Diabetes is a common disease in India so much so that it has the second-highest caseload with 77 million cases following China’s 116 million. One in six diabetics worldwide is from India. With such a high number of people suffering from diabetes, proper information is needed about it. Diabetes isn’t just one disease but has many types, with type-1 and type-2 diabetes being the most common. The disease is characterized by high glucose levels in the blood. Hence, along with treatment, its management is also crucial. So, how can a diabetic manage his/her blood glucose level? To get an answer to this question, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr Jothydev Kesavadev, Chairman & Managing Director, Jothydev's Diabetes Research Centres.
Blood Glucose Level Among Diabetes
A person is a diabetic if his/her blood sugar level is 200 mg/dL or above. It is the case when blood sugar is tested at any time of the day, meaning the patient isn’t fasting. In both type-1 and type-2 diabetes, the blood sugar level of the person is higher than normal. However, the reasons are different.
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Insulin is the hormone responsible for glucose entering our cells for energy. This hormone is produced in the pancreas.
- In those suffering from type-1 diabetes, their pancreas produces very little or no insulin.
- Hence, glucose cannot enter the cells, thus leading to its build-up in the bloodstream, which can lead to several complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis.
- There is no known way to prevent type-1 diabetes.
- Everyone suffering from it has to use an insulin shot for controlling blood glucose levels.
- Other than that, they have to pay proper attention to their nutrition and overall fitness to prevent sugar levels from shooting up.
It is probably the most common kind of diabetes. Lifestyle and hereditary are the contributing factors behind it.
- Unlike type-1 diabetes, the pancreas of those with type-2 diabetes produces insulin.
- However, due to insulin resistance, glucose cannot enter their cells resulting in glucose build-up in the bloodstream.
- Both type-1 and type-2 diabetes are serious diseases and their proper treatment and management are crucial.
How To Keep A Check On Glucose Level
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As you saw, diabetes is characterised by above than normal blood glucose levels in the bloodstream. Hence, apart from getting proper treatment, keeping a check on your glucose levels is also important. Here are some ways you do that as recommended by Dr Kesavadev:
Getting proper and enough workout is crucial for diabetes management
- The American Diabetes Association recommends 30 minutes daily workout for those suffering from diabetes.
- Incorporate both cardiovascular exercises and strength training in your workout regime.
- It not only ensures glucose management but also stronger bones and muscles.
- So, join a gym, or do home workouts with the help of numerous apps and tools available on the internet.
Diabetics must pay keen focus on their diet.
- Planning your meals always helps in ensuring that you are eating right.
- There are several meal planner apps available that help you keep a check on your dietary intake.
- Remember, regular and timely meals help keep glucose levels stable. It prevents overeating and helps you make healthier choices.
Monitoring your glucose level at regular intervals can help you and your doctor know that diabetes is being managed well. Several wearable devices are available in the market that provides real-time glucose readings. With technological advancements, these devices are made such that they are water-resistant and continue monitoring even while the patient is asleep.
Also read: COVID Infection May Increase Diabetes Risk Among Kids: US CDC Study
Many make a distinction between physical and mental without realising the impact one has on the other. Remember type-2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, hence stress management is crucial. Hence, incorporate activities in your daily life that help you manage stress. It could be anything, from yoga, meditation to a long walk, anything that helps you beat the stress.
Living with diabetes isn’t free of challenges. However, by incorporating certain activities in your life and having a healthy lifestyle, you can win over it and manage the disease effectively.
(With inputs from Dr Jothydev Kesavadev, Chairman & Managing Director, Jothydev's Diabetes Research Centres)