As a primary care doctor, I know living with diabetes can be challenging, but with the right knowledge and tools, it's entirely possible for you to manage your type 2 diabetes and live your best life. While every person’s type 2 management plan will differ based on their individual needs, here are four tips that can help everyone to manage their type 2 diabetes.
- Track your blood glucose readings.
Talk with your doctor about what your blood glucose goals are and then make sure to regularly monitor your blood glucose levels. This helps you to understand how different foods, activities and even stress change blood glucose levels. It also helps you in making informed decisions about your food intake, physical activity and medication.
- Have a diet and exercise plan.
A balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial for managing your type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, learning about carbohydrate counting and portion sizes is a key to many diabetes management plans. For more information, please read my previous blog, Treating Type 2 Diabetes with Diet & Exercise.
- Take Your Medications.
For some people, diet and exercise alone may not be enough to manage your type 2 diabetes, and you may be prescribed medications to help maintain healthy glucose levels and prevent complications. It's important to take these medications and any other medications prescribed by your doctor as advised by them.
- Complete your diabetes checkpoints.
○ Keep regular appointments with your doctor and remember to bring the following to every office visit:
○ Your blood glucose meter and blood glucose reading tracker for your doctor to review.
○ A list of all medications you’re currently taking, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements.
○ Vaccination list with date of when you last received the following vaccinations:
○ Hepatitis B
○ Shingles (Zoster)
○ Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap)
○ Every 3 – 6 months:
○ Have an A1C test. Talk with your doctor about how often you should have this test.
○ This test gives you an average of your blood glucose control over the past 2 to 3 months. Your A1C test
results can help you and your doctor understand how well your treatment plan is working.
○ Once a year get a:
○ Kidney test
○ Retinal eye exam
○ Peripheral neuropathy test (VPN Test and Comprehensive Foot Exam)
○ At least once a year get a:
○ Dental exam
○ Cholesterol test
We have created a free diabetes workbook to help you track the above information and take control of your type 2 diabetes.
Living with diabetes does not mean compromising on quality of life. With the right information, active lifestyle choices, and regular monitoring, it is entirely possible to lead a fulfilling life while effectively managing diabetes. Remember, you are not alone. You can reach out to your doctor or care team at any time to help create or update a plan of action to manage your diabetes.