Simple rules diabetic patients need to follow


Guwahati: Worried about your fluctuating levels of blood sugar? Well, don’t be. Here are six pointers from Dr Ganesh Kadhe, associate director, nutrition medical and scientific affairs, Abbott, on how you can gain control over your sugar levels and stay healthy even with a diabetic condition.

Eat right and exercise regularly

Your food choices matter a lot when you’ve got diabetes. Some are better than others. Eat something every 2½ to 3 hours and main meals no longer than four-five hours apart. Eating meals and snacks at consistent times help keep your blood glucose levels within target range. Include low Glycemic index (GI) foods like whole wheat, brown rice, oats, etc. in every meal. Avoid refined cereal products like white bread, noodles, white rice, etc. as they can raise blood sugar levels. Getting regular physical exercise is equally important to maintain normal blood sugar levels. But check your blood sugar levels before and after exercise and avoid exercising if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low.

Control your cholesterol levels

Diabetes tends to lower “good” cholesterol levels and raise triglyceride and “bad” cholesterol levels, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. High cholesterol also leads to a common complication of diabetes known as diabetic dyslipidemia which may result in clogged arteries and coronary complications. Ideally, stay away from a diet high in saturated and trans fats such as fast food – burgers, pizza, fried snacks as these raise your LDL cholesterol.

Check your blood sugar levels regularly

For a diabetic patient, it is the blood sugar levels which reveal whether he/she has either high amounts of blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) in the blood. Both are extremely dangerous. The best way to check your blood sugar levels at regular intervals is to have a glucometer at hand. Get your HbA1C checked twice a year. HbA1C (Hemoglobin A1C) is a simple blood test that measures how well your diabetes is managed over time. It is aimed at measuring your average blood sugar levels and to see if it has stayed within the required range. It is important to get this test done either twice a year or once in three months depending on how well your diabetes is controlled.

Be regular with your medication

Adherence to the prescribed medication at the recommended amount and schedule is important for having a good diabetic control. Missing medication can increase your risk of suffering from several diabetes-related health complications.

Add a diabetes-specific formula

Along with lifestyle modifications and regular exercise, it is advised to add a diabetes-specific formula to your diet plan. Look for a formula that is designed with special ingredients like complex carbohydrates, vitamins and anti-oxidants, to help manage steady release of glucose. Ideally, the formula must be included in your breakfast, lunch or dinner as partial meal replacement in one of your modified meals. It helps to keep blood glucose and weight under control.

Shed those extra pounds

Obesity is one of the most crucial mitigating factors of diabetes. Obesity also causes your cholesterol levels to skyrocket, increasing the chances of heart disease.