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Riding the Sugar Roller Coaster
Prof Adrian Kennedy and Dr E Suneetha
Eat a healthy diet
Glossies, newspapers, TV programs are bombarded with advertisements of foods which help you control your diabetes. In addition, remember, your overall diet quality matters, not just any single food or nutrient. Eating at regular timings, small intakes, high fibre, low fat and high intake of raw fruits and vegetables are some of the tips which will help you maintain your blood glucose levels. Fast food intake and intake of salted foods and snacks should be minimized and alcohol intake moderated.
Physical activity
Increase your physical activity levels to not less than half an hour, five days a week. Any form of exercise activity is good, but jogging, cycling, swimming and outdoor games are known to be best. In diabetes management, yoga done on alternate days is also recommended. In addition, you will have benefits like losing weight, improved glucose utilization, reduced stress levels and increased energy levels. Before jumping into a fitness program, get your doctor’s OK to exercise — especially if you’ve been inactive. If you take insulin, you might need to adjust your insulin dose or wait a few hours to exercise after injecting insulin.

Dependency management
Adding smoking to diabetes drastically raises the risk of other diabetes complications including damage to blood vessels and nerves, further decreasing quality of life. Smoking and tobacco consumption in any form also reduces the overall immunity and health coping capabilities of the body. Alcohol ingestion is one of the most common causes of hypoglycemia resulting in giddiness and confusion. In addition, alcohol increases blood pressure and this could result in damage to peripheral blood vessels. Not more than one or two small drinks or a glass of wine or beer is acceptable occasionally. Dilute alcohol with water. Stopping alcohol consumption or limiting it to small quantities helps in the fight against diabetes.

Healthy diet, relaxation, stress management, sensible exercises, yoga, and sensible use of alcohol and no smoking are tools at our disposal to control diabetes. Use these techniques with the help of your doctor to supplement your arsenal of diabetes fighting tools.


People at high risk for developing diabetes can reduce their chances of getting the disease by 58 per cent if they lose as few as 10 pounds, exercise and follow a healthy diet, according to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine (May 3, 2001). This report underscores the significant benefits of lifestyle changes in fighting the disease.

Findings from the Nurses’ Health Study suggest that 74 per cent of cardiovascular disease cases, 82 per cent of coronary heart disease cases, and 91 per cent of diabetes cases could be prevented by not smoking, engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthier food, and drinking moderate amounts of alcohol. This report published in the American Journal of Lifestyle

Prof Adrian Kennedy is Consultant, WellnessRx, International guru on health, wellness and lifestyle medicine and guest faculty for Harvard Medical School, USA.
Dr E Suneeta is a Research Officer with Lifetime WellnessRx International Limited.
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