South Indian food options are often high in Glycemic Index, as most are have rice as their base. However, when eaten in controlled portions at a restaurant is not so hard to choose from for a Diabetes Patient. Here is our take on it.
All food items in this South Indian menu guide are chosen on the basis of being:
Comparatively lower in calories & fat than other food items in the menu
Low GI foods ( Glycemic Index)
Cooked through healthy methods.
High in fiber and protein
Make sure you control your portions and personalize your plate, as per the needs by asking at the restaurant.
Vegetable Upma (Rava /Suji based)
High GI foods can be enjoyed once in a while, if eaten in small portions
Small plain dosa – Without butter and without filling
At the heart of diabetes management is regular monitoring of your sugar levels. Besides checking your HbA1c levels, sugar monitoring with a home use glucometer is a must. You may use a simple glucometer or the newer and more technologically advanced mobile based glucometer. These smartphone glucometers attach via the audio port of your phone and allow you to save your readings, view trends and analyses, set reminders, share readings in addition to other such useful features for diabetics.
For checking your blood sugar at home your diabetic kit must include the following:
Blood glucose test strip as recommended by your glucometer manufacturer
Diabetes test strips are the only recurring cost a person with diabetes needs to incur to continue testing.
Here are some GENERAL TIPS for using test strips:
Never re-use test strips
Do not leave strips in direct sunlight or humidity
Do not bend strips
Always wash hands before using strips to ensure blood glucose levels are not affected by contamination
Always dispose used test strips carefully in a sealed pack
FREQUENCY OF TESTING AND NUMBER OF STRIPS REQUIRED PER MONTH
You must always first ask your doctor or medical practioner for how often you should test. Here are some general guidelines and the average number of strips you will require per month.
Gestational Diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, needs you to be extremely vigilant to ensure health and safety of baby and mom. You may be asked to check your blood glucose as often as 3-4 times a day.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER STRIPS needed per month = 120
2. Insulin dependant or Type 1 diabetes also requires a diabetic to check sugar levels 3-4 times a day to determine amount of insulin he/she needs.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER STRIPS needed per month = 120
3. Newly diagnosed diabetics will usually check more often than long time standing diabetics in order to understand how their blood sugar affects their health and how diet and exercise affect their sugar levels. Here you are likely to be checking at least 2-3 times a week.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER TEST STRIPS needed per month = 12
4. Drug or medication induced diabetes is called secondary diabetes that may occur due to taking certain medication or may be a consequence of having other health conditions. In such cases, a person needs to take extra care and monitor sugar levels as often as 3-4 times a day. Here, diabetes may go away on stopping medication or may be permanent depending on what other health condition the patient has.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER TEST STRIPS needed per month = 120
5. Long standing Type 2 diabetics usually need to check blood sugar no more than 2-3 times a week. This may vary if your diabetes is uncontrolled, if you are travelling or have an illness or any other medical condition.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER STRIPS needed per month = 12
One can calculate the cost you will incur based on number of test strips you are likely to use per month.
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a hormonal condition which is common amongst woman these days. According to the recent statistics, one in every 10 women is diagnosed with PCOS. Moreover, it affects the metabolism and hormones becoming one of the major causes of infertility.
Since women diagnosed with PCOS are prone to Type 1 diabetes and moreover face difficulties to conceive, it is necessary to know this syndrome in detail.
What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
PCOS is a condition which affects the female sex hormones. The female ovaries have follicles which are little, liquid filled sacs that hold eggs. An egg when gets developed and mature is discharged by the follicles to go to the uterus for ovulation. For a lady with PCOS, the follicles group together and form cysts. The eggs get developed yet the grouped follicles don’t break and discharge them.
Thus, ladies with PCOS often have irregular periods or only have it on occasion. Since the eggs are not released, women have a lot of difficulty to conceive.
Symptoms of PCOS
As we discussed what PCOS is and how women diagnosed with the same don’t have regular periods, here are some other classic symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome:
Abnormality in menstrual cycle
Anywhere between 21 and 35 days is considered to be a normal menstrual cycle. However, the average menstrual cycle is 28 days with one ovulation when eggs are normal.
Again, no period for more than 35 days is another sign of PCOS.
An irregular period cycle is when either the period cycles are eight or less or when the menstrual cycles are longer than 35 days.
Inability to conceive
Since release of eggs by follicles become difficult in PCOS, women experience difficulty in getting pregnant.
The symptoms may differ from person to person. Some may experience heavy and prolonged bleeding and some experience painful menstruation.
Heavy and prolonged bleeding
The ovaries produce progesterone for two weeks after ovulation. By the end of two weeks, the level of progesterone drops and the lining of the uterus start to shed. This is the case in normal periods. If ovulation does not happen, then the ovaries are unable to make progesterone which leads to thickening of the lining of uterus. Moreover, the calls of the lining might become crowded (hyperplasia, a cause of uterine cancer) which can result in heavy bleeding.
When the uterus is unable to produce progesterone, there is an increase in the levels of androgen, including testosterone. This spike in male sex hormones results in increase of male-pattern hair growth and other male characteristics, such as a deep voice.
Increase in waist circumference
Waist circumference is a measure which helps you to identify the risks associated with excess fat around the waist. A waist circumference of 40 inches or more in men and 35 inches or more in women is related to health problems such as Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
Acanthosis nigricans is Darkening and thickening of specific parts of the skin, particularly in skin folds of the neck, armpits, and crotch.
Acne, oily skin
Weight gain or difficulty in losing weight
The relationship between PCOS and Diabetes
One of the major problems in the initial stages of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is insulin resistance which happens when the body does not work the way it should. As everyone knows, insulin is an important hormone to control blood sugar levels. When the cell resists insulin, the pancreas then produces more and more insulin to control the sugar levels. It affects the immune system and can trigger Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or pre-diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes is a condition which is similar to PCOS as the cells become resistant to insulin or insulin produced is inadequate resulting in spike of sugar levels. Even though Type 2 diabetes is preventable through exercise or proper diet, PCOS in itself is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. High insulin levels decrease the breakdown of fat and stimulate fat storage, fluctuation in blood lipids such as low HDL-C (good cholesterol) and/or high triglycerides In fact, women diagnosed with PCOS in the early stages are later at high risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
The diagnosis of PCOS is in several steps.
The doctor will discuss your detailed medical history of menstrual cycle and reproductive history which includes information about birth control that you adopt and the pregnancies if you have had.
Your doctor then would ask you to get a pelvic exam where they will check if you have swelling of cysts in ovary. If the doctor feels the presence of cysts, they might recommend an ultrasound of the uterus.
If the tests diagnose PCOs, the doctor would suggest the blood sugar to be tested to check hormone levels. Since insulin resistance is one of the effects of PCOS, insulin and glucose levels will also be checked.
Can there be a similar treatment?
Treatment varies from person to person on the basis of diagnosis. However, the major requirement is lifestyle changes.
These generally include following a low fat, high fibre, low glycaemic index, healthy eating plan, giving up smoking and doing regular physical activity which can help with weight management and improve insulin sensitivity. A weight loss of as little as 5% can improve insulin levels, acne, ovulation, fertility, reduce excessive hair growth and improve mental health. These lifestyle changes can also assist with managing other risk factors including high blood lipids, blood pressure and hormone levels. In many women the male hormone levels reduce therefore reducing future risks.
Continuous physical activity is a must to keep the body healthy and fight obesity which is associated with PCOS. Exercising also burns excess blood sugar and makes the cells sensitive to use insulin more effectively. This benefits people with diabetes as well as women with PCOS.
Healthy food habits
A balanced diet that gives whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables is helpful in managing diabetes and overweight. Include low-fat, low GI foods in your diet plan.
Hormonal birth control makes your menstrual cycle more regular and helps control the rising levels of androgens which results in low growth of hair on face and body.
Smoking leads to cardiovascular diseases that can cause blood clots in women who take birth pills. Since PCOS is treated with birth pills, this can become a major problem. In simple way, smoking inversely affects heart, blood and nervous system.
A balanced diet and physical activity can help ease PCOS-related signs. Reducing weight may bring down your blood glucose levels, enhance the way your body utilizes insulin, and help your hormones achieve target levels. Indeed, even a 10% decrease in body weight can help make your menstrual cycle more normal and enhance your chances of getting pregnant.
Get enough sleep. Sleeping helps to restores the body and contributes in weight loss. Six to eight hours of sleep every night can improve you overall health.
Knowledge about the disease
Not only in PCOS, but in every medical condition knowledge of the disease can make you informative about the risks and help you fight them. By knowing the causes and effects of PCOS and insulin resistance, you can know how to prevent them.
Maintaining blood lipids
In PCOS, the decrease of fat breakdown and stimulation of fat storage fluctuates in blood lipids such as low HDL-C (good cholesterol) and/or high triglycerides. As PCOS can result in cardiovascular diseases in later stages, maintaining the blood lipids is important.
Keeping a track of hormone levels
As PCOS affects hormone levels, keeping a track of the hormone levels is necessary. All the hormones especially insulin and thyroid should be checked quarterly if you have PCOS as it is the most affected.
Nevertheless, particular medicines for the two conditions may supplement or balance rehab tips each other.
For instance, medicines like metformin that is proven to improve insulin resistance may be prescribed to women diagnosed with diabetes. However, metformin might also have side effects if not used in conjunction with recommended lifestyle changes
If you have PCOS or diabetes, it is better to consult your doctor or diabetes educator about which treatment options will work best for your particular situation.
When sugar levels are not well controlled, foot problems are one of the common complications a person faces. Hence, diabetic foot care is a must to ensure the body remains immune and the secretion of sweat and oil which lubricates the skin is not impaired. A diabetic person has high chances of nerve damages which can result to pain in the feet, tingling or weakness and in the worst case, neuropathy. Therefore, diabetic foot care is always necessary to keep your feet strong and healthy.
What triggers foot discomfort in diabetic foot care?
Though a diabetic person is most likely to face foot related problems, it is not necessary. With proper diabetic foot care, there should never be a need to worry about any foot problems. However, one should know the common causes that can reduce the health of your feet.
Poorly fitting shoes are one major reason for bad diabetic foot care. Shoe shopping for a diabetic person requires close attention to ensure comfort.
If a diabetic person does not keep track of the sugar levels, it can lead to nerve damage. People who have been diabetic for a long time or don’t control their sugar levels can have diabetic foot care problems.
Wearing shoes outside can help you protect your feet but there are risks of getting small cuts and scrapes if the feet are not covered inside the house too.
Delay in treating foot woes
Diabetics who don’t check their feet regularly delay in treating any wounds. Hammer toes, corns or any simple foot woes if not taken seriously can turn infectious within no time. This is one of the main reasons why diabetic foot care should be part of your treatment.
One of the easy ways to catch foot infection is not keeping the feet dry. When skin is wet, it breaks down easily and is prone to infections.
Smoking effects the entire body and definitely not in a good way. The nicotine in a cigarette deprives the feet to get oxygen rich blood that keeps them healthy.
Why should you think of diabetic foot care?
People who don’t follow a proper diabetic foot care face the dire consequences and end up regretting in the long run. The effects of bad health care of feet are dangerous.
A break in the skin, redness or swelling on the foot is due to poor fitting shoes. Minor cuts or wounds are usually not to be concerned of unlike, in diabetes. Neglecting these minor wounds can be really harmful and can invite infections which will ignite further complications. This is why diabetic foot care is important.
Athlete’s foot usually begins with peeled, cracked or flaking of skin which progresses to crusted blisters or oozing. This mainly happens due to moist feet and is important to treat early to avoid the bacteria to enter the skin or nails as it can act as an obstacle in diabetic foot care.
Well, this fungal infection is also caused by the same fungus which is behind athlete’s foot. However, this cannot be easily rid of as improper diabetic foot care can be dangerous. This infection leads to darkening of nails also making them thick, cracked or crumbling.
A serious condition where the bones get weakened enough to get fractured and continuous walking can even result in foot to change shape. The nerve damage prevents the oxygen rich blood to reach the bones which lessens the ability to feel pain, heat and cold. This can completely be prevented by proper diabetic foot care.
Diabetes effect the sweat secretion which lubricates the skin of the feet. The skin might feel dry and peel off. This may urge to moisten the feet by applying oils or creams which only ignites the infection and be . This is why diabetic foot care is a must.
As mentioned, diabetes effects the circulation of blood causing the blood vessels to narrow and harden and can act as a hindrance in diabetic foot care. This can increase the risks of heart attacks or stroke for a person who does not follow diabetic foot care tips.
As diabetes reduces the blood flow to the feet, the chances of a diabetic are more likely to get their foot or leg amputated than a non-diabetic person. This is majorly because diabetics are more prone to Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and can be prevented through early diabetic foot care.
Elevated sugar levels lessen the capability of sense to feel pain. The nerve damage by diabetes causes this effect which is known as Neuropathy. This condition causes weakness, numbness and pain especially in hands and feet and affect diabetic foot care.
What should you look out for?
Though diabetic foot care is a need for healthy life of feet, many of them turn blind eye to the signs. What they don’t realise is the importance of early diagnosis. If detected early, one can reduce the complications of diabetes. The signs are shown more at night, and includes
Sharp pain or cramps
Increase in sensitivity.
A tingling/burning sensation
Lessening of ability to feel pain
Loss of balance
Regular and foot woes such as ulcers, bone and joint pain
Numb feeling in the feet
A cut or wound which does not seem to be healing
Any change in the regular activities like digestion, urination, etc.
These signs or symptoms don’t always indicate nerve damage but they might be signals for some serious medical condition which should be concerned. These signs can also mean that the diabetic foot care is not proper.
What can you do for diabetic foot care?
Though every serious condition requires medication, there are certain steps which you can take to prevent complications and have a proper diabetic foot care.
Do not take diabetes only as a sugar related problem. Since it can affect the nerves easily and quickly, checking your feetat least twice a day should be part of your diabetic foot care plan. Do not take any small cuts or wounds lightly.
Since diabetic people are likely to not able to sense any pain, it is better to avoid hot tubs. Or else, check the water temperature with your elbow before getting into the tub. This is important in diabetic foot care as burns take time to heal.
Invest enough time in buying the correct pair of shoes. This is one of the key ways to have a proper diabetic foot care. It is better to use prescription shoes or shoe inserts to avoid pain in the feet. Similarly, it is better to buy socks without seams, preferably made of cotton or any fabric that controls moisture.
Do not go barefoot. Walking outside or inside without shoes can invite infections and worsen the situation if you are under diabetic foot care.
Always trim your toenails with a safety nail clipper. If you have difficulty with vision, take help from any family member but do not take this step lightly as trimming toenails is part of diabetic foot care.
Remove any items that you are likely to bump into. Keep the pathways clutter free at night.
Always try to keep your skin dry. As stated, moist feet draws infections and does not help in diabetic foot care. Wash your feet regularly and remove sweaty socks or shoes after coming from outside.
Using moisturizers should be part of diabetic foot care but avoid applying between toes as it can moisten the feet and break the skin easily.
People with diabetes must go easy on feet especially if you have neuropathy. Exercises that don’t put pressure on feet are recommended in proper diabetic foot care.
Quit smoking, even though it seems as a very small step but can do wonders by adding it in your diabetic foot care plan.
Control the sugar levels. Even though controlling sugar levels is necessary, it is very important in diabetic foot care. Diabetic patients tend to forget that only by taking medication they can’t control sugar levels. There is a need to bring a change in the lifestyle and adapt to healthy food. However, it is not as easy it seems. BeatO is a diabetes management company which assures to control sugar levels by natural ways. They help you connect with diabetics educators who excel in this area and are just a call away. They also conduct regular foot examinations which help to analyse the condition and its severity and provide tailor-made diabetic foot care plans.
In short, the best diabetic foot care is IPPC( Inspect, Protect, Prevent, Consult). With a little extra care, give your feet a treat for life. And we wish, your feet takes you wherever your heart wants to go.