5 rules of life to adopt to regulate type 2 diabetes
Do you have type 2 diabetes? Like all those who have it, you do not feel any symptoms. This is not a reason to sit idly by. By taking things in hand, you can do a lot to lower your blood sugar, stay in shape and play an active role in your treatment. A winning investment in the long run!
Rule No 1: Activate!
This is recommendation number 1: increasing your physical activity can lower blood sugar, lose some weight (or at least not to take it) and keep yourself in good shape. general health. In case of early diabetes, physical activity is as effective, if not more, than a drug.
However, it is sometimes difficult to free up time to play sports. And let’s be honest, physical activity is often a chore! It is usually enough to take the first step to take a liking to it: to move reduces the level of stress and can be a real source of pleasure, even a way to recreate the social link.
Here are some recommendations for getting there:
- Start by increasing the daily activity, for example by taking the stairs and going shopping on foot rather than by car. Know that 20 minutes of walking, in addition to the usual activity, may be enough to lower blood sugar.
- Indulge in activities such as gardening or dog walking, which allow you to walk more or at least not to be seated. Hiking clubs or even picking mushrooms are good excuses to get out of the house.
- Gradually, you can turn to a real sport, such as swimming, cycling, brisk walking, water aerobics … The easiest way to stay motivated? Register for a group activity at a fixed schedule. It’s up to you to find the activity that suits you best.
|Tip: To motivate you to walk further, you can use a pedometer. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. It’s a lot! So we can start by setting realistic goals to gradually increase the average steps taken daily.|
Better eating without too much deprivation
This seems obvious, but it is worth remembering that good nutrition is crucial for lowering blood sugar and preventing worsening of diabetes. Experts are formal: losing 5% of its weight can be enough to significantly improve the level of sugar because that amounts to losing 15% fat approximately. No question of making a drastic diet so far.
The goal is to learn how to eat better and how to eat a healthy and balanced diet in the long run.
The basic rules? Make three meals a day, sufficiently rich, mixing the different food groups and forbid nibbling. Consulting a nutritionist can help pinpoint bad habits and establish a healthier eating plan that consists of:
- Limit the intake of fats, especially saturated fats of animal origin, such as butter, sausages, fatty meats, and favour olive oil and other unsaturated vegetable fats.
- Limit sugar intake, although sugary foods do not all have the same effect on blood glucose, some with a higher “glycemic index” than others.
- Avoid cooked dishes, too salty, and focus on the least processed foods possible.
- Consume more fruits and vegetables, avoiding grapes and bananas, which have a strong “sweetening” power.
- Prefer whole grains to refined grains.
Follow your treatment
As with all chronic diseases whose symptoms are not felt, doctors’ prescriptions for type 2 diabetes are difficult to comply with over time. Moreover, the figures show that poor compliance with treatment concerns half of the diabetics.
The consequences are easily measurable: about half of people with type 2 diabetes do not achieve the blood glucose goals needed to protect them from complications. Diabetes requires daily treatment and for life!
But be careful: Do not feel guilty if you forget your tablet from time to time, it happens to everyone. However, it is better to put all the chances on your side and try to forget the least possible doses. Here are some tips:
- Try to associate taking the medication with daily activity, such as brushing your teeth, breakfast, etc.
- Use alarms on the phone, or even many smartphone apps that help manage treatments.
- Discuss with your doctor the side effects of the drugs to minimize and understand how the molecules work. If you are not comfortable with your treatment, say it! Several drugs exist and it is possible to change them.
Attempt self-monitoring to better act on the disease
The self-monitoring is aptly named: it is self-measure blood sugar through a portable player that can analyze a drop of blood from the fingertip. This is a mandatory practice for people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes treated with insulin. It is not routinely recommended in people with type 2 diabetes and treated with oral antidiabetic drugs.
However, if you are having trouble becoming aware of your illness, following your treatment or achieving your blood glucose goals, self-monitoring can help you on many levels:
- It helps to get motivated to become a player in the treatment because it allows knowing almost live effects of a drug, but also a food or physical activity on blood sugar.
- It guides the doctor in the choice of treatments and the adjustment of the doses, which allows a better comfort in the introduction of the treatment.
- It is very helpful in helping to prevent hypoglycaemia when taking hypoglycemic sulfonamides or glinides, a particular type of anti-diabetic medication that can cause hypoglycaemia, especially in the late afternoon.
Self-monitoring should not become an obsession or a source of anxiety. It should be seen as a tool to become aware of the reality of diabetes (which we do not feel the symptoms), and the effects of a food gap or physical effort that, even moderate, are very rewarding. One to 4 blood glucose measurement per week is sufficient. You can record the values in a notebook so that you can discuss any adjustments with your doctor.
Surround yourself well and stay positive
Diabetes is not a benign disease: there is no treatment to cure it and complications can be serious.
To maintain morale and play a proactive role in treating your illness, it is imperative to get all the support you need. Do not hesitate to talk to your family or friends, but also to people who are also affected by type 2 diabetes.