July 26, 2011

Six Ways to Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes – P2

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To manage diabetes effectively, learn to set realistic goals. If goals are set that are overly ambitious, very few people will be able to achieve them. This is in fact the problem for many people – not setting realistic and achievable goals. Do not set yourself up for failure. Learn to take one step at a time and have success along the way.

Just remember that it has taken you years to develop diabetes and you will not manage diabetes overnight. This is where you need to use your meter to help you decide on the foods and quantity of food that your body can tolerate without aggravating diabetes. What? Your doctor did not authorize or prescribe a meter and test strips for you? Time for you to march into the doctor's office and ask for one. Politely at first, but if the doctor hesitates or refuses, then insist on a prescription. If you still do not obtain a prescription – I strongly urge you to consider, if you are able, to find a different doctor. If you are in a rural area with few doctors, you may need to resort to other tactics to obtain a meter and test strips, but you do need them.

Because we are fighting an uphill battle with our medical insurance companies that are determined to limit our testing, many people become discouraged and stop testing because of the cost. If you are able and can afford additional test strips, by all means the first several months, do regular testing to determine how foods and exercise affect your body. Learn how to negotiate with your insurance company to get the strips needed. Read this blog for testing procedures and long term goals.

Most people with Type 2 diabetes are started on oral medications. These may take a week or two to become effective and you need to be aware of this. Some oral medications also have side-effects when first taken that may make you want to stop. I am talking about Metformin. If the doctor prescribes this, ask if this is the regular or extended release version. Many people will not have loose bowels with the extended release and when taken with food.

If you are just starting to exercise, talk to your doctor to see that there are not problems you need to be aware of and make sure not to over exert yourself when starting an exercise regimen. Start slowly and increase the activity as you body and muscles become accustomed to the added activity.

A good blogger to follow if you have your heart set on managing diabetes with diet and exercise is this one by Tom Ross. Even if you are started on medications, talk to your doctor and ask questions about when you can consider stopping the medications. If your A1c's are at the right levels and the doctor can see that you are serious, he may encourage you and let you know when is may be safe. It is often an advantage to start on medications to get the management of diabetes accomplished early.

Also be aware that you can make mistakes. Learn from them and return to good management. This can happen to anyone at any time so just realize this and get back to management immediately.

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