Once you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes you need to learn how to manage the disease. You can live a normal, long and healthy life with type 2 diabetes, if you live a healthy lifestyle. High glucose levels causes damage to nerves, kidneys, blood vessels, and eyes. Once diabetes has been diagnosed, then you need to monitor your health closely.
- Test your blood glucose (blood sugar) as directed by your physician.
- Follow the food plan as outlined by your physician or dietitian. Acquire the habit of eating slowly to prevent overeating without feeling hungry or deprived.
- If you follow a low glycemic diet, you should focus on foods that are below 55.
- Try to regulate your carbohydrates throughout the day, eating about the same amount at each meal. Your dietitian or doctor should give you the amount of carbohydrates you should eat each day. Many diabetic diets have you eat three meals and three small snacks throughout the day.
- Walk at least 20 to 30 minutes most days of the week. Other types of exercise that can help regulate glucose are biking and swimming. You may wish to break your walk into two or three sessions a day, 10 to 15 minuets each.
- Take your medication as prescribed. Do not skip doses.
- Inspect your feet every day to check for bruising, sores, or blisters. Diabetes damages the nerves, with the damage often beginning with the feet decreasing circulation and sensation.
- You should see your diabetes team once or more a year:
- Primary care or endocrinologist: twice a year.
- Podiatrist: once a year for a thorough foot exam.
- Ophthalmologist: once a year for a thorough eye exam.
- Eat slowly to avoid gaining weight. You will feel satisfied with less food; Google “eating slowly” to learn more about it (How and why it works).
- It is possible to have diabetes for many years before it is diagnosed, this makes it important to have annual or semiannual tests done by your doctor to check for diabetes.
- Keep your A1c (a three month average of your blood glucose) below 7%.
- Controling your weight will help fight diabetes.
- You may want to use Glycemic Index (GI) charts. Low GI foods are below 55; Medium 56-69; High above 70.
- If your family has a history of diabetes, you will want to watch your diet and exercise closely to help prevent or delay onset of the disease.
- Even low value GI foods can raise glucose faster than others.
Sources and Citations
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