July 25, 2011

Six Ways to Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes – P1

Much of the following has application for all types of diabetes. However, I am concentrating the discussion to Type 2 diabetes and may expand this beyond the pointers in the WebMd article. Their point is six ways to wreck your blood sugar levels or what not to do. I would like to approach this from what to do to manage you blood glucose levels.

First I would do away with the term used by many writers “blood sugar”. This term continues the misinformation about sugar being the culprit for diabetes. In fact this can have an affect, but the larger culprit is carbohydrates which is converted to blood glucose by our bodies. And we don't measure blood sugar with our meters, but blood glucose.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious chronic disease and therefore a tough adversary requiring constant vigilance to keep ahead of it as part of your individual management plan.

The article uses the following with a short discussion: Not knowing your disease, expecting too much too soon, going it alone, neglecting other problems, misunderstanding and misusing medications, and finally making poor food choices. Yes, these are six easy mistakes to make and everyone at some time in their diabetes lives will make them. It is what we learn from these falls and how fast we recover after making a mistake that determines how well we manage our diabetes.

Error 1 - Not Knowing Your Disease

The first one can be a key for assistance in managing the rest more effectively. As a person with diabetes, you need to learn about diabetes. Andrew Ahmann, MD, director of the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, makes a statement rarely uttered by doctors. He says “You are your own doctor 99.9 percent of the time.”

He does mean that you are the one managing your diet, making sure you do exercise, and taking your medication on schedule. Dr. Ahmann also states, “classes on coping with diabetes are an excellent but underused resource. Not enough patients seek them out, and not enough doctors send their patients to them.” People need to learn how diabetes works to be able to make more informed decisions and better manage diabetes.

The only comment I make to that is that people often receive information that they will need to adapt to their lives and needs. The people presenting the information instruct from materials and fundamentals from the American Diabetes Association which is presented as a one size fits all approach. They will soon learn that one size does not fit all and that they have individual needs as well, so learning to adapt becomes essential.

Too many doctors discourage use of the internet, and for them rightfully so, because of all the misinformation that exists on the internet. Some doctors are providing short lists of good information, but not enough to make a dent for all the people needing information. So I will encourage people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes to search the internet on their own and look for reliable information – discarding information that seems to or offers cures, as this just is not possible.

The one source that had promised some assistance, the Association of American Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) has failed in their attempt to provide reliable information. See my blog here. I will provide the site link for this blog in part four of six parts.

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