THE DIABEE BLOG

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May 20, 2018 Diabetes Care

As we are advancing towards a developed country, more and more people are adopting a sedentary lifestyle. Being sedentary which involves sitting at a desk all day or spending too many hours in front of the TV or computer screen, has been associated with a number of risk factors for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, like larger waist size, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Factually speaking, studies indicate that one extra hour of sedentary time a day was associated with a 22 % increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

As a consequence, health practitioners worldwide have started to coin ‘sitting’ as the ‘new smoking’. It is imperative to counter the impact of sitting in order to win your fight against diabetes. As soon as a person is diagnosed with diabetes, he/she is advised to start a regular exercise regimen. However, studies indicate that a mere exercise routine of around 30 – 45 minutes a day is not enough to counteract the effects of one’s sedentary lifestyle.

Let’s start by explaining what causes high blood sugar while sitting. When a person is inactive or sitting for a long time, there is a limited muscle use, implying limited energy burn. As a result, the metabolic pathways regulating how we store blood sugars are less active and effective. Thus, we tend to have more sugar in our blood, contributing to increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

To counteract the impact of sitting, one can adopt simple mechanisms to break the monotony becoming sedentary. Simply stating, you just need to find ways of replacing your sitting time with standing time or walking time.

A few examples include taking a five-minute standing or walking break once every hour. If watching TV, playing video games etc., take breaks during every commercial or every half hour. If you tend to forget about the same, a few of the pedometers also have a feature to send reminders to get up. Another option is to switch to a standing desk, when its must for you to sit for work.

The bottom-line is to break the long stretches of immobility, by introducing short spurts of activity. Just remember, whatever you do get up and move. Your body will thank you if you do.

References:

  1. https://www.ontrackdiabetes.com/get-fit/motivation/connection-between-sitting-diabetes
  2. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/35/5/976
  3. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/02/02/health/sitting-will-give-you-diabetes/index.html

 

From the Expert Desk

Dr. Himanshu Arora

He is an accomplished physician and consultant with over 6 years of experience. He is an ingenious writer, speaker, thinker and leader who specialises in areas of health and wellness. For his unique achievements and contributions in the field of medicine, he has been honoured with various prestigious awards. He has been relentlessly working towards awareness of preventive diseases.


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May 16, 2018 Diabetes Care

India has become the diabetes capital of the world with over 50 million1 people suffering from type-2 diabetes in 2010, this number is likely to reach 87 million by 2030. It can primarily be credited to the rapid economic growth and changed Indians’ lifestyles.

With higher disposable incomes, people eat out more often and prefer junk food like burgers and pizza over traditional lentil and vegetable meals. Their lifestyle is more sedentary as well, using cars and public transport instead of walking or riding bicycles, and entertaining themselves with television rather than playing outside has become a usual practice. Such changes have led to increase in obesity levels, along with rise in lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.

It is a widely known fact that a person with diabetes needs to eliminate sugar from his diet, but this is not enough. One needs to adapt to a healthy meal plan and ensure regular exercising as well. Often, people complain that owing to their busy schedule they are not able to take out time to exercise. But, one can stay active in office as well by adopting a few simple changes in your routine.

  1. Try to park your car in the far end of your parking lot and walk from there to your office. You can get a few minutes of walking in with just this simple trick
  2. Take staircases instead of using lifts. Start by one floor at a time, and gradually increase the distance you can cover as you get more comfortable with climbing
  3. As a popular TV commercial rightly says “walk and talk” while on client calls
  4. Start an office challenge. See who among your office pals can take the most steps in a day. If you don’t have a pedometer or an exercise tracker, download an app to your phone
  5. Do some light activity for 3 minutes or more every half hour of working at a same place. Light activities include leg lifts (stretching your legs by lifting them up under your desk at knee level for 20 to 30 seconds in each rep), rotating foot in clockwise and counter clock wise directions, overhead arm stretches, torso twists, etc.
  6. Set the alarm on your phone for every hour and do some exercise when it rings. Examples include stretches, squat against the wall, or jog in place
  7. Try to take small walk of 15 to 20 minutes during your lunch break
  8. Rather than having all communication on call, try to walk up to your colleagues on same location and discuss your work. This would also add to your daily activity charts

Remember, the more you move, the more energy you’ll have and the better you’ll feel. All such small initiatives would help you keep your blood sugar levels in check as they all add in to your activeness.

References:

  1. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/India-is-the-diabetes-capital-of-the-world/articleshow/50753461.cms

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May 13, 2018 Diabetes Care

All of us are increasingly exposed to being diagnosed as a diabetic as our lifestyle is becoming sedentary and we continue to consume high-calorie and sugar rich food. One needs to follow healthier lifestyle to slow down the damage diabetes causes to the body. Believe me when I tell you that diabetes management is just not limited to taking medication.

Often, we see people with diabetes around us struggling to keep their glucose levels in check. Remember, it needs a stringent control over one’s routine activities in order to successfully manage diabetes. The primarily problem remains with the fact that when diagnosed with diabetes people get boggled by the so many do’s and don’ts which the doctor advises. Instead of coping up with these new needs they tend to feel that it’s just impossible to change their habits and they cave in.

In such a scenario, ‘diabetes educators’ can help save your ship from sinking. They are health professionals certified in diabetes education and are equipped in helping people with diabetes manage their blood sugars and prevent complications. They work with you to develop a plan to stay healthy by offering the tools and ongoing support to make healthy lifestyle habits a part of your regular life.

Now, one may think that as far as diet planning is considered, I can just follow a dietician and can join gym for exercising. This would be enough for managing my condition. But mind you, a diabetes educator goes far beyond just making your diet charts and exercise schedule. They help you to come to terms with, make sense of, and understand the diagnosis of diabetes.

They have an in-depth understanding of how diabetes affects one’s body and other diseases associated with this problem. They can answer all your queries regarding diabetes management. They help you plan your everyday routine keeping your own habits and preferences in mind. They guide you regarding various aspects like how to start your exercise regimen, at what pace you should increase the intensity of your workouts, what exercise would suit your specific heath need, which foods can you replace in your existing meals, how to plan better for your calorie needs, etc.

They can show you how to appropriately count your carbohydrates, balance your nutrition and activity level with your medicines, and live a healthier life with diabetes. Whenever you face difficulty in achieving your goals they suggest alternate paths to reach them.

Simply stating it’s the job of a diabetes educator to ease out your stress and to make your diabetes management journey a success.


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May 10, 2018 Diabetes Care

We would all agree that no one likes to go to a doctor. We tend to ignore the starting symptoms of any disease and visit doctors only when our problems become difficult too much for us to handle. But, when disease has already grown to such an extent, its management also requires drastic solutions. This involves a heavy dent on the pocket for expenses related to doctors’ consultation, blood tests and medicines.

But, in order to win our fight against this global epidemic of diabetes, we need to change our approach towards the disease. Diabetes’ chronic and associated complications are the real reason behind the high cost involved in its management.

As per a Times of India publication, in India 85-95% of all health care costs are borne by individuals and their families from household income as most people are not insured. Per NCBI report, intensive lifestyle intervention or metformin could prevent type 2 diabetes in high-risk adults for at least 10 years after randomization.

As far as Indian population is concerned, estimates indicate that for a low-income family having an adult with diabetes, close to 20% of family income is utilized for diabetes care. It increases to 35% for families with a child having diabetes. For a person with diabetes, one is likely to have spent around INR1.5 lakhs on treatment in the first five years of diagnosis, going up to INR4.0 lakhs in 10 years and INR15.0 lakhs in 20 years of treatment. This increase in expenses is because of higher risk of complications in diabetes.

A good diet and regular physical activity regimen helps to reduce upfront costs of potential complications related to uncontrolled diabetes. The conditions such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, skin infections, nerve pain, and difficulty walking properly due to loss of sensation in the feet are most common complications.

A recent Bain Analytic reports supports this fact stating that if a person has an early onset of diabetes and he learns to manage his lifestyle, then his/her annual spend on treatment of diabetes would be close to INR 2,500 annually. This may rise up to 10 times to a level of INR 25,000 for a person with major diabetic complications.

There is even a larger impact owing to indirect costs from lost production as a result of frequent absence from work, inability to work because of disability, premature retirement and even early death as a result of complications. The highest diabetes expenditure borne by a patient is hospitalization for treatment of long-term complications, such as heart disease and stroke, kidney failure and foot problems.

In a nutshell, if you have a diabetes, you must learn to adapt the changed lifestyle as it is the only way to save a big hole in your pocket.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308273/
  2. https://www.prevention.com/health/diabetes/how-save-money-treating-diabetes
  3. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/What-is-the-cost-of-diabetes-care/articleshow/49843288.cms

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April 17, 2018 Diabetes Care

Are you living with diabetes? Do you often feel tired and exhausted at work? Have you ever felt that your energy levels are low and irritability is high?

You may be a victim of fatigue due to diabetes. There are various reasons of fatigue in people with diabetes. However, one of the prime reasons of fatigue in people with diabetes is often due to blood sugar fluctuations, but stress and emotional concerns can be other factors.

85% of people with diabetes experience fatigue: Study1 Excessive tiredness is referred to as fatigue. It is one of the classic symptoms of diabetes and many other illnesses. It can take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional well-being.

What are the effects of fatigue on workplace productivity:

Fatigue is generally seen to negatively affect the health and can make daily tasks difficult to carry out.

Less energy, reduced concentration

Poor cognitive function & poor memory

Decreased ability to cope up with stress

Less productivity and motivation

What are the causes of diabetes Fatigue?

Diabetes fatigue is related to a combination of physiological, psychological and lifestyle related factors.

Physiological: In diabetes, due to high blood sugar level, blood flow is reduced to various parts including brain

Psychological factors such as anxiety & depression associated with diabetes

Lifestyle factors such as reduced activity levels and unhealthy eating habits 

There are other factors also that may lead to fatigue along with diabetes such as lack of sleep, alcohol intake, medications etc

If your blood sugars are in control then considered being tested for sleep apnea, anemia, hypo or hyperthyroid, chronic infections, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis etc. It’s important to talk with your physician about your symptoms to rule out other possible causes.

How imbalance in blood sugar levels lead to fatigue?

When blood sugar level is low, it decreases the oxygen and blood flow to the brain and other organs leading to fatigue. On the other hand, if blood sugar level is high, it again impacts the blood flow leading to fatigue.

 How to keep yourself active and energized?

Tiredness often makes you sluggish, inactive and triggers unhealthy habits. People often use stimulants like, tea, coffee and cigarettes to stay alert. They temporarily remove fatigue for few minutes. However, using them in excessive quantity worsens diabetes.

There are many ways to reduce fatigue with diabetes. The most important thing that you can do is to control your blood sugar. This helps your body to get the right fuel. Also, make sure you eat the right food.

Top 10 tips to overcome fatigue, if you have diabetes:

Keep a close check on your blood sugar levels

Never miss meals, eat a well-balanced diet as per your calorie requirement


Make sure you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep daily

Follow a regular exercise regime based on your health goal


Take a 5-minute break every 2 hours at work

Practice deep breathing daily to manage stress


Take a power nap during the day

Join a diabetes community and connect to people having similar challenges and emotions


Drink more water

Get enrolled to Diabee, a complete diabetes management program.

Fatigue can be due to various reasons, that need to be evaluated by a doctor.

Diabetes is not only about diet & exercise. There are other aspects such as stress, sleep etc. that affect the blood sugar levels. Diabee helps you to take control of your health by making you implement strategies for healthy lifestyle.

To know more log on to www.diabee.in or write to us at: teamdiabee@hcah.in

Source: Fritschi C, Quinn L. Fatigue in Patients with Diabetes: A Review. Journal of psychosomatic research. 2010;69(1):33-41. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2010.01.021.

 


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