When you have Type 2 diabetes, you may think insulin or oral medications automatically become part of your life. But you may not have to depend on medications to effectively manage your condition.
Type 2 diabetes affects the way your body manages sugar to make the energy you need to stay active. You develop the condition when your body can’t produce enough insulin to properly metabolize sugar from your diet, or when it doesn’t use the insulin you have properly.
While Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition, there are several things you can do to reduce your health risks and prevent additional medical complications that are common with the disease.
At First Med Marin, Dr. Barry Landfield offers comprehensive Type 2 diabetes management plans and resources to enhance your body’s functionality and your overall quality of life.
We’d like to share the top 5 things you can do to manage Type 2 diabetes naturally.
1. Lose weight
Losing just 5-7% of your body weight can go a long way to decreasing your risk for Type 2 diabetes complications. When you already have Type 2 diabetes, you should aim to lose 10-15 pounds to keep your blood sugar levels more stable.
It’s especially important to focus on belly fat that can increase your resistance to insulin. As you get older, it may become more difficult to drop belly fat because your body starts storing fat differently.
Dr. Landfield works with you to create a healthy diet and eating plan to help you shed extra pounds in a safe and reasonable time frame.
2. Eat mindfully
Establishing a healthy diet ensures your body is getting the nutrition it needs without adding extra pounds to your body.
You should focus on eating fresh, whole foods and avoiding processed and boxed products that contain sugar, refined starches, and other ingredients that can increase your blood sugar levels.
You can become more mindful about the foods you eat by preparing meals at home and limiting how often you eat at restaurants, especially fast food places. Plan ahead with your meals and keep healthy snacks on hand, like nuts and fruits, when you’re on the go.
3. Stay physically active
If you spend a lot of time sitting for your job, get into the habit of moving around as often as possible. A sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, and if you already have the condition, it’s even more important that you stay active.
Rather than watching television or spending hours on your phone, take walks around the neighborhood. You can also ask us for exercise recommendations.
4. Get high-quality sleep
Sleep is vital for your health in general. If you’re at risk for or already have Type 2 diabetes, it’s even more important that you sleep well every night.
Start by establishing a regular bedtime that ensures you get 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. You should also take at least an hour before you go to bed to wind down, avoiding electronics and other stimuli to help you relax.
If you have sleep apnea, a disorder that causes you to stop breathing briefly and snore loudly, you should seek treatment. Many people with Type 2 diabetes also have sleep apnea, which can increase your risk for heart disease and other life-threatening disorders.
5. Practice stress reduction techniques
Too much stress can increase your blood sugar levels, raise your blood pressure, and cause other underlying health conditions to develop. If you have Type 2 diabetes, it’s important that you keep stress at a minimum as much as possible.
There are a variety of stress reduction techniques you can use to keep your stress under control, such as:
- Deep breathing exercises
It can even help to take a walk when you’re feeling overwhelmed by life in general or specific situations. Even simple breaks in your day can go a long way to keeping stress levels low.
For more information about controlling Type 2 diabetes, call our office in Greenbrae, California, or book a consultation online today.