Do you or a family
member have diabetes? Is this a new diagnosis and you are feeling lost in knowing what changes
you need to make to your life. Or are you just sick of taking medications and want to know
what you can do to try and get off of them. If so, then this video is for you. Keep
watching because we are going to go over the most important steps that you need to start
doing today to beat this deadly disease.
Hi, I m Dr.
Erik Richardson a board
certified Family Practice physician. I d like to welcome you to FamilyMed, a channel
that focuses giving you practical and accurate medical information to help you and your family.
If you think this would be something that is helpful to you make sure you subscribe, hit that
notification button and follow along with us.
This is the third video in our series on diabetes.
In our last video we discussed all the reasons that you need to be to take diabetes serious and
how it can impact your health and life. In today s video though we are going to start talking about
the ways that you can take charge of this disease and not allow it to control you and avoid all
those complications that we discussed before.
We are principally going to be focusing our
discussion for those who have type 2 diabetes. Certainly the principles that we will discuss
apply to those with type 1, but its always good to review any changes to your treatment with
your own doctor.
When we talk about how to treat type 2 diabetes, it s important to remember
and review what is happening in this disease. The main problem that happens in type 2 diabetes
is that your body becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that is produced by your
pancreas that helps bring glucose from the blood into the different cells in the body to use it as
fuel. In a normal body, you eat a carbohydrate, your body digests it and turns it into glucose,
which is then absorbed into the blood stream. Your body then senses that blood sugars elevate
and releases insulin to bring that down.
That same process is happening in diabetes however,
your body has become resistant to the effects of insulin. You are still producing it, but it
just doesn t work as well.
Our treatments then, are going to center around overcoming this insulin
resistance. We have a lot of tools that we use to treat diabetes, and oftentimes medication is
one of those tools however in this video we are not going to focus on that because we want
you to start focusing on the things that you can change that are going to make the biggest long
term difference. Medication is often necessary but most people if they would just take serious
the things that were going to talk about today can either avoid or minimize how much they would
need to take.
So let s talk about how you can start doing that.
The first thing that you need
to start to incorporate in your life is exercise. Exercise has been shown to play a significant
role in being able to help control diabetes. It does this for a few reasons. The most important
of which are it is of course helpful in losing weight. Fat cells play an important role in
contributing to you being insulin resistant so the more we can work on decreasing our weight we
are going to see improvement.
Exercise itself also has a significant impact on how your body is able
to utilize insulin. The mere act of exercising can decrease your bodies insulin resistance and that
effect can last most of the day. Most studies have shown that exercising about 150 min a week or 30
minutes a day at least 5 days a week and play a huge role in being able to control your diabetes.
And it doesn t have to be an extremely vigorous routine either. A good brisk walk for many
can be sufficient. So get out and get started on a good walk every day and see what kind of
difference it can make. I will warn you though, if you have not been very active, before you do
more than a walk for exercise, it s always good to visit with your doctor and get a good physical
before undertaking anything more strenuous.
So the next step that you need to start focusing
on is your diet.
This is probably the hardest one because it is going to require changing habits
that you have been living with probably most of your life. This is going to be the most important
thing you can do though, because for most, this is probably one of the main reasons that you
ve developed diabetes. But the good news is, that by taking this part serious and making some good
changes you can oftentimes avoid having to take a lot of medications or maybe none at all.
we talk about what to eat, we need to remember one of the big reasons we are in this mess and that s
the insulin resistance that you have. As we pick our foods we need to avoid those things that are
going to cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar.
The most obvious culprits with this are going
to be your foods, drinks and deserts that are full of sugar. This is white sugar, brown
sugar, corn sugar, syrups and on and on. These types of sweeteners take little
to no time for your body to digest and are quickly converted to glucose raising your
They are probably the worst for you, but also the most obvious so hopefully you ve
already started to think about getting rid of.
After reviewing this, one of the most common
questions I get is whether they can have artificial sweetners like Saccharin and Aspartame?
The short answer to this is no, they really aren t ok. This is a longer discussion that we won t
get into today, but your artificial sugars through other means will still raise your blood sugar and
have been shown to contribute to weight gain.
So if you are going to reach for a sweetner,
focusing on sweetners such as Stevia, Monk fruit, coconut palm sugar, date sugar and sugar alcohols
such as erythritol or xylitol tend to be a better option.
So the next tier of foods that you need
to start to avoid are the refined carbohydrates. These are foods that are principally
made up of white flour or white rice. These are going to be your breads, your pasta
s and other baked goods and cereals that are a common part of our western diet. The reason
why white flour or rice are a problem is because strip the fiber and other nutrients from the
kernels just leaving the white pulp. This is pure carbohydrate that is digested and absorbed just
like as if it were a sugar.
It causes a rapid rise in your blood sugar and makes it difficult for
your body to deal with it.
So foods you want to stay away from are going to be your white breads,
bagels, muffins, pastas, tortillas, cereals, white rice, pretzels and crackers. Anything with
white flour or added sugars you need to avid. Instead reach for whole grain versions of
these things. But even with whole grains, you still need to keep your portions lower
because they will affect your sugars.
Other foods that can cause you problems are things
like potatoes, corn, sweetened yogurt and beer.
Now what about fruit? Fruit in an of itself
is very healthy but you do need to be cautious because it still can increase your sugars. If you
are going to have some, keep it in moderation, make sure you eat the whole fruit and not juice.
Out of all of them Berries tend to be the types of fruit that will affect your sugars the least.
Remember keep things in moderation and monitor how it affects your blood sugar.
In the end though,
I would still rather you reach for an apple to satisfy that sweet tooth than a candy bar.
Now we ve gone over a lot of the foods that you shouldn t be eating but It s important to know
that there are a lot of good foods that you are going to be able to eat and a lot of fantastic
recipes out there that you are going to love.
When you go looking for what is good for you
to have, focus on recipes that are full of vegetables, legumes such as beans and peas,
whole grains, nuts, healthy lean sources of protein like fish, chicken and lean cuts of meat.
Reach for good sources of fat like avocados, canola and olive oils.
With all of these foods
you can really make some delicious meals.
A good easy approach is to use, is what we
call the plate method. The American Diabetic Association recommends filling half of your
plate with nonstarchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots, broccoli or tomatoes. A quarter of
your plate should have proteins like tuna, lean pork or chicken and the last quarter unless
you are really trying to go very low carb, you can fill with a whole grain item such as
brown rice or a starchy vegetable like green peas. Throwing in good fats like your nuts and
avocados as part of that can also make for a delicious meal.
It s important, that as you
decide on what you will be eating in the day, to monitor how many carbohydrates you are
eating. There are varying recommendations out there for how many carbohydrates you should
be eating as a diabetic.
A good goal, if you are really trying to control this and minimize
how many medications you would need to take, is to keep your diet to under 100g of
carbohydrates a day. If you want to have a bigger impact the try to reach for around 50 a
day. That isn t very many. Studies have shown that keeping your carb intake to at least under 20% of
your diet has been linked to better weight loss, fewer medications and ultimately better control
of your diabetes. I would suggest visiting with your doctor or nutritionist on what they recommend
We ve focused most of our time so far on diet because that s frankly the most important
part of all of this. Beyond that though, there are some other important things that you should focus
on. One that we don t think about as much, but is really important, is managing your stress. One
of the bodies reactions to stress is to tell your liver to release more sugar. So focusing
on ways to eliminate stress from your life and finding appropriate ways to relax are
going to be really important in treating this.
The final recommendation is quite obvious but
if you smoke, it s time to stop.
Adding smoking to diabetes is going to dramatically increase
your risk for developing all the complications that come with diabetes. Now is the time to make
the commitment to get away from them. If you are struggling to do so then talk with your doctor
on options that they can help you with.
It may feel overwhealming thinking of all the things that
you need to change to take charge of your health again.
And to be fair, it is. You need to sit back
though and take a deep breath and realize that you don t need to do this alone. Work with your
doctor, a good nutritionist, your family, friends or even online support groups. There is
a lot of support and help out there. There are a lot of medications out there that we can and may
have to use along the way but frankly most of them are expensive.
The more that you can do in
implementing these changes in your life and making them permanent, the better off you are going to
do. You are going to feel better, look better and you will gain a new confidence that you can
take charge of your health and beat this disease that is working really hard in beating you.
you can do it, so don t give up!
Ok, so that s a brief overview of the changes that you need to
focus on to control this.
Hopefully you ve been learning a lot through this series on diabetes.
In upcoming videos we are going to be discussing some of the other important things that you need
to be doing with your doctor to prevent or catch early any complications that can come because of
your diabetes, as well as, what are some of the common medications that can be used when you need
that extra help.
So you don t miss out on these, make sure you hit that subscribe and notification
buttons right now. When I get them done, I ll put links to these to the side so you can learn more
about beating this disease.
Well, that s all we have today, thanks so much for joining us here at
FamilyMed and we ll see you in the next video..