It can be scary to learn that you, your child, a family member, or a friend has type 2 diabetes or is at risk for the disease. Many people are shocked when they find out that they have type 2 diabetes. Others are relieved to know what has been causing their symptoms. Although it is normal to feel angry or depressed about having a serious lifelong disease, it is important to remember that many people who have type 2 diabetes enjoy healthy, active lives when they are able to control their blood sugar. Exercising, eating healthy foods, and taking medicines all help control blood sugar.
There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but there are ways to treat the disease. Even if you do not feel sick, you still need treatment to prevent more serious health problems in the future.
Some people can control their blood sugar by changing the way they eat and exercising more. Other people also need to take medicines. Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes:
Changing the way you eat to spread carbohydrate throughout the day so your blood sugar level stays the same all day.
Exercising regularly to help your body use insulin better.
Checking your blood sugar at home to know when the level is above or below your target range.
Taking pills, if eating differently and exercising more do not keep your blood sugar levels within a safe range. You may need one or more medicines to help your body make more insulin or to use insulin better.
Taking insulin shots for a while or for the rest of your life. Insulin can only be given by injection, and it may be used alone or with other medicines that are in the form of pills.
Seeing your doctor regularly to make sure that your treatment is working and that you have not developed any serious problems such as eye, kidney, cardiovascular, or nerve disease.
Other Important Issues
If you have type 2 diabetes, you also need to:
Always wear medical identification to let health professionals know in an emergency that you have diabetes. Medical ID necklaces or bracelets are available from your doctor, your local pharmacy, or online.
Know how to recognize and quickly treat high blood sugar and low blood sugar.
Take extra care of your skin, teeth, feet, and gums.
Know how to care for yourself when you are sick.