- Oct 09, 2018
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What you Need to Know if You've Just Been Diagnosed with Type II Diabetes
A diagnosis of type II diabetes can initially cause an individual to have increased anxiety and apprehension about their future. For those who know nothing about the disease or experienced knowing someone living with the disease, it can be difficult to ascertain what are the next best steps and how one can continue to live a fulfilling life.
The good news is that life doesn't have to stop with a type II diabetes diagnosis. With lifestyle changes and in some cases, medication regulation, individuals are living full and healthy lives. Here are a few things those recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should know.
Don't Wait to Start Addressing the Diagnosis
While it may be scary to hear the words "type 2 diabetes", the diagnosis does not mean that a person has to stop living their lives. It is, however, a serious disease and should be addressed immediately upon diagnosis. Avoiding the topic and treatment in the initial stages of diagnosis will make living with the disease more difficult in the long run. Complications range from short-term issues such as chronic high blood sugar levels to more complicated and severe long-term problems such as kidney and heart damage.
Coming up with a health plan with a physician is an essential first step in managing the disease. This plan should include weight management, diet and if necessary prescription medication intervention. The sooner a program is developed and started, the sooner a patient can begin to feel they have control over their body and their life.
Type 2 Diabetes is a Progressive Disease and Cannot be Cured
While some individuals with type 2 diabetes can manage their disease with a change in diet and exercise, most individuals will eventually need to engage in a medication regimen to regulate their blood glucose. Medications can vary from those that need to be taken several times a day via a pump or pen to longer acting, once-a-day medications such as Toujeo insulin.
It is vital that individuals who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes understand the fact that medications may work initially and then begin to wane as time goes on. Frequent switching of medication may be necessary until the right one is found. Staying diligent with the regimen prescribed by a physician and noting when symptoms change or decrease will help those with type 2 diabetes find balance.
Food Intake has a Major Bearing on Blood Sugar and Health
Carbohydrates are the number one culprit of blood glucose spikes. A diet low in carbohydrates can help those with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. It is crucial for those who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to be conscious of their food choices and limit or avoid those items known to cause blood sugar spikes. It is also a good idea to test your blood sugar levels pre and post meals during the initial stage of diagnosis to get an understanding of what foods may cause a spike in blood sugar.
Engaging in portion control is also a must, as overeating leads to an increase in weight which is detrimental to those with type 2 diabetes. To ensure that the proper nutrition is being met at each meal, filling half a plate with vegetables and salad can ensure that the individual doesn't go overboard with the carbs and protein.
Exercise is Very Important
Exercising regularly is one of the most important ways to positively address a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Exercise isn't always easy, especially if an individual is not motivated. Exercising 30 minutes per day, five days per week helps to maintain stable blood glucose levels and helps the body to better use the insulin it naturally makes.
If exercising proves to be difficult, joining a class or activity of interest or recruiting a few friends or loved ones in the journey can help keep exercising fun and motivating, but also hold one accountable to continue working out to better their health. With diabetes, it’s important that you pay special attention to the health of your feet—especially as you start exercising. Wear supportive shoes and keep your toenails at a moderate length. You should also check your feet daily for signs of ingrown toenails and other issues, so you can catch them early before an infection occurs.
Type 2 diabetes does not have to be a death sentence, by any means. With the proper plan, equipment, and immediate engagement by the person who has been diagnosed, the disease can be managed effectively. Understanding how diabetes can affect the body and the steps needed to regulate it can help an individual to feel as though they have control over their body and life rather than letting the disease be the dictator.