India may be the second most populated country in the world; however, it’s already beaten everyone to become the diabetes capital. National NCD Monitoring Survey, led by the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Centre for Disease Informatics & Research (ICMR-NCDIR), Bengaluru, with support from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of India suggested that 9.3% adult population in our country were living with diabetes. Correlate that to numbers, it’s huge.
Diabetes has become so common that most of us have someone in our family who has it. It’s no longer a disease of the elderly, it’s rising in number in the young people aged between 20-40 yrs. Lifestyle changes, lack of awareness, food habits, and genetic predisposition are a few reasons responsible for the rise of cases.
In my family, both my parents & in-laws have diabetes. As a caregiver to my seniors, I have learned how to take care of & help them manage diabetes effectively. I keep on updating myself in this respect as knowledge and awareness are the keys. I recently saw a very insightful discussion on the same.
Sharing my 5 Key takeaways from the discussion – some I already uphold while others were new for me are as follows.
Be regular with your medication:
Proper diabetes management can help control it effectively. Once you are diagnosed, regular medication is vital in maintaining your blood sugar levels. Since it’s a chronic disease, daily medication becomes part and parcel of life, and we all have tendencies to miss our doses for various reasons. One thing I have learnt from this discussion is that taking your medicines timely is important.
Having a patient at home with high blood sugar and missing medication can lead to complications and even hospitalization, which will only worsen the situation and increase the cost of treatment.
We usually keep medications at home for 2-3 months and check the stock regularly to prevent missing doses.
Healthy & Balanced meals:
Having a healthy balanced meal is imperative for every person; however, its significance increases for someone living with diabetes. A doctor can advise a list of food items that the person can take.
Having smaller proportions and a regular intake of food helps a lot. With small modifications, we can enjoy our favourite food items easily.
Home-cooked food is ideal for someone living with diabetes because we can take all the precautions while making it. Less processed food is easy for digestion.
In case of travel, we need to monitor our food intake and select the food items which won’t cause much trouble.
Regular physical activity increases your Insulin sensitivity which is good for your body.
Start slow and build up gradually. It can start with a simple walk, increased physical activity like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, simple exercises at home, etc.
As a caregiver, we need to keep in mind to rotate the activities to avoid monotony and maintain regularity for the patient.
Monitoring & Testing of Sugar levels:
Monitoring is essential for every person with diabetes. Thankfully folks at home understand it and are pretty regular in their monitoring. A person with diabetes has chances of high or low blood sugar which needs attention and monitoring is the mirror to see these changes inside the body.
People living with diabetes can check their blood sugar with a prick at home. However, regular pricking can be a cause of concern. I am glad to learn about the concept of Continuous Glucose Monitoring devices like FreeStyle Libre from this discussion. A device that can help continuous monitor glucose levels without a prick is a boon, trust me.
Daily pricking does cause pain in the fingers; I have seen that with my parents.
Last but not the least, emotional support plays a major role in any disease or situation. For any individual to accept that he has got a chronic disease and medicines are part of his/her life permanently is not easy.
Our parents especially are in such a stage of their life that such lifestyle diseases affect them a lot. Restrictions really make them irritable many times, so we really need to take care of their mental and physical well-being.
With regular tracking and good mental and physical health, we can take care of diabetes effectively. As a caregiver, our role is crucial and equally tough. We need to take care of certain lifestyle changes to help our loved ones manage diabetes better. I am glad I was able to participate in this discussion.
Know more about FreeStyle Libre and Continuous Glucose Monitoring.
You can buy FreeStyle Libre here.
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These are necessary which a diabetic should make in his/her life and a caretaker should make sure that these changes are applied on the life of a diabetic. FreeStyle Libre looks like to be a great device for continous monitoring of glucose levels. Will try it soon.
As a caretaker to my husband who is a diabetic for the last 5 years, I can say that these lifestyle changes are a must to manage diabetes. Thanks for sharing about the concept of continuous glucose monitoring and FreeStyle Libre. I will check more about this device.
Such an important point of giving emotional support. Both my mom and mom in law are diabetic. Just recently my mom underwent a surgery and just because of being diabetic the doctors were so concerned to operate plus also about recovery post surgery.
I’m going to share these tips with my parents who are diabetic.
I am glad you have also talked about emotional support in this post. most of us take goo care of diet and medication but forget to pay attention on emotional factor . it is another important factor for taking good care of your loved one who had diabetes.
Emotional well being is very important in every aspect. I have seen in my family so I share its very important to cater to it.
Diabetes is not a disease, but a condition that needs to be managed really well. Lifestyle changes are neccessary for the effecive management of Diabetes.
Absolutely. Along with lifestyle changes one must keep a continuous watch as well for better management.
Diabetes is known as a silent killer. To keep this at bay, it so neccessary that alongwith medicines, one also keeps a close eye on diet and exercise.
Cant agree more with you. A continuous tab on the disease can help in better management.
A device that does not prick is like a boon! Regular exercise and healthy eating are the solutions to many of our human ailments but still people do not care seems like.
Yes we often ignore simple things in life I guess. The device surely is a book, keep watching to know more. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Couldn’t agree more, certain lifestyle changes can make a huge impact on our health. I am sharing this post with my aunt, who has diabetes and is under permanent medication.
Lifestyle changes have a great role and in the las few months this is just getting reinforced in many ways. I am glad you found this post helpful and thanks for sharing 🙂
Constant monitoring is essential especially when dealing with diabetes. Freestyle libre definitely is something that’s gonna help in monitoring
Diabetes need control and monitoring. These are very good tips and they surely help in managing and maintaining sugar levels and taking care of a Diabetes patient. Thanks for these tips and recommendations.
I totally agree with you Manisha, being a caregiver I totally agree that change in little lifestyle can bring so much changes in life.
I couldn’t agree more that certain lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on our health. These are excellent suggestions for managing and maintaining sugar levels as well as caring for a diabetic patient.
I so agree to your tips dear maa n bhai both being diabetic I know how crucial these points are buddy
I also suffer from diabetes and can totally relate to the aspect of making lifestyle changes to lead a better and healthy life. Will surely add the ones from this post that I have missed upon.
We need to certainly bring some changes in lifestyle to lead a healthy life. Good to know about product that doesn’t require daily pricking to check the blood sugar levels.
I really enjoyed reading this one. Nowadays, at least one person in every family has diabetes. I really believe that lifestyle changes would definitely help them. Thank you for sharing these amazing tips.
Diabetes is one disease that unfortunately can be passed along. What a great compilation you’ve got here to help those who have diabetes and those who have loved ones who have diabetes. There might be tons of information about how to care for those with diabetes but this one is a quick read for everyone to absorb what is needed to be done without much time spending reading without compromising the information they can get from it.
All of these tips are awesome, my grandma was a diabetic and I know it was hard for her sometimes with the diet so knowing how to help out is a big plus.
I agree you must help you loved one with diabetes. you don’t want to make it harder for them.