LETTER D- DIABETES AWARENESS

“Yes, I am diabetic. No, it’s not because I ate too many sweets.”

This sentence might be on a loop for most with diabetes. Often the presence of sweet tooth makes one feel the risk of diabetes. This is true to some extent but what we often miss out is the ratio of the amount of sugar consumed to that used! An active lifestyle with a proper amount of exercise is the key to prevent this condition.

Being aware of the facts and figures may ring an alarm but builds a step for taking corrective measures.

It is very surprising that one of every four diabetics do not even know that they have it.

There are three major types of the disease:

1.Type 1-known as Insulin-dependent diabetes or Juvenile-onset diabetes because it often occurs during childhood. It is autoimmune in nature, so body attacks its own pancreas and Insulin is not produced as per requirement.

2.Type 2- It is the most common form of diabetes with nearly 85% of total diabetic cases. It is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In this, the pancreas usually produces some insulin, but either the quantity is less or there is a development of resistance by the body cells. Insulin resistance or in other words lack of sensitivity to insulin, occurs mainly in fat, liver, and muscle cells.

3.Gestational diabetes( high blood sugar during pregnancy) It is often diagnosed in middle or late pregnancy. It is very important to control it as high blood sugar levels in  mother are circulated through the placenta to the child which in turn can hamper the baby’s development. This type of diabetes usually resolves itself after pregnancy but it is a warning sign of developing diabetes later. Nearly 26% of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes.

Check out your chances of having diabetes- Risk factors(Ignoring the possibility of having diabetes will only be short time peace of mind, checking it and acting on it early can prove life-saving):

I.Obesity: one of the leading causes of diabetes is being overweight/obese.

II.Family History: This is particularly more important in type 1 diabetes. Those who have both parents and siblings diagnosed with it should regularly examine themselves.

The positive point to note here is that though there is potential to develop diabetes, with correct exercises and proper lifestyle changes one can prevent it or at least delay the onset.

III.Age: Above 45 for men and 40 for women, the risks increase. 

IV.Sedentary lifestyle: Exercising less than three times a week increases the chances.

V.Impaired glucose tolerance: Blood test can determine this and if found in the Pre-diabetic range there are strong chances of developing type 2 Diabetes.

VI. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS) :Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome have a greater risk.

Importance of daily exercise in diabetics:

Research shows that the risk of developing major illness can cut down by 60% and of early death by 30% with regular exercise.

According to the American Diabetic Association -Exercise benefits people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes by helping manage weight, by improving blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity and most importantly keeping the heart healthy. 

 

According to International Guidelines, there are some exercise precautions which people with diabetes must take:

*Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to stay well-hydrated.

*It is advisable to check your blood sugar with your glucose meter before and after exercise to make sure you are in a safe range.

*For blood sugar level : < 5.5 mmols/l or 100 mg/dl prior to exercise-A carbohydrate snack before the commencement of exercise is advised.

*For blood sugar level: > 5.5 mmols/l or 100 mg/dl before exercise-It may not be mandatory to take a carbohydrate snack before a light exercise session, but there may be a need of extra carbohydrates during or following the exercise.

*For High Intensity or long duration exercise sessions: plan extra carbohydrate snacks during the activity. Additional carbohydrates is suggested each 30 to 60 minutes of exercise

*Always keep fast acting carbohydrate food ready if any symptoms of low blood sugar develops

*Wear a form of ID, which identifies you as having diabetes, particularly if you are exercising alone so that others may help you appropriately in the event something unexpected happens.

Expert Physiotherapists are well versed with the specialized exercise planning for diabetes of all categories and also suggest over important lifestyle changes according to individual requirements. Remember taking professional help is better to manage this condition and solving all queries and myths.