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So you’ve recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. What next? Where do you go from here? Below are some tips to help you manage your diabetes as you make adjustments to this new chapter of your life. Diabetes doesn’t have to control your life – you can help control it.

  1. Check your blood sugar every day. This helps you keep track of how your body is responding to certain foods, stress, forms of exercise, etc. It is recommended to check blood sugar levels before meals and two hours after you’ve taken the first bite of a meal. You’ll also need to check it after exercising, even if it’s just walking, as well as when you become stressed. This will help keep you informed of how your body handles certain situations.
  2. Include protein in your diet. While you have to watch your carb intake, you need protein as a part of your diet. If you’re eating carbs without protein, your blood sugar will spike up to higher levels, resulting in complications with your health. A nutritionist can help you figure out the right carb-to-protein ratio for meals and snacks.
  3. Stay in touch with your healthcare professionals. Due to having what is a chronic condition, you’ll want to stay in touch with your doctor. They’re there to answer questions and provide support as you become used to your new way of living. Keep track of appointments and don’t miss them, bring in your blood sugar log, and be honest and upfront about whether you have followed your diet and health guidelines.
  4. Don’t quit carbs. Yes, you’ll need to monitor your intake. However, you still need them so don’t quit cold turkey. They aren’t bad when consumed in moderation and are found in other foods besides bread, pasta, and rice. Non-fat dairy, fruit, and vegetables also have carbs. Keep track of them.
  5. Treat yourself on occasion. While it’s best to stay away from sweets as much as you can, this doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every once and a while. Keep the portion size small, though.
  6. Stay hydrated. While keeping track of what you’re eating, be sure to log what you’re drinking as well. Water is extremely important, as is it helps dilute the blood and lower blood sugar. Dehydration can greatly impact the blood sugar level, even in mild form. If you stay busy during the day, keep a refillable bottle with you so you can stay hydrated. If you’re not a fan of plain water, feel free to add a little lemon or lime for some flavor.
  7. Control your stress levels. When you’re stressed, the body produces more sugar. This then accumulates in your cells and can prevent optimal blood sugar control. Plus, when you’re stressed out, chances are you won’t abide by your diet (“comfort” foods, in our minds, provide comfort during times of stress). Narrow down the sources of stress in your life and determine a way to handle them. Exercising on a regular basis and practicing relaxation techniques will help.
  8. Stay active. Exercising has many benefits. You can shed pounds and lower your blood sugar levels all at once! Strength training is very beneficial to those with type 2 diabetes, as it improves insulin sensitivity. Cardiovascular exercise is another great way to help keep everything under control. Both are great when combined.
  9. Nix cigarettes. Smoking can negatively impact your diabetes and lead to complications with medication dosages. You’ll also have a greater risk of circulatory problems, heart disease, kidney disease, eye damage, and nerve damage.
  10. Maintain control of your life. Failing to abide by the rules can result in a much harder, more difficult road for you in the future. Use the resources made available to you, ask questions if you aren’t sure of anything, express your concerns… This is your life, take control of it.