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Is There a Way to Manage Diabetes Without Medication?

The goal of diabetes management is to keep your blood sugar numbers within a healthy range. When blood sugar levels are consistently elevated, it damages your blood vessels, nerves, and organs, increasing your risk of developing other serious health problems.

Diet, exercise, and medication are the primary tools most people use to keep their diabetes under control. However, not everyone with diabetes needs to take medication. 

At Weston Medical Health & Wellness, our board-certified internal medicine physician and medical director, Dr. Andrea Bretal, believes you can take charge of your Type 2 diabetes with nutritional and lifestyle changes and reduce or stop your diabetes medication altogether. 

Diabetes 101

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that interferes with how your body uses blood sugar, also known as glucose. The sugar in your blood serves as the main source of energy for all the cells in your body, making it essential.

The sugar comes from the food you eat, and a hormone known as insulin helps get the sugar from your bloodstream into your cell. People with diabetes have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels because they don’t make insulin or the insulin they do make isn’t working like it should.

The type of diabetes you have depends on how your insulin is affected. Your diabetes type may also determine if you can manage your condition without medication.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that damages and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. People with this type of diabetes don’t make any insulin at all and require insulin injections.

Prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes

With prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes, your cells no longer respond to your insulin and blood sugar levels rise. Your body reacts by increasing insulin production to help lower blood sugar, but can’t produce enough insulin to bring blood sugar levels down.

Over time, higher-than-normal blood sugar — no matter the diabetes type — damages your body and increases your risk of developing more serious health issues.

Diabetes management

The goal of diabetes management is to help you gain control over your blood sugar numbers. There are many tools and therapies that can help you manage your diabetes. However, most plans include dietary changes and exercise.

Diet modification

What you eat directly affects your blood sugar numbers, and your diet is an important part of your diabetes management plan. However, contrary to popular belief, there’s no special “diabetes diet.” 

Making changes to your diet may be one of the hardest parts of diabetes management. To make things as easy as possible, we customize a nutrition plan that matches your health needs, usual eating habits, and food preferences.

Like our digital weight-loss program, we know “diets” — even for diabetes — don’t work. We teach you how to make changes to what and how you eat to take control of your blood sugar numbers. 

Regular exercise

Everyone benefits from regular exercise. For people with diabetes, regular exercise lowers blood sugar and improves insulin resistance by moving sugar from your bloodstream into your cells. These actions also help lower your blood insulin levels.

We recommend 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week. We work with you to help you incorporate physical activity into your daily routine so you get the health benefits without feeling like it’s extra work. 

Medication

Medication for diabetes includes insulin injections and oral hypoglycemics. People with Type 1 diabetes require insulin injections to maintain blood sugar levels.

For Type 2 diabetes, the types of medications you need may depend on your blood sugar numbers. Some people benefit from insulin injections, while others only need oral hypoglycemic medication.

Managing diabetes without medication

You can often manage your diabetes without medication if you have prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. However, you may not be able to ditch your diabetes medication overnight.

The key to managing your diabetes without medication is committing to a healthy lifestyle, which means following your nutrition plan and exercise program. Getting to a healthy weight also improves blood sugar numbers and may help reduce your need for diabetes medication.

To help manage your overall health, well-being, and stress, and improve your blood sugar control, we also offer alternative therapies, including Chinese medicine and Reiki therapy

There is a way to manage some types of diabetes without medication. Let us help you make the necessary lifestyle changes so you can gain control over your blood sugar numbers and get off your medication. Call our office in Weston, Florida, or use our website scheduling tool to book an appointment today. 

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