Patient Education

Diabetes and Daily Life

The most important thing to keep in mind when you have diabetes is keeping your blood sugar levels within the prescribed range. Following a consistent routine can miraculously keep your blood sugar levels in control and keep you happy and fit.

Physical fitness:

Exercise is a significant part of your diabetes control plan. Regular exercising helps the body use insulin well. The muscles use the sugar/glucose to produce energy when you exercise. Check with your doctor about the best exercises for your body type. Ask your doctor about what type of exercise is appropriate for you. A healthy adult needs about 30 minutes of exercise each day. Checking the blood sugar level before and after exercise can help in keeping a tab on the workout. Keep consulting your doctor for the meal plan while working out. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water while working out because desiccation can adversely affect blood sugar levels.

Diet:

A good and healthy diet is essential for everyone. Although, diabetes is incurable, you can keep your blood sugar level in control by keeping a check on the kind of food you eat and its quantity. Counting the amount of carbohydrate consumption and planning food portion sizes is the key to diabetes management plan. For all those who take mealtime insulin, it's important to know the amount of carbohydrates in the intake, so as to get the proper insulin dose. Plan your meals with a blend of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats.

Follow proper medication:

Doctors prescribe Insulin and other treatments to lower the blood sugar levels in the case where diet and exercise are not enough to manage diabetes in daily life. The efficacy of the medicines is determined by the timing and size of the dose. For patients who need to take medications for some other ailments, other than diabetes have to take extra care because it can affect your blood sugar levels. Be extremely careful while buying any over-the-counter drug, consult your physician for its effect on blood sugar levels.

High Blood Pressure-Effects and Treatment

High blood pressure or hypertension, if left untreated can cause health problems like heart failure, stroke, or kidney disease. Hypertension can silently harm the body for years before getting diagnosed. Here are some of the ailments that high blood pressure can bring to the body:

Heart diseases:

Uncontrolled hypertension can damage your heart in numerous ways and cause problems like:

  • Heart failure - High blood pressure weakens the heart muscles and they lose their efficiency. Eventually, it can cause heart failure, previous heart attack cases add to this problem.
  • Enlarged left heart – Because of high blood pressure, the heart works harder than required to pump blood to the rest of the body. Due to this, the left ventricle thickens and changes the ventricle's ability to pump blood to the body. This condition increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure or sudden cardiac death.

Artery Damage:

High blood pressure increases the pressure of blood flowing through the arteries. Number of problems arises as a result of this:

  • Coronary artery disease - The arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle are obstructed due to the pressure and blood can't flow freely to the heart. This condition can result into chest pain, heart attack or arrhythmia.
  • Damaged arteries - Hypertension can harm the inner lining of the arteries' cells. Mostly the food fat enters the bloodstream and gets collected in the damaged arteries. Within time, the artery walls lose elasticity, limiting blood flow throughout the body.
  • Aneurysm - The continuous pressure of blood moving through a weak artery can cause a part of its wall to swell, this condition is called aneurysm. Aneurysms can rupture and cause internal bleeding that can be life-threatening.

Apart from these hypertension can also cause brain and kidney damage. The main diseases caused by high blood pressure are stroke, dementia and kidney failure. The best way to keep your blood pressure in control is to adapt to healthy lifestyle. Make it a habit to eat healthy food that is low on salt and caffeine, exercise daily, quit smoking and sleep properly. Also, consult your physician on a regular basis.

Back Pain and Ergonomics

Musculoskeletal, vision, and hearing problems are too common at the workplaces these days. Back pain is one of the most common work-related injuries and is often caused by ordinary work activities such as sitting in an office chair or heavy lifting or even driving. Bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle strains, and tendon injury are some problems that may be related to ergonomics.

Craning the neck to see the computer, hunching of shoulders to reach the keyboard or slumping in the chair while working can cause back or neck pain. The easiest way out is simple redesign of your office using basic ergonomic codes. Proper office ergonomics can help you stay comfortable at work. Follow these ergonomic principles to maintain a healthy and pain free back:

  • Chair - Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest easily on the floor and your knees are at level with your hips. A perfect chair should support the curves of your spine.
  • Work Desk - Keep your desk arranged so that the items you need are within reach, and you don't have to bend your body frequently. Stand up to reach anything that can't be easily reached while sitting.
  • Mouse - Place the mouse within easy reach on the side of your keyboard. Keep your wrist in a natural and comfortable position when you're using it.
  • Headphones - If you regularly talk on the phone and type at the same time, use headphones instead of cradling the phone between your head and neck.
  • Posture - Sit up straight, keeping your thighs horizontal with your knees and at about the same level as your hips.

These ergonomic principles are a requisite every day at work; another important part is to maintain a fit body and healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, keeping a check on your weight and quit smoking. The best advice would be to watch your posture, take care when lifting, and maintain a healthy fitness level.

Benefits of Lifestyle Modification

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can be a boon to your body. However, it is a challenge considering the availability of processed foods, absence of exercise, alcohol consumption and late night outs. There are important benefits to improving your lifestyle can give you a healthier and longer life.

Prevention of disease

Living a healthier lifestyle can prevent a host of diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Arthritis, osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes and other immune illnesses can be prevented by making healthy dietary and lifestyle choices every day.

Increased energy

Changing lifestyle choices and eating healthy food can help in increasing metabolism and energy. Eating healthy can boost your energy levels and allow you to participate in more activities on a daily basis.

Healthy weight

The lifestyle choices of discontinuing smoking, moderating alcohol consumption and intake of a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low on foods and fats will help to maintain a healthy weight.

Injury prevention

A healthy lifestyle also involves close attention to safety matters - proper lifting practices can prevent back injuries. Wearing a helmet while riding a bike and using suitable safety gears when playing sports are some smart lifestyle choices that one must follow.

Enhanced mental health

One's mental health also depends upon the lifestyle. Eating well and exercising regularly can help preventing depression and improve the memory. By making good food choices, reducing alcohol from the diet and quitting smoking, you can have a happy and a better outlook on life.

Managing Pain After Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgeries like knee, hip, and shoulder are mostly done to decrease the pain caused by arthritis. In the initial days post-surgery, some patients have pain that sometimes is worse than their arthritic pain. This post-surgical pain is temporary, however it can affect the healing and rehabilitation if it is not treated.

Although pain medications are administered before the surgery, for proper pain removal a planned medication may be administered in scheduled doses throughout the day. Doctors may use a combination of pain relief methods that work in symbiosis and minimize side effects – this approach is called multimodal analgesia. These pain-relieving tactics can boost or replace opioid medications, so that the patient requires fewer doses of narcotic medication. While narcotics are often necessary to manage pain, opioid painkillers should be used judiciously because they cause brain fog, fatigue, nausea, and/or constipation.

After the joint replacement surgery, the patient needs to take proper rest, take medications properly as suggested by the doctor, put ice-pack if needed, and perform physical activity as guided by the care giver.

Importance of Preventive Health Check-ups

With erratic lifestyles, a lot of ailments like chronic heart diseases, cancers, mental disorders, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances have mushroomed like never before. Our busy work schedules disrupt our eating habits and leave us with no time for physical activities. However, there is a way to prevent these diseases. Planning a proper health check-up regularly can help diagnosing the disease before it spreads. It is essential to get a yearly preventive test done to increase chances for treatment and cure. The regularity of the tests depends on the age, family history and your routine.

Keep yourself informed about what your body is challenging because it will help you to make a sensible decision regarding your overall health. For example, a heart attack may not be sudden but can happen due to gradual accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels. Following a regular check-up routine can determine the cholesterol level and make diet changes accordingly. According to medical observation people of age-group, 35-65 years are increasingly suffering by lifestyle diseases. It is recommended that men, above 35 years of age, and women, above 40 years of the age, should undertake annual preventive health check-up. In case of a significant history of a particular disease in family, it is advised to start screening tests 10 years before, when the youngest member of family developed that particular disease.

Other broad spectrum preventive measures include breathing clean, pollution-free air, drinking clean water, regular physical exercise, adequate rest, balanced and nutritious diet, avoidance of smoking and tobacco use and immunisation against certain diseases.

Before going for a preventive health check, consult the physician for the procedures and make sure to inform your doctor if you have a pacemaker in the body. Regular health tests allow your body to enable you take informed decisions about the right treatments.

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