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Home > How to Manage Diabetes

How to Manage Your Diabetes

Manage diabetes
Careful monitoring of blood sugar level; once a day or many times a week is important. You can carry out self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) using a glucometer. Various types are available and "The latest amongst glucometers is the one without a code. Generally, each glucometer has its own test strips. The test strip has a code and before using any test strip the glucometer must be set to the correct code. If your code number is faulty, the machine gives erroneous results. There's another one which is integrated with a disc in the machine. Replacing the disk can be expensive", informs Dr Saifuddin Bandukwala, consultant physician and diabetologist. Some of you may be able to manage type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise alone but others may need medications or insulin therapy. Your doctor is one person to decide what is best for you. Metformin or other oral or injected medications can help lower glucose production.

Latest designer insulin needles and syringes such as an insulin pen injector are now available to inject insulin. The process is painfree and is simple and easy. Insulin pump is another option. It is to be worn on the on the abdomen, lower back, thighs or upper arms. There are many types available and these are programmed to dispense specific amounts of insulin automatically. "You also can get an insulin buccal spray. As you spray in your mouth, insulin gets absorbed. This spray costs around Rs.2000" adds Dr. Bandukwala. You have many types of insulin options too. These include long-acting insulin, rapid-acting insulin and also the intermediate ones. Your doctor may prescribe the one that is suitable to you.

Workout your meal plan
If you have diabetes you must try and keep your sugar level as normal as possible. Remember, what and how much you eat would affect your blood sugar level; it can go high one to two hours after a meal. "It is best to avoid simple carbohydrates such as sugar, honey or jaggery", stresses Anar Shah, nutritionist and manager, Fitness Wellspring Centre, Mumbai. "Eating frequent small meals comprising of low fat diet is the best", she adds.

Research suggests eating foods with low glycaemic index (GI) preferably less than a GI value 55. This is because these foods raise your blood sugar levels quickly. According to Ms Shah, foods high in fibre and with low GI index as in unrefined cereals, green leafy vegetables, pulses and certain pulpy fruits are good for those with diabetes.

Be physically active
  • Check your blood sugar before you begin on any exercise program because physical activity lowers blood sugar. You might need to eat a snack before exercising.

  • It is important to make exercise a part of your daily routine; at least 30 minutes every day, say experts. "Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, swimming cycling etc with moderate intensity for 20 minutes for about three sessions in a week would be sufficient", avers Ms Shah. A combination of aerobic exercise with stretching exercises works well in controlling blood sugar levels.
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