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What to do if you are diabetic

Diabetic? These are things you should be doing

Diabetes is a serious condition, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Many people live full lives while managing their conditions. 

Having diabetes means that you will need to have a strict diet and medication regimen. Some diabetics need to take insulin. With a healthy diet, exercise and a few of the mindful changes listed below, you will be able to manage your condition and stay healthy. 

What is diabetes?

Around 415 million people around the world live with diabetes. That means that diabetes affects almost 10% of the population. It is a lifestyle disease that has several causes, which  include genetic, unhealthy sedentary lifestyles and poor food choices. There are different causes for the different types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. 

There is also Gestational Diabetes, which is diabetes during pregnancy.

Diabetes is essentially the body’s inability to release insulin, which is considered to be an autoimmune disease, or the inability to absorb insulin (which is known as insulin resistance), Affinity Health explains in the article; ‘Can you reverse diabetes?’

Can Diabetes be reversed?

No, but diabetes can certainly be prevented by eating healthy and exercising. This combination of lifestyle choices has been the ‘cure’ for several illnesses. Particularly type 2 diabetes is believed to be reversible by adopting specific lifestyle changes. One such method is the Banting diet, developed by Professor Tim Noakes in the late 2000s. Losing extra kilos around the midline area can help with insulin control. The diet promotes a low carbohydrate, high protein eating plan, which is perfect for diabetics. These foods have almost non-existent effects on blood glucose and have tons of fibre and phytochemicals. The same is reported for beans, legumes and other sources of low glycaemic carbohydrates.

Which rules should diabetics follow?

Monitor Your Blood Sugar

It is important, as a diabetic, to keep your eye on your blood sugar. Take a reading both before and after meals. Track it in a book, especially for your diabetes stats. 

Doing this allows you to make needed adjustments and helps to reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes. Write the time, date and reading every time. You will most likely see a pattern developing with  what causes spikes in your blood sugar and how you feel when your blood sugar is too high, too low or at an optimal level. 

Top Ten Home Remedies says to check your fasting and postprandial (post-meal) blood sugar levels on a regular basis. You must check your blood sugar level first thing in the morning to get your fasting rate, then two hours after eating your first meal.


Diabetics are encouraged to be as active as possible, even if it’s simply a daily walk. Getting the muscles moving is healthy, even if you don’t have diabetes. Getting the heart rate elevated is a sure way to significantly impact postprandial glucose excursions after meals; to improve your blood sugar levels, boost your overall fitness and helps to manage your weight.

People who exercise on a regular basis have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

It is important to check your blood sugar levels before exercising. Starting an exercise programme when you have low blood sugar can make you feel dizzy, and you could even pass out. Check your blood sugar as soon as you finish exercising and again several times during the next few hours, says Mayo Clinic. Exercise draws on reserve sugar stored in your muscles and liver. As your body rebuilds these stores, it takes sugar from your blood.

Have loads of vitamin C

Diabetics would do well by adding lemons, oranges, strawberries and other sources of vitamin C to their diets. Lemon has soluble fibre in it that helps to reduce blood sugar, which lowers heart disease risk by helping to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

According to a study in 2014, citrus flavonoids, naringin and naringenin, have an accelerating effect on metabolic syndrome. 

Vitamin C is also a known remedy for colds and flu. Diabetics are more susceptible to catching viruses, and they are also very susceptible to the related complications of these infections, such as secondary bacterial pneumonia, explains Touch Endocrinology. 

Diabetic patients have impaired immune-response to infection, both in relation to cytokine profile and to changes in immune-responses, including T-cell and macrophage activation.

 Diabetics have poor glycaemic control. This means persistently elevated blood glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin levels, which may range from 200mg – 500mg/dl (11–2mmol/L) and 9%–15% or higher. This poor glycaemic control impairs several aspects of the immune response to viral infection and also to the potential bacterial secondary infection in the lungs.

Basically, diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that causes high blood sugar levels. The novel coronavirus will most likely thrive in an environment of elevated blood glucose. Combined with a persistent state of inflammation, people with diabetes have a much more difficult time recovering from COVID-19.

As coronavirus directly affects the respiratory system, it is obvious why diabetics are very high risk.

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