Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes

If you are newly diagnosed, the Braden Diabetes Center is the ideal place to get up to speed on your condition, treatment and ongoing maintenance. Our program is structured to help you understand diabetes, make healthy choices, and learn how to confidently manage your blood sugar in any situation.

Many people with type 2 diabetes are not experiencing symptoms when they are first diagnosed, and rationalize that having type 2 is “no big deal”. Unfortunately, unless it is properly managed, type 2 will progress and lead to increasingly dangerous complications. There’s a learning curve to managing type 2 diabetes, but over time, your daily regimen will become second nature.

  • Weight Loss
    Not every person who develops type 2 diabetes is overweight and not every overweight person develops type 2 diabetes. However, there’s no denying excess weight is a definite risk factor for the disease. Your doctor may recommend that you lose weight. Even 10 or 15 pounds can have a positive impact on your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

  • Medicine
    Unless it is well managed, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. Your doctor will likely prescribe medication to get your glucose in your target range. Some people with type 2 diabetes need to take insulin, either by itself or in combination with pills. If you have to go on insulin, your diabetes educator will help you learn to administer it. If you are prescribed pills, make sure to ask about dosing, when to take the pills, and whether they should be taken with food or on an empty stomach. Be sure to tell your doctor about any other medications you are currently taking.

  • Checking Blood Glucose
    Your doctor will tell you when and how often to check your blood glucose. A diabetes educator will show you how to perform the home glucose test and help you select a meter that is covered by your insurance. Keep a log of the date, time, and results of your glucose tests to share with your diabetes care team. The information you record can help inform your treatment.

  • Exercise
    In addition to helping stabilize blood glucose levels, exercise helps lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce stress, stimulate blood flow, and boost your energy level. Talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program that’s appropriate for you.

  • Nutrition
    Diet is an important aspect of managing type 2 diabetes. A dietitian can teach you the basics, such as how to count carbs, which foods to avoid, and which are good for you. Shopping for food, planning meals, and eating at restaurants are all activities your dietitian can advise you on, and there are many good cookbooks featuring diabetes-friendly recipes. By monitoring your blood sugar and logging the readings, you and your dietitian can figure out how different foods affect your blood glucose and adjust your diet accordingly.

  • Support
    Many people with type 2 diabetes participate in support groups with people who share the same challenges. Participants typically discuss medication, issues with blood glucose or medication, or new research. Talking to someone who “knows the ropes” is often a reassuring experience for a person who has just been diagnosed.

SOURCES

  1. Eureka Alert: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-08/tl-tld081214.php