Type 2 Diabetes: Living With the Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your treatment goals
When it comes to managing your type 2 diabetes, it's really up to you. You can learn how to take care of yourself, how to stay motivated, and how to find the support you need to do it.
For the best chance at a long, healthy life, you need to set goals for your treatment, including:
Make a healthy eating plan
If you're overweight, losing 5% to 10% of your weight may help you reach normal blood sugar levels. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, losing 10 to 20 pounds may lower your blood sugar.
Managing the amount of carbohydrate you eat is an important part of a healthy diet for diabetes. Carbohydrate is found in:
The best diet is a balanced one. A healthy eating plan doesn't have to be complicated. Try to:
You may want to work with a dietitian or certified diabetes educator to help you plan menus that spread carbohydrate throughout the day. This will keep your blood sugar from rising sharply after meals.
It's normal to have some negative feelings about diabetes and how it's affecting your life, especially when it comes to how and what you eat. But try not to let those feelings get in the way of taking care of yourself. For help, see:
For more ideas about healthy eating, try:
The more active you are, the more sugar (glucose) your body uses for energy. This keeps the sugar from building up in your blood. Being active also:
Don't worry. You don't have to sign up for a gym membership or train for a marathon to get the activity you need to control your blood sugar. Even everyday activities can make a difference.
Try to get about 30 minutes of activity on most days of the week. You can even break it up into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions.
For more help, see:
Test your blood sugar
Everything in your life can affect your blood sugar levels, from what you eat, to how stressed you feel, to how much activity you get. You may not like having to check your blood sugar regularly and keep track of the results over time. But it can really help you keep your diabetes under control.
For more information, see:
Control blood pressure and cholesterol
Being active can help keep your blood pressure at the recommended level of less than 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). In some cases, you may need to take medicines to help you reach your goal.
A low-fat diet, activity, and weight loss can also lower your cholesterol. Aim for a goal of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol. Try to get it even lower if you can.
Take medicines if you need them
If your diabetes get worse, your pancreas may make less and less insulin, which can make it harder for you to control your blood sugar. When your pancreas makes too little or no insulin, you will need to give yourself shots of insulin.
If you get sick, have surgery, get pregnant, or breast-feed, you may need insulin shots for a short time, even if you normally only take pills. You should be able to go back to your regular treatment after the situation is over.
If you take diabetes medicines, you need to know how to deal with low blood sugar. If you use insulin, you need to know how to give yourself a shot. For help, see:
For more information, see the Medications section of this topic.
People with diabetes have a higher risk of dying from heart and blood vessel diseases than people who don't have diabetes.1 Talk to your doctor about whether you should take low-dose aspirin. Daily low-dose aspirin (81 milligrams) may help prevent heart problems if you are at risk for heart attack or stroke.
Take care of yourself in other ways
Be aware of other things you can do to help yourself stay healthy.
How to cope with your feelings
Trying to manage your diabetes isn't easy. Some days you may feel like it's just too much work to do everything you need to do. There will be times when you just don't feel like testing and tracking your blood sugar.
It's normal to feel sad or even angry sometimes when you have a health problem. Even though you've had a while to get used to the idea of having diabetes, you may still have trouble adjusting. You may find it hard to stay motivated.
When you feel sad, give yourself time to grieve your losses. If you feel overwhelmed, just try to focus on one day at a time. Do the best you can. You don't have to be perfect.
For more help, see:
Get the support you need
If you're having trouble coping with your feelings, try talking with a counselor. A professional may make it easier to say things you wouldn't talk about with friends or family.
If you have symptoms of depression, such as a lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, a lack of energy, or trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor. For more help, see the topic Depression.
You might also want to:
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