So you have been Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes;
Well don't be too upset, you're not alone, Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of Diabetes in the world and millions of others in the UK alone have also been similarly diagnosed and it means that from now on, if you are not already doing so, you need to be living a healthy lifestyle.
The key to living with Diabetes is self-managing it successfully and not being solely dependant on others; it is nice to know that for most Diabetics there is a team of healthcare specialists available when you need them, but they are not there every day, all day; therefore, you are the one that needs to be in charge of your condition and if you want to stay healthy for longer, as stated earlier, you need to be living a healthy lifestyle.
Self-managing of Type 2 Diabetes includes Taking your Medication as prescribed, Doing Blood Glucose Testing, Eating a balanced Diet and Taking regular Exercise; to be honest everyone should be doing the latter two anyway; but unfortunately, a lot of newly diagnosed Type 2 Diabetics either do not understand the seriousness of their condition, or they get angry and/or depressed and choose to ignore it and do not follow the advice given by their healthcare team, which can and often does lead to them developing further Diabetic complications.
Tips For Managing Type 2 Diabetes:
01 Do Research - If you are reading this then you have already started to read up on your condition, well done! The more that you know about Diabetes the better; having a good understanding of Type 2 Diabetes will help you to manage your condition successfully.
02 Assess Your Fellings - Figure out how you feel about having developed Type 2 Diabetes and how well you are currently managing the condition. Keeping a diary of your moods and thoughts may help you to come to terms with the condition and you may find it helpful to talk to other Diabetics on forums and at local Diabetic group meetings; talking to others with the same problems as yourself makes you realise that you are not alone.
A good way of finding this help is to join a local support group, a Diabetes UK Voluntary Group; these groups offer people living with diabetes a chance to meet and share experiences with others; they are all run by volunteers and typically meet on a monthly basis often with a speaker on a topic like diet or exercise.
My local Voluntary group is
The SESKU Diabetes UK Voluntary Group in South Elmsall, South Kirkby and Upton.
To find a Voluntary Group near you visit
Diabetes UK Voluntary Groups.
03 Accept That As Yet There Is No Cure - You are now a Diabetic and you need to do all you can to alleviate the symptoms; you need to be living a healthy lifestyle, which means committing yourself to Taking your Medication as prescribed, doing Blood Glucose Testing, Eating a balanced Diet and Taking regular Exercise; set your self goals that are achievable and when you reach them, see if you can improve upon them; doing this should help you to stave off, or at least slow down the development of any further Diabetic complications, of which there are many.
04 Identify And Break Bad Habits - Many bad habits such as smoking, drinking heavily, snacking on junk food and lack of exercise are hard to break; so, unless you have an iron will, the best way to beat these habits and to lead a healthier lifestyle is to do it gradually; start by smoking less, drinking less, eating more healthier foods and go for a walk more often; once you get into the habit of doing this it gets easier to decrease the hold on you that bad habits tend to have; according to research these new habits become good habits within 2 to 3 weeks.
05 Avoid Temptations - Make a point to avoid any triggers that can tempt you back towards the 'Dark Side'; go elsewhere and do something else whilst others smoke, avoid places where alcohol is available, eat fruit and veg as snacks and if possible try to exercise at least 20 minutes a day.
06 Reward Your Efforts - With the money saved by smoking less, drinking less and eating less junk food you can treat yourself to a day out now and again, new clothes due to losing weight and new activities that could increase your exercise.
07 Talk To Others About The Condition - Share what you feel and what you are going through with others; the axiom "A problem shared is a problem halved" may not exactly be true, but most would agree that sharing your worries with others does tend to make you feel better and you may well find that others will be willing to help and support you.
Visit a local Diabetes UK Voluntary Group like
The SESKU Diabetes UK Voluntary Group.
08 Consider Your Health and Be Honest - If you are you are overweight and finding it hard to exercise and stick to a healthy diet then srip and take a good look at yourself in a full length mirror; you do not need to be told that you are fat, if you are fat, you can see that in the mirror for yourself and if you are not happy with what you look like in the mirror, then you know that you need to exercise more and eat healthier; as an added incentive keep a photo of your overweight self on the fridge; if you forget to take your medication on time, set alarm clocks, or your mobile phone to remind you to take your medication; your medication has been designed to help keep you healthier for longer.
09 Socialise With Other Type 2 Diabetics - Many people with Diabetes swear by online forums, local support groups and educational courses such as X-PERT, which is one of several structured Diabetes education courses in the UK, alongside DAFNE and DESMOND; the X-PERT course is aimed at Diabetes management for all people with Diabetes; joining and attending forums and courses like these and sharing Diabetic problems and experiences with other Diabetics can help you to better manage your condition; remember, you are not alone!
10 Be Confident In Your Abilities - You are
more likely to succeed in self-management and to persevere when difficulties
arise if you have confidence in your own abilities and in order to increase
your confidence write down challenging but achievable goals and tick
them off when you have completed them; seek inspiration from others
who successfully self-manage their Diabetes and learn to think positively,
for example being breathless and exhausted after exercising can mean
two things, 1, you are unfit or 2, you have just had a good workout;
choose the latter.
Knowing the facts about Diabetes is important when it comes to managing your condition; there is a lot of information out there, but it is not all true; it is often difficult to know what is right and what is not; make sure you get your information from reliable sources, or double check any information with groups such as your Diabetes healthcare team or Diabetes UK; this section aims to help dispel some of the most common myths about Diabetes:
Myth 1: Type 2 Diabetes is a mild form of Diabetes
- There is no such thing as mild Diabetes; all Diabetes is serious and,
if not properly controlled, can lead to serious complications.
Myth 2: People with Diabetes cannot have sugar
- Having Diabetes does not mean you have to have a sugar-free diet;
people with Diabetes should follow a healthy balanced diet, that is
low in fat, salt and sugar; you should still be able to enjoy a wide
variety of foods, including some with sugar.
Myth 3: People with Diabetes should eat 'Diabetic' foods
- 'Diabetic' labelling tends to be used on sweets, biscuits and similar
foods that are generally high in fat, especially saturated fat and calories;
Diabetes UK does not recommend eating 'Diabetic' foods, including Diabetic
chocolate, because they still affect your blood glucose levels, they
are expensive and they can give you diarrhoea, so, if you are going
to treat yourself, you should go for the real thing.
Myth 4: People with Diabetes eventually go blind
- Although Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working
age in the UK, research has proved you can reduce your chances of developing
Diabetes complications, such as damage to your eyes, if you control
your blood pressure, glucose and blood fat levels, keep active, maintain
your ideal body weight and give up smoking.
Myth 5: It's not safe to drive if you have Diabetes
- Providing you are responsible and have good control of your Diabetes,
research shows that people with Diabetes are no less safe on the roads
than anyone else; nevertheless, the myth that people with Diabetes are
not safe persists and Diabetes UK is currently campaigning against legislation
that prevents people, who treat their Diabetes with insulin, from driving
Myth 6: People with Diabetes can't play sport
- People with Diabetes are encouraged to exercise as part of a healthy
lifestyle; keeping active can help reduce the risk of complications
associated with Diabetes, such as heart disease; Sir Steve Redgrave,
Olympic gold medal-winning rower, has achieved great sporting achievements
in spite of having Diabetes; however, there may be some considerations
to take into account before taking up a new exercise regime, so discuss
it with your healthcare team before starting one.
Myth 7: People with Diabetes are more likely to get colds
and other illnesses - Not true; you are no more likely
to get a cold or another illness if you’ve got Diabetes; however, people
with Diabetes are advised to get flu jabs, this is because any infection
or illness interferes with your blood glucose control, putting you at
risk of high blood glucose levels and, for those with Type 1 Diabetes,
an increased risk of Ketoacidosis.
Myth 8: Having Diabetes means you can't do certain jobs
- Having Diabetes should not stop you from getting and keeping a job;
however, despite the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), people with
Diabetes still face blanket bans in some areas of employment, including
the armed forces; Diabetes UK is campaigning to lift discriminatory
Myth 9: People with Diabetes can't wear flight socks
- Many flight socks carry the warning that they are not suitable for
people with Diabetes; if you have any circulatory problems or complications
with your feet, such as ulcers, then speak to your GP before using them;
if, however, your feet and legs are generally healthy and you are normally
active, using flight socks is unlikely to do you any harm.
Myth 10: People with Diabetes can't eat grapes, mangoes
or bananas - People sometimes think that if they have
Diabetes they can't eat grapes and bananas as they taste sweet, but
if you eat a diet that includes these fruits, you can still achieve
good blood glucose control; in fact, grapes and bananas, like all fruit,
make a very healthy choice; fruit is high in fibre, low in fat and full
of vitamins and minerals, which help to protect against heart disease,
cancer and certain stomach problems.
Myth 11: People with Diabetes can't cut their own toenails
- Not true, the general advice on toenail cutting applies to everyone;
if you have Diabetes you should keep your nails healthy by cutting them
to the shape of the end of your toes, don't cut them straight across,
curved down the sides, or too short; remember, your nails are there
to protect your toes; it is safest to trim your nails with a pair of
nail clippers and to use an emery board to file the corners of your
nails; if it is difficult for you to care for your nails, you should
seek help from a podiatrist.
Along with meal planning and physical activity, many Type
2 Diabetics have to take Diabetes Medication
as well; Diabetes pills help people with Type 2 Diabetes or Gestational
Diabetes to keep their blood glucose levels on target; several kinds
of pills are available and each works in a different way; many people
take two or three kinds of pills and some people take combination pills,
which contain two kinds of Diabetes medicine in one tablet and some
people take both pills and Insulin.
Diabetes Related Information Leaflets