The human body is a marvelous machine that performs its tasks perfectly, as long as all its materials are in the right proportions. If this balance is disrupted – certain substances are lacking, or excessive – serious disorders occur. Likewise, diabetes mellitus – also known as type II diabetes –is an imbalance of the blood sugar level in the body, caused primarily by an insufficient insulin output by the pancreas. This leads to hyperglycemia (high blood glucose). This is why taking serious steps to manage type 2 diabetes is crucial.
The very first step in managing your diabetes is to get the disease under control.
If you have type 2 diabetes, there’s a good chance that you’re overweight or obese. That’s because being overweight or obese puts extra stress on your body and makes it harder for your body to use insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes is a condition that occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the body does not respond to the insulin that is produced.
Insulin helps your body use glucose for energy. Glucose comes from the food you eat. When you have type 2 diabetes, you either don’t make enough insulin, or your body can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. As a result, glucose builds up in your blood instead of going into cells where it can be used as fuel.
The Definitive Guide to Managing Diabetes
Here are some other ways to manage type 2 diabetes:
- Make sure you have regular appointments with your doctor
See your doctor regularly (at least once per year) to monitor your progress and make sure you’re taking medications as prescribed if needed; make sure you receive proper treatment if you develop complications from diabetes or other conditions associated with diabetes, such as eye disease or heart disease; and watch for signs of depression or anxiety, which can be related to having any chronic illness such as type 2 diabetes.
- Talk to your doctor about medications
If your blood glucose levels are above normal or if they do not respond well to lifestyle changes, you may require medication to help control them. There are several types of medication available for type 2 diabetes and your doctor can recommend one that is best suited for you based on your needs and medical history.
- Eat healthy food
A healthy diet is a key to managing type 2 diabetes. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating provides a diet plan that meets your nutritional needs while reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Eat healthy foods in appropriate portions at regular intervals throughout the day — not too much, not too little. A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein should be part of every meal plan for people with type 2 diabetes — especially those who have high blood glucose levels because it’s difficult for these foods to raise their blood glucose levels as quickly as carbohydrates do (for example, pasta). You may also need to change what you eat if you have problems digesting certain foods that contain carbohydrates (such as lactose or fructose)
- Exercise daily
Exercise can help you lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels by burning off glucose in the body and increasing muscle mass, which helps use insulin more effectively. Exercise also helps reduce stress and high blood pressure, which are both risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Learn about the medications you take for diabetes and your risks for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Ask your doctor or pharmacist about these risks and how to manage them.
- Try to manage your stress in a better way
Manage stress by talking to friends or family members about your feelings or seeking professional counseling if necessary. Stress can affect your blood glucose levels so try to find ways to relax or reduce stress in your life whenever possible. In some people with type 2 diabetes, stress may trigger an episode of hyperglycemia.
Take any other medicines your doctor prescribes for other health problems such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure (hypertension). If you take insulin or other diabetes drugs, take them exactly as prescribed by your doctor because these drugs can cause hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) if taken improperly or not taken at all.
- Quit smoking
Stop smoking or cut down as much and as soon as possible. Like alcohol, smoking can be bad news, especially when diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
- Eat food that is rich in fiber
Eat high-fiber foods that are slowly digested, such as oatmeal or whole grain cereals, which help control blood glucose levels after meals. These foods also contain nutrients that are beneficial for overall health.
- Use diabetes management apps
In this virtual era, it is possible to manage chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes through the virtual platform. There are several diabetes management apps that can help you with this in the most innovative yet helping ways.
Diabetes management is an ongoing process that requires patient commitment, with the primary objective being to prevent complications. Self-management of type 2 diabetes relies on a partnership between the individual and the healthcare provider, who can help tailor plans to fit the patient’s lifestyle.