My first close experience with a diabetic patient was with my late 85 year old uncle. Though late last year, his last ten years on earth was lived with a diabetes condition and with the help of taking his medications regularly, and eating the right foods and exercise he was able to live his normal life, without any form of complications until the very end.
Diabetes Mellitus is any of a group of metabolic diseases whereby it is causing a person to have high blood sugar due to an inability to produce sufficient quantities of the hormone insulin.
It causes can be due to overweight, insulin resistance, obesity, genes and family history, hormonal diseases or even lack of physical inactivity.
Though this health condition has no cure but can be considerably controlled by a person suffering from it by tailoring food, diet and exercise in such a way that the person can avoid many health complications associated with diabetes and still live a normal life.
What role can diet play in controlling diabetes?
The focus is to reduce high blood sugar levels, so the important thing is to focus on foods that help regulate blood sugar level to be adequate and cut out those foods that will make blood sugar rise.
And for this a person suffering from diabetes will have to;
√ Reduce salt intake,
√ eat more vegetables and fruits
√ cutdown on processing and red meat.
√ cut down on added sugar
√ cut down on carbohydrates and only choose a healthier carbohydrate.
Personally, these are things I pay attention to when cooking for my family. As I believe that eating right can avoid ones running the risk of diabetes in the first place. In fact one of the things I learnt from my late uncle diabetic condition is that eating healthy and tailoring our food according to the list above can prevent one from running the risk of diabetes in the first place and ever since then I took it very seriously to watch what I eat. I can still hear my late uncle's voice, echoing in my ear, about how he wishes he took his diet seriously at his early age and always warned me about the danger of not learning from his experience.
Another area someone with this health condition should pay great attention to is exercise. A proper diet and exercise can play a great role in managing diabetes and its health complications.
So, Secondly will be to incorporate some safe regular exercise in their routine. As exercise helps to get rid of too much sugar in the blood.
Try to get involved in at least 20-25 minutes of moderate physical activities in a day of which two of these in a Week should include activities to work all the major muscle groups such as the arms, chest, legs, back, hips, and shoulders. Because exercising in these areas will use up sugar stored in those muscles, burn it as fuel hereby lowering the sugar level.
These can be taking a walk, cycling, dancing, housework etc. Find out which ones you love to do, and do it regularly. You can start little and gradually increase the activities.
Personally, I believe that food and adequate exercise are things that when done right will not only save one from a lot of health problems. But also can help manage a lot of health problems. Which is no different in the case of diabetes.
Though diabetes does not have a cure but with adequate and continuous effort it can be managed from causing more health complications and a person with diabetes will still live a normal life.
This is my entry into this week's med-hive weekly discussion which can be found here
Answering the Question; The role of diet and exercise in preventing and managing diabetes complications