Patient Blogs | Type 2 Diabetes
How I Handle Managing My Diabetes Care
photo of young woman stepping on weight scale

This month, the American Diabetes Association issued new guidelines for managing all diabetes, including type 2. Among the recommendations is an emphasis on higher weight loss goals (of up to 15%), the importance of a good night’s sleep, increased levels of physical activity, and achieving lower blood pressure. 

As I skimmed the guidelines, it struck me that when it comes to type 2 diabetes care, complacency is the enemy. 

What do I mean by complacency in diabetes care? 

It can be many things.  

Overall, I think it means standing still. 

For example, maybe you’ve stopped stepping on the bathroom scale because the number is not one you’d like to see. Or maybe you’ve given up on finger sticks for your blood glucose for a similar reason. 

Complacency might also be spurred by denial. Although you’ve noticed a tingling in your fingers and toes, which can be a symptom of nerve damage, a possible complication of high sugars, you choose to pretend it isn’t there. The same might go for blurry vision or a cut that you noticed rather than felt between your toes. Even if the blurred vision might be a sign of diabetic retinopathy that could lead to a loss of vision or that cut, if left untreated, could lead to an amputation down the road. 

And that’s not all. Leaving the doctor’s office, you can tell yourself not to worry about a high A1c, that you feel perfectly well. Or you can be complacent about your diet, telling yourself that a daily lunch of fast food or processed treats won’t make your sugars rise

It could be any number of things.

And I know because it happened to me. 

Over the past months, I had avoided the bathroom scale, telling myself that my pants might have shrunk in the dryer and that tomorrow I’d get back on my eating plan. I chose to ignore the highs in my morning sugars as well.  

When I finally got on the scale and averaged out my sugars, I had to sit myself down and give myself a talking to. It was time to reach out for help. 

Talking to my doctor on a video call, I set out my problem and how I had let things go. I had my reasons -- stress, too many deadlines, and delicious seasonal desserts. He listened and then, with a nod, we got to work. First, he recommended a nutritionist who had experience with vegetarian diets and then added a new medication that might better regulate my sugars while helping me possibly to drop a few pounds.

A week later, I’m back in the saddle. I haven’t lost weight yet, but I haven’t gained either. And while my sugars aren’t exactly on target, they have held steady or moved lower. 

All of which is a huge relief.

Diabetes care isn’t easy; it requires constant and regular attention. But if you recognize that you’re in denial of what’s happening, try not to choose complacency. Acting -- whether that means eating a healthy meal, calling your diabetes educator, or taking a walk around the block -- can be the first step in avoiding future complications and in taking charge of your health. 

 

Learn, share, and connect with others on WebMD’s Type 2 Diabetes Facebook Support Group.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Jeremy Woodhouse / DigitalVision via Getty Images

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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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