Type 2 diabetes has many symptoms. These can include:
These symptoms can cause a vicious cycle - when you're tired, you don't want to exercise and don't have the energy to prepare a nutritious meal... but if you don't exercise and don't eat right, plus you're always getting up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break or a drink, then you're not sleeping well either. And if you don't sleep well, then the next day you're still tired. And so it continues...
Diabetes treatment can be done through a combination of exercise, diet, weight loss, improved sleep, and medication.
Being obese or overweight is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but it can also be a symptom of the disease. By incorporating exercise into their lifestyles, diabetics may find it a little easier to lose weight. Even a weight loss of 10 or 15 pounds can be beneficial in helping to reduce the body's resistance to the effects of insulin.Exercise helps to control blood glucose, improves blood vessel function, and lowers the risk of additional health complications related to diabetes.
Diabetics need to plan their meals in order to manage their blood glucose levels. This is a big lifestyle change but also an important one. The foods you eat will raise your blood sugar in different amounts - and diabetics want to avoid "spikes" in blood glucose levels. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always good, while sweets or refined carbohydrates should be minimized. The glycemic index is one tool that can help you learn how foods affect blood glucose levels. Portion control is important too if you want to feel an improvement in your symptoms.
A nutritionist or dietitian can help you create an individualized eating plan that is sustainable over the long term, and includes some of your favorite foods.
Some studies have shown that diabetes and sleep apnea are related. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where the you stop breathing temporarily when you sleep, causing a disruptive night's sleep. These "pauses" can last just a few seconds, but are sometimes longer. They typically occur from 5 to 30 times every hour - resulting in poor quality sleep and tiredness during the day.
Diabetics may wish to be tested for sleep apnea. If you have this condition, the doctor may recommend that you use a "CPAP" device (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to keep your airway open and help you sleep and feel better.
Although some people are able to control diabetes without medication, it doesn't work for everyone. Even with exercise, a proper diet, and good sleep, it's sometimes still not enough. Doctors may prescribe medications or insulin in these situations.
Improving diabetes symptoms requires dedication and work ... but the benefits are so great! And as you start to feel better, making the lifestyle changes also become easier. Make a choice to start gradually incorporating changes into your lifestyle, bit by bit.