Being diagnosed with Diabetes is a scary life altering diagnosis but it need not mean lowering your quality of life. Chaitali Bhatkhande shares her experience of managing Diabetes.
Name: Chaitali Bhatkhande
Age: 24 years
Occupation: MBA Student
The journey so far
I live in Nagpur city in Maharashtra. In my spare time, I am involved in various women and child welfare projects. I teach English at an NGO to school-going children and working women. I enjoy going out on weekends with friends. I also enjoy sports like cycling and tennis.
Impact of the diagnosis
I was diagnosed when I was 19 years old. The triggers that led to the diagnosis of Diabetes included excessive thirst and tiredness. I also lost a lot of weight. My general practitioner suggested a general blood test to see if anything was abnormal. My sugar levels came back about 190 mg/dL non-fasting. After an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), where my sugars rose to about 230 mg/dL and I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
My family has a history of Type 2 Diabetes on my mother's side. Some of my family members have passed away due to the complications related to Diabetes. My mother is quite knowledgeable about the complications associated with Diabetes and has had good control over her sugar levels.
Living with Diabetes
As Diabetes is often diagnosed in our family, I should say we are a little bit prepared when someone new is diagnosed. However, my diagnosis caused a lot of confusion as I was diagnosed at a young age. Most of my relatives who have Type 2 Diabetes were diagnosed after the age of 40.
My Diabetes proved to be a wakeup call for me to start taking better care of myself. Since then I have invested time and energy to improve my health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes conscious effort. I pay closer attention to what I eat, how much I exercise and follow a routine which allows eight hours of sleep. Moreover these days with more advanced Diabetes medications and proper diet and exercise it is easy to manage Diabetes than before. My blood sugar level is down to 140 mg/dL now.
Word of advice
I have joined a Yoga class thrice a week to help me exercise. Four days a week, I perform leg, arm and core strengthening exercises, balance exercises and cardiovascular exercises (static bicycle) as advised by my physiotherapist. Additionally, I walk every day for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.
My exercise routine
I believe that involving your family boosts your support system and make managing Diabetes a little bit easier. They are your biggest support system. Also, remember to carefully control your diet. It is as important as taking your medicines regularly and on time. My mantra to fitness is burn more calories than you eat. This has helped me better manage my Diabetes.