A heathier diabetes management plan for the new normal

May 3, 2022
A heathier diabetes management plan for the new normal

Diabetic patients should be mindful of their condition, especially with the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in Malaysia, after which many social and economic activities will resume. When it comes to socialising, diabetics should be careful not to give in to peer and environmental pressure and indulge in overeating, joining extensive physical activities, or forgetting food management.

“People living with diabetes were in better control and made effort to reflect positive changes in self-care and diabetes management during the lockdown,” said pharmaceutical medicine consultant Dr. Manoharan Paranjothy, who is also a panel doctor on Abbott Nutrition (Malaysia)’s Glucerna Lifestyle Change Programme. “The return to office, gatherings, or travel means they may now be more occupied with social plans and become less attentive to maintaining these good lifestyle habits.”

Dr. Manoharan believes that this new phase should instead be used to cultivate new habits and lifestyle changes that enable people living with diabetes to adjust safely to the new normal – changes you can consider include intuitive eating, exercise, and travel, to ensure better control of diabetes.

Meal planning is an integral part in diabetes management to help keep a diabetic’s blood sugar levels in check. It is advisable to start out with the plate method, plating food in a “healthy” order, or enlist the help of a certified diabetes educator, dietitian, nutritionist, or doctor to plot out a simple meal plan for a healthier long-term eating pattern.

For diabetes patients, physical activity can help reduce the amount of glucose present in the blood and thus, improve the body’s insulin sensitivity; being physically active can help to reduce the risk of developing long-term and insulin resistance-related complications as well. As such, going on a quick coffee run, gardening, or scheduling a weekly walkabout with friends can help maintain your overall functional strength and mobility.

Dr. Manoharan recommends, “Try to form support groups that encourages exercise as part of the daily routine, while considering food and insulin intake to prevent hyper- or hypoglycemia. Involvement from family member to participate in your diabetes management journey can also serve as a great form of motivation when done together.”

While it is exciting to finally dust off your travel bags and passport, it is essential to plan your trips ahead and schedule a visit with a doctor to ensure you are fit for the journey. For travelers planning to visit destinations where medical resources can be scarce, it is highly recommended to prepare extra supplies and a letter from your doctor explaining your medical situation.

Lastly, avoid leaving your body hungry and eat well before your long-haul flight. Make sure to also pack diabetes-friendly snacks like almonds, cheese, whole grain crackers, or diabetes-friendly meal supplements as your emergency food bank; and always remember to have ample rest while on your journey.

Read: Novel treatment of diabetes without drugs reports success

Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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