Diabetes Management

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment: Everything You Need to Know

August 2021

When it comes to type 2 diabetes treatment and management, there are various ways in which you can manage the condition – medications, therapies and lifestyle changes. If you follow your line of treatment and comply with it, you can keep your blood sugar levels in control. If you are living with diabetes, you probably know how important it is to stay on track with your treatment plan to avoid complications and lower the dependence on medication.

Can type 2 diabetes be cured?

With all the advances in medical sciences and treatment, there is still no cure for type 2 diabetes. But there is hope. Type 2 diabetes can be reversed and blood sugar levels controlled if diagnosed early and acted upon correctly. Diabetes reversal is also termed as diabetes remission.

If you can keep your HbA1c levels (under 6.4 %) without medication for more than a year, you are believed to be in complete remission; if you can do so for more than 5 years, you are in prolonged remission. Yes, this is achievable with proper diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications.

But there are some limitations. If the diabetes diagnosis is done during the initial five years, planning for a reversal is possible. But as the condition progresses, it might be challenging to reverse the condition. However, proper management and the right treatment can ensure that one is less dependent on medications and the related complications are far and few.

Reverse diabetes: Is it possible for everyone?

As mentioned earlier, diabetes reversal is possible for people whose diagnosis happens in the initial five years. Beyond that, it becomes difficult to reverse the condition. Also, if any of the major organs get affected, it becomes difficult to reverse the condition. But one can have a complication-free life with fewer doses of medication if managed the right way.

To know if you can reverse your diabetes, try our Diabefly Diabetes Reversal Calculator. The calculator will assess your chance of reversing diabetes by taking into consideration your age, gender, BMI, duration of diabetes, current medication, family history of diabetes and other health conditions. The higher the score is, the better your chances of reversal.

Diabetes treatment: What steps we need to take

While diabetes is becoming a widespread ailment, yet every person living with it needs a different approach. Also, one might have to try different permutations and combinations of treatments and therapy to control diabetes. Here are a few of the most common treatment options to keep the blood sugars in check:

Weight loss:

Obesity or being overweight is one of the risk factors and triggers for type 2 diabetes, especially for people who have abdominal obesity. Studies have noted that abdominal fat leads to secretion of certain hormones and toxins, making the cells of the body resistant to insulin. Over time, it can also impair the functions of the pancreas’ beta cells, which secrete insulin.

A reduction of around 5 to 7 percent of body weight is advised for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. For example, if you weigh 80 kilos, reducing 6 to 9 kilos of weight can drastically improve insulin sensitivity and bring down your blood sugar levels. But, remember, weight loss alone might not be of help; you should also aim to achieve a healthy BMI or body mass index (ideal BMI for Indians is 23).

But losing some kilos from your frame isn’t the end of the story. You have to constantly strive hard to prevent weight gain and follow a proper exercise regime. Weight gain after losing some kilos can make your blood sugars soar again.

Weight loss affects your HbA1c levels, too (blood sugar readings of the past three months). This test measures the amount of sugar that is bound to the heamoglobin of the red blood cells. In diabetes treatment and management, it is critical to keep the HbA1c in control. Studies have shown that a loss of 5–10% of body weight can improve fitness, reduce HbA1c levels, improve cardio- vascular disease (CVD) risk factors, and decrease the use of diabetes, hypertension, and lipid-lowering medications. Here are some other ways to lower your HbA1c levels.

Suppose you are wondering how to start your weight loss journey, in that case, we suggest you start slow with some cardio activities like – brisk walking, jogging, aerobics, Zumba, swimming, and gradually add weight training to your exercise plan. A proper cardio+strength training plan, when well executed, can help lower blood sugar levels, lose weight, improve muscle strength and flexibility, boost insulin sensitivity and more.

We understand that planning a proper exercise schedule to lose weight and control diabetes might be a bit tiresome for anyone, especially if you have been living a sedentary life for a long time. At Fitterfly, we have designed a digital therapeutics program – Diabefly Reverse, which focuses on the management of diabetes where a nutritionist, a certified physiotherapist and a clinical psychologist, help to achieve individual health goals crafting out a tailor-made diet and exercise plan the suits your body type and fitness levels. Our team of psychologists will help you to stay motivated enough to look beyond the diagnosis and stay positive for better results.

Diet management:

Along with weight loss, diet plays an essential role in diabetes treatment and management. It is crucial to understand that the foods that you eat affect your blood sugar levels significantly. While it is essential to cut down on carbohydrate intake, it is also necessary to focus on other aspects of your diet – proteins, fats, fibre and micronutrients such as zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron and vitamins. A lack of micronutrients can also affect blood sugar readings and other major functions of the body.

Your carbohydrate load should not exceed 45 to 50 gms in your main meals. Here is how an ideal meal plate should look –

  • Half plate with vegetables cooked, steamed or tossed – boiled veggies or curries are ideal, ensure you have a bowl of salad included
  • A quarter of the plate with proteins – meat, eggs, legumes, pulses, tofu, cottage cheese or paneer
  • Other quarter with complex carbohydrates like – brown rice, chapati, millets, daliya, etc. Choose foods that have a good amount a fibre in them too.

At Diabefly Reverse, a team of nutritionists can help you plan your meals in the most scientific way for better outcomes and balanced nutrition.

Physical activity: 

One aspect of diabetes treatment and management is lifestyle modification. Make it a habit to be more active in your day-to-day life. For example, ditch the car whenever possible and walk the extra mile. Being active helps lower blood sugar levels, use insulin better and helps the muscles to utilise glucose, providing a boost in energy levels. So, get active. All these changes go a long way in keeping you off the danger line with diabetes.

Oral medication:

 Sometimes, it is impossible to bring down the sugar levels with just lifestyle modifications, especially if your diabetes has progressed a bit too far. In such cases, your doctor might provide you with oral medications to control your blood sugar level. Different kinds of pills are present in the market. Some restrict the breakdown of glucose, some initiate the pancreas to secrete insulin and some drugs might help insulin work better. Oral medications are prescribed according to one’s need and health status. This is a reason why you should never take over-the-counter drugs for diabetes or stop taking pills on your own. Always keep your doctor in the loop about your medications and any changes you feel in your condition.

Insulin therapy:

 If your diabetes is not controlled with diet and lifestyle changes or oral medications, your doctor might prescribe insulin therapy. Different types of insulin vary on how quickly they begin to work and how long they affect. Therefore, your doctor is the best person to decide what kind of insulin is best suited for you. In the past, it was thought that people who took insulin had to be dependent on the pricks for life. But it has been observed that with proper guidance and lifestyle management, one can go off insulin, too, depending on how the condition has been controlled or progressed.

Regular check-ups:

 It is necessary to follow up with doctor’s appointments and checkups as part of your treatment plan. Regular HbA1c reports along with regular foot and eye check ups might be conducted to ensure that the elevated sugars have not damaged the nerve extremities.

Mental well-being and stress management:

This is the most ignored part of diabetes treatment and management. Many people fail to acknowledge the fact that stress and anxiety can affect blood sugar levels. In fact, prolonged stress can lead to depression which can worsen blood sugar readings and vice versa. Addressing mental health issues can have a calming effect on your mind and keep blood sugars in control. However, sometimes the stress of a diagnosis disturbs one mentally and makes it challenging to stick to the treatment plans. So, make sure to talk to a therapist if you need help.

Management of diabetes needs some support and care. At Diabefly Reverse our coaches will provide you with all the necessary support. The coaches work in tandem to ensure the best care and outcomes along with your doctor’s medical treatment. Your mental and psychological well-being is of equal importance in diabetes management, as is your physical health. A holistic approach is offered at Diabefly Reverse to deal with diabetes and its complications.

To know more about how Diabefly Reverse and how it can help you smartly take control of your diabetes, visit our website https://www.fitterfly.com/diabefly-reverse or speak to one of our counselors on +91 2248971077 (Ext 1).

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