Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can feel helpless, daunting and isolating. But with the correct help you can still live a healthy life and potentially even reach remission!
What is type 2 diabetes
Firstly, it is important to understand that type 2 diabetes is when blood sugar levels are too high due to insulin resistance. This means your body is still producing insulin, however the insulin is not interacting correctly with your cells.
It is also important to understand what remission from type 2 diabetes is. If diet and lifestyle is changed adequately (usually alongside taking any diabetic drugs prescribed), it can be possible to lower your HbA1c (average glucose in the blood) into normal range. If the diet and lifestyle returns to a high sugar and processed diet, it is very likely high glucose and diabetes will return.
This means it is incredibly important to change the diet and lifestyle to help bring glucose levels into the normal range.
What diet and lifestyle changes to make
Firstly, the amount of sugar and processed foods must be decreased to prevent spikes.
Think about adding as much colour to your diet as possible, and eat the rainbow. Different coloured fruit and vegetables contain different micronutrients that are vital for our health. So try and aim for 7-10 a day, rather than 5!
Increase your fibre intake! Swap white carbs for brown, as this helps sugar levels to remain stable and helps digestion. Increase lean protein intake (chicken, turkey and fish) and eat vegetable protein sources. This can include tofu, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds!
Finally, get yourself moving! Sedentary lifestyles have a very close connection with the onset of type 2. So increase your exercise levels by walking, swimming, hitting the gym or whatever type of exercise you enjoy!
How to keep track of your sugar levels
Quite a lot of the time healthcare teams fail to educate people living with type 2 diabetes about how and why they must keep close check of sugar levels.
A small amount of people living with type 2 diabetes have access to pricker sets to check blood glucose. It is absolutely vital everyone living with type 2 has access to this equipment. Being able to check your sugar levels daily helps to identify when your sugars are spiking.
If you have the money I would highly recommend purchasing a testing kit to help you reach your HbA1c goal and better your health.
I would recommend starting with 4 tests a day, when waking, before lunch and dinner and before bedtime. If you feel unwell do a test to see if this is being caused by high or low blood sugars.
It is possible for low blood sugar levels to occur so please keep a snack and your kit with you at all times.
I would also recommend looking at your cholesterol levels as well as your blood pressure. If these are both high you should talk to your doctor about next steps!
Thank you so much for reading what to do after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes! I hope this helps and please reach out to me if you have any questions or need any support at all. Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!