July 5, 2014

How Well Can You Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes?

Some people will claim I am talking about reversing type 2 diabetes, which I am not. You can manage type 2 diabetes, but you cannot reverse type 2 diabetes. If you think that, just ask yourself what happens if you stop managing type 2 diabetes. Yes, it comes roaring back with a vengeance. Some people even claim you can control type 2 diabetes – no way! You can manage type 2 diabetes to the best of you abilities, but slack off on your management and diabetes rears its ugly head.

Some people do an excellent job of managing their type 2 diabetes and some don't. Others do such a good job of managing their diabetes that they can bring their blood glucose levels back into the normal range and do this for years. Others manage it for a few months and they then struggle to prevent it from taking over. We are all different and we as people with type 2 diabetes need to realize this. What many people forget is that it depends on when they were diagnosed and how quickly they start managing their diabetes.

Some of the things you can do to manage your type 2 diabetes include:

#1. For some people, it is shedding extra pounds and keeping them off. This can help you better manage your blood glucose levels.

#2. For others, reaching a healthier weight will mean taking fewer medications, or in rarer cases, no longer needing those medications at all.

#3. For the majority, it will mean if you sit most of the day, 5 or 10 minutes is going to be great. Walk to your mailbox. Do something that gets you moving, knowing that you're looking to move towards 30 minutes most days of the week.

In one study, people with type 2 diabetes exercised for 175 minutes a week, limited their calories to 1,200 to 1,800 per day, and got weekly counseling and education on these lifestyle changes. Within a year, about 10% got off their diabetes medications or improved to the point where their blood glucose level was no longer in the diabetes range, and could be classified as pre-diabetes. Remember, they still have type 2 diabetes, but are managing it in the pre-diabetes range.

Results were best for those who lost the most weight or who started the program with less severe or newly diagnosed diabetes. Fifteen to 20% of these people were able to stop taking their diabetes medications.

If you make changes to your diet and exercise routine, and your diabetes doesn’t improve, it's not your fault. You could have been diagnosed at a time when your pancreas was already too damaged to recover. You are still smart to continue your diet and exercise routine and manage your diabetes to the best of your abilities. The earlier in the course of your diabetes that you make these changes, the more likely you are to stack the deck in your favor that you won't progress to unmanageable diabetes. Don't let denial delay this.

Your weight and lifestyle aren’t the only things that matter. Your genes also influence whether you get type 2 diabetes. Some thin people are also living with type 2 diabetes. Your weight and lifestyle are things you can change, and they are important parts of your overall health, as well as steps that help manage diabetes.

Whatever your goals are, you are aiming for your best health, not someone else’s. Diet and exercise alone will control diabetes for some people. For others, a combination of medication and healthy habits will keep them at their best.

If you have been able to manage on lifestyle intervention alone, continue to do that. If you need to go on medication, do what's necessary for your health. You need to take advantage of the treatment that's going to keep your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol in check. Manage your diabetes and health to the best of your abilities and have regular doctor check-ups to assist in tracking these.

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