Diabetes or in simple words a condition in which your blood sugar level becomes uncontrollable and the only thing which can control this condition is change in your lifestyle, professional help and medications. The problem arises in the body due to lack of insulin, too little insulin or inability of insulin utilization by the cells. On the basis of different kind of problems, there are different types of diabetes but two types are more prominent which includes Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is less frequent (5-10 out of 100 people) and caused due to the destruction of insulin producing cells by the immune system of the body. In absence of insulin, the cells are unable to absorb sugar which is required to produce energy.
The Type 2 diabetes is very frequent in people (90-95 out of 100 people) and occurs mainly due to unhealthy lifestyle. In this condition, the body develops insulin resistance or the inability of insulin utilization in the body. As the condition worsen, the insulin producing cells produces less insulin which results into insulin deficiency.
There are many factors which leads to the development of type 2 diabetes which are:
- Genes – sometimes this type of diabetes runs into the family and affect the members.
- Extra weight – Extra pounds can develops insulin resistance in the body.
- metabolic syndrome – people with extra weight tends to develops this condition which includes high blood glucose, extra fat around the waist, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Damaged beta cells – High blood glucose can damage the insulin producing cells
- Sedentary lifestyle – lack of movement in your daily life leads to insulin resistance in the body as the sugar is not utilized properly.
- Stress – It can cause hormonal imbalance and increase weight gain in the body.
- Sleep deprivation or excessive sleep – Lack and excess of sleep is not healthy for the body as it reduces the chance of energy utilization by the body.
How to manage type 2 diabetes?
Managing diabetes is not a herculean task if the patient thinks in a positive way. Getting complete and right information about the disease can reduce the stress of diabetes diagnosis. Since it mostly related to unhealthy lifestyle therefore having knowledge about proper diet, exercise and blood sugar monitoring can help you a lot in controlling your condition.
What are the steps one should take to control the condition?
Positive attitude and motivation
After getting diagnosed with diabetes, people often tends to go into depression but you should try to comfort yourself by thinking that you are not the only one with this condition. Besides that, now science has improved a lot and controlling diabetes with medications and precautions is much easier than before.
Take professional help
Professional help is required for diabetes medication and its control. Besides the doctor, there are many other medical care providers who can help you in your condition. These are nurse, Diabetes educators, Dietitians or nutritionists, Pharmacists, Endocrinologists, Podiatrists, Dentists, Psychologists or therapists. Many diabetes insurance policies covers the consultation of above mentioned medical professionals so you should not worry about the money while taking their help.
Taking several pills and insulin injection on daily basis can be stressful for you but you should accept the fact that these things are for your own good and you have to stick with it to improve your condition. Take an active role and ask your doctor about the medications, their role and functions, doses and how to take them properly. What will happen if you forget to take them and how you should recover that loss. Learn about diabetes by yourself too by browsing the net, participating in forum and diabetic websites. Knowing other people like you will motivate you to stay healthy.
Shopping for diabetic food is not mandatory because you can make a healthy meal plan with daily items. You can take help of dietician to customize a meal plan for you which will take care of your calorie and nutrition requirements along with your food preferences. Develop a routine to settle into your lifestyle and to keep your blood sugar at consistent healthy level. To develop a routine, you should eat same amount of food at same time every day and also take your medicines at the same time daily. Don’t skip your meals and keep yourself active as much as possible.
Make your plate
Creating a plate is a recommended method of The American Diabetes Association (ADA) for meal planning. In this method, you have to take a 9 inch dinner plate and make three sections in it: one half and two quarters.
- Fill the largest i.e. the half section of plate with non starchy food like spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, bok choy, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, salsa, onions, cucumbers, beets, okra, mushrooms, peppers, or turnips.
- Fill the first quarter (1/4) of plate with starchy food like whole grains, whole wheat bread or rolls, brown rice, pasta, tortillas, cooked beans, peas, potatoes, corn, lima beans, sweet potatoes, or winter squash.
- Fill the other quarter with protein rich food such as chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, lean beef or pork, tofu, eggs, or low-fat cheese.
Add a serving of fat free milk or fat free yogurt. You can omit your dairy option or fruit depending upon your carbohydrate budget and meal plan.
High intake of carbohydrate can increase your blood sugar level so it is very important to keep an eye on your carbs intake amount. Counting carbs grams in every food item is a common method to create a meal plan for diabetes. Many people tend to eat same food every day and therefore the first step is to carbs count of the food you take regularly. Just make a list of your foods, meals and snacks which you take regularly and note their carbs content in each portion. Discuss your list with your dietician and he/she will make a meal plan accordingly.
Monitoring blood sugar
Following healthy diet, exercise and medication is important in diabetes control but monitoring of blood glucose is very crucial. Therefore, you should have devices like glucose monitor with you all the time so that you can check your glucose level any time. You can also learn taking insulin shots by yourself which will save you time, money and reduce dependency on others. Learn about monitoring blood glucose and precautionary measures if the blood glucose level elevates or drops.