Senior Home Care Blog - Greater Milwaukee

Battling Diabetes with Diet and Exercise

By Tim Bireley

Battling Diabetes with Diet and Exercise

Any diabetic can tell you what a full-time job it is to manage diabetes and all that it requires to stay healthy. Making sure your diet is under control, blood sugar levels are checked often and taking medications as needed is just a part of the process. Most people assume this is all they can do, but did you know there is a way to turn the disease around and possibly even cure it? This is especially true for Type 2 diabetes and there is a great reason to hope!

Diabetes can be life-threatening if not managed properly. With today’s technology and medical advancements, it is easy to forget what a serious condition this can be, but it is possible to live a completely healthy and normal life!

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Whether you are a younger adult or a caretaker for a senior loved one, the most important thing to do to turn Type 2 diabetes around is to lose weight. Extra boy fat seriously affects the way your body produces insulin. Blood sugar can be reduced by eating healthier, getting exercise and complying with medications.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, then chances are even higher that you can completely reverse it! While this depends on several variables, there is no reason that you cannot regain your health.

Numerous studies have proven that even mild exercise can significantly lower your blood sugar levels. When patients were exercising along with eating a balanced low-calorie diet, many were able to come off their diabetes medicines altogether. Others were able to get their sugar levels down to pre-diabetic levels.

While this isn’t a fix-all for all diabetics, it is certainly the first thing you should try. Your doctor can guide you in how much weight should be lost, but generally, 10% of body weight is a good goal to shoot for. Keep in mind that genetics also play a role in diabetes, so there may be thin patients who are just pre-disposed to being diabetic. It will be less likely that blood sugar can be lowered to pre-diabetic glucose levels, but it is ALWAYS a healthy option to live a lifestyle of exercise and a balanced diet.

Can Diabetes Be Reversed with Food?

Because extra body fat is a huge component of diabetes, it stands to reason that losing weight is always the first thing to do. This can be done easier than you think by simply lowering your calorie intake and eating a low-fat diet. Sweets should be avoided, and your diet should include lots of foods rich in fiber and complex carbs. Healthy fats can be consumed, along with many vegetables and some fruits. Your doctor can help you outline a plan that is healthy or recommend a diabetes counselor to guide you. Certain foods metabolize slower which helps your body process sugars. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are serious about combatting diabetes, you should avoid alcohol and sweets since they are both high in sugar.

Starting A Diabetic Exercise Routine

If regular exercise is new for you, go slow and build your tolerance and intensity over a period of weeks, not days. A great goal to shoot for is 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times per week. On the other days, you can do strength training. There are many helpful videos you can follow or you can join a gym and get a personal trainer to help you. The main thing to remember is that losing weight and getting regular exercise need not cost a lot. Anyone can take a brisk walk or ride a stationary bike. You’ll be surprised at the results once you put your mind to it!

If you are a caretaker for a senior who has diabetes, you can still help them lower blood sugar levels and strive to live healthier lifestyles. For more information on diabetes and how to manage it well for yourself or the senior in your life, please contact us today!

Home Helpers of Greater Milwaukee is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, 24-hour live-in care, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in MequonMilwaukeeFox PointBaysideRiver HillsWhitefish BayCedarburgGermantownGraftonMenomonee FallsBrown DeerPort WashingtonWauwatosaWest BendHartfordSussexWest AllisButlerColgateFredoniaGreendaleHales CornersSaukvilleSlingerRichfieldJacksonThiensville, and Hubertus, Wisconsin.

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