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How To Manage Diabetes With Diet And Exercise

Diabetes Treatment, Part 1: Diet And Exercise

Diabetes Treatment, Part 1: Diet And Exercise

Acornerstone of diabetes treatment is attention to lifestyle. Unhealthy lifestyles, such as lack of physical activity and excessive eating, initiate and propagate the majority of type 2 diabetes. As discussed in previous articles in this series,1,2 the incidence and prevalence of obesity is rising quickly, both in the United States and in the rest of the world. The frequency of diabetes has risen in tandem with overweight and obesity in essentially all age-groups and ethnicities in the United States, and not by coincidence. Studies have thoroughly demonstrated strong relationships between excess weight and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Physicians are frequently challenged with the task of motivating patients to lose weight and exercise to improve patients' diabetes control and slow or even reverse the natural course of the disease. Lifestyle modification, although different, is an equally integral part of type 1 diabetes management. Patients with type 1 diabetes, because of their universal need for insulin, must learn to count or at least closely estimate the amount of carbohydrate they consume to help regulate their blood glucose levels and adjust their insulin doses. Failure to do so can lead to dangerous hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Primary Prevention of Diabetes It is difficult to overstate the importance of the relationship between lifestyle and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A recent study demonstrated that both women and men who have a BMI > 35 kg/m2 had a 20-fold increase in their risk of developing diabetes compared to people with a BMI of 18.5-24.9 kg/m2.3 Furthermore, prospective studies have demonstrated that lifestyle modification in the form of diet and regular moderate exercise sharply decreases the l Continue reading >>

11 Exercise Tips For Type 2 Diabetes

11 Exercise Tips For Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise is sure to be on your to-do list if you have diabetes. Get started with these go-to tips: 1. Make a list of fun activities. You have lots of options, and you don't have to go to a gym. What sounds good? Think about something you've always wanted to try or something you enjoyed in the past. Sports, dancing, yoga, walking, and swimming are a few ideas. Anything that raises your heart rate counts. 2. Get your doctor's OK. Let them know what you want to do. They can make sure you're ready for it. They'll also check to see if you need to change your meals, insulin, or diabetes medicines. Your doctor can also let you know if the time of day you exercise matters. 3. Check your blood sugar. Ask your doctor if you should check it before exercise. If you plan to work out for more than an hour, check your blood sugar levels regularly during your workout, so you’ll know if you need a snack. Check your blood sugar after every workout, so that you can adjust if needed. 4. Carry carbs. Always keep a small carbohydrate snack, like fruit or a fruit drink, on hand in case your blood sugar gets low. 5. Ease into it. If you're not active now, start with 10 minutes of exercise at a time. Gradually work up to 30 minutes a day. 6. Strength train at least twice a week. It can improve blood sugar control. You can lift weights or work with resistance bands. Or you can do moves like push-ups, lunges, and squats, which use your own body weight. 7. Make it a habit. Exercise, eat, and take your medicines at the same time each day to prevent low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia. 8. Go public. Work out with someone who knows you have diabetes and knows what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. It's more fun, too. Also wear a medical identification tag, or carry a card that says you Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes: The Fitness You Need

Type 2 Diabetes: The Fitness You Need

Type 2 diabetes is not inevitable. Preventing and even reversing the onset of diabetes is entirely possible, but it takes commitment. Taking charge of your health involves a two-pronged approach: diet and exercise. Both are crucial for long-term success and optimal health. Diet and exercise Diet and exercise are both key components of a successful strategy to beat or manage diabetes. Studies show that diet and exercise can sharply lower the likelihood of diabetes, even in people who are at high risk of developing it. Learn about the risk factors for type 2 diabetes » Other studies also show that lifestyle interventions can improve insulin sensitivity and blood lipid profiles and help lower high blood sugar levels. Diet and exercise help lower body weight — and excess body weight is closely linked to the onset of diabetes. A major clinical study called the Diabetes Prevention Program studied people at risk for diabetes. It showed that lifestyle changes involving 150 minutes of exercise per week decreased the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Keep in mind that diet and exercise should go hand in hand. For instance, even if you regularly exercise, a diet with lots of sugar and fat and very little fiber or phytonutrients (beneficial plant compounds) could more than counteract those efforts. On the other hand, you can eat a healthful diet, but if you never get up and move, your cardiovascular health will almost certainly suffer. Cardiovascular health and diabetes are also intricately linked. Committing to a better diet and daily exercise promotes better blood sugar levels, blood lipid control, and mood. It also leads to higher energy levels, which makes it easier to exercise. Daily exercise helps keep blood vessels healthy, makes you feel better about Continue reading >>

Control Or Reverse Diabetes Naturally

Control Or Reverse Diabetes Naturally

Can you control diabetes? Reverse it? Absolutely. We can beat diabetes. The disease process associated with diabetes (which leads to heart attacks, strokes, and other crippling illnesses) can be slowed and even partially reversed by controlling blood glucose and other cardiovascular disease risk factors. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce and/or properly use insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas. When there are troubles with insulin, glucose builds up in the blood. A fasting glucose level below 100 is considered normal. A fasting glucose between 100 and 125 signals pre-diabetes. A fasting glucose of 126 or higher means you have diabetes. Though “silent,” at least at first, diabetes can turn into a horrible disease. It can greatly increase our risk of heart attacks, strokes, peripheral arterial disease, erectile dysfunction, blindness, diabetes neuropathy, poor wound healing, and kidney failure. There are two main types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. At least 90% of diabetics in America have Type 2 diabetes. Studying the evolution and lifestyle habits of humankind, we can confidently assert that Type 2 diabetes is virtually entirely preventable. Worldwide, many populations are now suffering epidemic rates of Type 2 diabetes because many populations live in a “food toxic” environment and exercise little or not at all. All this suffering, all this early death, is preventable. It is the direct result of the way we live – by our sedentary habits and our Western-style diets, bereft of whole, fiber-rich foods and full of fast foods and other calorie-dense junk. Type 2 diabetes usually starts after the age of 40. But because of America’s childhood obesity epidemic, more and more of our youth are being diagnosed with the disease, including Continue reading >>

Diabetes 'cure': Diet & Exercise Work For Some

Diabetes 'cure': Diet & Exercise Work For Some

People with Type 2 diabetes can reverse their condition with diet and exercise, although remission is not very common, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After one year of regular counseling sessions to encourage weight loss and physical activity, 11.5 percent of obese adults with Type 2 diabetes saw their condition at least partially reverse — meaning their blood sugar levels decreased to those of a prediabetic, without the need for medication. Just 2 percent of those who did not receive intensive counseling partially reversed their diabetes. After four years, the rate of partial diabetes remission in the counseling group declined slightly, to 7 percent. Full remission — achieving normal blood sugar levels — was rarer, with just 1.3 percent of people in the counseling group and 0.1 percent in the non-counseling group meeting this goal after one year. Type 2 diabetes has traditionally been seen as a progressive disease that is managed rather than cured. Recent studies have suggested it can be reversed with weight loss surgery, or by following an extreme diet that mimics surgery. However, until this study, little was known about the rate of long-term diabetes reversal without surgery or extreme dieting. About 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study confirms that complete Type 2 diabetes remission is rare, but that partial remission is an obtainable goal for some patients, the researchers said. Experts said that, because the definitions of complete or partial diabetes remission are arbitrary, researchers should not focus on these measures. What's more important is that patients improve their weight and blood sugar levels, as people in this study did, said Dr Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise

Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise

When you have type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your treatment plan. It’s also important to have a healthy meal plan and maintain your blood glucose level through medications or insulin, if necessary. If you stay fit and active throughout your life, you’ll be able to better control your diabetes and keep your blood glucose level in the correct range. Controlling your blood glucose level is essential to preventing long-term complications, such as nerve pain and kidney disease. Exercise has so many benefits, but the biggest one is that it makes it easier to control your blood glucose (blood sugar) level. People with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, either because their body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesn’t use insulin properly (insulin resistant). In either case, exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down. If you’re insulin resistant, exercise actually makes your insulin more effective. That is—your insulin resistance goes down when you exercise, and your cells can use the glucose more effectively. Exercise can also help people with type 2 diabetes avoid long-term complications, especially heart problems. People with diabetes are susceptible to developing blocked arteries (arteriosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy and strong. Plus, exercise helps you maintain good cholesterol—and that helps you avoid arteriosclerosis. Additionally, there ar Continue reading >>

Treating Diabetes With Diet And Exercise

Treating Diabetes With Diet And Exercise

Recently, I was reading some of the readers’ postings on this Web site. Some of these postings expressed fairly strong opinions about how one should best manage his or her diabetes. Of course, one of the many good things about living in the United States is our right to freedom of speech, and postings such as these certainly get people thinking. However, it’s all too common for misconceptions about diabetes to abound. Whether it’s the belief that eating sugar causes diabetes, or that starting on insulin can make you go blind, or that having to start taking diabetes pills or insulin means that you’re a “bad diabetic,” as a dietitian and diabetes educator, I feel compelled to set the record straight whenever I can. So, what’s the best way to control diabetes? When it comes to Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for 5% to 10% of all diabetes cases, that’s a no-brainer. A person with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin to survive. His pancreas has—to put it simply—”pooped out,” meaning that it no longer makes enough insulin. Of course, a person with Type 1 diabetes has choices as to how he takes insulin. The choices nowadays range from the traditional vial and syringe to an insulin pen to an insulin pump to an inhaler. The future holds more possibilities for insulin delivery as well. People with Type 1 diabetes must still incorporate meal planning and physical activity into their daily management. About 90% to 95% of people with diabetes have Type 2. But Type 2 diabetes is a little less clear-cut in terms of how it’s best managed. The reason is that Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition. When someone is first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the cornerstones of management are often, initially, what many health-care professionals term “diet and exer Continue reading >>

Managing Type 2 Without Meds: 3 Stories

Managing Type 2 Without Meds: 3 Stories

My goal is to be as healthy as I can. If something happens and one day I'm back on medication, my goal is still to be healthy. It had been about a year since Akua Jitahadi felt like herself. But she was 51 and expected menopause to kick in soon. Plus, she and her daughter had just moved to oppressively hot Arizona. So she brushed off the tired, sluggish feeling as a side effect of being a middle-aged woman adjusting to sweltering temps. And then, overnight, her vision dimmed. Something was most definitely wrong. The verdict from her doctor: type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. "Of course, I broke down in tears," Jitahadi, now 55, says. "I wasn't ready to hear this. I always associated diabetes with 'Oh no, it's really bad.' " After Jitahadi spent a few weeks on medication, her vision cleared and she began to feel better. It didn't last long. "I hated metformin . I had all the colon and digestive issues on it," she says. "I never knew if I would be OK on it or if I'd be nauseous. I'd question whether I wanted to go out with my friends." When she asked for an alternative medication, her doctor said metformin was the best drug for the job, so Jitahadi stuck it out for a year. After that, she decided to make major lifestyle changes in hopes of quitting her medications. That proved more difficult than she had imagined. She hadn't seen a diabetes educator. The only dietitian covered by her insurer was too far away. And her doctor's sole advice was for Jitahadi to watch what she ate. "I was scared in the beginning," says Jitahadi. "It was through friends and starting to read [about diabetes] that I knew I could do this. I could get through this." Jitahadi bought books on diabetes, nutrition, the glycemic index, and diabetes-friendly meals. Instead of slightly modifying he Continue reading >>

Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity

Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity

Nutrition and physical activity are important parts of a healthy lifestyle when you have diabetes. Along with other benefits, following a healthy meal plan and being active can help you keep your blood glucose level, also called blood sugar, in your target range. To manage your blood glucose, you need to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine, if you take any. What you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are all important in keeping your blood glucose level in the range that your health care team recommends. Becoming more active and making changes in what you eat and drink can seem challenging at first. You may find it easier to start with small changes and get help from your family, friends, and health care team. Eating well and being physically active most days of the week can help you keep your blood glucose level, blood pressure, and cholesterol in your target ranges prevent or delay diabetes problems feel good and have more energy What foods can I eat if I have diabetes? You may worry that having diabetes means going without foods you enjoy. The good news is that you can still eat your favorite foods, but you might need to eat smaller portions or enjoy them less often. Your health care team will help create a diabetes meal plan for you that meets your needs and likes. The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, in the amounts your meal plan outlines. The food groups are vegetables nonstarchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes starchy: includes potatoes, corn, and green peas fruits—includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes grains—at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains includes wheat, rice, oats, co Continue reading >>

How To Beat Type 2 Diabetes With Diet And Lifestyle Changes

How To Beat Type 2 Diabetes With Diet And Lifestyle Changes

It's no secret that type 2 diabetes is on the rise in the United States and around the world. But if you've been diagnosed with diabetes, there's a lot you can do to improve your health — and the best place to start is likely by making some changes to your lifestyle. “Basic principles of good health like eating right, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight can be as effective as medicine in the management of type 2 diabetes for most people,” says Sue McLaughlin, RD, CDE, lead medical nutrition therapist at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. That's backed up by the Look AHEAD study, a large clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The researchers found that over a four-year period, changes like eating a healthier diet and getting more exercise led to weight loss and improved diabetes control in 5,000 overweight or obese participants with type 2 diabetes. A December 2016 review in Diabetologia similarly found through 28 studies that participants who were able to achieve about 150 minutes per week of moderate activity lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by 26 percent compared with nonactive participants. If you're ready to make positive changes to help control diabetes, here's how to get started. Improve Your Diet to Help You Treat Type 2 Diabetes Naturally Keeping close tabs on your diet is a major way to help manage type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet for people with type 2 diabetes includes fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meats, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Focus on eating fruit and non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, and lettuce, and having smaller portions of starchy foods, meats, and dairy products. Be especially careful about loading Continue reading >>

Diabetes Remission Possible With Diet, Exercise

Diabetes Remission Possible With Diet, Exercise

In a four-year-long study, overweight and obese diabetics placed on a calorie-restrictive diet along with nearly three hours of exercise per week fared much better than controls After one year, 11.5 percent of the program participants no longer needed medication to keep their blood sugar levels below the diabetes threshold. Only two percent of the non-intervention group experienced any significant improvement in their condition Obesity has now become a greater global health crisis than hunger. It is also the leading cause of disabilities around the world According to a national study there’s been a modest decline in obesity rates among 2- to 4-year-olds from poor families. While the cause for the drop is unclear, some of the potential contributors include a massive increase in breastfeeding over the past three decades, and reduced advertising of junk food to young children By Dr. Mercola It has taken decades, but medical professionals are finally starting to give diet and exercise for the prevention and reversal of type 2 diabetes some well-deserved attention. "... the new study can give people with the disease hope that through lifestyle changes, they could end up getting off medication and likely lowering their risk of diabetes-related complications," Reuters Health reports.1 The research,2 also featured by MedPage Today,3 demonstrates that diet and physical activity are the answer diabetics have been searching for, which is exactly what I've been teaching since I started this web site, 16 years ago. It's worth noting that I do not at all agree with some of the dietary recommendations given to the participants in this study. For example, I believe including healthy saturated fats and avoiding processed liquid meal replacements would be a wise move. I also believe fo Continue reading >>

6 Great Exercises For People With Diabetes

6 Great Exercises For People With Diabetes

iStock.com; Raymond Forbes/Stocksy; iStock.com Making Exercise a Routine Do you get enough exercise? If you're like many Americans, the answer is no — and that's especially true for those of us with diabetes. Studies show as few as 39 percent of people with type 2 diabetes participate in regular physical activity, compared with 58 percent of other Americans. And that's a shame, because working out can help increase insulin action and keep blood sugars in check, says Sheri Colberg-Ochs, PhD, founder of the Diabetes Motion Academy in Santa Barbara, Califorinia, and professor emerita of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Exercise also helps you lose weight and improve balance, which is important because many people with type 2 diabetes are at risk for obesity and for falls. “I fully recommend that anyone over 40 with diabetes include balance training as part of their weekly routine, at least two to three days per week,” says Dr. Colberg-Ochs. “It can be as simple as practicing balancing on one leg at a time, or more complex — like tai chi exercises. Lower body and core resistance exercises also double as balance training.” Here are six great workouts you can easily work into your daily routine. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, and go slowly at first. Over time, you can increase the length and intensity of your routine. Continue reading >>

The Diabetes Diet

The Diabetes Diet

What's the best diet for diabetes? Whether you’re trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. But you do need to pay attention to some of your food choices—most notably the carbohydrates you eat. While following a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help with this, the most important thing you can do is to lose a little weight. Losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy, and sense of wellbeing. Even if you’ve already developed diabetes, it’s not too late to make a positive change. By eating healthier, being more physically active, and losing weight, you can reduce your symptoms or even reverse diabetes. The bottom line is that you have more control over your health than you may think. The biggest risk for diabetes: belly fat Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance. You are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if you are: A woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more A man with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more Calories obtained from fructose (found in sugary beverages such as soda, energy and sports drinks, coffee drinks, and processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, cereal, candy and granola bars) are more likely to add weight around your abdomen. Cutting back on sugary foods can mean a slimmer waistline as well as a lowe Continue reading >>

Diabetes Management: How Lifestyle, Daily Routine Affect Blood Sugar

Diabetes Management: How Lifestyle, Daily Routine Affect Blood Sugar

Diabetes management requires awareness. Know what makes your blood sugar level rise and fall — And how to control these day-to-day factors. Keeping your blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your doctor can be challenging. That's because many things make your blood sugar levels change, sometimes unexpectedly. Following are some factors that can affect your blood sugar levels. Food Healthy eating is a cornerstone of healthy living — with or without diabetes. But if you have diabetes, you need to know how foods affect your blood sugar levels. It's not only the type of food you eat but also how much you eat and the combinations of food types you eat. What to do: Learn about carbohydrate counting and portion sizes. A key to many diabetes management plans is learning how to count carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the foods that often have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. And for people taking mealtime insulin, it's crucial to know the amount of carbohydrates in your food, so you get the proper insulin dose. Learn what portion size is appropriate for each type of food. Simplify your meal planning by writing down portions for the foods you eat often. Use measuring cups or a scale to ensure proper portion size and an accurate carbohydrate count. Make every meal well-balanced. As much as possible, plan for every meal to have a good mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats. It's especially important to pay attention to the types of carbohydrates you choose. Some carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are better for you than are others. These foods are low in carbohydrates and contain fiber that helps keep your blood sugar levels more stable. Talk to your doctor, nurse or dietitian about the best food choices and Continue reading >>

10 Diet And Exercise Tricks To Control Diabetes

10 Diet And Exercise Tricks To Control Diabetes

Small goals make a big difference When it comes to type 2 diabetes, you need diet and exercise goals that encourage you to succeed—not ones that set you up to fail, says Ann Goebel-Fabbri, PhD, a psychologist and investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center, in Boston. "I think goals have to be small and well spelled out for people. Everyone has the experience of going to a health practitioner and being told something vague: 'You know, you really ought to lose weight.' What does that mean? Goals need to be broken down into small nuts and bolts," she says. First step: See where you stand now Margaret Savoca, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, suggests that you stop and look at your eating and exercise habits, and figure out what will be the easiest changes to make, rather than making huge changes that are tough to sustain. "Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint," says Elizabeth Hardy, 47, a Dallas resident who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2005. For Hardy it was easiest to make changes in her life one step at a time. Here are 10 ways to start. Bring your own lunch Avoid eating lunch at restaurants or fast-food joints. Restaurant meals "can go out of control easily," Savoca says. They tend to have large portions, lots of calories, and high amounts of fat. Research has found an association between eating out more and having a higher body weight. When you make your own lunch, you control the ingredients and your portion sizes. If making your own lunch every day is too much, you might want to try twice a week to start. Use a pedometer These handy devices—available for less than $20 at sporting goods stores—clip on to your waistband and record the number of steps you take. Use one to estimat Continue reading >>

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