How can the elderly fight diabetes?

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Of all the diseases that threaten the world today, diabetes has slowly and steadily spread its claws across the globe and millions and millions of people today are affected by it. It commonly affects older people; however the incidence of the disease in younger people is more now-a-days. Hence it is tagged as a life style disease though heredity plays an important role in determining the probability of occurrence. Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body makes use of the glucose in blood – generally called blood sugar. People affected by diabetes have high blood sugar levels. The food we eat is converted to glucose which provides the necessary fuel for the blood cells. This glucose is converted to energy by insulin which is a hormone generated by the body. People affected by diabetes are unable to produce enough insulin or they are unable to utilize the insulin to convert glucose to energy. This results in high glucose levels in blood which is commonly referred to as high sugar levels. Though it is a serious disease, the good news is that it can be kept under control. A good care taker from some reputed Home care agency could be great. Here are some ways in which you can manage diabetes:

Awareness: Any disease management begins with awareness. Regular health screenings are almost always successful in identifying the probability of diabetes. Understanding the reason why blood sugar levels are high will help in diabetes management. Also some basic life style changes will go a long way in fighting the disease.

Medication: Diabetes can be easily kept under control by medicines. They key is to properly take them as per the prescription. There are a variety of medications available both as tablets and as insulin injections. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the one that is right for you. Your current health condition and level of diabetes will decide the kind of medication required.

Food Habits:  Eating healthy is commonly prescribed for older people and diabetes management relies heavily on good food habits. There are diet plans specially designed for people with diabetes, and doctors usually recommend following it strictly. But is it really that special? Not really. It has no special designed foods or complicated diet structures. It is just a balanced diet plan that might be applicable for everybody who intends to maintain good health. It recommends good nutritious food and the intervals in which to take them. It also tells you to be extra cautious while choosing food that has high sugar levels or high carbohydrates. Here are some tips on choosing food:

  • Substitute highly refined carbohydrates with high-fiber complex carbohydrates. Instead of eating white bread, white rice, pasta and ordinary breakfast cereals, opt for whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta etc. These fiber rich foods helps in keeping you full for a long time and are also digested slowly so that it keeps the insulin levels in check.
  • Include vegetables that have lower glycemic index (GI) levels such as beans, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, mushrooms, and onions. Include fruits such as cherries, grapefruit, prunes, apples, strawberries, plums etc. Even mangoes and bananas have moderate GI levels and can be consumed in moderation.
  • Be smart about sweet consumption. It is a myth that you must completely refrain from any kind of sweet. You can enjoy sweets in moderation as long as you properly plan for it like getting a bit more work out or eating less carbs that day. Strictly stay away from sweetened drinks as they contain more sugar and just empty calories. You can still enjoy your favorite dessert now and then, but the key is restraint. Try to substitute half portion of the dessert with a fruit.
  • Eating at regular intervals is very important in maintaining sugar levels. Set a schedule and stick to it, as your body is better able to process food and glucose if eaten at regular intervals. Eat six small meals instead of three big portions. Eating at regular intervals will also help to keep your hunger levels in check so you don’t gorge on food.

Exercise:

Exercise also plays a vital role in diabetes management. It helps in preventing, controlling and in some cases even reversing diabetes. Regular exercise will help you to reduce weight and just 7% reduction in weight is said to cut your chance of diabetes in half. Exercise also helps to improve insulin sensitivity, which is your body’s ability to use insulin to process glucose. You do not have to do strenuous exercises in the gym or join a rigorous fitness program. All that is recommended is just 30 minutes of walk every day for at least 5 or 6 days in a week. Even doing regular house hold chores will help you achieve the required workout.

With proper weight management, food regimen, exercise and medication, diabetes can be easily controlled and managed to lead a healthy and content life.

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