It can be challenging to live with chronic and progressive conditions like type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, by taking care of yourself each day and checking in with your doctor regularly, you can successfully manage it. Type 2 diabetes isn’t a death sentence. With a bit of perseverance, you can live the type of life where you stay as healthy as possible.
Understanding How Diabetes Affects the Body
With type 2 diabetes, your cells resist the effects of the hormone insulin. Insulin is what unlocks the cells so that glucose (sugar) can be converted into energy. Your pancreas goes into overdrive trying to get cells to respond. Over time, the pancreas can lose its ability to make enough insulin to keep up with your body’s needs, and sugar levels rise in the blood. Chronically high blood sugar increases your risk of complications like vision loss, heart disease, nerve damage, foot or leg amputation, and kidney disease.
The Good News
Proper diabetes management can help prevent or delay the onset of complications. Here are some key parts of managing T2D:
- Checking your blood sugars- This allows you to respond immediately to high or low blood sugar. It can also help you make more specific dietary and exercise changes to optimize your diabetes management.
- Eating a well-balanced diet- Foods have a significant impact on blood sugar levels. Choose whole, nutrient-dense sources of carbs, such as fruits and vegetables, over highly refined, processed carbs, such as white bread, sugary drinks, or cakes and cookies.
- Exercise- Exercising regularly helps your body use insulin more effectively. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week.
- Taking medication as prescribed- Following your doctor’s treatment plan and taking your medicines as directed helps you keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.
It can be overwhelming when you think about all the aspects of managing T2D. Aside from lifestyle changes, utilizing the resources available through the various diabetes websites can help you feel better prepared. The American Diabetes Association website is a great example, and they have a comprehensive resource database for those newly diagnosed and more.
Researching Ways to Improve the Lives of Those with T2D
Improving the lives of those living with type 2 diabetes is a continuing focus of research efforts. Breakthroughs in blood sugar monitoring, insulin delivery, and safer and more effective treatments are testimonies of these endeavors. Clinical research studies play a vital role in this process through the partnerships with volunteers who participate in them. If you have T2D, consider joining a study to help improve how we manage this condition. To learn more about upcoming type 2 diabetes studies here at Midwest Clinical Research, call (937) 424-1050, or visit our website today!