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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