4 Steps to Take after a Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis
By Staci Amend
October 30, 2014
Our bodies naturally convert the food we eat into glucose: a form of sugar. In order to use glucose as energy within our cells, we need a naturally occurring substance called insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin, or doesn’t use insulin efficiently. This results in a glucose imbalance within your bloodstream, which can lead to a variety of serious health issues.
It’s never easy to learn that you have any kind of chronic ailment, but learning you have type 2 diabetes can be especially overwhelming. Wondering where to go from here? Start by considering your diagnosis the first step toward feeling better and living a longer, healthier life. Then use these four steps as your guide.
1. Build a team
Although your doctor won’t be the only person on your diabetes care team, he or she should be the team leader who helps you connect the puzzle pieces that create the complete picture of your health. You might also have a diabetes educator—these trained health care professionals are employed by hospitals and healthcare groups specifically to teach people with diabetes how to manage their health. Your pharmacist will be very helpful in helping you learn about your new medications. And of course, you’ll need your family to aid in your physical and emotional care and support your healthy choices along the way.
2. Learn more about treatment
Depending on your overall health, you may be prescribed one or more medications to help manage your glucose levels and any other symptoms you might be experiencing. Always read the instructions very carefully, and never be afraid to ask your doctor any questions you might have about your prescriptions and how to use them. You’ll also learn to use a blood glucose meter to check your glucose levels; although it may seem intimidating at first, frequency of monitoring varies and it doesn’t have to be intimidating. This skill will be critical to helping you manage your condition now and in the years ahead.
3. Create your plate
Type 2 diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be controlled. Going forward, your diet will be one of the most important ways to help you control your blood glucose. The American Diabetes Association “Create Your Plate” program is a great place to start; this will teach you one of the ways to plan meals for optimal blood sugar balance. Jenny Craig is also proud to offer Jenny Craig for Type 2, a nutrition and weight loss program especially for those with type 2 diabetes. The program provides convenient, pre-planned menus, educational materials, behavioral strategies and the support of a one-on-one consultant to help you achieve your weight loss and diabetes management goals.
4. Get moving
Regular physical activity can help you manage your blood glucose levels—not to mention relieve stress, boost energy, keep your joints flexible and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. If you’re a Jenny Craig member, you may already have an exercise program in place. Ask your doctor which kinds of exercise are appropriate for you, then browse the Jenny Craig articles section for helpful fitness articles and ideas.
Your type 2 diagnosis is a reason to look forward, not back. So let’s get moving toward a healthier future!