Thursday, May 26, 2016

Treating diabetes early can result in a cure

Treating diabetes early can result in a cure

One of the fastest growing medical disorders globally today is type 2 diabetes. In almost every country on the planet, the rates of type 2 diabetes have been increasing rapidly over the past 3 decades. Two of the primary reasons for the increased incidence of type 2 diabetes include our lifestyle- which has become sedentary and eating too much processed foods.  Once diabetes has been diagnosed and allowed to progress, it is associated with devastating complications. Researchers have developed many new drugs in the past two decades but these drugs are costly and also have adverse effects. It is estimated that in the next few decades nearly 33%-50% of people globally will have diabetes.

There is a growing belief in the medical community that type 2 diabetes can be cured if it is diagnosed and treated aggressively early in the disease.
This cure is not only achieved by the use of any particular drugs but a drastic change in lifestyle.  For healthcare providers this means educating patients on the importance of their diet and role of exercise. In addition all patients who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes must be taught how to monitor their blood glucose and maintain it within a therapeutic range. The diabetic medications can lower blood sugars but for maximal benefit, one has to exercise and change the diet. There are now many reports that such an approach if taken early on, can lead to cure of type 2 diabetes. More importantly, the more aggressive one becomes with changes in lifestyle, the less likely is it that complications of diabetes will develop.

Education: the Internet has ample information on diabetes and the healthcare provider should recommend bona fide medical sites so that the patient can learn about his/her disease. Further, there are numerous online diabetic support groups where one can ask questions to others about their disease. The more educated the patient becomes about diabetes, the more likely it is that he or she will make the effort to control the blood sugars.

Once a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is made, the patient must change his or her lifestyle and make healthy eating and exercise a part of daily routine. When it comes to diet, reading labels is necessary. This means avoiding processed and refined foods. One should start to eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and seafood (Eg fish). The next and most important aspect of treatment is exercise. There is continuing evidence that exercise can drastically lower blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. More important, weight loss leads to less insulin resistance and markedly better control of blood sugars. Many reports exist of obese diabetic people who have undergone weight loss surgery and have the disorder cured. The type of exercise one does is not relevant-one must becoming physically active. For starters, walking is as good as any exercise. However, one must walk at least 1 hour a day and this can lead to loss of 300 calories, which amounts to half a pound of weight loss each week. Within a month, one can easily lose 2-3 pounds.

When type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the healthcare provider should refer the patient with a diabetic nurse or educator. This healthcare professional can offer advice on diet and proper use of medications. Moreover, diabetic nurses also encourage aggressive weight loss and close monitoring of blood sugar levels.

The earlier type 2 diabetes is treated, the better the prognosis. Even with a loss of a few pounds in weight, this can result in significantly better control of blood sugar. Finally, once a diagnosis of diabetes is made, one must stop smoking. Nicotine can lead to more aggressive disease of blood vessels and lead to heart disease and stroke. While there are reports that one glass of wine is beneficial for diabetics, most people are not able to control the amount of alcohol they drink.  This can lead to problems with the liver, more calories and addiction. Best advice, walk instead.