Living With Type 2 Diabetes – Learn To Live as a Diabetic

Living with type 2 diabetes does not have to be overwhelming. It is true that diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to serious complications if it is not properly managed, however, with the right outlook and the help of your diabetic health care team you can learn to thrive with type 2 diabetes.

"Management concentrates on keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal ("euglycemia") as possible without presenting undue patient danger. This can usually be with close dietary management, exercise, and use of appropriate medications"(1).

Advancements in managing blood sugar levels and living with type 2 diabetes have been made in the past few years due to achievements in research, which have led to new treatment options; education improvements, which have led to earlier diagnosis; and the advances in home blood sugar monitoring devices.

Here are some tips to help you live better with diabetes:

  1. Learn to ask for help. Your health care team works with diabetic patients every day. Ask for help if you are confused on how to make lifestyle changes, monitor your blood sugar levels, or manage your medications.
  2. Make small shifts in your eating. A healthy eating plan is a key component in living with type 2 diabetes but do not think you must change everything about the way you eat at one time. Start by adding more fiber to your diet, and then when you are comfortable with this, work to lower saturated fats, sugar and salt.
  3. Start a "doable" exercise routine. Get in the habit of exercising before making drastic changes. By setting and exercise date with yourself each afternoon you get in the habit of exercising, even if you date is only 10 minutes long!
  4. Work to lower your weight. Excess fat on your body makes it hard for your body to respond to insulin. Even a few pounds can make a difference in how your body responds. Aim to lose a few pounds each month with the help of your better eating habits and increase in exercise.

Living with type 2 diabetes can be mentally challenging as you adapt to the daily routine of monitoring your blood sugar, adhering to a diabetic type 2 diet, and adding exercise. But by educating yourself, staying positive and working closely with your health care team you will find that living with type 2 diabetes can work.

(1) Wikipedia (2010). Diabetes mellitus. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes_mellitus

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