Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, it should be apparent that regular exercise and healthy eating habits are the key to a long-lasting, healthy lifestyle. But what if you have a medical condition, like Type 2 Diabetes? Could exercise and healthy eating actually reverse it?
Before I answer that question, let me briefly describe what Type 2 Diabetes is. Basically, it’s a condition where your body cannot use insulin properly, and develops a resistance to it. While this is the most common cause, a person can also develop Type 2 Diabetes if his or her body simply doesn’t produce enough insulin. Two of the biggest factors that can lead to Type 2 Diabetes are genetics and lifestyle. Someone could be genetically predisposed to have Type 2 Diabetes, but if they are active, watch what they eat, and are in overall good shape, the risk of them actually developing it is low. However, if that same person is sedentary, has poor nutrition habits, and is overweight or obese, he or she faces a very high risk of coming down with the disease. Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and recurring infections or sores that just won’t heal. Most people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes manage it with medication.
If you’re diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, does it mean you’re doomed to live with it for the rest of your life? Can it be reversed, or, at the very least, can it be managed with healthy lifestyle changes instead of medication? That all depends. The earlier you make lifestyle changes after your diagnosis, the better chance you have of reversing Type 2 Diabetes. But, please, keep in mind that this disease is also affected by genetics, so don’t be discouraged if you find you still need medication to help manage it, even after adopting regular exercise and healthier eating habits.
If you do decide you’d like to make lifestyle changes, make changes that count: consider dropping a few pounds (around 5-10% of your current body weight, if you are overweight or obese). Aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise a day. Adopt healthier eating habits. All of these can help slow or stop the progress of Type 2 Diabetes and possibly get you off your medication. As with all lifestyle changes, consult with your doctor beforehand.
Do you have Type 2 Diabetes? What helps you manage it more effectively?