Updated 06 June 2016

3 ways to manage diabetes

Diabetes isn’t all doom and gloom. Here are three new things to know about managing it.

Recent research has suggested that up to 10% of South African might be living with diabetes, yet the vast majority of these cases are entirely preventable. This statistic has forced diabetes into the focus of local health practitioners and policy-makers.

Globally, the World Health Organisation predicts diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death worldwide in 2030 – a fact that has the scientific community in a research frenzy. We took a peek inside the labs and found some exciting possibilities for the future and some healthy habits you should adopt now.

1. Rise And Dine

Starting your day with a big (2 900kJ), healthy breakfast could reduce your risk for diabetes, according to research from Tel Aviv University, which showed that the time of day that you eat affects the way your body processes your food intake. The study found a greater decrease in insulin, glucose and triglycerides in participants who ate a big brekkie, compared with those who ate larger meals at night.

2. Start Picking Up Weights

Research is showing that weight-bearing exercise is particularly helpful for type-1 diabetics. A 2013 study conducted by the American Diabetes Association found that resistance training lowers blood glucose levels during and after the workout, and goes on to keep levels more stable than aerobic exercise does. It also comes in tops for fat burning – bonus!

3. If You Hate Needles…

Then you’ll love this! One of the latest treatments being developed for diabetics is a new inhalable insulin powder. Currently on clinical trial in America, the drug, called Afrezza, assists insulin levels within 14 minutes and is showing positive results for controlling both type-1 and type-2 diabetes. If successful, it could become available by early next year.

Read more:
Assess your diabetes risk
Diabetes "tsunami" hits SA
9 diabetes risks debunked


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Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

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