How You Can Successfully Manage Diabetes: Learnings from 52 Years


Seniors Can Try Stop Diabetes this way

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich:

Diabetes is Rampant & here to stay The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Diabetes Atlas (2021) reports that 10.5% of the adult population (20-79 years) has diabetes, with almost half unaware that they are living with the condition.

Over 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which is driven by socio-economic, demographic, environmental, and genetic factors. The key contributors to the rise in type 2 diabetes include:

  • Urbanization
  • An ageing population
  • Decreasing levels of physical activity
  • Increasing overweight and obesity prevalence

But what is important for us is to note that as per the IDF It is possible to reduce the impact of diabetes by taking preventive measures for type 2 diabetes and providing early diagnosis and proper care for all types of diabetes. These measures can help people living with the condition avoid or delay complications.


Source - International Diabetes Federation


Lessons from my father who lived with Diabetes for 52 years - 

 I had the good fortune of living with someone who managed diabetes adeptly for 52 years. My father was diagnosed with diabetes when he was forty-one years old and lived up to ninety-three. When in his seventies my cousin who was 34 years old then was diagnosed with diabetes and my dad told him “Don’t be afraid of diabetes, nor let it cramp your lifestyle. I have lived with it for more than 30 years. You just need a few good changes in your lifestyle and habits.

So what were those habits he lived by?

Firstly, he rarely missed his brisk morning and evening walks of about 45 minutes duration each. Come rain or sun he would do it. He walked outside the house, or inside the house, according to the weather. It was much before the time of smart watches and step-counting. His analog watch would tell him when to stop. Regular exercise, doctors say, is key to managing diabetes.

He ate all 3 meals on time. Breakfast at 8.30 am, lunch at 1.30 pm and dinner at 8.30 pm. Regular meal times are important. It ensures that blood sugar levels do not fluctuate beyond acceptable levels.

His intake of food was also self-regulated with moderately sized meals. He did not deprive himself of chocolates, sweets, or desserts but kept a watch over the quantities he consumed. He was able to maintain a healthy, almost constant weight, which is another requirement for managing diabetes.

He regularly tested his blood sugar levels at home with a glucometer. While in his forties and fifties he would do it once every 3 days, as he aged he did it every alternate day and then, every day. Regular testing ensured that high spikes and low dips in blood glucose levels could be detected and countered.

He also went every 3 months for a health check-up at a specialty hospital for diabetes. It was necessary as “Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes and lower limb amputation” (

Regular health check-ups would evaluate all health parameters so that the deleterious effects of diabetes, if any, can be detected early on.

Foot care was diligently practiced by him. He would wipe his feet with small thick towels whenever they got wet. After a bath too he made sure that his feet were wiped dry. He wore shoes and switched to sandals or flip-flops only when indoors.

Foot care is very important for diabetics. “Foot ulcers affect as many as 1 out of 10 people with diabetes, and can easily develop from blisters and small wounds to posing a threat of amputation. Even small ulcers on the foot can represent a serious risk: they may heal extremely slowly and need rigorous treatment to cure. Caring for your feet as a diabetic should not be difficult, and should be a prime consideration.” From

So what is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease due to high glucose levels in the blood. A hormone called insulin produced by the pancreas regulates the blood glucose levels in the human body.

Why do some people have higher blood glucose levels than is normal?

It is because either enough insulin is not produced by the pancreas or the body is not able to use it effectively.

The Good News is that Diabetes can be managed by lifestyle changes:

- Adhering to a diet without excess sugars and processed foods is important.

-Regular exercise for at least half an hour every day is another key necessity for keeping diabetes at bay.

The WHO states reassuringly that Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications

My dad was living this mantra for managing diabetes. And that is the way to go for us Seniors diagnosed with diabetes!





N.B Adapted from the author’s article originally published in ( )


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