Type 2 diabetes is a chronic, incurable disease. Once you have it, you’ll always be at risk of having high blood sugar, which can cause widespread damage throughout your body and affect everything from nerve endings to your heart. The good news is that, although it cannot be cured, type 2 diabetes can be reversed.
Possible doesn’t mean easy, though. Working with experts trained in helping you live the healthiest, most optimal lifestyle is one of the best ways to progress toward the lofty goal of reversing type 2 diabetes. The practitioners at Family Acupuncture and Wellness in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are here to help you!
Type 2 diabetes defined
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body can’t properly use glucose (sugar) as fuel. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas. It helps cells accept glucose, which they, in turn, use as fuel.
In type 2 diabetes, the cells don’t let the sugar in, and send signals that they need more. This causes your pancreas to make more insulin and eventually become overworked, unable to make enough to meet the needs of your body. In the meantime, glucose builds up in your bloodstream.
Excess glucose damages your blood vessels, and can lead to cardiovascular disease. Damaged blood vessels also don’t carry as much blood to your extremities, which means that any wounds you have on your legs or feet may not heal properly.
Type 2 diabetes can also affect your eyesight, cause nerve damage, damage your hearing, make you more likely to develop skin problems, and raise your risk of sleep apnea significantly, among other risks.
Measuring the glucose in your blood
At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, Adam Learner, LAc, begins treating patients with a thorough exam, medical history, and blood work. One of the things he measures is your blood sugar, and another is your A1C.
These two tests are related, but not the same thing. A measurement of your blood glucose shows how much sugar is in your blood at a given time — the time of the test. Your A1C is an average of your blood sugar levels over the past three months.
A healthy blood glucose reading depends on when you last ate and factors such as your age, medications, and others can determine what your healthy range should be. For a person without diabetes, a normal A1C is below 5.7%. A reading between 5.7 and 6.4% is considered pre-diabetes and your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is higher. If you have diabetes, your A1C is likely 6.5% or higher.
Addressing an important risk factor
Roughly 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, and 90% of them are either obese or overweight. Carrying a few extra pounds doesn’t guarantee you’ll develop type 2 diabetes, but it certainly increases your risk.
If you already have type 2 diabetes and you lose some weight, likely your A1C will be lower. Unfortunately, many people who have diabetes feel as if there’s no hope of losing weight. That’s one important reason we encourage you to work with our team of experts.
In order to lose weight when you have diabetes, you need to follow a specialized diet, and understanding what to eat is a crucial part of doing so. Our team can give you individualized guidance on what a nutritionally dense, healthy diet looks like for you. We can also help you understand whether supplements may be helpful and which ones.
The second key to weight loss with diabetes is regular exercise, usually around 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. We can help you develop a routine there, too. Often, we find our patients simply don’t know where to start with exercise.
Finally, lowering your overall stress levels is an important component in weight loss for people who have diabetes. We can help you develop tactics to lower stress, and offer services such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and others that can be effective in managing stress.
A personalized plan
When you come to us, you get a health plan that addresses your overall health, and it’s designed to meet your specific, individual needs. We don’t use a cookie cutter plan designed for everyone with diabetes. Instead we consider your lifestyle, goals, and medical condition to create an approach that will fit into your life and help you achieve success. Schedule your appointment today.