Here are six steps to take when you are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Incorporating these steps into your daily life will help you take control of your health.
1. Eating Right
Talking with your doctor will help you determine which diet restrictions may be necessary for you. What you eat, how much you eat and what times you eat are all factors that will determine your blood sugar level.
Stay active by working out three to five times a week. Remember to wear proper shoes to prevent foot injuries. Doctors recommend high-intensity, low-impact workouts to prevent injury. Losing 10 percent of your body weight can improve your body’s ability to use insulin and help prevent heart problems from developing.
3. Checking blood glucose
Available in drug stores, blood glucose meters are little machines that test small drops of blood to determine if blood sugar is too high or low. Your doctor can work with you to figure out what time is best to check your target levels.
4. Picking up prescriptions
Your doctor may prescribe you medicine that can help lower your blood sugar. There are currently several medicines available, some of which may help you lose weight and others that come with certain risks.
* Hypoglycemia: sometimes taking medicine will lower blood sugar too much, putting you at risk for hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness and weakness.
* Other side effects: certain type 2 diabetes medications come with greater risks. For example, Actos has been associated with congestive heart failure, bone weakness, liver problems, bladder cancer, and other serious conditions. Many users have filed lawsuits after developing bladder cancer and being forced to face severe and painful treatment. Symptoms of bladder cancer are increased need to urinate, pain while urinating and blood in urine.
5. Finding a supportive community
Whether it’s a group of diabetes patients or some close friends who meet regularly, finding a safe place where you can discuss your concerns and progress will keep you from isolating yourself and feeling helpless as you begin to manage diabetes.
6. Choosing the right physician
Whether you continue to go to the doctor who diagnosed you — or maybe to an endocrinologist — be sure that you are able to walk away with your questions answered by a knowledgeable source. Feeling comfortable at appointments will empower you to work with your physician to make a diabetes management plan that you will be able to understand and follow.
Using resources like doctors and friends and developing healthy eating and exercise habits can keep this new change in your life from overwhelming you.