Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes — Now What?
If You’ve Just Been Diagnosed with Type 2, You’ve Come to the Right Place
So, you’ve just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and you can’t help but feel a range of emotions. You, like many others, have likely turned to the internet for answers, scouring Google for the words you remember your doctor mentioning like “diabetes”, “type 2”, “A1C”, “blood sugar”, and “low carb”. In the end, this only leads to information overload and can do more harm than good!
While your medical provider is always the best source of information when it comes to your health, it is important to do your own research and begin to understand your body, your diagnosis, and your options.
Here in this blog, our goal is to share the important science you need to know about how to manage your diabetes. We provide helpful tips as you embark on your journey to lower your blood sugar, and eventually, reach full remission of your diabetes.
First Things First, Stay Calm
The fact is, there is a silver lining in this situation! Type 2 diabetes can be reversed. While it’s easy to feel helpless, the right resources and support can help guide you in turning your health around. So instead of worrying, see this new diagnosis as the wakeup call you needed to get your health in check!
Before we dive into our tips, take a look at what’s happening to your body so that you can understand how to manage your symptoms.
An Inside Look at Type 2
Unless you have a medical background, doctor jargon can be confusing. Although your provider likely already explained your diagnosis, here’s a quick overview of how type 2 affects your body.
Glucose, or sugar, provides your cells and organs with energy to function properly. Your glucose intake mainly comes from carbohydrates. Carbs are found in foods like bread, baked goods, beans, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes. Certain drinks, like milk and fruit juices, also contain a high amount of carbs.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It’s purpose is to convert the glucose you eat into energy for your cells and organs. When non-diabetic people consume too much glucose, insulin signals the body to store any excess sugar inside of the liver. The excess can be used for later when glucose isn’t immediately available — such as in between meals.
However, type 2 patients become resistant to the effects of insulin. In the beginning stages of your diabetes, your body likely began overproducing insulin in an attempt to keep your glucose levels normal. Eventually, your pancreas became so overworked that it started to slow down, or maybe stopped producing insulin altogether.
As a result, type 2 patients are at a constant risk of having high blood sugar, which is called hyperglycemia. To correct this, a regular dose of insulin is needed to reduce your blood sugar levels. Too much glucose in the body can result in damage to the blood vessels and other negative side effects.
Low blood sugar
Those with type 2 diabetes are also at risk for having low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. This can be caused by insulin, certain diabetic medications, and not eating enough throughout the day. Low blood sugar makes you feel dizzy and shaky, and can cause anxiety and heart palpitations. As symptoms worsen, blurred vision, seizures, and even loss of consciousness is possible!
Understanding what happens to the body with type 2 diabetes empowers you to manage your condition and be aware of any symptoms you may be experiencing. So now that you know what is going on, let’s take a look at why.
What causes type 2 diabetes?
A combination of genetics and an unhealthy lifestyle tends to be the culprit behind type 2 diabetes. While you don’t have control over your genetics, the good news is you do have control over your lifestyle!
Poor diet and exercise habits
Lack of exercise and poor eating habits are the biggest contributing factors to diabetes.
A diet high in trans and saturated fats from processed and fried food is a common cause of type 2 diabetes. Cutting out these foods and swapping them out with healthier choices can drastically improve your health.
More often than not, people who are diagnosed with type 2 aren’t active and don’t exercise regularly. This, combined with an unhealthy diet, is a recipe for disaster when it comes to your health.
Speaking of recipes, check out our diabetic-friendly recipes that not only taste delicious, but are good for you, too!
Nicotine users are also at risk for type 2 diabetes. Did you know, nicotine prevents your body’s cells from responding to insulin? Smoking also cuts off blood flow and oxygen to the cells. As you can see, smoking has some major consequences that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you currently smoke, we encourage you to stop for the sake of your health. Once you do, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you!
What to Watch Out For with Type 2 Diabetes
The most important part in managing your diagnosis is to know what to watch out for. There will be temptations along the way, so get ahead of the curve by avoiding cravings and monitoring your heart health.
Sugar and carb cravings
Be mindful of sugar and carb cravings, especially if that’s what contributed to your diagnosis in the first place. There are several ways to reduce cravings such as eating healthy fats. The next time you want a donut with your morning coffee, opt for avocado toast on whole grain bread instead. The good fats in avocados are filling and will satisfy your cravings. You can also use Swee2ooth Super Blends as a balanced snack or meal replacement!
As a person with type 2, you must be very mindful of your heart health. Diabetics are more susceptible to heart disease and high cholesterol. These can eventually lead to a stroke or heart attack, which are caused by a lack of oxygen and nutrients getting to the heart.
Heart failure is also possible if your diabetes is left untreated. This is when your heart muscles have to work harder than normal because they’re pumping blood at a slower rate. In the later stages of heart failure, patients may need a pacemaker implanted so that the heart can keep up with the heavy workload.
6 Easy Ways to Change Your Lifestyle for the Better
Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can be reversed — it’s just a matter of adopting a healthy lifestyle and changing the way you think about diet and exercise!
1. Monitor your blood sugar levels
Get into the habit of monitoring your blood sugar levels at least once per day or more, depending on what your provider suggests. Keeping track of this information will help your doctor shape a treatment plan for your new diagnosis. If it helps, create a schedule and test your levels at the same time each day. Perhaps before a meal, or at bedtime at least two hours after you’ve eaten — whatever works for you!
2. Give into cravings, but with healthy alternatives
You might be tempted to drastically change your diet and decide to only eat raw green vegetables or completely cut out carbs. While that is commendable, these types of changes can be hard to commit to long term! Although it is urgent to get your lifestyle in check, you have to take it slow and do it right. If not, your new habits won’t stick and you may unintentionally create bad habits instead, like binge eating.
3. Teach yourself to enjoy exercise
Ideally, type 2 patients should be exercising at least five days a week. Cardio in the form of swimming, biking, and jogging is excellent. It will get your heart rate up and help you shed stubborn fat, two things needed to keep your diabetes in check.
If you have never worked out before, take it slow and easy. Try a bunch of different workouts to see if there’s any that you like. Let’s be honest, while you may not instantly fall in love with exercising, stick to the workout you hate the least. This will keep you from resenting exercise, ultimately helping you to form a positive association with working out. Build your new habit by committing to exercising just one day more than you usually do and then slowly build up the number of days from there!
4. Don’t let your emotions rule how you eat
During this time, also be mindful of when you eat and when your cravings occur. Notice if you crave sweets and carbs whenever you’re feeling stressed or bored. A lot of us form bad habits when we let our emotions rule how we eat. Remember, your daily food intake is meant to fuel your body, not to provide you with entertainment, or to be self-soothing when you’re dealing with something negative! Ask yourself why you’re eating what you’re eating, and see if that helps you recognize any emotions tied to your eating habits.
5. Watch your water and fiber intake
Fiber and water are your new best friends when it comes to managing your diabetes! Drink your daily recommended amount of water and eat plenty of fibrous foods to keep you full and satisfied. This way, you will be less tempted to snack and fill yourself up with unhealthy junk. You should also take care not to skip any meals, as this can affect your blood sugar and cause you to overeat later.
6. Follow a diet plan in the beginning
If you prefer to follow a specific diet plan for the sake of having meal ideas, the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet are two reputable options to try. These diets include a variety of foods that are rich in healthy fats, fiber, nutrients, and vitamins.
At first, use these plans as a “crutch” while you’re in the beginning stages of teaching yourself to eat smarter. As you adopt better habits and become more knowledgeable about healthy eating, you can eventually create your own “diet” for yourself. Don’t feel as if you have to follow these specific eating plans for the rest of your life!
Remember You’re Not Alone
Now, more than ever, is the time to build your community. Talk with others who also suffer from type 2 diabetes. You will undoubtedly benefit from the emotional support only others who have been in your shoes can relate to. Go on walks with your friends or meet up for a coffee on days you feel like you need someone to talk to. Open up about your experience and ask them questions — they are likely looking for the same support you are.
At the same time, build a relationship with your medical provider. Don’t be shy about talking to them when it comes to any symptoms or concerns you have. The purpose of building this community is to encourage you to learn more about your condition and to keep you accountable.
The S2 Community
You can also lean on us here at Swee2ooth whenever you’re in need of nutritional or community support. We are committed to keeping you healthy, as we’ve endured our own type 2 struggles, and know countless others who have as well. We firmly believe that this journey is sweeter together! Learn more about the S2 Community and our mission to fuel the fight against type 2 here.
Let Us Fuel Your Fight!
Our Swee2ooth Super Blends have been formulated with type 2 patients in mind. Each ingredient serves a purpose and is meant to help you manage your condition and provide the highest-quality fuel to power through your diagnosis. By using the best ingredients we can find, we are confident in the science behind our products — down to the proteins and minerals included in each of our Super Blends.
We’re so excited to join you on your journey. Remember, type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to control you. We know you can conquer it, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Purchase your favorite flavor of Swee2ooth Super Blends and get started on your journey to better health. Click the button below to shop.