Genes you inherit may influence the development of diabetes, but the lifestyle choices you make are majorly responsible for its alarming increase. Bad lifestyle choices like unhealthy diet high in fat and sugar, less physical activity, alcohol abuse, and sleep deprivation, are seen as major culprits.
Our focus has shifted from ‘nutrition’ to ‘taste’! We are more inclined towards easily available junk food which pleases our taste buds. But, the fact that people hardly exercise and burn these calories adds to the problem. While genetics is a non-modifiable factor, one can surely modify the lifestyle and get more active. So what are you waiting for? Here are some healthy lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of diabetes.
Diabetes is a symptom, not a disease. For years, we have been taught that excess weight causes diabetes, but many studies today are showing that perhaps it is diabetes that is causing the weight. Ultimately, all these things typically result from a poor diet. If we work at eliminating what is harmful to the body and providing the body with what it requires, diabetes can be eliminated as opposed to managed!
Accepting the fact that you are a diabetic is key to an effective start for managing diabetes. Thereafter, you need to make diet and lifestyle changes wholeheartedly. Check with your doctor if you can take Metformin to manage your sugar levels. It is advisable to consume more dietary fiber and exercise regularly to maintain healthy body weight and blood sugar. Regular check-ups are a must.
If you are struggling to know that what are the needed changes to achieve the preferred lifestyle for someone living with diabetes; then here is an answer to it! Start slow and simple. Reduce portion size or eat a salad before dinner. Go for 20-30 minutes walk after dinner. Take the stairs. Go to the movies instead of watching TV on your couch. Set reasonable weight loss goals (eg. a pound per week). And, most importantly look at one behavior change at a time. If you are struggling emotionally with change, seek professional help and be around supportive friends.
If depriving yourself of much-needed sleep on a regular basis has become your way of life, it is the time you reconsider your lifestyle and daily sleep habits. Lack of sleep increases the risk of disorders like obesity, hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes. It makes the body insulin-resistant, requiring more insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. Also, it may alter the body’s stress-control center and hormonal balance, affecting glucose regulation. Here is an effective cure to sleep deprivation with Ayurveda that can help you cope metabolic disorders like diabetes.
The metabolism of excess levels of sugar causes most of the same toxic effects as excess alcohol since the liver metabolizes sugar and ethanol (a.k.a., alcohol) the same way. The long term sugar overload causes more than 70 documented adverse effects like increased belly fat, insulin resistance/diabetes, e.t.c. It can be difficult to know how much sugar we are consuming since added sugar is hidden in 74% of all processed foods, ranging from bread to salad dressing. The recommended amount is 1 tsp or 4 gms a day. It becomes hazardous to health when women exceed 6 tsp (25 gms), men exceed 9 tsp (38 gms), and children exceed 3 tsp (12 gms) a day.
An alcohol binge can cause blood sugar to spike. Cannabis use has been linked with hyperglycemia. Nicotine has been shown to trigger blood sugar spikes in smokers with diabetes. Cocaine can suppress hunger and disturb sleep patterns, leading to hypoglycemia. Drugs and alcohol also hamper cognitive function, making it difficult for diabetics to listen to their bodies and take the right actions. Thus, for diabetics – A big NO to drugs and moderate/no consumption of alcohol is key to help prevent diabetes.
Diabetics can face blood sugar spikes on consuming excess carbs as their bodies cannot process these effectively. Avoid carbs from foods high in starch and sugar. Consume carbs from high-fiber carbs like veggies, nuts, berries and seeds as fiber does not break down to glucose, keeping blood sugar levels normal. Ideal carb intake per day is between 20–90 gms.
The cause of Type 2 diabetes is linked to both – genetics and lifestyle. You should be exercising more often if anybody from your family has type-2 diabetes. It works well as a prevention technique! The disease is hereditary and otherwise triggered due to a poor lifestyle and diet.
Yoga has been found to have a therapeutic effect on diabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions. A study shows that four weeks of regular yoga practice can lead to a significant increase in insulin receptors, indicating better insulin sensitivity and lower insulin resistance. The benefits start showing up from between 40 to 90 days of regular yoga practice and long range benefits can be experienced if practiced for over a year. However, the benefits seem to slow down, if the individual stops practice and reverts to the previous lifestyle.
A newly diagnosed diabetic has excellent prospects of completely controlling and correcting his/her condition if he/she adopts yogic practices and lifestyle under expert guidance. This post covers 6 beneficial yoga poses – Shashank Asana (Hare Pose), Yoga Mudra Asana (Psyhic Union Pose), Ardhamatsendr Asana (Half Spinal Twist), Pachimottan Asana (Posterior Stretching Pose), Bhujang Asana (Cobra Pose) and Suryabheda Pranayama (Vital stimulating break) to keep diabetes under control.