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Diabetes Weight Loss-Diet And Exercise
When people are diagnosed with diabetes, their reactions range from “So what, another pill” to “My life is over.” We will examine the serious complications of the disease, the treatments available, and most importantly, how you can personally reduce the complications and medications through diet and exercise to lose weight. Since type 1 diabetes occurs in childhood, with medication and dietary control necessary for survival, this article will focus on the most common disease, type 2 diabetes.
What is type 2 diabetes? This is a disease where the body has been overfed with carbohydrates (carbohydrates) for so long, that it develops a strange type of reaction to them. Insulin is a chemical your body makes to turn carbs into energy in your cells, but when you’ve been on a carb overdose for a long time, your cells become resistant to insulin and they cannot absorb energy. Your cells start to starve even though there are more than enough carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates accumulate in the body as blood sugar (glucose) and eventually add around the waistline as fat, leading to obesity. Hungry fat cells make diabetics sluggish and tired, and almost constantly hungry. It is easy for diabetics to develop food addictions because of this hunger. As we load up to satisfy our hunger, we send our blood sugar on a roller coaster, where we risk stroke in high sugar moments and diabetic coma in low sugar moments.
What are the health risks for diabetics? Stroke and coma are just the two immediate extremes of diabetes. Add in the fact that diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure, a major cause of cardiovascular disease, and a contributing factor to many cancers, pneumonia, and other serious illnesses, and diabetes could be the number one cause of death in the world Short of death, diabetes is nothing to ignore. It is a leading cause of blindness, nerve diseases, periodontal disease, vaginal yeast infections and amputations of fingers, arms, legs, ears, noses and other limbs. It slows down the healing of all diseases and infections. Diabetes must be treated seriously to prolong your life and maintain a high quality of life.
What treatments are available? Diabetes treatment can be as simple as monitoring and controlling diet/exercise, adding a pill to your daily medications, insulin supplements, complex and painful surgery, and vital assistance for normal daily activities. There are new treatments being discovered all the time, but you should have a “less is more” attitude when it comes to treatment. The less treatment you need, the longer and better your life will be. Even with minimal treatment, you’ll need to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly to make sure everything’s going well. Your doctor will recommend a home glucose monitor, other diabetes supplies, and blood glucose lab tests about every 3 months. As your disease progresses, monitoring and labs will be more extensive. Once you are on medication, you should test your blood glucose at least twice a day, when you get up and 1-2 hours after your largest meal. If you use insulin injections, you will test more often than this. No matter what stage of diabetes treatment you are in, diet and exercise can help.
How does weight loss diet and exercise help control diabetes? Unfortunately, many people approach Diabetes as a headache…just take a pill. With this disease, diet and exercise should be considered as medicine. I lowered my average blood glucose by 50% (to normal) in 6 months just by changing my diet and exercise. Most medications aren’t meant to do that much. American Diabetes Association (ADA) [http://www.diabetes.org/home.jsp] it’s a great place to learn about the disease, treatment, diet, research, etc. Using the ADA diet as a guide, I ate smaller meals with 3 snacks between meals, maintaining a balance of protein, carbs, and fat, I added. high fiber fruits and vegetables, lots of water and watched my cholesterol. I must point out that I was less hungry on this diet than when I was eating without control. I did aerobic walking and other exercises for 30 minutes, 5-6 days per week. As diabetics, if we reduce our weight by just 5%, we can make up to 30% improvements in our blood sugar. For a 200 pound person, that means losing 10 pounds…anyone can do it. You can find more information about diet and weight loss all over the internet. Just be careful to check with your doctor and don’t go on any fasting diets because they lower your blood glucose too much.
Those of us with diabetes must recognize that this disease progresses, but we can control how quickly it progresses. If we only take the medicine that the doctor gives us, the prognosis is not good for the length of our life or the quality. If we decide to fight the disease by controlling our diet and exercise, we may not need medication for years, we will add many years to our lives and have a much better quality of life during those years. What is your choice?
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