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World Diabetes Day 2017: 6 crucial ways to control your blood sugar levels

Cameroon today joins the international community to celebrate world Diabetes day 2017. The day is commemorated under the theme, Women...

Cameroon today joins the international community to celebrate world Diabetes day 2017.

The day is commemorated under the theme, Women and diabetes: our right to a healthy future.

This year's celebration, which is co-ordinated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), aims at promoting the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is the general term used for conditions which lead to an increase in glucose levels in the blood. Though a dangerous disease, with a proper diet and lifestyle change, you can control your blood sugar levels.

Below are 6 crucial ways to control your blood sugar levels

Lifestyle modification: Sedentary habits, eating more junk and fatty food, aerated drinks, and erratic meal habits all contribute towards the risk of having diabetes. Every extra hour of sitting increases risk of having diabetes by a fifth, warns the doctor. So, by an intensive lifestyle modification, adopting of healthy diets and increased physical activity, type 2 diabetes can be prevented.

Obesity: Gaining weight may make you susceptible to diabetes. As doctor suggests, try to maintain ideal body weight, that is to keep the BMI less than 22.9 Kg/m2 and waist circumference to less than 90 cm in male and 80 cm in females. Get rid of excess weight through a regimented diet and exercise plan. There are no shortcuts to lose weight. Weight loss and a good diet can even reverse pre-diabetes.

Food habits and balanced diet: Eating at right time, an appropriate amount of a balance carbohydrates, fats and proteins with fruits is essential. Not going on an empty stomach for long hours and not missing the meals are important. Studies have shown that missing breakfast increases the risk of developing diabetes. Replace heavy meals after prolong gap with small healthy snacks to munch on. (Read | Eating dark chocolates may prevent diabetes: Study)

Exercise regularly: From a brisk walk to yoga, exercise daily for at least for 30 to 45 minutes. Sedentary habits are contributing in a big way to increasing incidences of diabetes. Also, taking a break from exercise could up the risks. So make sure to take small breaks in between your work. 

Adequate sleep: Not just food and exercise but proper rest is also very important. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every day is a must as our body rejuvenates itself during sleep by eliminating the toxins which accumulate during the time we are awake. Late nights and late mornings also up the risk of having diabetes and hypertension.

Regular checkups: Regular blood sugar monitoring, essential intake of medicines and a review check-up with your doctors at regular intervals is must.

Supporting facts

  • There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes. This total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040.
  • Two out of every five women with diabetes are of reproductive age, accounting for over 60 million women worldwide.
  • Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths per year.
  • Women with type 2 diabetes are almost 10 times more likely to have coronary heart disease than women without the condition.
  • Women with type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of early miscarriage or having a baby with malformations.

What needs to be done
  • Health systems must pay adequate attention to the specific needs and priorities of women. 
  • All women with diabetes should have access to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they need to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes. 
  • All women with diabetes should have access to pre-conception planning services to reduce risk during pregnancy. 
  • All women and girls should have access to physical activity to improve their health outcomes. 


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