Treat Type 2 Diabetes With Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Medication

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, affecting roughly 90 percent of the 21 million Americans who suffer from the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but the amount is either inadequate or ignored by the body. This insulin deficiency makes it difficult for glucose to enter the body’s cells, inhibiting their ability to function properly, which can lead to serious medical complications. Although diabetes is incurable, it is possible to minimize symptoms by effectively managing and controlling the disease.

Though not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and lack of exercise are the two factors most commonly linked with the condition. Excess fat can alter the way your body responds to insulin and significantly increase your risk of developing a resistance. Genetics are also thought to play a prominent role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Those with a family history of the disease should consult their doctor about taking a diabetes test.

While genetics may place some at a higher risk, no one is bound to develop diabetes. By making healthier lifestyle choices you can help to slow or even prevent the progression of the disease. Choosing foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and calories will enable your body to regulate your blood sugar levels more efficiently. If you are overweight, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight will significantly reduce your risk of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes tends to advance very slowly, so symptoms may not appear for months or even years after its initial development. Be on the lookout for certain telltale signs such as increased hunger or thirst, general fatigue, more frequent urination, weight loss, blurred vision and erectile dysfunction. The appearance of dark patches around the folds of your skin in areas like your armpits may also be an indication of insulin resistance. If you begin noticing these symptoms, you should to consult a doctor immediately.

Unfortunately, once you have developed diabetes, it is an incurable, lifelong and chronic illness. The good news is that through a combination of healthy lifestyle choices and medication, the condition is entirely manageable and treatable. Frequent blood sugar monitoring is essential to avoiding complications, so ask your doctor how often your glucose levels should be checked. Even with a rigid eating schedule, your blood sugar levels can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to understand how different food and drink affects your body. The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping a daily log of your blood sugar levels to help you and your support team to track your progress. Lowering cholesterol and maintaining a healthy weight are also key to avoiding serious medical complications. The list of diabetes medications available is long, but your doctor can advise you on the best course of treatment.