Seek and You Shall Receive: 1st step in diabetes self management.

In Vitality’s last post we discussed some of the causes of diabetes. Exploring further, the combination of all the risk factors (physical inactivity, obesity and insulin resistance) not only reduces the insulin but also reduces the energy to beta cells in pancreas causing CELLs to DIE (Butler et al, 2003), leaving less and less beta cells to release insulin.

 diabetes-pancreas_default

So, unless massive steps are taken to reverse all the risk factors our body keep on loosing its precious beta cells from pancreas which leads to the development of diabetes and more dependance on the medicines and eventually on insulin.

But just think about it for a moment,

‘What if we take charge of our own body and took some simple steps to reverse the damage rather than relying on chemicals, i.e; medicines?’

No doubt, medicine has its important role to play but far more important role is played by us, humans, won’t you agree? 

‘What if your doctor gives you a prescription of lifestyle changes rather than drugs?’

More than likely you will make every efforts to stick to it just like people try to follow the strict medicine regime.

‘Knowledge is Power’

So this is how we can start today!

First step in creating any changes to ‘Lifestyle’ is to increase awareness and gain more knowledge about what is that you want to change. The simple way to do that is to seek knowledge from a trusted source by way of attending a structured education sessions.

Studies conducted in people with type 1 diabetes have shown that structured education based on principles of client empowerment and experiential learning was associated with improved psychological well-being, reduced anxiety and overall improvement in quality of life (QOL) [Amiel and colleagues 2002, Ellis and colleagues 2002].

Another randomised controlled trial informs us that when researchers compared a special programme called ‘X-PERT’ which was aimed at clients with type 2 diabetes with ‘usual’ care; they noted following improvements:

  • Patients who took part in this programme showed a reduction in *HbA1c of 0.6% (blood glucose:7 mmol/mol) up to 14 months follow up.
  • They became 0.35 kg lighter and reduced their waist circumference (4 cm in women; 2 cm in men).
  • All of this result were statistically significant.
  • Sixteen per cent of patients who took part in the X-PERT programme were able to reduce their diabetes medication (Deakin and colleague 2006).

So, you see overall benefit of the structured education was not only to reduce your blood glucose but it also help you to improve your QOL.

Increasing QOL, enjoying life to its fullest extent, isn’t that all we want?

So if you are reading this and if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes or if your close relatives are suffering from it; STOP for a minute! Think about exploring different ways to educate and empower yourself with valid and trusted education related to diabetes. 

In consecutive posts from Vitality Health Clinic we will explore each aspect of ‘Lifestyle Intervention’ which leads to diabetes management, namely:

  • Physical Activity;
  • Using food as a medicine;
  • Role of Sleep in the glucose control;
  • Stress management and role of mindfulness;
  • and Smoking Cessation and its relation to diabetes management.

Look forward to connecting with you with Vitality’s future posts.

Until then, enjoy this new awareness.

Live Well, Live with Vitality!

Pranita Salunke

Occupational Therapist specialised in Preventive Cardiology.

“If you are searching for specific educational programme, Vitality Health Clinic provides a 6-weeks programme based on adult learning theories and evidence-based practices.

Reference

Butler AE et al, Diabetes 2003 52 102– 110.

Dr. Dornhorst, Imperial College London, 2013.

Amiel S, beveridge S, bradley C, Gianfrancesco C, Heller S, james P, et al. Training in flexible, intensive insulin management to enable dietary freedom in people with type 1 diabetes: dose adjustment for normal eating (DAFNE) randomised controlled trial. br Med j 2002;325(7367):746.

Ellis SE, Speroff T, Dittus RS, brown A, Pichert jW, Elasy TA. Diabetes patient education: a meta-analysis and meta-regression. Patient Educ Couns 2004;52(1):97-105.

Deakin TA, Cade jE, Williams R, Greenwood DC. Structured patient education: the diabetes X-PERT Programme makes a difference. Diabet Med. 2006;23(9):944-54.

Image: http://besthealth.bmj.com/x/topic/392794/further-information/1000673127.html

*HbA1c : Glycated haemoglobin. It develops when haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body, joins with glucose in the blood, becoming ‘glycated’. By measuring glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians are able to get an overall picture of what our average blood sugar levels have been over a period of weeks/months (Source : diabetes UK)