Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fighting Off the Glucose Demons - Ways to Deal with Diabetes


My Grandma was an amazing woman. She lived through two world wars, lost her eldest child when he was six, raised three more kids and was widowed quite young. Not surprisingly, she was a tough old bird. She was a talented musician too, playing banjo, mandolin and piano and she made a living as a milliner. She could fashion beautiful hats in a flash out of a few scraps of nothing much. She also had Type 1 diabetes and in an era when there were no computerised gadgets for measuring blood glucose and no automatic insulin delivery devices, she managed her disease via daily self-administered injections, strict adherence to dietary rules and a stoic attitude.

One should always have one's banjo handy, right?

Consequently, I have a soft spot for charities and events that support research and raising awareness of diabetes, and with today being World Diabetes Day, it seemed appropriate to highlight the disease. So I'm pleased to feature the following guest post on dealing with diabetes by the folks at Accu-Check:

As we get older, it’s natural enough that our bodies lose some of their resilience and elasticity. The late night parties and all-nighters might be fine when you’re 20, but by the time you hit middle-age your body will give you hell for a night-out on the town and it is more important than ever to work out and keep your body fit and healthy.

In particular, it’s important to keep strong against the threat of disease – especially the blood-sugar disorder commonly known as diabetes. Here, we share some tips and strategies that can help in the prevention of diabetes, and talk about to manage diabetes if you do have it.

Diabetes Prevention

It’s important for all of you out there to know the difference between the main two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 Diabetes is a form of the disease that is passed down to you genetically, and unfortunately even if you live a healthy lifestyle it’s still possible to inherit it. Type 1 sufferers need to come up with strategies to deal with their condition so that it has a minimal impact on their lives – something we’ll talk about a bit later.

For Type 2 sufferers, the disease can develop as a result of factors like obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption and smoking. Of course, if you can prevent yourself from developing a disease then you should take every possible step to make sure you never get it! So, in general terms, it’s recommended that all non-diabetics take up a fitness regime; only 30 minutes a day should be ample to keep your body active and diabetes free. On top of this, quitting smoking and limiting the amount of alcohol you consume are a must, and if you’re carrying extra weight then shed kilos with a healthy diet and the exercise we talked about.

Doing just these things is enough to ward off diabetes and ensure that your blood-sugar levels remain healthy and normal.

Diabetes Management

As mentioned earlier, Type 1 sufferers sadly have little say in whether they end up with diabetes. However, just because you do suffer from its effects, doesn’t mean you have to allow diabetes to rule your life. For both Type 1 and Type 2 sufferers, there are steps that can be taken to reduce and break down the effects of the disease so you can live a full, enjoyable life.

A key part of managing diabetes for both Type 1 and Type 2 sufferers is to monitor the amount and type of food eaten. If you suffer from diabetes then you should avoid junk energy drinks and other sources of nourishment that are high in sugar but little else. It’s also important you generally eat foods that are healthy and nourishing, as this will help you maintain a healthy weight level that in turn reduces your blood sugar levels.

Exercise is another important part of diabetes management, just as it is for preventing diabetes in the first place. By exercising for 30-minute periods three to four times a week, you will not only lose excess weight but will also lower your blood-sugar levels, reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack and will feel more energized in general.

Finally, going hand in hand with your management strategies it’s also important that you monitor your blood-sugar levels regularly, and base your intake of insulin and other medicines around your findings. Using a device like a blood glucose monitor can help you keep track of your blood-sugar levels, especially in relation to your diet, your exercise patterns and different parts of the day in general.

Remember that all of us can do something either to ward off or manage diabetes, and it’s worth doing so you can live a full and rewarding life! If you’re not sure about diabetes and how it might affect you, it’s best to consult your doctor or physician for more information.

This is a guest post from Accu-chek. Accu-chek’s BloodGlucose Monitors and Blood Glucose Meters help diabetes sufferers monitor their blood sugar in the comfort of their own home.



Magda said...

Great post. Mum is now a Type 2 but doing an exemplary job of managing it. She rarely has a high blood glucose reading these days and has successfully lost about 6-7 kilos. No mean feat when you're in your 70s and the only exercise you do is walking. I also know one of Mitchell's school friends is a Type 1 and boy, is it hard on kids!! So I'm just working hard on remaining diabetes free (40% chance I'll get it because Mum has it) - although wine is still a staple in my diet. A girls gotta have SOME vices LOL.

Kek said...

Good for your mum, Magda! The great thing about Type 2 is that its onset and severity are heavily influenced by lifestyle factors, so we have a much larger degree of control over it than many other diseases.

Hurrah for good food and exercise! And a little wine... ;)

Unknown said...

Your grandma does sound like an amazing woman. So much easier to deal with diabetes these days

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