Have you recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes? Unfortunately, you’re not alone in your plight. Although Type 2 diabetes is more common with older people, anyone can get it. In fact, of people who are twenty or older, 23.5 million people have Type 2 diabetes. This equates to just over ten percent of the entire population. It occurs more commonly in men and those who are of African American, Native American, Hawaiian, Asian American, and Hispanic descent. So what does it mean to have Type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is an illness where people don’t use glucose correctly. Glucose is something that the body needs for energy, but it needs to be regulated as too much glucose can result in serious health problems. This condition where you take too much blood sugar is known as hyperglycemia. The body regulates blood sugar through insulin, but if you’re not producing insulin correctly, your blood sugar will go up, and you’ll experience some symptoms. These symptoms include
- Increased thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- High blood pressure
Luckily, if you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it is something that you can live with. Millions of people live with it every day, and their measure of success of living a normal life involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medical intervention. If you have diabetes and have been diagnosed by a doctor, here are several things you’ll need to do to manage the symptoms and live a normal life:
- Eating a balanced diet: Although an aging population is one of the main reasons why diabetes is so prevalent in America, another reason is because of the high obesity rate in the country. The Western Diet has been linked with Type 2 diabetes, and someone who has diabetes would be best served by eating a balanced diet. Meeting with a dietician who understands the challenges of eating a healthy diet in accordance with diabetes is mandatory in controlling symptoms.
- Exercising: Maintaining a healthy weight is essential to ensure a healthy lifestyle with diabetes. When you exercise, you improve your cardiovascular health, which should help to improve blood sugar levels as well. Now, how you should exercise will depend on what your doctor tells you is adequate. If you’re younger, you might be able to handle a more challenging exercise routine, but you will most likely be recommended a fitness program that encompasses cardio and strength training. A personal trainer might be a good idea as well.
- Have the right medicine and tools: Lifestyle changes aren’t usually enough and you’ll need to have the right diabetes supply to ensure proper health. This will usually include medicines, insulin supply, blood sugar testing tools, syringes, and more. You’ll need to be tested daily to see your progress, so you’ll need to stay organized as well. By having your medical supplies at all times and keeping a set schedule and meticulous records, you’ll do yourself a favor in the management of the illness.
Type 2 diabetes can be a scary diagnosis, but how it’s managed is dependent on your own personal responsibility. By doing these and other things, you should be able to manage the disease the best to your personal ability.
Avery Wilson is a freelance writer who has been living with Type 2 diabetes he whole life.