Diabetes has become increasingly common in the United States today. You probably know someone (or it may even be you) who has been diagnosed with it.
What exactly is this disease and why is it so rampant? There are two types of diabetes, and for many, lifestyle changes can make a significant difference when it comes to getting this disease under control. At Balanced Body Image, a metabolic health practice in Sugar Land, Dr. Julia Ward helps her patients understand their bodies, symptoms, and overall health — and the lifestyle changes that may help improve it.
First, let’s dive in and learn more about diabetes.
The two types of diabetes
You may have heard about “Type 1″ and “Type 2” diabetes. What’s the difference?
With Type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t make insulin, which is the hormone that helps glucose move from your bloodstream to the cells that power your body. Only 5 percent of people with diabetes have Type 1. If you are within that number, your doctor may prescribe insulin therapy.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body makes insulin but doesn’t use it properly. You become resistant to the insulin that is available. The pancreas tries to pump out more insulin to accommodate the problem, but over time, it simply can’t make enough.
Regain control with lifestyle changes
No matter which type of diabetes you have, lifestyle changes may help you keep your blood sugar closer to target levels. As a holistic medicine physician, Dr. Ward not only practices evidence based medicine, but she also seeks natural ways to help her patients return to health.
For example, she counsels her patients to make changes in what they eat and how they exercise. Swapping refined sugars (such as white bread and soda) for complex carbs (like vegetables and whole grains) and pairing them with protein will release the glucose into the bloodstream more slowly. Smaller, more frequent meals often help to keep blood sugar levels constant, as well.
Exercise helps with diabetes because it increases insulin sensitivity; that means your cells are able to absorb and use glucose more easily. You don’t have to be a weight lifter; even just 30 minutes each day of light to moderate exercise (such as walking or biking) will help.
Supplementing everyday care
Dr. Ward works with her patients from day one to develop a nutrition and exercise regimen that fits specific diabetes requirements. Would you like to learn more about diabetes? Contact Balanced Body Image in Sugar Land at (281) 710-3380 or click here to request an appointment.