Feel the renewed freshness and flow of energy of life- managing diabetes type 2, the disease that rots many of your vital organs over the years has made your life painful.
Diabetes Type 2 is a non-communicable disease characterized by high blood sugar. It breeds other complex conditions and stands as the root cause of
- high blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Severely impaired nervous system
- Cardio Vascular Disease
- Impaired vision leading to blindness
- Loss of hearing
- Foot ulcer
If high blood sugar is not managed correctly, patients having these complex issues will end up in the hospital. The treatment cost is enormous. Besides that, many people suffer from severely impaired living. Current Statistics show that 400 million people worldwide have Diabetes, which will double by 2040! How should this non-communicable epidemic be dealt with so as not to take a toll on our living?
This blog is aimed at Odisha-India people or anyone in the world who may benefit from it.
The food, lifestyle, climate, poverty, education, and awareness of the high blood sugar problem separate Odisha-India from Western countries and many parts of the world. The causes are not unique to Odisha but share commonality with yet-to-be-developed parts of the Earth.
What is Diabetes Mellitus?
I wish these complex diseases had an accessible name that connects to these complex conditions due to persistently high blood sugar.
The term diabetes is the shortened version of the full name diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is derived from the Greek word diabetes, meaning siphon – to pass through, and the Latin word mellitus, meaning honeyed or sweet. This is because, in diabetes, excess sugar is found in blood and urine.
DM has several categories: type 1, type 2, maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY), gestational diabetes, and neonatal diabetes.
Here is a daunting challenge to deal with Diabetes. If you don’t see it, then easy to ignore it. This silence of no action can be catastrophic.
What If I Wait to Let It Go?- Not a Good Management
Who wants to go to the doctor if you recover naturally? This happens more often than not in this society. It may happen, but Never for this particular disease, a silent killer. Over time, it destroys your vital organs if not taken care of.
Do you see how many people end up at the emergency room or ICU for sudden stroke, coma, or paralysis? They wait until the end to get into the doctor and hospital. Many of these feel the symptoms but ignore or wait for self-recovery. Some die, and others compromise their quality of life. Most of these could have been prevented if they had cared to do a yearly routine check-up and taken action.
It is a bit comforting to know that the disease could be controlled, and you may go back to the initial disease-free condition, but it depends on age, the age of the disease, the severity of the disease condition, and your lifestyle.
Set up appointments and follow up with your diabetes physician. Prevention is better than cure.
Know your A1c level, understand where you should be, and the implications of it.
A more manageable at-home diagnostic symptom of Diabetes type 2: You may notice that your breath smells like nail polish remover (acetone smell).
Control the Causes Can Help Manage Symptoms
Sugar from the food you eat and insulin are two intertwined variables acting as the epicenter of Diabetes type-2. Managing those two is of primary importance to managing and reducing sugar levels. Read our post on how home remedy helps manage and lower blood sugar. We also have blogs on lunch meal ideas- personalized homemade to lower blood sugar and control Type 2 diabetes.
Nutrition Therapy and Life Style Food consisting of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals particularly dense in nutrients that your body needs are healthy choices for you. Opt for organically grown food without using pesticides.
They are hard to find because of the use of pesticides, herbicides, and environmental pollution due to the climate crisis that pollutes water with forever chemicals and metal toxins. In rural areas, people tend to use fewer chemicals on crops. They grow native plants and hers that help manage blood sugar. Cook fresh, eat fresh, eat greens, and use homemade coconut oil (drying coconut chips) or cold-pressed mustard and peanut oil from available seeds.
Make your thoughtful grocery list and keep an eye on your health.
Pick and choose food that produces less sugar and is released slowly over time. What are your key considerations in the list preparation?
Let’s take an example of rice. In Odisha, rice is a must on your plate—care for eating brown rice. Eating white rice can raise your blood sugar suddenly, unlike brown rice, which digests and releases sugar slowly and over time, which is easier to manage. Pick and choose low-sugar food from the glycemic index.
Learn which type of carbohydrate is linked to type 2 Diabetes.
A value lower than 56/100 is considered low-sugar food. The lower the number, the better it is to use.
Protein Protein is digested slowly and helps keep your sugar level stable. There are multiple kinds of proteins; you can choose based on your diet, e.g., if you are vegetarian or not.
- Animal Protein: Lean meat, steamed or grilled fish, and eggs can help reduce blood sugar with slower digestion, thus eliminating sudden sugar spikes.
- Plant Proteins: Legumes, whole grains, and lentils contain dietary fibers and can meet your protein needs.
- Diary Protein: Yogurt
used in cooking plays another significant role in Diabetes. A popular oil used in Odisha, India, is refined oil, which contains trans fat responsible for inflammation. The percentage of trans fat is on the label, but not always. Look at the nutrition label when you buy your groceries from the supermarket. Avoid these trans-fat-containing stuff even if the product nutrition label reports using partially hydrogenated oil.
Use Nuts and Seeds to supply enough minerals and vitamins with healthy fat. A research report says eating 60 almonds daily for 12 weeks showed an A1c reduction of 0.3%.
Eating 3-4 almonds a day, which is more expensive, combined with 7-8 peanuts or simply 10-12 peanuts, can be a good addition of healthy fat to Odisha people.
Consider Chia seeds “Nand baguli manji( ନଣ୍ଡା ଵଗୁଲୀ)” in your language to use as part of a snack, smoothie, pudding, or replacing them for eggs. Find our post on chia seeds with superfood benefits, including type 2 diabetes.
Pre and Probiotics: Feed The Microbes Right
Several studies have reported gut microbiome dysbiosis as a factor in the rapid progression of insulin resistance in T2D, which accounts for about 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide. Any change in the gut microbiota can shift the host metabolism towards increased energy harvest during Diabetes and obesity.
- Intake of prebiotics can enrich gut microbiota, improve intestinal permeability,
- Regular consumption of probiotics can decrease the inflammation and death of insulin-producing pancreatic cells. There are probiotic strains that have been found to reduce the diabetes risk.
- Reduces LDL cholesterol
- Reduces total cholesterol in serum by modulating lipid metabolism, which can be considered a factor for reducing T2D risk.
Fiber-rich plant food promotes healthy intestinal bacteria in the gut and increases insulin sensitivity.
High intake of saturated fats, often found in animal products, has been linked to insulin resistance. In this condition, the body’s cells do not respond effectively to insulin to adequately use sugar. When sugar is not used well, it leads to elevated blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance is a critical factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. There are unique exercises that address insulin resistance and increase insulin sensitivity. These exercises reduce blood sugar.
A diet high in animal fats may contribute to insulin resistance rather than improve insulin sensitivity.
You wish, there would be one diet you will follow wholeheartedly that will control your blood sugar. Dieticians and experts in the medical field and researchers worldwide have not established such concoction.
The reason could be our microbiota are shaped differently; we are from different parts of the world and belong to a variety of habitats that play a role to build up the gut. Our food can be drastically different.
Researchers have found the Mediterranean diet carries nutrients beneficial for managing diabetes.
The ketogenic diet- does it help Diabetes type 2?
The Keto diet uses food with low carbohydrate content (<30% of carbs, 50-60% of fat, and 20-30% of protein). This diet is not well defined.
- It manages the sugar level but is not suited for everyone.
- It lowers sugar levels in general.
- The diet does help improve HDL, the insufficient cholesterol level.
- If you are on medication and insulin, changing to this diet might disturb your level and may lead to a dangerous level of hypoglycemia (<70 mg/dL)
Talk to your doctor before adopting this version of diet.
You don’t want added sugar when your blood has more sugar than necessary. No deception or natural sweeteners help control blood sugar. Be extra careful to hold your tongue when your relatives visit you with sweets, sugary cakes, and rasgullas.
Don’t overeat. Get your doctor and dietician involved. It is not about eating healthy food but how much you eat.
Overeating healthy food can misbehave with your body, increasing weight and working against controlling sugar.
Meal Frequency and Timing of Meals
- Three main meals a day is optimal vs. two or one per research.
- Make sure not to skip a healthy breakfast.
- Maintain a time for taking the meals.
- Diabetes dieticians recommend you get two nutritious snacks between the main meals so you don’t go hungry eating a heavy main meal, which can spike your blood sugar.
A sedentary lifestyle has been touted as the primary cause of multiple syndromes, including Type 2 Diabetes. Body movements expend energy from the body. It burns sugar in this process. Some yogic exercises like “kapalvati pranayam” activate the pancreas to help release insulin. Walking 150 min/ week or 15 to 30 mins/ day helps improve Diabetes.
Weight lifting moves insulin to muscles and lowers blood sugar.
Research. It shows the optimal Vitamin D level helps improve the blood sugar in your body. In sunny and bright Odisha, standing in the sun is free and fills you with health. Check your Vitamin D in a laboratory, and discuss your result with your doctor. You may need to take a supplement to accomplish your target range.
The key is managing the lifestyle daily and maintaining resilience and consistency as needed.
Monitor Your Glucose Level Per Your Doctor’s Recommendation
It is prudent to either self-monitor using a glucose level or do it in the lab to know your level to see how you manage this critical parameter of the human system.
Some devices can continually record your status. Talk to a doctor if you can be helped with this.
Chronic Alcohol Consumption: How Does Alcohol Affect Diabetes Type 2?
Chronic heavy consumption of alcohol deteriorates glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.
Although alcoholism needs to be studied more, you will be safe consuming one daily if you can’t quit.
Sleep: Among the “Most Wanted” of 21st Century
Evidence supports an association of 6 to 9 h of sleep per night with reduced cardiometabolic risk factors.
On the other hand, sleep deprivation results in
- aggravates insulin resistance,
- hyperglycemia (low sugar situation),
The recommendations on dietary aspects can contribute to achieving the desired
- blood glucose,
- blood pressure,
- lipid profile and
- improve sleep apnoea
and quality of life-related to health; it has also been observed that the incidence of urinary incontinence in women is reduced.
Your nutrition and lifestyle change may work well to reduce blood sugar and make it stay healthy. Some people need medical treatment to control their blood sugar levels in a safe range.
Medications for Keeping Your Metabolic Control at Bay
Metformin has always been the 1st line of therapy.
- It is pretty safe to use. The side effects are nausea and diarrhea.
- It lowers the production of glucose in the liver.
- Metformin improves the insulin sensitivity in your body.
There are 8 other approved medicines for diabetes control. Depending on their specific health conditions and symptoms, they can be specialized for patients.
Be Accountable-Maintain a Diary
Keeping a log book of your activities makes you accountable. Record your appointments, medications taken, did you exercise, and how long? What did you eat? Did you have your dose of Vitamin D?
Consult Your Physician
Consuming Herbs and vegetables used traditionally from Ayurveda with or without medications may adversely impact your goal of controlling blood sugar.
it is wise to underestimate the power of blood sugar. It is a high-risk disease consisting of multiple symptoms bundled with it. They can act simultaneously to make you miserable. Eat diabetes-healthy food, exercise, and visit your physician at regular intervals. Gather knowledge, work consistently on your blood sugar level, and win over the situation.