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Type 2 Diabetes Treatment - What to Do When You Have Been Diagnosed

Updated on April 10, 2012

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment - What Do I Do?

So, you have just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? Treatment is the obvious next step, as getting your diabetes under control quickly will be foremost on your doctor's mind.However, you on the other hand - well, most likely, you will still be in a state of shock about this new health development.

How did this happen to you, and what is type 2 diabetes anyway?

Is it as bad as they say it is, or is it worse than you know?

Here are some things to be aware of regarding this disease; what it is, what causes it and how to treat it.

Foods the diabetic body struggles with
Foods the diabetic body struggles with | Source

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

The pancreas is an organ in your body which produces the hormone insulin. Insulin processes glucose in the blood so that it can be used by the cells in your body for fuel.

Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the pancreas gets sluggish at producing insulin or your body cannot use insulin as effectively as it used to. In turn, this means that the cells in your body don't get the fuel they need to function properly.

Complications of Diabetes (if left unchecked):

  • Blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • Amputation
  • Nerve Damage
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Heart Disease

An average family fridge - some healthy food and some not so good
An average family fridge - some healthy food and some not so good | Source

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes? How Did I Get It?

Diabetes is a disease that has a genetic component and can 'run' in families as can heart disease, high cholesterol and cancer. While there is nothing you can do to change this, there is no guarantee you will get it, only that the risk for you is higher than for other people.

Fortunately, most of the main factors increasing the risk of diabetes, are things that we have some control over.

These are:

Being Overweight

Age (unfortunately cannot change this one)

Activity levels

High Blood Pressure

High Stress Levels

Bad diet and eating habits

Bad sleeping habits

In some respects diabetes is a disease greatly affected by your lifestyle.

Play with your children or grandchildren - get active! Have fun...
Play with your children or grandchildren - get active! Have fun... | Source

Type 2 Diabetes Treatments - How Do I Get Better?

Once diagnosed, you will be working with a number of health professionals - checking your body in the areas of your eyes, kidneys etc to make sure there is no damage there and to treat anything of concern.

Getting support from a diet specialist will be top of your list and also enlisting help from your family will make your life-style changes a little easier. Changing your dietary habits is simple; doing it is the hard part.

In general, eating the types of foods your grandparents ate will be a great start. Avoid foods like sugar, salt and saturated fat, and target foods that release the 'sugar' into your blood stream slowly (low GI foods) - foods like brown rice, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

If you can lose even as little as 5 kg you can significantly help control your diabetes or even begin to reverse it's progress.

Another aspect of losing weight is incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Not only does this help you use excess blood sugar but it improves circulation, cardio-vascular fitness, muscle tone (in turn improving burn rate of fat), as well as having an anti-depressant effect. You can move more freely, feel stronger and just generally feel better within yourself. It also helps to relieve stress.

Next thing to do is reduce the stress levels in your life. Learn how to say 'no' and mean it. Find ways of giving yourself a recharging time-out, like a hobby that you enjoy, that takes you away from the stuff of everyday life.

If you have high blood pressure, get this treated. Usually medication can control this very well, but losing weight and reducing stress levels will help with this also.

Get a good night's sleep each night. Sleep helps the body heal; helps it to relax and restore the body's systems to a normal balance.

Oddly enough, living a healthy, active and happy lifestyle goes a long way to control and potentially reverse the diabetes. Perhaps living like this to begin with may have prevented the disease developing...


Living With Type 2 Diabetes - Moving On

Once you get over the shock of finding out you have diabetes, and you learn how to manage your illness, you can get on with your life.

Are things the same?

No!

Most people who control their diabetes say life is better than before. They don't take any day for granted.

The Type 2 Diabetes treatment has wrought a change in lifestyle and they are now reaping the positive results of their efforts.

Will it be easy?

Not really.

Although the changes are simple - eat well, sleep well, exercise well, relax well, and generally enjoy life more, it is a matter of choosing to change elements that have become firmly established habits.

We as humans, are resistant to change even when it is good for us, and you may struggle to give up pleasures you want to keep, but it is a matter of exchanging one habit for another... for the sake of the rest of your life.

You will be surprised at finding new delights in taste and lifestyle, once you have taken that first step and begun your journey to a new and healthier you...

Do you suffer from Type 2 Diabetes? What was your 'silver lining'?

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    • Johanna Baker profile imageAUTHOR

      Johanna Mary Elisabeth Baker 

      5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Thanks Nancy for your comment.

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 

      5 years ago from USA

      Dear Johanna:

      This is a very useful Hub! I especially enjoyed the emphasis you put on getting active and having fun. You are so right that we as humans resist change, even when it is good for us. I look forward to reading more of your work!

      Nanacy

    • Johanna Baker profile imageAUTHOR

      Johanna Mary Elisabeth Baker 

      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Thank you Fiddleman for your comment. It has been hard for us making that adjustment as well with my husband being a big potato eater (he was born in Ireland so I am not sure if that has anything to do with it :-) ) but he has managed to lose some weight by reducing the quantity that he eats and by avoiding cakes etc

    • profile image

      Fiddleman 

      6 years ago

      Excellent write with some great information. Both my wife and I are Type II. We both were raised in the country and have always eaten lots of potatoes, bread and all those foods diabetics should not eat. It has been hard adjusting but we are making progress.

    • Dreamlin profile image

      Dreamlin 

      6 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      Thanks for the information. They are very helpful. My mother has Type II diabetes for ten years now. The illness changes her lifestyle definitely, but I think for the better. She exercises at least one hour a day (power walk mostly), eats two meals daily with small healthy snacks in between. I always prepare Organic fruits, vegetables and chicken for her (no red meat), and without much of emotional distress, she looks healthier, happier and much younger for her age. Nowadays, too many people have Type II Diabetes. Like you said, numerous factors contribute to the disease. However, with right amount of exercise, healthy and safe food, and lots of happy thoughts, one can live with the illness and still enjoy life.

    • Johanna Baker profile imageAUTHOR

      Johanna Mary Elisabeth Baker 

      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Yes, it is hard to work out how to manage Diabetes too especially when first diagnosed. It has been about 3 weeks since we found out my husband has it. Thank you for your lovely comment.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 

      6 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Not only is this great information, it's also well written and engaging--difficult for such a hard topic.

      Thanks!

      TMcG

    • Serious hubber profile image

      Serious hubber 

      6 years ago from Shanghai

      Good Information

    • Johanna Baker profile imageAUTHOR

      Johanna Mary Elisabeth Baker 

      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      You are the best person to monitor your diet and BG levels, and everyone is unique. Glad to hear that you have achieved normal levels and lowered your BP at the same time. Well done!

    • profile image

      Richard 

      6 years ago

      Some good information but personally I avoid brown rice, most whole grains and most (but not all) fruit. All of these foods raise my BG unacceptably. By eating low carbohydrate meals I have lowered my BG to normal levels and lowered my blood pressure too.

    • Johanna Baker profile imageAUTHOR

      Johanna Mary Elisabeth Baker 

      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Thank you for your comment and encouragement.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 

      6 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      You can't have control over your age, but it does play a factor especially if it is genetically predisposed.

      I beat diabetes in it's tracks by losing weight, and eating better. Still have the genetic component, but hoping to beat that. I wrote a hub about it all, and how I lost 75 pounds.

      There are food substitutes you can use so you don't have to change so much. It is easy, once you get into a rhythm. It's better than the alternative.

      Be Well.

    • Johanna Baker profile imageAUTHOR

      Johanna Mary Elisabeth Baker 

      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I did mean that some of the factors we can change, but I have amended it so that hopefully it is clearer to read. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment and link.

    • profile image

      Trudie Scherpenzeel 

      6 years ago

      Good information, although I do'nt see how you can have control over your age. You might want to check on that point in your article. For tips on healthy snacks etc. I would like you to have a look at my blog site and, if you feel so inclined, leave me a comment. Keep up the good work. Http://www.healthydiettip.net

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