You have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes…now what?! This new diagnosis can be overwhelming at first, but with lifestyle changes and support, from your healthcare team, you can manage the disease successfully for many years to come.
You are not alone.
Over 30 million Americans live with Type 2 diabetes and another 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed every year. At Tryon Medical Partners, we have Certified Diabetes Educators on staff, helping provide you with the tools needed to understand the condition and safely manage your blood sugars.
Small changes to your diet make a big impact.
Work first to eliminate sources of sugary liquids— stop all regular soda, sweet tea and fruit juice. Then start to cut back on starchy foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, corn and beans. Limit these items to one cup or less at meals. While limiting starches, increase your veggies! Start to incorporate more items like green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, zucchini, peppers, etc. Need meal ideas? Visit www.diabetesfoodhub.org.
Activity is one of the best ways to improve your blood sugar-—it’s like free medicine! Pick an activity you enjoy, like dancing, biking, or walking, and grab a friend. An activity partner helps to hold you accountable and often makes the activity more enjoyable. Start slow with 10-15 minutes at a time and build up to 30 minutes, five days a week.
There are many medications that have been approved for diabetes that also help you lose weight and protect your heart. Talk to your doctor about the best medication option(s) for you and your body.
Track your progress.
If you are doing all this hard work, how do you know if it’s even working? Talk to your doctor about using a blood sugar monitor. By testing your blood sugar at different times of the day, you can start to see how different foods and activities affect your numbers. Your doctor will also measure your Hemoglobin A1C to assess your overall control. This blood test provides an average blood sugar over a three month period. For most people, a hemoglobin A1c of 6.5-7% indicates your blood sugars are in a safe range.
While there is no cure, you can live a long and healthy life with diabetes. For more information, visit the American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org.