PREVENTIVE HOME TIPS
Diabetes is a lifelong condition and it is easy to say that it can be managed well. We all know that lifelong conditions require high amount of self-control, discipline and medicinal compliance along with managing blood sugar levels as recommended by the doctor. However, there are some excellent home care tips for diabetes, by which we can prevent conditions from exponentially getting worse and unmanageable.
Easy Tips to manage symptoms of diabetes
Frequent urination (Poly urea)
Frequent urination, with special reference to nocturnal urination, is one of the most primarily observed symptoms of diabetes. This is because the excessive deposition of glucose in the blood of a diabetic people, urges them to urinate more often than people with normal blood glucose levels, as the kidneys are forced to get rid of the excess deposited sugar and toxins. Due to this condition, the volume and frequency of urination increases.
Tips to manage:
- Limit foods & beverages with diuretic properties (substances that increase urine output) such as tea, green tea, coffee, parsley & beer. Specifically, don’t exceed 40ml per day
- Incorporate Kegel exercises in daily routine, these exclusive exercises are known to strengthen the weakened or affected bladder and pelvic muscles.
- Schedule water intake to avoid over hydration and frequent urination.
- Do not exceed more than 1.5 glasses of water (120 ml) within an hour.
- Try & drink limited quantity of water after 9 pm. This will limit night-time urination and promotes sound sleep.
Unusual thirst (Polydipsia)
Excessive sugar deposition in the blood of diabetic people is responsible for the unusual thirst & feeling of dehydration, which makes them feel thirsty all the time. Additionally, frequent urination and excessive thirst are often coupled together as co-existing symptoms. Simultaneously, as the water intake increases, the output also increases.
Tips to manage:
- Incorporate watery fruits and vegetables in diet like cucumber and watermelon as they not only replenish fluids in the body but also provide fibrous component.
- Infuse slices of lemon and few leaves of mint in water and sip it on throughout the day. This has dual benefits; First is its ability to manage thirst and secondly, this water can effectively detox the accumulated toxins too.
- Avoid snacking on salty or spicy processed foods, which further aggravates thirst and raises blood sugar levels.
- Drinking chilled water actually increases thirst while giving a sigh of relief. Hence, it is advised to lower the consumption of chilled water and beverages and drink more fluids at room temperature to quench adequate amount of water requirement in the body.
- Dry mouth and chapped lips are to be moisten with frequent sips of lukewarm water in a cup which can hugely help to reduce dry mouth and thirsty conditions in people with diabetes.
During endocrine disorders such as diabetes, people may feel tired or fatigue. However, there is a difference between tiredness and fatigue. People often misinterpret tiredness with fatigue, while both are medically different conditions. Tiredness goes away after adequate resting, but fatigue remains even after you have rested properly.
Fatigue in diabetics is primarily caused due to the swing from spiking of blood sugar levels, such as too high or too low levels of glucose in blood, or some other co-existing medical conditions. The person may experience dizziness, blurred vision, blackouts and extreme tiredness. The above symptoms often disrupt normal day to day functioning hence, to avoid fatigue and hypoglycemic events (sudden dip in blood glucose levels), the below tips can come very handy.
Tips to manage:
- Keep a check on carbohydrate intake and avoid simple carbohydrates as much as possible such as white rice, refined flours and bakery items
- Including cardio exercises in daily regime with sustainable levels of activity can help in managing fatigue to a greater extent. Caution; you are recommended not to overdo vigorous exercises such as running, gymming and weightlifting.
- Avoid late night dinners as they may result in a buildup of excess sugar levels in the blood.
- Combat fatigue and tiredness by sipping a glass of water as sometimes, dehydration may result in fatigue and tiredness.
- Make sure to have at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep to avoid tiredness and fatigue.
- Keep a candy, glucose powder always handy & ready in case of sudden hypoglycemic events (dip in sugar levels).
- Lifestyle changes such as early waking up patterns along with yoga or brisk walking in the morning has hugely helped people with diabetes to overcome fatigue and lethargic feeling.
In most cases, the glucose which is produced from the food is unable to enter the cells in the body of diabetics due to lack of insulin production. So, the cells will thrive for energy, which results in sudden uncontrollable hunger pangs.
Tips to manage:
- Protein has the highest ability to keep the stomach full for a very long time. However, always try to rely on lean protein rich foods like egg-whites, yogurt, chickpeas, tuna, salmon, chicken breast, tofu, soy chunks, low-fat milk, cottage cheese (homemade paneer) which keep hunger pangs at bay.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it breaks the fast of the body, in the morning, post sleep. A good breakfast with high amount of protein and unflavored cereals is very essential to control hunger pangs and it significantly improves metabolism, which is very essential to keep sugar levels in control.
- Instead of having 3 large meals, it is advised to have 6 small meals (breakfast, morning snack, lunch, evening snack, pre-dinner, dinner).
- Additionally, including ginger in your diet regime or eating a small piece of ginger root before breakfast can significantly reduce hunger pangs.
- Staying awake in late night hours along with digitalized screens can severely affect circadian rhythm (a biological clock in the body) and the body demands food and the person experiences hunger pangs. If food is supplied, it results in spike of sugar levels, as metabolic rate during night is low.
- People who have the tendency to stay awake past midnight hours are most likely to experience more hunger pangs than people who are early risers. So, a sound sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours is required in the case of diabetes to fight almost all the complications.
- Always keep a protein bar snack handy to avoid eating all the available food at sight. Roasted peanuts, walnuts, pistachio and cashews are also excellent alternatives of healthy snacking.
- Foods which are deep fried are known to increase hunger and water intake leading to water retention in the body. So, keep away all such food items as they lead to water retention and obesity.
- Super foods such as chia seeds, almonds, oats and other nuts are nutritious mid meal fillers and snacks. Incorporating them in our daily system will curb hunger pangs and also promote good skin and weight loss.
Mood swings and anger currents
Daily management of diabetes which majorly includes food restrictions, prolonged medical compliance, and change of daily routine, makes the life of diabetics very monotonous and they always feel irritated which in turn leads to mood swings and unmanageable anger currents. Diabetic patients might experience these anger currents at any time during a day and will be struck up in roller coaster of mood swings if sugar levels are not maintained properly.
Tips to manage:
- Stress is the major culprit in spiking up the blood sugar to a large extent. Effective stress management methods like yoga, (read below to find out all about the most recommended aasanas for diabetics) and aerobic exercises should be included in daily routine.
- Finding the real cause of stress and implementing practical solutions might help to a larger extent.
- Do not hesitate to take the help of family members/friends to manage anger currents and mood swings.
- Having a control on emotions and a limit on reaction to the situation will help you in keeping sugar levels in control.
- Lack of rest induces a sudden spike in diabetic levels which induces restlessness and anger currents. It is always advised to have proper rest along with balanced diet.
- Dehydration sometimes might cause mood swings. Always make sure to have sufficient amount of water.
Tingling sensation in arms and feet
Excessive sugar deposition in blood will cause a tingling sensation in hands and feet regularly in diabetics. Sometimes it is coupled with numbness and burning pain. At times, the posture of sitting can also trigger numbness and tingling sensation.
Tips to manage:
- If the period of numbness or tingling sensation exceeds more than 5 mins, a quick cold or hot compress can help to reduce the sensation, by loosening the stiffness of muscles.
- Lukewarm water bath coupled with Epsom salt has been proven to manage tingling and burning sensation. The magnesium in Epsom salt has the ability to increase blood circulation, thereby decreasing numbness and tingling sensation.
- A massage with basic oils like coconut or mustard oil helps to relive stiffness and decreases tingling immediately.
Losing control over portion sizes of food, uncontrollable food intake and urge to eat immediately after a meal are strong indications of binge eating (Polyphagia). Mostly diabetic patients undergo binges and end up eating foods rich in simple carbohydrates.
Tips to manage:
- Avoid foods with simple carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta, white rice, potato-based foods.
- It is always recommended to have a glass of water while you are experiencing a binge, because in many instances, thirst is often confused with hunger.
- Following a five-course meal is highly advised for diabetics rather than 3 large meals, as it boosts up metabolism and controls hunger pangs, thereby decreasing binges.
- Keep all the junk foods loaded with simple carbohydrates out of sight as it increases the urge to eat.
- Sit back and relax for a while, and let the binge go off. In most of the cases, the binges are suppressed on their own.
- Consuming a healthy diet for diabetes, loaded with lots of vegetables and low glycemic index fruits like citrus fruits helps to combat binges effectively.
- It is recommended to have a light snack or minimal amount of food before stepping out or before attending a party in order to avoid binge eating.
- It is better to carry a healthy snack always, so you won’t end up snacking on unhealthy and processed foods.