- Treatment of Diabetes
- Diabetic Diet
The good news is that everybody with diabetes can lead a normal active life. The secret is to learn how to manage the condition, so it stops managing you. Below are important guidelines to implementing the four–point plan to a healthy lifestyle.
- A balanced diet
- Physical exercise
- Medical advice
- Social life
Whether you have diabetes or not, you should eat healthily and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, and limit diabetes–related complications for those who already have the condition.
Therefore, depending on your condition, a healthy lifestyle can be achieved by following the four point plan or the four point plan + medication (insulin, tablets, or both)
A balanced diet
A well–balanced, healthy eating plan is the cornerstone of good blood sugar control for all people with diabetes. Whether you are being treated with insulin or tablets, you still need to follow a sensible eating plan.
The so–called “Diabetic diet” is not in fact a diet, but rather a healthy eating plan ideal for the whole family. Eating healthily not only helps to control blood sugar levels (thus also delaying the onset of diabetes–related complications), but also helps to maintain body weight and prevent heart disease.
The old saying ‘You are what you eat’ is exactly right. Your blood sugar levels are affected by everything you eat. Wise food choices are the key to a healthy life and prevention of illness.
The majority of adults and an increasingly high number of children are leading an overly inactive lifestyle. Although fitness is fashionable in developed countries, we are still becoming less and less active. Physical activity is vital for everyone. Exercise helps improve fitness, burn calories and thus reduce body fat, and increase muscle tone. Physical activity is key to good health.
For people with diabetes, exercise lowers blood sugar and, like insulin, also helps your body use its blood sugar efficiently. Exercise may also help insulin to work better. A person with diabetes will experience the same benefits and enjoyment from exercise as everyone else. Such benefits include weight control and psychological wellbeing.
Insulin lowers blood sugar levels and is essential for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, when the body cannot make its own insulin. People with type 1 diabetes require multiple daily insulin injections for survival. Their daily life includes regular blood monitoring to check the level of sugar in the blood. People with type 1 diabetes need to make provisions for this when planning and taking control of their lives. This may mean setting time aside during an activity to stop and take an accurate blood sugar reading and if necessary administer the correct dose of insulin.
In type 2 diabetes some insulin is produced by the body, but not enough to satisfy it’s needs. People with type 2 diabetes may require oral hypoglycaemic drugs to lower blood sugar and some may need insulin injections (up to 30% of people with type 2 diabetes may use insulin injections some or all of the time to control their condition).
The important thing here is to make sure you receive the proper advice that is appropriate to your condition and incorporate the necessary adjustments into your life. That way you are the one in control.
Having a social life is a necessary part to any healthy lifestyle, yet it is hardly ever mentioned in any guidelines for the control of diabetes. A healthy social life, taking time out to relax with your friends and family is both vital in reducing our stress levels, thus reducing a factor in the development of diabetes, and helps people with diabetes to take control of their condition. Having to take extra care or yourself and administer medication does not mean that you cannot have a healthy social life.
It is still possible to enjoy a party or celebration while maintaining a balanced diet. The guidelines to healthy food are advisable for anyone and eating this way does not have to be boring. Exercise can also be a part of your social life. Going for a walk with friends or family, or registering with a friend to join a local sports club can make exercise a lot of fun and a great opportunity to feel better in both body and mind.
Source: International Diabetes Federation