Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Simple Steps to Help Avoid Complications

Type 2 diabetes mellitus or mature age onset diabetes is increasing as the population ages. Although sometimes not considered as serious as Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 can be debilitating and incapacitating if not managed correctly.

There are several complications that can develop when Type 2 diabetes is not treated with sufficient respect. Damage to the blood vessels and nerves can result in problems developing with the heart, eyes, kidneys and feet.

Such complications can be avoided or delayed by attention to advice given by your health care professional.  Taking responsibility for your own health also plays a large part. There are many things which a doctor can recommend but which only the individual can follow up on.

Keeping your blood glucose levels as near normal as possible is important. Purchase a simple blood glucose test kit and use it regularly. Keep a record in the book which is usually provided with the kit, otherwise buy a small notepad to keep a log. This will be extremely helpful to your doctor, allowing him to monitor your readings over a more extended time span.

Have your blood pressure checked regularly. Again, a blood pressure kit is not too expensive especially when weighed against treating full blown diabetes.

Don’t smoke and drink alcohol in moderation.

Keep your cholesterol under control. Have both your cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked regularly.

Eat healthily, exercise regularly and maintain a sensible weight. Stick to a diet that is low in fat, high in fibre and that has a suitable carbohydrate intake. Aim for 30 – 45 minutes of physical activity on most days. If you find it difficult to get motivated to exercise – think about the alternative, maybe ulcerated legs or an amputated foot. Get a dog and walk it (or walk someone else’s dog), do some gardening. Most gyms have sessions for seniors. Join a walking group or a dance class and meet some new friends.

Wear appropriate footwear and check your feet for any changes.

The doctor managing your condition will recommend how often you will need specific tests and/or examinations designed to keep an eye on the progress of the disease.

These tests include:
*  Blood pressure - this will normally be checked at each visit to your doctor.
*  Triglyceride and cholesterol tests - these are usually performed every twelve months to measure any excess amounts of fat in the blood stream.
* Foot checks - The doctor or podiatrist may check your feet every six months for signs of abnormalities.
* Kidney function test – your doctor may require a urine sample to test kidney function. This test may be performed every twelve months.
* Eye examinations – these are usually recommended every 1-2 years to check for damage to blood vessels at the back of the eye.

Your doctor will no doubt check your weight at each visit.

>By paying attention to each of these areas, diabetes can be kept under control, giving every reason for an optimistic outlook for the future.