It can be quite challenging to assist a family member in changing to a new healthier diet when one family member is diagnosed with diabetes. Questions must be addressed and a variety of elements must be taken into account. Can you afford to make the necessary dietary changes? What foods should they stay away from? Do I also need to adjust my diet?
The Borgen Project lists tuberculosis, cerebrovascular disorders, and diabetes as the top three killers in South Africa. Diabetes is more common in South Africa than in other countries because of socioeconomic inequalities and poor access to quality healthcare in underprivileged areas. In South Africa, more than a million people do not know if they have diabetes.
Living with diabetes
Having diabetes has a lot of negative side effects. To prevent a diabetic coma, diabetics must regularly monitor their blood sugar levels. Additionally, cardiovascular issues like heart attacks or strokes are two to three times more likely to occur in diabetics. Additionally, diabetes might result in the kidneys of a person failing.
There is a severe dearth of knowledge about the illness and access to appropriate healthcare among South Africans. At Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town, Dr. Joel Dave oversees the endocrinology department. He gave us some information regarding diabetes that we should be aware of.
Diabetes alters how your muscles’ blood arteries function. That might make your heart, which is a crucial muscle, weaker. Additionally, if your body has trouble using or absorbing glucose and other nutrients, your heart may have trouble getting enough energy. Heart failure, which occurs when the heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should, may result from this.
When a family member is diagnosed with diabetes, what happens to their body?
Diabetes can cause a wide range of symptoms and problems. Frequent, large-volume urination, especially at night, increased thirst, increased drinking, blurred vision, weariness, and dizziness are common symptoms at diagnosis.
Good control possible
At the time of diagnosis, 50% of type 2 diabetics are already likely to have complications such as nerve damage in their feet, eye impairment, or kidney damage. Good diabetes control can alleviate all of the symptoms and problems and prevent them from occurring.
What kind of changes do they have to make in terms of their diet (do they have to cut out certain foods or add certain foods)?
Anything with sugar should be eliminated from the diet as a priority. Additionally, they must restrict their use of carbs. When your body retains more water when your blood sugar is out of control, your bladder must be able to handle a lot of urine. You might have frequent nighttime bathroom awakenings. One of the possible causes of diabetes fatigue is sleep disruption.
Alternately, diabetes can harm your nerves, preventing you from sensing when your bladder is full. You might pee leak. It may be more difficult for you to empty your bladder if your urinary muscles are weak completely. Or you might urinate excessively.UTIs can result from insufficient bladder control, high blood sugar, immune system issues, and more (UTIs).
How do these nutritional and lifestyle changes make managing diabetes easier for the individual and family as a whole?
Dietary modifications, in particular, are crucial to the control of diabetes. Often, stringent lifestyle adjustments were all that were needed to achieve successful diabetes management. Additionally, some data hints that some people’s type 2 diabetes may be remitted as a result of these strict adjustments.
What kind of exercises are they allowed to do?
Since there are many different forms of diabetes and concomitant conditions like hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and diabetic retinopathy, it is challenging to provide a general answer to this question. In essence, practically everyone with diabetes should exercise in some way, under the direction of their medical professionals.
Exercise has advantages that are apart from weight loss. To see long-lasting improvements, though, constant adherence to an exercise routine is required. To be sure there are no limitations or particular precautions, it is a good idea to speak with a doctor before beginning an exercise program if you are sedentary. Always start slowly and work your way up to your individual goal.
Will family members who change their eating habits make it easier for the individual who is diagnosed to change theirs?
Undoubtedly, support is crucial for people with diabetes, and if everyone in the household can eat in the same way, it would be much simpler for the person with diabetes.
Do family members who are not diagnosed with diabetes have to follow the same diet as the family member who is?
If one were being completely honest, everyone should follow the type of diet that someone with diabetes is needed to follow.
Review your lifestyle
Obesity and lifestyle-related chronic diseases are at an all-time high, therefore it is crucial for everyone to evaluate their way of life and make the kinds of changes that would encourage obtaining a normal body mass index and chronic disease prevention.
What can a family, who can’t afford to make big nutritional changes, do to support the family member who has been diagnosed with diabetes?
This is a great question that is really challenging to respond to. Food insecurity is a significant issue in our nation, and the foods that have the highest chances of promoting good health are pricy. To grow vegetables or fruit that can be utilized to prepare healthy meals, we unquestionably need some kind of social grant system and/or community empowerment.
Every family should examine their spending and decide to spend their money on foods that would support good health rather than on things like cigarettes, alcohol, fast food, sugary sodas, and carbs with a high glycemic index.
Handy tips for those living with diabetes
Pitsi Dilepi, a registered dietitian and participant in the Sweet Life Diabetes Community, also provided some advice for those with diabetes.
What tip(s) would you give someone who wants to stick to their diet and keep their blood sugar under control?
Using TEEL is an easy approach to controlling your diabetes. The T stands for taking your medication, E for eating healthily, E for exercise, a little bit each day, and L for losing weight if necessary. If you have Type 2 diabetes but aren’t taking medication, all you need to do is follow the EEL rule: Eat well, move around a little each day, and drop some pounds if necessary. Other Type 2 diabetics will be taking pills, typically metformin. Others will thereafter be receiving insulin shots. Diarrhea is a typical metformin side effect, so you may have noticed that it makes your stomach feel queasy.
The most valuable advice for Type 1 diabetics is to switch up your injection locations. Every day, inject into a new location. You might not be aware of it, but repeatedly injecting the same place can result in lipohypertrophy, which causes lumps and bumps to form beneath the skin.
If you inject into these areas, your insulin won’t be adequately absorbed, and you could end up losing up to 25% of your prescribed dosage. You will already be doing a lot of good for your diabetes management if all you do is raise the number of vegetables you consume for lunch and dinner.
Think green and get physical
Salads, broccoli, spinach, cucumber, cabbage, peas, green beans, gem squash, and courgettes are among the options. Because they don’t include any carbohydrates or starches, some vegetables, like tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, mushrooms, peppers, cauliflower, and onions, which aren’t green, still fall under this group. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut are all carbohydrates or sources of starch; avoid them. For diabetes, exercise is akin to a superpower. If you need to, it can aid in weight loss. Additionally, it can improve the way your body uses insulin and boost your mood and energy levels.
Losing weight beneficial
The most important thing you can do to assist control your blood sugar if you are overweight is to lose weight. It improves the efficiency of the insulin your body produces, reduces insulin resistance, is beneficial for your blood pressure and cholesterol, and lowers insulin resistance.
What kinds of food should diabetics eat more of? What kinds should they eat less of?
Wholewheat bread, seeded rolls, wholewheat pita, pasta, noodles, or wraps, brown or basmati rice, fresh fruit, lean cold cuts, grilled chicken, mini meatballs, legumes like beans or lentils, fish like tuna, sardines, or pilchards, cottage cheese, and hard-boiled eggs are some foods that diabetics should eat more of. In addition, they ought to think about drinking still or sparkling water, tea or coffee, vegetable juice, low-fat milk, and sugar-free sodas. Deep-fried meals (such as samoosas, spring rolls, or vetkoek), sausage rolls and pies, croissants, muffins, and other pastries should all be avoided by diabetics additionally, diabetics must bear in mind the significance of portions.