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Getting Started With Your Diabetes Management

A Diabetes Management Game Plan

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Updated April 02, 2009

Getting Started With Your Diabetes Management
Miles Pfefferle/Stock.xchng

Have you been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? If your doctor gave you a lot of information for managing your diabetes, chances are you are having some difficulty trying to make sense of everything that you have to know.

Good diabetes management requires many different treatments and strategies in order to be effective. You may feel like your entire life needs to be overhauled. All these changes can seem overwhelming at first, but when all that information is broken down into easy to understand categories, you can begin to get a handle on it.

Keep Track of Your Blood Sugar

Checking your blood glucose levels can help you keep good control of your diabetes. Different foods and activities can influence blood sugar levels. The only way to know your levels for sure is to test your blood sugar frequently using a glucometer. You also should keep track of the numbers.

Diabetes Medications

There are currently six of classes of drugs to manage type 2 diabetes. They work in different ways to help lower blood sugar. Medications need to be taken as prescribed, because the time you take them plays a part in how well they work. Many people with diabetes are started on metformin when they are first diagnosed.

Knowing What to Eat

Food might be the most complicated part of diabetes management. It doesn't just play an important part in our lives, it is necessary for survival. Everyone has to eat. So, what is the best way to eat for diabetes? There isn't a set diabetes diet anymore. You are free to eat a variety of foods, including sweets now and then. The trick is to watch portion sizes, and eat more vegetables and fruits, whole grains and lean meats, and fewer processed, fatty, high calorie foods.

Getting More Exercise Into Your Life

Exercise is a necessary part of diabetes management. Regular exercise can lower your blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other complications. It can also help you lose weight and keep it off.

Managing Your Overall Health

Diabetes is a complicated illness. Setting goals and getting organized can help. Support from family members can also make coping easier.

Having a doctor to help you manage diabetes is very important. But other types of healthcare professionals can be a real help. Diabetes educators, nutritionists, and specialists (such as an eye doctor or cardiologist) can all make a difference in the quality of your care.

Over time, managing your diabetes will become easier. Life may not return to what it was before you were diagnosed, but it can move forward with many healthy and happy years ahead.

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