More than 37 million adults and children in the United States live with diabetes. Of that number, roughly 95% have Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to lifestyle factors, such as diet, physical activity, and weight.
Board-certified internal medicine physician Suresh Malik, MD, and the rest of the team here at Quality Primary Care in Rockville, Maryland, are experts in helping their patients manage diabetes and improve their health.
They know that lifestyle changes are the foundation of managing Type 2 diabetes, and toward that end, they explain some key ways you can better control your blood sugar and improve your overall health.
The food you eat plays a significant role in your ability to manage diabetes. It’s essential to eat a well-balanced diet that includes eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, while limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and high-fat foods. Our team can help you create a diet plan that meets your nutritional needs and fits your lifestyle.
Physical activity helps lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which makes it essential for not only managing your diabetes but also for improving your overall health. A good goal is to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day. If you’ve been inactive, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
Obesity is a major risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 90% of adults with diabetes are overweight or obese.
Even a modest weight loss of 5-10% of your body weight can improve blood glucose control, reduce the need for medication, and lower your risk for complications. A combination of eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
It’s also essential to note that losing weight can be challenging for people with diabetes. In fact, some diabetes medications can actually cause weight gain, and blood glucose fluctuations can make it challenging to stick to a diet and exercise routine.
Our team at Quality Primary Care can work closely with you to develop a weight loss plan that is safe and effective for you.
Monitoring your blood glucose levels regularly can help you stay on top of your diabetes management. Your provider at Quality Primary Care can advise you on how often to check your blood glucose levels and what your target range should be. Be sure to keep a record of your readings and bring them to your appointments.
Stress can have a significant impact on your blood glucose levels. Chronic stress can trigger your body to release hormones that spike blood sugar levels. So try to find ways to manage stress, such as going for walks or practicing deep-breathing exercises.
Getting enough sleep is essential to managing diabetes. A lack of sleep can disrupt your hormones, increase insulin resistance, and raise your blood sugar levels. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Going to regular checkups with your health care provider is essential to managing diabetes. Your provider at Quality Primary Care will monitor your blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and kidney function. Your provider will also check for any signs of complications and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
If you have diabetes, our team can help you live a healthy and fulfilling life. To learn more, call 301-762-7723 or book an appointment online with Quality Primary Care today.