Managing Type 2 Diabetes – Take an Active Role in Your Care
Managing type 2 diabetes involves making healthy lifestyle choices,
monitoring your blood sugar levels and working closely with your health
care team. By actively participating in your treatment, you will find
that managing type 2 diabetes is possible and you can live a full and
Being overweight, eating a poor nutritional diet, and being inactive can
complicate your diabetes, yet these factors are under your control.
While making lifestyle changes is not always enough, and medications may
be needed to bring your blood sugar level down, you can make a
difference in your health.
Steps to managing type 2 diabetes:
- Follow a healthy eating plan, which is low in saturated fat, salt and sugar. Your diabetes type 2 diet
will also be high in fiber which slows the emptying of food from your
stomach causing a more gradual rise in your blood sugar level.
- Lose weight. If you are overweight then make it a
goal to lose at least 7 percent of your body weight. This will not only
help you manage type 2 diabetes after a diagnosis, this recommendation
has also been show to help people reduce their risk of developing
"According to the research, a 7 percent loss of body weight and 150
minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week can reduce the
chance of developing diabetes by 58 percent in those who are at high
risk. The lifestyle changes cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or weight"(1).
- Increase physical activity. By being more active during the week
you not only promote weight loss but also help your body respond better
to insulin. This may reduce your need for medication.
- Track your blood sugar level. One of the challenges encountered
when first managing diabetes is how to regulate your blood sugar level
throughout the day. By tracking how different foods, activities and
drugs affect your blood sugar you will be better able to balance meals
- Take your medications or supplements regularly. One key to
successfully managing type 2 diabetes is setting a schedule and adhering
to it. By being consistent and taking your medications on a set
schedule you will find more stability in your blood sugar.
Managing type 2 diabetes is greatly under your control but you do not
have to work at this alone. In fact, by working closely with your
doctor and a nutritional adviser you will improve your condition and
avoid possible health complications later in life.
(1) NHIBI (2010). Manage diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/actintime/rhar/md.htm
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