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How to Manage Type 2 Diabetes using Lifestyle

Everyone must have head the term "Diabetes" at some point, maybe someone in your family has it and is on medications for it. So what makes it so bad that people need to be on medication for it.


Before going into that we need to understand the anatomy and the metabolism of the body. Whenever we eat something, Let's say for example you had a sandwich, The body breaks down the carbs from the bread into glucose then that glucose gets absorbed into the bloodstream so that it can be used as a nutrient for the billions of hungry cells in the body. This is where insulin comes into play. Insulin is a hormone made by the beta cells of the pancreas, Its basically known as the storage hormone, Its secreted from the pancreas into the bloodstream, it takes the glucose and delivers it to the cells of the body, It acts as a key without which the cells receptors won't absorb any nutrients from the bloodstream


Now there are two types of conditions when it comes to Diabetes know as Type 1 and Type 2


Type 1


As stated above, for the nutrients in any meal that you eat to get absorbed into the cells, Insulin acts the middle man. But a person suffering from Type 1 will be having a biological defect. i.e the pancreas is either unable to make insulin or it's making too little of it than what is required. Type 1 commonly occurs when a child is between 10-15 years and has to be treated for a lifetime


Symptoms

Weight loss, Thirst, Hunger, Improper or erratic hormonal balance.


Treatment

There is no cure for Type 1 diabetes, It has to be carefully managed through medications such as insulin injections, supplements, calorie counting, etc.


Type 2


Now coming to type 2 diabetes, it is a dietary illness in which the body's ability to absorb glucose into the cells gets hampered. it's a serious condition caused by poor lifestyle choices over the years, including unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyle, erratic emotional health.

In this condition, the pancreas is able to secrete insulin but the cells of your body stop responding to it which in turn leads to a condition known as insulin insensitivity.


This happens over the period of many years, where we keep up with our unhealthy food choices, consisting of refined sugars, sugary drinks, etc, every time you have meal insulin is required as a knock to the cells for them to absorb the nutrients from the food that you eat, But overtime they stop responding to it which causes the unabsorbed glucose in your bloodstream leading to type 2 diabetes.


Because of this condition, the glucose stays accumulated in your bloodstream and the insulin isn't functioning how it supposed to, the body gets a signal to produce more insulin since the glucose is not getting absorbed into the cells, and overtime when this happens the pancreas wear itself out and stop working altogether.


Symptoms

Weight loss

Weight gain

Fatigue

Hampered immune system

Excessive Thirst


Type 2 and its Relation with Heart Disease

Since the body is unable to absorb the accumulated glucose in the bloodstream, the glucose, when remains there for a certain period of time can cause hardening of the arteries, which can lead to Atherosclerosis (Inflammation of the arteries), resulting in a heart attack or stroke. For this same reason since the arteries will be hardening and getting narrowed overtime, The demand for pumping blood from the heart will increase significantly leading to High blood pressure. Heart disease, Hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes can be a lethal combination for the body if it's left untreated for a long time.


Is this condition reversible?


It is, the most common treatment for type 2 diabetes include

glucose-lowering medications such a Metformin Insulin shots

Although to completely heal from this condition takes time, discipline, and major lifestyle changes to reverse it without relying on medications.


Medications are important however when someone is diagnosed with a disease like type 2 diabetes which is caused because of improper lifestyle in the first place, Hence the solution to it lies with fixing your root cause which is your lifestyle, Which means exercise, sleep, and proper nutrition.


With taking medications, your blood sugar report will come out as normal but keep in mind its only treating your symptom by lowering the glucose in the blood when your pancreas are still not functioning how it should be.


Lifestyle changes that you can make


Physical activity



The body can only heal when there are changes in your daily life such as staying physically active, Try to get in a walk after every meal, if you cant do it after every meal try to do it at least after one meal and it will make a difference. Our body isn't designed to be sedentary, its meant to stay active, Although in the modern world with our desk jobs, it can be difficult but not impossible.


Eat wholesome foods




Cut down on white rice, add more green leafy and fibrous food, Now this has two advantages, Fiber can slow down the spike of glucose in the bloodstream and two fibrous foods such as nuts, green leafy veggies makes you full quicker. Ever wondered why we never feel full even after eating a whole bag of chips? Processed and sugary foods have minimal to none amount of fiber in it. This is why you must eat your fruits and not make juice every time, and if you do, try to make it in the form of a smoothie. But do remember, too much of anything is bad, just because fruits are healthy doesn't mean we can keep on binging on it as well. Moderation is key.


Keep an eye on your Stress level



It is inevitable for a person to feel stressed about something that's going on in their lives, whether it is their job, financial problems, relationship troubles, etc. Stress is unavoidable, it's going to hit you one way or the other. Especially in a condition like Type 2 it However what we can do is learn how to take stress rather than getting completely overwhelmed by it. How do we do that? By being mindful, Meditation, expressing gratitude for the things you are grateful in your life. Take 10 minutes in your day, close your eyes, and simply be present. it won't work overnight, its a gradual process, teaching a new habit to your brain can be hard because we are wired to follow a certain routine every day for years. Hence we do it one day at a time till its nothing out of the ordinary for our brain and simply is another part of our daily lives.


Sleep



Probably the most important one of all, When we are asleep, that's when the repair and recovery and the healing of the body take place, Therefore it cannot be neglected, Try to get in at least 6-7 hours of quality sleep. When the body is dealing with a chronic disease such as diabetes or hypertension, it constantly needs to heal, even a few hours of deducted sleep can make a huge difference. Which is why we must allow our body to rest and recover every single day.


The above-stated lifestyle changes cannot work well if someone is doing one thing right and neglecting the others, it all works hand in hand together. you cant workout every day and not get proper rest, you cannot fix your sleep and not being active physically, you can be working out and be sleeping right yet you are stressed out by everyday problems, Hence they all work parallel with each other.






Rahul Malpe

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