How To Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disorder whereby your body cannot use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that allows blood sugar into body cells for conversion into energy. If you have Type 2 diabetes, the insulin does not work properly, resulting in high blood sugar levels that can damage your body.
Type 2 differs from Type 1 in that the body is not able to produce sufficient insulin, or is not able to process it properly. Type 1 is when the body produces no insulin at all.
Type 2 diabetes must be managed with lifestyle changes and sometimes medication. You'll need to look after yourself for the rest of your life. Don't panic though, millions of people do so successfully.
Lifestyle Change - Manage Your Diet
A healthy diet is essential in managing diabetes. Cut down on fat and sugar and try to eat more fibre, fish and lean meat. Avoid foods such as fatty samosas, mayonnaise, crisps and pasties. Low-fat yogurt, nuts and fruit are ideal snacks for Type 2 diabetes sufferers. It's all about keeping the right levels of sugar in your body.
You should eat small amounts throughout the day to prevent your blood sugar dropping too low, but don't eat a huge meal as this may spike your blood sugar up.
Lifestyle Change - Get Regular Exercise
Keeping a healthy weight is very important. At least 2.5 hours of vigorous activity is recommended per week. This will keep your weight down or help you to lose it.
Exercising lowers blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It's an essential aspect of managing Type 2 diabetes.
Some people may need to take medicines to manage their diabetes. Medication cannot cure diabetes, but it can help manage the condition. You may need to take it for life, once diabetes has developed.
How To Avoid Complications
Serious complications can arise with type 2 diabetes, such as kidney disease, erectile dysfunction, infections, and heart disease to name but a few. Keep these complications at bay with your lifestyle choices and the actions below.
- Over time you may find that, no matter how strict you are with diet, exercise and medication, your diabetes becomes worse. This is because diabetes is a progressive condition. A good diet and regular exercise may help to prevent worsening symptoms for longer.
- Monitor blood sugar levels. Being aware of your blood sugar will help you to manage diabetes.
- If you are planning a holiday, take your diabetes into account. Blood sugar can be affected by weather, alcohol and different foods.
- If you are ill, your blood sugar may behave differently. Medicines may also affect your levels. Keep a close eye on yourself and speak to your doctor.
- Eat before you exercise so your body has enough blood sugar to avoid hypoglycaemia. Make it a slow release food such as basmati rice or nuts.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, but, with proper management and medical care, you can still make the most of your life.