Yet they gained tremendous benefits from the diabetes prevention program. It reduced the risks at 71% by choosing a moderate lifestyle. Good health could allow 20 more years to those over 65. It showed that lifestyle intervention dramatically decreased the risks of diabetes. Regular exercise was an important component of the management of Type II diabetes. It kept the weight down. The lack of exercise brought the weight up. Overweight and de-conditioning, in turn, made it harder to exercise. The type of exercises depended on the health condition or issues of the patient. Those who are somehow healthy could start walking but not too fast to talk with someone walking with them. The walk could be five to 10 minutes on flat ground increasing to 45 minutes on hilly ground at a faster pace. Those who found it hard to walk, such as those with arthritis in the hips or knees, could try water aerobics. The physical therapist could prepare an individualized plan for patients. Otherwise, an exercise bike, an elliptical trainer or rowing machine were suggested as more convenient substitute for walking. The American Diabetes recommended that patients check their blood sugar level before, during and after exercise. This would tell them how exercise was improving or affecting their condition. Those already doing steady exercise could do this once a month to make sure their blood sugar was under control. It would be good practice to avoid developing hypoglycemia. A healthy diet, moderate weight loss and exercise can enable the patient to control his or her condition. Those on medication could further reduce the amount of medication or even eliminate it entirely. And those without Type 2 could make themselves fit enough to prevent it (Rynk).
The specter of increased body mass or abdominal obesity is the threat of developing Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular diseased conditions (Simmons 2001). A waistline of more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women should sound an alarm. Just losing 10 pounds or 10% of body weight can already significantly decrease that risk and that threat or at least lower blood sugar levels. Diet and exercise will address the need of the hour to lose and maintain weight as well as improve insulin sensitivity. Diet consists of the type of food, the amount, the time and the place of the meal. Proper foods must be whole and unadulterated rather than processed or white. Whole and processed foods contain the necessary nutrients. It is important that the person or patient with Type 2 diabetes eats only a portion size in order to ward off or fight obesity. Average meals at fast food restaurants contain as many as 2,000 calories. This is higher than the allowed total calories a day without the snacks. And with little or no exercise, it should be little wonder why obesity has been plaguing American society. The time and place of meals also matter in diet. Many eat without control before TV sets or computers because their attention is set on other things. They do not recognize the body's signal of satisfaction to stop eating. This results in overeating and obesity (Simmons).
Experts outlined tips on proper diet. Eating should be the only activity during meals (Simmons 2001). Meals should not be skipped to avoid indulgent eating at a later time. Only portion sizes should be eaten to avoid overweight. Snacks too should be healthful. Chewing should be slow in order to help digestion, encourage eating pleasure and wait for the body's signal of fullness and satiety. Dinners should not be beyond 7pm. A woman who wants to lose weight should consume no less than 1,200 calories a day. Weight loss can be achieved by cutting down total calorie intake by 300 to 500 a day. The Food Pyramid includes a 1,600-calorie diet recommended for sedentary women and older adults. A healthy diet also considers the composition of nutrients. The total daily caloric consumption should be 15% protein, 50-60% carbohydrates and 25 to 35% fats. Experts also recommend 20-30 grams of fiber daily. This can come from enriched whole grain foods, such as cereals, breads and breakfast bars. A six-year study conducted on 35,000 women showed that high and regular intake of whole grains, cereal fiber and dietary magnesium significantly prevented diabetes. A separate study compared the intake of whole grains and that of refined grain products. It found that whole grain products could decrease the risk of diabetes in women. Water-soluble fiber helps lower blood sugar. It reduces the absorption of carbohydrates and causes the blood sugar to rise slowly rather than rapidly with simple carbohydrates in fruit juices. Water-soluble fiber can be found in oat bran, nuts, apples, pears and most vegetables (Simmons).
Exercise, on the other hand, helps improve glycemic control and prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes (Simmons 2001). A nurses' health study concluded that even moderate physical activity substantially reduced the risk of the disease. The American Diabetes Association recommends 20 to 45 aerobic exercise at least thrice a week. But the National Institutes of Health strongly prompts at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. The Surgeon General suggested walking 10,000 steps a day. Cars should be parked farther from the front door at working places, the malls or grocery store to encourage more walking. People should walk more than ride. They should take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walking before or after dinner can release stress, encourage bonding and keep weight down. Chores should be done more with the hand than with convenience devices. The conclusion in all studies about exercise and Type 2 diabetes has been that proper dietary habits, exercise and relaxation in combination will help prevent and improve the condition and its consequences (Simmons).
Type II diabetes is considered a nutritional disorder by some experts. With the alarming increase in the incidence of the disease worldwide, some patients have turned to natural ingredients for cure (Furey 2005). Natural ingredients also avoid long-term risks associated with synthetic drugs or medications. One of those natural ingredients was the pycnogenol extract from the bark of French maritime pine tree, a natural antioxidant. A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association showed that a regimen of diet and exercise could significantly lower glucose levels when supplemented by Pycnogenol at a dose between 50 and 100 mg. The natural extract appeared to assert metabolic control in patients with mild Type 2. Other clinical studies also showed the Pycnogenol could help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetic retinopathy. There was solid evidence that it effectively reduces high blood pressure, platelet aggregation, LDL cholesterol and improves circulation. Experts were convinced that Pycnogenol should be a basic component in a diabetes health regimen, considering that heart infarction and stroke are the current-day leading causes of death (Furey).
Earlier studies conducted on 1,000 diabetic patients demonstrated the Pycnogenol could seal leaky capillaries in the eye and stop the loss of vision (Furey 2005). Diabetic retinopathy ultimately leads to blindness. The Maritime pine tree grows in the coast of southwest France. Its ingredients are procynidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids, which have been shown to provide natural health benefits. The bark has been subjected to investigations for the last 35 years. These studies insured its safety and effectiveness. It is now available in synthetic form in more than 400 dietary supplements and as multivitamins and health products worldwide. It is manufactured by Natural Health Science Inc. For Horphag Research (Furey).
An investigation was recently conducted on 60 Type 2 diabetes patients not on insulin therapy who received different doses of cinnamon therapy for 40 days (Gaby 2007). In all cases, cinnamon significantly reduced the respondents' serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. The result of the investigation showed that 1 gram of cinnamon supplementation can improve glucose and lipid levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Two other studies were conducted on cinnamon. One showed that cinnamon to be less effective than what the first study suggested. The third study showed that cinnamon was not beneficial. The differences in the results have not been explained. Nonetheless, cinnamon appeared to remain safe and Type 2 patients could try it (Gaby).
Another boon to Type 2 sufferers was the VAP cholesterol test (Snyders 2008). It helps physicians determine the most effective cholesterol and heart disease risk-reducing treatments. It provides valuable and life-saving information for the purpose. Through its use, for example, researchers in the Diabetes and Combined Lipid Therapy Regimen found that the combination of statin therapy with a fibrate would be the most effective way to contain the risk in those with diabetes and mixed dyslipidemia. The VAP test provides direct measurements of LDL, HDL and their subclasses, risk factors, and precise calculations for LDL components. The Chief Medical Officer of Atherotech, manufacturer of VAP test, said that it has been used in more than 100 clinical…