Approximately 10 percent of the American population has diabetes, and that number is on the rise with a whopping 1.5 million new diagnoses each year. With such a huge prevalence of people with diabetes, something must be done.
If you’re one of the many Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes and now rely on medications like Metformin, you’re probably wondering about your options. Is there a cure for diabetes? Read on to find out!
What Causes Diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, which is almost always diagnosed in children, and type 2 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in adults. They have different root causes and act differently, but both have symptoms like fatigue, increased thirst, and unexplained weight loss.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes generally shows up suddenly during a person’s childhood. This type of diabetes is caused by your body’s immune system. The immune system recognizes insulin-producing beta cells from the pancreas as an invader and destroys thems.
There’s no fully identified reason why someone develops type 1 diabetes, but scientists believe it may be due to genetics or viruses that trigger the immune system to act in this manner.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common type of diabetes. It tends to develop over a long period of time, with many people having a clear warning through blood work that type 2 diabetes is developing. Your doctor may tell you that you have pre-diabetes or insulin resistance long before you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
What causes it? The main risk factors are obesity, physical inactivity, and, to some extent, genetics. This doesn’t mean that if you are obese, you are bound for diabetes, or if you have a family history of it, you’ll get it, but it does increase your likelihood.
As insulin resistance progresses to diabetes, your body becomes less able to utilize the insulin your body makes, meaning your body has to make more and more insulin to keep up. Eventually, your pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin to meet the demand, and your blood glucose levels go up.
Is There a Cure for Diabetes? It Depends
In short, no, there is not currently a cure for type 1 or type 2 diabetes. One of the biggest complicating factors to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes is the fact that researchers have been unable to pinpoint the precise cause of it. Does this mean that your life has to be more difficult because of your diagnosis?
For those with type 1 diabetes, you’ll find a rhythm once you learn how to properly manage your diabetes. Eventually, it’ll feel like second nature. For those with type 2 diabetes, lifestyle modifications will make a huge impact on your health, even going as far as putting you into remission.
Managing Type 1 Diabetes
After you or your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you’ll want to work with a physician to find an appropriate management plan. The goal is to keep your A1C levels below 7 percent.
You’ll want to be sure you or your child take insulin regularly, maintain a diet with the right amount of carbohydrates, fat, and protein, and exercise regularly. Ideally, your diet and physical exercise will keep your blood sugar levels stable. You want to keep your blood sugar between 80 and 130 mg/dL before meals, and a maximum of 180 mg/dL within two hours of eating.
Speak with your physician about the type of insulin that works best for you, and always carry something like orange juice or a Snickers bar in case your blood sugar drops too low.
Lifestyle Modifications for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes may be the most common form of diabetes, but with the right lifestyle modifications, it is also one of the most manageable for a lot of people. With hard work, you may be able to push your diabetes into remission and get off your medication altogether. So what are these modifications?
One of the best things you can do to manage type 2 diabetes is to lose weight. The sooner into your diagnosis that you do this, the better your chances of going into remission.
The biggest component of losing weight is to eat a reduced-calorie diet. To determine how many calories you need to eat, enter your information into a total daily energy expenditure calculator and reduce your calories by 500 to 1,000 calories a day. Do not go below 1,200 calories a day without first speaking with your physician.
Since your body has a hard time metabolizing carbohydrates, you’ll want to cut down on your refined carbohydrates and sugars. Opt for a Mediterranean-style diet with plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Another great compliment to a low calorie, low carbohydrate diet is adopting an exercise plan. If you’re starting from the couch, try getting out for a walk for half an hour a day. Any amount of exercise is a vast improvement over no exercise.
As you get more fit, increase the amount of time and the intensity of your exercise. Try strength training and yoga to create a well-rounded routine. Not only will you improve your diabetes, but it’s also great for your heart health and overall well-being!
Work with Your Physician
Exercising and losing weight go a long way to putting your diabetes into remission. As you do that, however, you need to be checking in with your physician on a regular basis to make sure your medication is still appropriate since the amount you need will change as you lose weight. If you feel lightheaded or nauseated, it might be time for an adjustment.
Ready to Take Charge of Your Diabetes?
Is there a cure for diabetes? Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure at this time for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Rest assured, however, that medical scientists are hard at work on finding a way to help eradicate diabetes.
In the meantime, lifestyle modifications and taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor can make it much more manageable, and can even lead to remission in those with type 2 diabetes. Contact us today to see how you can save on your diabetes medication!