In the month of April, Diastrong Health announced a new initiative to follow the wellness journeys of two amazing people living with type-2 diabetes and recently-diagnosed prediabetes, respectively. Over the next few months, each person will choose and work with DiaStrong providers to help them build sustainable programs they can easily adhere to in order to manage or reverse their conditions.
One of these people is none other than Dobie Maxwell, the Co-Host of the increasingly popular “Just My Type Podcast”. “I’m here taking this program so I can go through it for our listeners. I believe in the people I have met with at DiaStrong and everyone that I work with. I am part of the team and they invited me to be part of, and share with you, the benefits of it, how it works, the people that are involved, and I’m looking forward to doing that.” Dobie was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes some years back. In the past, Dobie was able to successfully manage his condition, however, over the years he has come to realize that he needs to revisit and prioritize his diabetes management goals. When asked about why he is looking to make a change, Dobie said, “I am a single, on-the-go professional, and it is very difficult for me with type-2 (diabetes) to eat correctly.” Dobie is turning to DiaStrong to create a long-term plan to help him sustainably manage his type-2 diabetes moving forward.
Before we talk about what types of providers DiaStrong can offer, let’s go over the fundamentals of type-2 diabetes:
WHAT IS TYPE-2 DIABETES?
Type-2 diabetes is an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses glucose (sugar from food) as fuel for energy. There are primarily two interrelated problems of concern. Either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin-the hormone that regulates the movement of glucose into fat, muscle, and liver cells-or the cells become resistant to insulin and do not take in the appropriate amount of glucose for immediate energy or fat storage in the liver for future use. The effect of this impairment results in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream, which can lead to disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Signs and symptoms of type-2 diabetes often develop slowly or can be silent for years. When signs and symptoms do present themselves, however, they may include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Unintended weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores
- Frequent infections
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck
The factors that may increase the risk of type-2 diabetes include, but are not limited to:
- Fat distribution: Storing fat mainly in the abdomen, rather than the hips and thighs. The risk of type-2 diabetes rises in men with a waist circumference above 40 in. or in women with a measurement above 35 in.
- Inactivity: Physical activity helps control weight, decreases insulin resistance, and increases insulin sensitivity. Moderate exercise drives glucose into cells to be used as energy more efficiently, leaving less in the bloodstream.
- Family history: The risk of type-2 diabetes increases if a parent or sibling has the condition.
- Race and ethnicity: Although it is unclear why, people of certain races and ethnicities-including Black, Hispanic, Native Americans, Asian, and Pacific Islanders-are more likely to develop type-2 diabetes.
- Blood lipid levels: An increased risk of diabetes is associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides (LDL).
- Age: The risk of type-2 diabetes increases as one ages, especially after age 45.
PREVENTION AND MAINTENANCE
There is no cure for type-2 diabetes, but adopting healthy lifestyle choices as soon as possible can help the management of the disease, or prevent the disease from manifesting altogether. Even if there is family history. If, however, diet and exercise are not enough to manage blood sugar, oral diabetes medications or insulin therapy may be prescribed. A healthy lifestyle includes, but, are not limited to, the following:
- Eating healthy foods: Choose foods lower in fat, processed carbohydrates and calories and higher in fibre. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Getting active: Aim for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, bicycling, running or swimming.
- Losing weight: Losing 7-10 % of body weight and keeping it off can delay the progression from prediabetes to type-2 diabetes.
- Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle: Being inactive for long periods can increase the risk of type-2 diabetes. Try to get up every 30 minutes and move around for at least a few minutes.
- Adopting a holistic self-care routine that centres around emotional and mental health may greatly alleviate symptoms of diabetes burnout, pain, anxiety and depression. Stronger coping skills will allow any medications, nutritional, and fitness needs to work more effectively when stressors are diminished.
DiaStrong offers services by Certified Diabetes Educators, Registered Dieticians, Certified Personal Fitness Trainers and a Certified Reiki Practitioner. These services will assist Dobie in adopting the above preventative measures to help him achieve optimum health and wellness! When asked about his experience with DiaStrong so far, Dobie said, “If you are considering using DiaStrong yourself, I highly recommend it, I think you will be very pleased, as was I, and I hope you do.”
Follow along with Dobie’s journey by signing up for our newsletter or following us on Instagram!
Click here to hear about Dobie’s experience with DiaStrong on our YouTube channel.