If you are managing type 2 diabetes, then you know that making lifestyle changes such as eating well, following an exercise routine and maintaining a healthy weight is an important component of any diabetes management plan. However, each diagnosis is different and some individuals may need to take additional measures in order to successfully manage blood glucose levels.
Learn More About Your Diagnosis
Diabetes is a complex condition that requires daily attention. If not properly managed, diabetes may lead to serious health complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and cancer. Each individual is in charge of their care. For this reason, it is essential to understand your specific diagnosis. There are three types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Each type has a different mechanism as well as a different time of onset.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by either an insufficient amount of insulin production or the body’s inability to properly use insulin. This should be taken into consideration when making decisions about blood glucose management.
Have a Support Team
Consistently making healthy lifestyle choices can be difficult, especially when you feel you are doing these things alone. Reach out to family members and friends, or other individuals with diabetes, and build a support team that can help keep you accountable to make the right decisions.
Support groups can also offer individuals a safe environment to express concerns, find emotional support, and address factors associated with daily, long-term diabetes management.
Practice Stress Management
Research has shown that consuming sugar decreases the body’s ability to respond to stress due to the reduction of cortisol, a vital hormone of the body’s stress mechanism. This may explain why stress triggers sugar cravings. Sugar cravings can be problematic for individuals with diabetes who need to keep blood glucose levels within a specific range.
Fortunately for individuals with type 2 diabetes, stress management has been proven to help regulate glucose long-term. There are a number of ways to relieve stress, including meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. Talk to your doctor to learn about more ways to reduce stress.
Achieve Better Glucose Control with Insulin
When lifestyle changes no longer work to sufficiently manage blood glucose levels, it may be necessary to add insulin to your treatment plan. Insulin has a quicker effect on blood glucose than diet or exercise and can help you quickly adjust glucose when necessary. Even when using insulin, it is important to continue making healthy meal choices and exercising regularly as a comprehensive diabetes management plan.
For individuals who require more than 100 units of insulin a day, a large capacity insulin pump may offer a more convenient solution to balancing blood glucose levels than injections. Depending on individual needs, a pump can provide up to three days of insulin without multiple daily injections. Each individual will require different amounts of insulin depending on their specific diagnosis. Talk to your doctor to understand what insulin doses are needed to manage your blood glucose levels.
Talk to Your Doctor
Always speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise plan, or other lifestyle decisions. Your diabetes management team will help you learn more about your diagnosis as well as how to best control blood glucose levels in a way that best fits your specific needs.