Type 2 diabetes is dangerous and is becoming more and more common as time goes on. It can lead to kidney disease, neuropathy, and even death.
About 10% of American people have diabetes, and the vast majority of them have type 2.
Diabetes doesn’t have to be a death sentence. There are ways to manage it and adjust your lifestyle to keep yourself in good health.
Whether you’re new to the condition, or you’re trying to make productive changes now that you’ve been living with it for a while, we want to provide some advice. Managing type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can even help you improve your overall health and lifestyle beyond the disease.
Keep reading for 7 strategies that you can use to help manage your type 2 diabetes and return to a healthy life.
1. Work on Stress Management
We live in a stressful world, but stress can be detrimental to your condition. When you’re feeling over-stressed, your hormones can impact your blood sugar levels.
While you can’t always avoid stress completely, make efforts to take time for yourself, and practice mindfulness. Consider yoga or heavier strength or cardiovascular exercise to get some endorphins running through your body.
It might be helpful to see a therapist if you’re unable to manage your stress on your own. They can help you learn healthy coping mechanisms to keep you calm.
2. Make Balanced Meals
Well-balanced meals are the key to a healthy diet, weight loss, and improving your condition with type 2 diabetes.
Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about developing a meal plan that will help you get into shape and keep your glucose levels managed. Also, make sure to learn about proper portion sizes.
The average American diet has portion sizes that are far too large. Learn how to properly portion out your food and make sure that you focus on complex carbohydrates.
These include things like unrefined brown rice, whole wheat food products, leafy green vegetables, and legumes.
It’s also helpful to supplement your diet with a vitamin B complex to support your kidney function and vitamin D (from the sun or a supplement) to improve insulin resistance.
3. Avoid Sugary Drinks
While most people are able to keep their sugar and calories down with their meals after they’ve learned about nutrition and adjusted their diets, many people forget the calories and sugar that come from beverages.
While a sugary drink once in a while is okay (as long as you’re keeping track of your blood sugar levels), it’s important to keep in mind just how much sugar is in there.
Eating a healthy diet can be undone by one too many sugary drinks. Keep yourself in check and opt for other options like diet drinks, teas, or water.
A coca-cola alone has 39 grams of sugar, more than the 25 daily grams suggested for type 2 diabetics.
4. Take Medication
Everyone takes insulin to manage their type 2 diabetes, but there are other options that might improve your quality of life.
Talk to your doctor about medications that can help to treat diabetes, or even treat specific symptoms of diabetes.
Medications like Jardiance work together with your diet and exercise plans to help treat your condition (though it’s only for type 2, not type 1).
While the causes for type 2 diabetes vary (and are largely unknown), it is known that excess weight is a risk factor, as is a lack of physical activity.
You don’t have to complete an Ironman in order to get enough exercise to improve your condition. You can take brisk walks or jogs daily, or even complete light strength training at home.
Ask your doctor how you can go about formulating an exercise routine. They’ll also give you advice on safe blood sugar levels for exerting that much energy.
Always make sure to keep a snack with you just in case you need a blood sugar boost.
Exercising will help you relieve stress, improve your heart and lungs, and drop some of your excess weight. You might even be able to reverse type 2 diabetes with this method.
6. Stay Hydrated
Did you know that your hydration can impact your blood sugar levels? People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from dehydration, and dehydration can affect your glucose levels.
It’s important to be drinking sugar-free drinks (preferably water) throughout the day to keep your hydration levels normal. This is especially true when you’re engaging in exercise or exerting extra energy when cleaning, moving house, or even just playing with pets or children.
7. Drink Alcohol Wisely
Diabetics don’t have to avoid alcohol entirely. If you choose to abstain, that’s a valid and healthy choice, but some people still like to have a casual drink or two amongst friends.
Before drinking though, there are a few things that you should do.
First, ask your doctor first if it’s going to be okay for you to drink alcohol. You don’t have to ask every time (that would be a hassle), but you should ask for advice and how to manage your drinking responsibly.
You’ll have to choose specific times and blood sugar levels that are “safe zones” for drinking.
You want to make sure that you choose drinks that won’t raise your blood sugar level too much. You can use diet sodas, or just drink your alcohol on the rocks. Light beers may also be appropriate but check the label first.
Always have some food beforehand to manage your blood sugar and check your blood sugar levels before you go to sleep. Alcohol is riskier when you’re a diabetic, and you want to make sure that nothing goes wrong overnight.
Type 2 Diabetes Is Manageable!
Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes might have been a stressful moment in your life, but you can manage (and even reverse) your condition just by engaging in healthier habits.
These habits won’t just help with your diabetes. They’ll also help with your overall quality of life. Exercise, good nutrition, and stress management are all parts of a healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about improving your health, or to purchase medications at reasonable prices, visit our site.