How to Thrive with Type 2 Diabetes | Down to Earth Organic and Natural

How to Thrive with Type 2 Diabetes

Glucose meter and healthy salad

More than 150,000 people in Hawaii – about 1 in 9 – have diabetes, and the numbers are climbing. Every year an estimated 8,000 people in Hawaii are diagnosed with diabetes.

Managing diabetes can seem overwhelming at times. It’s important to know that each diabetes patient is unique and it’s best to refer to your health care team to develop a personalized plan for care.

Here are some key strategies to not only help you feel better, but to help you take charge of your diabetes:

  1. Hope: be patient with yourself and stay hopeful.
  2. Knowledge: learn everything you can about diabetes, understand your medication, and work with your health care team to set target blood sugar numbers. Test your blood sugar daily to help you stay on track. You might also need to screen for diabetes-related complications like heart problems, kidney disease, eye disease, and skin/foot problems. Your primary care physician should be able to check for most of those conditions through urine or blood tests. Young woman using glucometer
  3. Nutrition: pay attention to how everything you put in your body makes your blood sugar go up or down. Eat regular, well-balanced meals and include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and other nutrient-rich foods. Some of the research-backed benefits of a meatless diet for diabetes include improved blood sugar management, insulin sensitivity, and weight management. Reach for healthy choices instead of processed foods, refined sugars, and refined grains. Learn to cook at home so you can be better in control of your diet. Low carb health food for diabetics
  4. Exercise: when your body is active, it becomes more sensitive to insulin. Look for ways to incorporate physical activity into your day, like walking outside for 30 minutes with a co-worker on your lunch breaks, hiking on the weekend, or taking a group aerobics class. Young woman exercising in park
  5. Relaxation: it’s important to make time every day to reduce stress with strategies like exercise, prayer, writing, time with family and friends, music, whatever works for you. Stress hormones like adrenaline can raise blood sugar levels and stress can get in the way of healthy eating and exercise. Friends hanging out and relaxing
  6. Sleep: get plenty of quality rest each night. Too little sleep puts stress on your body, causing it to release cortisol, which increases insulin resistance and increases blood sugar levels. Man sleeping well with smile
  7. Baby steps: acknowledge what you’re doing well and take one tiny step to do a little better where you can. With care and effort, odds are you’re going to live a long life with this disease.