There are ways you can control your type 2 diabetes that are separate from the essential weight loss, healthy eating, exercise, and medication remedies. While there is no official cure for type 2 diabetes, careful management of your symptoms may limit your risk of future complications or help reduce existing ones.
Commit to learning all you can about type 2 diabetes, incorporating all the healthy lifestyle choices into your daily life like healthy eating, and creating a relationships with your doctor and diabetes educator. Keep a vigilant eye on your diabetes management plan and ask your doctor and others for help when needed.
2. Tell others
Tell your family and friends about your condition and teach them how to use a glucagon kit in case you are incapable of treating yourself. Keep this glucagon kit with you or nearby. Also, wear a tag or bracelet that indicates you are a diabetic.
3. Schedule exams
Make sure to schedule a yearly physical exam and regular eye exams. Type 2 diabetes comes with its challenges to your body, so make sure you are on top of managing these complications. Your regular diabetes checkups should not replace your physicals. Ask your ophthalmologist for signs of retinal damage, glaucoma and cataracts.
4. Keep immunizations up to date
Make sure you are getting the proper immunizations. High blood sugar can weaken the immune system, so get a flu shot every year, a tetanus shot every 10 years, and possibly a pneumonia vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages diabetics to get hepatitis B vaccinations if you haven’t been vaccinated for it and you’re an adult ages 19 to 59.
5. Brush and floss
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. Diabetes makes your gums sensitive to infection, so also visit your dentist twice a year and notify her if you see any redness or bleeding around the gums.
6. Treat your feet
Damaged feet are one of the major complications of diabetes. Wash your feet in lukewarm water daily, gently dry them, and then moisturize them with lotion. Check your feet regularly for blisters, cuts, sores, or swelling. Let your doctor know if you have a foot problem that isn’t healing.
7. Control blood pressure and cholesterol
You can do this by exercising regularly and eating healthy. Medication may also be needed, but it is not the first step.
8. Quit smoking
If you smoke or use tobacco in another way, ask your doctor to help you quit. Smoking increases your risk for many diabetes complications such as stroke, kidney disease, and heart attack.
9. Drink responsibly
If you drink alcohol, do so with moderation in mind. Alcohol can cause high or low blood sugar, depending on how much you consume and the foods you eat while drinking. If you drink, drink with a meal. For women, don’t have more than one drink a day. For men, don’t have more than two drinks a day.
Prolonged stress makes your body secrete hormones that prevent insulin from working properly. When you’re stressed, you also tend to leave your diabetes control tools by the wayside by eating bad foods or stopping physical activity. Get a good night’s sleep, learn meditation, and prioritize by cutting unnecessary activities.