Doctor checking blood sugar level of a patient

How Diabetes Management Can Help Patients Adjust to a New Lifestyle

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is life-changing. At first, it may take some time to come to terms with the news, and the understanding that there will be some shifts in your normal routine.

Over time, however, you can integrate blood sugar management into your everyday life. And controlling your diabetes now will help you enjoy better health for years to come. Here’s what you should know about adjusting to diabetes management.

What Does Diabetes Management Look Like?

While our providers will be able to share more details about your personalized diabetes care plan, there are some basics that apply to most patients. Diabetes management typically includes eating well, exercising, and taking medication as needed.

Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels

One of the most important goals in managing your diabetes will be controlling your blood sugar (glucose) levels. Many foods break down into blood glucose, which the body uses as energy. Diabetes occurs when the body has too little insulin to manage glucose or doesn’t use insulin properly, resulting in a spike in blood sugar levels. Factors that can lead to spikes include:

  • Too much food
  • Being sedentary
  • Insufficient insulin or diabetes medications
  • Dehydration
  • Illness, stress, menstrual periods, and other factors that can affect hormones

“Your blood sugar levels can also fall below healthy levels,” ((UNITED PHYSICIAN GROUP EXPERT XXX)) elaborates, “This can be caused by several factors, including not having enough food, drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, taking too much insulin or other diabetes medication, or increasing your physical activity. So carefully monitoring your blood sugar — especially in the early months following your diagnosis — will be crucial to learn what may contribute to a drop.”

Your doctor will help guide you as you learn how to control your blood sugar levels, and how to check them regularly. In the short term, having stable blood sugar allows you to think clearly and keeps your body functioning well. Over the long term, neglecting to control your blood sugar could lead to serious health issues, including nerve damage, eye problems, sores, digestive issues, and cardiovascular complications.

Depending on the results from your lab work and whether you’re taking insulin, you may be advised to start tracking your blood sugar at home. Your doctor will discuss the details with you, including which type of test to use, target ranges, and when to test.

Other Diabetes Management Activities

While monitoring blood sugar levels will be important, knowing your levels is just a starting point. You’ll also need to eat balanced meals that have a mix of protein, fats, starches, and vegetables, and likely avoid added sugars in beverages and other foods that could cause glucose spikes.

Exercise can also help you control blood sugar, but your doctor will advise you on the best time of day for working out, and the best type of physical activity for you.

Some people begin taking diabetes medications soon after their diagnosis, while others may be able to avoid taking insulin for some time and manage their diabetes through lifestyle changes and other treatments.

Get Started with Diabetes Management Now

It may feel daunting to pursue major lifestyle changes right after your diagnosis, but acting early is important for preventing serious issues related to diabetes. In a 10-year study that followed people who were newly diagnosed with diabetes, those who maintained better control over their glucose levels experienced fewer health complications. In other words, the changes you make and commit to now could pay off down the road.

If you need help managing your diabetes, turn to our team for help. Our providers can help determine the best care plan that works for you and makes diabetes management as simple as possible. Contact us online or schedule an appointment by calling (833) 523-0906.