Living with diabetes is not easy. Type 2 diabetes is serious and there is a lot to do each and every day. But, you can learn how to better manage your diabetes. Choose a goal and make a plan. By taking it one step and one day at a time, you can do it. Remember, your health care team is here to help.
Here are five questions you can ask your health care team to help you learn how to manage your diabetes and live a long, healthy life:
What are my ABCs (A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol) and what should mine be? A1C is a measure of blood glucose (sugar) levels over the past two to three months. The target for most people with diabetes is less than 7 percent. For most people with diabetes, the target blood pressure is less than 130/80 and the target LDL (bad) cholesterol is less than 100. Keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol close to these target levels reduces your risk for the long-term problems of diabetes. Ask your health care team to help you choose the best targets for your diabetes.
How will I know if the medicines I take for diabetes are working? If your home blood glucose readings and your A1C are within your target range, then your medicines plus all of your efforts are working. If your blood glucose checks and A1C level are not within your target ranges, then it's time to review how your medicines, food, and activity are balanced. Bring your medicines and blood glucose log to your appointments and talk to your health care team about what may or may not be working for you.
Are my children at risk for type 2 diabetes? Diabetes runs in families. A healthy weight and physical activity help a great deal to reduce the risk. As you take steps to manage your own diabetes, think about how you can help your children and grandchildren take steps to stay healthy and avoid diabetes in the future. Ask your health care team about local resources for healthy eating and activity.
When should I schedule my next routine visit? Before leaving the health care team's office, ask to schedule your next visit. People with diabetes should get at least two check-ups a year for routine care.
How can I learn more about type 2 diabetes? Ask your health care team about local diabetes education programs, organizations, and support groups that can help you learn about how to better live and cope with diabetes.