Diabetes is a chronic condition that can uproot your entire routine. You may need to monitor your glucose every day, take insulin, and be more mindful of what you eat. Experts also encourage you to include exercise in your routine.
At Westmed Family Healthcare in Westminster, Colorado, we provide personalized care plans for diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Experts Clifton Etienne, MD, Michael Cavanagh, MD, and Flora Brewington, MD, help you avoid complex and even deadly complications from diabetes by managing your glucose levels through a variety of lifestyle changes, medications, and consistent monitoring.
Whether you know a lot about diabetes or not, you may wonder if the condition has a cure or is reversible through changed behaviors. While type 1 diabetes is out of the question for reversibility because it’s an autoimmune condition, for type 2 diabetes the answer is a bit more complicated.
The common causes of type 2 diabetes
Your genetics may play a role in causing type 2 diabetes, but there are many other possible factors at play. Being overweight is a risk factor mostly due to the behaviors that lead to increased body fat. This includes physical inactivity and an unbalanced diet.
Other contributing factors include:
- Hormone imbalance
- Certain medical conditions (e.g. hypertension, high cholesterol)
- Family members with diabetes
Many people receive a prediabetes diagnosis before they’re officially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A prediabetes diagnosis is a wake-up call that can provide you an opportunity to make healthy changes and avoid a type 2 diabetes diagnosis altogether.
Up to 70% of people with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes, but being proactive with diet and lifestyle changes can spare you.
After your diagnosis
Getting a diagnosis of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes means you should work with your physician to evaluate and change your diet. You’re also encouraged to exercise regularly, stop smoking, and manage your stress. While not all people with type 2 diabetes need to take insulin, there may be other prescription medications you need.
By dedicating yourself to these changes, you can reverse prediabetes before it evolves into type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes itself is not fully reversible. But committing to a healthy lifestyle may make your condition mild enough that you don’t need medications or hormones to manage it.
As long as you continue to follow a diabetes-friendly diet plan from your physician or nutritionist and make other necessary behavioral changes, your type 2 diabetes won’t cause disruptive symptoms or health complications like neuropathy, kidney damage, heart disease, or vision problems. Carbohydrate-heavy foods to exclude or limit from your diet include:
- Sugary pastries
- Sugary beverages, including soda and fruit juices
- White bread
- White rice
- Sugary cereal
- Flavored yogurt
You should continue to visit your care provider at Westmed Family Healthcare so they can monitor your overall health and offer support as you manage diabetes throughout your lifetime.
Get your blood sugar reading today
Whether or not you have a family history of diabetes, it’s never a bad time to talk to your physician about your risks. The Westmed Family Healthcare team can measure your blood glucose levels and tell you if they’re high. Book your appointment online or over the phone today.