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Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Nov 2, 2007
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It actually accounts for more than 90% of all cases of diabetes. With this disease the body does not make or properly use insulin, a hormone that helps convert sugar, starches and other foods into energy. Eventually a person's body will stop producing insulin if they have this disease. Unfortunately, it is not yet known why this happens. However, genetics and environmental factors do play a role. This is why it is important to have a self-management plan in order to fight this disease. There are classes available though that provide information about type 2 diabetes and teach the skills that are necessary for avoiding the numerous complications of this disease. These classes teach the patient how to monitor glucose, modify their diets, develop exercise regimens, self-inject insulin and many other necessary things.

There is a range of medications available to help you manage your diabetes. Because there is a lot of research going into diabetes, this range is expanding all the time. It is often helpful to look on diabetes medications as a valuable tool you can use in your quest to successfully live with diabetes. Just as sugar or glucose is useful when your blood glucose levels are low, medication is useful when you come to need it. Sometimes you may need medications for other things besides your diabetes. Some medications can affect your blood glucose levels. It pays to know what these medications are. Sometimes there is an alternative medication available that will not have the same effect. Sometimes you may need the medication anyway. But if you can anticipate the effect they may have on your blood glucose levels it will allow you to plan to manage this.

Daily insulin injections can be the most difficult part of type 2 diabetes self-management for some people. A good alternative for this is a medical device that is known as an insulin pump. This is a small, battery operated pump that is worn on the waist and has a reservoir that contains insulin, which is automatically injected into the body by way of a catheter that is embedded under the skin. The pump is easily detached and adjusted. About 90% of people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight. Therefore, exercise and keeping weight under control are vital. Of course, it is also important to keep blood glucose under control in order to prevent the other health related problems that are often related to type 2 diabetes.

Food intake must also be moderated. This does not mean that a person with the disease cannot continue to eat their favorite foods. They can do so as long as their portions are controlled. Of course, the person also needs to eat foods that are high in nutrition with lots of vegetables and fruit. For this reason you will find that many programs have dietitians on staff to help patients develop a plan that works for them. Exercise is also an important way of helping to control type 2 diabetes. Even light exercise such as gardening and walking are beneficial to keeping a person's blood sugar under control. This will also benefit your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Developing diabetes has helped some people become healthier. This is because by sticking to their self-management plan they are no longer obese, they are also able to enjoy the many health benefits that go along with exercise and healthy eating.
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