Type 2 Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
You play a major role in managing your diabetes. The more you know about your disease, the better you can care for yourself.
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 can be hard to make big changes in the way you eat. And if you don't have any symptoms, you might not think it's all that important.
It's normal to have some negative feelings about diabetes and how it's affecting your life, especially the way you eat. But try not to let those feelings get in the way of taking care of yourself. For help, see the topic:
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:
How to start
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 help.
Moderate activity is safe for most people. But it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program.
Here are some ideas for starting to get activity into your daily routine:
Your blood sugar levels change when you are active. For some people, the change is the same every time they exercise. For other people, how their blood levels change will be different each time they exercise. It's a good idea to check your blood sugar before and after you're active, and talk to your doctor about it.
Test your blood sugar
Everything in your life can affect your blood sugar levels, from what you eat, to how 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 the topic:
Take medicines if you need them
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. 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.4
Take care of yourself in other ways
Check your feetevery day to look for cuts or other signs of injury. (If you have poor eyesight, have someone else check your feet.) Diabetes can damage the nerve endings and blood vessels in your feet, making you less likely to notice when they are injured.
Diabetes also makes it harder for your body to fight infection. If you get a minor foot injury, it could turn into an ulcer or a serious infection.
With good foot care, you can prevent most of these problems. For more information on foot care, see the topic Type 2 Diabetes: Living With the Disease or see:
Wear medical identificationat all times. If you have an accident or are taken to a hospital, identification lets people know that you have diabetes so they can give you the right care.
You can buy medical identification as bracelets, necklaces, or other kinds of jewelry at your local drugstore.
How to cope with your feelings
Finding out that you have diabetes can be hard to accept. You may feel sad, angry, and confused. You may want to deny that you have it. And you may wonder how you are going to manage all the changes you need to make.
It's normal to feel sad when your health changes. It can be hard to adjust to the idea of treating diabetes for the rest of your life. Give yourself time to grieve your losses. If you start to feel overwhelmed, try to focus on one day at a time. See the topic:
If you're having trouble coping with your feelings, you may want to talk 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 enjoy, a lack of energy, or trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor. For more information, see the topic Depression.
You can also:
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