No matter what, if you have type II diabetes or type I, the key to control diabetes is to maintain blood sugar levels within the healthy range.
If your pancreas completely fails to produce insulin, it is classified as type II diabetes. Type I diabetes, however, can be controlled with lifestyle modification and some medications.
Katherine Araque is an endocrinologist and director of endocrinology at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
She asserts that diabetes is treatable only if the patient follows the right steps. This is why we head straight out to experts to find out the best ways to compete with diabetes.
1. Use Insulin Regularly
Insulin is a blood sugar control hormone produced by the pancreas to prevent the buildup of sugars in the blood.
A 2018 study in Diabetes Care revealed that only 24% of diabetics treat themselves with insulin. Type II diabetics need insulin when they fail to manage their blood sugar levels with their medication and lifestyle.
People with type I diabetes should get their insulin from either of the two below-mentioned ways.
- Insulin injections: Usually every other person is recommended to take insulin injections three times a day at home.
- Insulin pump: One does not need to have insulin pumps daily. The person takes insulin in their muscles by a catheter.
2. Take Medications on Time
Along with external insulin intake, the person takes medication if part of his pancreas is still functioning.
Type II diabetics are often seen taking more than one medication when they fail to comply with lifestyle changes. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes usually do not take any medications.
Doctors mostly prescribe:
- Metformin: Taken twice a day. It makes glucose absorption easy. Metformin alone can reduce A1C levels by 1.5%, which is significant to bring anyone from diabetes to pre-diabetes.
- Sulfonylureas: Taken once or twice before a meal. It shows similar results like metformin. It supports more insulin production.
- Thiazolidinediones (TZDs): once or twice a day. It reduces insulin sensitivity. A study shows that it can reduce A1C levels by 1.4%.
3. Do Exercise Regularly
Araque enlightens how exercise is helpful for all diabetic patients. It can increase the base metabolic rate, regulate insulin production, and manage weight loss.
When a person exercises, he reduces insulin sensitivity by using glucose for energy. A 2017 study in the journal Biomedical Research led to 120 obese teenagers doing two hours long aerobic exercise twice a day. They did this six days a week.
After five weeks of following the plan, researchers noted a drop in glucose levels. The reports conclude a drop of 0.84 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) in males and 1.04 nmol/L in females.
The American Diabetes Association recommends taking baby steps. Meanwhile, CDC suggests following a 150-minute exercise routine, including two days of strength training,
4. Eat healthily
People with diabetes should be extra careful when planning out their meals. Foods, like carbohydrates and processed sugar, break down into glucose to increase the sugar levels in the blood more than leafy greens and protein sourced foods.
To maintain blood sugar, you should keep track of the number of carbohydrates you eat every day. Many diabetics follow the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet to stay fit and healthy.
For a more effective approach, it is better to make a diet plan. Also, make sure you do not include sugary drinks in it, restrict carbs and empty calories from cookies and chips, and include more leafy greens, lean protein, whole grains, and fruits.
The Bottom Line
Diabetics should consult a nutritionist and a doctor to meet the needs of their body. Diabetes is indeed a chronic condition, but one can manage it smartly with healthy lifestyle changes and modifications.