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Diabetes: How to lead healthier life

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Diabetes: How to lead healthier life


Living with diabetes seems like a daunting full time job, diabetics have said. In this report, Ruth Olurounbi examines how they can cope with the disease, for a better, fulfilling life.

Everyone does everything necessary to avoid falling sick to any illness, worst of all, to life-threatening ones like cancer or even diabetes. Medical experts too, in their ways to ensuring that human beings lead a healthy life, daily come out with awareness of diseases that abound, their devastating effects and how to prevent them.

Sadly though, despite best efforts to prevent a disease, in this case diabetes, it usually comes as shocking and even unfair when an individual falls prey to a terminal disease.  While some fall to bouts of depression and mourning, others find ways to cope with the disease and probably lead a normal life for as long as they can.

Diabetes, as sufferers and medical workforce can testify to, is a really serious disease and if left untreated, is life-threatening. With several millions of people walking around in the country without having any slightest idea they have the disease, their cases may be a little bit more complicated, Dr Doyin Arogundade, a consultant with Life Hospital said.

Dr Arogundade, who submitted that on a very short term basis, the prognosis for diabetics was quiet good, as prompt and consistent drugs administration would help control the disease, added that long term outlook actually depended on the patient.

He said that people living with diabetes could live a long, healthy life if they had good disposition to life, stating that they would do well if they found a way to change their current lifestyle into a healthier one. He counseled also that, apart from the mandatory change in diet, diabetics needed to avoid stress or anything that could be considered a stressor.

Some diabetics, according to Dr Bolutife Adeoye, a human nutritionist, “go through life being nonchalant to the disease.” He said that their disposition could only bring more “heartache at a latter future.” An online medical journal stated that if diabetes, were left untreated, it could entertain “many diabetic complications like blindness, stroke, heart problem, kidney failure, and erectile dysfunction. Worst of all, amputation of legs may be the end, starting from one or two fingers.”

As Dr Arogundade said, when people diagnosed with early symptoms of diabetes took proper care of themselves as quickly as possible, the risks due to diabetic complications could be minimised. A diabetic could cope with the disease, and thereby enjoyed a healthy living if he does the following:

Eat healthy: A diabetic ought to eat healthy foods with low sugar, saturated fats and salts.  Dr Adeoye said that diets consumed should be daily loaded with fibres, fresh vegetables, cereals, nuts and fruits.

“Whatever the foods you consume, the quantity should be in measured size with whole grains. And it should be consumed four or five times a day in small portions, and have a check on weight gain,” a journal said.

There are many substances – foods, herbs, supplements etc – which can help diabetics control their blood sugar, and even safely stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. Look after yourself and you may never have any real problems, or at least they won’t start cropping up for 20 years or more, another online article stated.

Exercise: Doctors emphasised that physical exercise was highly recommended for healthy living among diabetics. “It is recommended that everyone goes for exercises at least 30 minutes daily. For people living with diabetes, it is imperative that they  engage in regular exercise everyday of their lives,” Dr Yemi Adejayi a physiotherapist said.

Exercise, he said was a good way for diabetics to control their sugar levels and to keep their hearts healthy.

Dr Adeoye also said that diabetics should try as much as they could to keep their weight gain to a minimum. He said that this was important for type 2 diabetes patients, adding that weight loss would help promote their health, ensuring that they lived a “relative normal life.”

In an article by WebMD, it was stated that diabetics should try as much as possible to avoid stress, as “stress can significantly affect your ability to control the disease (diabetes). If you are under stress, you may skip meals or forget to take your medicines, which will affect your blood sugar level. Learning to deal with this stress is especially important if you have diabetes.”

The article added that although it was almost impossible to completely eliminate stress from one’s life, but by learning to better cope with stress, diabetics could keep their disease under control.

A good attitude “is required in the fight against stress, especially for diabetics,” Dr Adejayi said.

The WebMD also indicated that most of the time when things went wrong, it was usually easier to see the apparent bad than the inherent good.   “When things seem to be going wrong, it’s always easier to see the bad instead of the good. Find something good in each important area of your life: work, family, friends, and health. Thinking about the good can help you get through the bad times and the stress,” it stated.

Therefore, diabetics were advised to take time to relax by practicing muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, or visualisation, just as they have been counseled not to bottle up the stress they experienced inside.

“Don’t keep stress bottled up inside. If you don’t want to talk with a family member or close friend, there are counselors and clergy trained to provide support and insight. Ask your doctor for recommendations if you would like to see a psychologist or counselor,” it was also said. - Nigerian news, Health & Beauty news, naija, Nigeria, West Africa

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Updated 7 Years ago

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