, as it can damage blood vessels and nerves.
It is essential to understand that managing diabetes requires a sustained commitment to healthy living, constant motivation, and constant perseverance. One can control diabetes by taking the following measures, popularly known as the ABCDE rule:
A: A1c monitoring (hemoglobin A1c is an indicator of blood sugar levels)
B: blood pressure control
C: cholesterol control
D: diet control
While living with diabetes, it’s common to feel overwhelmed and adhere to these measures over time.
These three diabetes management tips can help you overcome these challenges:
1. Undergo regular health checks and adhere to the prescribed medication schedule
Regular health checkups are crucial for diabetes patients. Control of blood pressure, blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, etc. at regular intervals is essential, as it can help your doctor monitor your progress, understand how your body is responding to specific treatments or medications, and modify your treatment plan when necessary. Additionally, with easier access to self-care, consistent monitoring of blood pressure and blood glucose levels through home monitoring can also be helpful. Not only can this practice help assess the risk of further complications, it also helps patients stay motivated and proactive in their journey.
2. Eat healthy
Ensuring a nutritious diet is an integral aspect of maintaining blood glucose levels. Patients must:
* Eat fiber-rich foods like green vegetables, cucumbers and carrots
* Limit consumption of table salt and sugar
* Avoid packaged foods, fried foods, sugary drinks and sodas
* Oils containing unsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as mustard or sunflower oil, should be consumed.
* Eat brown rice instead of white rice
* Restrict the consumption of alcohol, red meat and tobacco
3. Stay physically active
Lack of physical activity is one of the main factors that can increase the risk of diabetes. To control a metabolic condition such as diabetes, sufficient physical activity and exercise are essential to ensure good health. It is strongly recommended that patients with diabetes perform daily physical exercises.
activity for at least 60 minutes. This could include:
* 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity
* 10-15 minutes of muscle strengthening exercise
* At least 45 minutes of brisk walking
While staying physically active is imperative, sudden onset or increase in physical activity or high-intensity exercise should be avoided. Decisions about the appropriate exercise regimen should be made in consultation with your doctor, as each patient has unique health priorities.
Holistic diabetes management is the key
Good diabetes care is not just about following a special diet, following a specific exercise regimen, or simply taking medication. Optimal diabetes care is the sum total of all these measures sustained over the long term. A holistic approach to diabetes care includes addressing the risk of complications, adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting regular medical checkups.