· By Chiru Roy
How to live long and healthy with Diabetes
India ranks second in the world in the number of diabetics. Data shows that diabetes affects nearly 62 million Indians which is more than 7.1% of the adult population. Almost 1 million die every year due to diabetes. While the average age for onset was once over 40 years of age, the trend has now begun to change. Why? It can be attributed mainly to lifestyle and stress. But fret not diabetes is a manageable illness. With some important changes, it can be managed and one can live a healthy, long life.
Eat healthy, eat right Your diet plays an important role in diabetes because what you eat affects your blood sugar. Choose foods that will not increase it. Small changes go a long way. E.g. replace wheat flour with jowar. Jowar has more fiber and protein that can benefit a diabetic. Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, limit the intake of foods that are high in sugar and fat. Remember carbohydrates turn into sugar. So, watch your carbohydrate intake. Eat small portions more frequently.
Exercise An active lifestyle can help control your diabetes by bringing down blood sugar. Engage in 30 minutes of any activity that will make you sweat or breathe harder. It need not be working out in a gym. Your exercise could be as simple as walking, cycling or swimming. Also, one can choose to practice Yoga. Yoga helps to reduce stress levels which in turn helps in keeping your diabetes in check. Like any other form of exercise, one needs to be a consistent yoga practitioner to reap its benefits. There are yoga postures that help different ailments which you can learn from a certified yoga practitioner.
Manage Stress Stress can increase blood sugar levels. Jobs today are demanding and stressful not to mention the odd working hours. Diets and exercise go on a “sleep mode” when people are stressed. Despite the odd job demands it is important to keep control on your diet and ensure that there is time for exercise every single day. As mentioned earlier yoga is a great way to manage stress. Also pursuing a hobby could help in stress management.
Stop Smoking Diabetes increases your risk to many other ailments like heart disease, eye problems, kidney issues, foot problems. If you are a smoker you only hasten the process of acquiring these diseases. Don’t forget even without being a diabetic, smoking comes with its own bag of negatives. Quitting can be difficult but if you are determined and with help, it is possible to quit smoking.
Control your Alcohol Alcohol can make your blood sugar go too high or too low. Hence going overboard with alcohol is never recommended for diabetics. The American Diabetic Association recommends one drink for diabetic women and only two for diabetic men. It is safer to have alcohol with your meals.
Get Check-ups done regularly Meet your doctor regularly and do not neglect your tests. It is common that many continue the same set of medicines for years together. Medicines prescribed at the onset of diabetes may not be applicable to your condition a few years later. So, meet your doctor and let him/her review your condition regularly. As mentioned earlier a diabetic is at risk for many other ailments. It is important to get tests done for these too at regular intervals. Follow these guidelines and make them your way of life. You will surely be able to manage your diabetes well and lead a healthy life. Along with all this one also has another choice for controlling diabetes- Ayurveda. Ayurveda also looks at treating diabetes holistically. So, while Ayurveda does prescribe suitable medicines it also recommends lifestyle changes as those mentioned above. Ayurvedic treatments include more of natural remedies like
- Including bitter gourd juice and fenugreek seeds in your diet
- Including gooseberry, turmeric and cinnamon powder
- Using jamun seed powder
Gudmar: The literal translation of the word is the destroyer of sweet Gud- jaggery or sweet, Mar- to destroy. This herb temporarily eliminates the desire for sweet in taste buds, stimulate the production of insulin and lowers sugar levels in blood and urine.
Triphala: The Triphala Churanam reduces the cellular resistance to the uptake of insulin and helps in a proper use of insulin in the cells. These herbs should be taken in particular dosages which will be best recommended by your Ayurvedic doctor. Alternatively, you could also consult the doctors at Vedi herbals by filling this questionnaire. Life is not over because you have diabetes. One only needs to be determined and disciplined to manage it!