If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, know that you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Americans dealing with Type 2 diabetes has more than doubled over the last 20 years. While it’s certainly alarming to hear that Type 2 diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, cutting edge technology has introduced new treatments which may allow you to regain control of your health and reclaim your destiny.
On this page, we provide an overview designed to help you get a better handle on your situation and prepare you to take charge. From this page, you can link to additional resources that will arm you with information and ways you can manage Type 2 diabetes if you have been diagnosed or fear a diagnosis might be on the way.
Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes, occurs when your body is unable to properly process sugar. This results in abnormalities in blood glucose levels. At first, your pancreas creates enough extra insulin to handle the situation, but eventually you’ll require another form of treatment to tame Type 2 diabetes.
You likely experience Type 2 diabetes symptoms prior to your doctor delivering an official diagnosis. Here are the most common symptoms:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
You are at a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if you are overweight or obese, 45 years of age or older, have a parent or sibling with Type 2 diabetes, or don’t get enough exercise. Some groups are more prone to Type 2 diabetes. These groups include African Americans, Latinos, American Indians/Alaska natives, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans.
You might not be able to control if you end up with Type 2 diabetes, but you can certainly see success trying to contain it.
If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, take a deep breath. Millions of Americans live with the condition every day. With the right attitude, medical care, personal approach to your health, and good habits, you can live a happy and healthy life with Type 2 diabetes. If you’re unsure where to start, consider these quick tips:
Watch what you eat. Diabetes begins and ends with blood sugar, which is directly related to the food you consume. Be diligent about every bite of food and sip of drink. Cut back on -- or eliminate -- processed sugar, refined carbohydrates, and animal products. Instead, fill up on foods rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables.
Get exercise. Even if you’re not used to being active, you can do this. Start slow. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity, five times a week. Be sure to talk to your doctor to devise a plan that’s right for you.
Find the right medication. Most people with Type 2 diabetes require prescription medication to keep their blood sugar levels where they need to be. Here again, you’ll work with your doctor to find the medication that works best for you.
Monitor your blood sugar. Regularly check your blood glucose levels. This will help you determine the foods and drinks that impact them. The more you know, the better you can control Type 2 diabetes within your daily routines.
Investigate alternatives. Typically classified as a lifelong condition, there is currently no cure for Type 2 diabetes. That said, in a few rare cases, individuals have partially or completely reversed their Type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise alone. Others have turned to bariatric surgery to significantly lower their blood sugar levels. Others sign up for prescription drug trials to see if the latest medical advances can help them keep their Type 2 diabetes in check or even put them on the road to a cure.
No matter the route you decide to take, be sure to maintain an open and honest relationship with your doctor. Don’t make a move without discussing it with your doctor. He or she will help ensure that what you’re doing is safe and will not cause any further harm.