The number of adults in the U.S. with Type 2 diabetes is climbing steadily. Over 25 million people have diabetes, and experts believe that as many as 7 million of them don’t even know it. If you are new to the world of Type 2 diabetes, adjustment to a new diet and lifestyle may be a difficult process. Instead of giving into despair or denial, kick-start your new life with these tips.
- Talk to your doctor about the possibility of avoiding medication. If you are “borderline” diabetic or if your numbers are considered low, you may be able to stave off full-blown dependence on pharmaceuticals by making a fast commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Ask your healthcare provider whether you can try a short period of diet changes, exercise, and close monitoring before starting meds. With several weeks of limited sugar and a more active lifestyle, you may be able to beat the “beast” into submission.
- Learn about managing your new condition effectively. Dealing with diabetes is more than just an occasional check of blood glucose; it is a lifetime responsibility that requires a whole new perspective on self-care. Talk with your healthcare provider about opportunities to learn about your condition. Ask if your insurance will cover a few meetings with a dietitian to evaluate your diet for opportunities for easy changes, and see if local hospitals or health centers have free wellness classes on managing diabetes. Find reliable sources of diabetes information, and invest in a good diabetes-specific cookbook.
- Make your diabetes a serious excuse to get healthy. Following a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining an exercise routine can be the most effective tools in controlling Type 2 diabetes. Commit to diabetes-friendly staple foods or start a diabetes-friendly dinner party group, and begin adding physical activity to your day in any way you can: take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further from the store, take a walk after dinner, or learn how to garden. Embrace the fact that Type 2 diabetes offers daily motivation to care for your health and well-being.
- Network with other diabetics. One of the most challenging things about having Type 2 diabetes is the feeling of isolation it can cause. Oftentimes, unaffected friends or family members might unintentionally pressure diabetics to eat an amount or type of food that can harm their health. Having diabetic friends or discussing issues surrounding diabetes with others in online chat groups can offer the advice, tips, and social assistance many new diabetics need to adapt well to their new condition.
With commitment and know-how, you can keep yourself as healthy as possible as naturally as possible. Although it may not seem so now, a diabetes diagnosis may be the wake-up call you needed to devote time and effort to getting and staying healthy. When the dust from your diagnosis settles, take this tips to heart to find peace with a new lifestyle. Once you have taken the first few steps into a healthy life with Type 2 diabetes, you can focus more on living life well and less on learning the ropes.