- Regular physical activity is important to reduce diabetes risk
- Lifestyle management can reverse type 2 diabetes
- Quit smoking and alcohol to control diabetes
Most of the times, diabetes and type 2 diabetes is considered to be a problem of high blood sugar levels and insulin. However, there are other major risk factors that either increase risk of diabetes or worsen it. Obesity, for instance, increases insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Researchers at the University of Geneva have highlighted another mechanism - liver-which appears to have the ability to produce sufficient amount of glucose outside of any hormonal signal. In people with fatty liver, overproduction of glucose could lead to type 2 diabetes, irrespective of hormonal changes.
Results of the study are published in Journal of Biological Chemistry. They essentially highlight a new re-reading origin of diabetes in overweight patients.
Type 2 diabetes: How diabetes is more than just insulin
Blood sugar levels are primarily regulated by insulin and glucagon. While insulin lowers blood glucose levels, glucagon increases it. Liver produces and redistributes glucose under the influence of insulin and glucagon. People who are overweight and have fatty liver are at risk of developing insulin resistance - a precursor of type 2 diabetes - and accumulation of fat in liver.
Findings of the study suggest that apart from insulin resistance, fatty liver is also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes management
As mentioned above, people with type 2 diabetes need to maintain a healthy weight in order to regulate blood sugar levels and control diabetes. Diet and exercise (including strength training) play a major role in reversing and preventing type 2 diabetes.
1. Weight loss
Losing even 5 to 10 per cent of body weight can make a difference in blood sugar levels. MayoClinic mentions that type 2 diabetics need to maintain 7% of the lost weight to keep diabetes under control. For instance, someone who weighs 82 kgs need to lose around 6 kgs to have an impact on their blood sugar levels.
2. Healthy diet
There are numerous articles doing the round on internet regarding type 2 diabetes diet. But the one that you really need to follow is that of portion control and restricting yourself to home-cooked food for blood sugar control. If you are overweight, it is obvious to cut down on your calorie intake, but not massively. Make it a slow and gradual process and do not starve yourself. Cut down intake of refined carbs (in junk food, processed and packaged food, pasta, sugary foods and deep-fried food) as they rapidly increase blood sugar levels. Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, pulses and fibre-rich foods.
3. Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels
Doing this can enable you to be on point in terms of your blood sugar and diabetes control. It can help you assess your progress and make reversing type 2 diabetes easier.
4. Quit smoking and alcohol
The two can worse type 2 diabetes complications and hamper your overall health in more ways than one.
5. Be physically active and exercise regularly
Regular exercise can ensure normal blood sugar levels. Also include strength training in your routine as it helps in increasing your body's ability to store glucose and enabling your body to regulate blood sugar levels.
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