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How Do You Live With Diabetes Type 2?

4 Steps To Manage Your Diabetes For Life

4 Steps To Manage Your Diabetes For Life

This publication has been reviewed by NDEP for plain language principles. Learn more about our review process. Actions you can take The marks in this booklet show actions you can take to manage your diabetes. Help your health care team make a diabetes care plan that will work for you. Learn to make wise choices for your diabetes care each day. Step 1: Learn about diabetes. What is diabetes? There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes – Your body does not make insulin. This is a problem because you need insulin to take the sugar (glucose) from the foods you eat and turn it into energy for your body. You need to take insulin every day to live. Type 2 diabetes – Your body does not make or use insulin well. You may need to take pills or insulin to help control your diabetes. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. Gestational (jest-TAY-shun-al) diabetes – Some women get this kind of diabetes when they are pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after the baby is born. But even if it goes away, these women and their children have a greater chance of getting diabetes later in life. You are the most important member of your health care team. You are the one who manages your diabetes day by day. Talk to your doctor about how you can best care for your diabetes to stay healthy. Some others who can help are: dentist diabetes doctor diabetes educator dietitian eye doctor foot doctor friends and family mental health counselor nurse nurse practitioner pharmacist social worker How to learn more about diabetes. Take classes to learn more about living with diabetes. To find a class, check with your health care team, hospital, or area health clinic. You can also search online. Join a support group — in-person or online — to get peer support with managing your Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Overview Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. The hormone insulin – produced by the pancreas – is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 – where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin type 2 – where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body's cells don't react to insulin These pages are about type 2 diabetes. Read more about type 1 diabetes. Another type of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes, occurs in some pregnant women and tends to disappear after birth. Symptoms of diabetes The symptoms of diabetes occur because the lack of insulin means glucose stays in the blood and isn't used as fuel for energy. Your body tries to reduce blood glucose levels by getting rid of the excess glucose in your urine. Typical symptoms include: feeling very thirsty passing urine more often than usual, particularly at night feeling very tired weight loss and loss of muscle bulk See your GP if you think you may have diabetes. It's very important for it to be diagnosed as soon as possible as it will get progressively worse if left untreated. Causes of type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body's cells don't react to insulin. This means glucose stays in the blood and isn't used as fuel for energy. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and tends to be diagnosed in older people. It's far more common than type 1 diabetes. Treating type 2 diabetes As type 2 diabetes usually gets worse, you may eventually need medication – usually tablets – to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. Complications of type 2 diabetes Diabetes can cause serious long-term heal Continue reading >>

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which sugar, or glucose, levels build up in your bloodstream. The hormone insulin helps move the sugar from your blood into your cells, which are where the sugar is used for energy. In type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells aren’t able to respond to insulin as well as they should. In later stages of the disease your body may also not produce enough insulin. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels, causing several symptoms and potentially leading to serious complications. In type 2 diabetes your body isn’t able to effectively use insulin to bring glucose into your cells. This causes your body to rely on alternative energy sources in your tissues, muscles, and organs. This is a chain reaction that can cause a variety of symptoms. Type 2 diabetes can develop slowly. The symptoms may be mild and easy to dismiss at first. The early symptoms may include: constant hunger a lack of energy fatigue weight loss excessive thirst frequent urination dry mouth itchy skin blurry vision As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe and potentially dangerous. If your blood sugar levels have been high for a long time, the symptoms can include: yeast infections slow-healing cuts or sores dark patches on your skin foot pain feelings of numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy If you have two or more of these symptoms, you should see your doctor. Without treatment, diabetes can become life-threatening. Diabetes has a powerful effect on your heart. Women with diabetes are twice as likely to have another heart attack after the first one. They’re at quadruple the risk of heart failure when compared to women without diabetes. Diabetes can also lead to complications during pregnancy. Diet is an imp Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms, Signs, Diet, And Treatment

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms, Signs, Diet, And Treatment

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which cells cannot use blood sugar (glucose) efficiently for energy. This happens when the cells become insensitive to insulin and the blood sugar gradually gets too high. There are two types of diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2. In type 2, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the cells cannot use it very efficiently. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot make insulin due to auto-immune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells. Type 2 can be caused by: Lack of activity (sedentary behavior) Genetics Risk factors include: Being overweight Being sedentary including watching more than 2 hours of TV per day Drinking soda Consuming too much sugar and processed food The signs and symptoms of this type of this type of diabetes are sometimes subtle. The major symptom is often being overweight. Other symptoms and signs include: Urinating a lot Gaining or losing weight unintentionally Dark skin under armpits, chin, or groin Unusual odor to urine Blurry vision Often there are no specific symptoms of the condition and it goes undiagnosed until routine blood tests are ordered. A blood sugar level more than 125 when fasting or more than 200 randomly is a diagnosis for diabetes. Treatment is with diet and lifestyle changes that include eating less sugary foods, and foods that are high in simple carbohydrates (sugar, bread, and pasta.) Sometimes a person will need to take drugs, for example, metformin (Glucophage). People with both types of diabetes need monitor their blood sugar levels often to avoid high (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Complications include heart and kidney disease, neuropathy, sexual and/or urinary problems, foot problems, and eye problems. This health condition can be prevented by following a Continue reading >>

What It’s Like To Live With Type 2 Diabetes

What It’s Like To Live With Type 2 Diabetes

Keeping tabs on your blood sugar If you’re not taking insulin, should you be testing your blood glucose during your day? The short answer is yes. You may not be using the results to adjust an insulin dose or the dinner menu, but it’s still important for people with Type 2 diabetes to be aware of their levels. “If there’s no testing, your sugars can be out of whack,” says Tabitha Palmer, a dietitian and certified diabetes educator working in Endocrinology Research at Capital Health in Halifax. “You can feel just fine with high blood sugar, but unfortunately they can still be causing all sorts of problems inside.” You certainly don’t need to test as often as someone with Type 1 diabetes would. But it may be a good idea to check your blood glucose level once or twice during the day. Taking medication Not everyone with Type 2 diabetes takes medication. But if you do, part of your day involves taking your pills or administering your injections. The medication may be prescribed to lower blood sugar, help your body produce insulin or provide the insulin your body can’t produce. About a quarter of people with Type 2 diabetes will eventually need to have insulin injections. “It’s not something that’s considered a failure or your fault. It’s just a natural progression of the disease,” says Palmer. These days, people are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at a much younger age, which means they could be living with the disease for decades. Watching your diet If you have Type 2 diabetes, your daily routine should always include three healthy meals. It’s important to put some planning into what goes on your plate. Because you’re at a high risk for cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease and stroke, your focus should be on low-fat foods. There Continue reading >>

How To Manage Type 2 Diabetes

How To Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Edit Article Once you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes you need to learn how to manage the disease. You can live a normal, long and healthy life with type 2 diabetes, if you live a healthy lifestyle. High glucose levels causes damage to nerves, kidneys, blood vessels, and eyes. Once diabetes has been diagnosed, then you need to monitor your health closely. 1 2 Follow the food plan as outlined by your physician or dietitian. Acquire the habit of eating slowly to prevent overeating without feeling hungry or deprived to avoid gaining weight. You will feel satisfied with less food; Google "eating slowly" to learn more about it (How and why it works). If you follow a low glycemic diet, you should focus on foods that are below 55. Regulate your carbohydrates throughout the day, eating about the same amount at each meal. Your dietitian or doctor should give you the amount of carbohydrates you should eat each day. Many diabetic diets have you eat three meals and three small snacks throughout the day. 3 Walk at least 20 to 30 minutes most days of the week. Other types of exercise that can help regulate glucose are biking and swimming. You may wish to break your walk into two or three sessions a day, 10 to 15 minuets each. 4 5 Inspect your feet every day to check for bruising, sores, or blisters. Diabetes damages the nerves, with the damage often beginning with the feet decreasing circulation and sensation. 6 See your diabetes team once or more a year: Primary care (or an endocrinologist): twice a year. Podiatrist: once a year for a thorough foot exam. Ophthalmologist: once a year for a thorough eye exam. (Psychologist: if you often eat unhealthily.) 7 Ask your doctor about lowering your blood sugar and the need for insulin or snacks for your sleep (night or day): not eat Continue reading >>

Living Longer With Diabetes

Living Longer With Diabetes

Diabetes tends to shorten your expected life. The good news is that you can do a lot to get those years back, and most of those things feel good. Studies disagree on exactly how much damage diabetes does. A Princeton University study of about 20,000 adults found that diabetes cuts about 8.5 years off the life expectancy of an average 50 year old, compared to a 50 year old without diabetes. Most of this early death comes from complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. People with diabetes are also less likely to be employed and more likely to be depressed and disabled, all of which can make life harder and potentially shorter, researchers found. However, a recent Dutch study published in the online journal PLOS One found much more encouraging results. People with Type 2 and an average age of 66 seem to have the same death rate as those without diabetes. Various factors influence death rates. According to the British site Diabetes.co.uk, “How soon diabetes was diagnosed, the progress of complications, and whether one has other existing conditions will all contribute to one’s life expectancy.” What to do Most complications of diabetes come from high blood sugars and high blood pressure. Too much sugar damages blood vessels and nerves. Almost any organ can fail given poor circulation caused by diabetes. According to mainstream medicine, the best way to lengthen life with Type 2 is to keep sugars down. In a typical recommendation, Diabetes.co.uk writes, “Keeping blood sugar levels within the recommended ranges will [reduce] the likelihood of complications and increase life expectancy…Enjoy a healthy lifestyle, with a well balanced diet, and regular activity.” If that doesn’t work, take medications, they say. With about ten categories of pr Continue reading >>

New Report Provides A Plan For Living With Type 2 Diabetes

New Report Provides A Plan For Living With Type 2 Diabetes

These days, when I must give one of my patients the bad news that he or she has type 2 diabetes, the response is sometimes along the lines of “Well, I figured it was just a matter of time before that happened.” Many people suspect they are on a collision course with type 2 diabetes, but don’t know how to steer clear of it. Many others have diabetes but don’t know how to control it. Before going any farther, let me clarify that I am talking about type 2 diabetes, what used to be called adult-onset and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. It begins when muscle cells have trouble responding to insulin, a hormone that ushers glucose (blood sugar) into cells. Type 1 diabetes (formerly called juvenile-onset and insulin-dependent diabetes) is a different story. It occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and damages insulin-making cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% of all cases of diabetes. It is also on the rise. Fifty years ago, about 1.6 million Americans had type 2 diabetes. Today, nearly 20 million have been diagnosed with it, and almost half again as many have type 2 diabetes but don’t know it. Living with a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes can be confusing. We have created Diabetes: A plan you can live with to provide a clear road map for people with this condition. This updated Special Health Report from Harvard Health Publications covers the basics of living with type 2 diabetes, from monitoring blood sugar and managing medications to losing weight and working with health-care providers. A separate report, Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes, covers strategies for eating well with type 2 diabetes, and offers 40 recipes that follow the healthy eating guidelines the report describes. As my colleague Dr. David M. Nath Continue reading >>

Diabetes Type 2

Diabetes Type 2

Family members were often involved in the lifestyle changes that people made after they were diagnosed with diabetes. Many people said that their spouses, partners and children were essential in helping them, and motivating them to keep their diabetes under control. Often the whole family made changes to their diet, and several people thought there had been benefits from doing this. Some involved their younger children or grandchildren when they were doing their blood glucose tests, taking their medication or injections, so that managing diabetes became a natural part of family life. However when people were in denial about their diabetes, it was difficult for families to know what to do. Parents said they educated their children about their diet and lifestyle, and encouraged them to eat healthily and to take more exercise, hoping that it might reduce their chance of getting diabetes. Some were keen to ensure that any sign of diabetes in their children would be picked up quickly. One father encouraged his children to be tested regularly because he believed getting diagnosed early had minimised the impact diabetes had on his health. Social Life Diabetes had little effect on most people's social life. Many had learnt to manage their diabetes so that it didn't affect their ability to eat out in restaurants, at friends' houses, or in social gatherings. Some people said they only had small amounts of food and were careful to avoid sweet or spicy foods (as these are often high in sugar, salt and fat. Spices are not on their own bad for you). Others said that they only ate out occasionally so they felt the odd indulgence was okay. A few people found other's reactions and lack of understanding difficult, which made it harder to keep within their diabetic guidelines and they suf Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms: Women With Condition Reveal How They Changed Their Diet

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms: Women With Condition Reveal How They Changed Their Diet

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced does not work properly and can be linked to lifestyle factors such as being overweight. A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes means people have to look after their own health. This includes maintaining good physical and mental health, preventing illness or accidents and dealing with minor ailments and long-term conditions. However, a diagnosis doesn’t have to spell the end of a full and happy life, Vitality Health and Life insurance has reiterated. Anna Cartien, 59, was diagnosed two years ago with type 2 diabetes. When she was first diagnosed, Anna immediately told herself she was going to have to ‘buckle down and get it under control’. “It wasn’t easy at first for me to stick to my new habits, but I now feel fantastic,” she said. “I wish I had made these changes earlier.” With a positive mindset, she has adopted a daily exercise routine, eats healthy meals and was even able to do what she thought impossible - quit smoking. When in hospital for kidney stones, Anna’s blood glucose levels were tested which resulted in a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Wed, June 21, 2017 Living with diabetes - ten top tips to live normally with the condition. Prior to this, she had been excessively urinating and felt constantly tired. She now exercises daily, putting in 35 minutes on a rowing machine, and doing about twenty minutes of yoga. Within six months of being diagnosed, Anna lost 20 kg (45lbs), however she said making this change wasn’t easy. “Increasing my exercise was the thing I was most opposed to,” she admits. “I’m glad I made the change though, as it has made a big difference to how I feel”, she said. Anna began a low-carb diet immediately after being diagnosed. Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Whether you have type 2 diabetes, are a caregiver or loved one of a person with type 2 diabetes, or just want to learn more, the following page provides an overview of type 2 diabetes. New to type 2 diabetes? Check out “Starting Point: Type 2 Diabetes Basics” below, which answers some of the basic questions about type 2 diabetes: what is type 2 diabetes, what are its symptoms, how is it treated, and many more! Want to learn a bit more? See our “Helpful Links” page below, which provides links to diaTribe articles focused on type 2 diabetes. These pages provide helpful tips for living with type 2 diabetes, drug and device overviews, information about diabetes complications, nutrition and food resources, and some extra pages we hope you’ll find useful! Starting Point: Type 2 Diabetes Basics Who is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes? What is the risk of developing type 2 diabetes if it runs in the family? What is type 2 diabetes and prediabetes? Behind type 2 diabetes is a disease where the body’s cells have trouble responding to insulin – this is called insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone needed to store the energy found in food into the body’s cells. In prediabetes, insulin resistance starts growing and the beta cells in the pancreas that release insulin will try to make even more insulin to make up for the body’s insensitivity. This can go on for a long time without any symptoms. Over time, though, the beta cells in the pancreas will fatigue and will no longer be able to produce enough insulin – this is called “beta burnout.” Once there is not enough insulin, blood sugars will start to rise above normal. Prediabetes causes people to have higher-than-normal blood sugars (and an increased risk for heart disease and stroke). Left unnoticed or Continue reading >>

Managing Type 2

Managing Type 2

In type 2 diabetes, your pancreas is still working but not as effectively as it needs to. This means your body is building insulin resistance and is unable to effectively convert glucose into energy leaving too much glucose in the blood. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes initially be managed through lifestyle modification including a healthy diet, regular exercise and monitoring your blood glucose levels. Eating well helps manage your blood glucose levels and your body weight Exercising helps the insulin work more effectively, lowers your blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. Regular blood glucose monitoring tests whether the treatment being followed is adequately controlling blood glucose levels or whether you need to adjust your treatment. The aim of diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the target range between 4 to 6 mmol/L (fasting), this will help prevent both short-term and long-term complications. Your healthcare team including your doctor, specialist, dietician and Credential Diabetes Educator, can help you with blood glucose monitoring, healthy eating and physical activity. However, sometimes healthy eating and exercise is not enough to keep the blood glucose levels down. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition. As time progresses, the insulin becomes more resistant and the pancreas is less effective converting glucose into energy. To help the pancreas convert glucose into energy, people with type 2 diabetes are often prescribed tablets to control their blood glucose levels. Eventually it may be necessary to start taking insulin to control blood glucose levels. This is when your body is no longer producing enough insulin of its own. Sometimes tablets may be continued in addition to insulin. If you require medication as Continue reading >>

Q&a: What It’s Like To Live With Type 2 Diabetes

Q&a: What It’s Like To Live With Type 2 Diabetes

A "Do you have diabetes?" poster hung next to an elevator in Premera Manager Kelly Jones's office. By the time the elevator arrived and she stepped in, she had read the poster a couple times — and thought the warning signs sounded familiar. Months earlier, her doctor advised that she was considered "pre-diabetic." He was monitoring her A1c, which measures average blood sugar level over a three-month period, and he recommended she get more exercise and improve her diet. Jones made an effort, but was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic at her next visit. We asked Jones to share her experience as a diabetic, and offer tips to help others manage this condition, experienced by 30 million Americans. Q: What symptoms of diabetes were listed on the poster? A: Excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, tiredness, blurred vision or tingling in your hands and feet. It was around Halloween, and I was eating too much candy at the office. So what I was calling "fuzzy brain" was actually a symptom of diabetes. And I was really thirsty. Q: Simply stated, what is diabetes? A: There are two types of diabetes: type 1, where your body is unable to make insulin; and type 2, where your body is unable to properly use the insulin it makes. When your body doesn't have enough insulin, you can't move glucose from your blood to the cells, and then you don't get the nutrients your body needs for energy. Type 2 diabetes is also often genetic, as in my case. Q: What risk factors did you have? A: The extra weight I was carrying was one factor, but not the only one — many people with type 2 diabetes are a normal weight or only moderately overweight. In my case, both my dad and sister have diabetes, so it was in my family history. Q: What have you found is the best approach to managing diabe Continue reading >>

How To Learn To Live With Type 2 Diabetes

How To Learn To Live With Type 2 Diabetes

It takes more than medicine to cope with diabetes every day.(RADE PAVLOVIC/ISTOCKPHOTO) Type 2 diabetes is serious business, but it's not a death sentence. With proper management, people can live relatively normal lives. "I think sometimes people still understand diabetes as being the disease where you get your legs cut off and go blind," says Thomas Blevins, MD, an endocrinologist and founder of Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology, a private practice in Austin. Diabetes management has come a long way in recent years thanks to a flurry of research, more drug options, advances in home glucose monitoring, and in many cases earlier diagnosis. While diabetes has become more manageable, it isn't necessarily easier. Learning how to cope You'll need to cope with added health costs, diabetes burnout (a point when the daily grind of finger pricking, food monitoring, and exercise may get you down), social functions like the office holiday party, and family members who may be less than supportiveor overzealous in their support. Frustration I did everything and my sugar was high Watch videoMore about coping with diabetes Turning down a second piece of cake is no piece of cake. But you may need to cope with temptation as well as well-meaning family and friends who morph into the "food police," interrogating your every food choice. Diabetes education Your first ally in learning how to live with diabetes will most likely be a diabetes educator, a health professional who teaches the finer points of living with diabetes. Penny, a 67-year-old who lives in New York City, took a five-week course in diabetic self-management at the Montefiore Medical Center. It was the best thing to ever happen to her, she says. She gained a much deeper understanding of the anatomy and physiology of diabetes; l Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes - Living With Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes - Living With Type 2 Diabetes

Making healthy choices is a big part of managing type 2 diabetes. The more you learn about the disease, the more motivated you may be to make good choices and follow your treatment plan. Eat a balanced diet, and try to manage the amount of carbohydrate you eat by spreading it out over the day. The dietary guidelines for good health can help everyone form healthy eating habits, including people who have type 2 diabetes. It is especially important for people with type 2 diabetes to: Shift from eating unhealthy saturated fats to eating healthier unsaturated fats. Avoid foods that contain trans fat. Be careful with alcohol, which affects your blood sugar. It can make problems from nerve damage, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight even worse. Adult women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day with a meal. Adult men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day with a meal. And women who are pregnant should not drink at all. You don't have to join a gym to get fit or be active. There are many things you can do, such as walking or even vacuuming. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that you keep your blood sugar levels at:1 80 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) to 130 mg/dL before meals, when using a home blood sugar test. If you are pregnant, aim for a blood sugar level from 60 mg/dL to 99 mg/dL. Less than 180 mg/dL 1 to 2 hours after meals, using the home blood sugar test. If you are pregnant, aim for 100 mg/dL to 129 mg/dL for your highest blood sugar level 1 to 2 hours after meals. Continue reading >>

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