Exercise plus lifestyle tips towards managing diabetes
Diabetes and Lifestyle
Table of Contents
- 1 Diabetes and Lifestyle
- 2 What Is Diabetes?
- 3 Types of Diabetes Mellitus
- 4 Symptoms of Diabetes:
- 5 Causes of Type 1 Diabetes:
- 6 Causes of Type 2 Diabetes:
- 7 Diabetes Complications
- 8 Exercise plus lifestyle tips towards managing diabetes
- 9 Types of Exercise for Diabetes
- 10 Conclusion
Exercise plus lifestyle tips towards managing diabetes, is it a good topic for the moment you may ask? The response is affirmative because a large number of people are living with this
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, diabetes is a group of metabolic disease in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar)
This could be due to inadequate insulin production in the body or improper response of the body cells to insulin or both.
Metabolism refers to the way our body use digested food for production of energy and growth.
Glucose is a form of sugar in the body; it is a major source of energy for the body.
Insulin is a hormone made by the process that allows the body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat.
This is either to produce energy or store as glucose for future use. Insulin helps to regulate in the body
Types of Diabetes Mellitus
Type 1 diabetes:
This arises when the pancreas fails to produce insulin. It is the rarer form of diabetes, affecting only about 10% of the diabetes population.
This particular type of diabetes is often developed before one reaches age 40, majority of the times; it is discovered in childhood years or early adulthood. The cause still is unknown.
Type 2 diabetes:
otherwise known as insulin resistance, here the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin. This is caused by obesity and sedentary lifestyle, amongst other factors.
This happens only to pregnant women, it occurs when women who haven’t been suffering from diabetes develop high blood glucose. Usually it ends or the effect is very reduced after pregnancy.
This type is very similar to type 2 diabetes; the major difference is that it is completely treatable.
If not properly taken care of it may actually result into type 2 diabetes. Therefore careful medical monitoring by medical personnel is required.
Apart from affecting the health of the mother, the foetus can also be adversely affected
Symptoms of Diabetes:
If any of these symptoms is noticed, it is advised one visits a doctor promptly.
It is also possible to have diabetes without developing serious symptoms or without developing symptoms at all. About 50% of those with type 2 diabetes experience this.
Symptoms may also develop slowly like in type 2 or rapidly (weeks to months) like in type 1 diabetes. The International Diabetes Foundation highlights four symptoms, otherwise known as the classic diabetes symptoms, they include;
- Polyuria (frequent urination) – This happens when there is more sugar than normal in the blood. The kidney tries to dilute the too much sugar in the body using water; which causes the bladder to be filled up faster than usual. Polydipsia (increase thirst), the water that is passed out in urine has to be replaced; this symptom is a direct effect of polyuria
- Polyphagia (increase hunger)– Here the glucose in the body is not being converted to energy, so the body feels as though it is not getting enough energy, therefore the unusual hunger
- Unusual weight gain a direct effect of polyphagia, in an attempt to quell the hunger pangs, one ends up eating too much
Other symptoms of Diabetics include;
- unusual weight loss; this is more common with type 1, the body starts breaking down muscle and fat tissues in a desperate search for fuel for the body
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Sexual dysfunction in males, erectile dysfunction is not an isolated incident in the body; usually people try to just treat it as an isolated sickness. It is a way the body is telling the man something is wrong with his body. Mostly it is a sign of an incoming heart disease, but it can also be a symptom of diabetes. It’s best to check with the doctor instead of taking Viagra for treatment of this
- Unusual fatigue, insulin is not converting the food in the body to energy, this could lead to tiredness
- Cuts and bruises that do not heal, itchiness of the skin, swollen, tender gums and blurred vision amidst other signs.
There are varying causes of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics, Here we are going to highlights some of the Causes of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes:
- Autoimmune destruction: this is the immune system turning against the body’s own cells, treating the cells as diseases and infections therefore fighting them. This is most likely triggered by environmental factors exposed to people who have genetic susceptibility
- Family History: A vast majority of the people who suffer from diabetes especially type 1, have a history of diabetes in their family, or carry susceptibility genes. So if you have blood relative who has suffered from diabetes, there’s a chance you could also develop diabetes at some stage in your life
- Ethnic extraction also place people at a higher risk for type 1 diabetes. The Scandinavians for example are more susceptible to type 1 diabetes than other people
- Diet: certain proteins in dairy products have been linked to type 1 diabetes and the exposure of infants to this products put them at risk. Low vitamin D intake and high concentration of nitrate in water also increase the chances of people carrying susceptibility genes to the disease.
- Viruses: the viruses Epstein-Barr, coxsackiervirus, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus and retroviruses can also bring about the onset of type1 diabetes.
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes:
Insulin resistance is usually the primary cause of this disease
- Weight: obese and overweight people have a higher tendency for developing diabetes, because increase in weight can lead to insulin resistance
- Lifestyle: leading a sedentary lifestyle, eating the wrong food and consumption of industrial sugars from sodas and other carbonated drinks can increases one’s risk of having diabetes. As people get older, reduce their physical activities and add weight, the risk for diabetes increases.
- Ethnicity/Genes: Eastern Africans and South Asians and Hispanics have very high risks of developing diabetes. Having a family member or a relative, who has suffered from diabetes, increases ones risk also.
For type 1 almost nothing can be done to prevent it. But for type 2 certain lifestyle choices can be taken to greatly reduce the risk of delay the onset of type 2 diabetes
Diabetes complications are of two kinds, macrovascular complications (large blood cells) and microvascular complications (small blood cells)
- Mascrovascular disease; damage to the large blood cells could lead to heart attacks and heart disease, strokes and peripheral arterial disease
- Microvascular disease; damage to small blood cells could the lead to Kidney disease and renal failure
- Eye complications, especially in the retina, if not treated properly blindness could occur
- Disease of the nerves, which could lead to ulcers, damaged skins and wounds that won’t heal, or heal improperly, especially in the foot
- This eventually may lead to amputation of the limb. Holding a tight rein on the blood glucose level could act as a palliative measure to these complications.
These diseases are associated with damage to the small blood cells
Exercise plus lifestyle tips towards managing diabetes
This is where Exercise/lifestyle tips to help diabetics comes to play. If the below outlined steps/lifestyle modification are followed, one should be able to manage his or her diabetes effectively live a long and fulfilling live
- Regular Medical Check-up: The first thing is to get close to your doctor, and participate actively in treatment. Also get regular checkups at least twice a year. Get your foot checked and also get a regular eye check up
- Self monitoring skills should be learnt and home monitoring kits should be gotten Click here to view at Amazon or click here also this is yet option to consider Click to see another Test Monitor and especially for advanced cases. With these kits one can monitor his or her blood glucose level at home. And also reduce or increase the concentration of the insulin shot or drugs to be taken. These skills are essential for a diabetic or a care giver to a diabetic, as the doctor may not always be around. These skills can be learnt at diabetes centres. Of course it doesn’t supplant the need for a doctor; in fact this should be done with the knowledge of the doctor. So minor incidents can be taken care of, and for major incidents one would have to visit a doctor
- It is also very important that one studies extensively about the disease, knowledge can be the difference between life and death
- Exercise should be incorporated into the person’s daily routine. From walking to running to swimming, to yoga, all these forms of exercise are very good. If they are up to thirty minutes the better. This will help to reduce body weight and increase bone density. They also help to lower blood sugar and lower the chances for getting heart disease. Exercising reduces high blood pressure which is one of the complications diabetics suffer. You should go slowly at first and as time goes on intensity and quantity can be increased
- Before an attempt at exercise is made, it is of utmost importance that your doctor is informed. And he may be able to recommend the best exercise routine for you; this instruction should be followed to the later
- Smoking should be avoided, as tobacco smoking increases the risk of one developing complications
- Avoid alcohol if possible, and if not take very little. Alcohol has a way of making the body misbehave. It can spike blood sugar levels or lower it dangerously. If you must drink also make sure it’s not on an empty stomach. If you take wine, then you might want to include it while counting calories. The best bet though is to avoid alcohol all together
- Eat right, plenty of fruits and vegetable are recommended. Lean meat and non-fatty diary are recommended for protein. It’s important to watch intake of carbohydrates and starchy foods as they can spike blood sugar levels
- There are some supplements that can also be taken to alleviate diabetes Click Here to view reviews at Amazon and you can check out this 5 star rated product too Click here to view at Amazon
- Stress should be avoided, as stress can increase blood pressure, and also increase blood sugar levels. An overdose of this could lead to diabetes emergencies and complications
Types of Exercise for Diabetes
The importance of exercise cannot be over emphasized especially for those with diabetes. Before starting though, it is important that one consults a doctor.
This is especially important if you are heart disease, high blood pressure of any other complication due to diabetes. If you have diabetes, it would be safe to assume that you haven’t exercised for long.
Therefore it is imperative that you do not go all out, but you start gradually. You could start just with climbing a few flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator all the way.
Taking the bus to work, instead of using a car can also increase your level of activity as you’ll have to walk to the bus stop. Parking far away and walking the rest of the way is also good start up exercise.
The following is how Exercise plus lifestyle tips towards managing diabetes:
- Dancing: This is especially good for diabetics who have not been active for long. You can join a beginner class in a studio or gym; it is usually a lot of fun. The classes range from classical to contemporary dancing. If you take a look at professional dancers, they are always trim and fit. Not only is dancing fun, you loss calories in the process of dancing. Using one stone to kill birds
- Yoga: Yoga is great, as it consists mainly of balancing, stretching and breathing exercises. And these are great for the well being of the body. Not only does Yoga help to stretch joints, and ease up cramped muscles. It can also improve the posture. And it can be done anywhere; all you need is a Yoga mat and a book or DVD for instructions. And those with heart disease can also do this as it doesn’t get the heart beating so fast
- Walking/Running: walking is very mild on the joints. 30mins of walking a day at least 3 days a week will do the body a lot of good. But if you are looking to drop weight fast, then you might want to consider running, high intensity running, preferably outdoors. That is sprint and rest, sprint and rest cycles, this is great for losing weight. But if you are just starting then a slow jog for as little as ten minutes is okay
- Strength Training Exercises to Alleviate diabetes: If you can manage it, then you should lift weights. Weight strengthens the body, increasing testosterone for men and increases bone density. You can register at your local gym and ask one of the users to put you through. If you’d prefer to work out at home, well that can also be done. With a bench, a bar bell and a couple of free weights, you are good to go. Body weight exercises are also good, like press up, pull ups, burpees, and chin up, amongst others. It is important though that you start out slowly, with very light weights, so as to avoid injury
Being new to exercising, it might be difficult to remain consistent. So getting an exercise buddy who understands your physical goals and your health condition can also be very helpful. And remember to wear comfortable foot wears, so as to avoid foot injury which may lead to ulcers.
To cap it all up, a diabetic must take extra care of his or her health. It’s also good to wear a tag indicating your health condition in case of a medical emergency. If you exercise, eat right and stay close to your doctor, you should live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Categorised in: Exercises