Disease,  Treatment

How to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Sugar Level Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is one of the deadliest, yet most preventable, diseases in the Western world. Unhealthy diets combined with a lack of physical activity has seen a rise in the incidence among both adults and children. Growing numbers of clinics receive healthcare outreach to help manage their patients’ diabetes in an already overwhelmed system. Type 2 is both preventable and manageable. If you have the condition, or are at serious risk of developing it, follow these suggestions below.

What causes type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a result of elevated sugar levels overtime. The pancreas makes insulin. Insulin helps your body manage its blood sugar levels. If you have significantly high sugar intake, your body’s insulin isn’t enough to regulate it all. There are two consequences: First, your body develops a resistance to the natural insulin. Second, your body doesn’t have enough insulin to control the blood sugar levels. Over time, this develops into type 2 diabetes. If you don’t take action to manage the condition, it significantly increases the chance of stroke and heart disease. Diabetes is also linked to the development of other diseases and health issues including kidney disease, nerve damage, vision loss and amputation.

Managing the condition by changing your diet

If the condition is caused by high sugar levels, the best approach is to lower them. You can do this by having a low sugar diet. Not one of the fad diets that you follow for a month or two before reverting back to your old lifestyle. You’ll need to follow this for the rest of your life. As an example, cut out fizzy drinks and unhealthy food. Start eating more fruit and vegetables. Before you come up with a diet, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor. They can explain your current situation and what will happen if you don’t make big changes to your lifestyle. This ‘shock factor’ also gives you the motivation to stick to it. Doctors can then help you come up with a diet plan to lower your blood sugar levels.

Start exercising

The body uses sugar as its fuel. The more active you are, the more sugar it uses. Physical inactivity is another major contributor to type 2 diabetes. Especially as the population suffers from screen and internet addictions. This is particularly a problem with children. Instead of going outside and walking or playing sport, they prefer to sit using their phones. Breaking this habit is difficult. And it does take a lot of willpower. But you can transform your life and will feel much better one year from now. Don’t try to suddenly become an athlete overnight. Take it step-by-step. Start walking up the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator. Leave your car at home and go out on foot instead. Join a local sports club or weekly Zumba class. Over time, increase the amount of exercise you do each week. Then when it becomes a habit and your body is used to it, you can increase the intensity.

Managing your type 2 diabetes

You can stop or reverse type 2 diabetes. It just takes a few minor lifestyle adjustments. Reduce sugar intake and start to become more physically active. Speak to your doctor before trying to come up with a diet and exercise plan.

Zara Jones is a valued contributor to various CosmoBC's blogs.

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