Getting to know what’s going on in your body can help you manage type 2 diabetes well.
It’s a chronic condition in which your body doesn’t use insulin properly. This causes sugar to build up in your blood, leading to other health problems over the long term.
The main goal of diabetes treatment is to keep your blood sugar levels in target range. To help monitor them, your doctor will order blood work on a regular basis, including an A1C test.
They might also advise you to check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis at home with a blood glucose monitor.
Lifestyle changes alone can sometimes be enough to manage T2D but your doctor may also recommend taking medication.
The best foods for people with type 2 diabetes are those that help manage blood sugar levels.
Keeping sugar and refined carbs to a minimum is key.
Eat foods high in fiber, like fruits and veggies, and stick to whole grains. They can aid blood sugar management and help keep you feeling fuller for longer to help prevent mindless snacking.
Other components of a healthy diet also matter. You’ll want to be sure you include lots of nutrient-dense foods, healthy fats, and high quality sources of protein.
You might be able to manage your blood sugar with lifestyle changes alone, but most people need to start taking medication to help manage their blood sugar and slow the progression of their diabetes.
In most cases, your doctor will start by prescribing oral medication. Metformin is the first-line treatment for the majority of people with type 2 diabetes. Over time, you might need to add other oral meds, insulin, or other injectable drugs, like a GLP-1 receptor agonist, to your treatment plan.
If you have overweight, your doctor will usually recommend weight loss as one aspect of an overall treatment plan.
They may recommend changing your diet and increasing your level of physical activity to help manage your blood sugar and weight.
Losing about 5–10% of your body weight may help lower blood sugar levels and reduce the need for diabetes medications in people who have overweight, research suggests.
Type 2 diabetes might not seem like a mental health issue, but it’s inextricably linked to your mental and emotional well-being.
Research suggests there’s a connection between glycemic control and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Plus, dealing with your condition day in and day out can lead to diabetes burnout, which can make it difficult to follow your treatment plan.
The relationship between diabetes and mood is complex, but it’s critical to build in mental health support for yourself.
Cutting edge tech for diabetes is growing by leaps and bounds. These days you can get continuous glucose monitors, which give you constant feedback on how different foods and situations affect your blood sugar, without the need for pricking your finger.?
And with smartwatches and apps, you can semi-automate many of the everyday tasks involved in living with type 2 diabetes — like carb counting.
If you leave type 2 diabetes undiagnosed and untreated for too long, it can lead to life threatening complications. The same is true if you don’t manage your diabetes properly.?
Vision problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, and tooth and gum problems are among the major complications that people with T2D face.
Thankfully, much of this is preventable. That’s why early detection and treatment, a healthy lifestyle, and regular checkups are key.