Diabetes management, besides being a strategic plan of action, is primarily a commitment to incorporate self-care behaviours as part of the daily routine to ensure effective management of diabetes.
Consider including more fibre and less carbohydrates in your daily diet and taking the bodily signals such as feeling hungry or full seriously. Replace refined grains like white flour and rice with whole-grains like wheat flour and brown rice. It’s important to ensure that a majority of what you are eating (say 80%) is healthy, comprising complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Moreover, in case you are buying canned food, check the top of the label for the serving size and types of carbs (sugar, starch and fibre) as this will enable you to choose foods with lower amounts of calories, saturated fat, trans fat, added sugars and sodium.
It is imperative that you refrain from eating fried food as the copious amounts of oil adds unnecessary fats and calories. Also consider not watching TV while eating as it hampers you from experiencing the smell and taste of food, making you feel less satiated. Another important tip is to not skip meals in order to lose weight as it can lead to risky blood sugar swings and further complications.
Tricks to reduce overeating
Leave your serving bowls away from the dining area, so you get a moment to check hunger levels before the second serving. You may also take a smaller plate to trick the brain into thinking that it is full even though the portion is less
Even 30 minutes of exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity, lose weight and improve blood sugar levels—thus allowing you to manage diabetes at home. Start slow and simple and consider incorporating the following in your daily life:
Self-monitor blood sugar levels on a daily basis or as recommended by your doctor. Apart from the glucose levels, ‘Fasting Blood Sugar’ (FBS) and ‘Post Meal Blood Sugar’ (PMBS) numbers help the doctor identify whether dietary and exercise interventions are working and further make necessary changes to the treatment, if needed. Ideally, the levels should be more than 80mg/dL and less than 180 mg/dL. Remember that FBS needs to be tested before breakfast, with an ideal range of 80-130 mg/dL. PMBS on the other hand is measured exactly two hours after a meal, with an ideal range of 80- 180 mg/dL.
Follow the prescription diligently as most medicines work either by increasing your insulin production or glucose uptake by the cells. Skipping medicines can have both short and long-term effects on overall health. You should consider taking medicines as a matter of habit, for e.g. make it a practice to take medicines right after breakfast.
Be vigilant, invest in a pill box and set daily reminders on your phone or watch or ask a kin to remind you to take medicines regularly. For doctor visits, consultant diabetes, eye specialist and dentist regularly. Get tests such as HbA1c once in 3 months to help the doctor understand the current condition and change medicines if required.
So, you can manage diabetes at home if due vigilance and care is observed.