Lifestyle modifications that help to control diabetes
Through the steps outlined here apply mainly to Type 2 Diabetes, people living with all other forms of diabetes will benefit immensely from applying them.
Diabetes definitely “commands” a lot of respect when it comes to diseases that put fear in people. When you harbour sugar in your blood that is enough to feed a whole village then surely you are asking for trouble.
A diagnosis of diabetes ranks in the list of top five disease conditions that will have people go into a trance and start speaking in tongues.
Diabetes affects every part of your body and may take control of your finances and life if not properly managed. Yes, there is medication but without the appropriate lifestyle modifications to prevent or control diabetes, then we will be fighting a battle we are destined to lose.
If we can start our lifestyle modification journey together today, then we will definitely make major strides by January 2024. That does not mean we quit after a few weeks; this is a lifetime commitment.
1. Spread the news about Diabetes and the need to be screened
a. We should talk to as many people as possible about diabetes and even more importantly to get tested and encourage others to test. You may even go the extra mile by paying for others to get screened.
b. It is not only about testing after fasting but also consider checking blood sugar a few hours after a meal. You may also discuss with your health professional the need to check your long-term blood sugar control.
2. Watch what you eat and drink
a. The drill remains the same.
i. Portion control using small plates is helpful
ii. Low carbohydrate is ideal NOT no carbohydrate
b. Eat more fibre and whole grains. That makes vegetables and whole fruits amazing
c. Sweetened drinks will make your work difficult. Most contain too much sugar (empty calories) that only go to “confuse” insulin and also cause you to increase fat cells that end up making your cells resistant to insulin, leaving sugar in your blood stream
d. Magnesium and chromium play a crucial role in the control of blood sugar and that is one of the many reasons I love pure unadulterated cocoa powder. Use this wisely.
3. Manage your weight
a. Controlling weight/fat makes your cells more sensitive to insulin and also makes you healthier in general.
a. The wonder-pill will always find a role to play, and I encourage this!
b. Exercise increases the body’s (cells) sensitivity to insulin, so it gobbles up the sugar in the blood
c. Strength training at least twice a week will build a little lean muscle that also helps mop up blood sugar
d. If you haven’t tried this yet, take about five minutes’ walk after each meal to set the ball rolling.
5. Manage Stress
a. Sustained Stress in any form will cause the body to release glucagon and cortisol both of which have the unenviable role of increasing blood sugar.
b. Exercise, smiling, breathing exercises, practising mindfulness and surrounding ourselves with positive-minded and happy people goes a long way to help us manage stress
a. Staying awake deep into the night has a way of tempting one to snack (often not the healthy option) and even eat large meals at ungodly hours.
b. Lack of adequate sleep is stressful in itself and so puts a strain on all organs and the blood sugar challenges set in again.
7. Drink adequate water
a. Water is solid gold any day!
b. Makes you healthy and even flushes the kidney
c. AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, ENSURE HYGIENE, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/ Mobissel
*Dr. Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy, fitness nutrition and corrective exercise. He is the author of the award-winning book, ‘Unravelling The Essentials of Health & Wealth.’
Thought for the week – 1. “537 million adults were living with diabetes in 2021.”
2. “Almost 1 in 2 adults with diabetes remain undiagnosed (240million)”-worlddiabetesday.org
By Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel