Lifestyle changes for diabetes type 2 persons isn’t an option but rather a must. Type 2 diabetes simply put is when your body can no longer do the job of making sure your sugars in your blood are controlled. I knew so little about this disease until a couple months ago when I was diagnosed. Now my mission is to learn as much as I can and pass those learnings on to anyone who wants to learn more about this disease.
This disease has to be taken care of and you really need to be serious while doing this because the scares are now reality and if you develop do what needs to be done you stand a greater chance of developing things like heart disease, sight loss, nerve damage and even death.
In the last 10 years the number of people who have developed diabetes has risen by 55%. The scary part is that most experts agree that type 2 diabetes is very quickly becoming one of the biggest health issues in modern times. The way things are going millions and millions of new diagnosis will be made every year.
Like me if you have recently been diagnosed you know it can be quite scary. The thing to understand is there are things that can be done to help with your condition and maybe in some cases it can even be turned right around to not even have diabetes anymore.
At first, I even believed that being diagnosed was a death sentence. Well I have since done my homework and below I will list 8 lifestyle changes for diabetes type 2 persons.
1. Need To Limit the Carbohydrates
You still need to eat and you still need carbs in your diet. If monitored and distributed properly you will be okay with the carbs. It’s just about changing a few things. Simply put try to take out as many bad carbs as possible and replace with good ones.
We still need carbs to survive so developing be scared of them just respect them.
You want to stay away from white bread by replacing with wholewheat. Also, pay attention to the cereals you are eating.
As good as fruit juice does sound try to stick to the whole fruit instead. Actually drinking a glass of apple juice does pretty much nothing for you compared to eating an entire apple with the skin on.
Pasta is also a type of bad carb. You might want to try a couple alternatives like quinoa or couscous. Only because you are used to pasta you might at first have some problems with the taste and texture of the alternatives but very quickly you will get used to it and before you know it you will be incorporating thee into most of your meals.
A low carbohydrate diet is very important for people with type 2 diabetes. It is so important in lowering the levels of insulin that your body will need. For some they can even get their diabetes to go into remission.
Cutting the carbs back is just step 1. Now you are going to mix it with some health style changes and you will be well on your way to watching nice level blood sugar readings. In some cases they may even be non diabetic ranges.
2. See Your Dr. On A Regular Basis
As a diabetic it is very important to have regular health checks. In many cases like mine there are diabetic clinics set up in your local hospitals. Diabetes can lead to other serious issues if not taken care of and monitored properly.
By having regular check ups for the most part you will be monitoring your cardiovascular system. This will be done by checking blood pressures and learning what your numbers should be. The more you learn from these check ups the more you can figure out what things are working and what aren’t.
This will allow you to educate yourself on the things that need to be changed in order to get the exact numbers you are looking for.
3. Learn About GIs
As we talked about earlier you can’t completely eliminate carbs out of your eating habits. What has to be done is education. You have to know what foods are going to affect your blood sugars and how that will happen. This will come much easier to you when you learn about what’s called Glycemic Index.
So short for Glycemic Index is (GI) and as a diabetic you will be seeing those two letters a lot. GI is what can tell you which foods will make your sugar levels go up. So in turn it is telling you what foods not to eat. You are going to learn that foods you should avoid are the foods with a high GI index. Blood glucose goes up when carbs are absorbed quickly. Some of those foods you need to minimize are white bread, many cereals and anything with potatoes. Some substitutes are Yams, sweet potatoes oat meal and brown breads.
So the final goal is to try to switch out foods with a High GI to foods with a low GI. In the future I will write some posts on how to understand the Glycemic Index.
4. Check Blood Sugars On A Regular Basis
You need to check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis. This isn’t an option but rather a must. Trust me I know strips, and lancets can get a bit costly but there are many programs out there that help people with their diabetic supplies.
At a minimum you should take a fasting level when you wake up, right before meals, two hours after meals, bedtime and anytime you dont feel right. Before meals, you want to be between 4 and 7 mmol and a couple hours after you should be less than 8.5 mmol. These are perfect numbers to strive for. As a newbie diabetic my Dr. has me reaching for numbers between 7 and 11.
5. Hit The Gym
Ah, just a figure of speech. You dont really have to go to the gym. Well that’s the good news. The other good news is just because you aren’t going to the gym doesn’t mean you developing have to do anything.
Lots of people absolutely hate going to the gym. That’s OK though, this isn’t a body building contest, it’s about getting your diabetes under control.
It’s about getting your heart pumping. Even brisk walking can accomplish this.
Physical exercise is good for you in many ways. It helps keep your weight stable. It keeps your heart strong and does wonders for your blood pressure.
Guess what? Exercise is great for your sugar levels.
We all know how busy life can be. However, it shouldn’t be to busy to focus on maintaining or even reversing your diabetes. Even if you start with as little as 5 minutes per day and try to work up from there.
6. Feet And Diabetics
Get used to the fact that people are going to be asking you to take your shoes and socks off a lot. This was the biggest surprise to me. Diabetes and foot care go hand in hand because if you dont care and pay attention to how your feet are acting it can be very devastating in the long run.
As a diabetic circulation issues are a normal thing. Also, the senses in your feet tend to go bad because severe nerve damage can be done as a result of diabetes.
Taking care and paying attention to your feet should be something that happens a couple times a day. It is just as important as checking your sugar levels.
You are going to want to watch and pay attention to any changes that may occur. Be very adamant when it comes to drying your feet after baths or showers, Be very attentive to between your toes. Also dont be scared to put on moisture several times a day.
7. Work On Your Weight
I know I know, not everyone who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is over weight but it’s a fact that many are. The great news is that if you can get rid of some of that weight and by getting rid of some weight you stand a great chance at reducing or even eliminating your medication.
Lifestyle changes for diabetes type 2 starts with what you eat. Plenty of salads and vegetables need to become the norm in your life at this point. Foods with fiber are also a plus. You do however want to stay away from foods with high saturated fats.
Also, once you get your blood sugar levels under control it is okay to have a special treat on occasion. While sugar isn’t great for diabetics you can have it once in a while as long as you do it moderately.
8. Eyes, Eyes, Eyes
When it comes to eyes that was another one like the feet that surprised me. There is a diagnosis called diabetic retinopathy that happens when blood sugar levels are too high for too long. This can result in very bad eye damages. Because of this at a minimum you need to get the old peepers checked at least once a year. You may not even realize this is happening. That’s why you need to have experts do the tests that are needed.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.