Living healthy with diabetes
Diabetes is a lifelong health condition that impairs the process by which your body turns food into energy. Most foods that you eat are broken down, partly into sugar that is released into your bloodstream. Insulin secreted from your pancreas helps this blood sugar into your body's cells where it is used as energy. Diabetes occurs when your blood sugar becomes too high either because your body does not produce enough insulin or it cannot use insulin effectively.
Common symptoms of diabetes are:
- Urinating often
- Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating well and might even be dealing with weight loss.
- Extreme and irregular fatigue
- Having a blood sugar level of more than 100 mg/dL
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult with a doctor for an assessment. If confirmed as diabetes, the doctor will recommend making helpful changes such as maintaining a well-balanced diet, getting diabetes self-management education and support, having timely treatment, taking regular exercises, etc. Those are some of many ways to help you maintain a regular lifestyle and to prevent severe long-term complications.
Maintaining a good health is essential for everyone, but if you suffer from diabetes, excess weight might make it harder for you to control your blood sugar levels and may increase your risk for some complications.
A diabetic diet doesn't have to be complicated, and you don't have to give up all your favorite foods. The foods you eat will make a significant difference in managing your diabetes and on how well you feel and how much energy you have. How much you need to eat and drink is based on your age, gender, how active you are, and the goals you're aiming for. But no single food contains all the essential nutrients your body needs.
Here are the general principles of the diet for diabetics:
Foods to avoid or limit:
- Sweets, such as sugar, jams, candies, sweet fruits, dried fruits with any food with added sugars (particularly highly processed, pure sugars), etc.
- Beverages with added sugar, such as soft drinks, energy drinks, etc.
- Sodium, foods high in salt
- Saturated fat, trans-fat foods, and fried foods
- You should have 2 bowls of rice with each main meal
- Do not over-eat: you should split your main meals into smaller, more frequent meals. For example, you should not eat dessert right away after having your main meals, but wait until the middle of the morning or afternoon, such as 10am or 3-4pm
- Fiber-rich foods: fresh green vegetables, fruits, etc.
- Vitamins, especially vitamins of group B
- Healthy carbohydrates: whole grains, low-fat dairy products. However, you should use sugar-free or low-sugar, low-fat milk (about 200 ml/day
- You should prioritize boiled and steamed foods
- Do not skip meals. If you are treated with slow-acting insulin, you may experience hypoglycemia during the night; therefore, you should eat some snacks before going to bed.
Apart from dietary changes, more physical exercise will help you fend off more severe illness. Regular, vigorous exercise including cardio training will make it easier for you to control blood sugar levels. If you are limited in movement due to increased blood pressure, edema, coronary artery disease, etc., you can opt for the following exercises: walking, cycling, swimming, etc. every week for at least 4-5 hours, half an hour for each exercise. You may need to avoid activities that require high intensity and high endurance; please consult your doctor if in doubt as to what exercise is suitable” for you.
Following up your health regularly with your doctor is an important part of staying healthy with diabetes. Moreover, you should have your eyes checked every year since diabetes is first diagnosed and have your blood pressured monitored and controlled.
SPECIALIZED SCREENING AND FOLLOW-UP PROGRAM FOR DIABETES
|Consultation with Endocrinologist||
|Consultation with Ophthalmologist||
|Consultation with Cardiologist||
- Blood tests: Fasting, do not eat or drink soft drink, juices, milk, alcohol, coffee, tea within 12 hours before blood test taken. The best time for taking blood sample is in the morning.
- Urine test: Cleansing genital area carefully with tap water, passing some urine and collect middle stream urine into sterilized sample container and send it to laboratory station.
For information about Diabetic Follow-up Program at Hanoi French Hospital, please contact us at (84-24) 3577 1100 or send us your information, we will call you back: