Enjoying life ... with diabetes

Updated 10 February 2015

Enjoying life ... with diabetes

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is continuously increasing and this is particularly true for Saudi Arabia where 3.8 million cases of diabetes have been registered in 2014.
The reason behind this dramatic rise is the way we live. Most of us eat a diet high in fat and calories, low in fruits and vegetables and we have also become physically less active. Consequently, we are either overweight or obese and this increases the risk of diabetes.
‘Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book’ brings together a team of specialists from the Mayo Clinic who share with us the latest information on how to live well with diabetes.
The term “diabetes” refers to a group of diseases that affect the way your body uses blood glucose, also called blood sugar. Glucose is the main source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues, or in other words, it’s your body’s main source of fuel.
Glucose comes both from the food you eat and your liver. During digestion it enters the body’s cells thanks to the action of insulin, itself secreted by the pancreas. Insulin acts like a key enabling glucose to enter your cells. In other ways insulin lowers the amount of glucose in the bloodstream, preventing from reaching high levels.
When you have diabetes, glucose builds up in the bloodstream and eventually some of it is excreted in the urine. Diabetes classic warning signs and symptoms are excessive thirst and frequent urination. Other signs and symptoms to look for are constant hunger, weight gain, blurred vision, flu like symptoms, including weakness and fatigue and recurring bladder infection.
Many people first learn they have diabetes through blood tests done for another condition. A fasting blood glucose level under 100 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood is considered normal. If your glucose measures from 100 to 125 mg/dL, you have what is referred to as prediabetes and if your glucose results are 126 mg/dL or higher, you have diabetes.
Incidentally, prediabetes shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a sign that you are at high risk of developing diabetes and that you should see your doctor regularly and take steps to control your glucose.
How often you need to test your blood glucose depends on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment plan. If you take insulin, you should test your blood glucose frequently, at least twice a day.
“If you have type 2 diabetes and you don’t need insulin, test your blood glucose as often as necessary to make sure it’s under control. For some people, this may mean daily testing while for others it might be twice a week,” advises Nancy Klobassa.
One of the most useful chapters of this book tells you how to develop healthy-eating habits.
“Contrary to popular myth, having diabetes doesn’t mean that you have to start eating special foods or follow a complicated diet plan. For most people, having diabetes simply translates into eating a variety of foods in moderate amount and sticking to regular mealtimes,” writes Jennifer Nelson.
But that does not mean that you have to start counting calories or watching fat grams. Now is the time to think about food in a different manner. Each day, you must eat a variety of foods which include carbohydrates, protein and fats.
Incidentally, for years people with diabetes were warned to avoid sweets but diabetes nutrition has now changed:
“It was once assumed that honey, candy and other sweets would raise your blood sugar level faster and higher than fruits, vegetables or foods containing complex carbohydrates. But many studies have shown this isn’t true, as long as the sweets are eaten with a meal and balanced with other foods in your meal plan” writes Jennifer Nelson.
Therefore you can substitute small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates such as bread, rice, cereals fruit or milk for example. To allow yourself to have some sweets as part of a meal, you can either replace some of the carbohydrates in your meal with a sweet or swap a carb-containing food in your meal for something with fewer carbohydrates.
Artificial sweeteners also offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories but beware that many products with artificial sweeteners such as baked goods and artificially sweetened yogurt still contain calories and carbohydrates that can affect your blood sugar level.
“Don’t be surprised if your tastes change as you adopt healthier eating habits. Food that you once loved may seem too sweet and healthy substitutes may become your new idea of delicious,” says Jennifer Nelson.
Finally, it is important to eat at regular intervals because this reduces large variations in blood glucose and eases digestion.
And you should aim for a wide variety of foods eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean means and low-fat dairy products.
People who regularly eat a variety of healthy ingredients reduce the risk of developing diabetes and other diseases such as heart disease, cancer, digestive disorders, age-related vision loss and osteoporosis.
In a chapter focusing on personal fitness, Paula Ricke reminds us that research also shows that physical activity is important when it comes to management of diabetes.
“Physical activity can help lower your blood sugar as well as improve your body’s ability to use insulin.”
It is generally recommended that for a good health and wellbeing, adults should exercise 30 minutes a day, five times a week. If you haven’t been active for a long time, start slowly with 10 minutes a day and each week, increase the length of time you exercise by five minutes.
This publication features useful and practical advice from some of the world’s top medical experts at the Mayo Clinic. Their advice will help you both understand diabetes and also realize that even small, everyday decisions can have a positive impact on your health. Mayo Clinic Essential Diabetes Guide reassures us that we can live well with diabetes or in other words we can enjoy a full and productive life.

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Thuram brace powers Gladbach to 4-1 victory over Berlin

Updated 28 min 52 sec ago

Thuram brace powers Gladbach to 4-1 victory over Berlin

  • The French striker takes knee in show of solidarity with protests in US

BERLIN: Borussia Moenchengladbach routed Union Berlin 4-1 on Sunday behind closed doors with French striker Marcus Thuram scoring twice and taking a knee in protest at the death of an unarmed black man in the US.

First half goals by midfielder Florian Neuhaus, who bagged Gladbach’s 3,000th goal in the Bundesliga, and Thuram put Gladbach 2-0 up at the break.

Union’s Swedish striker Sebastian Andersson pulled one back early in the second half after being left unmarked.

However, Gladbach pulled away when Thuram added his second after pressing the Union defense.

The 22-year-old French striker then took a knee on the Borussia Park turf, imitating NFL star Colin Kaepernick.

It was the latest show of Bundesliga solidarity with the current protests sweeping the US.

Schalke’s US midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband in Saturday’s defeat to Werder Bremen bearing the words “Justice for George.” 

George Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis in an arrest by a police officer who pinned him to the ground for several minutes by kneeling on his neck.

On Sunday, Alassane Plea grabbed a goal of his own for Gladbach, having set up Thuram’s first, when he fired home off his left foot on 81 minutes to beat Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz.

After a 3-1 defeat to Leverkusen last weekend, and a goalless draw with relegation-threatened Werder Bremen on Tuesday, this was an important win for Gladbach.

It lifted them to third in the table, but RB Leipzig can take their place if they win at Cologne on Monday.

On Saturday, reigning champions Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead with a 5-0 thrashing of Fortuna Duesseldorf with the league’s top-scorer Robert Lewandowski netting twice.


Hungarian fans return to stadiums after lockdown

Fans returned to Hungarian football stadia at the weekend after a two-month break due to the coronavirus, a first in Europe where other leagues have resumed behind closed doors.

The Hungarian Football Association (MLSZ) decided Thursday to allow clubs let fans in for the first time since March on condition that every second row in stadia remains empty, and that only every fourth seat is occupied.

Outside the Diosgyor club stadium in the northeastern city of Miskolc Saturday before its game with Mezokovesd their supporters said they were glad to be back and meet fellow fans again.

“We’ll keep the rules as there could be closed-doors games again if we screw up,” said Richard Kovacs, 36.

Some 2,255 spectators attended the game, one of six to take place in Hungary at the weekend, with the stands speckled with scattered fans.

“The virus hasn’t disappeared so we must keep the distance,” said 18-year-old student Csaba Gasparics wearing a Diosgyor facemask.

“We are only worried if we win or loses, not about the epidemic,” said Gabor Lengyel, 41.

Apart from in Budapest where Hungary’s biggest club Ferencvaros has a large fan base, typical crowds are small with a nationwide average last season of around 3,000.

“We were already maintaining social distancing in the stadiums very well,” one web user joked after the MLSZ announcement.

Other European countries that have relaunched their leagues in May, or are about to do so, are playing behind closed doors.

Hungary, which has a population of 9.8 million, had by Sunday recorded 3,876 cases and 526 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic.

Restrictions have gradually been eased across the country and Budapest fully reopened its bars and restaurants on the weekend.