2022 is coming to an end and all of us are ready to set new goals and resolutions for ourselves. But what happened to the resolutions I set for 2022??
The year 2022 did not start on a good note for me. After getting a series of blood tests done as part of my annual health checkup, I got to know that my glucose levels
were very high.
Diabetes has run in my father’s family for the past few generations; naturally, we were concerned. Very soon, I consulted a diabetologist as I did not want it to go
uncontrolled diabetes route.
I had to get regular blood tests to check my glucose levels. However, those needle pricks every 10 days felt like a hassle because of the pain.
At this time, I learned about Continuous Glucose Monitoring and a wearable device for monitoring my glucose levels without pain or pricks.
What is Continuous Glucose Monitoring and how is it different from traditional methods
Continuous glucose monitoring is wearable technology that makes it easier to track your glucose levels over time. It has a sensor that measures your glucose levels and
a reader that can show you the readings with just a scan.
While traditional glucose monitoring requires daily calibrations with painful finger pricks, these revolutionary sensor-based monitoring systems can do this easily,
without finger pricks, continuously for up to 14 days. This also means that I get real-time results and can make more informed choices on what to eat and what not
to eat or how exercise is affecting my body.
I recently attended a Facebook Live session which talked about healthy food options for people living with diabetes and they also discussed how Continuous Glucose
Monitoring can help in effectively tracking glucose levels.
Effective Diabetes Management
For people with diabetes, festivals and year-end celebrations can be difficult times to manage their glucose levels. Also, it is of utmost importance to strike a balance
and not feel left out. At the same time, also ensure that glucose levels stay within the target range.
My solution? Effective diabetes management by keeping an eye on my glucose levels through using FreeStyle Libre, which is a Continuous Glucose Monitoring
I take care of the following:
- Proper customized nutrition plans for myself
- Continuous Glucose Monitoring device to keep a check on blood sugar spikes or pits
- Staying active
Managing diabetes during festivities
Here are a few tips to keep your glucose levels in check, while you are enjoying
- Eat Low-Fat, Natural-Sugar Foods –
For the glucose levels not to change drastically, it is required that we avoid sugar-loaded and deep-fried food.
So, no Jalebi, laddoo, rasgulle, and so on. However, to satiate the sugar cravings you can pick healthier snacks like roasted nuts, fruits, dates etc.
I have been on the lookout for better choices of food. So, as an experiment to find healthy alternatives to sugar, I keep trying different sources of sweetness. So, this time it was Dates. I was curious to know how dates affect my blood sugar levels.
One fine morning, on empty stomach I had 2 dates. And then I monitored my glucose level with my CGM device, FreeStyle Libre.
I was happily surprised to see no spikes in my sugar levels.
I had found a healthy alternative to my sweet cravings.
- Portion control is your winning game: There is a very old idiom: Excess of anything does more harm than good. Binge eating, and heavy feasting is a big no-no. In fact, eating in one go and not eating later is also not great. For better diabetes management eating in moderation with portion size kept in mind helps.
- Keep your glucose level in check with CGM. : Continuous glucose monitoring gives the person a clear idea of the impact of the food they eat thereby making informed decisions. Knowing your glucose range can be a great tool to manage diabetes better during festivals.
- Instead of sugared colas and other cold drinks, or canned juices, one can opt for fresh juices, lemon water, or coconut water. To prevent sugar levels from dropping at night one can have a glass of milk before sleeping (based on your nutritionist’s suggestion).
- Choose Carbs Wisely – Carbs are the biggest impacting factor on blood sugar levels and one should choose carbs wisely. It’s important to choose carbs sources with low glycemic values. Packaged processed and refined food have processed carbs and hence can cause sugar levels to change quite frequently. Instead, opt for fibre-rich food such as whole fruits, vegetables and whole grains. For example I realized that having wheat-based diet was causing my sugar levels to shoot up after breakfast. Hence, I modified my breakfast to a gluten-free breakfast as advised by the nutritionist.
- Be Active: Starting my day with a walk has been a game changer for my holistic health.
- Control the intake of high-calorie food: I do this for my kids and in turn, have started doing it for myself. Whenever we have to go out shopping or an event, we would eat something healthy, low carb, high fibre snack from home. This helps in avoiding unhealthy snacking due to hunger pangs.
- No skipping meals: When you skip a meal, sugar levels can drop suddenly and can negatively impact your health. Stick to your usual routine as closely as possible.
- Carry some healthy snacks with you: while travelling to places, keep low-calorie, high-fibre snacks handy. This helps in curbing the cravings as your stomach is satiated.
- Desert the dessert: Are you a dessert person like me? How do I control the urge of bingeing on dessert? By sticking to fruit-based options or reducing the portion. Drinking fluids specifically water has been really helpful too.
- Ask for help: you can always speak to your doctor and ask for help in planning the festive season, especially now that year-end celebrations are near. When you are a guest, inform the host of your condition so that they can make arrangements for you as well.
Understand more about managing diabetes and Continuous Glucose Monitoring here.
These steps to holistically manage diabetes with a combination of diet, continuous monitoring, and exercise, can help a person with diabetes better
manage their condition, even during the festive season. You can buy FreeStyle Libre here.
The information mentioned in this document is only suggestive/for patient education and shall not be considered as a substitute for a doctor’s advice or recommendations from Abbott. Please consult your doctor for more information.
Any photos displayed are for illustrative purposes only. Any person depicted in such photos is a model.
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