More than 33% of adults aged 65 and above suffer from diabetes, globally. This is due to the changing lifestyle accompanied by stress, mental and physical exertion. And, now more than ever, diabetes has increased in India with over 50 million people suffering from it. So, if you are one of the diabetics - don’t worry, we’ve got you this article that covers everything you need to know about diabetes along with some natural ways to keep it at bay.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body is unable to properly process glucose (sugar) from food, leading to high blood sugar levels. While it requires medical attention, there are also many things you can do at home to help control your diabetes. In this article, we will discuss some effective strategies for managing diabetes at home.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
Monitoring your blood sugar levels is one of the most important things you can do to control your diabetes at home. This can be done with a glucose meter and test strips. Your doctor can help you determine how often you should check your blood sugar levels and what your target range should be. Generally, it's recommended to check your blood sugar levels before meals and at bedtime.
Follow a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is essential for managing diabetes. It's important to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. Avoid sugary drinks, processed foods, and foods high in saturated and trans fats. Instead, focus on eating foods that are low on the glycemic index, which means they don't cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Examples include:
1. Non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and kale
2. Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and oatmeal
3. Lean protein sources such as fish, chicken, and beans
4. Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil
Stay Physically Active
Physical activity is important for managing diabetes. Regular exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. This can include activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing. You can also incorporate strength training exercises to help build muscle and improve overall fitness.
Take Your Medications as Prescribed
If your doctor has prescribed medications to help control your diabetes, it's important to take them as prescribed. This can include oral medications or insulin injections. It's also important to keep track of when you take your medications and make sure you have a sufficient supply. If you have any questions or concerns about your medications, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise, so it's important to manage stress effectively. This can include practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. You should also try to get plenty of rest and prioritize self-care. Engaging in activities you enjoy, spending time with loved ones, and practicing mindfulness can also help reduce stress.
Smoking can worsen diabetes and increase the risk of complications. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do to manage your diabetes. Talk to your doctor about strategies to help you quit, such as nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medications, or counseling.
Get Regular Check-ups
Regular check-ups with your doctor are important for managing diabetes. This can help detect any complications early and ensure that your treatment plan is working effectively. During check-ups, your doctor may perform a physical exam, check your blood sugar levels, and review your medications and lifestyle habits. They may also recommend certain tests or screenings to monitor your overall health, such as eye exams, kidney function tests, or cholesterol checks.
In conclusion, there are many things you can do at home to help control your diabetes. By monitoring your blood sugar levels, following a healthy diet, staying physically active, taking your medications as prescribed, managing stress, quitting smoking, and getting regular check-ups, you can effectively manage your diabetes and reduce the risk of complications. Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator for more information about managing diabetes at home.