Tips and advice from The Holistic Medical Centre on all things Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition which mostly occurs in people aged over 40. However, globally we are seeing increasing numbers of younger people and even children diagnosed or at risk.
Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1, but in most cases can be managed through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Diabetes develops when there is not enough insulin produced and / or your cells do not use insulin properly (insulin resistance), and in type 2 diabetes the body still produces insulin so the condition develops slowly over time.
There are well known risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. These are:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a first degree (does this mean descendant?) relative with type 2 diabetes
- Having pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance)
- Having diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
If type 2 diabetes is not well controlled it can lead to long term complications including
- Kidney damage
- Eye disease
- Hardening of the arteries
- Nerve damage
- Foot complications
Prevention is always better than cure, but if you do develop diabetes there are many things you can do to manage the effects of the disease and live an active and healthy life. We recommend coming into the Holistic Medical Centre for a thorough consultation and blood tests. We are then able to make specific recommendations to assist you individually with prevention or management.
Changing our lifestyle and diet is the most important form of treatment in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. It is also important to keep alcohol consumption to within recommended limits and to stop smoking.
Losing weight if you are overweight will improve your body’s ability to use insulin (reduce insulin resistance). It also helps lower blood pressure and can help lower cholesterol. In doing this, you reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke as well as reducing the risk of diabetes.
The best way to lose weight is to look at both diet and exercise together. Current guidance is that we do something active every day and a minimum of 2.5hours of moderate exercise spread throughout the week. It is also important to do some strengthening exercises at least twice per week. Ideally, you want to develop an exercise regimen that you can maintain long term. Exercise doesn’t have to be done at a gym, consider sports and activities you enjoy doing.
Maintaining a healthy and well balanced diet is also important. Eating whole foods as much as possible, and getting nutrition from a range of different food sources is key to maintaining a healthy diet. We understand that making changes can be difficult, so our naturopaths can help you identify and implement specific nutritional and lifestyle changes to assist you in losing weight, prevention and management of diabetes.
If changes in lifestyle alone are not helping, there are medications that can be prescribed to help control your blood sugar levels.
The onset of type 2 diabetes is often slow, and you The main symptoms are:
- Excessive thirst / hunger
- Passing large volumes of urine
- Recurrent sores or infection
- Blurry vision
If you have any of these symptoms or you are concerned about diabetes make an appointment to see one of our GPs at The Holistic Medical Centre