That is a question that a lot of people have when they are first getting diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. Now if you’re someone with Type 1 Diabetes your pancreas isn’t working hardly at all, so your body is dependent on insulin to counteract your rising blood sugars in your blood stream. For those with Type 2 Diabetes, technically the answer is no, but…
There are many variables that come in with that “but”. Technically once you have diabetes, you’ll always have it, but it can be controlled (in some cases) with proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle behavior.
If someone leads a pretty sedentary lifestyle and doesn’t get much activity in, then by increasing the amount of exercise on a routine basis can help to reduce your blood sugars overall. Most physicians recommend at least 30 minutes a day of exercise five times per week.
This can be done by inconveniencing the hell out of yourself, no joke. So if you see a close parking spot, skip it- park in the back of the parking lot. If you want to add a few mores steps to your pedometer, make a few trips bringing in the groceries instead of loading yourself up for one enormous load to carry.
When you see the escalator or the stairs, take the stairs- but people are germy (sorry) so don’t touch all over the handrails if you can help it. And if you have a chance to get a ten or fifteen minute walk in on your lunch break or sit at your desk and flip through social media- pick the walk instead.
All of these little things add up to big rewards in the long term, I pinky promise 🙂
The most obvious solution here is to improve your dietary habits. I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but nobody is expecting perfection, we are all human beings. If you’re someone who is use to eating out several times per week, you would be amazed at how much healthier you can eat at home and also save money in the process.
The easiest way to start making some minor improvements in your diet is to cut out the sugary drinks. So no more Starbucks, Mountain Dew, or Diet Pepsi. It’s hard to go cold turkey on these types of things, trust me I know.
I recently was told that my Mountain Dew consumption in addition to my Adderall were causing strain on my heart and I couldn’t keep up with my 120-140 pulse rate every day without causing damage to my heart, so I went off both of them.
Instead of Mountain Dew I switched to Topo Chico or La Criox which are carbonated mineral waters. La Criox doesn’t have any sodium, but that’s not the case with all carbonated water drinks. Be sure to check the label, if you’re someone with high blood pressure you’ll want to be mindful of how much sodium is in things as this causes the blood pressure to increase. These drinks still give me the fizzy feeling that a soda does without all the extra sugars and nonsense.
I did have some rebound headaches from caffeine withdrawal, but it only lasted for a few days. And for my caffeine fix I drink two cups of coffee in the morning with coconut milk which has no added sweeteners or anything fancy, but it’s enough sweet to offset the creamer I was using.
I’m just giving these to you as examples if you’re worried about going without your daily sodas or “treat-yourself” drinks. It just ads a lot of unnecessary calories and sugar into your diet that you don’t need. Otherwise, I just drink water throughout the day. Tea is also an option with no sugar if you’re needing some caffeine mid-day and don’t want a hot coffee.
The other tip that I have is to add more veggies with your meals and decrease the carbohydrates. So if you’re having spaghetti for dinner, take a smaller portion of noodles, skip out on the bread sticks, and add a side of veggies or salad. If you can make consistent incremental changes in regards to your diet, your blood sugar numbers are bound to improve.
You’ll need to monitor your blood sugars while you’re making adjustments to your diet, especially if you’re feeling a little off. If you don’t have a blood sugar meter at home be sure to read my previous post regarding how to check your blood sugar which will let you know what kind of over the counter options are available without a prescription.
Do notify your doctor of any blood sugars outside of your recommended range. Most people who are diabetic don’t want their sugars falling below 60 or above 300. If you are getting these types of readings, notify your doctor immediately.
A lot of people don’t take into account your body’s reaction to the lifestyle habits that you’ve picked up and how these are affecting your overall health. There are studies that have shown that lack of sleep and stress can have a negative impact on your glucose readings causing them to increase.
If you do have symptoms of sleep apnea and have decided to not treat them because you don’t want to wear that annoying c-pap machine, please read one of the articles I’ve written about alternative options to this. Risk factors for sleep apnea include being overweight, snoring, restlessness sleep, waking several times throughout the night, and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Most everyone should be getting a solid 8 hours of sleep per night. If you lay down to go to bed and you’re giving yourself 8 hours time frame before your alarm goes off in the morning, more than likely you’re only getting about 6 hours of actual sleep.
Stress management is a tricky one to deal with because a lot of us cannot escape the stress, but most of it is self inflicted even if that’s hard to see. So the way that we choose to react to situations determines our attitude for that moment or that day. I’ve wasted many years trying to “master the art” of stress management.
There’s really no mastery to it. I’m a work in progress to say the least, I just try not to get too worked up about stuff that is out of my control, which is a lot of things. I stay out of the drama, sit back as more as an observer and just go with the flow.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get angry and worked up, but it’s not nearly as often as it use to be. It just takes me a moment to put things into perspective.
So if you are able to lower your hemoglobin A1c level (which is an indicator of how well your diabetes control is) with diet, exercise and lifestyle changes and your doctor eventually takes you off of medication, is the diabetes cured? No, it’s still lingering. Meaning if you go back to your old ways with the poor diet and little activity then your blood sugars are likely to climb back up just as high as they were.
It’s always going to be there, but it could be something that YOU CAN control. When blood sugars are consistently high it wears down your pancreas until it slowly stops working as it should which will increase the need for insulin (if you’re not already there).
In regards to the insulin for Type 2 Diabetics, I have seen a few patients that were able to come completely off insulin and manage their diabetes with the above mentioned items and maybe an oral medication or two. Insulin is your friend if you need it, but if you’re a diabetic and not currently taking it then now is the time to make some changes to ensure your body keeps working as long as it’s intended to.
After all, it’s the only one we’ve got so we might as well take care of it right?
If you have any success stories about lowering your A1c numbers, be sure to drop those below, we would love to hear from you! For those of you who aren’t in the community, now is the perfect time- just click on the red button below and I’ll chat with you soon