How to Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and a reduced ability to produce insulin. It is now believed that around 1 in 10 people over the age of 40 have this form of diabetes. This number is expected to grow to around 5.5 million by 2030, so understanding it more is vital. This may be so you can look after yourself should you develop type 2 diabetes or look after a loved one if they are diagnosed. 

One of the main causes of the rising number of people with type 2 diabetes is obesity and unfortunately, this number is extremely high in the UK. It is estimated that around 75% of 46-74-year-olds in the UK are either overweight or obese which may leave them with a high chance of developing type 2 diabetes. 

So, whether you’re living with diabetes now or are fearful of living with it in the future, this guide will be able to make your life that little bit easier. We’ll discuss best practices for dealing with it to make your life as easy as possible. Read on to find out more.

The Importance of Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Without proper management, diabetes can be dangerous. In recent years there has been a significant increase in minor lower limb amputations for those with diabetes. Unfortunately, in the NHS, there are huge differences in the standard of medical professionals. This may lead to medical negligence. If this happens to you then you may be able to make a claim.

Why Not Managing Type 2 Diabetes Can Lead to Amputations

Amputation is a common complication of type 2 diabetes because of the damage that the condition can cause to the blood vessels and nerves in the extremities, particularly the feet. Diabetes can lead to a condition called peripheral neuropathy, which damages the nerves that send signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and other parts of the body. This can cause a loss of feeling in the feet, making it more difficult to detect injuries or infections.

In addition, diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels, which can lead to poor circulation to the feet and other parts of the body. Poor circulation can make it more difficult for wounds and infections to heal, and can increase the risk of tissue damage and necrosis (death of tissue).

When injuries or infections go unnoticed or untreated due to peripheral neuropathy or poor circulation, they can lead to ulcers, which can progress to gangrene (tissue death) and ultimately require amputation.

Preventing amputation in people with type 2 diabetes requires careful monitoring and management of blood sugar levels, as well as regular foot exams to check for signs of neuropathy or poor circulation. Regular physical activity, smoking cessation, and good foot care can also help reduce the risk of complications and amputation.

Diet for Managing Type 2 Diabetes

A healthy diet is essential for managing type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and prevent oral health complications. Here are some key principles for a healthy diet for type 2 diabetes:

  1. Focus on whole foods: Choose whole, minimally processed foods that are rich in nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid processed and packaged foods that are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.

  2. Watch your carbohydrate intake: Carbohydrates can have a big impact on blood sugar levels. Aim to eat a balanced amount of carbohydrates at each meal, and choose complex carbs that are digested more slowly, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

  3. Choose healthy fats: Healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish, can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. Avoid trans fats and limit saturated fats.

  4. Eat regularly: Eating regularly throughout the day can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent spikes and crashes. Aim to eat three meals and two to three snacks per day.

  5. Monitor your portions: Eating too much of any food can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Use measuring cups and food scales to keep track of portion sizes.

  6. Limit alcohol and sugary beverages: Both alcohol and sugary beverages can cause blood sugar levels to spike. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and with food. Choose water or unsweetened beverages instead of sugary drinks.

By following these principles, you can create a healthy and balanced diet that helps manage your type 2 diabetes and promotes overall health and well-being.

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Exercise to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage type 2 diabetes and offers numerous benefits for those living with the condition.

One of the primary benefits of exercise for people with type 2 diabetes is improved blood sugar control. Exercise helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin, which means that less insulin is required to transport glucose into cells for energy. Additionally, exercise can help to reduce insulin resistance, which is a common problem in people with type 2 diabetes.

Regular exercise has a positive impact on cardiovascular health, which is particularly important for type 2 diabetics. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, and exercise can help to reduce this risk by improving blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and overall heart function.

Exercise can also help to improve weight management, which is another important aspect of managing type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes often struggle with their weight, and exercise can help to promote weight loss and prevent weight gain. Exercise can also help to build muscle, which can increase metabolism and aid in weight loss.

Developing an exercise routine can help to keep you healthy. Go for a walk, have a gym session, or pick up a new sport. If you need more intensive support, a wellness retreat can help you establish new behavior patterns to carry forward for long-term success.

Develop a Daily Routine to Help You Manage Your Diabetes

One of the easiest ways to maintain your health when living with diabetes is to ensure you’re consistent with your daily responsibilities. We recommend having a checklist that includes:

  • Take medicine 
  • Track blood sugar
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthily
  • Avoid smoking 
  • Check your feet

To help you manage your diabetes more effectively and stay on top of your daily responsibilities, consider using the Klinio app. This user-friendly app offers tools to track your blood sugar levels, set medication reminders, monitor your exercise routine, and keep a record of your healthy eating habits. With the Klinio app, you can stay organized, informed, and in control of your diabetes management, making it easier to maintain your health and well-being.

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Last update was on: July 7, 2024 6:23 PM

I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes this year and designed this beautiful BLOOD SUGAR and DIABETES TRACKING LOG SHEET to track and manage my health/wellness through my diabetic journey. In meeting with my dietician, some of the things we discussed were trying new foods and planning out meals, so...

The Benefits of Taking Care of Your Diabetes

Living with diabetes doesn’t have to be the end of the world and when you take care of it you’ll reap the following benefits:

  • More energy 
  • Less tired 
  • Less thirsty
  • Pass urine less often
  • Heal better
  • Fewer bladder or skin infections

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich via Pexels

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Dr. Wilson graduated from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, IL. Dr. Wilson specializes in providing culturally competent and trauma-informed care to patients with physical disabilities. In addition to her private practice, she works as a science communicator, teaching health literacy to middle school and high school students in her local school district. 

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