Diabetes has almost become a way of life in today’s fast paced world and the need to control type 2 diabetes is on the top of the list for millions of Americans.
Control Type 2 Diabetes
20 million or more Americans have diabetes and an estimated six million of them don’t even know it. Recently, many medical professionals have estimated that by 2050, approximately one third of American adults will be diabetic. Don’t put yourself into this number. Take charge of your own health by changing your diet, increasing your exercise and reducing your stress.
If you already suffer from Type 2 diabetes, your doctor and other health personnel will be available to help you. But there are things you can do to help you maintain control, and these can be very effective in assisting you in managing your diabetes.
In diabetes, glucose builds up in the bloodstream. This happens because it’s having trouble getting through the cell walls and into the cells where it belongs. This can result in damage to the blood vessels of your organs such as kidneys and heart. How does that happen? Insulin is used by the glucose in your blood to penetrate the cells outer membrane. Unfortunately, diabetes has the effect of not allowing the glucose to enter the cells. When this happens you may feel one or several symptoms such as fatigue, thirst, hunger and even blurred vision.
Unfortunately, many people with diabetes aren’t in good control of their disease. A recent study of more than 150,000 people with diabetes discovered that over 60% were not properly controlling their glucose levels, which put them at risk for all of the complications of Diabetes.
There’s good news: Controlling type 2 diabetes-which means keeping your blood sugar at healthy levels and reducing your chances of diabetes complications ranging from heart disease to foot damage-is something that you can do.
Control Type 2 Diabetes By Keeping Off The Excess Weight
Most people with diabetes tend to be overweight or even obese and they are of the opinion that it is nearly impossible to control their blood glucose and lose weight at the same time. However, the reality is that both can be accomplished together.
We all know that exercise can and will help with weight loss. But exercise also will help improve insulin sensitivity. It’s really very simple, just not easy. Talk to your health care provider about what kind of exercise is appropriate for you. Even a 30 – minute walk a day can have a huge impact on the effort to control type 2 diabetes.
If you make your exercise routine fun by walking with a friend and taking different routes it will be much easier. If you are using a treadmill, listen to an audio book. This distracts the mind and 30 – minutes will simply fly by.
If you add resistance training to your exercise regimen, the positive effects are multiplied. Actually any additional exercise is a plus for many reasons. For example, park farther away in the parking lot from the entrance to the Supermarket. Beside the little bit extra exercise, you’ll probably have less damage to your car doors. However exercise alone will not solve your dilemma. Diet must also come into play along with exercise.
Control Type 2 Diabetes By Improving Your Diet
“Stop eating all processed foods, dairy products and refined sugars.” That is a common cry. Yet that is not final thought. Many health care providers will tell you to have a glass of skim milk each day. If you like cheese, make it a small piece of unprocessed cheese. If you crave yogurt, make it 4ozs of Greek Yogurt. Your body needs calcium.
One thing that is indisputable is to that you need to eat fresh or frozen vegetables and other whole foods that are high in fiber. These simple dietary changes will make it easier to control your blood sugar levels, and address things needed to help you control type 2 diabetes.
Yes, all of the above is true, but can you do it right now – probably not. It is very difficult to suddenly switch your lifestyle to an extreme opposite to what you are used to. Take smaller steps and over a few weeks you will change your diet and exercise regimen and be successful. There is no one size fits all instant diet. It is best to expect to falter occasionally but don’t stop and throw up your arms with an “All is lost” mindset.
Many people believe that food is the only factor influencing blood sugar levels. In reality, other factors have a direct influence including stress.
Control Type 2 Diabetes By Reducing Stress
Life is stressful, but to most people, stress is simply an annoyance. However, for people who have diabetes, it may well have a direct impact on their health. Blood glucose may rise because of stress hormones resulting in the need for more insulin or other medications they may be using to help control their blood glucose levels.
How you handle stress can make the problem worse. If when feeling stressful, meals are skipped, eating poorly because it is easier to grab fast food or neglecting your exercise routine are all factors in raising blood sugars.
There are a few simple methods you can use to help control stress:
Get plenty of sleep. “Me time” is very important in controlling stress. Take advantage of it. Do something that makes you laugh. Laughter is one of the greatest stress relievers. If you are too busy-ask for help. Use your exercise regimen to relieve stress. Make your goals realistic. Some people enjoy meditation that helps relieve stress.
Many additional factors have the ability to raise blood sugars including illness and injuries. For example, after major surgery, even non-insulin diabetics, may need to use insulin to control their glucose levels with a sliding scale provided by their Doctor.
Control Type 2 Diabetes By Keeping Track Of Your A1C:
Glycated hemoglobin (A1C or sometimes HBA1c) is a form of hemoglobin that is measured to identify the average glucose levels over prolonged periods of time. These times may vary, but most doctors like to look at 90-day levels.
This test is sometimes called the “glucose lie detector” since you can’t be good for a couple of days and the doctor will think are doing fine when you’re not.
Presently, there are on going debates on how low is too low. At present a target range of below 7% is suggested and yet some propose a level of 6.5%. The on going debate centers on studies that have shown that as the level gets lower there is a better chance for hyperglycemic episodes (too low of a blood sugar level which may cause disorientation and even passing out). This is especially dangerous when operating a motor vehicle, as you not only endanger yourself but many others.
At present some medical advisers (including the VA) are looking at a more personalized level control rather than a standard number. Diabetes studies and information are constantly evolving.
If you are a Diabetic it behooves you to read and research as much as possible. Then compile a list of questions and talk to your heath care provider.