How Can I Control My Type 2 Diabetes?
Find out what you can do to manage and live well with Type 2 diabetes
Scientists don’t know exactly why some people develop Type 2 diabetes but they do know some things make it more likely.
There are lots of things you can do to help reduce your risk. In fact, Diabetes UK estimates more than half of all cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed.
One of the most important things you can do is eat healthily, however, with so much conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know what to do.
Type 2 diabetes happens when someone stops producing insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that regulates levels of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. It turns the sugar in the carbohydrates we eat into energy. Without it, blood glucose levels can rise. Over time, this damages the blood vessels and the organs.
No one knows exactly why some people develop Type 2 diabetes and others don’t, but it is linked to being overweight or obese.
Scientists believe a build-up of fat inside the liver and the pancreas can stop the body making and using the right amount of insulin at the right time. They call this insulin resistance.
Risk factors are things that make it more likely that you will develop a particular health condition. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:
Losing weight can be an important part of reducing your Type 2 diabetes risk. There are lots of diets and conflicting advice out there. Health professionals believe the best approach to weight loss is a balanced, healthy diet, and physical activity.
You will also need to maintain a healthy weight. So, the important thing is to aim for sustainable change. Restrictive diets are hard to stick to, meaning many people give up. What’s more, they often put the weight back on afterwards.
The key is creating new eating habits that will stay with you for life – and knowing that you can treat yourself once in a while.
Some doctors recommend following the Mediterranean diet, which contains lots of fish, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil, and whole grains.
Others suggest looking at the Eatwell Method to get an idea of what a balanced diet looks like. It says we should be aiming for one-third starchy carbohydrates, such as potatoes, bread, rice, or pasta, and one third fruit and vegetables. The rest should be made up of proteins, such as beans, pulses, eggs and lean meats, and dairy or dairy alternatives.
It can all sound a bit overwhelming, but there are lots of simple things we can all do to make our diets healthier. It’s important to remember that small changes all add up.
You could try:
Other things you can do to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes include: