Effective ways to manage diabetes

A patient being tested for diabetes. 

Photo credit: File

What you need to know:

  • Diabetes is sensitive to lifestyle habits such as diets and general body wellness. However, one can still live a fulfilling, fruitful, and healthy life with a diabetes diagnosis.
  • Recent studies suggest that with proper management, it's possible to achieve Type II diabetes remission.

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that one has to manage for a lifetime or for a long period of time.

The disease is sensitive to lifestyle habits such as diets and general body wellness. However, one can still live a fulfilling, fruitful, and healthy life with a diabetes diagnosis. Furthermore, recent studies suggest that with proper management, it's possible to achieve Type II diabetes remission.

Here are some steps you can take towards better management of diabetes.

First Step: Learn everything you can about diabetes

Even with a good chance of remission, it is important to learn about an illness you will live with for a significant period.

The knowledge will empower you to manage the disease. For instance, there are three types of diabetes, and each of them is managed differently.

Type I diabetes

Results from autoimmune reactions that hinder the body from producing adequate insulin. Type I diabetics need daily insulin injections as directed by the doctor.

Around 5% of diabetics have Type I diabetes.

Type II diabetes

Up to 90% of diabetics have Type II diabetes.

In Type II diabetes, the body produces adequate insulin but is unable to utilize it properly. This causes blood sugar levels to fluctuate uncontrollably.

A healthy lifestyle and diet are therefore effective in preventing and managing Type II diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

This is a type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women without a prior diabetes diagnosis. The patient often gets cured after delivery but will be more susceptible to Type II diabetes later in life.

Take time to also learn about other aspects of diabetes, such as complications related to the illness, dos and don’ts for diabetics, and support groups you can join.

Second Step: Get quality medical care

There is a lot of helpful information that you can get online and from other people. But most of that information may not apply to your case. Your symptoms and stage of disease development, for instance, will determine the kind of treatment you will need.

For these reasons, you should see a specialist who will assess you and prescribe the right treatment and management approach.

Step three: Lead a healthy lifestyle

Lifestyle changes are quite effective in the management of Type II diabetes, sometimes even leading to remission. However, a healthy lifestyle is also beneficial in managing other types of diabetes.

Some of the healthy lifestyle habits you can adopt include:

  • Know your ABCs

Due to the common complications that arise from diabetes, it is important to keep track of your:

    • A1c

A measure of your blood sugar levels over around 2-3 months

    • Blood pressure

Diabetes increases your susceptibility to high blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked at least four times per year.

    • Cholesterol

Diabetes often leads to high cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Therefore, it is essential to track your cholesterol levels and take the necessary measures to keep it low.

  • An all-round healthy lifestyle
    • Eat a balanced diet at all times
    • Exercise regularly as advised by a doctor
    • Avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and other harmful substances
    • Make sure you get the necessary vaccines and medications
    • Make weight goals, attain, and maintain

Conclusion

Like other long-term illnesses, you can manage diabetes and live a long life without serious health complications.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about alternative management methods for diabetes.

What is important is to remember that your doctor wants you to live without the burden of the illness. Therefore, consult with doctors and get guidance on how to combine medication with lifestyle choices for the best outcome. The doctor is also well placed to inform you about the complications you may be susceptible to and guide you on how to avoid them.

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