There’s no cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can be managed via a combination of medications, exercise and a healthy diet. The aim is to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range. Now that your pancreas isn’t naturally controlling your blood sugar levels, you have to do it by watching what you eat.
Diabetes is a progressive disease. If it’s not controlled, it’ll progress to the point where you’ll have to rely on oral or injected insulin. Thankfully for most adult-onset diabetics, this can be avoided. There are a number of different medications that will treat the particular dysfunction of your metabolism. Your GP, often in conjunction with a diabetes clinic, will best determine the appropriate drug therapy. Everything else is pretty much diet and exercise.
The first step is to reduce weight to a healthy level based on your age and size. One effective way is with a weight-loss programme. Or, like me, to aim for modest, continual reduction. I’ve lost around a kilo a month. I also changed my relationship to food. I stopped using it as an emotional tool and use it as a source of energy instead. I embarked on a new way to live, which included regular exercise.
The most important thing was to get rid of my belly. It’s common for diabetics to have accumulated fat around the middle. The type of fat and location has a really adverse effect on your metabolism, so both women and men should aim for a pear rather than an apple shape.
Exercise is also important in that it releases adrenaline, which, like insulin, encourages the proper metabolising of glucose. Any exercise is good, but a 2007 study by the University of Ottawa found that the best results came from a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training (weights).
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