Being aggressive means taking control of your type 2 diabetes today. It also means having a winning attitude. It is important to take steps now to keep your blood sugar at or near normal levels so you can prevent or delay serious complications in the future. These complications could be blindness, losing a limb, kidney problems, or heart disease. There is good news. If you follow an aggressive program aimed at keeping your blood sugar at or near normal levels, you can prevent or delay these complications of type 2 diabetes. An aggressive program includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and if necessary, taking the proper medication.
Eating A Balanced Diet
- Eating healthy is one of the easiest ways to help control type 2 diabetes. It is important to select the right foods and portion sizes. You should also eat balanced meals throughout the day. Some helpful hints for healthy eating:
- Make simple changes to reduce the fat in your diet. A good place to start is to replace whole milk with skim milk.
- Make a meal plan. Shop with specific meals in mind. Keep a written log of what, how much and when you eat. This will help you identify bad eating habits so you can change them for the better.
- Eat a variety of foods. You should stay away from foods high in sugar like soda, cake, cookies, and candy.
Any physical activity is good for you. Ask your doctor what kinds of exercises are best for you. Then start doing them. When exercising, keep a few things in mind:
- Start slowly. Focus on activities you can do regularly. And don’t overdo it!
- Start with easy changes. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Exercise at the same time each day. It will soon become a routine!
- Try new activities so you don’t get bored. Take a walk in a park or ride your bicycle on a trail instead of in your neighborhood.
Take Your Medications
Sometimes you need more than just a healthy diet and regular exercise to control your blood sugar. Your doctor may add a medication, such as Glucophage XR or Glucovance. These medications and others like them can make it more convenient for you to control your blood sugar levels.
Check Your Blood Sugar
Two important tests for checking your blood sugar are the fasting blood glucose test and the HbA1c test also know as the A1c test. Both tests are conducted in a doctor’s office. Fasting blood glucose gives your doctor your latest fasting sugar levels. However, the HbA1c test can give your doctor your average blood sugar levels over a period of three months. Since it covers a longer period of time, this test shows how well you are managing your condition. The American Diabetes Association recommends that your goals for these test should be:
- Fasting Blood Glucose. You should have a fasting blood sugar level in the 80 to 120 mg/dL range.
- HbA1c. You should keep your HbA1c level to less than 7 percent.
See Your Doctor
Stay in touch with your doctor and diabetes educator. They may learn new things or notice changes in you that require a new plan. Remember, knowledge really is power!
Make regular appointments with your doctor. Be sure to use this time to ask him or her any questions.
You should have regular check ups to check your:
- HbA1c level.
- Cholesterol level.
- Blood pressure.
- Foot exam.
- Eye exam.
- Weight and height.
Sometimes people are too relaxed about managing their condition, and in the long run that can lead to serious complications like becoming blind, losing a limb or having kidney problems or heart disease. Other people make the mistake and believe that diabetes means they will have poor health for life.
There’s a bright side. Type 2 diabetes is manageable. By aggressively controlling the condition – eating right, exercising regularly, and taking the right medicine, if necessary.
Take Control Checklist
Regular checkups with your doctor play a key role in your good health and in taking care of your diabetes. Below are some starting points to help you make the most out of your next doctor’s visit.
What is my HbA1c? __________________________________
What is my cholesterol level? __________________________
What is my blood pressure? ___________________________
Do you have comments on my foot exam? ______________
Do you have any comments on my eye exam? __________
What are my weight and height? W ________ H _________