A condition like diabetes can be prevented in its tracks if you are cautious about a few things in life, mainly your diet and physical activity. If you still have to live with this condition, know that there are ways to lessen the chances of complications due to diabetes. Experts and healthcare professionals have reinstated the importance of lifestyle modifications in diabetes management and care. Simple changes in your lifestyle like making the right diet choice and spending at least 30 minutes doing a physical activity can add years to your life and do the trick.
While it all sounds so simple, yet people find it difficult to bring in these positive changes. The reason: Lifestyle modification means changing certain habits that become a part of you. Imagine, when it takes so much time for us to adjust to a new toothpaste, changing habits overnight could be challenging. But it is definitely doable. Small steps, changing one habit at a time and setting sustainable goals can help.
Prevention & Reversal Of Diabetes: Why Is It Important?
Dr. Arbinder Singal, MBBS (Gold Medalist), DNB, M. Ch (AIIMS, Gold Medalist), CEO & Cofounder, Fitterfly says, “If you have been diagnosed with diabetes in the initial years (like within the first five years after being affected), your chances of reversal are pretty high, which means you can get your blood sugar readings within the normal range. However, if you aren’t able to reverse the condition, proper care and management can help you lower your medications and live a complication-free life.”
“The new-age diabetes management has taken a paradigm shift. It is not only about replacing your white rice with brown rice or just taking five laps of walks in the nearest nana-nani park, there is more to it. A prevention plan needs a scientific approach with sustainable goals,” adds Dr. Arbinder Singal.
Here are 5 new-age ways of preventing diabetes that you didn’t know about:
Knowing Your Personal Glycemic Response (PGR)
Personal glycemic response is the way your body reacts to different foods in other words how your blood sugars raise after you consume a certain food. Every person reacts differently to the foods they eat. In fact, no two persons will have the same glycemic response to the same food. So, if two people living with diabetes eat a bowl of rice, their blood sugar readings postprandial will never be the same. Knowing one’s personal glycemic index helps to tweak the diet and food patterns in people with diabetes to get the best outcomes and keep blood sugars in control.
Controlling Your Risk Factors
There are certain factors or conditions that can make you prone to type 2 diabetes - gene, age, body composition, hormonal issues - but you can take charge of your health with the right kind of care and management. For instance, women with PCOS can be at a risk of type 2 diabetes due to insulin resistance and vice versa. Controlling hormonal issues can prevent the progression of diabetes.
Apart from PCOS, obesity is also a factor that you need to consider. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. But crash dieting or drastic weight loss is not an answer to this problem. Remember you need to lose weight in a methodical and scientific manner and keep it off too. The amount of fat loss that you undergo should also help you attain certain criterias to reduce your risk of diabetes, like, help you achieve a healthy BMI of 23 (ideal for Indians) and your waist circumference should be less than 35 inches (40 inches for men). If you can control these risk factors, you can also reduce your dosage of medications and keep your blood sugars well in control.
There is evidence that late night sleep and irregular sleep can lead to prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes if left untreated. This is one reason why correcting sleep habits is also important and needs attention. Excessive screen time at night can affect sleep quality, and studies have shown that people with poor sleep quality are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes with the progression of time. So, prioritise your 8 hours of shut-eye.
Staying happy, calm and positive is crucial in diabetes care and management. Did anyone tell you this before? Remember, stress and anxiety can make your blood sugar levels sore due to various reasons - it can lead to emotional eating, hormonal changes, disturb sleep cycles - all of these can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This is why keeping a tab on your mental well-being is as important as diet changes and exercise.
DTx For Diabetes Care
One way to manage diabetes (spices to manage blood sugar levels) better is to try digital therapeutics, the promise of this line of treatment is scientifically validated interventions with proven clinical outcomes. People who are on DTx programs for diabetes, have often shown better results in managing the condition. Like lowering HbA1c by 1% or more within 3 months, complying with doctor’s therapy and advice. DTx gives one the support and motivation needed between doctor's appointments to stay on track with therapy.
Since DTx is highly data driven and a personalised form of therapy it helps one to get diet solutions and exercise plans that are compatible with one’s personality and body composition. The data on PGR helps to make sustainable diet changes and also correct micronutrient deficiencies for better immunity and metabolic health. DTx gives you a better understanding of your own body that helps you to take control of your health and blood sugars too.
Some DTx programs also promise a holistic approach for patients where a team of specialists, including - a nutritionist, a certified physiotherapist and a clinical psychologist, help achieve individual health goals with tailor-made diet and exercise plans according to one’s needs. In addition, regular counselling helps to be motivated enough to stay on the course of the treatment.