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5 Things I Wish I Had Known When Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

My diagnosis as a Type 2 diabetic caught me completely by surprise. I knew almost nothing about it and had to get up to speed on the disease, fast.
Here’s a quick list of a few things I wish I had known immediately after getting off the phone with my doctor:

  1. Am I going to die? Diabetes is, almost always, a life sentence. It’s probably not going to go away, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to kill you. If you manage and control your diabetes you can live a long, healthy life. In many ways, I’m healthier now than I was before being diagnosed. The complications from diabetes are severe however, and if you don’t take control it can (will) cause permanent damage that can lead to death. Don’t take a diagnosis lightly, even if your doctor tells you you are “pre-diabetic” or “slightly” diabetic.
  2. What should I eat? The diabetes pamphlets and dietary advice your doctor gave you was probably confusing at best and dead wrong at worst. The best advice is to buy a blood glucose monitor and test yourself 2 hours after every meal. If what you ate made your blood sugar skyrocket, cross it off the list. You’ll probably find that means you’ll eventually end up on a low, or restricted, carb diet.
  3. Should I exercise? Absolutely. Regular exercise will help improve your insulin resistance. That doesn’t mean you have to start running marathons or pumping iron like a bodybuilder. Walking is a great start. A half hour or forty five minutes a day will do amazing things for your glucose levels over time.
  4. Should I see a specialist? I’d recommend it, unless your general practitioner happens to specialize in diabetes patients. Diabetes can be a tricky condition and I’m always one to call in the specialists when something gets complicated. Don’t worry about offending your family doctor, ask for a referral to an endocrinologist. Most endos spend their day treating diabetes.
  5. What should my blood glucose levels be? Advice will vary. I personally think the ADA’s recommendations are on the high side. I’m aiming for a fasting blood glucose under 110, a post meal of 140 or less and an A1c under 5.5. There are a number of studies that show that keeping your levels under these numbers is optimal. Look for upcoming articles that discuss blood glucose levels and hba1c results.

Source: http://www.t2faq.com/type-2-diabetes/diagnosis/5-things-i-wish-i-had-known-when-diagnosed-with-type-2-diabetes.html »

 

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