An individual requires physical activity for overall well-being. However, a person with diabetes needs to work out to keep his sugar levels in the safe range. Gyms are the ideal place for a diabetic person due to the wide range of equipment’s available. However, there are certain aspects to be thought of when a diabetic person plans to gym.
The Benefits of Gym
Since weight gain is one of the major factors for Type 2 Diabetes, exercising should be part of your daily routine. In fact, people already diagnosed with diabetes have controlled their sugar levels by including physical activity in their lives.
Reduces stress and anxiety
It is a fact that sugar levels can be affected due to different emotions. Experiencing different emotions like anger, frustration and fear are common in diabetes. This leads to stress and anxiety causing fluctuations of sugar levels in the body. In fact, it has been found out that HbA1c levels are associated with stress, anxiety and displeasure. Exercising alleviates stress and tension and helps to boost up energy, both physically and emotionally.
Promotes better sleep
According to a research, people who don’t sleep well are likely to develop diabetes or heart complications. Sleep plays an important factor in managing sugar levels. In fact, it causes a spike or decrease in sugar levels. The interesting part is that not only lack of sleep affects the blood sugar; too much sleep can also cause fluctuation in the sugar levels.
Improves insulin sensitivity
Exercising has been known to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity. In fact, it is the best method to improve the insulin sensitivity. During exercise, the body burns glycogen, a form of glucose present in the body muscles. The more glycogen is burned, the longer the insulin sensitivity is improved.
To improve the insulin sensitivity, exercising should be regular too. However, also be sure of the physical activities you do to keep yourself active. Different activities affect sugar levels differently. For example, activities such as sprinting can increase the sugar levels at start. However, it comes down if the session is long. By contrast, jogging or brisk walking are likely to decrease sugar levels.
Prevents heart diseases
According to a study, statistically there is no difference between those who were given medications to prevent heart diseases and those who exercised. In fact, people who have suffered with a stroke, physical activity have played a significant role in improving the condition.
The Risks of Joining A Gym
When exercising, diabetics should be extra careful so as to avoid fluctuation in sugar levels. The blood sugar can fluctuate amid, immediately after or even after hours of workout. Therefore, one should know about the various risks involved in joining gym with diabetes.
Hypoglycemia is a condition where the sugar levels are lower than normal. According to the numbers, low blood sugars mean blood glucose level going 70 mg/dl if measuring the whole blood and below 80 mg/dl if measuring plasma glucose.
Longer physical activity usually increases the chances of hypoglycaemia. The blood sugar goes down after a moderate to intense workout session and is often known as the “lag effect” of exercise.
The body uses two sources for energy, sugar and fatty acids. The sugar comes from the blood, liver and muscles and is stored in the form of glycogen. During the initial time, say first 15minutes of workout, most of the sugar for energy comes from the muscles or the blood. After that, most of the glucose comes from the liver. After 30 minutes, the body starts using fatty acids for energy. As a result, exercise depletes the sugar in the body. Even though the body recovers the sugar, it takes around 4-6 hours. The time can go up to 12-14 hours depending on the intensity of the workout.
Even though the former cases are usually common, sometimes the individual can experience hyperglycemia. Your sugar levels tend to increase if your blood sugar was high before workout. As after 30 minutes, the liver starts releasing sugar for energy. However, when the liver starts releasing excess of sugar and the body has too less insulin; your blood sugar levels will rise. In fact, the blood sugar rises if your body is stressed or worked too hard.
Steps you can take to prevent the risks
Always check your blood glucose before working out in the gym to make sure your blood sugar is sufficient and whether you should eat a snack or not.
Limit your workout session to 1-2 per day. Additional sessions can result in hypoglycemia.
Take proper rest on your rest days.
Exercise in gym should be in a time where the body has enough energy for the workout. Therefore, eating a carbohydrate based snack an hour before the exercise.
After your workout session, eat something to replenish the energy that you’ve spent.
In case, you are trying to lose weight you must be careful to ensure you don’t consume more.
Hypoglycemia is associated with physical exertion. Therefore, it is necessary to carry any two of the following in your gym bag:
What exercises should you be doing?
Aerobics is a form of exercise that is continuous and elevates heart rate and breathing. This includes jogging, walking, swimming or cycling. Aim for only 30 minutes of aerobics daily. In case, you find it difficult break it into chunks to feel comfortable. Gyms have aerobic classes for people who want a change in their workout session.
Due to elevated blood levels, the collagen (rubbery stuff that makes the joint move) becomes coated with sugar. This results in formation of sticky nets and losing flexibility. Stretching helps to break up the nets and become flexible. Moreover, stretching also releases dopamine which keeps an individual happy. Stretching is a simple way of improving the blood circulation in the body. This will help in better circulation of insulin to reduce sugar levels. Every gym would have an instructor that can help you for a stretching session.
It is known worldwide that regular yoga can reduce stress, anxiety and even sugar levels. Yoga is a one of the cost-effective keys of diabetes management. Since stress and diabetes go hand in hand, the benefits of yoga in diabetes care is necessary. Not only yoga improves blood pressure levels, it also helps in preventing weight gain which is another factor of Type 2 diabetes. Nowadays, every gym has yoga classes for people who are not able to do aerobics or not use the equipment’s.
Whilst the benefits of exercising have been discussed in various studies, the fluctuation of sugar levels during or post workout should also be considered. Therefore, regular monitoring is necessary for exercising. Moreover, good nutrition, sufficient sleep and relaxation are equally important. Therefore, consult your BeatO diabetes educator for proper nutritional guidance and counselling to manage diabetes.
Teen years are challenging not just for children but for parents too. From physical, emotional to mental growth, adolescence is a time where the priorities for the child are not set since it’s a growing period. Moreover, if the child is diabetic then the situation becomes more complex. Let alone the pressure to build a social life is not enough, the responsibility to keep the sugar levels in control can take a toll on the child.
If a child is not taking diabetes the serious way he should be, what can you do as a parent?
The answer to this question is to find the root of the problems that causes poor diabetes management during teenage. Here are few common reasons why an adolescent does not keep diabetes management as a priority as he should:
Adolescents are risk-takers
Adolescents or young adults take more risks than any other age groups. The risky behaviour including alcohol consumption, drug use, and unprotected sexual activity can affect in diabetes care. Teens have a difficult time in deciding what is right or wrong for them which costs them very badly.
Struggle for independence
Parents are always in conflict to whether separate their identity from their child’s to make them independent. And during teen years, the teens too prefer to make decisions independently. Although parents want their kids to have an opinion of their own, it becomes difficult to just let go for every decision. Moreover, during diabetes the parents would wish to supervise their child and help them manage diabetes which becomes the focus of conflict.
In this era of urbanisation, parents are becoming busier than ever, let alone children. Today, children are more towards building a social life on electronic media rather than setting their priorities. Moreover, academics and extra-curricular activities take a lot of time which gives almost no time for diabetes management.
Diabetes management is not a priority
Teenage is a time where children focus more on building social life, fitting in with friends and side-line diabetes care. It is not that they don’t care about the same, but they think the former is more important. For teens, activities including sports, friendships are more supreme. If diabetes management can become a part of the daily life, then it might happen and if it does not, it might not.
Diabetes care is complicated
We all know diabetes care is a little complicated. From constant monitoring of sugar levels to keeping a check on the carbs intake, diabetes management can take a toll on the child.
The great news is that teenagers who at times avoid or give up diabetes care, eventually develop and begin to improve. The struggle of responsibility during 13 and 17 years is common and improves with time. However, here are a few recommendations that might be useful to make your child understand the importance of diabetes management:
Teens are not habitual of keeping a track on the food intake or managing sugar levels unless someone is there to make them understand the necessity and make them accountable. Help your child by asking where they need help from you and where not. Also, repeat this conversation even if everything is going well. This is required because the needs of your teen might change from time to time. Also, if you don’t see your child managing diabetes properly, talk to him. Listen to what his problem is and understand the problem. He may require you to do more during stressful times, for example, final exams.
Find a comfortable diabetes educator/doctor
The relationship between your teen and the diabetes expert or doctor, or both is crucial as it lets the child communicate with the educator without hesitation and helps the educator to motivate and evaluate the changes. Choose an educator who is willing to listen to what your child has to say and to his preferences and provide alternatives according to the same. If your child is not following the plans made by the diabetes expert, chances are that he is not comfortable with the educator or is not able to express his likes or dislikes with them. However, it may also happen that he is not able to express his needs to you so at times, let your child talk to the educators on his own.
Help your child become accountable
To manage diabetes of your child, you need not become a diabetes police. Instead, you and your family can make your child responsible and accountable for some tasks. As the child knows that sugar monitoring is important, he might only do a blood glucose check only when he knows when you are checking him. So let your child know that you will be checking the readings to see how he is doing. Even better would be when you can track the sugar readings and compare it with the previous readings. Also, the readings should be shown to the diabetes educator to see the progress and suggest effective ways to manage diabetes. BeatO is a diabetes management company that converts a smartphone into a glucometer and saves the previous readings for you to see the progress. It also connects you to a diabetes educator who proactively guides you and provides alternate solutions according to the needs.
For youngsters whose diabetes is not in control, HbA1c tests should be conducted as often as possible as at regular intervals. A rising HbA1c can prepare parents and teens to change the action needed whereas a low HbA1c shows that diabetes control is progressing and gives inspiration to keep up the effort.
Fitting diabetes into life
As we mentioned, during adolescence teenagers find building a social life more important than diabetes care. If your child is too busy to perform his diabetes care tasks, strategize the activities for him to fit diabetes management into his daily routine. Sometimes, you can help him count his carbohydrate intake or help him in insulin intake.
Depression is one of the reasons why teens quit caring. Sometimes, he won’t be showing other symptoms of depression like crying, anger or change in sleep habits but if he stops insulin intake then he is sending a clear message of help. Diabetes management gets affected because of the same. One of the dangerous practices done by girls is to omit insulin intake for weight control.
Again, no child would like excessive control in every decision he or she makes. Also, you as a parent can’t give too much freedom as you fear if he might not rise up to the challenge. Some parents prefer their child to stand on their own feet and some would want to control. Of course, staying involved in diabetes care and also at the same time loosening the reins to make the child feel free can be difficult. So, how would you know how much control to give and not feel ambivalent about letting go? The answer would be talking to the child and observing the teenager’s behaviour to act accordingly.
The physical and developmental turmoil of teenage is a harsh time for parents and teens. Youngsters with diabetes are at additional risks amid this period. In case you see that your child is skipping tasks of managing diabetes, policing his exercises is probably not going to be useful. Rather, one of the best things you can do is to attempt to talk to your child in a discussion about it and know more about his emotions, contemplations, and dissatisfactions. Sometimes, a caring and interested parent is all that is required to bolster and energize him.
Many people are aware that hypertension is related to blood pressure, but the term has now much more relation to diabetes. Hypertension is when the blood flows through the blood vessels with too much force. This force leads to an increase in blood pressure which is often called hypertension. Moreover, hypertension diabetes can result in many complications including heart disease, kidney failure and blood vessel damage.
But before we get into the risks, here’s what hypertension means in numbers
Healthy blood pressure: below 120/80
Early high blood pressure(Prehypertension): between 120/80 and 140/90
High blood pressure(Hypertension diabetes): 140/90 or higher
Even early high blood pressure can affect your health and may put you at risk. Hence, early diagnosis is necessary to avoid further complications. For that, one should know the symptoms of hypertension diabetes.
As it says, knowledge of the disease is the key to its management, here are some classic symptoms to look out for in hypertensives.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Shortness of breath
This is one of the first symptoms of hypertension diabetes. Shortness of breath is an uncomfortable or terrifying experience, especially when it has never happened before. It could be because of problems with the lungs or with the heart but its specific cause can sometimes take a while to pinpoint.
Sweating of feet and legs
Sweating of feet and legs can be a symptom of hypertension diabetes. Though many people face difficulties with sweating, people with diabetes can be facing bigger issues. There are three types of sweating that a diabetic may experience.
Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating not caused by exercising or temperature.
Gustatory sweating: Limited to face and neck areas and is caused by food.
Night sweats: Mainly caused due to low blood glucose during night
Difficulty in sleeping
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where you repeatedly stop and start breathing during your sleep. This can disrupt the blood flow as sleep helps to regulate stress hormones and keep the nervous system healthy. It is often said that sleep and blood pressure go hand in hand. Likewise, blood pressure and diabetes go together. Therefore, we can say that sleep has an indirect relation with hypertension diabetes.
If you check your eyes, you can see tiny, delicate blood vessels that supply blood to the eyes. Any fluctuation in the blood pressure can easily affect the eye blood vessels as any other. People with diabetes often complain about blurred vision. If you feel difficulty in vision, this may be a sign of hypertension diabetes.
Confused and impaired memory
Unchecked high blood pressure can cause problems such as shrinking the blood vessels in the brain which can increase the chances of blocking or bursting blood vessel. If the blood vessel that carries oxygen and glucose to the brain is blocked, it can sometimes affect person’s thinking, memory or language skills.
This is one of the most debated symptoms of hypertension diabetes. The relationship between headache and hypertension is a subject of concern to people. However, there are people who have complained about having headache while showing other symptoms of hypertension. Thus, someone experiencing headache are advised to get their blood pressure checked.
Hypertension diabetes can lead to deprivation of conversion of blood glucose to energy. High blood pressure can be a direct link to exhaustion and weakness.
Risks involved with Hypertension in Diabetes
Hypertension diabetes creates force on the artery walls causing a build-up of fatty material on the inside walls of the blood vessels, also known as atherosclerosis. The build-up fatty material is plaque which is formed of fat, vitamins and cholesterol. With time, this fatty material hardens and narrows the blood vessels causing force in blood flow. When the plaque limits the oxygen rich blood to reach various organs of the body, this can lead to serious problems like heart attack, stroke or even death.
The different atherosclerosis related diseases are,
1. Coronary artery disease
Also known as coronary heart disease, this is a condition where the plaque builds up in coronary arteries that supply rich oxygen blood to the heart. If the arteries are not able to supply blood to heart, one may have angina (chest pain) or even heart attack.
2. Cartoid Artery Disease
In Cartoid Artery Disease, the plaque builds up in arteries of each side of the neck. These arteries supply blood to the brain and any blockage in this supply can result in stroke.
3. Peripheral Artery Disease
In this condition, plaque formation is in arteries that supply blood to arms, legs and pelvis. This can lead to numbness, pain and sometimes dangerous infection.
Hypertension diabetes can also cause heart diseases which include inadequate pumping of blood, enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) and heart tissues not getting enough blood.
Hypertension diabetes damages the blood vessels and filters in the kidneys leads to excretion of waste products. When the renal arteries can’t supply oxygen rich blood to kidneys, it leads to chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD results in increased amount of waste in blood which can make you sick. It can also lead to anemia, poor nutritional health, nerve damage and weak bones.
Hypertension diabetes damages the small blood vessels in the retina leading to blurred vision. As it’s always discussed, the eyes and feet of diabetics are more prone to damage than any other part. The different conditions a hypertensive can experience are,
Take foods rich in potassium. The foods that are rich in potassium include avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas, yogurt and spinach.
Include more dietary fibre by eating lots of salads and whole grains.
Consult your diabetes educator/expert on a regular basis. Follow all clinical assessment (ECG etc) as recommended by your doctor. A little knowledge is a great thing so monitor your blood pressure on regular intervals.
BMI or Body Mass Index is a measure of body fat based on weight and height. In hypertension diabetes, try to maintain the BMI between 18.9-24.9.
As it says, good things come to those who sweat. In fact, exercising is known to find ways to boost happiness. Hence, make sure to burn calories because only you can take care of your body.
Age is one factor which is unavoidable. The risk of increase in blood pressure increases as you age. Men are more likely to have blood pressure in their late 40s and women in their late 60s.
DONT’s for Hypertensive Diabetics
Limit your salt intake. We know it is near to impossible to completely avoid salt intake in the diet. When the body consumes more salt, it holds extra water which stiffens the body. Over time, this results in high blood pressure.
Cut in foods rich in saturated fats and simple carbohydrates.
Avoid canned and processed foods as they contain high sodium content. Before buying any canned products, always read the label carefully. This is not just limited to frozen and processed food but on frozen meat and poultry.
Avoid eating out and fast foods. Fast foods like fries, soda can increase the cholesterol level. This increase can block the arteries which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Put your cigarette out before it puts you out. Smoking acutely exerts hypertensive effect. The nicotine in cigarettes narrow down the arteries which can result in high blood pressure.
Control your alcohol intake or do consult your health practitoner /doctor. Drinking alcohol has a very adverse impact on the blood pressure levels. More than three drinks can easily result in high blood pressure and binge drinking has other long-time increases.
Stress is body’s method of telling you to relax. High levels of stress can result in high blood pressure. Try to not be stressed and take out time to relax.
Hypertension diabetes is a silent killer that can turn out to be fatal. A person might be suffering from hypertension for years but would never notice it. It is usually developed over many years and affects almost everyone eventually. Fortunately, hypertension can be diagnosed easily using a blood pressure meter or sphygmomanometer.
As said, even though hypertension diabetes is dangerous and can cost you your life, making few changes in lifestyle and nutrition can benefit you enormously.
1. I have diabetes. I am depressed. This is challenging. How do you beat the blues?
I have a variety of ways to beat the blues. Sometimes I need to spend time alone: I bake, read, or come up with something sarcastic to say on Twitter. Other times it’s important to get out of my own head and sped time with others, so I will force myself to go out with someone even if I don’t feel like it. I usually end up feeling much better by the end of the day when I do this.
2. I love my endos office. What to expect from your endocrinology and the team. Share insights with a newly diagnosed diabetes individual.
What I like about my endocrinology team is that I know what to expect from them. They are calm and professional, and follow the same routine every time I’m in. My endocrinologist cares about me as a person. When I had some problems with depression she took the time to talk about it. I think it’s important to have a good working relationship with your doctor.
3. Diabetes and exercise. It seems an uphill task. Tips to keep the lows and highs in blood glucose levels regulated.
Personally, I make sure my blood sugar is in a good range before I begin, and I have a source of glucose with me at all times. I’ve found that if I don’t get my heart rate up before I start weight lifting my blood sugar will spike pretty hard, so I like to mix up the cardio and strength training.
4. Your favourite fitness routine.
I like to go with a mix of cardio and strength training. My favorite cardio is jump roping, and my favorite strength training exercises include weighted squats and working with free weights.
5. A meal that is healthy and delicious.
I learned to make cauliflower pizza crust at diabetes camp. Paired with a salad, it makes a tasty low carb meal.
6. Favourite eat out meal that doesn’t bother you.
I like to eat at Japanese restaurants. There are a lot of things there that are high in carbs, but I stick to stir fries. They’re full of vegetables, taste great, and don’t bother my blood sugar.
7. Has diabetes stopped you?
The only time diabetes has stopped me from doing anything is the time I was asked to enter a contest that would have me eating over a pound of ice cream. I had to politely decline. Other than that diabetes has not stopped me from doing anything.
8. Life without diabetes would be….
Now that I’ve been living with diabetes, I feel like life without diabetes would be uncomplicated. There are so many things I have to consider just to have a meal!
9. Five things in your grocery list. A must for every diabetes patient.
Some sort of green: spinach and Swiss Chard are my favorites
Almond milk (also chocolate almond milk!)
Salad ingredients: lettuce, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, cucumber, etc.
Bananas (they don’t bother my blood sugar!)
Tofu- my favorite meat replacement.
10. My strength comes from….
As much as I would like to say my strength comes from within, most of my strength comes from knowing I have people around me to lean on: my parents, my family, and my friends. I am extremely grateful to have these resources in my life.