ways to manage type 2 diabetes ten tips on how to control diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that, with the help of treatment and some recommendations for healthy habits, should not prevent patients from living a long, healthy and happy life; We have talked a lot about it at EFEsalud, and we will continue to do so.
Ways to Manage type 2 Diabetes The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that some 350 million people worldwide have diabetes and estimates that the number could double in the next two decades.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body is unable to use the insulin it produces effectively. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that ensures that the sugar present in the bloodstream enters the cells and these can obtain energy. But if sugar can’t get into cells for energy, it builds up in the blood to harmful levels.
There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 is characterized by poor insulin production and requires daily administration of this hormone. In contrast, type 2 diabetes occurs because the body uses insulin ineffectively.
Type 2 accounts for approximately 90% of diabetes cases worldwide, largely due to excessive body weight and physical inactivity. “Until recently, this type of diabetes was only seen in adults, but now it is also manifesting in children,” underlines the WHO.
Given the large number of cases of diabetes, several experts offer us their recommendations to keep the disease under control:
Although type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, there are effective measures to avoid type 2.
“Simple lifestyle-related measures have been shown to be effective in preventing type 2 diabetes or delaying its onset,” says the WHO. Some of the measures indicated by this entity are having a healthy weight, staying physically active or avoiding tobacco consumption.
Likewise, Rebeca Reyes, coordinator of the Diabetes Mellitus Working Group of the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition, indicates that a healthy diet “can help prevent the appearance of this type of diabetes and a healthy lifestyle is an important part of the effective control of all forms of diabetes and to help avoid complications ”.
2. Mediterranean diet
Dr. Reyes explains that the same diet guidelines are recommended for diabetics as for the general population, that is, the Mediterranean diet. “The PREDIMED study has shown that the Mediterranean diet prevents cardiovascular disease, so it should always be the diet of choice,” she emphasizes.
3. Avoid “yo-yo” diets
Scientists from the Center for Biomedical Research in Network-Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN) have verified that patients who regain weight after following a weight loss diet are more susceptible to insulin resistance and, in the long run, develop diabetes
4. Beware of “light” products
Giuseppe Russolillo, president of the Spanish Foundation of Dietitians-Nutritionists (FEDN), assures that “a product that comes with the ‘light’ label may contain sugar levels not suitable for a diabetic since, despite having lowered the proportion of sugar, it may still be too high. Furthermore, it may be called ‘light’ because the percentage of an ingredient other than sugar has decreased ”.
5. Get physical exercise
“The muscle contraction caused by exercise consumes glucose from the blood and prevents the complications of diabetes. Its benefits are also produced at other levels: it improves blood pressure, cholesterol and cardiovascular function ”, express the specialists of the Ministry of Health of the Community of Madrid (Spain).
6. Store insulin properly
The specialists at the Sant Joan de Déu Center for the Innovation of Childhood Diabetes in Barcelona (northeast Spain) recommend storing insulin in the fridge at a temperature between 4 degrees Celsius and 8 degrees Celsius while it is not being used, in this way , will remain in good condition until the expiration date of the container.
However, they warn that administering insulin fresh from the fridge can be painful.
“To avoid this sensation, the insulin that is being used can be kept at room temperature. The ideal is between 15 and 29 degrees centigrade ”, they affirm.
However, they emphasize that the insulin that is in use must be discarded after four weeks at room temperature, as recommended by most manufacturers. In addition, it should not be stored in the freezer, since at temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius it loses its action. Nor should it be exposed to light or heat.
7. Promote the independence of children with diabetes
If your child has diabetes, “teach him to assess his results for himself and involve him, depending on his age and maturity, in the treatment of his disease and in the controls”, advise the psychologist Olga Sanz Font and the Foundation for Diabetes .
In the same way, they suggest giving the child small responsibilities. “Consider him capable of learning and managing the treatment of the disease in the same way that a child without diabetes can learn tasks of his daily life”, they specify.
8. Take advantage of new technologies
Technological advances are making a very positive contribution to the treatment of diabetes. In this sense, Eduard Montanya, scientific director of the Center for Network Biomedical Research on Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases (CIBERDEM) affirms that the bloodsugar contribution of new technologies is very important and occurs at very different levels of healthcare activity.
“For example, the application of new technologies with interactive telematic systems between the patient and the healthcare team facilitates the communication of the patient with the healthcare professionals and allows a much better continuity of care”, he adds.
9. Take care of your feet
They need to be checked every day for any small scratches, wounds, or redness. “If you detect injuries to the feet, do not handle them and consult the healthcare personnel who treat you. Never try to remove calluses yourself ”, warn the specialists of the Ministry of Health of the Community of Madrid.
“You have to keep your feet clean, washing them daily with soap and warm water. Drying must be thorough and we must make an effort to eliminate moisture from the interdigital area ”, indicate the experts from the Diabetic Foot Unit of the University of Navarra Clinic.
“For nail care, you should use blunt-tipped scissors and a cardboard file. All this in good light and with the help of a magnifying glass and a mirror if necessary. Never use sharp-pointed scissors, nail clippers, or other sharp objects. Neither metal files, callicides or pumice stone ”, they specify.
“Nails should be cut straight, avoiding cutting the sides. In any case, whenever these cares cannot be carried out with the precision they require, a podiatrist should be consulted ”, they say.
10. Get eye exams
“If you have diabetes, you run the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, a condition that, if left untreated, can lead to vision loss,” say specialists from the UK’s National Health Service. To prevent this condition, they advise undergoing ophthalmological examinations once a year.
These recommendations, together with a healthy lifestyle, will contribute to better control of the disease. In fact, health authorities point out that medication, proper nutrition and physical exercise can help prevent and treat the complications that diabetes brings.