Living with type 2 diabetes can be challenging for many patients, but with the right plan, they can thrive and enjoy life to its fullest. The most valuable resource a patient with type 2 diabetes has is their healthcare team. Together with their providers, patients can work to understand their unique needs and create a plan for managing their condition and getting the most out of life.

Image is not available
Slider

Make Living with Diabetes Better Every Day

November 12, 2020

.

Living with type 2 diabetes can be challenging for many patients, but with the right plan, they can thrive and enjoy life to its fullest.

Create a Plan with Your Patients

The most valuable resource a patient with type 2 diabetes has is their healthcare team. Together with their providers, patients can work to understand their unique needs and create a plan for managing their condition and getting the most out of life.

Living with Diabetes

Coronavirus Precautions

Patients with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. It is vital that all patients take the necessary precautions to protect themselves during this pandemic. These precautions include1:

  Wearing a mask in public settings
  Practicing social distancing
  Continuing medications as prescribed
  Having a 30-day supply of diabetes medications and insulin on hand

Thriving in Life

While patients need to monitor their blood glucose levels, they can take steps to control their diabetes and enjoy life. That starts by maintaining healthy weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Below are strategies patients can use to promote healthier living:

Eat Well by Meal Planning

Diabetic patients need to be selective about the foods they eat. A meal plan outlines when, what, and how much to eat in order to reach nutrition goals while maintaining proper blood glucose levels.

 

The right foods are the key to a successful meal plan. Patients may want to consult a dietitian to help craft their plan, but they should be aware of good foods and foods to avoid.

 

Recommended Foods2

Fiber-rich foods with healthy carbohydrates and good fats

  Wearing a mask in public settings
  Practicing social distancing
  Continuing medications as prescribed
  Having a 30-day supply of diabetes medications and insulin on hand

 

Foods to Avoid2

Foods with trans fats that are high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium

  High-fat dairy products
  Animal proteins, including beef, sausage, and bacon
  Processed snacks
  Butter and margarine
  Egg yolks

 

Check the Labels

Some foods feature claims like “low fat” or “reduced sugar” on their packaging. Patients should always check nutrition labels to confirm the actual amount of nutrients in the item.

Get Active

Increasing physical activity is an easy way for patients to better manage their diabetes. Just as with choosing the right foods for a healthy diet, choosing the right ways to exercise is very important. Here are some tips to follow:

 

Set a Goal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with diabetes get in 150 minutes of physical activity per week, or 20‒25 minutes per day. Also, on two or more days per week, the CDC recommends activities that work all major muscle groups, including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and
arms.3

 

Make it Fun And Safe

Consistency is the key to getting the maximum benefit from physical exercise, so patients should choose something they like to do. This can be a brisk walk, riding a bicycle, or even dancing. Having an exercise partner makes activity more fun and enhances safety.

 

It’s important to check blood glucose levels before and after exercise, and to stay hydrated during activity. Start slow and work up to longer or more vigorous exercise; there’s no rush. Properly fitting athletic shoes and cotton socks are recommended. Patients should also check their feet for sores, cuts, or other irritation after exercise.

 

If a patient isn’t feeling well during exercise, they should contact their doctor or someone from their healthcare team immediately.

 

Mental Health Is Important Too

Living with diabetes can take a toll on a patient’s mental health, and stress can raise blood glucose. While physical activity can help patients reduce stress, practices like deep breathing, meditating, or enjoying music can also lower stress levels.4

 

If a patient is feeling sad about their condition, encourage them to talk with someone—a healthcare team member, supportive friend or family member, mental health counselor, or clergy member.

 

By creating a care plan, eating right, exercising, and developing a trusted support network, patients with diabetes can live fuller, more rich lives—and you can help.

Footnotes:
1 Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Centers for Disease Control, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html
2 Diabetes Diet: Create Your Health-eating Plan, The Mayo Clinic, 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-diet/art-20044295
3 Get Active!, Centers for Disease Control, 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/active.html
4 4 Steps To Manage Your Diabetes For Life, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2016, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/4-steps

Featured Profile

Our new 'The Point of Care Campaign' is our way of showing appreciation to healthcare workers during COVID. Our profile this week features Travis Hammond.

Related Articles

10 Easy Ways To Care for Your Mental Health

Healthcare workers today are facing extraordinary circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic is adding stress to already strained healthcare systems. At HemoCue, we see the incredible efforts of healthcare workers firsthand. You ...
Read More
Recent Articles
It’s Time to Screen Out Anemia for Pregnant Women
Each month has several "awareness" initiatives attached to it. October is well ...
School is Streaming – It’s Time for a Checkup
This year's back-to-school season was unlike any other. Many parents may have ...
What HemoCue is Doing for You
COVID-19 posed incredible challenges to everyone in healthcare. At HemoCue, we want ...