1 / 11 Follow These Steps to Better Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes Treatments
There may be millions of people with diabetes, but your diabetes treatment plan should be specific to you. For instance, not everyone needs the same drugs — or needs drugs at all. Some people may prefer an insulin pen to more traditional injections, and some people might have to test their blood sugar eight times a day, while others only have to test it twice. But there are a few things that everyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes can do to manage their treatment.
“It’s extremely important for individuals diagnosed with diabetes to remember that the condition can be managed, and that they should be an active participant in the plan,” says Cordialis Msora-Kasago, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Through regular visits with physicians, dietitians, certified diabetes educators (CDEs), pharmacists, and other members of your healthcare team, you can develop a personalized plan that not only controls blood sugar but allows you to adopt the skills necessary for life-long management.”
Early detection of an issue can often reduce the risk of more serious complications. So let your care team know when you notice fluctuations in your blood sugar. Just as you follow your blood sugar monitoring routine, take your diabetes medications on the exact schedule your doctor prescribed. Keep your doctor informed about everything you’re taking and be honest with her or him.
One of the best things you can do if you’re trying to manage your condition is to make changes in your diet and exercise habits. You may even be able to go off medication, says Arti Bhan, MD, division head of endocrinology at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan, “but it will depend on pancreatic function and how long you’ve had diabetes.” Losing weight and exercising more, says Dr. Bhan, can result in “durable remission” for those who are early in the course of their condition, but those with long-standing diabetes might still have to keep taking their medicine. “Although everyone might not be able to come off medications,” says Bhan, “almost everyone will notice an improvement in their blood sugar, and may see a reduction in their medication doses.”
And don’t give up if you hit a plateau or run into what seems like a roadblock. “Keep in mind that this plan is dynamic and will evolve with time,” says Msora-Kasago. “Remember to stay flexible, and if you drift from the plan, get back on it as soon as possible.”
Read on for more tips that will help you manage your type 2 diabetes treatments and get the best results.