- Diet regulations are important for managing diabetes initially
- Cut down on refined carbs and consume fibre-rich foods
- Regular exercise is also a part of diabetes management
If you have been newly diagnosed with diabetes, then this article is a must-read for you. There are a lot of do's and don'ts to follow for diabetics. From keeping a check on your diet, to being physically active and constantly monitoring blood sugar levels, diabetics need to follow some basic protocols on an everyday basis to manage their condition. As we have mentioned in numerous of our articles done previously, a healthy lifestyle is the key to successfully managing diabetes, and reversing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes: Tips from expert for people who have been newly-diagnosed with diabetes
According to Dr. Mahesh Chavan, Consultant, Endocrinology, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, a person who has been newly-detected with diabetes, should begin treating the condition by introducing changes in diet and exercise regularly.
"Diabetes treatment does not begin instantly, unless one's blood sugar is over 400 mg/dL" he says.
Diet and exercise tips for diabetes management
Consumption of carbs needs to be reduced, and this is especially important for Indians, whose diet is usually high in carbs. They need to increase their intake of fibre, proteins and healthy fats.
"Eat less but don't starve," Dr Chavan recommends. Stop eating sugar, since it is nothing but empty calories. Eat more of leafy green vegetables, cabbage, pulses, lentils and legumes. "These foods do not result in rapid spike in blood glucose levels," he informs.
According to Dr Chavan, 90% of people with (type 2) diabetes have insulin resistance. This is a condition in which your muscles, fat and liver fail to respond well to insulin. They are unable to use glucose from blood for energy. As a result, pancreas end up making more insulin, causing a rise in blood sugar levels.
Weight loss is important to fight insulin resistance. If you gain weight, the body's fat percentage increases. "This causes insulin resistance, a condition which does not allow the insulin to work properly. It results in high blood sugar, which makes a person feel hungrier, causing weight gain," Dr Chavan says while explaining why weight loss is important for diabetes management. Practicing portion control, consuming a balanced diet, sleeping well, taking less stress, exercising regularly and being physically active can help you achieve this goal.
"Losing 5-10% of weight after diagnosis can help a patient get rid of 50% of tablets for diabetes management," the endocrinologist says.
Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition, in which the blood cells destroy insulin. Patients with type 1 diabetes require insulin for survival.
Blood sugar monitoring
Regular monitoring of blood sugar is an important part of diabetes management. Type 2 diabetics should check your blood sugar at least twice a day.
"If you check your blood sugar every day, it can help you know about frequent fluctuations in blood sugar. Take note of the foods that cause fluctuations in your blood sugar and adjust your diet accordingly."
According to the American Diabetes Association, prepandial or pre-meal blood glucose should be 100-130 mg/dL. Postprandial glucose should be 140-180 mg/dL, informs Dr Chavan.
The range for Hb1Ac should be below 7% for a diabetic person, as per ADA.
Apart from this, avoid sharing glucometer. Wash your hands with a soap before using it. Use a new needle every time, suggests Dr Chavan.
Point to note
Reading of glucometer is going to be slightly different from blood sugar test that is diagnosed in a laboratory. This is because glucometer is adjusted for arterial blood, and the one which is measured in the lab is venous blood. "Readings of glucometer are going to be 15-20% higher than venous blood glucose levels. It is thus to be noted that glucometer is just for monitoring purposes and a visit to the doctor once a month is a must for diabetes patients," says Dr Chavan.
(Dr. Mahesh Chavan, Consultant, Endocrinology, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.