Type 2 Diabetes Living with Diabetes

Background on Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that causes blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal. Your body does not use insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes is mostly caused by genetics and lifestyle choices. Lack of exercise, unhealthy meal planning choices, and obesity increases the risk for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is generally characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin. In the beginning your body tries to produce more insulin, but it cannot keep up. Unhealthy living choices causes damage to insulin receptors on your cells. When these receptors are broken, glucose cannot be let into the cell which is a vital source of energy.

Diet

  • When living with Type 2 diabetes, it is important to maintain a healthy diet.
  • To get protein, it is best to eat lean proteins low in saturated fats, like fish or turkey. Try to have 2-3 servings of seafood each week because they have heart healthy omega-3 fats. If you are a vegetarian, a wide variety of beans and nuts are necessary. Avoid deli meats and hot dogs because of high amounts of fat and sodium.
  • When eating grains, it is important to make sure that they are whole grains. Examples of whole grains are, wild rice, quinoa, whole grain breads, and cereals. These contain fibers which helps with the digestive system. Avoid processed food made with white flour.
  • Dairy wise, plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is the best. You can also use Greek yogurt to replace sour cream. Avoid all fatty dairy products like packaged chocolate milk.
  • Vegetables are great, but avoid starchy vegetables. Eat leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and carrots that are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. Try to avoid corn, potatoes, and peas in abundance.
  • Fruits can be good substitutes for your sweet tooth. Berries are a really goof option because portion sizes are larger and can make you feel more satisfied. Avoid added sugar like fruits canned in syrup. Dried fruits are very high in sugar concentration as well. Fruit juices should only be consumed in moderation.
  • Some types of fats protect your heart. Choose monounsaturated fats found in avocados, almonds, and pecans or polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts and sunflower oil which lowers cholesterol. Saturated fats are the worst . Limit consumption of butter, cheese, gravy, and fried foods. Trans fats are even worse and avoid them as much as possible.
  • Limit total carbohydrate consumption to 45-60 grams per meal (180 grams per day)
  • Your plate should be one quarter protein, one quarter starch, and half non starchy vegetables
  • Daily ratio of % of grams in your diet should be 55:20:25 (carbs:fats:protein)
  • Nutrient dense carbohydrates are recommended (wheat bread instead white bread, whole fruit not juice)

Monitoring Blood Sugar

Blood sugar monitoring is the main tool you have to check your diabetes control. This tells you your blood glucose level at any time. It is very important to keep a log of your results. when you bring your record to your health care provider, you have a good picture of your body's response to the diabetes care plan. You can find printable logs or programs online to help you keep the record.

Daily Monitoring

To monitor your blood sugar daily, you will need a blood glucose meter. These are available for purchase at a variety of places.

Before You Start

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly with warm water
  2. Insert a new test strip into your meter. Place the end of the strip with the 3 contact bars as far into the meter as it can go. Your meter will turn on automatically and display a number code
  3. Check the code to make sure it matches the number code on the vial of test strips

Getting Test Results

  1. Use your lancing device and a new lancet to get a drop of blood from your fingertip. Some people find it easier to get the blood sample from the side of the fingertip
  2. Apply the blood droplet to the test strip when the blood droplet symbol appears in your meter window. Touch and hold the drop of blood to the narrow channel at the top edge of the test strip. Make sure that the channel in the strip is completely full. This ensures that your meter has a large enough blood sample to give you an accurate reading.  If your sample doesn’t fill the channel, add more blood to that strip within 5 seconds. If you get an error reading, discard the strip and start again.
  3. Your meter will count down and display the result of your blood glucose level.

Numbers

  • Before breakfast: 70-130
  • Before lunch, supper, and snack: 70-130
  • Two hours after meals: <180
  • Bedtime: 90-150

A1C Test

The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and diabetes research. The A1C test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. In the body, red blood cells are constantly forming and dying, but typically they live for about 3 months. Thus, the A1C test reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7%. Your A1C level should be below 7%. Testing is especially important because early in the disease diabetes has no symptoms. Although no test is perfect, the A1C and blood glucose tests are the best tools available to diagnose diabetes—a serious and lifelong disease.

Exercise

Exercise has so many benefits, but the biggest one is that it makes it easier to control your blood glucose level. 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. Allow yourself some time to build up to a steady, challenging exercise routine. And be okay with going slow—it’s better for your body in the long run. There are three main kinds of exercise—aerobic, strength training, and flexibility work. You should aim to have a good balance of all three, and should aim to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week. Make a commitment to exercise; make it a priority. Your long-term health depends on it, so as tough as it may be to find time or to motivate yourself to exercise, keep at it. It will help you lose weight, and it will make your body more efficient at using its insulin and glucose. Do not exercise if your blood sugar is too low. This could cause complications. When you do exercise, keep juice or simple candies close by in case your blood sugar gets too low.

Randy Jackson Success Story

Citations

  • The Best and Worst Foods for Type 2 Diabetes By Mikel Theobald - http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/managing-type-2-diabetes/best-and-worst-foods/
  • Goals for Blood Glucose Control. (n.d.). Retrieved December 07, 2016, from http://www.joslin.org/info/Goals-for-Blood-Glucose-Control.html
  • Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/type-2-diabetes/type-2-diabetes-exercise
  • G. (n.d.). Living Well with Diabetes. Retrieved December 07, 2016.

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