Newly Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes
Knowing where to get started following a type 2 diagnosis can be a challenge. You may feel overwhelmed, but its important to know there isnt a one-size fits all approach to managing the condition.
As well as using the information on this page to understand your condition, you can meet other people with type 2 diabetes in our Learning Zone. Youll hear advice from others in your position, and get practical tools to help you feel more confident managing your condition.
Medications For Type 2 Diabetes
In some cases, lifestyle changes are enough to keep type 2 diabetes under control. If not, there are several medications that may help. Some of these medications include:
- Metformin.This can lower your blood glucose levels and improve how your body responds to insulin. Its the first-line treatment for most people with type 2 diabetes.
- Sulfonylureas. These are oral medications that help your body make more insulin.
- Meglitinides. These are fast-acting, short-duration medications that stimulate your pancreas to release more insulin.
- Thiazolidinediones. These make your body more sensitive to insulin.
- Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors. These are milder medications that help reduce blood glucose levels.
- Glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. These slow digestion and improve blood glucose levels.
- Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors. These help your kidneys remove sugar in your body through urine.
Each type of medication listed above can cause side effects. It may take some time for you and your doctor to find the best medication or combination of medications to treat your diabetes.
Who Should Be Tested For Type 2 Diabetes
Most often, people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes through routine screening tests. Routine screening means that you are tested because you may be at risk of having diabetes, even when you dont have any signs or symptoms.
- high blood pressure
- acanthosis negricans, a skin condition
- a family history of type 2 diabetes
- a history of gestational diabetes or youve given birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds
- Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander descent
- a low level of HDL cholesterol or a high triglyceride level
- a sedentary lifestyle
Routine screening uses blood tests to check for signs of diabetes.
Next, lets take a closer look at some blood tests commonly used to diagnose diabetes.
Also Check: Are Pecans Ok For Diabetics
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Managed
Theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication if needed. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your:
- Blood sugar: A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring can help you meet your blood sugar target. Your healthcare provider may also recommend regular A1c tests, oral medications , insulin therapy or injectable non-insulin diabetes medications.
- Blood pressure: Lower your blood pressure by not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood pressure medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.
- Cholesterol: Follow a meal plan low in saturated fats, trans fat, salt and sugar. Your healthcare provider may recommend statins, which are a type of drug to lower cholesterol.
What Are The Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes tend to develop slowly over time. They can include:
- Urinary tract infections and bladder infections.
Rarely, Type 2 diabetes leads to a condition called diabetes-related ketoacidosis . DKA is a life-threatening condition that causes your blood to become acidic. People with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to have DKA.
Recommended Reading: Type 2 Diabetes And Oral Health
Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes Learn How A Healthy Diet And Certain Lifestyle Changes Can Help You Manage Your Condition
Its an extremely serious condition, but diabetes doesnt have to run your life. If you work with your doctor to monitor and control your blood sugar and commit to eating right and exercising regularly, theres great reason to believe youll live a long, healthy life. Let me show you how! Get a personal Food Cure for type 2 diabetes.
Fasting Blood Sugar Test
The fasting blood sugar test is a blood test used to check the glucose levels in your blood after eight to 10 hours of fasting . A needle is placed into a vein to pull out a small amount of blood for testing. This test is usually scheduled in the morning after fasting all night and before any food is eaten.
Also Check: Best Nutrition App For Diabetics
Diabetes Sick Day Rules
If you need to take insulin to control your diabetes, you should have received instructions about looking after yourself when you’re ill known as your “sick day rules”.
Contact your diabetes care team or GP for advice if you haven’t received these.
The advice you’re given will be specific to you, but some general measures that your sick day rules may include could be to:
- keep taking your insulin it’s very important not to stop treatment when you’re ill your treatment plan may state whether you need to temporarily increase your dose
- test your blood glucose level more often than usual most people are advised to check the level at least four times a day
- keep yourself well hydrated make sure you drink plenty of sugar-free drinks
- keep eating eat solid food if you feel well enough to, or liquid carbohydrates such as milk, soup and yoghurt if this is easier
- check your ketone levels if your blood glucose level is high
Seek advice from your diabetes care team or GP if your blood glucose or ketone level remains high after taking insulin, if:
- you’re not sure whether to make any changes to your treatment
- you develop symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis
- you have any other concerns
Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
You might notice:
- Unplanned weight loss. If your body can’t get energy from your food, it will start burning muscle and fat for energy instead. You may lose weight even though you haven’t changed how you eat. See which foods are high in trans fatty acids.
- Nausea and vomiting. When your body resorts to burning fat, it makes ketones. These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels, a possibly life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones can make you feel sick to your stomach.
Read Also: Causes Of Hypoglycemia In Diabetics
What Does Diabetes Do To The Body
People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin, and as a result sugar builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells, where it’s needed for energy. In type 1 diabetes, high blood sugar causes symptoms like thirst, hunger, and fatigue and can cause devastating consequences, including damage to the nerves, blood vessels, and internal organs. The same scary complications of diabetes appear in type 2 as well. The difference is that people with type 2 diabetes still produce insulin their bodies just become less sensitive to it over time, which is what causes the complications.
How Is Diabetes Treated
Diabetes can be treated in several ways. Diet, physical activity, and careful monitoring are important if you have diabetes, no matter which type of diabetes you have.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to take insulin for the rest of your life. Thats because your pancreas doesnt produce the insulin your body needs.
If you have type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to control your diabetes with lifestyle changes, such as diet, weight loss, and exercise. You may also need to take oral or injectable medications, including insulin or metformin, to manage your blood sugar levels.
If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, youll need to carefully track your diet to prevent your blood sugar levels from getting too high. This generally means watching your carbohydrate intake as well as limiting over-processed, low fiber foods, such as:
- fruit-flavored yogurt
- flavored coffee drinks
Your doctor will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan to help you control your blood sugar levels.
Also Check: How To Measure Glucose Levels
What Health Problems Can People With Diabetes Develop
Following a good diabetes care plan can help protect against many diabetes-related health problems. However, if not managed, diabetes can lead to problems such as
- heart disease and stroke
- gum disease and other dental problems
- sexual and bladder problems
Many people with type 2 diabetes also have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease . Losing weight if you are overweight or have obesity can improve NAFLD. Diabetes is also linked to other health problems such as sleep apnea, depression, some types of cancer, and dementia.
You can take steps to lower your chances of developing these diabetes-related health problems.
What Are The Complications Of Diabetes
“Whether it’s type 1 or type 2,” Drinsic says, “the big picture for diabetes is all about preventing complications,” which are mostly related to nerve and blood vessel damage. For example, if you have either type of diabetes, you have twice the risk of heart attack or heart disease as compared with someone without the disease. Other complications include eye problems, kidney disease, foot infections, skin infections, stroke, high blood pressure, cognitive decline, and high cholesterol.
Read Also: Free Glucose Meter By Mail
Which Diets Are Recommended For Diabetes
Nutritional management and managing your blood sugar are key to living with diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes, work with your doctor to identify how much insulin you may need to inject after eating certain types of food.
For example, certain carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to quickly increase in people with type 1 diabetes. Youll need to counteract this by taking insulin, but youll need to know how much insulin to take. Learn more about type 1 diabetes and diet.
People with type 2 diabetes need to focus on healthy eating.
Weight loss of type 2 diabetes treatment plans. A doctor or nutritionist may recommend a low-calorie meal plan. This could mean reducing your consumption of animal fats and junk food.
Typically, people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes are recommended to reduce their consumption of processed foods, trans fat, sugary drinks, and alcohol.
People with diabetes may need to try different diets and nutritional plans to find a plan that works for their health, lifestyle, and budget.
What Are The Treatments For Type 2 Diabetes
Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves managing your blood sugar levels. Many people are able to do this by living a healthy lifestyle. Some people may also need to take medicine.:
- A healthy lifestyle includes following a healthy eating plan and getting regular physical activity. You need to learn how to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine, if you take any.
- Medicines for diabetes include oral medicines, insulin, and other injectable medicines. Over time, some people will need to take more than one type of medicine to control their diabetes.
- You will need to check your blood sugar regularly. Your health care provider will tell you how often you need to do it.
- It’s also important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels close to the targets your provider sets for you. Make sure to get your screening tests regularly.
Read Also: St Vincent’s Diabetes Clinic
What Is Type 2 Diabetes
People who are middle-aged or older are most likely to get this kind of diabetes. It used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But type 2 diabetes also affects kids and teens, mainly because of childhood obesity.
Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. There are about 29 million people in the U.S. with type 2. Another 84 million have prediabetes, meaning their blood sugar is high but not high enough to be diabetes yet.
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
Many people get tested for diabetes because they develop symptoms that are potential early warning signs.
For example, people with type 1 diabetes may experience unintentional weight loss or develop flu-like symptoms. People with type 2 diabetes may experience extreme thirst or frequent urination.
You may experience one or more of the warning signs associated with diabetes. If you do, its important to contact your doctor for an appointment.
You may also discover a diabetes diagnosis after visiting your doctor for another condition or for routine blood work.
If you make an appointment with your doctor due to diabetes warning signs, they will want to know:
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and will likely run some blood tests.
There are several tests that can diagnose diabetes. These include:
- A1C: This test shows what your blood glucose level has averaged for the last 2 or 3 months. This does not require you to fast or drink anything.
- Fasting plasma glucose : You will need to fast for at least 8 hours before this test is done.
- Oral glucose tolerance : This test takes 2 to 3 hours. Your blood glucose levels are tested initially and then repeated at intervals for 2 hours after youve consumed a specific sweet drink.
- Random plasma glucose test: You can have this test done any time and do not need to be fasting.
Healthy Eating For Type 2 Diabetes
A dietitian or your doctor will be able to advise you on what to eat to meet your nutritional needs and control your blood sugar. Your doctor should be able to refer you to a registered dietitian for personalised advice.
Eating healthy foods with a low glycaemic index can help to optimise your blood sugar levels. This includes wholegrain breads, minimally processed breakfast cereals like rolled or steel cut oats, legumes, fruit, pasta and dairy products.
Avoid high-carbohydrate, low-nutrient foods such as cakes, lollies and soft drinks, and eat a diet low in saturated fat.
You should eat at regular times of the day and may also need snacks. Try to match the amount of food you eat with the amount of activity you do, so that you dont put on weight.
If you are overweight or obese, losing even 5-10 per cent of your body weight can significantly improve blood sugar control.
Being Overweight Or Obese
You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight or obese with a body mass index of 30 or more.
Fat around your tummy particularly increases your risk. This is because it releases chemicals that can upset the body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems.
Measuring your waist is a quick way of assessing your diabetes risk. This is a measure of abdominal obesity, which is a particularly high-risk form of obesity.
Women have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if their waist measures 80cm or more.
Asian men with a waist size of 89cm or more have a higher risk, as do white or black men with a waist size of 94cm or more.
Exercising regularly and reducing your body weight by about 5% could reduce your risk of getting diabetes by more than 50%.
Read about measuring your waist size
Recommended Reading: Does Cortisol Increase Blood Glucose
Signs And Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be so mild that you don’t notice them. About 8 million people who have it don’t know it. Symptoms include:
- Being very thirsty
- Weight loss without trying
- Getting more infections
Your Body Mass Index Matters
Body mass index is a number calculated from a persons weight and height. Most health professionals rely on BMI to assess whether their patients are overweight or have obesity . All adults who are overweight should talk to their doctor about getting tested for type 2 diabetes.
People of Asian heritage in the normal weight range may have too much visceral fat and be at risk of type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI. Researchers now suggest that people of Asian heritage get tested if their BMI is 23 or more.
Read Also: Can You Treat Type 2 Diabetes With Insulin
Tips For Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
While you cant always prevent type 2 diabetes, there are a few lifestyle tweaks can help delay, or even prevent, the onset. This is true even if you have increased risk factors like prediabetes.
- Diet. The best kind of diet to prevent type 2 diabetes is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy carbs, healthy fats, and very little refined sugar.
- Exercise. According to the
- to develop erectile dysfunction