4 Steps to Take after a Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis
Our body’s preferred form of energy is glucose (a simple form of sugar), which helps fuel our brain and keeps our muscles moving. We get glucose by breaking down the food we eat, particularly from carbohydrate-rich foods such as breads, cereals and wholegrains. In order to use glucose as energy within our cells, we need a naturally occurring substance called insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or doesn’t use insulin efficiently. This results in a glucose imbalance within your bloodstream, which can lead to a variety of serious health issues.
It’s never easy to learn that you have any kind of illness, but learning you have type 2 diabetes can be especially overwhelming. Wondering where to go from here? Start by considering your diagnosis as an opportunity rather than a barrier, to adjust your lifestyle in order to feel better and live a longer, healthier life. Then use these four steps as your guide.
1. Build a team
Although your doctor won’t be the only person on your diabetes care team, he or she should be the team leader who helps you connect the puzzle pieces that create the complete picture of your health. You might also have a diabetes educator—these trained health care professionals are employed by hospitals and healthcare groups specifically to teach people with diabetes how to manage their health. Your pharmacist will be very helpful in helping you learn about your new medications. And of course, you’ll need your family to aid in your physical and emotional care and support your healthy choices along the way.
2. Learn more about treatment
Depending on your personal medical circumstances, you may be prescribed one or more medications to help manage your blood glucose levels and any other symptoms you might be experiencing. Always read the medication instructions very carefully, and never be afraid to ask your doctor any questions you might have about your prescriptions and how to use them. You’ll also learn to use a blood glucose monitor to check your blood glucose levels; although it may seem intimidating at first, how frequently you need to check your blood glucose levels vary between individuals, and once you’re confident with how to test your blood glucose levels, you’ll likely find it’s not so intimidating after all. This skill will be critical to helping you manage your condition now and in the years ahead.
3. Create your plate
Although there is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, it can be effectively managed and it’s progression slowed through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Going forward, your diet will be one of the most important ways to help you control your blood glucose. Consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you to lose weight, better control your diabetes, and may even help to delay the need for diabetic medication. Jenny Craig helped many clients lose weight and better control their diabetes. Did you know that Jenny Craig clients can lose 3X more weight with us than dieting on their own?1 The Jenny Craig program provides convenient, nutritionally balanced, structured menu plans, educational materials, behavioural strategies and the weekly support of your own personal consultant to help you achieve and maintain your weight loss. Not to mention the delicious pre-prepared meals and snacks to make losing weight just that much easier.
4. Get moving
Regular physical activity can help you lose weight and manage your blood glucose levels—not to mention relieve stress, boost energy, keep your joints flexible and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Ask your doctor or healthcare professional which kinds of exercise are appropriate for you, then browse the Jenny Craig blog for helpful fitness tips and ideas.
Your type 2 diagnosis is a reason to look forward, not back. So let’s get moving toward a healthier future!