3 simple tips for every diabetic to follow the ABCDE rule to the T

Follow these diabetes management tips for a better and healthier quality of life if you have sugar issues, suggests an expert.
diabetes diet
What you eat will always impact your sugar levels. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Mayank Somani Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 13:54 pm IST
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Over the last few decades, an increasing number of Indians have fallen prey to the perils of diabetes. The disease affects 7.42 crore adults and accounts for 6.48 lakh deaths in the country each year. This high prevalence can be attributed to a mix of genetic, physiological, behavioral or environmental factors. However, the onset of the pandemic further resulted in an increase in the number of people becoming prone to the disease. This has brought increased attention towards diabetes management.

As per the National Family Health Survey 2019-21 commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a notable increase in the number of adults suffering from obesity, high blood sugar and hypertension was witnessed. The survey revealed that 15.6 percent of men and 13.5 percent of women surveyed across the country were found to have high blood sugar levels.

diabetes management
India is becoming the diabetes capital of the world. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What happens when diabetes is not managed well?

Diabetes can be a major risk-factor for cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attack and heart failure), the leading cause of premature deaths in the country. A person with diabetes is also at a higher risk of complications affecting the liver, kidney, eye, foot, gut, brain and
practically every part of the body, as it can damage the blood-vessels and nerves.

It is essential to understand that diabetes management requires a sustained commitment to healthy living, consistent motivation, and continued perseverance. One can keep diabetes in check by adopting the below measures, popularly known as the ABCDE rule:

A: A1c control (Hemoglobin A1c is an indicator of blood sugar levels)
B: Blood pressure control
C: Cholesterol control
D: Diet control
E: Exercise

While living with diabetes, it is common to feel overwhelmed and stick to these measures overtime.

diabetes causes
Yes, obesity is a major reason why diabetes is on the rise. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

These three diabetes management tips can help one overcome these challenges:

1. Undergo regular health check-ups and adhere to the prescribed medication schedule

Regular health check-ups are crucial for diabetes patients. Monitoring of blood pressure, blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, etc. at regular intervals is essential as it can help your doctor monitor your progress, understand how the body is responding to specific treatments or medications and alter the treatment plan as and when needed. Moreover, with easier access to self-care, consistent tracking of blood-pressure and blood-glucose levels through home-based monitoring can also be helpful. This practice can not only help assess the risk of new complications, but also help patients remain motivated and proactive in their journey.

diabetes checkup
Keep a check on your sugar levels. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Eat healthy

Ensuring a nutritious diet is an integral aspect of maintaining blood glucose levels. Patients must:
* Consume fiber-rich foods like green vegetables, cucumbers, and carrots
* Limit the consumption of table salt and sugar
* Avoid packaged foods, fried food, sugary drinks and aerated beverages
* Oils containing unsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids must be consumed, like mustard or sunflower oil
* Consume brown rice instead of white rice
* Restrict alcohol consumption, red meat, and tobacco

diabetes diet
Ensure that your diet is packed with nutrition. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Stay physically active

Lack of physical activity is one of the major factors which can increase the risk of diabetes. In order to manage a metabolic condition like diabetes, sufficient physical activity and exercise are critical in ensuring good health. It is highly recommended that patients with diabetes undertake daily physical
activity for at least 60 minutes. This could include:

* 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity
* 10-15 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercise
* At least 45 minutes of brisk walk

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While staying physically active is imperative, one must avoid sudden commencement or increase in physical activity, or high-intensity exercises. Decisions regarding the appropriate exercise regimen must be taken in consultation with the doctor as each patient has unique health priorities.

diabetes and exercise
Exercise is important. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Holistic diabetes management is the key

Good diabetes care is not solely about maintaining a special diet, following a specific workout regime or just taking medication. Optimal diabetes care is a sum total of all these measures sustained in the long run. A holistic approach to diabetes care includes addressing the risk of complications, adopting and sustaining a healthy lifestyle and undergoing regular health check-ups.

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About the Author

Dr Mayank Somani, Managing Director and CEO, Healthcare, Apollo Medics Super Speciality Hospital, Lucknow ...Read More

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