Diabetes falls in the category of "lifestyle diseases" and, often, the best way to treat it is to bring about changes in your lifestyle. Left unchecked, it can become a killer over time; the good news is that it is not very difficult to keep it in check.
The Diet Zone. Eating right is the key to managing diabetes. Says Dr Neeru Gera, Senior Consultant, Max Hospital, Delhi: "Load your plate with vegetables; this way, you'll eat less carbs and saturated fats. Go easy on starchy food-including rice, potatoes, mangoes, corn and peas-which are high in calories. Eat fibre-rich food. It helps keep blood sugar from rising quickly after a meal; and eat meals every 3-4 hours."
Get Moving. Exercise not only burns sugar from your blood, it also improves the way your body handles your own insulin. Says Dr Gera: "Set a minimum goal of exercising 30 minutes, four days a week."
Body Care. Says Dr Sujeet Jha, Senior Consultant, Max Healthcare, Delhi: "Persistent high blood glucose levels can damage the body's nerves, and cause a loss of sensation." Don't cross your legs for long periods of time. Diabetes even affects gums and teeth. Visit a dentist every six months.
Watch Your Waistline. Says Dr Jha: "Excess body weight leads to insulin resistance; this makes blood sugar (diabetes) difficult to control." It is essential to know your body mass index (BMI) to keep track of your waistline. The BMI is a good indicator of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Ask the Doc. Early diabetes symptoms can be subtle. In fact, it is possible for you to have diabetes for years without even getting to know of it. Says Dr Gera: "If you notice any diabetes symptoms-excessive thirst, increased urination, blurred vision and frequent infections, call your doctor."
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