Following your diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, your doctor will guide you through the treatment process. It involves both lifestyle changes you need to make, and medical treatments like taking medications. Here is a look inside the treatment for this form of diabetes.
You Need to Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves multiple steps, and often begins with knowing and checking your blood glucose levels. If your diabetes glucose levels are on the lower side or right on the border, this might not be necessary to do on your own. It is possible that your doctor will simply have you check in with them routinely for a blood test. However, if your glucose numbers are high, you need to track them regularly at home. You will be given a meter that comes with a device to lance your fingertip to get blood, along with test strips.
Medications Are Often Necessary
Some people have great luck with just lifestyle changes, but others also need medications to keep their blood sugar levels low. The medications you are given depend on your levels, if they are going up or down, and if you have other health conditions as well. You may also be asked to try insulin therapy if your numbers keep rising and other parts of your body are being affected.
Watching Your Diet is Crucial
Your diet has a large impact on your blood sugar levels, which is why this advice is repeated in just about every article about diabetes. You need to watch your diet and make smarter choices. You want to reduce your fat, calories, sugars, and carbs in your diet, going for fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, and seeds. It is also a good idea to stick to foods on the low-glycemic index.
Type 2 Diabetes is Chronic, But Manageable
People are often frightened when they learn that type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition, and one they might never get rid of. However, this doesn’t mean it is fatal or that it will never get better. You can manage your diabetes and prevent it from worsening as long as you follow your doctor’s orders, watch your diet, exercise, and check your blood sugar levels regularly. Don’t be scared of the meter that helps you test your blood, as this is an integral part of avoiding more serious complications.
If you would like to receive a free resource sheet to help you take control of diabetes, click the button below to receive your gift.
I wanted to talk about this topic because it is absolutely possible to prevent and even reverse Type 2 Diabetes (but you cannot reverse Type 1). Yes, it’s possible! and emerging studies looking at lifestyle medicine and prevention support this! But I always tell my patients that you must be dedicated and diligent in adopting a healthy lifestyle to get the best results. You can create certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, to help break the cycle of this chronic disease so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve your blood sugar levels, maybe reverse type 2 diabetes. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Tools For Diabetes Prevention and Monitoring
Blood Sugar Monitoring
As you know, I always stress the importance of taking control of your health. Monitoring your blood sugar levels is one of the best ways to do this. To do this, a single drop of blood is collected with disposable lancets and placed on a disposable test strip, which you insert into a home blood-sugar monitoring device, called a glucometer.
The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up (fasting), before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime; however, you should check your blood sugar as many times a day as your health care team suggests.
Monitoring your blood sugar level provides you and your doctors with important knowledge about how food, activity, medication, stress, and other elements might affect your blood sugar levels. This data will assist you and your doctor in developing a therapy plan that is suited to your demands.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases such as diabetes, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity actually improves insulin sensitivity. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Here are some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet and regular physical activity are the best ways to prevent diabetes. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.
The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.