Patient Blogs | Type 2 Diabetes
Have You Tweaked Your Type 2 Diabetes Care Lately?

If not, maybe it’s time. What worked yesterday to keep your A1c levels in check might not be working as well today. As we age, our bodies can react to food, drugs, and exercise differently, and staying on top of these changes is one of the many challenges of having a chronic condition.

Blood sugar levels. One change to try may be how often you need to check your sugars, and how tight a control you keep on your blood glucose levels. As you age, some doctors may suggest that you give yourself a little more leeway, and that tight sugar control may not be as necessary. Or, when it comes to checking your sugar levels, you might be ready to give up finger sticks and opt for a continuous glucose monitor.

Diet. What about your diet? Over the years, I’ve frequently switched up my diet plan, moving from very low carb to medium carb to vegetarian. My initial goal was to drop a few pounds, but now that my weight appears to have stabilized, I’ve adopted yet another plan – modified pescatarian. While I no longer eat chicken or meat, which has sent my cholesterol numbers to the basement, I occasionally add salmon, tuna, or shrimp to my dinner plate.

Exercise. My exercise routine is a continuous work in progress. Years ago, I was a dedicated runner, heading out for a pre-dawn 6-mile trek before work. Later, I turned to walking.

These days, I still walk, but I go back and forth between walking and stationary biking. The biggest and most effective change though has been weightlifting three or four times a week, which has not only changed my body composition but helped me better metabolize my sugars.

Stress. How are your stress levels? Given the state of the world, this is an area where most of us could use some work. The calming benefits of meditation and yoga can help lower blood sugars and blood pressure, and only 10 minutes a day of either can make a big difference.

Medications. And then there are medications. If you’ve been on older meds for a long time and you’re doing well, there may be no need to change. But with a few new medications on the market, some of which can help you to drop a few pounds and/or protect your heart, it might be worth it to talk to your endocrinologist about available options.

Medical care. Lastly, there is your endocrinologist. As we age, so do our doctors. When’s the last time that your endo carefully reviewed your care to see if you might benefit from an update? And then there are a few other issues to examine:

  • Can you talk to your endo freely about your treatment concerns?
  • Do they take those concerns – no matter how small – seriously?
  • Do they offer clear and non-judgmental advice on issues like weight and eating habits and record-keeping?
  • Do they give you enough time during your visits to cover all your issues?

If not, is it time for a change? Keeping on top of your diabetes care is hard. Sometimes, it can feel like a full-time job. But tweaking your care now and then to keep pace with new developments, in both your body and medicine, can grant you the peace of mind that you are giving and receiving the best care possible.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Zolga_F / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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Ilene Raymond Rush

Ilene Raymond Rush

Diagnosed since 1984

Ilene Raymond Rush is an award-winning health and science freelance writer. Based on her own experiences with type 2 diabetes, she brings a personal take and a reporter’s eye to examine the best and newest methods of treating and controlling the disease.

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