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Exercises for Diabetics to Keep Immunity Up

sleep

Many understand a diabetic only suffers mostly from high blood glucose and as long as that is under control, nothing else will happen. But as life itself is, it is not that simple and our other habits can contribute to the severity of the issues like weakening the immune system. Besides limiting sugary junk food, foods with trans fatty acids, or saturated fats, we explore these habits and their better alternatives.  

Making up for lost sleep on weekends

Less restorative slow wave sleep long term weakens antibody production by overworking cells, along with raising levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. It will make managing diabetes more difficult because of inflammation and blood glucose spikes. We binge sleep on weekends to make it up, but this is only temporary as the body prefers regulation and consistency. Negative side effects are not easily forgotten and the body will want to sleep more on the days after the binge, restarting the deprivation cycle.1, 2, 3

What to do instead:

  1. Force yourself to have a regulated sleep schedule and sleep the same number of hours on weekends.
  2. Work out for at least 30 minutes or more everyday.
  3. No use of technology 1 hour before bedtime.
  4. Light meals for dinners by avoiding sugary foods, foods with trans fatty acids, or saturated fats.

Not paying attention to stress

Invalidating our own stress does more harm than good. Chronic stress produces hormones that negatively disrupts the immune system. It does it by overworking organs like the liver, kidneys, brain, and heart. A diabetic may already have hypertension, dehydration (kidneys overcompensating for expulsion of excess sugar in blood), and fatigue due to blood sugar spikes and this only further aggravates it.1, 4

What you can do:

  1. Consult a medical professional for better analysis
  2. Adopt meditation
  3. Learn to laugh (curbs stress hormones and boost white blood cells)
  4. Get good sleep
  5. Eat healthy
  6. Do not overly measure yourself to others

Going too Easy on Yourself

The human body’s natural processes and rhythm loves regulation, so erratic behavior will make it go into survival mode and make finding ways to treat harder. Like burning calories, stabilizing blood glucose is harder than spiking it. When things get hard, it is natural for us to want to fall back on our old habits. Treating yourself is not forbidden, but when we do, we overdo and choose inflammatory foods with little to no immunity boosting nutrients (eg. Antioxidants, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin C, E,A, D).1, 2, 4

How to regulate:

  1. Avoid crash dieting, diet fads, and following workout trends
  2. Consult a Dietitian or Nutritionist
  3. Commit to a plan once you find one that works
  4. Always choose fresh food options over processed

Principle of working out and eating fresh holds true in diabetic management and boosting immunity, but due to certain circumstances, it may not be enough. When it concerns nutrition, some turn to supplements. For a diabetic, one must be careful that the formula is specific to them because of blood glucose levels. For instance, look for supplements like Glucerna, scientifically formulated to support dietary management in diabetics, along with the possible immunity supporting nutrients.5 

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/10-immune-system-busters-boosters#1
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-health/lack-of-sleep-and-diabetes
  3. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20200630/sleeping-in-on-weekends-wont–erase-your-sleep-debt
  4. https://www.canyonranch.com/well-stated/post/10-ways-to-boost-your-immune-system-naturally/
  5. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/products/range/glucerna

Further Reading:

  1. https://www.diabetes-m.com/blog/tips-tricks/the-hidden-dangers-of-diabetes/
  2. https://www.verywellhealth.com/natural-remedies-for-diabetes-88225