How to Deal with Diabetes?

By  , Expert Content
Sep 13, 2011

Diabetes is characterised by an abnormal increase in blood sugar or glucose levels. Glucose is the type of simple sugar that the cells use for energy. The three main types of diabetes are:

Increase in blood sugar in diabetes is caused due to either high or low rate of insulin secretion or improper use of insulin in the body. Type 2 diabetes is the commonest type of diabetes and it can lead to several complications such as kidney disease, eye disease, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes ulcer and heart attack. The risks of complications are decreased in people with well controlled blood sugar. Read to know how to deal with diabetes.


Lifestyle changes: Healthy lifestyle changes are recommended in people with diabetes. These should be followed along with your medications as well, as they increase the efficacy of medications and improve blood sugar control. Life style changes needed in a person with diabetes include:

  • Be at a healthy weight: If you are obese or overweight, aim to reduce your weight and achieve a BMI of < 24.9 kg/m2 (body mass index 18.5–24.9 kg/m2 is considered normal). It can significantly reduce insulin resistance, improve blood glucose control and increase the efficacy of medications.
  • Eat healthy: Include fruits and vegetables, whole grain food products (brown rice rather than white rice and whole-grain bread instead of white bread) and low fat dairy products in your diet. A person with diabetes should prefer foods with complex carbohydrates, foods with low glycemic index and avoid food with simple sugars. Avoid processed foods, food high in fats (saturated and total fat) and salt (reduce dietary intake of sodium). Foods with low glycemic index such as whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables and pulses  cause slow rise in blood sugar.
  • Exercise regularly: Sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and increase in blood cholesterol levels. Regular physical activity or exercise for about 30 minutes every day can help to decrease insulin resistance, reduce weight and also improve blood sugar control. Pick up any exercise regime you like and can do on a regular basis.


Medications: Most people with diabetes need medications to control blood sugar levels in addition to lifestyle changes. Your doctor may prescribe oral hypoglycaemic drugs or insulin to control blood sugar. It is advisable to take your medications as prescribed. Even if your blood sugar readings become normal do not stop taking your medications. Take all your medications regularly and do not make changes without consulting your doctor.


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