Taking a You-Centered Approach to Diabetes Management

Taking a You-Centered Approach to Diabetes Management

Taking A You Centered Approach to Diabetes Management 

 

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that is characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. The incidence of diabetes is widespread and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reports that 463 million people in the world are currently living with diabetes, which is estimated to reach over 700 million by 2045. Diabetes is categorized into three distinct classes (type I, type II and gestational diabetes). Among the three, type II diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes.  When living with diabetes it is important to begin taking a YOU centered approach to your treatment. Here are some tips we’ve developed when managing your diabetes. 

Mediating Diabetes with Your Gut Microbiome 

Mounting evidence suggests that the gut microbiota has a significant role in the metabolism and disease status of individuals. In particular, our gut microbiome impacts those living with Type II diabetes which includes specific associations in the etiology of obesity and chronic low grade inflammation.

 

These associated medical conditions are modulated by the gut microbiota and microbial colonization. In recent findings, the role of the gut in modulating diabetes has been shown to be quite promising. Talking to a professional like a functional medicine practitioner or your MD can be great when learning more about treatment options involving the gut microbiome. Another option is to take different probiotics and prebiotics that can help to modulate your overall health and stabilize your immune system. 

 

Change Your Diet

 

With modulating your gut microbiome, finding a healthy and sustainable way to eat with healthy and nutritious ingredients can be quite promising for your diabetes management. Many people who attempt to alter their diet find success by following a mindfulness-based approach. It is okay to be mindful about the way you by slowing down your present focus and diving into feeling gratitude when eating. 

 

When approaching altering your diet, mindfulness can be a key to strike a balance and maintain consistency. One of the best ways to also do this is finding a mental health coach or registered dietician who can help you maintain accountability throughout the process. Registered dietitian who can help you craft the best plan for you—whether that’s a low carbohydrate, modified carbohydrate, or a consistent carbohydrate diet.

 

The emphasis on carbohydrates is important because these are the types of foods that impact blood sugars the most. Carbohydrates are found in foods such as fruit, milk, yogurt, starches (bread, pasta, rice, beans), starchy vegetables (potatoes, peas, corn), and sugary foods (cookies, cake, candy, and ice cream).

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you are banned from eating carbohydrates ever again, but it is important to choose the right kinds of carbohydrates in the appropriate quantities. Reducing your carbohydrate intake will help take stress off your pancreas, encourage weight loss, increase your energy level, and reduce your blood sugars.

Ideally, people with diabetes should cut out all high-calorie beverages, including juices, sodas, smoothies, and sweet coffee drinks.

 

Let’s Get Physical

Moving doesn’t have to mean going to the gym for hours. To start, simply move more.

Exercise plays a large factor in utilizing insulin (which helps to move sugar in your cells) and lowering blood sugar. And the more you move and exercise the more your metabolism will increase. Finding time to move can feel overwhelming or going to a gym may be stressful. Beginning to move can be easy, just grab a yoga mat and begin to learn to be comfortable enough in your body to practice movements. There are some great resources for yoga and movement like this YouTube channel, Yoga with Adrienne. 

 

Pencil your workout into your calendar as if you would schedule a lunch date. Do as much as you can when you can with the aim of trying to hit an eventual target of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. This should include aerobic, resistance, and flexibility training.

Test Your Blood Sugars

If you were just diagnosed with diabetes and are not taking any medicine, you may not see any reason to test your blood sugars. But blood sugar testing can actually act as an eye-opener and motivating tool for you to change your diet and get moving.

You don’t need to test four times a day. Rather, aim to start testing a few times per week. Use your numbers to adjust your carbohydrate intake and increase your physical activity.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What is the best way to manage type 2 diabetes?
    Type 2 diabetes is typically managed through diet, exercise, weight loss, and medication. 
  • Can you control type 2 diabetes without medication?
    Some people are able to control their type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise alone and do not need medication.
  • What is the best diet to control diabetes?
    There is no one best diet for type 2 diabetes. Everyone is different, and it can take some trial and error to figure out what works for you. One way to do this is to “eat to your meter.” This means testing your blood sugar after meals to see how certain foods affect you. Some people manage type 2 diabetes best on a very low carbohydrate diet, while others do better on a plant-based diet.  
  • Can type 2 diabetes be reversed?
    Type 2 diabetes can often be managed through diet, exercise, and weight loss, although it is unclear if it can be completely reversed. One 2020 study suggests that losing 10% or more of your body weight may put diabetes in remission in about one in three people.1

 

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