Alternatives to medication – Take diabetes into your own hands – Knowledge


Insidious thing about diabetes: It doesn’t hurt, it’s often diagnosed after years, and if left untreated, it leads to massive long-term damage. However, type 2 diabetics can definitely get their sugar levels under control and take the prognosis into their own hands.

Half a million people with diabetes live in Switzerland. In healthy people, the pancreatic hormone insulin controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Insulin opens the way for sugar to get from the blood to the cells. In type 2 diabetics, insulin does not work well enough, the cells absorb sugar from the blood only partially, ie insufficiently. The result: sugar levels fluctuate and are often too high.

Over the years, sugar attacks blood vessels and nerves. Type 2 diabetics therefore have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke with poor blood sugar levels, suffer from circulatory disorders and poorly healing wounds, and are at risk of blindness due to retinal damage for many years.

With movement against diabetes

Kantonsspital Aarau, Monday morning at half past eight. It is raining. And even though we’re in the middle of spring, the thermometer shows a modest ten degrees. Under these conditions, anyone who voluntarily steps in the door obviously has a clear goal.

Seven people wrapped in raincoats and armed with walking sticks are marching at a fast pace through the streets of and around the cantonal hospital of Aarau. There are five women and two men from the local DIAfit group. They all suffer from chronic metabolic disease and participate in a 12-week diabetological rehabilitation program. “The goal of the program is to encourage the disabled to sports activities and healthier eating,” explains project co-initiator and cardiologist Hugo Saner. “Weight loss is not a top priority. I always say it’s better to be ‘fit and fat’ than ‘not fit and slim.’

Lifestyle – Pandemic Diabetes

Today, type 2 diabetes is already referred to as a pandemic. Our unhealthy Western lifestyle is considered to be a sharp increase in those affected.

Hugo Saner is convinced that the disease is still not taken seriously: “I often hear from patients that they have been told that they have ‘some sugar’. There is no such thing as a little sugar! That’s the disadvantage. “The sooner the causes are addressed, the greater the chance that massive long-term damage will not be” recovered. “

The main risk factors are lack of exercise and preference for a high carbohydrate diet, which leads to obesity. The advantage of this is that everyone has the opportunity to turn the wheel themselves.

Healthy peer pressure with DIAfit

And it is the training in the group that commits. It is out of the question to miss an hour’s walk due to bad weather for Annelis Stampfli. Last year, during a routine check-up, her blood sugar level was too high. An accidental finding, as is often the case in diabetics, because the disease does not cause any symptoms and does not hurt for years.

“I retired in the autumn and the surprising diagnosis suddenly made it clear to me that I really wanted to enjoy the next phase of my life as long as possible,” says Annelise Stampfli, “I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.” And he rarely reaches for his favorite delicacy, chocolate.

He proudly reports on his first successes: “In four months, I lost ten kilos by changing my diet and exercising regularly, I feel better and I was able to reduce my medication. My doctor says blood sugar levels are now acceptable. “But there is no such thing as a cure. Those who return to old patterns also worsen their chances of success and blood sugar levels.

For type 2 diabetics, this requires a lot of discipline and motivation as drivers for life. A family history helped Franziska Reuss: “I saw with my own eyes how they had to remove the toes, then the foot and later the whole leg. That scared me. “Pictures that a 59-year-old man hadn’t forgotten.

“Two-thirds of DIAfit participants have long benefited from better blood sugar and cholesterol levels, weight reduction and increased performance.” After evaluating around 200 participants, Hugo Saner concludes: “The sooner diabetes is detected and the sooner lifestyle changes, the better the chances of maintaining long-term health.” You can do much of this yourself.

Diabetic diet doesn’t make sense, sobriety does

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Foods that raise blood sugar levels because they provide a lot of energy in the form of sugar include all grain-based foods such as bread, pasta, cakes and pastries, as well as fruit, milk and yogurt. Fat, protein and fiber, on the other hand, have no effect on blood sugar levels.

People with diabetes can eat almost anything – the actual diabetic diet is considered obsolete. It is important that you eat healthy and balanced. As with healthy people, the diet should not lack enough vegetables and salad. There should also be fruit and whole grain products, lean meat and low-fat fish – the body gets all the important nutrients it needs.

In people with overweight and type 2 diabetes, the primary goal to improve the metabolic situation is to reduce weight by saving calories in fat.

In addition, careful consideration and partial avoidance of carbohydrate-rich foods can help keep blood sugar levels under control. Carbohydrates serve as energy donors in the form of glucose and affect blood sugar levels.

Surprising for many: Carbohydrates are not only where you expect them (eg in sugar cubes), but also in muesli or tomato ketchup. Many carbohydrates are found in fruits, most in bananas and least in berries. And also many carbohydrates contain dried fruits such as lychee, persimmon and pomegranates. Special tables help the disabled to distinguish “good” from rather “bad” food.

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