Almost 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. Some choose to use insulin therapy and/or pharmaceutical medications to manage their blood sugar levels. Others prefer to pursue holistic diabetes treatment options.
The good news is, both of these strategies can be quite effective. Research shows that type 2 diabetes can sometimes be reversed through lifestyle and diet changes, alone. Before resigning themselves to a lifetime of dependence on pharmaceutical drugs, diabetic patients can read on to find out about the most effective lifestyle changes for managing or even reversing diabetes.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Diet plays a huge role in diabetes management. The body needs carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to function, but there are all kinds of different sources of these and other vital nutrients. Try to choose whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and lean proteins instead of processed foods filled with refined carbohydrates and hidden sugars.
Get More Exercise
Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can decrease insulin resistance and reduce blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Regular physical activity also helps to regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure and can help people lose weight. Those who want to use exercise as a means of losing weight should aim for 60 minutes per day of exercise if possible.
Lose Some Weight
Most people who are struggling with type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese. When this is the case, losing just 5-10% of that weight can help them control blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol levels, and lower their blood pressure. In some cases, losing weight can help to reduce type 2 diabetes, and even if that’s not the case, it will always reduce a patient’s risk of developing dangerous complications.
Get Quality Sleep
A healthy sleep cycle can make it easier for the body to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Diabetic patients who are currently getting less than six hours of sleep per night should make an effort to improve their sleep hygiene.
Try to avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine or eating spicy foods before bed and create an environment that is more conducive to sleep by lowering the temperature in the bedroom and keeping it as quiet and dark as possible. Establishing a healthy routine by going to sleep and getting up at the same time each day can also help.
Test Blood Sugar Regularly
Regular blood sugar testing can help diabetic patients see patterns that would otherwise go unnoticed. They may notice that certain activities lower their blood sugar, while others cause it to tick up, and the same goes for food. Learning about these patterns can help patients plan their activities and meals to help keep their blood sugar and insulin levels balanced.
Know When to Contact an Expert
Patients who have already been diagnosed with diabetes or who believe they may be at risk should pay attention to their health. Contact a doctor if it becomes obvious that the lifestyle changes described above are not making enough of a difference. Most diabetic patients can benefit just as much from reaching out to holistic practitioners as they can from seeking conventional care, so don’t be afraid to investigate all-natural options, as well.