Fighting Fit: Diabetic Women Fight Back!

Women, in every part of the world, are often the primary caregivers in families. In a country like India, this is true for women from both urban and rural areas. Women play a key role in taking care of our families and wield a significant influence over the dietary and lifestyle habits of our family members. But what happens when the caregiver becomes the one in need of care?

Women have to juggle between different roles – in the workplace, caring for their children and even elderly parents. In such a scenario, women often neglect their own health and well-being. The rising prevalence of diabetes among women is a prime example of this. According to a recent study by the National Institute of Nutrition, 22 per cent of Indian men and 19 per cent of Indian women were found to be suffering from diabetes. The causes were mainly attributed to hypertension, obesity, physical inactivity and hyperlipidemia.

Another study by the department of science and technology (DST) found that the incidence of diabetes is increasing rapidly among urban women in India, putting them at risk of various other diseases, and thereby, leading to premature mortality.

Moreover, unlike men, women have another type of diabetic condition to worry about – GDM or Gestational Diabetes Mellitus – that occurs in pregnant women. One in seven young pregnant women in urban India are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and women over 25 being at a higher risk.

Taking Charge
Diabetes in a large number of women can be managed with lifestyle modification such as eating a healthy food, regular exercise and getting adequate sleep. It is lack of awareness and delayed treatment that turn it into a big problem among women, which is why awareness and management of the condition become all the more crucial. Obino App provides customized diabetes diet and fitness plans and has been successful in bringing down the high blood sugar levels in many diabetics.

Since diet and exercise are part of disease management, here are some tips from Obino for women suffering from diabetes:

Gear up: Eating right & exercising go hand in hand. Even if you regularly exercise, a diet with lots of sugar and fat and very little fibre or phytonutrients could more than counteract those efforts. On the other hand, you can eat a healthy diet, but if you never get up and move, your cardiovascular health will almost certainly suffer.

Watch the Carbs: Carbohydrates have a big impact on your blood sugar levels—more so than fats and proteins—so you need to be smart about what types of carbs you eat. Limit refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as soda, candy, packaged meals, and snack foods; replace them with complex carbs rich in fibre like brown rice, salads, whole fruits, whole grains and millets.

Do the DASH: As hypertension is a risk in diabetes, the heart healthy DASH plan is ideal. It includes:
Lean protein: fish, poultry
Plant-based foods: vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds
Dairy: fat-free or low-fat dairy products
Grains: whole grains
Healthy fats: vegetable oils

Diabetes destroys a person both physically and emotionally and the majority of women living with this chronic illness suffer from depression because dealing with it on a daily basis can be emotionally draining. The challenge is to look beyond the disease, and earnestly work towards living a normal, healthy life. All movement counts! Do something you enjoy so you can stick with it. Even small changes can make a big difference.

Start a healthy lifestyle and control diabetes with Obino by enrolling onto our special Diabetes Control Program.

Text and Image Source: Obino