Did you know that one in four people who has type II diabetes doesn’t even know it? The CDC believes that 29 million people in the United States have diabetes and 86 million adults have pre-diabetes, a condition that can develop into type II diabetes. Could you be one of those people? If so, there’s good news: diabetes doesn’t have to control your life! You can do have the power to prevent or treat type II diabetes with a few lifestyle changes.
Here’s some basic information on type II diabetes and what you can do to prevent or help treat it.
What is Type II Diabetes?
We hear about it on the news and among friends, but do you know what actually causes type II diabetes? When the body is healthy, it releases insulin, a hormone, to help the pancreas process glucose (sugar) and regulate your blood sugar level. Type II diabetes develops when the body does not use insulin properly. Over time, this causes blood sugar levels to crash and surge to the point that it causes damage to the body when left uncontrolled.
What You Can Do to Stop Type II Diabetes
Caring for and preventing this disease is managed in a few important steps. While it is important to talk to your doctor to evaluate just how serious your specific condition is, many have found that following the guidelines below can completely reverse all of the symptoms caused by type II diabetes.
Manage your sugar intake — Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and can cause your blood sugar to spike. You’ll see the spikes occur as you monitor your blood sugar levels. You need to manage your blood sugar by reducing or removing cakes, cookies, sodas, ice cream, juice, and other high sugar foods from your diet.
Manage your other simple carbohydrates — While sugar is also a simple carbohydrate, so are things like bread, white rice, chips, tortillas, crackers, etc. Talk to your doctor about the number of carbohydrates you can eat in a day for your specific body and condition. However, if you do eat carbohydrates, try to eat any of these instead of more simple carbohydrates:
- Brown rice
- Whole grains
Increase Vegetables, Proteins, and Healthy Fats — Instead of eating carbohydrates, try healthier items like yogurt, avocado, chicken, beef, tomatoes, and broccoli, to name a few. A great example of replacing a simple carbohydrate with a vegetable is using zucchini noodles instead of traditional wheat pasta noodles.
Exercise regularly — Exercising regularly helps the body regulate itself, particularly when you do it throughout your lifetime. While you do not need to suddenly become an Olympic athlete, even going for a walk once a day or swimming for 30 minutes daily can make a huge difference in regulating your blood sugar levels.
Talk to your doctor — If you have been diagnosed with type II diabetes, eating a proper diet and exercising regularly may or may not be enough to stop the course of the disease. Your doctor may prescribe you insulin or other medications to manage your symptoms. You may also need to regularly take and record blood sugar samples. Taking this information will allow you to get to know your body better and properly treat the highs and lows that come with type II diabetes.