Controlling Type II Diabetes - Diabetes Treatment Plan
Type 2 diabetes
can lead to many serious complications
if left untreated or if poorly managed. Controlling type II diabetes
is critical to lead as healthy a life as possible, free from as many additional
health complications as possible.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will discuss a
plan with you. The goal is to keep your blood sugar levels within a target range. Many
people are able to manage the disease through
that primarily revolve around
and weight loss.
may also be prescribed, although not everyone with type 2 diabetes will need them.
The Role of Diet
Dietary changes revolve around what you eat, when you eat it,
how much you eat, and how you balance the carbohydrates in each meal.
- The focus is on wholesome, nutritious foods that tend to raise blood sugar
at a steadier, slower pace (rather than result in a blood sugar "spike").
Many people find the glycemic index
a useful tool. The diabetes food pyramid
is also helpful.
- Smaller, more frequent meals is recommended to help keep blood sugar more
stable throughout the day.
- Portion control
remains important. Eating too many calories will result in
weight gain, and being overweight causes our bodies to become more resistant
to the effects of insulin. Smaller portions can aid in weight loss.
are a part of a healthy diet. Strive to eat the same amount
of carbohydrates in every meal or snack. Carbs break down into glucose which
is absorbed by our bloodstream. Consuming a steady amount of carbohydrates in
each meal will help to keep blood sugar levels steadier over the course of the day.
- Don't skip meals, eat too much in one meal, or eat too little in one meal.
This is especially important if you are taking medication or insulin. Any
changes to your eating habits can result in
or high blood sugar,
both of which can be serious.
- Consult a dietitian. It is time and money well spent. Ask your
insurance provider to see if they will cover at least part of the cost.
The Importance of Exercise
Exercise is also an important part of controlling type 2 diabetes.
lowers blood sugar, improves cholesterol, lowers blood pressure,
improves circulation, and even acts as a mood enhancer.
- Check with your doctor prior to exercising. Diabetics can do most exercises
unless you have other health conditions or complications.
- Exercise regularly,
preferably every day. You'll gain the most health
benefits by exercising most or all days of the week rather than trying to
cram it all into the weekends (regular exercise also helps to keep you
strong and limber, so that you'll be less likely to injure yourself).
If you find it hard to make yourself exercise, try: joining a gym;
exercising with a friend; signing up with a personal trainer; or simply
trying new activities. You don't have to labour on a treadmill if that's
not your thing. You can also roller-blade, swim, hike, cross-country ski,
take an aerobics class, go ice skating, and many other activities.
Some people prefer to exercise in the privacy of their homes. There is
a huge variety of exercise videos.
These range from the traditional aerobics-type of videos, but also stuff like
various types of dance,
- Check your blood glucose
before and after you exercise. Know the signs
as well as what to do if you're showing symptoms.
- Don't skip an exercise session or overwork yourself.
Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight
Weight loss is helped along with eating a healthy diet and exercising
regularly. When our bodies carry too much weight, they also become resistant to
insulin. Losing even 5-10% of body weight can make you feel better and have a
positive effect on your health.
- Aim for a slow, steady, and sustainable weight loss. 3500 calories is
equal to 1 pound. So, if you eat 500 calories less per day, you would lose
1 pound in a week.
- Don't take diet pills or go on fad diets.
- Discuss any changes you want to make to your diet or eating plan with
a dietitian first.
Medication and insulin should always be taken as prescribed. If you're
noticing side effects, or have been showing regular symptoms of hypoglycemia or
hyperglycemia, tell your doctor. Your dosages may need adjustment.
Checking Blood Glucose Levels
Finally, be sure to monitor your blood glucose level. Doing so will
let you know if you're on the right track to keeping it under control.
Controlling type II diabetes requires a combination of diet, exercise,
weight loss, medication, regular visits to your doctor, and home monitoring.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.