Living with Diabetes

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Living with Diabetes

Sudha By Dr. Sudha Vashisht

Diabetes is the inability to regulate and maintain blood glucose within a narrow range.  Diabetes is commonly known as ‘sugar’ in the Indian community. I often hear people say ’I have sugar’ and they mean they have a high glucose (sugar) level in their blood.

There are 2 types of diabetes-

Type 1 affects mainly children and requires insulin treatment.

Type 2 affects the older age group, commonly affects people older than 40. However, it is increasingly being seen in teenagers. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with diet, exercise, tablets and insulin.

I will focus on Type 2 diabetes in this article.

Type 2 Diabetes accounts for 90% of all diabetes. There are 3 million people with diagnosed diabetes in the UK, and 850,000 people with undiagnosed diabetes. It is estimated that there will be 5 million people with diabetes by 2025 in the UK.

Diabetes may cause the typical symptoms of thirst, frequent passing of urine tiredness, weight loss, or early diabetes may cause no symptoms. Diabetes is usually diagnosed by doing blood tests.

Most people know diabetes is linked to obesity especially abdominal obesity and a rich diet. It is also more common in Asian people, 5 times more common, and is linked with a sedentary lifestyle. It increases with increasing age.

The complications of diabetes eventually affect every cell, every organ and every function of the body.

Diabetes in pregnancy causes increased risks for the mother and the child. The diabetes may ‘clear’ after delivery of the baby, but the mother is at higher risk of getting diabetes in later life.

How to reduce the risk of getting diabetes

The main way to reduce the risk of diabetes is to never become obese, especially around the stomach area, and to be physically active.  The body mass index BMI is a measure of weight to height and a BMI of more than 25 is classified as overweight. The high calorie diet, high carbohydrate, high fat diet that the modern person eats increases the load on the pancreas and the body cannot maintain the glucose level within a narrow range.

Sedentary lifestyle encourages obesity and hence increases the risk of diabetes.

The increased genetic risk in some families and in Asians, and the fact that diabetes increases with age are factors that cannot be modified.

Diabetes, poorly controlled and well controlled will affect every organ in the body. Poorly controlled diabetes will definitely increase complications early and cause early death.

People can look after their diabetes with a good healthy diet, exercise and medications and feel quite well. After the initial diagnosis and the eagerness to fight diabetes, it is known that people slip into previous habits and the previous lifestyle after about 2 years.  So, it’s really important to keep the momentum going with the diet and exercise routine. Making changes will help you, your family and the next generation. It’s not so easy, especially at celebration times and festivals. There is just too much tasty and tempting food to resist.

In addition to the above, regular yoga and eating bitter Kerala, or taking the juice of Kerala can help diabetes. Ayurveda has a lot of advice about a healthy lifestyle and weight reduction.

If you have diabetes, or are at high risk of getting diabetes, go and measure your weight and your waist circumference and see your doctor. Ask your doctor what your blood glucose result is. Ask him what your HbA1c or IFCC is. If you do not have diabetes your fasting glucose will be below 6 and the IFCC will be below 42. If you have diabetes, monitor what your glucose levels are and what they should be. Check what the IFCC is at every visit at the GP.

Things to do

Keep a good diet and exercise regime.

Know your weight and waist circumference.

Do not smoke

Get your blood pressure checked.

Get your cholesterol levels checked and know what they are.

Alcohol has a lot of empty calories.

There is a lot more to learn about and write about diabetes.There are many resources that give information about diabetes.

www.nhs.uk has a lot of information and advice about diabetes.

www.diabetes.org.uk is a really good website, where you can work out your risk of diabetes. It is a must join for diabetics and those at risk of getting diabetes.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is one of the most important articles for affected members of our community
    The GP system here appears to catch the sugar level just around it’s on the borderline so not helping Our diet is not good either
    also it is said that Statin drugs also increases the rate Let’s all work together and pass on going down d solutions to reduce weight and recipes for a balanced food

  2. Yes! before 15th years ago, I am suffering from Diabetes (Sugar). At that time, I became puzzle and asked to many personalities doctors and relative how to remove Sugar. I discuss many times and decided to follow the point. So, I am following some routine to maintain my good health.
    1) After getting up around 4:30 to 5:30 am one should remove the pillow and rest the head without a pillow and after relaxing the body draw in deep air filling up your stomach and exhale it through the mouth. Then draw in air slowly into the lungs and slowly exhale it. Then one must inhale air through nose to the brain and exhale through mouth. This process of drawing air into the stomach, lungs and brain (again and again) must be carried out for 20 minutes. When drawing the air to lungs and stomach if one remembers ‘OM’ word slowly then it is called ‘Pranayam’ like Yoga (process of restraining breath). If the body receives adequate amount of oxygen it cures the possible illness.
    2) Then one must cross the legs under and then move left and right hands up and down for 50 times.3) After the process of drawing and exhaling air for 20 minutes one must sit up right posture. Both the hands must be placed on either of the knees and for five minutes one must slowly draw air from the nose and exhale through nose.

    4) Then in the same posture (with legs under crossed under the bottom) one must place both his hands behind the neck and interlock the fingers and join at the front both the elbows. Then one should breathe out slowly while simultaneously placing both the elbows on the floor and draw it back as far as possible by breathing in slowly and again breathe out and stand on the elbows by placing it on the floor once more. Although beginners may find it hard to join the elbows, it will join in 5-6 days’ regular practice. This process must be followed for five times. This exercise helps to keep the body in balance and keep all body parts alert. 5) A sugar patient must spread both legs and try to touch the left toe with the right hand and the right toe with the left hand. Then in similar way the person must place his hands at the part of the body right above near backside. This should be done for 150 times. Then one should lie down again and take two deep breaths in chest through the nose pushing air to lungs and exhale it slowly and get up. In this way the oxygen reaches and dissolves in the pancreas. The exercise helps to control the blood sugar.

    Just after getting up, whether or not you are a sugar patient, you should jerk (like trembling) your body up and down for five minutes. Those suffered of high blood pressure must shake the body more than those with sugar problem. This helps to decrease your fat and uric acid. After ‘Pranayam’ pancreas produces more juice and it becomes smooth, which helps to keep you relaxed all the day. ‘Pranayam’ must be done slowly without exhausting your body. A patient must also take the medicine prescribed by the doctor on regular basis. Then one must hold both the hands out and imitate running for 70-90 times. If someone has an ache in thigh then the person must spread out his legs and jump as if playing with a rope for 20-50 times. Uric acid patient must chew and digest leaves or roots of ‘Ghodthapre’(a kind of plant used in medicine). Our body needs plenty of water. If the life is healthy and we will free from diseases, there is no difference between the olds and young. After an exercise the body becomes juicy. Gradually, gastritis is cured and ulcer can’t be developed. After ‘Pranayam’ drinking the water (warm or cold) is obligatory. Water is vital for all life forms. It is foremost and essential component of human life. After the exercise we must drink a big glass of water, at least half of a liter. Only then we ought to go to rest room. Person suffering of constipation must shut his mouth tight. Then the lung starts to swell with water. One cannot spit in such condition. The water that we get in the lung must be slathered. The hands must be straightened and joined. Then our stomach will also be cleared.

    The exercise is also a form of devotion. Every person is created with a purpose and a direction. This purpose and direction were engraved in our hearts when we were conceived. In addition, we are given access to a quiet guidance system which helps us to achieve our objectives and direction. We need to recognize this guidance system. Its called intuition, the quiet voice, urges the knowing or the feeling. Once we locate our purpose and direction, we are given skills, talents and abilities that are unique to only ourselves. We must practice daily such type of exercise –meditation. The people belonging to all religions can exercise it in the name of their Gods, keeping in mind ‘The Creator’, the one and only one, who created the whole universe and us. So, it is our first duty to keep our mind and body healthy.

    We must be aware of what we eat and drink. Honey is elixir. If we eat honey and ghee in equal proportion it becomes poison. So we must not consume the foods detrimental to health. People take whisky and rice beer by knowing the quantity they can consume, when they are healthy. To drink too much will be very dangerous, even a healthy person becomes sick. It is like the saying, ‘too much of anything is bad’. However, the patients of uric acid, rheumatism, sugar should not drink beer and whisky. It is best not to drink alcohol. Those with fat body must after ‘Pranayam’ take in lemon water. ‘Lemon (Citrus) is a miraculous product to kill cancer cells. It is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy. It is considered also as an anti microbial spectrum against bacterial infections and fungi, effective against internal parasites and worms, it regulates blood pressure which is too high and an antidepressant, combats stress and nervous disorders.’-(Zee Beach, Institute of Health Sciences, 819 N. L.L.C. Charles Street Baltimore)
    Fat people must avoid consumption of banana, sweets and ghee. Its better they can carry out fasting. Foods with fibrous substance as in vegetables and fruits are best for health. Dry rice, bread, fibrous vegetable and milk will be appropriate for relief of gastritis. If a person maintains a balanced diet coupled with regular exercise then the person has a natural defense against illness. To take oily foods once in a while is not bad. Consumption of oily foods, for they are tastier, would not be good. We should never forget the proverb- ‘Money is lost nothing is lost, character is lost something is lost but heath is lost everything is lost.’
    Thank you!
    Dirgha Raj Prasai
    Kathmandu

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