Written by Papatya Tankut
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of people living with diabetes; yet, even though it’s so common, many people don’t know where to turn when they are diagnosed. While managing this chronic condition at times may seem overwhelming no matter how long you’ve had it, there are a number of steps that can be taken to manage diabetes effectively while living a full and happy life. Here is my best advice for managing type 2 diabetes to get started on a path to better health.
Know your target numbers. It’s important to constantly monitor A1c, blood glucose, LDL and blood pressure levels when living with type 2 diabetes. Know your target levels and record these numbers to ensure you are managing your diabetes as best as possible. Health care professionals, such as doctors or pharmacists, can help determine appropriate levels and keep your diabetes management on track, so don’t be shy to reach out to them.
Adhere to your medication regimen, even when you feel good. For those managing their type 2 diabetes with medications or insulin therapy, it’s important to adhere to your regimen at all times. Even when you feel strong and balanced, it’s essential to continue to take medications and insulin to ensure your diabetes management is on the right path. Prescription management and drug interaction prevention is easy to follow when refilling your medication at one pharmacy. Experience the convenience of refilling your prescriptions online by signing up for a free account on www.CVS.com.
Maintain a healthy diet. Contrary to popular perception, there is no specific type 2 diabetes diet. However, it’s important to eat healthy and center your diet around high-fiber, low-fat foods including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Reducing your consumption of refined carbohydrates and sweets will also help to manage your blood sugar. Another way to manage your blood sugar is to eat the same amount of food with the same proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats at the same time every day. Check out these tips for eating a healthy diet from Jamie and Bobby Deen, culinary experts and sons of Paula Deen, who is living with type 2 diabetes http://youtu.be/uI55nst2Gfo.
Exercise regularly. Everyone needs to exercise regularly, and people living with type 2 diabetes are no exception. What's most important is making physical activity part of your daily routine and aiming for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week. Physical activity moves sugar from your blood into your cells, and the more active you are, the lower your blood sugar level will be. It’s important to check your blood sugar level before any activity as you may need to snack before exercising to help prevent low blood sugar.
Papatya Tankut is vice president of pharmacy affairs at CVS/pharmacy.