After getting diagnosed with diabetes, it will feel like your entire world has to change. From your diet to self-checks, you’ll need to get used to a new normal. However, your management of type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to feel like a hassle.
1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
That means millions of Americans, like you, are discovering their new normal.
Instead of letting your type 2 diabetes stress you out, take control. With this guide, we’ll help you learn everything you need to make your type 2 diabetes management easier.
Keep reading to simply your type 2 diabetes self-management.
After the Diagnosis
It’s recommended you receive routine screening for type 2 diabetes after your turn 45. If your results return normal, visit the doctor for another test every three years.
However, if you are diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to check your A1C levels two to four times a year. You can discuss your target A1C goal with your doctor. They’ll determine your ideal A1C levels based on your age and other factors.
The usual recommendation is an A1C level below 7%.
After your A1C test, your doctor will also take blood and urine samples periodically. They’ll also test your blood pressure. These tests will determine your:
- Kidney function
- Liver function
- Thyroid function
- Cholesterol levels
You’ll also need regular eye and foot exams after your initial diagnosis.
About 7.2 million people (or 23.8% of people with diabetes) are undiagnosed. Now that you have your diagnosis, you can start your management of type 2 diabetes with a plan.
Here are a few quick tips for living with type 2 diabetes:
- Stay physically active and track how it changes your blood sugar levels
- Build a support team around you
- Make sure friends and family understand you’re diabetic (to prepare for emergencies)
- Consider every self-check a victory
- Don’t let your diabetes diagnosis define you
- Find the positives in every day
- Set attainable goals for yourself
- Remind yourself you can live a normal life with diabetes
Keeping a positive mindset can help you moving forward. As a result, your management of type 2 diabetes will feel natural with time.
For proper management of type 2 diabetes, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight.
Losing excess weight can help lower high blood sugar levels. Even losing 5% of your body weight can make a difference.
A few of the tips we’ll mention below, such as a healthy diet and physical activity plan, can help you lose weight. After your diagnosis, it’s important to make a weight loss plan. Even making slight lifestyle changes can help you lose weight to keep your type 2 diabetes in check.
There’s no specific diabetes diet—only healthy changes you can make to improve your health going forward. For the management of type 2 diabetes, start by:
- Consuming fewer calories per day
- Eating fewer refined carbohydrates
- Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Eating fewer foods with saturated fats
- Eating more foods with fiber
If you’re concerned about your diet, speak to a registered dietitian. They can help you develop a customized food plan based on your health goals. They’ll also prioritize the health foods you want to eat.
That way, you can actually look forward to your meals.
Speaking with a dietitian can also help you monitor your carbohydrate intake. It’s important you know how many carbohydrates you can eat with each meal. That way, you can maintain stable blood sugar levels without putting yourself at risk.
Everyone, not just someone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, can benefit from routine exercise.
Before you start an exercise program, speak with your doctor. They can help you consider the activities you enjoy, such as swimming, biking, or walking.
Try to schedule 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise most days throughout the week.
You can also combine different exercises each day. That way, you won’t grow bored of your routine. For example, consider resistance training (such as weightlifting or yoga) along with cardio-based exercises.
Exercise will help lower your blood sugar.
It’s important you check your blood sugar levels before an activity. That way, you can grab a quick snack beforehand to keep your blood sugar from falling too low.
If you’re on insulin, you’ll need to check your blood sugar level multiple times a day. Other treatment plans will require you to check your blood sugar on occasion.
Speak with your doctor about your plan for the management of type 2 diabetes. They’ll let you know how often to self-check.
Medications and Insulin Therapy
Sometimes, diet and exercise alone aren’t enough. Your doctor might also prescribe diabetes medications or insulin therapy. These medications can help control your blood sugar in different ways.
However, the medication your doctor prescribes depends on your blood sugar level, other medications, and additional health problems you have.
A few example diabetic medications include:
- SGLT2 inhibitors
- DPP-4 inhibitors
In addition to diabetes medication, your doctor might also suggest cholesterol-lowering medications. Additional medications can help prevent heart and blood vessel disease.
Don’t forget to research insurance for diabetics to make sure you have the proper coverage.
The above tips are a great way for you to start type 2 diabetes treatment. However, some patients elect to undergo bariatric surgery to improve their blood sugar levels. To be considered for bariatric, or weight loss surgery, you’ll need a body mass index greater than 35.
The surgery is expensive and comes with high risk, including the risk of death. In the long-term, you might also experience nutritional deficiencies and osteoporosis.
Make sure to speak with your doctor if you’re considering bariatric surgery.
Management of Type 2 Diabetes: Simple Steps to Long-Term Happiness
Management of type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to cause a strain on your life. Instead, you can develop a long-term plan for yourself. With a plan and support team, you can discover a life full of health and happiness.
Looking for more helpful guides? Explore the Health section of the blog for more tips and tricks to a healthier life!