How to Help a Diabetes Type 2 Patient?

The cases of diabetes are increasing every year in all parts of the world. Despite medical advancement and research, there is still very less information on how to help a diabetes type 2 patient. Not many people know that there is no medicine or treatment for diabetes. All that it takes is to ‘manage’ the condition and live life. But is it really this simple?

The key to good health is eating healthy, mild to moderate exercise and an active lifestyle. The same goes for a diabetic person, says Sue McLaughlin, a medical nutrition therapist from Nebraska Medicine. It is proven by a large-scale clinical study that was conducted and funded by the National Institutes of Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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This four-year-long trial revealed that eating healthy, spending time in exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight helped to improve the life of a diabetes type 2 patient. An older study, published in Dec 2016 analyzed 28 studies. As to this review, spending 150 minutes per week in moderate exercise can reduce the symptoms of diabetes type 2 by 26%. But what does it mean to ‘improve the diet’ for a diabetic patient?

Of course, taking a hold on diet is helpful in diabetic management. Stitching to healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and lean meat with limited dairy can significantly help. In particular, non-starchy vegetables such as carrots and broccoli should be a part of a diabetic person’s diet. But pay attention to the fruits that have a high glycemic index (GI) and are not suitable for diabetes type 2 patients.

Foods that have high glycemic value are generally processed foods. They have a high content of white sugar and all-purpose flour which are not suitable for a person with diabetes. The foods with a low glycemic index are cauliflower, pears, apples, brown rice, leafy green vegetables, etc.

Most of the fast-food options are rich in trans fats and a highs sodium level which is unhealthy for everyone. It is much more damaging for diabetic people due to their damaging effects on the body, blood pressure, and heart.

Next is to lose the unnecessary weight which is healthy in general but more healthy for a diabetic patient. losing weight especially from the belly is necessary for a diabetes type 2 patient to maintain his sugar levels. It makes a huge impact and CDC confirms that losing up to 7% of the body fat can reduce the risk and complications of type 2 diabetes. It makes nearly 10 to 14 pounds of body weight. So, if someone is in a prediabetic stage, losing weight can reduce his risk of getting diabetes.

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If the weight is not a problem, management of diabetes type 2 is easy with light to moderate exercise. Any form of physical activity can control diabetic symptoms by pushing out the glucose particles from body cells. It ensures a controlled blood sugar.

The British diabetes association emphasizes on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for diabetic patients to maintain a healthy weight and controlling glucose levels. In addition to this regulation of sleep is also important for diabetic patients. A study published in the journal  Family Medicine implies that one in every two diabetic patients are at risk of developing sleep apnea, but they never get diagnosed for it.

Management of diabetes and taking care of a diabetes type 2 patient doesn’t necessarily require medicines. But a combination of prescribed medicines and adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet can help to manage the condition for long.

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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