New to type 2?

Newly di­ag­nosed and feel­ing over­whelmed? Check out these help­ful ideas for learn­ing to man­age your di­a­betes care

Diabetic Living - - CONTENTS -

Stay pos­i­tive with these tips

Keep in Mind: You’re Among Mil­lions To­day, ac­cord­ing to Di­a­betes Aus­tralia, 1.7 mil­lion Aus­tralians live with di­a­betes. Around the world, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Di­a­betes Fed­er­a­tion, there are over

427 mil­lion adults (20-79 years) with di­a­betes, with an ex­pected rise to over 600 mil­lion by 2045. So you’re not alone! And with mil­lions of peo­ple deal­ing with di­a­betes and more health ex­perts search­ing for ways to im­prove care, it’s con­stantly in the news. Read re­li­able sources for ac­cu­rate, sci­ence-based in­for­ma­tion and be cau­tious of false prom­ises, quick fixes and magic po­tions that ad­ver­tise ‘di­a­betes cures’.

Cel­e­brate the Ro­bust Amount of Re­search

Two re­al­i­ties fuel the flames of in­ter­est in and fund­ing for di­a­betes re­search: the epi­demics of obe­sity and type 2, and the in­crease in peo­ple di­ag­nosed with type 1. For-profit busi­nesses and non-profit di­a­betes-re­lated as­so­ci­a­tions are work­ing hard to get the lat­est de­vel­op­ments to mar­ket. This in­cludes both find­ing cures in the dis­tant fu­ture and ze­ro­ing in on new treat­ments and tech­nolo­gies around the cor­ner. Promis­ing tech­nolo­gies – in­clud­ing mak­ing glu­cose mon­i­tor­ing and track­ing eas­ier and quicker and in­sulin­de­liv­ery de­vices sim­pler to use and carry – are not far off. More new med­i­ca­tions to lower and con­trol blood glu­cose lev­els and de­lay the com­pli­ca­tions of di­a­betes are be­ing de­vel­oped than ever be­fore. These new med­i­ca­tions are aim­ing for less-fre­quent dos­ing, min­imis­ing hy­po­gly­caemia and as­sist­ing with weight loss.

Make Small Changes for BIG Re­wards

There is no need to hit the pave­ment run­ning or go on a rigid, unattain­able diet to man­age your di­a­betes. Re­search shows that a key to con­trol­ling type 2 di­a­betes in the early stages is to lose 5-7 per cent of your body weight and keep­ing those ki­los at bay for years to come. In fact, los­ing just a few ki­los, eat­ing health­ier and walk­ing a few times a week can cause blood glu­cose to plum­met if you’ve caught type 2 early enough. Los­ing a few ki­los can also lower blood pres­sure, im­prove blood lipids (choles­terol), and help a host of other health prob­lems, such as sleep ap­noea. Weight loss af­ter years of hav­ing type 2 might not be as im­pact­ful on your glu­cose lev­els, but healthy eat­ing and ex­er­cise are al­ways im­por­tant for your health.

Part­ner with Your Provider

Di­a­betes is a 24/7/365 dis­ease that re­quires con­tin­ual treat­ment ad­just­ments over the years.

While you need to stay in the driver’s seat for your day-to-day man­age­ment, you’ll want a health care provider who will work with you as a part­ner in your ef­forts. Your provider should con­stantly

These new med­i­ca­tions are aim­ing for less­fre­quent


strive to help you fine-tune your treat­ment to achieve your blood glu­cose, choles­terol and blood­pres­sure goals. Search out a knowl­edge­able and up-to-date provider, one who knows and uses new med­i­ca­tions, tech­nolo­gies and be­haviour­change strate­gies. Make sure your provider knows the Best Prac­tice Guide­lines of Aus­tralia and or­ders the tests and checks that you need to pre­vent or de­tect di­a­betes com­pli­ca­tions.

Find a Di­a­betes Ed­u­ca­tor

Why do you need to work with a di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor? They can help you learn about di­a­betes and specif­i­cally about your di­a­betes. They can help you set goals for be­hav­iour change, un­der­stand the mean­ing of your blood glu­cose re­sults and ad­vo­cate for you with your other providers. Maybe most im­por­tant of all, your di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor can serve as your cheer­leader or shoul­der to cry on.

The most com­mon place to find a di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor or a di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram is in hos­pi­tal­based pro­grams or in your pri­mary care provider’s prac­tice.

Ask your provider for a re­fer­ral for di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tion.

Seek Out Sup­port – Glob­ally & Lo­cally

With mil­lions of peo­ple around the globe deal­ing with di­a­betes ev­ery day, so­cial me­dia and net­work­ing among peo­ple with di­a­betes and care­givers (such as par­ents) has ex­ploded. The vir­tual arms of a warm and invit­ing di­a­betes on­line com­mu­nity are ready to wel­come you. Here are a few op­tions to check out:

Are you on Twit­ter?

Use the hash­tag #dsma and you’ll find your­self en­gaged with many en­thu­si­as­tic mem­bers of the di­a­betes on­line com­mu­nity (#doc).

Not ready to dive into the Twit­ter chat?

You may just want to read other peo­ple’s tweets be­fore writ­ing your own. If so, search on Twit­ter for the

hash­tags #di­a­betes, #doc, and #dsma. You’ll find plenty of di­a­betes-re­lated tweets.

Maybe you want to check out a few di­a­betes blogs or find just one that speaks to your im­me­di­ate in­ter­est, sit­u­a­tion, or type of di­a­betes. They are all dif­fer­ent. To get started, check out this month’s blogs on page 11.

So­cial me­dia not your thing? Ask your di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor if there is a di­a­betes sup­port group in your area.

Con­nect with An­other

With di­a­betes be­ing so com­mon, it’s not hard to find other peo­ple with the con­di­tion. Look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­nect with those who suc­cess­fully man­age their di­a­betes, live a sim­i­lar lifestyle to yours and are will­ing to share. Ask to chat, go for a walk or meet for cof­fee. Gather in­for­ma­tion about how they deal with sit­u­a­tions you strug­gle with ev­ery day, or even only once in a while. Get prac­ti­cal tips for your daily to-do list, such as tak­ing med­i­ca­tions, check­ing glu­cose lev­els and more. Help some­one else who is strug­gling. Form one or more sup­port­ive part­ner­ships. There is strength in num­bers!

Take Ac­tion to Get More Ac­tive

The ben­e­fits of be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive can­not be overem­pha­sised – es­pe­cially for peo­ple newly di­ag­nosed with type 2. Be­ing more ac­tive in­cludes get­ting about 30 min­utes of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity as many days a week as you can. It also means lim­it­ing the amount of time you sit on the sofa or at a desk. Get up and walk around to stretch your legs and get your blood mov­ing.

Mov­ing more of­fers you all the gen­eral ben­e­fits of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and be­ing fit, in­clud­ing bet­ter sleep, more en­ergy, greater agility and health­ier skin. Add these to the ex­er­cise ben­e­fits for peo­ple with type 2: keep­ing off lost weight, health­ier choles­terol and heart, lower blood glu­cose lev­els and im­proved in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity that al­lows your body to make bet­ter use of the in­sulin it con­tin­ues to make. Suf­fice it to say, ex­er­cise is medicine!

Chart and Check Your Progress

Tak­ing care of di­a­betes calls for care­ful chart­ing and track­ing. And it takes time and en­ergy to chart what you eat, the med­i­ca­tions you take, your glu­cose re­sults and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. But see­ing the fruits of your labour over time can be re­ward­ing and mo­ti­vat­ing.

To­day there is a range of chart­ing tools avail­able to you. They in­clude every­thing from pa­per and pen­cil to mo­bile and on­line apps and glu­cose-mon­i­tor­ing de­vices that down­load from your me­ter or smart­phone. You’ll want to track your day-to-day data as well as the re­sults of your quar­terly and an­nual tests and checks. Give your­self a pat on the back for each of your suc­cesses!

Heed the Wake-Up Call for Healthy Liv­ing

Most peo­ple with newly di­ag­nosed type 2 carry around ex­tra weight. And they ei­ther have heart dis­ease or are at risk of it, along with other weightre­lated health prob­lems. The good news is that the same ac­tions that can lower or con­trol your blood sugar can also help you lose weight, im­prove choles­terol, lower blood pres­sure, and more. Yes, a pack­age deal!

Take a deep breath. Look at your di­ag­no­sis of type 2 as a wake-up call. Rel­ish this op­por­tu­nity to make changes in your lifestyle to im­prove your health for to­day and many healthy to­mor­rows.

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