Is it Possible to Beat Diabetes?
You probably already know that type 2 diabetes is on the rise in the USA- and all over the world. However, if you’ve been diagnosed, you don’t have to fear- there are lots of things you can do to improve your health.
The best place to start, according to the Diabetes Escape Plan is making changes to your lifestyle According to the experts, the basic principles of good health such as maintaining a healthy weight, getting adequate exercise and rest, and eating right are extremely effective for managing type 2 diabetes for most people.
Beat Diabetes through a Lifestyle Change
If you have decided you’re ready to make some changes in your lifestyle to get your diabetes under control- here’s how. Keep in mind that you’re not going to completely reverse the condition, but you can go into remission.
Improve Your Diet
Keeping a close eye on your diet is one of the major ways to keep your type 2 diabetes under control. A healthy diet for type 2 diabetics includes low-fat dairy, fresh fruits & veggies, beans, whole grains, and lean meats. Make sure that you choose non-starchy veggies and fruits, and choose smaller portions of dairy, meat, and starchy foods. Be mindful of avoiding foods with a high glycemic index. The glycemic index- or GI- is a system of ranking foods according to the effect they have on glucose levels. Foods that are high on the GI are soda, white breads, and white rice.
In addition, make sure that you limit your consumption of fast foods. One study revealed that individuals who ate fast food 2x or more a week developed insulin resistance two times faster than those who did not consume lots of fast food. Plus, fast food is full of refined carbs, sodium, and trans fat- which is especially bad for those who have type 2 diabetes.
Losing weight can be beneficial for improving glucose levels and keeping your type 2 diabetes under control. You don’t have to lose a lot to make a difference. If you have already been diagnosed with type 2 losing just 10-15 pounds can decrease glucose levels.
In addition, where fat is distributed has an effect on your diabetes. Individuals who are more apple-shaped (carrying their fat in their belly) are much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are more pear-shaped (carrying their fat in their butt, hips, and thighs). Women who have a 35+ inch waist and men who have a 40+ inch waist need to lose a few pounds to manage their diabetes. According to the experts, getting regular aerobic exercise and consuming a healthy diet will help.
That brings us to our next point. Exercise is a great way to keep your type 2 diabetes under control- and you don’t even have to lose weight. Physical activity pushes the glucose out of your blood and into your cells. The result is better glucose levels.
Of course, keep in mind that intense exercise is better. One study revealed that women who walked quickly were able to get better control of their type 2 diabetes than those who walked at a leisurely pace. You can also keep your glucose levels under control by weightlifting 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes.
Control Sleep Apnea
Many overweight individuals who have type 2 diabetes also have sleep apnea. This is a condition in which they temporarily stop breathing while sleeping. Individuals with sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes are at a much higher risk of stroke and/or heart attack. In addition, glucose levels fluctuate more dramatically as they sleep than those who have type 2 diabetes without sleep apnea.
Severe sleep apnea can be treated with surgery or by wearing a mask while sleeping. If you have a less severe case, you may be able to treat it by losing a few pounds. Talk with your physician if you think you might have sleep apnea. A sleep test can be used to reach a diagnosis.
The truth is that stress can cause your glucose levels to get out of control. Try some relaxation techniques to soothe stress levels. Some options are meditation, soothing music, massage, tai chi, and yoga.
In addition, stress relief can be helpful for getting better sleep. After all, studies have proven that not getting enough sleep can cause type 2 diabetes to worsen. If you are getting less than 6 hours of sleep, it can impair your glucose tolerance- which is a condition that often prefaces type 2 diabetes.
Before you go to bed, you can try yoga or deep breathing to relax. In addition, you can try the following:
- Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol
- Maintain a cooler temp in your bedroom
- Block out light/noise
- Establish and maintain a sleep schedule
These tips will help you get better control of your type 2 diabetes and slow down the progression of the condition. You are not going to “cure” your diabetes, but you can go into remission. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle will improve how you feel and ensure a healthy future. Read the Diabetes Escape Plan to find out more.