Building the Foundation of Lifestyle Management in Diabetes

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Good lifestyle management for effective diabetes care is one of the core philosophy’s at Diabetes Insight. We now live in a world of convenience, relying too much on quick fixes to get us the results we want. I see this is both types of diabetes, but my opinion is that the issue of poor lifestyle management in Type 1 Diabetes is much worse.

The Vicious Cycle

Because the majority of risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes involves lifestyle issues, the focus is very much on lifestyle for effective diabetes management in this group. But it can be relatively ignored in the management of Type 1 Diabetes, in favour of clinical interventions like insulin therapy to get immediate results. There is no getting away from the fact that insulin is a must for people with Type 1 diabetes, it is their life force & lifesaver. Anyone who says otherwise is a quack.

So when poor insulin management is the main issue, it is education re titration & pattern management is the priority but what if it is a lifestyle factor that is causing increasing blood sugar levels, therefore increasing insulin doses and in turn causing weight gain? The more weight gain a person has, the more their insulin requirements increase and it is becoming a vicious cycle.

Other factors like smoking, too much alcohol, bad diet, lack of exercise, poor routine and stress all can have a bearing on blood glucose levels.

Too often I see here at Diabetes Insight that it is poor lifestyle management is the underlying cause of bad blood glucose levels and a person trouble shoots with insulin. This will treat the symptom but not the underlying cause.

Putting A Band Aid over a Gaping Wound

For me it is like putting a band aid over a large gaping wound. You may deal with the issue now, but the investment in your long term health maybe catastrophic. I would prefer for an individual to have sub optimal blood glucose levels & HbA1C who had a perfect cholesterol, blood pressure, normal BMI, healthy diet, exercised regularly and did not smoke/drink excessively, rather than the person who had the perfect blood sugar levels & HbA1c, but who was overweight, smoked, had a raised cholesterol and blood pressure.

95% of lower limb amputations in people with diabetes are smokers.

A podiatrist once told me that 95% of lower limb amputations in people with diabetes are smokers. This is a startlingly figure and while there is nothing you can do about diabetes, smoking is a lifestyle choice. Of all the consultants I have ever worked with, all have said the same thing to me, I would rather a person with diabetes be overweight and not smoke, than have person of normal weight that does smoke. The cardiovascular risks, kidney and nerve damage far exceed for people with diabetes who smoke, than those who don’t.

Invest in Your Future

Effective lifestyle management for people with diabetes is as an essential investment to people with diabetes as their health insurance, life assurance etc. It is at the very core of prevention of complications but it requires a complete reversal of opinion and education for some individuals as the health service in Ireland is so focused on clinical assessment and treatment. Preventative health care is a must in all types of diabetes to avoid complications of diabetes which are ALL preventable.

Giving yourself the gift of health is the greatest gift of all, but it does require a huge amount of motivation, support, time and understanding which we specialize in here at Diabetes Insight. So why not make an appointment today with us and invest in a future free from the complications of diabetes.