hope all is well. it’s quite a Monday here in Sydney. it has been all gloomy since morning- and now it’s pouring.
i have started running diabetes education group session at the clinic i work- Mt Druitt Medical Centre. If you have type 2 diabetes, and if you’re interested, do give us a call. or you can drop a comment and i’ll follow up.
since i am the one who is running the group, i have been researching a lot about diabetes and it’s management. so i would like to share it with you.
i have talked about diabetes in the past. read here.
so, as we all know, diabetes has its complications. generally, if we have diabetes type II and we control our diabetes well, our risks of complications are minimal. however, most people i have met in my practice do not control their diabetes well. it can be damaging to our health.
we probably don’t feel it now, but having uncontrolled diabetes may cause many severe complications later on in life such as:
1. kidney damage (nephropathy), can lead to kidney failure
2. eye damage (retinopathy), can also lead to blindness
3. nerve damage to the feet and other parts of body (neuropathy), can also lead to amputation
4. sexual problems
we also cannot disregard that as we have diabetes, our risk of developing heart disease are much greater. this is because we often have abnormal lipid profile- meaning we have high blood cholesterol/LDL/triglycerides.
so what do we do?
healthy lifestyle is essential in diabetes management. proper diet and exercise has significant impact on our blood glucose control. our GP or endocrinologist will be able to tell us our blood glucose target. once we know our target, then we aim to achieve them through diet and exercise.
healthy eating has been shown to: improve blood glucose control and modify cardiovascular risk factors. modest weight loss (<10% body weight, for example if you weigh 90kg, a modest weight loss is 9kg) in overweight/obese person has been shown to: improve insulin sensitivity, improve blood glucose control, reduce body fat percentage, improve blood pressure and other cardiovascular factors, may reduce or even eliminate the need for medications and may reduce insulin dose.
basic healthy eating:
1. eat regular meals: 3 main meals and 1-2 snacks
2. evenly spread your carbohydrate intake throughout the day. it is unnecessary to eliminate all carbohydrate from your diet. carbohydrate is main source of energy for us. be consistent and eat mostly from complex carbohydrate such as whole grains, legumes and vegetables.
3. portion control. a healthy plate consists of 1/2 plate of vegetables, 1/4 plate of low GI complex carbohydrate and 1/4 plate of lean protein.
4. switch to healthy fats, from oily fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil, canola oil, avocado.
be sure that you go to your GP regularly- every 3 months to check your HbA1C which shows your glucose control in the past 3 months. and check your sugar level at home daily if you have the equipment.
so, to be a healthy diabetic:
1. achieve normal and stable blood glucose control (target should be discussed with your GP/endocrinologist)
2. achieve normal lipid profile (tot cholesterol <4.0mmol/L; LDL cholesterol <2.0mmol/L; HDL cholesterol >1.0mmol/L; triglycerides <2.0mmol/L)
3. achieve normal blood pressure (<130 systolic /90 diastolic)
4. eat healthy
5. be active (try to exercise every second day, as simple as walking- and work your way up gradually)
Diabetes. 2011. Better Health Channel.
Diabetes facts. 2010. Australian Diabetes Council.
Mahan and Escott-Stump. 2008. Krause’s food and nutrition therapy, 12e. Canada: Elsevier.
Mann and Truswell. 2007. Essentials of human nutrition 3rd edition. US: Oxford University Press Inc