Type 2 diabetes arises when the secretion of insulin is insufficient in helping cells utilize an appropriate quantity of glucose in the blood.
Type 2 Diabetes is characterized by mainly two issues
- The pancreas does not produce sufficient Insulin.
- The cells may develop insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes may not exhibit any symptoms at first, leading to it going undiagnosed for many years.
- Frequent Weight Loss
- Frequent Urination
- Increased Thirst
- Slowed Healing Sores
- Numbing or tingling sensation in the hands and feet
- Darkened skin especially areas around armpits or neck
1. Follow a Healthy Diet Regime
Eating on time and eating right are the crucial steps to managing your diabetes. Diabetic people feel hungry more frequently in comparison to others.
One of the medical symptoms of diabetes is called Diabetic Hyperphagia.
Symptoms of Diabetic Hyperphagia
- Strong feeling of hunger
- Excess weight gain
- Intense food craving
Eating healthy is not limited to diabetics only. Everyone should monitor what they eat to remain fit, alert, agile, flexible, and healthy.
To achieve this, one must follow a good meal plan, which acts as your guide.
One should consult your doctor and dietician to come up with a good meal plan as per their body’s requirements.
One should focus on the following while coming up with a good meal plan:
1.1 Keeping Track of Carbs
One should watch their daily carbohydrate intake. Limit your carbohydrate intake depending on your bodily requirements. Take the help of your doctor or practicing dietician to figure out how many calories are healthy for you to take regularly.
a). Make sure your diet inculcates the following:
Non-starchy vegetables contain a lower portion of carbohydrates and calories. Thus to satiate their hunger one can eat larger portions of Non-starchy vegetables without worrying about gaining weight.
Examples of Non-starchy vegetables are:
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Bamboo Shoots
- Green Beans
b). Whole foods such as:
- Brown rice
- Bulgur wheat
Avoid eating highly processed food as much as possible. Try to switch it to minimally processed food.
c). Try to avoid foods that contain added sugar and preservatives such as aerated drinks, sodas, and ready-to-eat junk foods,
1.2 Portion Size
Being portion-wise is very important for a healthy diet. Being clear about what to consume and the right amount in which it should be consumed. As individuals with varied requirements, our portion size requirements differ from person to person.
How to be Portion wise?
Consume small, frequent meals that contain a variety of carbohydrates, healthy fats, proteins, vitamins, and nutrients. Instead of adhering to simply three meals per day, opt for six.
1.3 Plate Method
It’s easy to indulge in overeating without realizing it. It’s very important to maintain discipline while eating. Especially when one is feeling sad or happy they always end up craving for more food.
The plate method is a simple way to curate healthy meals. It helps in controlling portion size.
It ensures you get all non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, vitamins, and nutrients while limiting the amount of high-carb foods.
The trick is to take a 9-inch dinner plate and fill it in the following way:
- Half with non-starchy vegetables.
- A quarter with lean protein, like tofu, chicken or eggs.
- Fill one-quarter with carb foods, such as rice, starchy vegetables, fruit, yogurt, and milk.
2. Be Physically Active
Keep your body moving. Make exercise a regular habit and not an occasional thing. Physical activity is vital for diabetics.
Physical activity increases insulin sensitivity, which aids in keeping in check.
One should work out for at least 150 minutes per week. To break it down, for optimum outcomes, one should exercise for at least 30 minutes per day.
Physical exercise can be enjoyable. One has to figure out the type of exercise that suits their body’s stamina and fulfills all their requirements.
Take small steps. If you have never taken part in any type of physical activity before then there is a 100% chance that you will find it overwhelming at first because your body is not used to working out.
Rather than just diving into full-fledged exercising mode, start moderately. Warm up a little, and stretch a little, this will make the body more adaptable.
Moderate Intensity Exercise to Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels:
- Brisk Walking
- Yoga for diabetes
- Playing sports such as tennis
3. Tab into the Power of Community (Emotional well-being, socializing)
People often neglect this aspect when talking about self-care as the “Power of Community”. Human beings crave social connection.
As per recent research, people with Type 2 diabetes are more at risk of developing depression.
Connect with family and friends. Interact with your doctor, discuss your concerns, and participate in therapeutic and enjoyable activities.
4. Managing Stress
Excessive stress can hinder a person’s ability to go about day-to-day normal activities. Needless to say, it also affects physical health. Recent research shows that hormones released during stress – cortisol, impact blood sugar levels.
Cortisol may increase the amount of blood sugar level in the body, which may lead to Cushing’s syndrome.
Prolonged and constant stress may result in people neglecting their diabetes care. When under stress people tend to skip meals, feel loss of appetite, end up overeating, or forget to take medicine on time. This can be harmful to the diabetic person.
Practicing discipline while eating and taking medication on time are key components of diabetes care. Stress management helps in restoring the balance of mind and soul.
Practice 4 A’s of stress management:
- Take Control
- If something stresses you out, take control and make the necessary changes to overcome it.
- Avoid people who stress you out
- Limit your time around people who stress you out. Remove yourself from a negative environment.
- Make an agenda for the day
- Create a list of things that you need to complete on a particular day. Prioritize your tasks. There is a sense of accomplishment when an item is crossed off the to-do list.
- Learn to say “no”
- Know your limits, do not take more than you can handle. Take tasks according to your abilities and comfort and stick to them.
- Don’t bottle up your feelings, communicate your concerns openly and respectfully if something or someone is bothering you. Without voicing your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.
- Improve your time management. A lack of time management can lead to a lot of stress. You can’t stay calm and focused when you’re stretched too thin and running behind.
- Be more assertive and try to anticipate and prevent problems by tackling them head-on.
- Feeling way too stressed and burdened, take a pause. Take a deep breath and practice mindfulness. Place your palm on a table and try to feel its surface, feel the sensation of the cold surface as it touches your palm. This will help you disconnect from your negative thoughts and come back to the present moment.
- Be flexible with your expectations and learn to be okay with “almost perfect.” Don’t be fixated on perfection. Always set standards that are achievable and practical.
- Change your outlook to a positive one. Instead of always looking for the negatives or constantly living in fear of anticipation that something bad will happen, focus on the positive aspects.
- Acknowledge that you cannot control everything in your life. Refrain from being fixated on things that are beyond your control. Focus on things that are in your control, work on your shortcomings, and improve yourself.
- Consider challenges as an opportunity to grow. Identify the reasons for a stressful situation and learn from them.
- Negative thoughts act as breeding grounds for stress and anxiety. Practice positive self-talk to boost your morale.
5. Healthy Sleep Pattern
A person should have at least 6-8 hours of good night’s sleep to function properly be it in academics or sports.
Sleep deprivation can have the following negative effects:
- Rise in Insulin resistance
- Increase in hypertension
- Increases risk of heart attack
For a healthy body and mind it is necessary to get at least 6-8 hours of good night sleep irrespective of the fact whether you have diabetes or not.
6. Daily Monitoring of Your
Regular monitoring is a crucial step of self-care for Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can give rise to the following comorbidities:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Sleep Disorders
Regular checkups play a significant role in managing diabetes. Regular blood tests such as blood glucose and an HbA1c Test help diagnose elevated blood sugar levels.
This assists physicians in recommending diabetes medication based on the patient’s needs and, if required, adjusting the dosage of previously given medication based on the findings of fresh test reports.
Detection of early signs of other diabetes-related comorbidities even before symptoms start showing is possible and thus allows doctors to address those complications at an early stage.
Diabetes does not have a cure at present, but that does not mean that it’s not manageable. With proper care and consideration, diabetic people can live a healthy life. All you need to do is have faith in yourself to work that extra mile to achieve good health.
Nidhi Bhardwaj is a content writer with a creative edge towards science. She is currently pursuing her MBA.
Her love for expressing via words has inspired her to venture into creative writing. She is intrigued to explore various unfamiliar fields and treasures of knowledge the world has to offer.
She desires to share her experience and learnings with readers from all walks of life.