Type 2 Diabetes – Improving Your Health With Lifestyle Changes

Although Type 2 diabetes is quickly becoming the biggest epidemic of our time, this disease might not mean much to you before you receive your diagnosis. Once you become diagnosed, you’ll learn through lifestyle choices you have tremendous power to determine your health, now and in years to come.

There is no cure for Type 2 diabetes, although it can indeed be controlled and the complications avoided. The first step in taking care of your blood sugar levels is to make some lifestyle changes, and if necessary, take medications whether they are oral drugs or insulin by injection. People who do not control their blood sugar have chronically elevated blood sugar levels. High levels of blood sugar mean your blood becomes thicker triggering thirst to help dilute your blood back to a more normal concentration. Because insulin is lacking, your cells remain starved, and this contributes to the fatigue many people feel when their diabetes is not controlled.

All the sugar in your blood does not come from the carbohydrates you take in. Your liver makes large amounts of sugar between meals and this sugar still needs to be processed by insulin. So even without eating your blood sugar can increase.

Simple and modest lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Here is a summary of some lifestyle changes to help you control your blood sugar levels and your body weight…

1. Eat a healthy diet: one that is low in calories, fat and saturated fat.

2. Choose more fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products and unsaturated fats.

3. Raise your fiber intake gradually to 30 grams daily.

4. Lower your sugar intake.

5. Include physical activity such as brisk walking for 20 minutes each day.

6. Lower your body weight by at least 5 percent.

These are simple changes to make to your lifestyle, but anyone who uses them on a permanent basis knows they are not easy to include in your everyday life. If you can’t do this alone, perhaps meeting with a health-care professional could help you set goals and work out ways to help keep you on track.

Lifestyle changes are not a “quick fix,” they are seen as being an ongoing and long-term proposition.

Motivated people who make lifestyle changes reap health benefits almost immediately. You will find…

  • your blood pressure will be lower,
  • your cholesterol levels will improve, and
  • your blood insulin level will be lower.

Over and over it’s been proven blood sugar levels lower within weeks even before you see weight loss. Continuing on with a healthy lifestyle often means there will be no need to continue with diabetic drug therapy.

Long-term changes can be difficult; this is why it’s smart to seek help when you need it.

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Health Insurance In California: Will Healthcare Reform Affect You?

It’s estimated that 4 million Californians will get access to healthcare with the changes initiated by the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act. You can use your annual income to see whether you’ll be qualified for assistance. If you make between $14,403 and $41,000 a year, or your combined annual family income is under $73,240, you will be eligible to get Health Insurance Plans in California through the exchange and you can use subsidies to make it more affordable. If you don’t have children and your annual income is below $14,403, or you are a parent and your annual income for a family of three is under $24,360, you will be eligible for Medi-Cal. Healthcare reform expands this public program to increase financial assistance to people with incomes in the low to middle range What Does Healthcare Reform Do For Children?Healthcare reform will extend coverage to more children by increasing help to families, but it also allows parents to cover their children under their California health insurance for several more years. As of September 2010, children can be protected by their parent’s coverage until they become 26.In addition, healthcare reform specifically ends exclusions on pre-existing health problems. If you are one of the millions of children with a problem like asthma who have been barred from medical care for years, you’ll have access to much-needed care. Does Healthcare Reform Affect Seniors?If you are at least 65, you will continue to get Medicare, and healthcare reform extends the viability of Medicare. For seniors in the infamous Medicare “doughnut hole,” which means Medicare does not pay for your prescriptions, healthcare reform cuts your out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs with a $250 rebate check in 2010. Ultimately, reform is designed to completely remove the Medicare gap in coverage for prescriptions by 2020. In September 2010, healthcare reform ends the charging for recommended preventive services so seniors can receive an annual wellness check-up for free. This can help catch health problems early when they are most treatable and reversible, and give seniors peace of mind.What Does Healthcare Reform Mean To Legal U.S. Residents?If you have been a legal, permanent U.S. residents for less than five years, you will be able to buy insurance through the exchange in 2014 and take advantage of subsidies to make it more affordable. If you have been a legal, permanent resident for more than five years, you may be eligible for Medi-Cal in 2014. Undocumented immigrants will not be able to participate in the exchange or Medi-Cal, but healthcare reform does not block them from receiving care at health centers, hospitals or local community clinics when they need emergency medical help. When Will You Be Able To Get California Health Insurance?Whether you need family or individual coverage, the exchange is mandated to be available in 2014. California may expand the Medi-Cal program (Medicaid) before 2014. If it expands Medi-Cal to all residents with an annual income below $14,403 (that’s 133 percent of the federal poverty level) before 2014, the federal government may help California cover the cost. When Will You Need To Have Health Insurance In California?If you are a U.S. citizens or a legal resident (with a few exceptions), you will need minimal essential coverage for yourself and your dependents in 2014. You can be covered through employers, individual plans, the exchange or Medi-Cal. American Indians, people who prove financial hardship or religious objections, those in prison and undocumented immigrants do not have to purchase health insurance. All others will have to pay a tax penalty of $95 in 2014 if you decide not get health insurance. If you are still not covered with a health plan in 2016, that penalty will have grown to $695. It’s estimated that 8.2 million are now without coverage in California. Healthcare reform is expected to extend coverage to an estimated 4 million. What about the other 4.2 million people? They are believed to be mostly undocumented immigrants who will not participate in the extended coverage.