Discovering that you have type 2 diabetes can sometimes be a surprise. Once you have that diagnosis, you will have to make specific lifestyle changes. Managing your diabetes is essential, but you can learn how to do it with ease.
How is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?
When a doctor diagnoses type 2 diabetes, they use blood and the A1C test, which is also known as the glycated hemoglobin test. The test can reveal your blood sugar levels for up to three months.
In the absence of the A1C test, your doctor can diagnose your condition through other means. For example, a random blood sugar test can detect blood sugar levels. If the results come up to 200 mg/dL or higher, you have diabetes. It’s possible to have symptoms that coincide with your test results, such as excessive thirst and frequent urination.
The fasting blood sugar test can also detect diabetes. You are required to fast overnight. Afterward, the doctor takes your blood and tests it for your blood sugar levels.
Oral glucose tolerance tests can also determine whether you have diabetes, but it’s not as common as the other options.
How Can You Manage Diabetes?
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you must know how to manage your condition. A considerable part of type 2 diabetes management involves keeping your blood glucose healthy. While your doctor might prescribe medication for you to keep your blood sugar levels under control, you can also use natural ways to do it. They include the following:
- Lose weight: If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help bring your blood sugar to normal levels and might even reverse your diabetes.
- Consume a healthy diet: Consuming a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy products can help in more than one way. It ensures that you’re getting healthful, nutritious foods and can lose weight as long as you manage your portions. Eating five or six smaller meals throughout the day can help you accomplish your goals. Avoid anything high in sugar or sodium and skip processed foods.
- Exercise regularly: One of the critical aspects of managing type 2 diabetes is getting plenty of regular exercise. You should combine strength training and cardio activities for at least 30 to 60 minutes per day. Even a brisk walk can help.
- Quit smoking: If you smoke, you should quit immediately. It can help your diabetes prevent other conditions such as emphysema and lung cancer.
- Manage your stress levels: Stress can exacerbate your diabetes. Taking measures to reduce your stress levels can help manage your medical condition. Meditation and deep breathing exercises are helpful for stress reduction.
When Should You Take Medication to Manage Diabetes?
If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you don’t necessarily have to take medication. However, if you try to manage your condition naturally, such as those mentioned above and they don’t restore your blood sugar levels, you must speak with your doctor about getting a prescription.
Doctors also consider a person’s age when determining whether they need medication. For example, older adults might need a prescription due to having elevated blood sugar levels. Medication is a preventive measure to help those with diabetes avoid complications if their condition worsens.
Managing your type 2 diabetes is easier than you might think. Incorporating a few healthy practices into your daily life can keep your sugar levels in check. If you ever feel like you’re losing your way, you can continuously refresh your memory on Tandem Diabetes.