Can Diet and Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes management resembles directing your health’s ship to a safe harbor. Diabetes affects approximately half a billion people globally, and the number is continuously growing, according to WHO.

But here is the catch: diabetes is not just about blood sugar levels. It is about taking care of yourself and enjoying moments of life.

In today’s guide, we will learn about diabetes and how you can manage it to have a healthier, happier self.

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is similar to communication malfunction in the body. It alters how our body handles blood sugar, which is glucose. Glucose provides energy to your body but requires a key (insulin) to enter your cells. Diabetes interferes with this mechanism..

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the lifestyle contributor. It links to your daily life, such as how you move, live, and eat. In this condition, your body produces insulin, but cells don’t use it adequately, leading to blood sugar imbalance.

Causes

  • Weight Gain: Excess weight, particularly around the abdomen, raises the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Diet: High processed sugar and unhealthy fat diets may also contribute to sugar disturbance.
  • Physical Activity: Sitting or no activity makes your cells less receptive to insulin. which increases the risk of getting diabetes.
  • Family History: If anyone in your family has diabetes, you are more likely to get it.

  • Age: Type 2 diabetes is more common in older adults.

  • Gestational Diabetes: Some women get gestational diabetes during pregnancy. It is another risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Can Diet and Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Diagnosis and Monitoring of Type 2 Diabetes

Recognizing whether you have diabetes is essential for early management and treatment. Here’s how doctors diagnose type 2 diabetes and why it’s critical to maintain a close eye on your diabetes journey.

Diagnosis: The Compass

Blood Test

A1C testing, or HbA1C, is a blood test to assess a person’s blood sugar levels over the previous few months. It assists your healthcare team in determining whether you are diabetic or not.

Fasting Blood Sugar Test

During the fasting test, the doctor tells you not to eat or drink for at least eight hours. Then, the physician checks blood sugar levels to know the blood glucose baseline.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

This test determines the sugar content of your blood after fasting overnight. It is a more in-depth test. It entails fasting overnight, followed by the consumption of a sweet solution. Physicians regularly test the blood sugar level to assess how your body responds to the sugar load.

Can Diet and Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Monitoring: Steady as it Goes

Blood Glucose Testing

One approach to staying aware is to measure your blood sugar levels regularly with a glucometer or continuous glucose monitor (CGM). It tells you how your body reacts to diet, exercise, and medication.

Can Diet and Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

What we eat and how we move are essential factors in our diabetes management journey. Diet and exercise not only manage type 2 diabetes but can also reverse it. Let’s discuss the role of diet and exercise for type 2 diabetes in detail,

Diet Your Daily Fuel

1- Balanced Meals

A well-balanced diet is essential for type 2 diabetes. Make a plate that has the food of each group. A well-balanced diet plate includes,

Carbohydrates: Foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables are good sources of carbs. However, it is essential to have them in moderation.

Proteins: Lean meat, beans, and tofu are good foods to balance blood sugar levels.

Good fats: Almonds, avocados, and olive oil are good sources of fats. They regulate blood sugar levels and improve heart health.

2- Portion Control

Consider portion control, like rationing your body. Smaller servings help to reduce blood sugar levels and you end up eating just what you body needs. The use of measuring cups is an excellent choice to keep track of your food intake.

Can Diet and Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise: Set Your Course

1- Regular Activity

Regular exercise is essential for controlling blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. When you work out, your muscles use glucose for energy. It means your body requires less insulin to transport glucose into your cells. It will help manage blood sugar levels.

2- Impact on Blood Sugar

Exercise works like magic for the body. Apart from regulating blood sugar, it also helps with weight loss. The loss of excessive weight then helps with diabetes management.

3- Walking, Swimming, and Dancing

You must refrain from being a fitness expert to imply physical activities in your daily life. So, Does walking help blood sugar?

Walking, swimming, and dancing can work like magic for you in diabetes. Walking boosts stamina, burns extra calories, and improves heart health. All these factors help control diabetes.

Alternative Treatment: Medications and Insulin

Is medication necessary for diabetes? Insulin is essential for controlling blood sugar levels if diet, and exercise are insufficient to manage type 2 diabetes. Below are some widely used treatments to help type 2 diabetics live healthier lives.

Oral Medications

Your doctor may prescribe one or a combination of the below-mentioned medications. These medications will manage blood sugar and makes you feel better.

1. Metformin

It lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing sugar synthesis in the liver. It is typically the initial option for type-2 diabetes.

2. Sulphonylureas

These medications cause the pancreas to produce more insulin. Glyburide and glipizide are two examples of these drugs.

3. DPP-4 inhibitors

Drugs such as sitagliptin and saxagliptin help increase insulin production while decreasing blood sugar.

4. SGLT2 inhibitors

Drugs of this class cause the kidneys to excrete additional sugar through urine, which helps in diabetes management.

Can Diet and Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin

Insulin is primarily for people with type-1 diabetes; however, type-2 patients may also use it. It has various types, which include,

Rapid-Acting Insulin

It works swiftly, and you can give it before or after meals to reduce sugar spikes.

Short-Acting Insulin

Shor acting is the best type of insulin for type 2 patients, according to the American Diabetes Foundation. It demonstrates its effect within 30 minutes of delivery, and individuals typically take it to regulate blood sugar before meals.

Intermediate-Acting Insulin

This variety of insulin has a gradual start and a longer shelf-life. It aids in blood sugar control between meals and overnight.

Long-Acting Insulin

It delivers a consistent insulin dose to the body. You can use it once or twice a day to manage sugar levels.

How to Take Insulin

Doctors inject insulin into the fatty tissue just under the skin with insulin pens or syringes. You can also use inulin pumps to inject it.

Proper injection technique and target delivery aid in efficient blood sugar control. For a safe method of use, consult an expert at a chronic disease management clinic.

Meal Planning to Manage Blood Sugar

Meal planning is essential for type 2 diabetes management. The regularity of meal schedules helps prevent improper diabetes regulation. Here is a quick meal plan and recipe,

Breakfast

  • Scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes
  • Whole-grain toast
  • A small apple

Lunch

  • Take Grilled chicken salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, and vinaigrette dressing.
  • Quinoa or brown rice

Snack

  • Greek yogurt with berries

Dinner

  • Baked salmon with lemon and dill
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Cauliflower rice

Contact a dietitian for a customized plan. Also, monitor blood sugar regularly to make changes in food as necessary.

Can Diet and Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Complications and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is the root of many health problems; therefore, managing it can be beneficial to prevent its underlying health issues. Here are the most common health problems and their prevention.

Heart Disease

Significance: Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease.

Prevention: Control blood sugar, eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking.

Kidney Problems

 

Significance: Diabetes can harm the kidneys.

Prevention: Manage blood pressure and blood sugar, limit salt intake, and avoid excessive alcohol.

Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)


Significance: Diabetes can cause numbness or pain in the limbs.

Prevention: Maintain stable blood sugar levels and inspect feet daily for sores.

Can Diet and Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Eye Complications


Significance: Diabetes can damage the eyes.

Prevention: Get regular eye check-ups, manage blood sugar, and control blood pressure.

Foot Issues


Significance: Diabetes can lead to foot ulcers.

Prevention: Examine feet daily, wear proper footwear, and seek prompt treatment for foot problems.

Dental Problems


Significance: Diabetes increases the risk of gum disease.

Prevention: Brush your teeth regularly, visit the dentist for check-ups, and control blood sugar.

Emotional and Mental Well-Being

Diabetes can cause emotional difficulties. Here are some suggestions to help you handle stress and seek support,

Discuss It

Discuss your emotions with a trustworthy friend or family member. Sometimes, simply addressing your problem with someone can be therapeutic.

Stay Informed

Learn about diabetes to feel more in control. You can effectively manage the anxiety of your disease by thoroughly knowing about it.

Set Practical Goals

Don’t overburden yourself by thinking about the disease. Set attainable goals for managing your goals and praise your achievements.

Mindfulness

Performing mindfulness techniques such as meditation can assist you in minimizing stress and staying calm.

Regular Check-Ups

Your physicians are for your help. Attend a regular schedule of appointments. It will help you track and record your issue.

Key Takeaways

Diabetes is a chronic illness that disrupts the body’s energy production mechanism.

  • Understanding the types of diabetes is critical to managing the disease effectively.
  • Can Diet and Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes? You can manage type 2 diabetes with healthy lifestyle changes, which include a balanced diet, portion control, and regular exercise.
  • Medications and insulin can also help control type 2 diabetes. However, individuals should use them under proper medical guidance.
  • Diabetes is the root cause of various health complications; hence, regular check-ups are necessary.

Remember, controlling diabetes is a lifelong struggle, but you can live healthily with the correct knowledge.

PHNJ | Your Health Partner

Do you want to take control of your diabetes and prioritize your health?

At Prime Health of New Jersey, we are here to guide you on diabetes management. Our experts are committed to providing personalized care and assistance that suits your needs. Please make an appointment today, and let us assist you in efficiently controlling diabetes.

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Our Team

Dr Farhan Malik
Dr. Farhan Malik Primary Care Physician
Dr Shoaib Malik
Dr. Shoaib Malik Primary Care Physician

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