Type 2 Diabetes

Protecting Against Type 2 Diabetes: The More You Know, the More Peace of Mind You Will Have — A Simple Guide For People With Diabetes

November 14th every year is World Diabetes Day. In order to raise global awareness of diabetes and pay attention to the health risks caused by diabetes, it commemorates the birthday of Sir Frederick G Banting, the Canadian scientist who discovered insulin in 1922. , designated as “World Diabetes Day”. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the advent of insulin. In recent years, with the development of drugs, people with diabetes have become more easily able to control their lives and health. Whether we want to prevent diabetes early or have relatives or friends who have already suffered from diabetes, we can A basic understanding of diabetes should be established.

The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the human body is unable to regulate blood sugar on its own, resulting in excessive blood sugar concentration and various complications. The main cause of type 1 diabetes is the inability of the pancreas itself to secrete insulin, the hormone responsible for coordinating glucose and sugar. The cause of type 2 diabetes is an impairment in the ability to produce insulin, or the body’s inability to effectively use insulin (insulin resistance).

Both types of diabetes will cause the glucose absorbed by the body to be unable to be effectively converted into an energy source, and then accumulate in the blood to form high blood sugar. This is why high blood sugar is one of the main characteristics of diabetes.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are often subtle and may not appear until many years after the disease has developed. Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes are as follows:

  1. Feeling thirsty and hungry often
  2. Frequent urination
  3. Lack of energy or getting tired easily
  4. Wounds that are difficult to heal (such as minor cuts or scrapes that take longer to heal)
  5. Easy to get sick
  6. Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
  7. Dull skin under armpits or neck
  8. unexplained weight loss
  9. Blurred vision
A woman taking care of her health at home by checking her blood glucose level.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes

Factors affecting blood sugar stability are as follows:

  1. Obesity and overweight
  2. abdominal obesity
  3. low level of physical activity
  4. Family history
  5. high cholesterol
  6. Age (the risk of type 2 diabetes increases with age, especially after age 45).
  7. Have been diagnosed with prediabetes
  8. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  9. History of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)

How type 2 diabetes is diagnosed

In order to make a correct diagnosis, doctors usually use multiple tests to make a diagnosis. The actual test items vary depending on the purpose of the test and the measured value, and usually include the following items¹:

Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) test – measures average blood sugar levels over the past few months without fasting before testing.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – Less common than other tests, the purpose of the test is to compare the difference in blood glucose concentration between two times, first before taking a glucose solution (fasting for at least 8 hours before drinking) and second time two hours after taking it , to understand how the body responds to glucose. This test is often used to diagnose gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.

Depending on the test results, doctors may recommend further testing to determine type 1 or type 2 diabetes, so as to help people with diabetes effectively manage diabetes as soon as possible. In addition, doctors will also recommend patients with diabetes to return for regular check-ups for monitoring to effectively control the condition.

Disease management after diagnosis

We used questionnaires to gain an in-depth understanding of how people with diabetes live with type 2 diabetes.

According to the survey results, people with diabetes almost unanimously agree that a balanced diet, regular exercise and weight control are important keys to disease management, but only about half of them think they have good control. Although most people with diabetes believe that establishing good living habits is the most important, at the same time But it is also the most difficult.

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can be overwhelming at first, so this article provides some lifestyle and disease management tips that people with diabetes can implement to manage themselves more comprehensively and effectively.

Eat right

People with diabetes should choose unprocessed “original” foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and lean meats, etc., and avoid foods containing many additives such as sugar, trans fats, artificial colors or preservatives. Heavy or ultra-processed foods.

Foods that contain ingredients such as indigestible carbohydrates (such as whole grains, barley, brown rice), healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals are extremely important in any diet. Necessary vitamins, minerals and various nutrients can be obtained through a balanced diet and nutritional supplements.

Seek advice from your physician or nutritionist and ask them to help you develop a low-GI diet plan that is unique to you and manage blood sugar stability.

In addition to food choices, healthy eating habits can also help manage diabetes. For example, timing and rationing each meal can help improve control and improve blood sugar stability.

Young woman taking blood sugar test at home

Regular exercise

Any exercise, including aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, or biking, can help manage blood sugar stability. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week². Strength training and yoga can also be used to increase strength and balance, improve health and reduce weight.

Additionally, yoga helps reduce cortisol (the body’s primary stress hormone and a mechanism that controls mood, motivation, and fear). Reducing cortisol levels helps reduce stress in the body³.

Medication management

If blood sugar cannot be kept stable through diet and exercise, your doctor may prescribe blood sugar-lowering drugs. These prescription drugs include drugs like metformin, which reduce the amount of glucose produced and improve the body’s ability to produce insulin. The dosage of the medicine may be adjusted over time and the course of the disease. Please be sure to check back regularly to see if the medicine meets your current needs.

Importance of nutritional supplements in managing type 2 diabetes

Supplementary foods containing micronutrients such as zinc and chromium may be helpful for people with diabetes. Zinc and chromium are important elements in promoting carbohydrate metabolism, and nutritional supplements have also been shown to help manage type 2 diabetes⁴⁵. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) enhance cardioprotection and reduce many risk factors that may lead to heart disease⁶. In addition to diabetics taking metformin drugs, it is also recommended that people with low vitamin concentrations take vitamin B12⁷.

If diabetic patients are worried about not getting enough nutrients from food, they may consider supplementing with diabetes-specific nutritional supplements. It is recommended to refer to the following principles when purchasing:

  1. Choose diabetes nutritional products from major international manufacturers with national certification, the quality is more guaranteed
  2. Choose diabetes supplements that have medical evidence and meet the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association
  3. Diabetic health food with blood sugar management effect
  4. Contains low-glycemic ingredients such as chromium, probiotics, dietary fiber, and various nutrients to help manage blood sugar

Using diabetes supplements instead of breakfast drinks is not only convenient, but also provides the nutrients needed by diabetics to help manage blood sugar. If you are considering choosing supplements, please seek professional advice to find out which option is most helpful to you.

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