Receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis can be both frightening and confusing. Your diabetes care team will be there to support you, but here are 5 things to know about diabetes to get you started on managing the disease and living the healthiest life you can.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas will initially make extra insulin to make up for the deficit, but eventually it will not be able to produce enough to keep your blood glucose levels where they should be.
Managing Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, but you can manage it by eating a healthy diet, incorporating physical activity into your daily routine, and taking any medications prescribed by your doctor. If managed correctly, living with type 2 diabetes is possible and people can live long, healthy lives.
A Diabetes Diet Plan
Your diabetes care team will suggest a diabetes diet or food plan that will include a variety of foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Be sure not to skip meals and to space your meals evenly throughout the day to keep your blood glucose levels even.
Exercise and Diabetes
Physical activity will help keep your blood glucose levels in the normal range, and will also give you more energy, relieve stress, improve your flexibility, reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke, and boost your mood. Choose an activity (or better yet, more than one!) that works for you and your schedule and that you enjoy. Walking, swimming, biking, stretching, yoga, and weight training are just some of the possibilities. Check with your doctor first before embarking on an exercise program.
A Diabetes Care Plan
Having a care team is important. Your team can include a doctor, nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, and diabetes educator. Consider adding a medical alert device like Lively Mobile to your team as well. Lively Mobile is completely mobile, so you can get help anywhere you go. Once you call for help, highly-trained agents can see your location, and contact Emergency Services with your whereabouts and key information from your Personal Emergency Profile, which can list your medications and medical conditions, like type II diabetes.
Looking for more information? Check out diabetes.org, which has tons of resources for patients. For more free caregiving tips, active aging resources, and inspiring videos, sign up for updates with your email using the box on the right of this article.