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According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 1 in 3 women suffers from diabetes, many of which are not even available for proper healthcare and are not aware of the disease. Diabetes during pregnancy or uncontrolled diabetes during pregnancy is the biggest problem. Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death of women worldwide, and it causes around 1.6 million deaths every year.

Psychological effects on women

Diabetes can also affect a woman’s sex life as a result of her psychological effects. If not controlled timely, high blood sugar can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the body. It can also block blood flow to the genitals. Therefore, a women’s emotional response to diabetes can impair her sexual desire and can cause many problems:

  • Fear and depression after suffering from diabetes
  • The stress of disease and regarding its treatment
  • Fear of rejection from your spouse
  • Self-harm thoughts that can even lead to depression

Fertility hormones have an effect on the blood sugar level in women who are at the age of childbearing. Blood sugar levels are affected and fluctuations occur when hormonal levels are at peak during menstruation.

The effect is often negligible, but in some women, changes in diet and decreased physical activity can sometimes affect blood sugar levels especially during menstruation.

Diabetes and pregnancy

Some women develop diabetes for the first time after becoming pregnant. This is called gestational diabetes (Jess-ty-shan-ul). Other women might also develop diabetes before they become pregnant. Use the below-mentioned tips which can help you guide towards maintaining diabetes during pregnancy.

What can women with diabetes do?

The first step is to see a doctor. Diabetes can also affect a woman’s sex life apart from other factors, like menopause, drugs and relationship problems. All such hormonal changes can lead to sexual problems. Others may highlight certain conditions that require full physical attention.

Controlling blood sugar levels is essential for maintaining your sexual health as well as your overall health. Women should monitor their blood sugar level, follow their diet plan, and should intake only doctor-prescribed medications and insulin. Regular inspection is necessary to check on the adjusted blood sugar levels.

Some women can also benefit from seeing a counselor. Sometimes the stress of controlling diabetes is very high. A therapist can help a woman deal with stress and related concerns.

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When you have diabetes, it is normal for you to feel irritated, depressed or angry. You are overwhelmed with so many emotions all at once. You would know what you need to do in order to stay healthy, but sticking to your plan can be difficult. This section provides tips on dealing with diabetes, eating healthy, and being active.

Eat Diabetes-Friendly Recipes

The Heart Association has assembled an online collection of delicious, diabetes-friendly recipes to satisfy your cravings, be it sweet, savory or salted.

Exercise daily

Physiologists and related professionals can help you find a routine that suits your fitness level. Regular exercise helps improve your blood sugar levels, balance, coordination, and overall health. Many senior centers also offer programs for older people as they tend to be the most affected by this disease.

Eat Healthily

There is no specific diet for diabetes, but the intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and animal products that are low, having adequate sweet content in them, and processed foods can control your blood sugar and prevent complications. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Registered dieticians can help you plan a meal specific to you.

Living actively

Consult your doctor if you have any questions about diabetes.
Set a goal to be active on most days of the week. Start slowly for 3 minutes, 3 times a day.

Work to increase the strength of your muscles twice a week. Use stretch bands, do yoga, gardening (digging and planting with tools) or try push-ups for your daily exercise. Stay healthy by following your meal plan, walking and jogging.

Reduce Stress

If you are undergoing a lot of stress then it will definitely affect your daily life. So make sure to avoid stress as much as possible and try to live a happy and healthy life free of diabetes.

Keep a check on your sugar level regularly and take the advice of a doctor. Do not take diabetes medicine on your own and always consult your doctor before taking any medication. You should be very cautious if you are pregnant. Pregnant women face a lot of issues if they are diabetic. Consult your doctor on a regular basis and be very careful of your diet.

Note: Ask for help when frustrated. A mental health counselor, support group, community member, friend, or family member. Anyone who listens to you and your problems would help you to get over it.

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Do you know what superfood is and how is it different from ordinary food? Today, the main focus of people is on their health. For this, people maintain their diet and food intake and also go to the gym regularly to stay healthy. There are many people who suffer from diabetes and therefore, their certain food items one can take to improve their condition. These food items are known as a superfood for diabetes and some of them are listed below.

Non-Starchy vegetables

Vegetables that are high in starch content will have higher GI and they are not suitable for diabetes patients. A diabetic person will have to eat non-starchy vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, bitter gourd, gourd, spinach, etc. Non-starch vegetables contain vitamins, fibers, and phytochemicals which constitute a heavy diet. As diabetic patients should avoid staying hungry, these vegetables could keep their appetite under control. These vegetables are also low in calories and carbohydrates. They have a GI level of less than 55.

Greek yogurt

Studies have shown that if you add Greek yogurt to your daily diet, then you will reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 14%. Therefore it is highly recommended to include Greek yogurt full of probiotics, calcium, and protein in your diet.

Cabbage and leafy green vegetables

Bananas, cabbage, and green leafy vegetables are full of vitamins. Vitamin A and K are found in abundance in such vegetables. Keel contains a chemical called glucosinolates that help neutralize the substances which are a cause for cancer. It is also full of potassium and helps to manage blood pressure. Hence, it is called a superfood for diabetes.

Tomatoes

Whether you eat a raw or cooked tomato, it is better than just food for you. Lycopene is an antioxidant and it eliminates the risk of cancer. Along with tomatoes, you should also intake fruits which fall in the non-starchy category and have a low GI. A diabetic patient should eat up to 200 grams of tomatoes every day.

Berries

Diabetes has a negative effect on your eyes, so to avoid this, it is important that you include berries in your diet daily. These fruits filled with vitamin C are considered to be the powerhouse of anti-oxidants. Berries are high in antioxidants and they reduce the risk of heart related diseases and cancer.

Orange or other citrus fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapes are full of fibers and are said to be the enemies of diabetes. But remember one thing, do not drink their juice but consume them in their raw form. The GI score of orange is 40 while the GI score of orange juice reaches 50. The grape has the lowest GI score of 25.

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Note: The tips and advice suggested in the article is general information and should not be considered as professional medical advice. Consult your doctor before starting any kind of fitness program or making any changes in your diet.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the blood sugar level in your body increases. The main source of energy in your body is the blood sugar stored in it and it comes by the intake of food rich in carbohydrates. The insulin hormone produced by the pancreas helps the glucose present in your food to be used for preparing and storing energy in your cells. Now sometimes it might happen that your body does not make a sufficient amount of insulin. The glucose then stays in your blood and does not reach your cells.

If the glucose level in your blood increases, you may incur some health problems. Most common of which is Diabetes. Although there is no permanent cure for diabetes, there sure are certain steps that you can follow to manage your blood sugar level and stay healthy. But for this, you will have to know the reasons behind diabetes so that you can overcome it.

When insulin reaches the pancreas, the level of glucose in the blood increases. This condition is called diabetes. Insulin is a hormone made by the digestive gland. This is the hormone that controls the amount of sugar in our body. In this situation, the increased level of glucose starts damaging various organs of the body.

Heart attack and stroke are the main cause of death among diabetes patients. For people who suffer from diabetes, the risk of heart attack increases by fifty times. Increasing the amount of glucose in the body causes hormonal changes which affect both blood vessels and veins. This may even cause an artery blockage leading to a heart attack. The risk of stroke also increases. The retina of a person would also be damaged if diabetes is not treated for a prolonged period of time.

Symptoms of diabetes

  • High level of thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Vision becomes Blurry
  • Healing of cuts or wounds would be slow
  • Tingling in the hands
  • tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability

These are some measures to prevent diabetes

  • Keep a regular check on your glucose level and be alarmed if it is more than 100-125 prior to and after your meal. Undergo the HbA1c test every three months to monitor your sugar level and accordingly take medicines only after consulting a doctor.
  • If you cannot go to the gym, then walk for three to four kilometers per day and do yoga exercises.
  • Eat low-calorie food. Completely eliminate the sweetened food items from your meal. Include vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, dairy products and sources of omega-3 fats in your diet. Apart from this, fiber should also be consumed in good quantities.
  • Instead of eating three times a day, eat at regular intervals.
  • Reduce smoking and alcohol consumption, or quit altogether if possible.
  • Do not stress over office work and get enough sleep at night. Less sleep is not good for health. To reduce stress, you should meditate or listen to music, etc.
  • Undergo a routine health check-up and monitor your sugar level daily so that it never exceeds the optimum level. Once the sugar level increases, it is very difficult to bring it down.
  • Take 2 kg of wheat and barley and mix it well with one kg of a gram. Eat chapattis made of this flour in your meal.
  • Diabetes patients should include drumstick, spinach, turmeric, turnip, radish, cauliflower, tomato, cabbage, and leafy vegetables in their daily diet.
  • In fruits include berries, lemon, tomato, papaya, melon, raw guava, orange, seasonal, pear in your diet. Mangoes, bananas, apples, dates, and grapes should not be eaten because they are high in sugar content.
  • Soak fenugreek seeds at night and eat it every morning.
  • Include almonds, garlic, onion, sprouts, etc. in your food and intake less potato, rice, and butter.

If you do not get timely treatment for diabetes, it can be very dangerous for you. Pay more attention to your daily lifestyle, balance your diet and include exercise in your daily routine, do not let yourself towards obesity. Therefore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and monitoring your daily diet is the key to improving your blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Dr. Arvind Gupta discussing management of Diabetes on the occasion of #WorldDiabetesDay | #DocTalk