Let’s go straight to the point. Your key business in managing your blood sugar is to:
1. Maintain optimum blood glucose level between (20-40mmol/L or <200mg/dL)
2. Prevent hypoglycaemia (too low level of blood glucose) by eating regularly.
3. Maintain blood pressure of 130/80mmHg or below
Adequate control of your blood sugar & pressure will help you prevent the complications of diabetes:
1. Blindeness (retinopathy)
2. Kidney failure (nephropathy)
3. Diabetic foot (neuropathy)
4. Arthropathy (joint disorder)
Here are some answers to questions that really bother diabetic patients or caregivers.
A) What should I buy at the grocery?
You can stock all kinds of fruits and vegetables. So, feel free.
MIND YOU, Grape fruit contains natural chemicals that can interfere with the metabolism of a lot of
drugs including the ones used in managing diabetes. You can talk to your Pharmacist for more information on food-drug interaction.
B) What should I eat or not eat?
You can eat varieties of food and enjoy your favourite meals. What matters now is how you cook (e.g. avoid fried foods) and how you eat.
1. Eat regular meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Skipping meals usually lead to symptoms of hypoglycaemia such
as sudden bout of hunger, dizziness, loss of consciousness etc. and may lead to death.
2. Ensure the proportion of fibre or vegetables is higher than that of digestible glucose. This means you get sufficient nourishment without overshooting your glucose level.
3. After you’ve eaten, check your blood glucose level 2 hours later to know the amount of sugar it has turned into your blood. It should be less than 200mg/dL. With that, you can compare different foods and determine the quantity that is good for you.
C) Are sweet fruits or foods forbidden?
NO. But ensure you
1. Avoid too much of sweet fruits with high sugar contents, because they can make you gain weight e.g. bananas, ripe plantain, apples, etc.
2. Excessive weight gain will increase insulin resistance and impair your body’s mechanism for making use of glucose.
3. Being overweight will also increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases e.g. stroke.
D) Other important tips
1. Making a habit of eating garlic as part of your meals is good, as they help lower blood sugar level
2. Get regular moderate exercise, but avoid doing strenous workout. Your physiotherapist can prescribe appropriate
schedules for you.
3. Buy a glucometer for monitoring your blood sugar yourself. It is worth having so you won’t have to go through the stress of queuing at the hospital and losing productive hours just to check your sugar level.