Managing Type 2 Diabetes: How to Treat Diabetes At Home
By any measure, contemporary news about diabetes is grim. For example, about 30.3 million people in the United States today have diabetes. Of those individuals, 7.2 million people don’t even know they have it!
An even larger number is prediabetic. That figure comes to 84.1 million adults or 33.9% of the United States population.
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? If so, you are likely concerned about managing the disease and avoiding complications. Besides consulting with your doctor, is there anything you can do to manage diabetes at home?
The answer is yes. All it takes are a few key lifestyle modifications, and you’re on your way to managing type 2 diabetes. Below, we’ll show you how. Read on!
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Before we begin, let’s quickly review type 2 diabetes. What does it mean when your doctor says you have it?
Sugar is a major source of fuel for your body. In order for your cells to use it, though, they need insulin. That’s a hormone produced by the pancreas. Unfortunately, people with diabetes or even prediabetes have become insulin resistant.
That means their cells cannot remove insulin from their blood, and it ends up accumulating there. When doctors talk about high blood sugar, that’s what they mean.
Untreated, high blood sugar is a dangerous problem. Over time, it will damage the blood vessels in your body.
The end result is a host of complications, including:
- Loss of sensation in your legs and feet
- Loss of eyesight
- Loss of kidney function
- Increased risk for heart disease and stroke
Fortunately, your doctor can prescribe medicine for type 2 diabetes. Taken consistently and properly, it will help slow the progression of this chronic disease.
The decisions you make about your own health and lifestyle will also determine how diabetes affects you. That’s good news, because it means, to a large extent, you are in control of managing this condition.
In the next few sections, let’s look at some at-home healthy habits that will help you control your diabetes.
Things You Need to Do Every Day
As you can tell, the complications of diabetes listed above are serious. They can lead to loss of limbs or even life.
However, some basic preventative measures can prevent those outcomes. In this section, we’ll go over what those are.
Take Your Medications
Make sure you take your diabetes medications every day. Also, don’t forget to take your other medications if you have any.
It’s important for you to tell your doctor right away if you cannot afford your medications. Be sure to communicate any side effects as well.
Check Your Feet and Lower Extremities
As noted above, diabetes can lead to a loss of sensation in your feet. This means if you get a cut, you might not feel it.
Check your feet, therefore, every day for any cuts, blisters, or other red spots. If you notice a sore or cut that won’t go away, make sure you call your doctor right away.
Brush Your Teeth
Everyone needs to take care of their teeth and gums, but especially diabetics. They are at greater risk for oral health problems.
It’s important, then, to brush your teeth and floss every day. These actions will keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The health risks of smoking are well-known. If you haven’t already, it’s time to quit that habit. Consult with your doctor if you need help.
Check Your Blood Pressure
Your doctor may or may not want you to keep a log of your blood pressure readings. But, if they do, make sure to check it daily and write your numbers down. You can discuss them at your next appointment.
Keep Track of Your Blood Sugar Levels
All of the actions listed above and below are meant to help control blood sugar levels. Because of this, daily testing of your blood sugar levels is one of the most important things you can do to manage your diabetes.
In the remaining sections, let’s look at some of the most important lifestyle changes for diabetics. Read on!
Lose That Extra Weight
Losing weight is one of the most effective ways to lower your blood sugar levels. There is a direct correlation between being overweight and high blood sugar.
Losing weight has other advantages too. These include reduced blood pressure, better cholesterol numbers, and higher energy levels. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your health.
You knew that was coming, didn’t you? Exercise is key when you want to lose weight.
It’s also one of the most effective ways to lower blood sugar. Studies have shown that a varied exercise program is best. Combine aerobic exercise with weight resistance for the most health benefits.
This combination will also lead to better overall health. That’s great news for diabetics.
Find an exercise program you enjoy, then, and you’ll soon see results.
How to Control Type 2 Diabetes: Diet
When you have diabetes, you need to think about the carbohydrates and sugars you are eating. That’s not to say you avoid them completely. But, rather, you balance your meals so they don’t consist entirely of foods known to raise blood sugar levels.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are two methods of maintaining this balance:
No one system works for everyone. By checking your blood sugar levels, you’ll be able to see how effective your method is.
Regardless, it’s important to add more lean protein and vegetables to your diet. With those foods, you don’t have to worry about counting carbs or how much sugar they contain.
Conclusion: Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is an epidemic in this country. But, now you have the tools for managing type 2 diabetes.
Check your blood sugar daily and maintain a healthy weight and diet. These are the best ways to keep you healthy!
If you have some extra diabetic test strips, would you consider selling them? It’s an easy way for you to earn cash, and you’ll be helping others who can’t afford them.
Why not contact us today? We’d be happy to answer any questions!